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2013.08.21 15:40 ripster55 A Place For Friendly And Supportive Conversations Between Over 30 Adults

AskMenOver30 is a place for supportive and friendly conversations between over 30 adults.

2020.11.22 20:55 PM_ME_UR_INSIGHTS AskMenOver30 Rules For Posting

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2020.11.21 22:03 kotsumu Technical thoughts about PLTR

Hello guys, I've been wanting to expand about my thoughts on Palantir. I have been trying to contain my excitement for awhile because I honestly didn't want this company to become a meme or anything (I totally did not help with some of my posts about it) but I do want to share my understanding about the tech and this company. I'll try to refrain from posting any useless information that's just going to come off a pumping the stock from now on.
Let me just start this off by requesting that we leave out the ethical and morality discussions and focus on the technology. I do not know enough and thus do not deserve to have opinions regarding the philosophical aspects of the technology. The only thing I can say for certain is that for better or worse, this technology will change lives.
I'll begin with the basics, I'm going to try to simplify it as much as I can, but it does help if you have some general understanding about software and how a computer works....

Natural Language Processing

Imagine that we have a big email data set, terabytes of emails collected. We want to find out whenever a person named John Doe, who lives in Iowa, was mentioned or involved in an email chain. We task a data analyst, engineer, or a developer to find all this data points.
No problem, I'll just write up some code that identifies the email by the sender and recipient with John Doe's email address.
A naive approach. This approach would definitely find emails that involved John Doe but completely miss out any mentions of John Doe that did not have him involved the in the email chain, not to mention, you would need a list of all of John Doe's emails which may be information that is already hard to come by.
Ok, I can cover my bases by searching for the word John Doe in the subject and body email.
Great, we pulled in more data that could be emails talking about John Doe. Then you realize the fact that people call him Johnny Boy, JD, Joe, Mr. Doe, Doe Man.
Well shit, how can I possibly cover every permutation of this person's name? Not to mention, there seems to be other John Doe that doesn't seem to be the same John Doe who lives in Iowa that we are looking for coming back in the results.
Hopefully you can start to see the problem. It would be impossible for a programmer telling the machine what to look for to come up with every possible permutations and edge cases to find the information we are looking for. You think to yourself, we're going to have to hire thousands of people to read through terabytes of data to identify the emails we want. Then you start to think, how would a human actually identify John Doe from text and determine that THAT is the John Doe we are looking for? The answer is in the context of the email. If the person is talking about Johnny Boy's burger shack in Iowa, it's likely the John Doe we're looking for. But if the person is talking about Mr. Doe's investment firm in Panama, then that's probably another Mr. Doe (though a pretty shady one if you'd ask me).
Now, how do we get a computer to understand a context of words, how can we transfer that skill to a computer program? We can use machine learning. Humans can identify examples of John Doe and teach the machine that this is what we are looking for, through a feed back loop we can continually improve the understanding of this "model" and teach the machine to identify the specific block of information we are looking for.
Obviously this doesn't just work for names. You can be specific as you want and as general as you want. Say phone numbers, (111) 222-3333 can be written as 111-222-3333, 111.222.3333, 111 222 3333, 111 CAB-3333, and the list goes on.

Natural Language Understanding

Ok, we now want to find out where he's been and what he has been up to. How we an engineer go about solving this problem? Again, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to accomplish this. We know how to identify entities, we can actually apply the same concepts we used to teach the machine how to identify John Doe.
He's booking a flight to Moscow for 01/02/2023 
We already know that "He's" is referring to John Doe. We know that "Moscow" is a location through Natural Language Processing and we know that "01/02/2023" is a date through named-entity recognition. We can teach the machine that this is an example of travel and label this whole sentence as a "movement". We hope that the machine can identify and trace is location just by all the cookie crumbs left behind. We can then build a map of all the places he's been to by tracing all the identified "movement" points, sort them by date grab the locations.

Why Palantir

A lot of the criticisms have detailed how a lot of this technology is open sourced which is true. A lot of this tech are still popular academia research topics. This also means that there are progress being made to it every single day. However, the concepts and technology may be open sources but the features and methods you build around it determine the effectiveness of the product. There is a popular saying in academia that goes like this.
Garbage in, garbage out
Using the same technique in training your models may yield results but doesn't technically mean they would yield great results. Generating a good model has a lot to do with how clean your data is, how well you tuned the learning process, how well your features and weights are built around the algorithm.
When government/businesses consider using these products, they usually create a bake-off and analyze the performance and features included in each product. They use metrics like precision/recall that determines how many data points that the machine identified from the truth set and how many data points that the machine missed. These metrics are important to the clients for many reasons one of which is because it can potentially mean they miss or waste time on data points that lead them to nowhere and is particularly important for applications like defense. If the government picked Palantir, you can be confident that they are the top of their class.


A lot of posts have mentioned that Palantir sends consultants and is therefore a consulting company. Which I don't disagree that their "Forward Deployed Engineers" are technically consultants. However, these consultants DO serve a purpose. The concepts and applications here are still being discovered in the market today. I'd like to think of these consultants as technical sales consultants. Companies today don't necessarily understand the value of their data and what can be done with it. A lot of their data are just noise today. They store it and are unable to do anything with this. It is necessary for someone with the skillset to come in and build the foundations required/clean up the data for companies to start leveraging it. However once the value becomes visible, it seems to be a very sticky proposal and becomes evident that it is a leg up among their competitors. We don't currently have enough talent in the work force today that have the ability to come in and shift the data analysis landscape. It is also very expensive to do inhouse. Having Palantir come in with their consultants is really just these companies dipping their toe in to the ocean for the benefits that is to come.

Last thing

Hopefully this gives you guys a bit more information about Palantir's tech and realize that you guys can see how a little bit of creativity in extracting information from data using the tools Palantir provides is game changing.
I will leave you all this this xkcd comic that I found was very representative of the problem at hand. Sometimes, it can be difficult to explain the difference between the the easy and the virtually impossible.
submitted by kotsumu to stocks [link] [comments]

2020.11.16 02:36 Geoclasm double.Epsilon

if I were to write a book, I'd call it 'Epsilon'.

double.Epsilon is a value in C#/.Net which is the smallest possible non-zero, less than one, value that computers can represent. It's really tiny. Inconsequentially small. Practically immeasurable. Think the smallest amount of time that can be measured ( Planck time - the amount of time it takes for photon to travel one Planck length, which is 1.62 x 10-35 m ) and go smaller. Well, probably not but still. Thanks, google.

Anyway, what does that have to do with anything.
I started recording a... 'feelings' journal. About a week in now. I can't effectively convey my feelings using words anymore, so in this thing it's been colors.
General feelings of wellness doesn't get a color, just a value.
Grey/Gray is for tired/blah.
Red is for angry.
Blue is for sad.
Green is for blue.
Yeah, even this revolves around RGB.
Everything is measured on a scale from 0.0=>1.0
I've only been at it for about a week. I try and start each entry when I wake up, and add an update to each entry as I note my mood swinging from one apex to another. It's been... interesting trying to figure out what things effect what feelings to what degree. Interesting, but not entirely productive.
Today has been hell for... well, I don't know but I have ideas. The 15th is always a shitty day because it was the day of my wife and mines first date, the day I asked her to marry me, the day we actually GOT married... yeah, don't do that. Thank god it wasn't the day she died too or I'd have fucking lost all semblance of sanity. Anyway, that was six years ago, or in sadness land, fucking yesterday. Anyway, I'm sure other things have factored into it but, well... as XKCD put it so sublimely, my standard approach is useless here.
Anyway, what this has to do with double.Epsilon is that my G value has, with the exception of a few moments after I find a funny meme or watch a good YouTube video, been hovering decidedly around Epsilon/1.0. It can't reach zero because that violates quantum... stuff. It can't ever reach zero because that would require maximum entropy - the heat death of the universe, where nothing can change because everything has reached a perfect equilibrium. All matter and energy spread equally across an ever-expanding universe.
Interestingly enough, that would also mean all things would be both at both their minimum and maximum values. Everything would be 0.0 and 1.0 at the same time.
I'm tired, sad, angry, and I would trade my life for a fucking moments peace.
End Rant, I guess.
submitted by Geoclasm to depression [link] [comments]

2020.10.30 21:28 MintDiceOfficial CryptoSmarts 6: Best PC & Linux Operating Systems For Privacy

CryptoSmarts 6: Best PC & Linux Operating Systems For Privacy
MintDice is proud to bring you the sixth part of the CryptoSmarts series, a 100% unbiased/non-affiliate paid article set that will focus on relatively simple ways you can boost your privacy, take power away from overbearing governments and corporations while also doing relative good for society all at the same time with minimal effort. Rest assured that anything suggested here is solely for your own benefit.

At the base layer of all desktops lies the operating system or the OS. The OS allows virtually everything to run on your computer. There's three primary operating systems out there that are Windows, MacOS and Linux. A few other distributions do exist but they tend to be fairly fringe. Building a high quality operating system is an extremely difficult and time intensive project. So much so that the two major commercial distributions for households, Windows and MacOS are owned and have been created over the course of decades by two of the biggest companies in the world. Linux, meanwhile, does get ongoing development, but it is the fractured stepchild of operating systems for a whole host of reasons. It is the one open sourced option of the 3 major OS', but that greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.
Because Linux is open sourced, there's no proprietary ownership of the platform. This prohibits large amounts of capital and development going into the project by the shear nature of capitalistic economics that is afforded to Windows and MacOS. Secondly, because Linux is open-sourced and many people have different opinions, Linux and been forked dozens of times because of many people's disagreements about how it should be best built moving forward.


We'll start with the MacOS. Mac products are proprietary and owned exclusively by Apple. Apple tends to hold a high public facing regard for their users' privacy. But that said, their OS is closed source. As far as Mac products go, while iOS (used for iPhones) tends to be very secure, it also tends to be the mostly highly targeted and sought after technology for hackers because of the high value users that use its products. Meanwhile, MacOS, tends to also be relatively secure but has a smaller surface layer for hackers to penetrate on a global scale relative to the popularity of Windows/PC and iOS. This makes for fewer attacks on the MacOS simply because of economic forces and scale. So the MacOS does undergo fewer hacking attempts and privacy violations, but that is not because it is a superior operating system, it's mostly because it's a less valuable target.

So while the MacOS is a reasonable operating system by and large, it doesn't make for much of an interesting discussion on CryptoSmarts because it's operating system cannot be altered on either desktops nor iPhones, which makes you stuck with what you have.
Linux, on the other hand, has the complete opposite problem of the MacOS where there are a lot of distributions to pick from. There's a number of reasons why this happens but we believe it's in part best summed up by this XKCD comic:
Really though, the actual subject is slightly more nuanced than this. There may be cases where some Linux distributions are built for commercial enterprise or the individual level or a whole host of other reasons. We'll discuss our favorite Linux operating systems just down below for you to pick from based on your needs.
Finally, there is the Windows/PC operating systems. Semi interestingly, Windows is somewhere in between the MacOS and Linux OS for modularity. There are a couple of options that exist to boost the general underlying Windows 10 infrastructure. One should take note that the underlying operating system for Windows 10 is a complete disaster and that it should be avoided at all costs. But don't despair, because as we alluded to earlier, there are modifications and steps that you can take to improve the Windows/PC experience which we'll document at the end of this article.


Linux comes in many flavors. For the less technical people that are simply looking to make a proper switch from PC/Mac over to Linux, it's best to start with the easier options. Perhaps the best two that you should consider are either Fedora or Mint.
Both of these operating systems were meant to be user friendly and are compatible on both desktop and laptop devices. Do keep in mind that if you are foreign to the idea of Linux as an operating system, before you switch, that you will have to make rather significant sacrifices and changes to your day to day computing habits. If your computational needs are relatively straight forward and/or if you need to protect yourself or your Bitcoin and cryptocurrency accounts, then it is probably worth making the change to Linux and the effort that is required to do so.

But these operating systems will come with drawbacks by being less developed than Windows or MacOS. There will also be less compatible software for Linux in general and the operating system will be invariably more buggy to deal with. You'll have to decide if it's worth it or not as switching over to Linux is at least in part a lifestyle choice.
As you go down the Linux operating system pathway, or if you are already a technical useperson, then there are more advanced distributions of Linux that you should probably pursue instead. The best ones that we'd recommend probably go as follows: Alpine Linux, Arch Linux or Qubes OS.
Alpine and Arch are more lightweight clients that are meant to be fairly resource efficient. Qubes is a more hardcore and robust operating system that provides extremely strong security for desktop computing. Based on your overall needs and requirements, one of these should work. Again, if you are not very technically inclined, it is not worth using any of these operating systems as you will invariably run into a lot of issues and not know how to deal with them easily.


As we stated earlier, there are some modifications that you can get for the Windows operating system. If you are using Windows 10, which I suspect most users reading this blog are, you should definitely considering switch at least to one of these modified Windows operating version. BUT:


With that disclaimer out of the way, let's continue.
The easiest option for users is to run a script on their already functional Windows 10 platform, known ever so eloquently as the Crapp Remover. It is made by Timothy Gruber and has been forked in the past from previous versions. It's currently the most up-to-date script to help remove a lot of the more awful aspects of Windows 10 that make it a complete privacy nightmare. It's worth doing this because Windows 10 does a lot of truly despicable things, such as running a 24/7 keylogger on your computer which effectively means, among other things, that Windows has full access to all of your passwords at any point in time if they ever so choose to. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The better Windows 10 option will require you to reformat your Windows PC and to then convert over to a platform known as Windows Ameliorated. This is a more efficient platform than what the simple Crapp Remover script can accomplish on it's own. Call it the most significant step you can make without going fully over to the Linux operating systems, which makes it a fairly decent compromise overall. The downside, however, to Windows Ameliorated is that it doesn't allow you to get further updates to the Windows platform which can lead your system to being less secure to malware/virus-type attacks. But it will make you more private in the data collection that gets sent off to Windows on a second-by-second basis. If you are careful about your overall security and use other guides for software options we've suggested in other CryptoSmarts articles, this can overall be a very valuable suggestion.


Doing a complete overhaul to your operating system is a very big move. Much more so than simply switching your browser, e-mail or messaging app as we've discussed in other CryptoSmarts articles. But it will have a large footprint and lasting impact on you as it is literally the foundation to everything that you do on your desktop or laptop. As a major design decision to your literal computing life, you'll have to really weight the costs from running the ultra light Windows script to going complete hardcore to one of the technically advanced Linux distributions recommended earlier.
But regardless, make sure that you are using all of the best privacy software options and password managers to keep your day to day operations as safe as possible and you'll be set up like a pro. Use as many of these programs and features as we've recommended as possible and your Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will be about as safe as can be with other ordinary best security practices.
In our next article, we'll go over some of the best operating systems for your mobile Android device and for your WiFi routers, so stay tuned for that!
submitted by MintDiceOfficial to MintDice [link] [comments]

2020.10.27 06:30 GldnRetriever "The Thing Standing In The Way Of Your Dreams Is That The Person Having Them Is You"

Title stolen from an xkcd comic
7 years ago I moved to Hawaii for a job. And it remains the single worst decision of my life. The job was a nightmare, and I got fired in less than a year. But I also fell in love so I tried to make life work in Hawaii because the relationship was still too new to justify moving to a new city together. Got a part time job, stuck it out a bit longer.
But I had no friends and was so stressed about my career tanking. The stress took its toll on the relationship, among other things. We split up. I spiraled into depression (that was already bad but got worse without the person who had been by far my largest source of support).
I pulled the rip cord and left, moving back to the continent with no job, no plan, no health insurance, and living off my savings.
I wanted to be anywhere but home because I'm a gay guy from Alabama and moving home while unemployed and depressed really didn't seem like the best choice for my mental health. I crashed on friends couches around the country. I pitched it as a "I'm visiting everyone I couldn't see while I was living in Hawaii" trip, but in reality I was a bum with no place to go.
As the couch crashing offers were nearing their end, I started hiking the Appalachian Trail as both another means of having an excuse for not living anywhere or not having a job. This did help me stand out in job searches (which I continued to do while living on the trail).
Got a gig. Moved.
Smallish city. Only a little over 100k people. I've been here three years and the pandemic has really unmasked the fact that I really only had acquaintances and only one even reasonably close friend, who is more of an adoptive aunt. It's more like a dating thimble than a dating pool.
I'm so fucking lonely and the social isolation is getting to me. My moods are all over the place from EVERYTHING IS GREAT to anxiety spikes to just zoning out and staring at the ceiling or my phone.
I've never been able to make a friend group after grad school. Seven years of just lots of one-on-one friendships with people I see only occasionally and no one I see with regularity.
Hell, even in grad school and college I only glommed on to friend groups that pre-existed me. I have no idea how to build a group of friends or any sense of community.
It feels like other people have their families right now, and I'm not close to mine at all. Other people have close friends they're podding up with in the pandemic, and I don't have anyone to hang out with regularly.
Every now and then I get a surge of hope and energy from fantasizing about moving to a new city and starting over and trying a new career. I'm almost cheerful on the days I fool myself into thinking it's possible while I'm researching what it would take to the place I would like to think about moving to.
However. I only have one, very niche skill set it's hard to find jobs in so I cannot really up and move to stay in the career. I'd be starting over at entry level were I do to anything else.
I do have almost a year's salary saved up. But other than some retirement funds in a pension, that is all I have to my name. I COULD burn through it all trying to make a go of it somewhere new... but that's dumb.
But all these problems will follow me there. I'll still be lonely after moving. But I'd be scraping by on much less money because I'd be going from a $57k salary with good benefits and a lot of professional freedom to entry level or whatever the fuck I could get to scrape by.
So I'd just be spending all my time and energy trying to scrape money together to be able to afford to live in a city rather than doing any actual living in a city.
I just actually not be a likeable person. Or something. So may not make friends or get dates either. Plus the pandemic, the state of the country, and that's not even getting to climate change despair.
I do just wanna die. Not like I'm making a plan or doing anything proactive do don't go thinking this is a suicide note. I've been dealing with depression since I was, like, in 4th grade, so this isn't my first suicidal ideation rodeo.
But fuck all I'm tired. I'm tired of not having anything to hope for. I'm tired of having nothing I'm looking forward to in life. I sometimes have good days - very good days - but it's only days when I'm content with the things that happened that day, if that makes sense. I have nothing I'm looking forward to or building towards because I have no friends or partners or family to imagine a future with so it all seems so self-centered and meaningless.
OOF. A'ight that's enough out of me, internet strangers. If by some act of God or insanity you're still reading this, thx for letting me vent.
submitted by GldnRetriever to sad [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 22:28 insertnamehere74 Potential blogging accidents before January 11, 2008

Potential blogging accidents before January 11, 2008
The search query used to find these two were: "died in a blogging accident" -xkcd -randall -instagram -chexquest -knitting
Perhaps the date was changed on these two posts to be before the comic was published, but I find that unlikely. I don't think anyone has found these before, either.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), neither of these deaths happened to people.
submitted by insertnamehere74 to xkcd [link] [comments]

2020.10.16 20:26 MintDiceOfficial CryptoSmarts 4: The Best Free Password Managers

CryptoSmarts 4: The Best Free Password Managers
MintDice is proud to bring you the fourth part of the CryptoSmarts series, a 100% unbiased/non-affiliate paid article set that will focus on relatively simple ways you can boost your privacy, take power away from overbearing governments and corporations while also doing relative good for society all at the same time with minimal effort. Rest assured that anything suggested here is solely for your own benefit.
In this article, we'll take a deep dive into password managers, which applications to go for, how to optimize your password managers and which ones to avoid. It's of increasing importance for all users to adopt a password manager because commonly used passwords and repeated use of log-in + password combinations are the two weakest points in any normal individual's security online. Meanwhile, memorizing dozens of unique and complex passwords is beyond the scope of what most people can do, especially long term. Thus password managers have been created as a way to store multiple passwords into a single file that can help ensure your security and privacy online.
For a little encouragement, we'll share the now extremely famous dialogue between Edward Snowden and John Oliver talking about passwords. As should be painfully obvious by now, password managers are one of the best solutions to this entire dilemma.



We should first note that not all password managers are created the same as we've noted with software across all of our other articles. By and large, we'll be looking for similar characteristics in our password managers as we would our other software which includes open sourced software protocols and best software security practices. And when it comes to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and your entire life's work on the internet, there is a lot at stake here. I'd argue that it is more important for password managers than for any other application to make sure to get this one correct since it will have your entire livelihood on the line.
The very amazing thing with demanding open sourced software for your password manager is that it by definition will also be free at the most basic level. This is because if it weren't, all it would take would be someone to fork over a program to make it free. So you are in a sense getting the best of both worlds here; a free software that is also of the highest quality. Meanwhile, ironically, many of the more commonly known password managers like Dashlane or Lastpass use closed source software and often charge fees to use their service. Funnily enough, Lastpass, the password manager itself, was actually formerly hacked in the past. One could argue this at least in part had to do with it's closed source software since having open sourced software at least in part makes software more secure. In short, do not used these closed source services that are frequently advertised for on the web as they are detrimental to you in more ways than one.


Bitwarden is our first recommendation. Bitwarden is truly one of the all time greats by approaching password management on the individual, team and even enterprise level to create a one size fits all solution. Bitwarden is compatible on virtually all devices out there from all desktops to mobile devices and so forth. Additionally, while they offer a centralized cloud service for free, Bitwarden is also set up to allow you to run your own private server to keep your own key base entirely under your own control, fully encrypted.

Next up we have KeePassXC which is a fork of one of the longest standing password managers in existence, formerly known as KeePass that halted a lot of it's ongoing development some time ago. KeePassXC was created as a locally held password manager application that could work across platforms. Unlike Bitwarden where your key file is held in cloud storage, KeePassXC is simply a program client and a local file that you must maintain and backup yourself. This has some pros and cons. The good news is that you have full control of everything related to KeePassXC as the program under most situations will not be talking to any online server which could expose private or sensitive information. The bad news is that if you ever were to lose control of your key file, you are completely out of luck. For this reason, it's imperative to back up your encrypted key file in multiple locations to protect against what would be catastrophic loss. You can do this with USB drives, e-mail accounts, cloud storage, safe deposit boxes or a whole host of other creative solutions that you might come up with.
The final recommended option is LessPass. LessPass is very interesting technology because it is a no-knowledge password manager. By inputting a few pieces of information which could be a master password in conjunction with an e-mail address or user name, a password is automatically attached to any URL address. It will simply cross all of these pieces of information via PBKDF2 and SHA-256 to produce random yet consistent outputs for any of your web browsing. The advantage of this program is that it is extremely light weight, and so long as you can remember your e-mail address, account name and master password, you can now gain full access to everything around the internet without the need of any files. The downside is some level of control over password flexibility since the passwords are automatically generated for you.
In summation of these three options, BitWarden is the best overall password manager for most people's use cases. Meanwhile, LessPass is probably best suited for the most casual user who contains fewer accounts across the internet and wants something extremely simple and easy to use. Lastly, KeePassXC, will be the ultimate in privacy password manager technology and is best suited for those that are prepared to take the extra steps to ensure their key file is kept up to date as the months and years tick by.



Once you have chosen a password manager from the above list, it will be important to change all of your account passwords one by one to incorporate it into your new system. This will help you get away from your commonly used log-in and password combinations and over to your new, more secure and robust set up. With your new set up, if you have a key file to back up, you must now start getting in the habit of doing so, especially after major or important changes to your password manager. Or if you wish to use BItWarden with a private cloud server, make sure that that is fully set up and running.
Generally speaking, when choosing password length from your password manager for standard and robust security, 25 random characters, letters (and symbols if you wish, but they aren't necessary), is mostly considered to be uncrackable. This is because while every password is in theory beatable, it takes dramatically more computational energy over time to figure out what your password is, and at some point, it becomes unreasonable. That said, NSA grade security often holds itself up to 50 random characters which is considered to be unbreakable even on a government wide scale.
On that same token, you'll have to use a master password for your password manager. Given that you only need to know one password, it will now be extremely important to make this a very good password. Because a password that you need to remember most likely won't (or perhaps shouldn't) be completely random so that it's easy to remember, it should, at the very least, be long. I would suggest making sure that you come up with a master password that is at least 40 characters long or 125 bits of information. To check out how many bits of entropy your master password is, you can type it into the password field of KeePassXC and it will tell you roughly how secure your master password is. While 40 characters may seem like a lot, do keep in mind that this is now the only gateway between yourself and all of your access keys to all of your accounts held on this account.

Bits of Entropy Example on KeePassXC
Finally, it is worth investing in a YubiKey or similar 2-FA device if you can get one. This can apply to BitWarden and KeePassXC. With the normal password managers, a hacker will need access to not only your password but also your key file in order to have free reign over all of your accounts. However, a sophisticated hacker that has full access to your device with a keylogger could ultimately, in theory, compromise your full set up, and this would be disastrous for you. Fortunately, this can be resolved by buying and activating a Yubikey or other such device. The Yubikey example requires that a Yubikey, with a private key that you set up for your password manager, is present to access your database. Therefore, even if a hacker were to obtain your key file and your master password, they still won't be able gain access to your account. As a precaution, however, if you lose access to your Yubikey and/or private key, you too, will be locked out. Therefore, it is important to keep your Yubikey backed up and to keep extra copies available.


Owning Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies comes with a lot of responsibility if you want to minimize risk. As does maintaining a strong hack-resistant presence online. One of the best defenses you can make is by implementing a password manager. Similar to the previous CryptoSmarts articles that we have written prior, it will take some small amount of set up work to get fully acclimated to your new system, but you'll thank yourself down the road that you have done this. And the sooner you start, the better, as things will only continue to get more complex, with more risk factors at play as the internet plays an ever increasing role in all of our day to day lives.
Finally, while the article is current as of the writing of the article, it will undoubtedly lose merit over time. Be sure to check if everything in this article is up to date or that any password manager that you select from this article continues development or continues to abide by the proper best practice principles.
If you enjoyed this article, we would encourage you to check out our other previous CryptoSmarts articles discussing private e-mails, secure messenger applications and proper web browsers.
submitted by MintDiceOfficial to MintDice [link] [comments]

2020.10.08 08:25 Etrigone Updating ancient 1st generation Kindle Fire (cyanogenmod)

Partially it's a curiosity if it can be done, partially as it's so out of date as to be amusing, I was looking at an old Kindle Fire I got many years ago. I rooted it way back when with TWRP (2.0.0) and have Cyanogenmod7 running on it. Hasn't been on wireless om forever, I mostly used it as an e-reader and copied stuff back & forth over USB. I still have the XKCD movie 'Time' on it I never got around to watching (COVID-19 really killed the coffee shop routine).
I grabbed the last otter build I could find (cm-11-20160815-NIGHTLY-otter.zip). Looks like I've found the last gapps for this - gapps-kk-20140105-signed.zip. I did a backup, right alongside the one from the original install many years ago.
It's been a while since I did this. It's just a matter of downloading the two zips (11 and gapps) to some location and swipe to confirm the flash update, right? It'd be minorly disappointing to brick this, although hardly devastating. I recall having to do something like a factory reset when I first did this, but that was with the original Amazon install.
Also, is it worthwhile to update TWRP?
Thanks all. Not sure how to flair this so picked 'Question', I hope that's right.
submitted by Etrigone to kindlefire [link] [comments]

2020.10.02 10:39 9Snick4 After the age of consent, there should be no social stigma about marrying someone much older or younger.

I’m married to someone much older than me. I had to fight literally EVERYONE about it. Why? How does my marriage decision affect you?
I saw around here the xkcd regarding the maximum age for dating. Why? If the couple can work out their issues that may stem out of being from different generation and different maturity levels, then I don’t see why society should butt in and say anything about it. I’ve met a couple where there was a 25 year gap. They married older but who cares. They’re happy? I’m happy for them.
EDIT: happy to debate different opinions.
EDIT 2: I thought that "age of consent" would've been enough to have everyone understand that I was referring to adults. I guess that isn't the case in every culture. In my culture, at 18 you are considered an adult in all situations (voting, owning houses, tried as an adult in court, driving, and all that fun stuff), so that's what I was thinking and what I consider acceptable as age. If your culture considers younger people to be able to consent to marriage to anyone, then I think the argument should be about upping the age of consent, not judging those who respect that age but are too young to be in a serious relationship.
submitted by 9Snick4 to unpopularopinion [link] [comments]

2020.09.27 15:54 trai_dep A stunning milestone, and two remarkable r/Privacy events (Cory Doctorow & Micah Lee)

It’s hard to believe, but just two years ago, we were ecstatic when we crossed having 100,000 subscribers. This was from 70,000 when I began modding here, which I believe was a couple years prior to our hitting 100K. Well, soon, in under two years, Privacy has increased ten-fold.
THANK YOU. EVERY ONE OF YOU. Really. It gives us (me, u/Lugh and u/Ourari) hope. We hope it gives you some hope as well, or at least, some comfort. :)
Edit: on October 1, 2020 08:46 UTC, Privacy reached 1,000,002 subscribers. (Thanks, Lugh!) We did it, Reddit!! ;)
As a small token to commemorate our millionth new subscriber, we have some exciting events planned:
We. Can’t. Even…
For those who are living under a rock might not have heard of them, here are some of their many accomplishments:
Noted xkcd star and habitant of what is most likely the most cluttered home office ever documented on film, Cory Doctorow scarcely needs further introduction, but I’ll give it a shot.
In their (woefully out-of-date) profile on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website, where Cory is an EFF Special Advisor,
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger -- the [former] co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother [now a trilogy] and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in London Los Angeles.
He is a prolific, New York Times best-selling, multiple award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction books. He broke new ground with his first book, the science-fiction themed novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom publishing it via traditional (ideally, independent) bookselling channels, while releasing it under a non-commercial Creative Commons license.
Cory recently created his new link-blog, Pluralistic (Daily links from Cory Doctorow: No Trackers, No Ads, We Don’t Collect Or Retain Any Data At All. Ever. Period), as a way of his fans to keep up with his many activities. His more traditional blog is Craphound, his Twitter handle is @doctorow, and his Reddit account (14 years old!!) is u/doctorow.
As his Wikipedia entry notes, among his many privacy and community activist efforts, Cory has been a longtime and consistent advocate for eradicating digital rights management (DRM).
As wide-ranging as his interests and his activism is – and of course he’s happy to answer any questions you have – what Cory is especially interested in speaking of are his recent efforts against one of the (under-emphasized, IMHO) data surveillance oligopolists, Amazon (a quasi-monopoly) and its ownership of Audible.com (a near-absolute monopoly for Spoken Word formatted books).
And, the third part of his Little Brother trilogy, ATTACK SURFACE, has just been released!
Cory has done numerous IAMAs on IAMA to help grow our movement, and we’re ecstatic that he (happily!) agreed to host one here on Privacy.
Cory’s IAMA was Friday and Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd. Click Here To Enjoy It!
While Randall Monroe has not made Micah Lee a global internet-distributed-snarky-comicstrip superstar yet (get cracking, Randall!), Micah has also empowered us and has positively changed people’s lives.1
Micah was instrumental in facilitating Edward Snowden being able to safely and securely contact Laura Poitras to set up a secure and private communication channel with Glenn Greenwald. Starting in June, 2013, these events cascaded into groundbreaking, Pulitzer and other award-winning work for many journalist organizations – The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Intercept to name a few – for the teams working on what became known as the Snowden Archive. Micah Lee, Edward Snowden and many other incredibly talented journalists went on to change history.
A month later, Micah decided to share what he learned with the public, with his seminal Encryption Works. It was the first guide I encountered written for lay audiences. While this was the first time I became aware of him, Micah had been the staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a founder and board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and is currently the Director of Information Security at First Look/The Intercept. He has also penned many articles there for them.
Micah also has a blog, his Twitter handle is @micahflee, and his Reddit account (7 years old!) is u/micahflee.
While being a digital security expert, a journalist, and a privacy & press freedom activist, Micah continues to contribute effective, crucial privacy software tools. He’s significantly contributed to The Tor Project, SecureDrop, and other projects. Micah’s current work includes:
  • OnionShare: Share files safely and anonymously.
  • Semiphemeral: Automate selectively deleting your old Tweets, Likes and Direct Messages.
  • Dangerzone: Work with suspicious documents without fears of getting hacked.
As with Cory, Micah has enjoyed such a diverse and accomplished career that his IAMA promises to be phenomenal. Ask him anything, but in particular, he looks forward to answering questions about these latest software projects, and how those wanting to contribute more to our shared struggles might do so.
Micah’s IAMA was on Friday and Saturday, October 9th and 10th. Click here to enjoy it!
1 – The record is unclear on the degree of clutter in Micah’s office – short of his addressing this during his IAMA, we may never know!
submitted by trai_dep to privacy [link] [comments]

2020.09.14 00:23 alphazeta2019 "The Internet" / Web 2.0 / social media seem to be seriously harming individuals and society. (Ref the documentary "The Social Dilemma" from the Center for Humane Technology / Tristan Harris)

I've been feeling for a while now like the whole "millions of people using the Internet" thing is not working out.
As Randall Munroe reminds us, "the Internet has always had loud dumb people",
but it seems like over the last 15 years or so the ratio of "intelligence" to "Internet users" has been noticeably deteriorating.
I personally attribute most of this to the "Web 2.0" model
that emphasize[s] user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability
social networking sites or social media sites (e.g., Facebook), blogs, wikis, folksonomies ("tagging" keywords on websites and links), video sharing sites (e.g., YouTube), image sharing sites (e.g., Flickr)
and particularly to social media.
(With the caveat here that different people understand "Web 2.0" in different ways.)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media
As far as I can tell, literacy (especially "effective" literacy - not just who can read books, but who does read books) has seriously deteriorated over the last ~15 years. (And it wasn't very high in the first place.)
Only a small minority now seek and read books about their topics of interest - the great majority seek, recommend, and consume non-print media: YouTube videos, audio books, podcasts, TikTok (God forbid) - TED Talks are considered to be a medium for "intellectuals".
(I know that most people here are going to be saying "Dammit, I read a lot!", but people here are a very small minority.)
I just saw the documentary The Social Dilemma - a project from the Center for Humane Technology (co-founded by Tristan Harris, former "design ethicist" at Google, and tech industry guy most prominently featured in this.)
- https://www.humanetech.com/the-social-dilemma
I wouldn't give it 100 points out of a possible 100, but IMHO it's worth watching.
It's a series of interview clips with tech industry big names (people credited as "self" in this list - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11464826/fullcredits ), mixed with animations and "dramatizations".
There appears to be a widespread feeling in the tech industry that the whole "Internet" thing is seriously harming many individuals and society as a whole, and indeed is conceivably an existential threat to human civilization. (I'm not sure how much hyperbole there is in that last, but it was apparently advanced seriously.)
The documentary pins most of the blame on social media, and specifically on the algorithms and psychological tricks used by social media companies to attract user attention and dollars (as paid to advertisers).
Many of the tech gurus interviewed invented the technologies that are now apparently causing a lot of harm. It's interesting to see how many of them plaintively say "We never saw any possibility of bad results from this thing ..." (One of them is "the guy who invented the 'Like' button".)
(The documentary is careful to say "Okay, yeah, the Internet has a lot of good also", but the question is "Just what ratio of bad to good should we accept?")
A couple of points that surprised me -
Apparently self-harm and suicide among adolescents (and especially among younger adolescents) has greatly increased over the last ~15 years or so, tracking closely with the rise of Web 2.0 and social media.
Young people are apparently feeling extreme pressure to be "Internet popular", such that many cannot handle it if they're not.
(IMHO if a technology is causing large numbers of adolescents to kill themselves, then there is a problem.)
IIRC, they also mentioned that the percentage of adolescents who have ever "been on a date" is also falling. Many adults are currently having problems with "romantic" or "gender" socialization and are unhappy about that; is this situation going to get worse?)
As I say, the filmmakers primarily blame tech companies, but IMHO much of the blame has to go to users -
When Generalissimo von Evil or billionaire CEO Techie Darling says "Follow me to Hell on Earth!", yes it's wrong of them to do that, but as the political science buffs tell us, it's also wrong for millions of people to follow that call - without supporters, these guys would just be solitary nutters ranting in the park.
tl;dr: The contemporary Internet is causing serious harm to individuals and to society.
What's causing that and what should we do about it?
submitted by alphazeta2019 to slatestarcodex [link] [comments]

2020.09.08 18:39 FiveEver5 Divine Marriage and YOU! Or, how I learned to start worrying and hate congenital defects.

So, I'm very interested in this Pure-blooded business. But I learned quickly that CK3 makes inbreeding more difficult in a way, because not only do you have to contend with the eventual 'Inbred' trait like CK2 but you have a *very* high chance of popping up new congenital defects on every kid, even if there was no history of it in your family tree. Apparently CK3 introduces invisible recessive genes, but this needs more investigation. I'm simply experimenting on what the game displays.
I've only gotten pure-blooded twice which is from different reloads of Urraca of Zamora and her brother Alfonso which implies, to me, that there's a lot of incest in their family tree but who knows. You can see my ramblings about it here.

I'm no statistician nor did I do any save-game editing. Here is simply the journey of a layman who decided to spend an hour or more screwing with debug and the console. Also, my formatting is absolute shit, I apologize sincerely.
Debug: on
Console commands used:
-pregnancy [mother's ID] [father's ID]
-age 20 [character ID]

As requested, I started with two characters with no known ancestors. Our poor victims of generation one are my player character: 17-year-old Count Ermenulfo of Grisons, House Stazone, the single member of his lowly dynasty. He is an independent count sandwiched in the mountains between Italy and West Francia in the starting date of 867.
In the game options, I turned off limits to diplomatic distance and married him to some random-ass Lowborn Muslim woman with no known parents. One important detail about her - she has the Pretty congenital trait. Because what is inbreeding with eugenics, amirite guys?... Right?

Here are my findings. Note that when describing who the parents are, I use the game's character screen's description of their relation to me. You'll see why. Things get a little murky quickly. I cheated my piety up to allow divine marriage and polygamy to make things easier and force fewer pop-ups. For the first generation, I console commanded five children. Two boys, and three girls I turned out with. Subsequent generations I consoled in about 10 kids each coupling.

Gen 1 father - no traits no parents, no renown, no lifestyle perks Gen 1 mother - Pretty no parents
Gen 2 daughter - no traits Gen 2 daughter - no traits Gen 2 son - Handsome Gen 2 daughter - no traits Gen 2 daughter - Comely Gen 2 son - no traits 
Gen 2 mother (my daughter) - no traits Gen 2 father (my son) - handsome Brother, sister kids: Gen 3 - Clubfoot, Pretty Gen 3 - Handsome Gen 3 - Spindly, Handsome Gen 3 - hunchbacked, comely Gen 3 - wheezing, Pretty Gen 3 - hunchbacked Gen 3 - Giant, Handsome Gen 3 - wheezing, handsome Gen 3 - wheezing Gen 3 - Dwarf
Gen 2 father (my son) - no traits Gen 2 mother (my daughter) - comely Brother, sister kids: Gen 3 - bleeder, Comely Gen 3 - scaly, comely Gen 3 - scaly, comely Gen 3 - giant, comely Gen 3 - wheezing Gen 3 - scaly, comely Gen 3 - spindly, comely Gen 3 - wheezing, comely Gen 3 - spindly Gen 3 - dwarf, comely Gen 3 - spindly
Gen 2 mother (my daughter)- no traits Gen 3 father (my grandson) - handsome Aunt, nephew kids: Gen 4 (?) - club-footed Gen 4 - giant, comely Gen 4 - hunchbacked, handsome Gen 4 - hunchbacked, delicate Gen 4 - bleeder Gen 4 - wheezing Gen 4 - hunchbacked Gen 4 - giant Gen 4 - dwarf Gen 4 - giant, pretty
Gen 3 father (my grandson) - giant, handsome Gen 4 mother (my granddaughter and great-granddaughter) - giant, beautiful First cousin (?) kids: Gen 5 - inbred, giant Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 5 - inbred, comely, giant Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 5 - inbred, giant Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 5 - inbred, beautiful, giant
Gen 6 father (my great-grandson) - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 2 mother (my daughter) - no traits Great-aunt, great-nephew kids: Gen 6 - inbred, comely, giant Gen 6 - inbred, comely Gen 6 - inbred, stuttering Gen 6 - inbred Gen 6 - inbred, beautiful Gen 6 - inbred, giant Gen 6 - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 6 - inbred, comely Gen 6 - inbred, giant Gen 6 - inbred, beautiful
Gen ...7?? mother (my great-granddaughter) - inbred, beautiful, giant Gen 1 father - me :( GGdaughter, GGfather kids: Gen 8 - inbred, comely Gen 8 - no traits! Gen 8 - spindly, beautiful, inbred Gen 8 - handsome! Gen 8 - comely, inbred, giant :( Gen 8 - spindly, beautiful, inbred, giant Gen 8 - comely, inbred, giant Gen 8 - scaly, inbred Gen 8 - inbred, comely Gen 8 - pretty, inbred, giant Gen 8 - inbred Gen 8 - beautiful, inbred, giant
Gen 2 & Gen 8 (?!) father (my son) - handsome Gen 6 mother - inbred, beautiful Uncle, niece kids: (???) Gen 9 - hunchbacked, beautiful, inbred Gen 9 - scaly, beautiful, inbred Gen 9 - giant, beautiful, inbred Gen 9 - hunchbacked, beautiful, inbred Gen 9 - hunchbacked, beautiful Mother then yeeted herself into the afterlife and died in childbirth. I wished I could join her.
Gen 8 father (my son) - no traits Gen 9 mother (my granddaughter and great-granddaughter) - hunchbacked, beautiful I don't even know anymore: Gen 10 - inbred, comely Gen 10 - inbred Gen 10 - inbred, hunchbacked Gen 10 - inbred, beautiful Gen 10 - inbred, hunchbacked Gen 10 - inbred, hunchbacked Gen 10 - inbred, comely Gen 10 - inbred Gen 10 - inbred, handsome, hunchbacked Gen 10 - inbred, pretty, hunchbacked
By the end of this, I ended up with 84 living dynasty members.
TL;DR CK3 punishes heavy inbreeding with congenital defects before you even get the inbred trait. Does one need an inbred ancestor to get pure-blooded? Don't think so, but as you can see my prospects for decent test subjects - I mean parents - dried up *very* quickly and I was soon left with no kids *without* negative congenital traits even when I managed to not get Inbred.
I'm sorry that I couldn't take the mental stress any longer before discontinuing this 'science' session. Basically, if you want to inbreed, go down the damn blood dynastic legacy line you sick bastards. Oh, and keep it cousin-only, would ya? I'm gonna go have a stiff afternoon drink.
submitted by FiveEver5 to CrusaderKings [link] [comments]

2020.09.03 05:15 LOLBaltSS Sleeper: Trading later round draft picks after draft is over

We recently started kicking the tires on an experimental dynasty league (not our main money league yet, that's still on redraft), but in Sleeper (new to platform, we used to be NFL.com) we recently drafted and found that after the completion of the draft; any trade proposals we attempt to handle only show the next three year's first round draft picks.
If I were to say want to propose a trade of a 7th rounder in 2021's rookie draft for say Eric Ebron, is there a method to do this that we're just missing or is this a platform limitation? I attempted the typical checks on UI elements like tapping and holding over the draft pick to see if it pops a sub menu, but I wasn't able to see anything that makes sense (I'm a system admin by trade, so I'm used to poking around various UI elements in new to me applications).
We attempted to set next year's draft date which did open back up the later round picks in proposals, but it just ended up throwing our league back into pre-draft state with a count down timer of 360 days; which makes us unable to see our rosters and match-ups like we did post-draft.
Thank you in advance.
Edit (Answer):
We finally figured it out and I'm posting an update to avoid being the guy that does the "nvm, figured it out" and leaves anyone with a similar issue in the dark.
So, basically when it comes to Sleeper on a new dynasty; you'll want to do your new league initial draft for the initial number of spots, plus have a compensatory draft for the number of spots you want in future drafts. We for example had a 25 round initial draft when we should have made it 15 rounds, then immediately hold a compensatory 10 round draft after that to establish what we wanted for the future years rookie drafts. Since we screwed up, the app interpreted that as our future drafts being a single round instead of 10 rounds, hence why it wasn't showing the other picks in trade proposals.
To fix our league since we already drafted our 25 rounds and had our rosters set; we basically had to do a 10 round compensatory draft, then start it and end it with no picks being made. It retained our existing rosters and then finally fixed our pick trading.
submitted by LOLBaltSS to DynastyFF [link] [comments]

2020.08.29 03:08 internetcomics xkcd - Synonym Date

xkcd - Synonym Date submitted by internetcomics to internetcomics [link] [comments]

2020.08.29 03:01 skullbot2424 xkcd: Synonym Date

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2020.08.29 02:53 MyNameIsGriffon xkcd 2352: Synonym Date

xkcd 2352: Synonym Date submitted by MyNameIsGriffon to MyNameIsGriffon [link] [comments]

2020.08.29 02:46 Roboticide XKCD 2352: Synonym Date

XKCD 2352: Synonym Date submitted by Roboticide to xkcd [link] [comments]

2020.08.29 02:33 rss_feed xkcd 2352: Synonym Date

xkcd 2352: Synonym Date submitted by rss_feed to xkcdfeed [link] [comments]

2020.08.25 11:42 Consistent_Structure XKCD computer encoding

XKCD computer encoding
In programing it's common to use base64. It broadly uses all nice characters (letters, numbers... asci). More is however possible. One notable example is base65536, that uses Unicode chars.
So here is the idea. An url of xkcd comic is https://xkcd.com/n/ where n is a number of a comic (comic's id if you want to say so). These IDs are sequential and can therefore be used as a translation layer between base10 and baseXKCD. As number zero does not exist ( https://xkcd.com/0/ ), the id should be subtracted by 1 (For example, https://xkcd.com/1/ represents number 0).
As new comics are added, the base changes. This means, that it would be necessary to specify, on which date the number was converted.
Here is a (bad) code, that converts from base 10 to base XKCD
import xkcd import tempfile import webbrowser latest = xkcd.getLatestComicNum() print("Using base" + str(latest) + "of xkcd base system") input_num = int(input("Number to convert: ")) rems = [] while input_num > latest: rem = input_num % latest input_num = input_num // latest if(rem >= 403): rems.append(rem + 2) else: rems.append(rem+1) rems.append(input_num + 1) rems.reverse() print(rems) html = "" for i in rems: html += " " with tempfile.NamedTemporaryFile("w", delete=False, suffix=".html") as f: url = "file://" + f.name f.write(html) webbrowser.open(url)
For example, the number of people in the world (using baseXKCD 2350) is, at the time of writing:

Edit: As it was pointed out first by u/anonymous_rocketeer, number 404 does not exist, so code needed an update
submitted by Consistent_Structure to xkcd [link] [comments]

2020.08.24 05:10 ludomastro Foundational Architecture

12 November 2124 OBITUARY John Dwayne Clanton Born: 27 April 2091 Died: 10 November 2124 CIN: 5469-985-96-9453216 “When you fall off the horse, you have to get right back on.” John “Wizzard” Clanton was a wonderful brother and an amazing uncle. He was a friend who was always there when you needed him. He leaves behind a love of programming and a hole in the hearts of those who knew him. 
Marissa couldn’t help but laugh as she watched the AR feed in her brother’s obituary. She had used one of the few trideos where John both smiled and looked somewhat normal. He was laughing and wearing that ridiculous, purple wizard’s hat. He swore it helped him program – or, as he called it, do magic.
Thanksgiving dinner this year was going to be a slog without John’s eccentricities. He always seemed able to draw the best out of their parents. Mom would be extra morose this year. Dad would be distant. She didn’t understand while they didn’t just divorce already. John would likely have found a way to get them laughing. But, cancer, despite all the assurances otherwise, still proved to be a heartless bastard. She sighed. Now what?
The quote from the obituary was one of John’s favorites. Not that he had even gotten close to a horse outside of VR. At least, as far as she knew. Her laugh faded into a small, sad smile as she called her boss.
“Hey, Marissa, I didn’t expect to hear from you today. Sorry for your loss. Do you have any details on the memorial service?” Susan’s avatar was missing and the voice connection was patchy; both of which were odd.
“Yes, the memorial service is tonight at six. We’ll meet at the cafe near my apartment. Hey, you getting anything weird on your end, Susan? I’m not seeing your avatar and the sound is a bit glitchy.”
“Yeah, seems like the net starting glitching around midnight. No idea what that’s about. Maybe the guys over at the Agency are tuning the net again. If you’re up to it later, maybe you ask that dreamboat of yours for an interview and do a report on it? We need to keep your name out there.”
“Sure, Susan. I’ll put that on my list right after the memorial service.”
“Hey, if you aren’t going to chase him, I might.”
The both giggled. Susan had been with Sarah for the last 14 years so that was an empty threat. On the other hand, Marissa’s dating life was still … complicated. However, Agent Dreamboat, otherwise known as Max White, was interesting. She had kept him out of the apartment because she didn’t want her daughter, to be confused. Not until she was sure of him at any rate.
She told herself, “One day at a time, Marissa. One day at a time.” She opened an app in AR and sent him a formal request for an interview. She opened the hand writing app and sent him a personal note asking to meet for lunch. If not one, then the other. Once she was done, Marissa swiped all the apps to the side. “At least my job is still safe. A girl needs some stability in her life.”
13 November 2124 Breaking News: Net connections are faltering around the globe. Experts baffled as to cause. Interview with Agent Smith from the Agency’s Global Oversight Division tonight at 2100 hours. 
Marissa sat down at a cafe near the Agency offices for lunch. Agent White had turned down her request for an interview; however, Max could spare a few minutes to have lunch with his girlfriend.
“Off the record is the best I can do. You know how it is.”
“I know, Max, I know. OK, so what the hell is going on with the net?”
“We don’t know and it’s scaring the pants off the higher-ups. They just don’t know why certain queries aren’t working or why voice data keeps trying to crash most apps.” He took another bite from his pannini and sat back for a second. “You ever heard of Solid 6?” He said it with the kind of reverence normally reserved something holy.
“No. Why?”
“Not sure but almost everything that’s not working mentions it in the code somewhere.”
“Could it be a virus?” The question sounded crazy to Marissa. The Agency was formally the Agency for News, Goods, Expenses, and Life. It was charged with oversight of the net and it hadn’t allowed a virus to affect the backbone of the economy in over 40 years.
Max shrugged. “Official, no. Unofficially?” He rocked his hand back and forth. “Not sure. But it’s something old. I mean there are references to this program going back at least 70 years.”
“But, wouldn’t that mean it predates the Agency?”
“By about a decade or so, yeah.”
14 November 2124 Break … ews: Net conn… falte … xperts baff … Viru … sible. 
Marissa’s original plan was to take her daughter, June, to the doctor for a cough. However, the net wasn’t just behaving oddly, it was as if the whole system was about to collapse in on itself. After the third attempt to summon an auto-cab failed, Marissa gave up. She got June’s favorite physical toy out of the closet and let her play in her room.
She stared out the window and frowned. The net was the economy and the economy was the net. If it was broken, it was going to be bad.
She looked at the 3D image of her brother in his wizard robe and said, “John, I could really use your help right now. Maybe some of that programming magic you talk about.”
To her shock, the image became animated. “Hello, Marissa. You asked for help. What do you need?”
Marissa jumped to her feet and choked out, “John? Is that you?”
“I’m sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.”
“I hope this isn’t one of your games. John, the net is acting strangely.”
“I’m sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.”
“Right. Ask. OK, why is the net acting strangely.”
“The net as we know it today rests upon older architecture.”
“Um, can the architecture break?”
“Yes, not all of the architecture is well understood. It requires repair by a dedicated few.”
“Who are the dedicated few?”
“The Order of Wizards.”
“The wizards?”
“I’m sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.”
“OK, how do I contact the order of Wizards?”
“That is the right question.”
Marissa jumped when she heard the knock at the door. A man and woman stood there.
“Can I help you?”
“Are you Marissa Clanton? May we come in?”
“I am. What is this about?”
“We have reason to believe your brother is the cause of the recent net outage and would like to speak with him.”
June had picked that moment to come out of her room. “Sorry lady, but my uncle died. You can’t talk to him anymore.”
“Go to your room honey, I’ll talk to these nice people.” She emphasize the word nice. Once June was safely in her room, she turned to the woman. “My brother died four days ago. Which, if you two Agents had bothered to check his Civilian Identification Number you would already know that. You know, the number the Agency assigns everyone at birth.”
“We aren’t part of the Agency.”
“Then who are you?”
The man piped up. “If you will allow us to come in we can ask a question that should clear things up.”
Marissa consented and waved them in.
The man said to the air, “When is a wizard late?”
John’s device came to life again. “A wizard is never late. Nor early. They arrive precisely when they mean to.”
“John, did you finish the update for Solid 6?”
“Yes. However, I’m afraid the Balrog claimed me before I could upload it.”
The woman’s eyes gleamed, “Where can we find it?”
“Look on the shores of Avalon.”
“Hold up, people. You barge into my apartment and ask the air about random things and my brother’s digital ghost tells you to go to Avalon. Wait, isn’t that where King Artos died?”
“Arthur. But, yes.”
“Who are you people?”
“The miniature John replied, “They are fellow members of the Order of Wizards. Please, Marissa, let them help.”
15 November 2124 Breaking News: Agency reports that a viral attack on the net by an anonymous group has been thwarted. Net connections are back to full strength. Agent Smith vows swift crackdown on the perpetrators. More at 1200 hours. 
16 November 2124 OBITUARY - UPDATED John Dwayne Clanton Born: 27 April 2091 Died: 10 November 2124 CIN: 5469-985-96-9453216 “A wizard arrives precisely when you need one.” John “Wizzard” Clanton was a wonderful brother and an amazing uncle. He was a friend who was always there when you needed him. He leaves behind a love of programming and a hole in the hearts of those who knew him. He also wished for an ANGEL [sic] to remember that the foundation should be Solid6 [sic]. 
This is dedicated to all those who do work the rest of us never see. Thank you for making the architecture of life work when we need it to.
Inspired by this web comic: https://xkcd.com/2347/
It came out a bit different from how I imagined it. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy it.
submitted by ludomastro to HFY [link] [comments]

2020.08.08 23:07 concaten8 Every single time Randall [probably] influenced Google Trends

Every single time Randall [probably] influenced Google Trends
We've seen a few times Randall seems to have left a mark in Google Trends, by driving readers en masse to search a term in a recent comic. Often it's an uncommon piece of jargon or a brand new jumble of letters of his making. A few recent ones mentioned here in xkcd include "WebPlotDigitizer" (2341), "carcinization" (2314), "Missal of Silos" (2099), "Karl Popper" (2078), and "Carnot Cycle" (2036). There are a few more mentioned here and there, and I was curious just how often this really happens.
So of course I then scraped all the transcripts and estimated upload times (via article creation time) from the explainxkcd API, filtered out the 1000 most common words (list courtesy of Randall of course) and fed each word to GTrends. The trends were all sorted by correlation and the top ones were hand-filtered by eye.
It's run through 9k words out of about 38.6k so far, so I'll keep the list updated as new ones come in. Unfortunately the GTrends browser UI doesn't show hourly resolution like the backend API provides, so you have to take my word/trust the code for the high-res plots a bit. All linked plots are centered on the nominal publishing time.
Very Likely
New Aug 8 22:40PST:
New Aug 10 12:54PST:
New Aug 17 13:09PST:
New Aug 8 22:40PST:
New Aug 10 12:54PST:
New Aug 17 13:09PST:
  • The probable terms have been moved to this Gist because this post has run out of space.
  • The dubious/coincided terms have been moved to this Gist because this post has run out of space.
Fun little detail: there were lots of false positives from the Monday comics because of the lull in work-related things on the weekends (e.g. "telemarketing" from 2053 - Incoming Calls). For those that want to play with the word list, it's here in the gist with the API-siphoning code.
submitted by concaten8 to xkcd [link] [comments]

2020.08.04 18:18 unumplurum Change move date

I have a self-service move scheduled soon, and I’d like to change the date of service transfer, since my move date has changed by a few days. There doesn’t seem to be a way do this online; the Xfinity Assistant recognizes my request but uselessly links me to the main account page.
(As an aside, as someone who’s worked a bit in AI, I’m amused that the natural language understanding task, once thought to be a very difficult problem in AI, is solved; but the workflow to execute the database update, which has been theoretically easy for decades, isn’t there :-) . Today’s xkcd is relevant...)
Please help me make the change. Thanks!
(Note to mods: I already sent a modmail about this.)
submitted by unumplurum to Comcast_Xfinity [link] [comments]