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#1 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » 2014 laptop recommendations » 2014-01-15 00:11:56

ZAP

I'm also planning to pick up a new laptop in the next couple weeks. I've had the best experiences with ASUS and Toshiba, and mostly good experiences with Dell. There are a ton of good deals right now, and I'm thinking about getting this one.

Ideally I'd also get an SSD drive and just put it in place of the Win8 drive. After a month or so when I've decided there's no way I'll ever need Win8 I can wipe it and use it as a second drive in another laptop that I have (which has two drive bays). But the cost of SSDs might force me to try to dual-boot (at least temporarily, in case I need to restore the machine to return it or something).

Anyone have experience with #! on these new Toshibas? There's no touch screen, so I wouldn't need to worry about that, but it does have a "buttonless" touchpad that I've never used before. I've also never had a UEFI machine before, so that might cause me a minor headache, right?

#2 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » new acer notebook - but which one ? » 2013-12-03 03:32:00

ZAP
saneks wrote:

I own a acer travelmate 5740 with 4gb since 2.5 years - and I say:

don't do it. consider buying from a different manufacturer.

I'm not a big Acer fan either. Go with an ASUS or a Toshiba instead. And Haswell or Core i3/i5/i7 with 4 GB+ and Intel video.

#3 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » I'll be replacing my laptop soon » 2013-11-26 00:30:23

ZAP

I'll be getting a new laptop soon also, as my old battle axe is showing its age. I'm looking at a 15"-ish Core i5/i7 from ASUS or Toshiba (with at least 6 GB of RAM and a 750+ MB HD). Newegg.com had a couple of refurbished models that looked nice and were in my price range (US $500-$600), but I'm going to wait a little while longer to find the perfect machine first (perhaps with an SSD instead or additionally).

#4 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » The Best Open Source Software For Windows? » 2013-11-26 00:24:11

ZAP

I always use ninite.com to install a lot of great freeware (and some open source) apps in one fell swoop whenever I install Windows. I almost always want Chrome, Firefox, Notepad++, Filezilla, 7-Zip, CutePDF, TerraCopy, Skype, Windows Security Essentials, and a bunch of other core software. You can just check what you want and install it all with ninite.com.

#5 Re: News & Announcements » Google Chrome Stable » 2013-11-23 17:59:55

ZAP

Anyone else having mouse cursor problems with Chrome lately? I've been running Chrome stable on waldorf forever and never had any issues before the past week or so. First I was getting CPU spikes (which didn't show up as Chrome processes, but seemed to go away when I killed it) and random Chrome lock-ups. So after trying several other things I uninstalled Chrome stable and downloaded and installed the beta version instead. That fixed the CPU spikes and lock-ups! But then my mouse cursor started misbehaving. Specifically it would stop updating after the first hover on a page (so it would stay a pointer even over links, or stay a text insertion cursor after leaving a field, etc.). I figured that was just a problem with the beta version, so I reluctantly uninstalled that and then reinstalled stable. But the cursor problem remains! I've cleared the browser cache and cookies, turned off all extensions, etc. and that doesn't fix it. But I know that something like that must be the culprit because I do not have this problem if I use incognito mode.

Anyone else experience anything like this, and even better did you resolve it?

Nevermind - this is a Synergy bug.

#6 Re: Devel: CrunchBang 12 "Janice" » Ideas for Janice » 2013-11-22 04:59:34

ZAP

+1 for i3lock (I'm not all that fussy, but wow is xscreensaver fugly)
[Edit: After trying i3lock for a couple days, I was having some major video/power issues that made my system damn near unusable. I uninstalled it and the problems went away. Unless/until bugs like that are non-existent, i3lock is not a viable option.]

I'm also inclined to say that any hefty app that isn't really a core part of the system (e.g., GIMP) should just be a recommended install in the welcome script. I would actually love to be able to choose most apps from different options after install. For example, I use Filezilla and not gFTP, and Pidgin but not Xchat, and I never use Catfish and have no need for Xfburn when installing on a machine without a DVD burner, etc.

Basically I really love #! and have found it to be a faithful friend and coworker for quite a while now, so just keep up the great work!

#7 Re: Tips, Tricks & Scripts » Redshift » 2013-11-19 22:46:47

ZAP
wagmic1 wrote:

i have put gtk-redshift in tint2 like that :

clock_lclick_command = gsimplecal
clock_rclick_command = gtk-redshift -l 33.578456:-7.606636 -t 6500K:3700K -g 0.8

it works like a charm

Interesting idea! That hadn't occurred to me before. I don't really need redshift there, but it's nice to have gcalctool pop up on a right click!

#8 Re: Tips, Tricks & Scripts » Redshift » 2013-11-19 15:36:15

ZAP
mbemboom wrote:

...an app on my Nexus 7 which provides similar functionality. I like it, thanks for sharing.

I use Twilight on Android devices. Makes a world of difference when I'm using my phone in bed at night.

#9 Re: Tips, Tricks & Scripts » Redshift » 2013-11-18 21:51:16

ZAP

I've had redshift in my autostart file for some time, although I never knew about the GTK version with the ssystem tray icon before I saw this thread, so I just changed that line to:

gtk-redshift -l 23.0000:-102.0000 &

(I have now given away my longitude and latitude; please don't send me any missiles.)

#10 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » Nexus 5 » 2013-11-01 23:24:49

ZAP

I didn't mention that I bought my Nexus 4 in the US but I live in Mexico. When I got back to Mexico I just cut my old cell phone card down to the right size and slapped it in the Nexus 4. It worked just fine.

#11 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » Nexus 5 » 2013-11-01 20:03:17

ZAP

I'm a bit tormented by the Nexus 5. My birthday was in late July and I told myself I'd wait until then and hopefully the Nexus 5 would be out. It wasn't, and a week later I bought the Nexus 4. 35 days after I bought it, Google knocked $100 off the price (and if I'd bought it 5 days later, they would have refunded $100 to me, but since I didn't I got squat).

The Nexus 4 is a beautiful phone and I use it constantly. I'm really glad that I got it, and yet... the damn Nexus 5 is out now and that makes me think that my 4 is inferior and I got ripped off. Oh, destiny! Why do you torture me so?

#12 Re: Feedback & Suggestions » Great distro, needs default DE » 2013-10-31 21:37:56

ZAP
caieng wrote:

I think we have been too harsh in responding to the newest member of the forum.  We ought not criticize someone for honestly expressing his/her opinion about the distro.  ... We all benefit, even Philip, from feedback, when those thoughts are introduced honestly.  Conversely, by criticizing the critic, as we have done here, in this thread, we expose a tendency to suggest, "hey, everything here is already perfect, keep your ideas to yourself".  That's not how Crunchbang became as good as it is.  One cannot receive criticism, if the critics are afraid to post.  I disagree with the starter of this thread, but I support his attempt to voice his suggestion.

+1

swiftlinuxcreator thanks for taking the time to express your opinion.

#13 Help & Support (Crunchbang 11 "Waldorf") » Photoshop CS5 or CS6 via Wine on Waldorf? » 2013-10-29 04:09:12

ZAP
Replies: 1

I stopped trying to run Windows apps on Linux a long time ago (when I found native apps I liked as much or better). But I do still need Photoshop fairly often, so I've kept a Windows machine around for that (and testing on IE). I'd kind of like to be able to use Photoshop on this same #! system sometimes, so I'm wondering what luck others have had running it via Wine.

Any specific experience or a guide? If it's a frustrating and suboptimal experience I'll probably just run Win7 in Virtualbox as needed. But if Wine works well I think I'd prefer that.

Thanks in advance for your replies.

#14 Re: Feedback & Suggestions » Great distro, needs default DE » 2013-10-28 23:00:35

ZAP

The main reason that I like #! so much more at this particular point in time is that it seems as if every single DE in the known universe (including non-Linux ones like Windows and OSX) has gone completely down the tubes. I'd always valued #!'s minimalism, but now I don't know what DE I would even choose if I were forced to use one. They're pretty much all going through very rough patches.

#15 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » Need help with html table coding issue » 2013-10-28 05:37:48

ZAP

How about:

td:nth-child(4) {
   border-right: 2px solid #00f;
}
td:nth-child(5) {
   border-left: 2px solid #00f;
}

(which would also center the blue line instead of having all 4px to the left)?

#16 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-28 15:33:31

ZAP
Jajetzu wrote:

@ZAP
e.g. iMessage and Facetime
Saying Facetime is secure, does not mean iOS or any other part of your iphone is secure.
Consider the case of hushmail and how they circumvented their own end-to-end encryption system on the behest of U.S. gov.
Apple was included in PRISM slides. Ever heard of Marlboro paying experts off to convince people smoking is good for you? Well, those articles assuring iMessage and Facetime users look a bit fishy! If they want to remove doubt, they are welcome to openly publish the code.

Oh, I agree. I would never advocate that people trust non-open source "black box" encryption, and I've been warning folks not to trust Skype's encryption for years. I'm not saying that say Facetime is "secure" - just that it uses end-to-end encryption.

I was really just wondering aloud whether that traffic is also swept up by the NSA as encrypted traffic, or if they don't bother with ALL encrypted traffic (just what strikes them as suspicious). Since Facetime is always encrypted, everyone who uses it is using encryption and the NSA might therefore ignore it. Which, if true, would support the argument that if everyone encrypts everything by default then we'll all be more secure.

#17 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-26 15:27:35

ZAP

@Jajetzu RE "No indication that all encrypted data is targetted for exploitation except perhaps in reference to the vague definition of "Technical data base" (Section 2.i).":

The other part that you cited is what has crypto-fans concerned:
"3. the communication is reasonably believed to contain technical data base information"
        a. "in the context of a cryptanalytic effort, maintenance of technical data bases requires retention of all communications that are enciphered or reasonably believed to contain secret meaning, and sufficient duration may consist of any period of time during thiwhc encrypted material is subject to, or of use in, crytanalysis."

Basically this seems to imply that any communication that appears to be encrypted will be stored and saved indefinitely and they may attempt to crack it. Additionally if you use any sort of anonymizing system (tor, etc.) you will be considered to be a non-US person outside of the US (if they can't verify that you're a US person, they can assume that you're not). And if they come across anything in their normal warrantless review of traffic or encrypted communications that they believe may be "criminal" they can ask for (and receive) a warrant to investigate further or send it to the FBI for them to investigate.

So just using tor or PGP seems to be enough to cause the NSA to scrutinize your communications.

I'm not sure how that squares with services that are always end-to-end encrypted by default (e.g., Facetime), but if we knew whether or not the NSA doesn't bother with always-encrypted communication because it doesn't arouse their suspicions we'd have an answer to the question about whether everyone encrypting everything all the time is an effective privacy strategy.

Some other articles on this:

#18 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-25 17:40:48

ZAP

+1

One of the most troubling facets of the Snowden affair has been social rather than technical: the willingness (at least as measured by polls) of such a large percentage of the US population to accept and support the programs that have been exposed. It's also astounding how much partisan identity plays into these stats (R's were for surveillance when W was doing it, against it now that O is, and vice-versa with the D's). The reality is that both US parties (and pretty much every other government everywhere) support the extension of state power by whatever means possible.

It seems like it should be obvious that democracy is not possible if you don't even know what your government is doing, but what is really worrisome is that many would rather not know.

#19 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-24 18:11:34

ZAP

OK, let's try to bring this conversation back down to earth and make it inclusive of others and potentially educational.

What I'm reacting to in your messages is what appears to me to be a completely unrealistic method of communication. You say that you only communicate with others via anonymous email accounts using a one-time pad (and perhaps also with steganography). That would require you to plan any such communication with your recipients in advance and in person, and you'd have to have some stability of at least one shared email account (if not two). That seems like it would put quite a lot of restrictions on your communication to me, and you'd also have to use tor or something similar in case folks were watching your account.

You also post quite a lot of messages to public forums and play online games, so I imagine that you don't really hold all of your traffic to this same standard.

This thread started by asking the question about whether encrypting email, chat, etc. was a good idea given that the NSA will save it and keep trying to break it if they detect it (and they do look for steganographic content). As someone who's used PGP with certain contacts and OTR for encrypted chat, this is a question that I've considered also. I've generally avoided tor for a while now because I felt that it was likely to subject users to heightened scrutiny, and now it seems that the use of any encryption at all might cause that.

I don't believe that absolute privacy is achievable, and I also have seen the difficulties that using some of these tools can cause (I read that Greenwald had trouble communicating with Snowden at first because he had to learn how to encrypt messages). But that doesn't mean that I'll jump to the other extreme and never encrypt anything. It's a question of context and purpose.

Sometimes you may want to avoid local (non-US) authorities reading your communications, in which case tor might be the right tool for the job. Or maybe you want to send credit card info to a co-worker, in which case PGP would work well. Or perhaps you want to have a private conversation that is not logged or discoverable, so you use OTR (or Cryptocat).

Those are tools selected to match their real-world needs. Will they be intercepted and stored (and potentially cracked at some point) by the NSA? Apparently, yes. That's a real concern to me. Perhaps in some cases a one-time pad would be a good substitute for one of these methods, but it's not possible for me most of the time.

OTOH, some folks might say that everyone should encrypt everything (sensitive or not) so that it becomes common enough to no longer attract attention (like sending letters in envelopes instead of postcards). That also has some down sides, however, since you'll lose useful conveniences like being able to search for terms in your email. The reality is that for the most part these technologies were not developed with personal privacy as a main goal, and both governments and corporations have reasons to keep them that way.

#20 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-24 17:03:41

ZAP

@jens: I'm really not trying to flame you - your messages seem unrealistically extreme, that's all.

#21 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-24 16:38:56

ZAP
jens wrote:

i communicate in privacy with just a few contacts. that's sufficient.
with respect to steganography - if you put an OTP-encrypted message inside a container file, it cannot be detected.

Steganography can and is detected, and it cannot be plausibly denied once it's encountered. I guess you could say that one lolcats photo that you sent was just something that you found on the internet, but after two or three the plausibility goes out the window. But I imagine that since you're living in a cave somewhere on the moon, you probably don't expect to actually have to deny anything (plausibly or not) anyway.

Although your messages are extreme enough to be parody, I do know people who try to live a bit like that. It doesn't work (they can't communicate with anyone reliably, and usually have to abandon their ultra-private techniques when they do), but they still swear by it. I've taught enough people how to use PGP and OTR to understand that the complexity of these tools is a serious barrier to their use in the real world.

But mostly I think that your messages demonstrate the impossibility of absolute privacy or secrecy on the internet. Personally I'd say that overconfidence in your methods is a good way to end up exposed (look at Petraeus or the Stratfor hackers, for example). Unless, of course, you're not really doing anything that anyone's all that interested in.

That's not to say that people shouldn't encrypt their data or communication, just that it's important to be aware of the limitations and trade-offs.

#22 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-24 16:09:53

ZAP

@jens: I guess you must not communicate with very many people then, since one-time pads via anonymous accounts would pretty much rule out most normal human interaction.

And just fyi, steganography does not provide plausible deniability. It might make it harder to detect your message hidden in a lolcats animated gif (from one anonymous account to another), but once found there's no denying what it is. A cute kitty with a terrible secret.

I notice you posted this to a public forum, so I hope you're being sarcastic and you don't seriously try to live that way.

#23 Re: CrunchBang Talk » Your opinion: ElementaryOS vs #! » 2013-06-23 18:34:08

ZAP

@JonC: You lost me with the polemics at the end. Some interfaces are "dumbed-down," and that's not meant as an insult to your momma or kid brother. I still think my iPod Touch is an awesome little gadget, and I'm excited to get my mom an iPad this summer because I know that she'll use and enjoy it far more than she has her Windows laptop all these years.

It's much more interesting to discuss the "real benefits of interfaces designed to limit options" rather than seize on one person's choice of words and try to make sweeping moralistic generalizations based on that.

Anyway I find that user interface design that aims to be so intuitive as to become invisible is a very useful and interesting trend. But when I want to say compress a video, I don't want all of the options completely removed from the software in favor of one big "Click here to convert" button. The challenge is to streamline and minimize the interface without reducing functionality or the ability to configure to your own specific needs (e.g., the ability to save your own groups of video conversion settings and then have big buttons that say, "Click here to convert for your tablet" and "Click here to convert for web streaming").

#24 Re: Off Topic / General Chat » To encrypt or not to encrypt... » 2013-06-23 15:43:04

ZAP

I'm also waiting for my longtime concern about tor to be validated by a leak. It seems like a no-brainer from the NSA's point of view to sweep up everything coming out of a tor exit node for analysis. Even if your communication is encrypted up to that point, it is often trivial to identify the sender of a message or the originator of other traffic once it's left tor's system.

#25 Re: Help & Support (Crunchbang 11 "Waldorf") » copy music to ipod touch? » 2013-06-20 19:54:17

ZAP

I haven't jailbroken this old iPod Touch (4th generation), and I'd really like to use an app that will convert my mp3s also. Does anything work, or should I just boot up the old Windows laptop with iTunes on it?

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