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Why you should care about prism, even if you are not an activist

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Whenever I have conversations about privacy on the internets with people other than members of certain political parties (arrr!) the reaction is mostly pretty much the same: I don't care, I don't have anything to hide. The usual answer to this is: but what if the government turns evil? I think this is too small an answer. Here is mine.

When I lived in Iceland, in Blönduós to be precise, I seldom my locked my front door. I simply trusted that people would not come in, take things or go through my stuff and read my diary. And no one did. Partly of course, because my diary does not make a great read and there might be legal consequences as well, but mainly because they wanted to live in a society where they can leave their door unlocked and still have people respect their private space. Even the authorities.
In the internet it is extremely difficult to keep your door locked. Even if you host your own data and are extremely paranoid. In terms of gmail, facebook etc, there basically is no door. As we now learned, this means the government sits in your living room watching you make dinner. Maybe you don't care. You are probably not putting poison in it to kill your husband. But the question is: is this the society you want to live in?
I'm not on facebook, as you probably know. If you look around my little corner of the internet, however, you might see that I'm not particularly shy about being public. So why not make my live easier? I would lie to say that not being on facebook does not restrict my social life, hell in Iceland it was severly restricted. Partys, trips, social gatherings I was not invited to, because people were too lazy writing an email (or forgot). So why do I bother? Because I do not want to live in a society where my social live depends on the whims of a misanthropic company. Do you want to live in one in which you privacy is at the mercy of people who have no problem walking in and out of your private space without even asking?
Living in a democracy (what all these programs claim to protect) means having the possibility to decide on the kind of society one wants to live in.
Go ahead then, make a decision...


Smartphone addicts!

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I added a mobile friendly layout to this blog (at least I think I did, testing is a bit hard without a proper smartphone) Use this opportunity to play with your phones some more! And feedback, please
Posted on - Categories: Geekery


An active day in bed (not what you think! really, there are children reading this blog!)

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Today was surprisingly productive, considering I spent most of it in bed. I should really get a heater.
I started on Version 2 of my blog and might even provide an Icelandic translation, if I feel like having my head explode. But at the moment a plug in system is in place, so one can chose which features to add and a "contact form" and "creating a gallery" plugin exists. I also re-posted some pictures on my travel blog while testing the gallery script.
Most of the day was spent hunting articles for my thesis though. And a hunt it was! I do need to get access to Science Direct, anyone out there affiliated with a university, who feels like downloading some articles for me?
The interesting thing about public health related articles about China is the diversity. One can find articles on the health effects of poverty and life-style induced diabetes with data from the same city. What a sad comment on wealth distribution in Chinese society...


a published? programmer

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A week ago, on the puppy forum I posted this in the SJPPLOG thread:

As I said before, the archive was 

not displaying the months in the correct
order, here is my patch for the archive.
For my own use I included the possibility to
assign more than one category to a post.
Use a ' such as: category1'category2 and no
space.

If anyone feels this is useful, the two patches
are attached, but no guarantees!


And today this happened (I'm efiabruni):

SJPPLOG 1.4 

bugfixes and new features (thanks to efiabruni and jamesbond)


I other words, my code was seen and used in the new version! And I had been nervous about putting my code out there to begin with. Now I might actually be brave enough to promote the pe_pplog in general. Time to open a thread in the "additional software" category...
Posted on - Categories: Geekery


Shannon the long suffering guinea pig

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I have almost everything ready to throw the pe_pplog out there. But first I wanted to test the installation of it and especially the installation instructions. So yesterday, after several glasses of wine I handed my lovely (and patient) flatmate Shannon my computer with the task to install pe_pplog.zip. Poor girl had never even looked at a linux system before and it did not help that my computer is set up in German. She fought her way through my instructions and finally posted her very first blog post with this blog:

GNU Linux vs. PC


Folks....
This is coming from an avid and long-term PC user. I have more than 18 years experience with PC computers and have dabbled briefly in HTML and website design.
My thoughts after acting as guinea pig for my beloved new roommate, Christina?
Linux is vastly superior for this kind of crap.
(Editor*s Note: She is sitting beside me and monitoring my blog post.)#
POOP.


Now my installation instructions are somewhat more understandable and devoid of any Genglish...



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