Sunday 18 July 2004

Gentoo and Linksys

Being the proud seven week owner of a Linksys wireless router (BEFW11S4, Firmware Version: 1.50.14, t obe precise) I, unfortunately, can't say I'm the happiest person in the world because of it. It has been failing fairly often. One week it was daily, since upgrading the firmware version again a week ago it's failed once for sure that I know of. Just need the power disconnected for a few seconds and then it's fine again, but that's powerfully lame. Anyhow, I've been sketching out what I want to do about it. The two points are a) wired or wireless and b) out-of-the-box solution (another home-connect router deely) or a linux (e.g. dulcea) solution. As always, the trade off is between time up front versus maintenanace time. I can't say I'm keen on either so I'm closing my eyes and pretending that we live in Theory. The magical land where everything always works... In theory.

And for my other fun proiject, I'm installing Gentoo on Michael. I have a system. It boots. It compiles software like a fat man eats cheese burgers (e.g. a lot faster then is good for anyone and in surprising volume). Anyhow, the one thing that's missing is a working X config. Sadly, that's probably the hard part of the whole operation.


Wednesday 7 July 2004

A Contract With God

"The Hacker Ethic" has been facsinating but mostly humorless right up until Himanen starts poking fun and Dr. Lightfoot who in the 18th century "proved" that God created the world Friday October 23rd, 4004 BC at 9am. Amongst Himanen's fun is a contract with God that I found absolutely hillarious:


The creator of the world (henceforth "God") and the parties granted use rights to the world (henceforth "human beings") have agreed this day 27 February 2347 B.C., after the flood, the following:


1. The human beings promise to repent their sins and live more righteously from now on. Repentance and penitence are to be completed by the agreed-upon deadline: the span of each human's lifetime.
2. God grants the human beings grace, consisting of the following two elements:
- refrainging from further floods
- eternal life

God will grant this grace in two installents. The first installment, i.e., the restraint from further floods, will be granted on signature of contract. The second installment, i.e., eternal life, will be granted when human beings' performance has been approved at the end of the world.


3. The distribution and use rights of the grants mentioned in point 2, above, i.e., forgiveness and eternal life, will remain entirely with God. All rights to the product names World and Eternal Life are likewise the sole property of God.
4. Protection of competitive adantage: human beings will not enter into any agreements concerning objectives similar to those expressed in this contact with any parties in competition with God.


5. Should hum beings prove unable to fulfill the duties defined in this contact, God reseves the right to torture them as much as he wants in all the ways he may invent throughout eternity. No rights involving sanctions are vested in the human beings.


6. Any conflicts arising out of this contract will be resovled in Helsinki Circuit Court. (Note: Himanen is Finnish)

27.2.2347 B.C.


For the human beings

Witnessed by:


Tuesday 6 July 2004

Now I Just Need a Tinfoil Hat

I think I finally have a fair grasp on this whole encryption thing. The last days I've been reading "The Hacker Ethic" by Pekka Himanen and it certinaly is an interesting follow-up to having just finished Cryptonomicon (which was fabulously entertaining to the end, by the way). I can't help but think of the Secret Admirers dressed in trench coats armed with assult rifles. The right to bear arms and the right to strong encryption seem like two ingredients of the same dish: Individuals protecting themselves against the corruption of governments... or any large organization.

I think the most striking part of Cryptonomicon was Randy Waterhouse's time in the Philipino prison on a trumped up drug charge doing everything beyond imagination to befuddle the Van Eck Phreaking. (It is a shame that a keylogger is much easier for an attacker to manage.) I thought that level of paranoia really illustrated what I thought to be the difference between psychoses and perseptiveness.

Anyhow, that's enough here. I'm going to spam my thinkin 'n' stuff on the Nibble's lug (

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