Posts in Category "tech"

iPad Reactions

iPad

So, yesterday was the big day. The Coming of The Tablet. I'm not exactly a big tech pundit. I've never seen an iPad in person. I haven't even played with the emulator yet. But I thought I'd still post my immediate reactions.

The Name: It's not that bad. It doesn't trigger the same juvenile "feminine products" joke urge in me that that it does with all of the commentators on Slashdot. It kind of reminds me of PADDs from Star Trek, which is a good association for a high-tech device. It's better than "iSlate" would've been. I think "Apple …

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SpamAssassin 2010 Bug

Hey all. One of the sysadmins at Mudd, Claire Connelly, pointed out that there's a widespread bug in SpamAssassin that might cause large numbers of false positives on mail sent after 2010-01-01. Apparently, the "date in future" rule is hardcoded to look for years after 2010. You can read more at LWN; the short of it is that you probably want to add the following to your SpamAssassin config:

score FH_DATE_PAST_20XX 0.0

sa-update may or may not be pulling down updated rules. You can find the relevant bug at the SpamAssassin Bugzilla (#5852). Anyhow, something fun to be aware …

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New Machine

I picked up a new "computer" last week. A virtual one, that is. I ran into this site called prgmr which offers very low-cost, bare virtual private servers. So far, so good. Got Debian set up all the way I like it. Now just to find something fun to do with it. :-)

Recipe to Crash a Kindle

Kindle

Here's a fun thing that I've just discovered:

  1. Purchase an Amazon Kindle 2 (this trick may work on other versions)
  2. Download the MobiPocket version of The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce
  3. Copy the .mobi file into your Kindle documents folder
  4. Open the copy of the book that appears on your device
  5. Enjoy the frequent crashes and random "java.lang.integer" exception errors that pop up (even when you do not have the book open!)
  6. Fight with the Kindle for a while until you realize that it's this book, remove it from your device, and reboot the device (yes, this step …
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New GPG Key

As you may have seen around the Internet, there was a fairly significant break in the SHA-1 hash function, which is used by default in GnuPG. This is worrisome, since GPG/PGP signatures are one of the only things I'd actually trust to verify somebody's identity online. So I've generated a new key with a 2048-bit RSA primary (for SHA256 and SHA512 support) and a 4096-bit ElGamal encrypting key (which took about 15 minutes to generate, so better be worth it). The key ID is CB8AA0FF, and the fingerprint is 5C35 D713 3E10 9A19 FFFC F58A 68E8 3B57 CB8A A0FF …

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awesome window manager

First, some background for the non-technical among you. A window manager is a piece of software that controls the windows on your computer. It will do things like placement, drawing, keybinding, et cetera. If you're on Windows or Mac OS X, you have a window manager built-in to your operating system and cannot easily change it. However, if you're on a more traditional *nix (Linux, Solaris), you are free to select your window manager. In this post, I'll talk a little about what I use and why it's awesome.

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