2015-12-19 The Command Line Podcast

old-newspaper-350376_1280This is an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

I will be attending SCALE in the latter half of next month if anyone else planning to be there wants to meet up.

I am also thinking about attending this year’s LibrePlanet, in March. Please consider donating to their scholarship fund to help attendees who might not otherwise be able to go to join the event and learn more about Free Software and the community that uses and supports it.

This time, I chat about some recent news stories that caught my attention, including:

You can subscribe to a feed of articles I am reading for more. You can follow my random podcast items on HuffDuffer too.

You can directly download the MP3 or Ogg Vorbis audio files. You can grab additional formats and audio source files from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Following Up for the Week Ending 8/22/2010

Following Up for the Week Ending 8/25/2010

TCLP 2010-08-15 News

This is news cast 222, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, letting everyone know Dragon*Con is coming up. I’ll be taking a little more time this year off from the show to prepare for my travel there. There will be no news cast on either September 29th or the 5th. There will be no feature cast on the 1st and possibly the 8th, depending on what recordings I come back with and how much work they need.

This week’s security alerts are first Android SMS trojan and a vulnerability in OpenSSL 1.0.

In this week’s news artificial life evolves a basic memory, John Doe who challenged the FBI freed to speak, touch screens open to smudge attack, and the state of 3D printing. The book I mention in the a-life segment is “Complexity” by Mitch Waldrop.

Following up this week just the announcement of what Google and Verizon were up to. There was an op-ed from the two CEOs though I don’t think it added anything. There was also a ton of analysis and commentary though I am going to recommend that from EFF’s Cindy Cohn. Not surprisingly, Google has already posted a defense.


View the detailed show notes online. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

TCLP 2010-08-08 News

This is news cast 221, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

In the intro, my thanks to Mike for his donation for which he has earned a merit badge. A final reminder there will not be a feature cast this coming week, I’ll be out in San Francisco for most of the week. Also, a quick review of George Mann’s “The Osiris Ritual“. I reviewed his first novel, “The Affinity Bridge”, earlier in the Summer.

This week’s security alerts are RFIDs can be provably read at over 60 meters and an algorithmic attack on reCAPTCHA.

In this week’s news an algorithm to improve the energy efficiency of mesh networks, concerns over a citizen vigilante group monitor ISPs though the groups claims may be overstated, Google ends Wave development though is dedicated to learning from its failure in this case probably from its complexity despite adding more resources and opening up to more users, and unpacking what exactly went on between Google and Verizon especially as they deny claims of an anti-neutrality pact (even on Twitter). Odds are good they are still meeting and talking to some end which may be why the NYT is sticking to its story. Cringely has the most intriguing guess at their possible goal.

Following up this week EFF offers assistance to targets of the US Copyright Group and the FCC ends closed door discussions on its net neutrality plan.


View the detailed show notes online. You can also grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Verizon Denies Tethering, Hot Spot Features to Droid Owners

I remember being surprised when a coworker first got the original Droid and demonstrated Verizon hadn’t crippled the phone in any noticeable way. They have a long history of disabling features either completely or to force customers to use pay for the privilege versions. I wasn’t surprised to see this Wired post by Priya Ganapati explaining that the long desired updated to the latest Android release, Froyo, will come to the Droid minus tethering and the ability to act as a wireless hot spot.

The carrier is claiming the Droid doesn’t have the horsepower to pull of these new software tricks.

“The Droid by Motorola doesn’t have [the] hardware to support a mobile hot spot,” a Verizon spokesperson told MobileCrunch. “With tethering there is no connection on the PC side that will allow you to tether the device, so the answer is: That option isn’t part of this update.”

The modding commuting has already put that to the lie. The same coworker of mine, who still has his Droid, has installed a custom ROM already to not only get Froyo but to get the tethering and hot spot features specifically. The gadget treadmill is in full force, the full features of Froyo will be available on the newer Motorola phones from Verizon, like the Droid X.

I have to wonder what the real cost is to Verizon to just let older devices try to run these newer builds unmodified. If the phone really doesn’t have the oomph to manage these tricks, won’t users want to upgrade anyway? Forcing them to do so well before the mean time to failure, let alone minimum service contract length, is a dangerous gamble in terms of the potential customer good will they could lose.

Verizon Denies Tethering, Hot Spot Features to Droid Customers, Wired

feeds | grep links > Verizon Changes Users Passwords without Permissions, Microsoft Sacrificed IE8 Privacy Features for Ads, and More

  • Verizon changing users’ router passwords
    As the Slashdot post explains, the customer who shared their experience having their router password changed is clear that Verizon said this was for security purposes. This is another tough balance, there is no reason Verizon should not be able to run appropriate security scans but remotely altering customer hardware without permission is an overreach. I can totally see the reasoning for doing so given the expense involved in a mass customer service campaign but it still doesn’t make it right.
  • Linux kernel 2.6.35 released
  • Microsoft cut IE8 privacy features to sell ads
    Adrianne Jeffries at RWW discusses part of a Wall Street Journal article discussing online privacy. The interesting section is the one that contains the lede, that Microsoft decided revenue was more important than the rights and privileges of its users. This is one of the reasons I remain fiercely loyal to Mozilla, even over Chrome, as the steering body is a non-profit that is more resistant to these kinds of pressures.
  • Update from Emerging Languages Camp at OSCON
  • Cooling silicon solution leads to melting
    The weird physical phenomenon that io9’s Alasdair Wilkins very clearly explains as the result of dissolving a brew of metals into silicon isn’t the only fascinating aspect of this research. The process of melting, a side effect of the metals coming out of solution as the temperature drops below the usual melting point of silicon, apparently may help purify the remaining solid silicon. This could clearly be useful for all kinds of materials fabrication that uses silicon, including electronics of all stripes and solar power cells.

Following Up for the Week Ending 4/4/2010

Verizon is NOT Disconnecting Customers

Michael Geist is one of several sources carrying this correction. Apparently, what Verizon is doing is passing on complaint letters. Not surprising as at least one failed attempt at a three strikes regime has been watered down to a mere requirement for ISPs to pass on notices. Note, however, that Verizon is still reserving the right to disconnect customers for infringement if it so choses, later on.

Verizon Terminating Subscribers Who Infringe Copyright

Despite claiming they would not do so, according to Wired the telecommunications giant is now disconnecting copyright infringers. They are under no obligation to do so although big content is certainly pushing the three strikes plan hard here and abroad. They also aren’t specifically barred from terminating service for reasons of infringement. I imagine their terms state they can disconnect customers for whatever reason they see fit. They are unlikely to get snarled into a suit by the FCC, unlike Comcast. Not that the throttling complaint against Comcast is faring all that well.

Wired was unable to solicit any substantive comment from Verizon though they did confirm they have disconnected an unknown number of subscribers. Verizon, other ISPs and the RIAA are also cagey in the comments as to whether any such action is based on agreements between them.

It is not clear what recourse affected customers might have. If they were not in fact infringing, I suppose they could press breach of contract claims. In the absence of a broader regime, it may just be simpler for them to seek service elsewhere.

Hopefully we get some more details, soon.