End of year disorientation?

  life covid data video_games mental_health tinkering pontification

Once again it is the end of year crunch at work and we're all scrambling to get things done before holiday break. That we even get a holiday break is something that I'm still not quite used to, though I'm certainly not going to complain about it, either. I spent most of the week pulling almost all nighters and cursing specific ways of getting things done that aren't anything like what anyone else does. Oh, well. So it goes. Everybody does it differently, nobody does it right.

Covid-19 cases still going up around the country. Plagues do that. Of course …

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Organizing a data hoard with YaCy.

  configuration data exocortex leandra search yacy library

 It should come as little surprise to anyone out there that I have a bit of a problem with hoarding data.  Books, music, and of course files of all kinds that I download and read or use in a project for something.  Legal briefs, research papers (arXiv is the bane of my existence), stuff people ask me to review, the odd Humble Bundle... So much so that a scant few years ago I rebuilt Leandra to better handle the volume of data in my library.  However, it's taken me this long to both figure out and get around to making …

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I am lost in a maze of twisty narratives, all different.

  life wardriving mapping exercise technology wireless data motivation rambling

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, to be sure.  While lots of different things have been going on lately, none of them are related in any particularly clear or straightforward fashion, so fitting all of this stuff together is going to be a bit of a struggle.  You may as well kick back with the beverage of your choice in a responsible fashion while I spin this yarn.

I suppose it all started with wardriving in northern Virginia many years ago.  In a nutshell, I had loaded Windbringer up with a rather small for the time USB GPS unit …

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Neologism: GSCA

  data linux neologisms tools unix gnu

GSCA - acronym, verb - Using grep, sed, cut, and awk on a Linux or UNIX box to chop up, mangle, or otherwise process data on the command line prior to doing anything serious with it.  This is not to preclude the use of additional tools (such as sort).

Casting a data point into the origins of the Polybius myth.

  conspiracy_theory video_games modern_myths urban_legends origins history rpg data

A couple of days ago (a couple of minutes ago, as I happen to write this) I watched a documentary on Youtube about a modern urban legend, the video game called Polybius.  I don't want to give away the entire story if you've not heard it before, but a capsule version is that in 1981.ev a strange video game called Polybius was installed in a number of video arcades in the Pacific Northwest.  The game supposedly had a strange effect on some of the people playing it, ranging from long periods of hypnosis to night terrors, epileptic convulsions and …

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#datarefuge in the Bay Area - 11 February 2017.

  announcement archival climate_change data datarefuge guerilla

UPDATE: 20170131 - The Eventbrite page for this event has gone live!  Sign up!

I haven't had time to write about #datarefuge yet, in part because people a lot closer to the matter have been doing so, and much better than I could at the moment.  An entire movement has arisen around scientific data being 451'd because it's politically inconvenient, and not many of us know if it's being erased or just shut down.  We also don't know for certain if it's being copied elsewhere for safekeeping so we're doing it ourselves.  To do my part, I've been communicating with some …

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Controlling genes by thought, DNA sequencing in 90 minutes, and cellular memory.

  biotech computing cybernetics data dna eeg forensics genetic_engineering genetics hardware law_enforcement optogenetics sequencing storage

A couple of years ago the field of optogenetics, or genetically engineering responsiveness to visible light to exert control over cells was born. In a nutshell, genes can be inserted into living cells that allow certain functions to be switched on or off (such as the production of a certain hormone or protein) in the presence or absence of a certain color of light. Mostly, this has only been done on an experimental basis to bacteria, to figure out what it might be good for. As it happens to turn out, optogenetics is potentially good for quite a lot of …

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A new way to write web applications.

  browser data html javascript software unhosted web_2.0 web_applications

It's almost taken for granted these days that your data lives Out There Somewhere on the Internet. If you set up a webmail account at a service like Gmail or Hushmail, your e-mail will ultimately be stored on a bunch of servers racked in a data center someplace you will probably never see. Users of social networks implicitly accept that whatever they post - updates, notes, images, videos, comments, what have you - will probably never touch any piece of hardware they own ever again. Everything stays in someone else's server farm whether or not you want it to, and while there …

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Tor in the Elastic Computing Cloud: six months later.

  amazon analysis data ecc tor

Slightly over six months months ago (almost to the day) I set up a Tor node using a micro-sized instance in Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (or EC2), a service which lets you run virtual machines in Amazon's network for very little money per month at all. As before, my virtual Tor router is running in the free service tier, which lets me push 30 gigs of network traffic every month. I've configured Tor to push rather more traffic than that (100 gigs per month at an average speed of 300 KB per second) and automatically go into hibernation mode (dropping …

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Radio silence: a sign of the times.

  data it life pontification projects work

I wish I could say it's been quiet over here, but it's actually been relentlessly busy for Lyssa and I down here in DC. I think I overextended myself a little the weekend of the prototype Spaceblimp launch, which left me fighting off... something.. that kept me at a high fever and feeling run down most of the time. I did a little detail working on my car to cover up the myriad scratches and scuffs that accumulate whenever you park for long periods of time in an urban area. While the speeding edge of an SUV door doesn't actually …

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