Sunday, June 23, 2013

Full-Disk Encryption, Linux Mint 15

Plaa's instructions for full-disk encryption at work fine for Linux Mint 15. This is for a new installation, or a new Mint partition. Do it.

For convenience, I have reproduced his instructions here:

(1) Boot your system using the Linux Mint 15 live CD or USB stick.
(2) Open a terminal and enter the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get remove ubiquity
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ubiquity
$ sudo ubiquity

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We are Twitter's Twits, not their Customers

I've been disturbed by the invasive nature of many, many android apps. For example, here are the permissions requested by the Twitter app:

  • Why does Twitter need my location? They don't.
  • Why does Twitter need access to my accounts (note plural)? They don't. Why would I want to hand this over to them? That would be simply stupid.
  • Why would my contacts want me to hand their information over to Twitter? The naive ones may not to think to care, but most would likely prefer that I did not.
  • Why does Twitter need access to my Google service configuration? They don't. 
Clearly, we are not Twitter's customers, but rather Twitter's twits. Why use their app when you can simply log in to their service via browser?

Additionally, there are some ads that are simply blatant phishing attempts:

This is from the tunein app, which provides searches for radio stations and radio programs to stream. It's a nice service. It's ad-supported. The ad above, just above the highlighted Related tab, says I have one new message. So if I click that, where does it take me? Not to a message, or, rather, not to a message from anyone I could imagine listening to. It's a phishing ploy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Classic CS1 Test Question Answer

Q:  What are the primary reasons for using procedures and functions?

A:  The primary reasons for using procedures and functions is for
instability.  A function is part of an expression and is used to
determine what the program must do.  A procedure is a statement in
itself and the great thing about it is that any variable declared
within a procedure can be referred to from anywhere in the program.

The date on the file I re-stumbled across this in is December 1996, though it could be older. I suspect this is an answer I received on a test, but it may have been something going around the Internet at the time.

Monday, June 3, 2013

UMBC Frogs, Over a Stream Near a Pond, 2013-05-11 17:30

This plays well in Firefox, but on my Linux system neither Opera nor Chrome can deal with it.

However, you can access the media stream directly at