crazyscot: Close-up of a spanner on a dark background (spanner)
2017-04-11 11:01 am
Entry tags:

LJ content shredding tool

With tears in my eyes, I have shredded my LiveJournal account.

Now it's time to share the tool. ljshred@github | Just the script. You'll need Python 2.7. Command-line only. No warranty. Use at own risk. May contain nuts.

I may or may not delete my LJ now, but for the time being you can see the effect over on .
crazyscot: black (black)
2017-04-05 10:55 am
Entry tags:

Farewell LiveJournal

I have made the decision to leave LJ, because of their new Terms of Service.

I am upset at being coerced into agreeing to a new ToS without prior notice. I was required to click to agree in order to continue using the site, and forcibly logged out if I clicked "Not Now".

The English ToS explicitly says that it is "not a legally binding document" and that the Russian version prevails. For a non-Russian speaker this clause is unconscionable and likely unenforceable. Of course this is unlikely to ever reach a court; SUP would just ToS you if they didn't like the cut of your jib (s2.5).

Assuming the English translation is broadly correct, and taking it at face value, I am upset with the unilateral involvement of Russian domestic law in the user agreement. Some specific qualms with it follow.

  • Users (s7.4) and communities (8.4) are subject to article 10.2 of Federal Act 149-ФЗ (by the way that's a Cyrillic Z, not a number 3) of the Russian Federation if they receive more than 3000 accesses within 24 hours. I found an English text of Act 149-FZ. Article 10.2 is several pages long but includes provisions (inter alia) requiring registration of all such blogs and bloggers with an implicitly Russian government body, and bloggers must verify all information that they post. While doubt I'm anywhere near the 3000 viewers threshold, I object to the idea of being non-consensually registered with an overseas government body, without the privacy protections that I expect, if my activity meets their arbitrary threshold.

  • Users are required (9.1.3) to use the Adult Content mechanism to indicate where content is inappropriate for children according to Russian law. I don't know what Russian law says about appropriateness for children, how the norms and mores might differ from where I live, and there's no reasonable way for me to keep up to date with them.

  • Users are required (9.2.7) to not post adverts or "political solicitation" (whatever that means) without explicit agreement (permission?) from SUP. There is no guidance to what "political solicitation" means. As a moderately political person, without knowledge of the definition of solicitation, I am concerned that the occasional political post I make might inadvertently fall foul of this provision.

  • Users are required (9.2.8) to not perform any actions contrary to the laws of the Russian Federation. Given Russia's stance towards the LGBTQ+ community, this is unconscionable for me.

  • SUP claim the right (10.6) to change any level of service without prior notice. Such a unilateral right of change is grossly unbalanced and unreasonable.

  • Any unresolved disputes between users and SUP are to be settled in (implicitly) Russian courts (13.3). To be fair I don't think this is a new term when it comes to online services in general, but this massively disempowers users outside of Russia, and that's before one considers the merits of engaging with an unfamiliar legal system.

  • The entire TOS explicitly doesn't apply to paid accounts (13.4), referring them on to Live Journal Inc. As a permanent account holder, which the site treats as a paid account, I was coerced into agreeing to the new TOS - which explicitly don't apply to me - in order to continue using the site. This clearly hasn't been thought through, but is what I've come to expect from SUP in terms of how they treat their users.

On top of all that, considering that the LJ servers are now physically hosted in Russia (since December 2016), it's a pretty safe bet that all traffic into and out of LJ is available to the Russian security services in real-time, and who knows what they might be doing with it.

So this is my final crosspost from Dreamwidth. Unless there are significant changes to the ToS within the next week or so, I will be deleting my LJ account. I cannot and will not continue to use it.

Will the last person out please turn off the lights?
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2014-11-11 09:27 pm

gcc -xc -E -dM /dev/null

Every now and then I find myself needing to remember the gcc rune (above) to list the built-in pre-processor symbols. Google knows it, of course, but I just came across a scrap of paper with the scrawling. How very 1990s. So rather than keeping it buried amidst the silt of my physical desk, I'm going to try keeping it buried amid the silt of my virtual consciousness to see if that's a more useful place for it.
crazyscot: Me on Mt Hutt (skiing2013)
2014-01-01 01:00 pm

PSA: Friends Only

I stopped posting publicly, largely because of privacy concerns.

There doesn't seem to be any point in retrospectively hiding my back posts because the internet already has them archived.
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-10-27 04:36 pm

Linux IP routing weirdness


I played around with MTUs, which might have helped a little but there aren't many data points.

My current suspicion is that my own slightly wacky network setup may have been to blame.
  • I had been running two different IP nets on the same physical net.
  • Clients were allocated an address by DHCP (running on my server), server was DNS and gateway (amongst other things) to the second logical net. (My server has but a single ethernet interface.)
  • Only my server and the DSL modem were on the second logical net.
  • The DSL modem was itself running NAT.

So my desktop was behind double-NAT, which the internets (and my colleague Thomas) pointed out were likely to break many things. Having moved the DSL modem to be on the same part of RFC1918-space as the rest of the wired net, I have started using the DSL modem as a direct gateway for desktop clients - and it all works much better. I don't think I've had a single blackhole event since making the change a couple of days ago.

The only downside that I can see is that I no longer have the fine-grained firewall control that I enjoyed with iptables. Right?
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-10-13 09:46 am

(no subject)

[personal profile] rustica insists I propagate this link, so: Netflix win at customer service.
Almost makes me want to subscribe, but we can't get it here...
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-10-11 10:19 pm

Linux IP routing weirdness

OK, internets, help me out here, my google-fu is deserting me and possibly because I'm using the wrong terminology...

I have some regular weirdness with networking on my desktop PC at home. I regularly lose the ability to route packets to certain destinations. It tends to be the same destinations. For a long time it was feedproxy; now it's that and facebook. The interface remains up, and I can reach those destinations from the Linux PC that is the immediate router; just that those failing destinations seem to be blackholed on my desktop.

So it's obviously (?) entirely my machine at fault.

If I bounce the interface, it all works again. For a while, but it usually blackholes again soon.

It may be relevant that I am running the dreaded double NAT; once on my router/fileserver PC, and again on the DSL modem. I did briefly try to make the DSL modem not do NAT, but couldn't readily make it work. I suppose I ought to try again; and I could also try putting my PC outside the inner NAT to see if that makes a difference (though it wouldn't then be able to see the fileserver unless I reconfigured that *sigh*).

My googling did take me as far as a possible kernel bug to do with ARP caching and ICMP redirects and suggested echo 0 >/proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/eth0/accept_redirects - but it hasn't helped. ip route list cache shows affected destinations as redirected, but I'm not entirely sure what that means or how I might prevent it. via dev eth0  src 
    cache   ipid 0xc125 rtt 206ms rttvar 67ms cwnd 10 from via dev eth0 
    cache   ipid 0xc125 rtt 206ms rttvar 67ms cwnd 10 is my desktop. is the DSL router.

Any ideas?
crazyscot: A large red sphere with many small coloured spheres orbiting it (planet weird)
2013-07-05 07:57 pm

Now this is getting interesting

Here in NZ, if you want to build a building, you need (amongst other things) Building Consent. It's pretty similar to the system of building regulations and building control surveyors in the UK - just that we have a more stringent Building Code owing to the, ah, more lively nature of the ground here. Like in the UK, they are administered at a local government level. The consent-issuing bodies are audited and accredited by International Auditing NZ, which provides a compliance and conformance oversight.

Here in Chch, there has been a storm brewing since a few weeks ago, when it emerged that the city council here were at risk of having their accreditation to issue building consents revoked. Local politics )
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-05-24 08:38 pm

Well, that was useless

I am quite a heavy Google Maps user. I got an invite to try the new Google Maps.

I found it completely unusable, at least on my home machine; the CPU pegged out at 100% constantly and whenever I moved, it took many seconds for the screen to update. Even typing into the feedback form took many seconds to show my keystrokes. Thankfully the email welcoming me to the preview program had a return-to-classic link that worked, taking me to a more useful (ordinary-web-based) feedback survey.

Possibly it's because I'm a Luddite with a five-year-old machine with an elderly graphics card, running Linux where the driver support is often lacking. But I am not really minded to spend $$$ upgrading when my current machine works perfectly adequately for my existing needs, TYVM.
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-03-06 10:02 pm

(no subject)

Has anybody heard of AstraZip, which appears to be some sort of Russian-language social network based in Belarus that scrapes and reposts public content from LJ (including mine), in what appears to be a blatant violation of copyright? If this post appears on AstraZip it will be there without my permission.
crazyscot: An empty beach scene, looking off-shore to infinity. (blank)
2013-02-22 07:32 pm

Remembering 22/2/11

We remember a short few minutes
of sheer terror
of death, of destruction
Lives, like buildings-
rent asunder.

We remember the aftermath
tears, fires, and liquefaction.
Cordons, confusion,
the narrow escapes,
the fallen.

We remember everyone affected
the old, the young,
the foreign, the local,
the tall, the short,

We remember the heroes
the students, the farmies,
our friends from across
the world; the neighbours,
the strangers.

We remember broken homes -
long drops and portaloos,
tangled webs, and a long time
to closure.

We remember a city as it was
and will never be again.
Demolition, deconstruction,
our past turned
Into dust.

We are Christchurch.
We will rebuild.
We will be back
Better than ever!
crazyscot: Roadsign warning of kiwis (kiwi)
2013-02-16 10:07 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

An eventful Saturday.

This morning I went to visit the electrical wholesalers, for the last couple of bits I need for tidying up the shed electrics, then to the PO box (nothing of import) and the supermarket.

This afternoon was scheduled for some of the last bits of the shed painting, until disaster struck: the kettle broke! OMG, oh noes, etc. The lid fixings had sheared, the upshot of which was that the lid wouldn't close, so the steam cut-off wouldn't operate. The priority of doing the painting was rapidly dwarfed by the need to have the ability to reliably summon hot drinks - especially as [personal profile] rustica's term starts on Monday - so we set off to the kettle mine (which looked suspiciously like Noel Leeming). The chap agreed it was a warranty failure and started working through the options... but as it was obsolete (bought 19 months ago), he couldn't authorise a replacement without talking to the service centre on Monday to see precisely which kettle he could replace it with.

48 hours without a kettle?!? In the words of a famous-in-NZ ad campaign, "Yeah, right." But he thought his manager (who was busy helping another customer) could authorise it. Thankfully he could and did, so we returned triumphant with a shiny metallic red kettle. (Somewhat alarmingly, it seems that Russell Hobbs are doing a whole line of brushed metal appliances in vivid colours.)

I observe that having bought a kettle in July 2011 with a tag price of $90, on which we got 50% discount because we were buying nearly $2k of other appliances at the time, we now have a brand new kettle (tag price $150) and a fresh two years warranty. I don't think I'll ever understand retail mark-up...

Melodrama averted, we set about the painting.

Afterwards I was noodling around on FB and one of those sponsored suggested pages (also known as ads) came up in my news feed. Crabbies Ginger Beer NZ. That got my attention. We used to love that stuff; got through a lot of it before emigrating but it wasn't available here.

Inside my head, Picard's voice declared a Red Alert and called for some scans to identify the source of the signature. Some searching revealed that Crabbies have been importing since November last year, and it's available nationwide in Liquorland (a chain of bottle shops).

Picard ordered an away team (of one) to go out in a shuttlecraft (which looked suspiciously like our car) to the asteroid (bottle shop) suspected to contain the precious dilithium ore. I tore out of the house, muttering cryptic mutterings to C, who was still working in the garden at the time.

The chaps in the bottle store were slightly surprised to see a punter walk in, look around, make a bee line for the Crabbies, then pick up an entire case of the stuff. (Seems it normally sells in single bottles.) They scratched their heads for a second over promotional pricing, then asked me for ID. That made my week :-D

When I got back I called [personal profile] rustica over and opened the boot. Her jaw dropped :)

But having responded to an ad (and how!), having demonstrated I am sliding into a certain target demographic - I feel a bit dirty now.
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-02-15 09:26 pm

Making stuff

Radio silence for a bit, but I have been busy...

DSCF7586We have a shed. Long story short, we had a builder in to reclad it recently (it used to be asbestos), but reinstating the door was left to us. So I made a new door (actually, a double stable door, so four doorlets) to replace it. Rather than say more here, I wrote it up as a guest post for the Country Skills Blog which will hopefully be appearing soon, along with a sweet lemon pickle recipe (awesomely tasty - will be making more of that!). More photos to follow as we (well, mostly [personal profile] rustica) have been painting this week.

In case you don't read the blog and are curious, I made a few more guest posts the other month (lemonade, lemon liqueur, lemon sorbet and a rather hot lemon pickle recipe - which is itself an adaptation of a lime pickle recipe that [ profile] miss_next posted a few years ago). Spotting a pattern? Well, we do have a lemon tree, and it provides us with rather a lot of lemons...
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2013-01-20 11:21 am

My job, using only the 1000 most common English words

Up-goer Five on xkcd, the inspiration for this.
The Up-goer Five text editor.

We make talking-boxes. You speak into them, and your voice comes out of another talking-box somewhere else.

Our talking-boxes are really little computers.

My job is to whisper to computers - our talking-boxes - and to write directions that tell them how to work. I work with tens of other people-who-whisper-to-computers. It can be fun but is sometimes quite hard. This is because our talking-boxes can be hard to understand and I have to spend time learning why they work in they way they do.

I help make new talking-boxes that work better than the old ones. Sometimes the people we make talking-boxes for want them to work in a different way, so I write new computer-directions. I like to make things that help me, and the other computer-whisper-people, whisper better and write better computer-directions. I sometimes also have to fix wrong directions that I, or the other computer-whisper-people, wrote.

When I have finished writing some computer-directions I have to have my work checked. The direction-checking-people check that it does what it should, and the other computer-whisper-people check that they understand my directions and that what I wrote makes sense. Then I give my directions to the people-who-build-our-talking-boxes.

Sometimes I work with the head computer-whisper-guy to decide what kind of directions we need to write next, and explain this to the other whisper-people. Sometimes I have to help the other whisper-people understand the different kinds of computer-directions that we use.

It makes me happy when I have written a lot of directions for our talking-boxes and they work in the way they should. This is because our talking-boxes help people work and live better. Many people, around the world, use our talking-boxes to help keep other people safe, and to help keep power and water working.
crazyscot: Me in front of Tongariro (nz)
2013-01-02 10:26 pm
Entry tags:

Xmas holiday

I had hoped to have posted about our holiday over Christmas by now, but I have had a number of things clamouring for attention.

It was very much the holiday of lost opportunities. Read more... )
crazyscot: Black and white close-up of a DSLR with long lens (photography)
2012-11-21 09:08 pm
Entry tags:

More eclipse media

Footage of clouds passing in front of the partially eclipsed sun. (YouTube. Watch for the bird at 0:09.)

A montage I made of our eclipse pics.
Total Eclipse Montage
crazyscot: Roadsign warning of kiwis (kiwi)
2012-11-21 04:25 pm
Entry tags:

Day 3 (the rest) and the journey home

After the eclipse we were a bit short on things to fill our last day in Queensland, so we drove to the little town of Mareeba (pop. 6800). The last few pics within. )

Finally, getting back to Chch, came a bonus that we hadn't previously experienced. At passport control, the "locals" queue covers NZ and Australia passports, and NZ residents. We got to use the short line, and were welcomed home!
crazyscot: A large red sphere with many small coloured spheres orbiting it (planet weird)
2012-11-20 10:35 pm

Totally Eclipsed

It's funny that I should spend a whole post discussing just 117 seconds of my life, when I've been writing a post per day up 'til this point on this trip, but I think it deserves it. This is the biggie. Photo-tastic, if you scroll past the discussion of strategies. )
crazyscot: Selfie, with C, in front of an alpine lake (Default)
2012-11-20 09:11 pm

Day 2: Kuranda

Up not-quite-so-early today, for a pick-up just after 8am to ride on the Kuranda scenic railway, visit the village of Kuranda in the rainforest, and ride the Skyrail gondola back just above the canopy. Read more... )
crazyscot: Close-up of some rumpled black leather (shiny)
2012-11-20 06:46 pm

Day 1: Great Barrier Reef

Monday. We were up at what passed for a sensible time (6am local, 9am NZ) for our 0710 pick-up for the day's activity, the Reef Experience tour. This is a close-up Great Barrier Reef experience, with snorkelling and - for those who wish it (we didn't) - an introductory scuba dive. Photos within )