Month: January 2018

InfoSec: Meltdown and Spectre

I don’t know if any of my readers have been following I.T. news in general but there’s a nasty one out there. Has to do with a feature of modern (E.g. the last 25 years) processors – a predictive algorithm is the culprit. It’s what they call a side channel attack.

But if you’re running Windows 7 or Windows 10 you more than likely got an update pushed to your machine yesterday. I know both machines here did updates outside normal schedule so apparently Microsoft pushed the fix.

Installing WiFi cameras in the house

Why? Because they just re-keyed the place to have common master key access. Now everywhere I’ve lived where there was master keys we’ve had issues with landlords entering when we weren’t home.

I got Uokoo IP Camera – it was $32 on Amazon. All hooked up – it has a few features I really like. It can record video – that’s a good one. And I set it up with video and audio alerts so I get an email with photo stills from the event.

Now RI law says the following:

§ 34-18-26. Access.

(a) A tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors.

(b) A landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of emergency, or, during any absence of the tenant in excess of seven (7) days, if reasonably necessary for the protection of the property.

(c) A landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency or unless it is impracticable to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least two (2) days’ notice of his or her intent to enter and may enter only at reasonable times.

(d) A landlord has no other right of access except:

(1) Pursuant to court order;

(2) As permitted by § 34-18-39; or

(3) Unless the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.

So unless wires are sparking, or water is leaking – both of which are things that have occurred I must have at least 2 days notice, plus no harassment or if it is impracticable to do so they cannot enter this place. And if they do I’ll get notification plus a record of their entry.

It’s funny – the locksmith who did the work. He saw one of the locks on our front door and only changed the deadbolt lock, not the other one. So they’ll be unable to enter through the front door.  They must use the rear entrance and the cameras watchful eye, even in infrared will see them and record them. Put it this way if we’re both out of the house and the alert trips my next action is to call the local police.

Wherein the City of Providence drops the ball on snow plowing

The streets around me – namely Knight, Grove and Andrews – they did a terrible job of plowing. For having two days since the storm there’s not much room on the roads around here. It’s funny I was coming out of Knight onto Broadway and I see red flashing lights coming up behind us. Luckily he turned off onto Grove before – because if he’d come up Knight any further there wasn’t enough room for me to pull right, and nor room for the left turn and right turn lanes.

This is shameful – one thing that always bothered me about Rhode Island and Providence in particular is everything is done half-ass.

The rest of the city isn’t much better. And I note, Councilman Yurdin hasn’t kept up with keeping the overpass to I-95 sidewalks clear. Time to shoot him an email.


More on The Handmaid’s Tale

So the premise of the Handmaid’s Tale – is that Christian bigots got control, took D.C. and Boston, and a bunch of cities.

Here in southern New England we have our religious bigots – things like Mass Resistance, numerous white supremacists, etc. But here’s what i see – they’re too inept to enact anything like what happened in The Handmaid’s Tale. And their message falls on deaf ears. A few of them have gotten into government – but they are a tiny minority of bigots.

Plus one other little fact about the area between say Boston, MA and Providence, RI – non-believers also known as atheists number a full quarter of the population.

And the premise of the show – handmaids were essentially breeding stock. But I got to Episode 10 and the acts of resistance started. From the girl threatening to jump off the bridge with her baby, to the rest of the handmaids that refused to stone her to death.

And it brought to mind a fact, that absolutist regimes tend not to last forever. We’re seeing this play out in North Korea right now.

Watching: The Handmaids Tale

Well – it definitely has that dystopian present/future vibe to it. Interesting episodic show.

I won’t spoil it for anyone – just imagine transplanting puritanism onto modern tech and you get the gist.

Oh and the woman who plays Aunt Lydia – all I can say is they wave that prod at me I’d rip it out of her hand and stuff it up her cooch. Yeah, she plays the scold well. Likely it’d be the biggest thrill of her life having an electric prod up there. But who knows.

Kind of how I can now safely hate Neil Patrick Harris after he portrayed Count Olaf – he does evil well enough to make you want to hate him.

2nd Entry of 2018

We spent new years eve with friends. The alcohol was flowing liberally I had four sprite, cranberry juice and vodka tonics, and then a glass of Proseco.

The funny part was I wasn’t drunk. Probably because I interspersed food with said alcohol which has been proven to slow absorption of alcohol.

The Proseco – I had to explain it’s basically champagne but they cannot call it that, only grapes grown in a specific region in France can call it champagne. Proseco is in essence Italian sparkling wine. Good stuff too. And get this price wise when they want $100 or more for a Moet & Chandon – I can get two bottles of Proseco for about a quarter the price.

Oh yeah and a couple shots of Cinnamon Jack Daniels. I’m surprised I wasn’t completely blotto. It was nice being able to drink again, usually I’m driving so I won’t drink. But this time we had a ride from/to home. That was nice.