Modify It; Don’t Criticize It

Audi TFSIWhen Your JoeDog got a new car, the first thing he did was modify it. He added another 37HP with help from the folks at APR Tuning. Your JoeDog’s attitude toward cars mirrors his attitude toward software. If he owns it, then he should do whatever he wants with it as long as he doesn’t hurt somebody.

Cars and software run best when they run fast.

Well now here’s something that makes Your JoeDog want to down 10 bottles of Mad Dog and follow that with a codeine chaser:

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

Did you get that? A Federal agency will determine whether or not tinkering with your car constitutes a copyright violation. When Your JoeDog saw that he thought, “Who do I have to nut punch and where does the line form?”

If you’re a nerd of a certain age, just about every outrage traces back to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Well, guess what?

Since cars are now rolling computing platforms, manufacturers have asked the Copyright Office to determine whether or not the DCMA protects their intellectual property and prohibits people from modifying and tuning their own vehicles.

Assholes. It’s not like we’re going to Detroit, Wolfsburg or Ingolstadt to tell manufactures how to construct their vehicles (although that couldn’t hurt). As it stands, we’d rather just take delivery now and improve the car our god-damn selves. Don’t mess with that, Washington.

[H/T: Slashdot.org]



HTTPS Happy Nice Time

As you may have noticed, here at JoeDog Enterprises Incorporated Ltd ESQ Inc., we switched from http to https last weekend. Exciting!

We warned you that such a move could be accompanied by unintended consequences. But keep in mind, not all side effects are bad. Just like painkillers can provide a little glow along with relief, some changes can provide unintentional benefits. Here’s the story of one of them.

This morning we noticed skiddie activity. That’s not unusual. Every morning we notice skiddie activity. Some asshole from 192.210.220.2  in Williamsville, NY is running an attack right now. Our http logs are filling with this activity:

192.210.220.2 - - [20/Apr/2015:08:32:35 -0400] "POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.1" 
302 213 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible: MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)"

See that 302? That means our http virtual host is issuing a redirect to https. Here’s the thing: He doesn’t appear in the https logs. That means his stupid skiddie script is too dumb to follow the redirect. For the past hour he’s done nothing but causing meaningless redirects …

… and now he’s blocked.

UPDATE: Those 302s are now 301s as per Tim Funk’s recommendation. If skiddie can’t follow 302, he can’t follow 301 either….

UPDATE: That’s weird. My linky text is recommendation — as in “Tim Funk’s recommendation” — but magic is turning it into “Tim Funk’s 1 comment.”



How To Switch Your Site To HTTPS

I told you that Your JoeDog would eventually complete that task. There was no need to remind us every couple of months. It’s done, now. Cross it off the list.

Congratulations, I guess?? What task is now complete?

Last August Your Google announced that it would give all sites running https a slight rankings bounce. Your JoeDog thought, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We should do that.” Then August became October and October became January and January became whatever comes after that. Now you’re able to read this blog over a secure connection.

Let’s set-up https after the jump! Continue reading How To Switch Your Site To HTTPS



The Sites They Are a’ Changin’

Your JoeDog was looking at his analytics and he noticed something: This blog gets a lot more traffic than the rest of this site. That makes sense … I guess! After all, how many times do you want to read a software manual? Since it gets more traffic, Your JoeDog decided to move it to a more prominent position. It’s now the home page.

Yeah, and …

There are no “ands.” This site is still the home of our open source software. You can find the manuals, FAQs and ReadMes on the left. Clicky-clicky. And if that fails, there’s always the search bar over on the right Searchy-searchy! And you can always return to the home page for snide remarks about technology. Snarky-snarky.



Big In India

According to Alexa. Your JoeDog is ranked 300,052nd in the world. That’s cool — I guess — but in India, it’s ranked 127,320 and that’s stinkin’ awesome. “Big in India, tonight. Big in India, alright…”

Here’s the thing: We’re big India even though we drop references to archaic Western things like Alphaville and a 1980 Pennsylvania lottery drawing. Imagine if we dropped the names of attractive Indian women. Imagine if we mentioned Kareena KapoorAishwarya Rai and Rani Mukherjee. We could be 126,00 by Friday…

 



Relax. Aliens Hate Taxes, Too

alienThe SETI project is actively scanning the cosmos in search of alien communication. They’re using radio telescopes to monitor electromagnetic radiation in search of “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know. What do you want?”

So what happens if we eavesdrop on extraterrestrial dinner plans? Should we attempt to contact the entire civilization?

Stephen Hawking thinks this is a dumb idea. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said.

Physicist and author Dr David Brin also urges caution:

Is there a chance, however small, that in making itself known to aliens, humanity could be about to make a colossal mistake?

It we live in this jungle neighbourhood where it’s quiet, and if you are a toddler, it’s best to talk it over with the other toddlers before screaming yoo-hoo!

Julianne Dalcanton is more succinct, “In the meanwhile,” she says, “Earth should just STFU.”

Your JoeDog isn’t worried about alien contact. He tends to think advanced civilizations are filled with selfish creatures. Why? Self-interest drives technological advancement. In cooperative societies, worker drones are content to do the same thing millenium after millenium. Sure, bees sting but they’re not going to destroy humanity any time soon.

If we’re going to worry about alien civilizations, then we should be concerned with the ones that possess awe-inspiring technology. Nobody invents that stuff to improve society. They build Constructor Fleets to get rich and get chicks.

In popular lore, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin to reduce the Southern dependency for slave labor. Bullshit! He solved the problem of separating seeds from cotton in order to make his white ass rich. If that freed slaves, then bonus. But if it increased dependency on slave labor, “Well, then, what are you gonna do?”

Interstellar travel doesn’t align with self-interest. It could take generations until it’s profitable. No self-centered creature is going to take on generations of burden so their great-grandson can become a wealthy womanizer.

For any space program to get off the ground, it requires huge government outlays and that means taxes. We can’t agree to raise the revenue necessary to fix our roads and bridges and we use that shit daily. Can you imagine trying to raise enough revenue to reach Alpha Centauri?

It won’t happen. And nobody in that star system is going to agree to the taxes necessary to reach earth. Relax, people, aliens hate taxes, too.



Your Morning Read

  1. Designed-for-security is a dubious distinction.
  2. How easy is it to hack a voting machine? This easy.
  3. Everyone wants to know what’s near me.
  4. A news network for cord cutters.
  5. You can now google your lost Android phone.
  6. How many of her children needed to contract whooping cough before a Canadian anti-vaxxor became convinced that maybe — just maybe — her position on vaccines was a little bit wrong? Every single one of them.


Which Side Are You On?

During the First World War, the Ottoman government systematically killed 1.5 million Armenians. If you ever want to anger a large number of Turkish people, refer to that event as “genocide.”

On Sunday, New Pope did exactly that.

“In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the Pope said at a mass to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian massacres. “The first, which is widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century,’ struck your own Armenian people.”

It was a sentiment that didn’t sit well with a Turkish “hacker” known on twitter as @THTHerakles. On Monday, he brought down New Pope’s website. Writing in first person plural, he explained that it will remain down until New Pope appologizes.

“Taking sides and calling what happened with the Armenians genocide is not true. We want Pope to apologise for his words or we will make sure the website remains offline,” he said.

I suppose there are two sides to every issue — even genocide. The pope’s against it. Which side are you on, @THTHerakles?

As of this writing, the Pope’s website remains unreachable.

UPDATE: As of 10:38 EDT, New Pope is back online. It looks like he scaled vertically. There are now four A records for www.vatican.va. On each he has an apache server which is forwarding requests back to Oracle iPlanet. It’s just like New Pope to straddle the worlds of open source and corporate opulence.