Dave Goldberg: The Cause of Death???

So, um, that whole Dave Goldberg cause of death thingie we told you about? Maybe. Maybe not.

Late yesterday the New York Times reported that Goldberg died after he collapsed on a treadmill at the Four Seasons Hotel in Punta Mita, Mexico. Today a member of the hotel staff said he did no such thing. The general manager told Reuters that Goldberg did not slip on one of his treadmills. He was not even registered in his hotel.

The Times has now revised that report:

Correction: May 5, 2015

An earlier version of this article misstated Mr. Goldberg’s location at the time of his death. He was at a private villa near the Four Seasons Resort, not at the Four Seasons itself

The family continues its silence.

So who knows what happened. The Times’ source is described as a “spokesman” for the prosecutors’ office and maybe they do act in that capacity. But if the “spokesman” can’t get the location right, then you have to question their understanding of the event.

Now Your JoeDog thinks he probably did collapse on a treadmill and call it a day but without a detailed statement from the family he realizes that early speculation will certainly continue.

Was it suicide? Is somebody hiding something?  Your JoeDog waded through several online sewers, i.e., comments sections, to aggregate speculation. A new front runner has emerged. Quite a few people think “Mexico” is Goldberg’s version of the “Appalachian Trail.” Without transparency, we can only guess.

UPDATE: The details of Goldberg’s death remain murky but that doesn’t mean we can’t have scare-stories about treadmills! The Washington Post provides a good read on an ancient technology that we now use as fitness equipment.

Dave Goldberg: The Cause of Death

By now you’ve surely heard that Dave Goldberg “died suddenly.” He was the CEO of SurveyMonkey and the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. What you haven’t heard is this: the cause of death. The family chose not to reveal it.

That decision led to a great deal of online speculation. It caused some postulate suicide while others thought it was a heart attack. On Twitter, theories ranged from the inane to the conspiratorial. Goldberg was well-known-ish but that doesn’t change the equation by which you should distribute information. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO or a working class joe. When you hoard information, you allow others to seize the narrative. If you know something, share it. Transparency is always best.

Sooner or later, the truth will be revealed. The New York Times now reports that Goldberg collapsed in a hotel gym. Efforts to revive him in both the gym and a hospital failed. Look, Your JoeDog would be embarrassed if he went out like that but that’s no reason for ambiguity. The JoeDog PR staff should let everyone know that a B-list open source douchebag died because his fitness level was lower than his ego level.

As for Dave Goldberg just remember he died doing what he loved best: wrecking your online experience with annoying pop-up surveys.

The Wikipedia Draft

The NFL draft is one of the biggest sporting events in America. Nobody actually plays anything. It’s basically a schoolyard pick up game without the game.  Your JoeDog watched until his team selected the most awesomest player ever, then he went to bed. Looking for updates, he logged into the NFL’s official website but their presentation sucked. All he wanted was a list of teams and players. You know, like Wikipedia has for each NFL draft.

“Hmmm,” Your JoeDog thought, “I’ll bet the Poindexters at Wikipedia are updating that site as it happens.” So he logged in and sure enough: the 2015 NFL draft is being updated in real-ish time on Wikipedia.


Net Neutrality Revisited

Net Neutrality Now!

Do you remember when the FCC’s ruling on net neutrality put that issue to rest? Ha ha ha. We’re still fighting the 1960s, our cities are still burning and the fight over net neutrality is never going away.

The battle lines are drawn between two sides: those who think all traffic should be treated equally and those who think ISPs should be allowed to prioritize it. If you think banks should be completely unregulated and free to wreck the world economy, then you probably oppose net neutrality.

Sen. Rand Paul opposes banking regulation. He also opposes net neutrality. Yesterday, he fired a new salvo against packet equality. The Kentucky Senator introduced a bill that would repeal the FCC’s net-neutrality regulations.

Paul released a statement in which he said, without a hint of irony, that net neutrality does “nothing more than wrap the Internet in red-tape.” In the reality-based community, it simply means you place routers and switches on the network and have them do what they were designed to do: move packets across the internet.

If Comcast is allowed to throttle Google’s traffic so it can prioritize its own search, how long do you think it will take before that dispute finds its way to court? Red tape much, Rand?

If ISPs are allowed to slow some traffic and prioritize others, they can effectively pick winners and losers among online content providers. Is that really what a self-proclaimed libertarian wants?

Net neutrality provides an even playing field. It’s hard enough for Your JoeDog to compete with Tech Republic for your precious eyeballs. Imagine if his traffic was throttled because he didn’t cut a very large check to AT&T.

[Image brazenly stolen from: Click Tech Tips]

Hey! There’s No configure Script!!1!1!!!1!

Your JoeDog gets this a lot lately: “The INSTALL file says run ./configure but there’s no configure file.” It took a second but it’s now clear what’s happening. You guys are grabbing the code directly from github.com

When Your JoeDog redesigned this site, he put that snazzy “Fork me on Github” banner up in the corner. Exciting! So now you guys are forking me! Here’s the thing. The stuff on github is THE source code, it’s not a source distribution. You can find the source distribution on the downloads site.

So what’s the difference? The source distribution contains helper scripts which are generated by autotools. You know, like that configure script. Since configure is built from other files, it’s not a source file and we don’t maintain it in version control.

That doesn’t mean you can’t fork me on github! If you take that route, you’ll need to build your own configure script. We’ll learn how to do that after the jump….

Continue reading Hey! There’s No configure Script!!1!1!!!1!

The Facebook Effect (on real estate prices)

When Your JoeDog was in Palo Alto, he was thumbing through a real estate guide in the lobby of a hosting provider. A two-bedroom, 900 sq. foot post-war house caught his eye, not because it was nice but because it was listed for over a million dollars. That same house in the heartland would probably sell for one-tenth as much.

Now Tech Crunch tells us about the Facebook effect on real estate prices. Two years ago, the hoodied company announced it was moving from Palo Alto to Menlo Park. The effect on local real estate was astounding. Prices in Menlo Park increased 41.9%. In East Palo Alto — which is near the new fascility — the effect was even more profound. Prices in that neighborhood are up 75.6%.

There’s only one reason why real estate is so expensive in the Silicon Valley: it’s close to work. People are willing to pay a premium for a shorter commute. But why is this so important?

Tech guys have been selling the notion of telecommuting for at least twenty years yet they obviously demand that their own employees show up to the office. High housing prices in the Silicon Valley are testiment to the bullshit they peddle to the rest of us….

Godspeed, Turtle Ninja Road Warrior

After some asshole rat gnawed their pet turtle’s legs off, a Welsh couple started a social media campaign to raise money for emergency care. With her legs damaged beyond repair, they had to be surgically removed. I’m not sure if you are aware of  this but turtles aren’t known for speed. When sloths tell slow jokes, turtles are the butt of them. One-legged turtles are slower than that. To overcome her disability, Mrs T. was fitted with prosthetic wheels. You have to admit, they’re pretty freakin’ cool.

Your JoeDog doesn’t pretend to know what “Godspeed” means — he suspects it’s Latin for “Hurry the fsck up!”  — but he wishes it to Mrs T. Godspeed, little turtle. Godspeed.

Recursion Level 21 Exceeded

recursionYour JoeDog’s long national mail nightmare is over.

Here at JoeDog Industries we forward our mail to Gmail. Google de-spams them and places them snuggly into our mailboxes. When we send mail, Google masquerades as us, Your JoeDog. To play this game, they want secure authentication. It logs into our sendmail server which relays our precious messages.

Since our server was configured so that only authenticated users could relay and since Google was de-spamming our messages, Your JoeDog was all, “Why should we even bother with the bloated pig known as spam assassin?” So we shut it down and removed it from the system. Done and done, amirite?

Life was good! We were running a mail server on the public internets without paying a heavy price in terms of administration or computing costs.

Now Your JoeDog studied economics and one thing he learned was this: There’s so such thing as a free lunch. Well sum bitch if that ain’t true. A couple weeks ago, Gmail decided it would start bouncing obvious spam. Guess what happened?

They bounced the message and our mailer sent it back. So they bounced it again and we promptly sent it back. While this was going on, Amazon was all “Why are these fsckers crushing our infrastructure?” So they throttled our asses at the firewall. So then the mail queue started backing up.

At that point Your JoeDog was all, “UGH! We have to run spam assassin again.” The idea was this: We’ll catch spam before it gets to Google then they won’t bounce it back.”

Seems like a good idea, right? WRONG!

Google is better at this shit than Your Spam Assassin. Even though we caught a bunch of stuff, they found plenty more to bounce at us. With Amazon throttling us and Google bouncing us, JoeDog Industries became The United States of Suck.

The solution to this cluster bump turned out to be pretty simple. We’ll learn about that after the jump! Continue reading Recursion Level 21 Exceeded

Cyber Threats Against Surgical Robots

Robot Surgeon

Things that would suck for one thousand, please, Alex.

Imagine — and why the hell not? — that you need an emergency appendectomy. Yours is about to explode because why-do-we-even-have-those-things? You are rushed into the operating room and placed on a table beneath a curious apparatus. “Get me a nerd, stat!” Somebody shouts.

A man in surgical clothing greets you. “Relax,” he says. “I’ve done a million of these.” He pushes a button and mask drops and smothers your face. The man’s credentials don’t match what your parents expected from their emergency room staff. The “doctor” is a computer operator, a Microsoft Certified Surgeon from ITT Tech. Your procedure begins when he selects “Appendectomy” from a drop-down menu. It is performed by a robot that immediately goes to work, carving into your body in search of an inflamed appendix.

Suddenly the robot orders silicon. Unexpected noises fill the room as the augmentation unit fires up. “WTF?” the operator types into his IRC session. “This thing’s going haywire.” Everyone in the channel responds in a similar manner: “LOL!” they type back. “This is serious shit!!!1!1!”, he anger-types. “ROTFLMAO!” they reply.

The robotic knives withdraw from your abdomen. The apparatus glides on tracks as it works its way towards your chest. It starts to make cuts around your nipples. The operator is agog; his jaw drops and he’s unsure what to do. The augmentation unit descends and attaches to your chest. Silicon starts flowing. The operator starts smashing his keyboard. “Why does this shit always happen on a Friday afternoon??!!” he screams. “LOL!” the IRC channel says.

So what happened? The hospital didn’t keep its goddam software up-to-date. The surgical robot was hacked. And now you have lady tits because 4Chan was in need of some afternoon LOLz.

Sound far-fetched? A team of researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle just hijacked a teleoperated surgical robot and documented its security vulnerabilities in a new white paper. Great! As if surgery wasn’t stressing enough, here’s one more thing to think about.

At least the guys at 4Chan gave you big ones. (They’re a little obsessed with breasts over there…)