Back on the Linux wagon

I have and do run Linux from time to time, and primarily have been partially interested in features available in Linux. My interest comes in cycles; back in 1995-98 I used to run snapshot kernels and custom tweak everything. Then I learned about BSD, become a huge OpenBSD fan, and totally ditched Linux.

With virtualization being built on Linux and the primary development of applications being based on a Linux environment, I have started digging back into it.

Now I am getting OpenStack/DevStack running on Ubuntu 12.04 with an early build. This should be fun.

Monday April 9

After years complaining to Google about a blogspot account that purported to be my Blog, I have had it removed. It’s ironical that my method was to invoke the DMCA and refer to the content as being my own, since I have been against the general DMCA abuse on the Internet for years. In any sense, the site is down.

Spammers do some pretty clever things. I used to have a blogspot site hosted by Google, and I wrote all sorts of posts about traveling around NZ and such. After deciding to host my site on a private server with WordPress, I downloaded all my posts and then deleted the account. A spammer then picked up the (sub)domain and re-uploaded archives of my old site, however they also inserted some Javascript that loaded links/ads/etc as a sublayer ontop of my content.

With Google, I had tried to call, send complaints via a web interface for years, send DMCA take-down letters, photocopies of ID, and then finally I just tried a simple web form a few weeks ago. Finally Google listened. And good thing too. It appears, although I have no concrete evidence that this is the case, that Blogspot/Blogger content is ranked pretty high. In some cases the site would show up with a higher page rank that my own truman.net domain when searching for something found on my site(s).

Finally I get this:

Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

In accordance with the DMCA, we have completed processing your

infringement complaint and the content in question no longer appears on

the following URL(s):

http://trumanboyes.blogspot.com

Please let us know if we can assist you further.

Regards,

The Google Team

 

Job done.

quick update

I have been running a bit more since I arrived back into the USA. Pretty soon after getting back I ran a quick Cupid’s Run 5k in New Brunswick, which although it was snowing (lightly), was a lot of fun.

I trained a bit more just to get my mental state into handling a good long run. This was all in preparation for the NYC 13.1 Half Marathon in Queens. I ran this in 2:03 on a beautiful, but brisk morning and then aggressively consumed food to replenish all consumed energy on the run. My thoughts on running distances at the Half Marathon level and under are as follows:

  • Train enough that you know what it feels like to run 5 and 10k distances. You should have a good idea the level of effort required to complete the run and the time it will take to rest and recover.
  • I thought about bringing music (iPhone) to the 13.1 mile run, but I decided against it for a few reasons; namely nice to just hear people running all around you, hear your footsteps, hear people cheering you on, and hear the live music and such all around you. My advice would be to just absorb yourself in the experience.
  • Think about “now”. It’s easy to get spooked by thinking about the remaining 10.1 miles after you finish the first 3. The best bet (for me) is to just get into a nice rhythm and enjoy the experience of now, not the thought of completion later. That feeling of completion will become ever more on your mind when you are coming up to to the finish line. Then you can (if you still have the energy), just go for it and get a nice sprint to the finish in.

I usually run with my Vibram Five Fingers Bikila running shoes as I really feel comfortable with the whole idea of barefoot (or close to it) running. Now I know I did something a bit stressful to my right foot and I am thinking of sometimes running in some regular running shoes just to balance things out. I have been running with Vibram Five Fingers for about 3 years and have been really happy with the results and feel of running with a connection to the ground and the freedom of my toes.

Of course my slight injury to my foot may be due to the fact that I ran 22km’s a few weeks ago, then pushed out a good 8km run a week later without much stretching. I am going to take it easy on my feet and start a better stretching routine. My dad has been itching to get into running, so I think a nice 5km starter race would be fun to do with him before I start on longer distances again.

 

 

Review : Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

I finished reading Netherland by Joseph O’Neill this lazy Sunday afternoon – and thing about this book if that there is a voice ( Hans van den Broek ) that just stays with you. You want to know what is happening on each page, you want to understand the complexities of his marriage that is now strained by geography, romance or lack thereof, and a basic sense of loss.

Loss from 9-11-01, loss of family and his wife taking his child back to London, and while he remains in NYC he has nothing connecting him to the city. This changes when he meets Chuck Ramkissoon.

The beauty of the English language is nurtured, the eloquence of the arranged words and time shifts are handled with care and passion. This book jumps into situations, places, people, that are difficult to properly capture – but O’Neill invests in capturing the moment, the characters, and transporting the reader. When the story takes the characters to a West Indian dance party, you can simply hear the soca music, you can see the Dutch man quickly taking his drinks before he goes to try and fit in and be part of the gyrating momentum of the dance hall locals. The author captures the emotional complexity of being lost for direction, clinging to things that are known, and then the sort the acceptance and change of character that comes with understanding the truth about yourself.

This book is about New York, about Holland, London, Cricket, about being American or maybe about the Immigrant communities of NYC that have become in some ways, more American than those natively born. Netherland is a book that will quite possibly educate you on the Dutch history of New York, on Cricket as an American game, and on how it felt to New Yorkers in post-9/11 times. It’s a beautiful book that is worth re-reading from time to time. At least when you need to feel painfully alive.

 

why i am kickstarting the 110 stories augmented reality twin towers application

I worked in New York City when the twin towers fell. I have lived in NYC, I have commuted from New Jersey into NYC, and I used to work in a building on the Jersey City water front (Pavonia Station), and have direct sight of the towers. When working on late night projects in the office, I would look out the window and watch the lights go on and off on various floors of the towers.

In 2001 I built a network for a financial company on the 25th floor of the South Tower. I still have the building pass for WTC today. There is a deep excitement in me about the new construction in Battery Park and WTC, however there is a realization that these amazing towers that once stood on the skyline of New York City will never be there again. But wait?! Maybe occasionally they will be; this iPhone application – to create a augmented reality and super impose the towers on the skyline is a ray of sunshine to my spirit.

I have been watching Kickstarter.com for a while now, and finally found a project that is calling out to me to help fund and push towards a future. There are eight days left to get $25k to launch the application, and “we” are at 23k. I have selected the $75 pledge, and I hope to sport the cool T-shirt as well as use the application next time I am in NY or NJ, and I look at the souther tip of Manhattan and look up to see 110 stories in their glory.

More details: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/110stories/110-stories-augmented-reality-twin-towers-iphone-a

 

comment spam via ipv6

Checking some logs I realized that comment spam was originating from a host in Japan at: 2001:2e8:626:0:2:1:0:b7.

With the plethora of IPv6 addresses, it will only be a matter of time before we see massive comment/email/and web spam originating from IPv6 address blocks.

And what exactly is this machine that is sending comment spam?

Why, it’s a default install of Centos with a bunch of open ports. I am sure some not-so-friendly scripts have found their way inside this vulnerable host and have started using it to generate spam. The fact that the machine was IPv6 connected was likely a coincident, but a useful one (to the spammer).

I have now blocked the /64 of that range to prevent such annoyances.

French Media Laws Are ésotérique

“FRANCE HAS BANNED the use of the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ from being spoken on radio or television unless they are part of a news story in accordance with an old law.”

While the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel has indicated that France is purely upholding it’s laws (a 1992 law that limits the advertising of organizations on media), it appears France has allowed legislation to get in the way of common sense.

Yes I understand that there is some connotation in “Follow us on Twitter” in that is can show support for Twitter or other commercial organizations. But frankly, denying the existence of a medium that is having far more relevance than traditional print and television organizations; a medium that is changing the politics of regions, countries, and administrations, is going to do more harm than good for the public.

I personally find that the “eggs in one basket” idea that twitter and facebook have created on the Internet is a very worrying situation, but there is no denying the power and usefulness that social media has created in the last 5 years. The Facebook phenomena among businesses is to create their branded page, and have followers where they can direct market the individuals. From the selfish interests of a company it’s perfect, especially when you look at the information that you get when you have people simply ‘follow or join’ or page.

From the Internet-centric perspective it’s no different than the mess we had when AOL or even Compuserve had when they have provider-specific services. It’s lame. It’s against the real power of the a decentralized Internet that survives critical destruction; yet, everyone is on it, so you might as well join.

Will there be a point in time where we all move again away from these organizations. For anyone that says, “remember MySpace or Orkut?”, these are different animals. Sure there were plenty of bands on Myspace but it was hardly adopted with the same magnitude nor as useful as Facebook or twitter. What we need to think up is the generic terms for Facebook’ing and Twittering. The equivalents of “photocopy this” instead of “Xerox this”, or “can you get me a tissue”, instead of “can you get me a Kleenex?”. These technologies are interesting, but surely there are generic ways to describe their function in our lives. Think of ‘texting’ or ’emailing’; we don’t refer to these as “AT&T Short Messaging” or “Outlooking”.

 

Setup WordPress Again

It’s been close to a year since I had a functioning wordpress system setup. I finally spent an hour to get the system installed on a new KVM instance. Over the last year I have been using twitter more often as a quick way to post things I am thinking about or find interesting. It’s quick, it’s useful, but it lacks context. There are so many interesting things that I come across that I want to jot down notes (and share) and I find wordpress to be good for this type of activity.

I like writing. I like composing information, and I like reading other’s information on technical material, travel, and general thoughts.

This time I tried out FreeBSD inside a KVM VM; the lastest 8.2 is pretty awesome. Lot’s of good features that I hope to get some experience with at some time. The multiple routing table sounds interesting, although I doubt I have a real reason to even turn this on. This is a stock standard system that is running some basic daemons for web and some media streaming. The system is dual stacked (IPv4 and IPv6) and I have published AAAA records for all the domains hosted on this system.