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Microsoft: the spammer that won’t quit

Go away. It’s over.

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Written by Ry Jones

15 April 2014 at 6:15

Posted in Microsoft

Knives and guns

For the endless amounts of drama the gun world is able to find, in my short experience, the knife world seems to turn up way more. I think it’s the lower barrier to entry to be a knife maker and the higher per-item profits.

Then you have guys gluing carbon fiber on $80 production knives, listing them as $2500 customs. You see the same thing in the gun world, but not as often.

Written by Ry Jones

9 April 2014 at 7:00

Posted in Knives

Stalking engineers, investors

People picketing the abode of Kevin Rose. Plenty not to like about him – this combined with the earlier stalking of Google employees working on self-driving cars makes me wonder how long before tech companies start building literal walled cities. The Facebook campus (it kills me to type that) is a walled city – the buildings surround an area, and all of the inter-building areas are walled off so nobody can walk on the grass. I swear, every year we’re closer to William Gibson’s world, and it isn’t nearly as cool as I thought it would be.

Written by Ry Jones

8 April 2014 at 7:00

Posted in Life

Neat

Was driving a car length or so behind a BMW of some type through the Mercer tunnel; they were ahead to my left. As we made the final turn to the floating bridge, the overhead lights formed a circle of points of light, spinning like a wheel in reverse, on the fender flare right above the wheel well. Never seen that before.

Written by Ry Jones

7 April 2014 at 7:00

Posted in Hobbies

On losing all patience

I went camping in Oregon last summer and had a pretty awesome time for a few days – nothing untoward happened, just typical fireside shenanigans. I have been plotting for this year’s campout since I left the campground. On my drive back, I found that I went from normal la-la-la in traffic to completely pissed off at everyone, instantly, on the slightest offense real or imagined.

I haven’t stopped getting pissed off yet. I have no idea what changed, but I found my ability to sit through conference calls without cursing at people has evaporated. I take them from home with the mic muted, for the most part, now. I have no patience for social frippery – I blew up at the car rental dweeb last week during his insurance upsell, for instance – this is a pretty big change.

I’ve started pre-writing blog entries way in advance to give me time to edit them and reconsider the message; for the most part, they’re building up in my “drafts to never be published” queue. I’ve departed almost all web forums that I’ve been active in because it isn’t enjoyable to read a thread, get totally pissed off, type a response, and abandon it.

I’m not sure I’m going to try to change this, I’m not sure why I’m even writing this, but bits are cheap.

Comments disabled because, from this day on, they will be.

Written by Ry Jones

25 March 2014 at 7:00

Posted in Life

On metadata

I worked in ITG, Microsoft’s internal technology group (AKA operations) in the mid-late 90s, as well as Microsoft’s internal security group. ITG owned the internal USENET server; it was run on a machine under someone’s desk (maybe not literally, but it was recycled hardware well behind the current state of the art hardware). It did just fine – until it didn’t. It was falling over under extreme load, which it shouldn’t have. Looking into it, it was clear one user was downloading huge amounts of child porn via USENET. I was one of the few UNIX guys in tools, so it fell to me to add specific logging to see exactly what this guy was up to.

I saw the logs, which consisted of username, timestamp, subject, and file names (since these were UUENCODEd or MPACKed, this was a simple grep-like operation). That’s it. I didn’t see the pictures, videos, or any of that – I saw subjects and filenames.

I was really fucked up by this experience. I don’t know how cops handle this. Maybe I’m a wilting violet and should have just manned up and powered through it, but it disturbed me.

I write this article as a sidecar to a tweet from yesterday where I complained about how graphic people are on MSN Messenger when they don’t think anyone is looking. Nothing I read there was obviously illegal, but it was depraved.

The end of the story was conviction for two of the people involved. Trying to find that article led me to another - I imagine this is an evergreen issue.

Written by Ry Jones

21 March 2014 at 7:00

2&4, 3

When you see this type of button lock, the default combination is 2&4 at the same time, then 3. This has proved true for “secure” doors in the Federal building as well as every demo gun safe I’ve played with in a store. I bought a gun safe with one of these locks, and following the instructions and being very careful ended up with a lock that had a combination of 2&4, 3. Never buy something with this style of lock.

Written by Ry Jones

13 March 2014 at 7:00

Posted in Hobbies

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