The idea of something so beautifully made being crushed by a celebrity reality show is like a flamethrower melting a snowflake. Ratings may be everything nowadays, even to the BBC, but the price of that silly battle to get more people watching during peak hours will be the annihilation of one quality drama after another, trampled by the clodhoppers of reality TV. It’s such a shame.
Since we know that computers connected to the Internet are vulnerable to outside hacking, an air gap should protect against those attacks. There are a lot of systems that use — or should use — air gaps: classified military networks, nuclear power plant controls, medical equipment, avionics, and so on.
Air gaps might be conceptually simple, but they’re hard to maintain in practice. The truth is that nobody wants a computer that never receives files from the Internet and never sends files out into the Internet. What they want is a computer that’s not directly connected to the Internet, albeit with some secure way of moving files on and off.
Since working with Snowden’s NSA files, I have tried to maintain a single air-gapped computer. It turned out to be harder than I expected, and I have ten rules for anyone trying to do the same…
Fascinating reading, and crucial suggestions by the ever excellent Bruce Schneier. Also, I didn’t know about the Tails operating system. Very curious to give it a try on one of my machines.
Reviving my old Nikon Coolpix 7600 compact camera
7.1 Megapixels. I forgot how good it is at shooting close-ups.
Minigrooves Vol. 1 ebook available on the iBookstore
The first Minigrooves cycle of 42 short stories is now available for purchase on the iBookstore. The ebook features a few nice Extras:
Annotations: trivia and minutiae about many of the stories.
A few “Fragments on writing”, things I wrote or said about writing over the years.
Alternate takes: different versions or original drafts of some of the featured stories.
"One more thing…" — A little bonus to close the book.
You can download a 15-page sample with 3 full short stories.
(Clicking on the image above will take you to the iTunes Preview page for the ebook.)
Thanks in advance if you want to support my writing.
Low Fidelity, my current novel in progress, should debut soon in serialised form.
Low Fidelity is set in a post-apocalyptic near future in the fictional Metropolitan Isle of Arslan. The protagonist is Bert Kay, a ‘cultural investigator’ working for the HLD (Historic & Literary Department). The novel opens with Bert Kay in the process of successfully closing an investigation against a mysterious group of terrorists, but when Bert starts noticing certain inconsistencies in the information he and his team recovered, he fears there may be a larger conspiracy at work.
More information over at Crosslines, the site that serves as introduction to the unique world of Low Fidelity.
Poor man’s RSS for older iOS devices
One of the consequences of Google Reader shutting down is that owners of older iPhones are left without clients to remain up-to-date with their feeds. (I admit I’m making a big assumption here: if you know of an iOS client that doesn’t depend on a Google Reader account and still works under iOS 3.x and 4.x, please let me know.)
Earlier today I made a little discovery that inspired me to write this brief suggestion. I was browsing my Safari bookmarks on my (dying) iPhone 3G with iOS 4.2.1, and discovered that Safari still parses feed URLs correctly because apparently Apple’s reader.mac.com service still works.
So, if you still have and use older iOS devices like an iPhone 3G or the first generations of iPod touch models, and you want to be able to take a look at least at the RSS feeds that are most important to you, you could access each website’s feed URL in Safari, create a bookmark of that URL, and collect all the bookmarked feeds in a folder.
It’s not the most straightforward process, I know. If a website doesn’t have an explicit link to its feed, you may need to explore a bit to find that link. (I’ve used NetNewsWire on my Macs to discover certain feed URLs, for example.) But the result is better than nothing — once you’ve assembled your bookmarked feed URLs in a folder in Safari, you access that folder and read your feeds inside the browser. And it works even on a device as old as the first-generation iPod touch with iOS 3.1.3.
Fig. 1: My folder of bookmarked feeds.
Fig. 2: How a list of articles looks inside Safari.