2015 — 7 February: Saturday

I can only assume1 it may indeed be time to think about dropping my Flash Player into the same bucket of discarded bits that already holds every incarnation of Java known to (this) man or BlackBeast. I've already set my day-to-day web browser (Pale Moon) to play Flash only if I "click to play", and I have NoScript sitting in the background always ready to pounce. (Belt and braces, that's me.) I accept that if I want to play a Flash video Chrome is now generally the least pain route. I've given up even trying to play things from the Grauniad's web pages, and that mostly leaves me with BBC snippets.

I think I'll survive :-)

It looks...

... frosty out there, but the barometer is unusually high. I shall make some breakfast, and await the arrival of my visitor.

Of the many...

... finely-tuned bits of writing in this book review, I choose the following:

There's a gut-jabbing scene in which he has to tell his five-year-old son that they are losing the only house he's ever known, and the child asks, "But then we'll come back, right?" Following the foreclosure, the locksmith who showed up to bar Timberg and his young family from their home drove a car "fancier and substantially newer" than Timberg's own "seventeen-year-old Honda." This is our shining world now, how we prioritize: Locksmiths earn stabler livelihoods than the makers and chroniclers of our culture.

William Giraldi, reviewing Scott Timberg's book "Culture Crash" in New Republic


... leads parallel lives. The life lived out on the external server for the world to see at www.molehole.org is a mere shadow of the widescreen, technicolor glory served up safely inside my little fire-walled garden. This larger and more interesting life is invisible to the outside world (leaving aside any sneaky / snoopy depredations2 of national security organisations, of course).

I've just commissioned Brian to cook me a replacement webserver — based, inevitably, on the new 'go-faster' Raspberry Pi2. My current Pi1 webserver may then metamorphose into a tiny Media PC for use up in the reading room. We shall see.

My visitor has...

... just departed for the second time, having returned to pick up the mobile phone he forgot. And I failed to spot.

Lunch next, methinks.

Now I finally...

... understand why saving video snippets while I browse the web has suddenly become a whole lot trickier... thanks to growing adoption (I won't say "support") of the obnoxious Encrypted Media Extension (EME):

Encroaching DRM

It doesn't seem...

... that long ago that I was reading, more than somewhat slack-jawed, about IBM's involvement with the Nazis as described by Edwin Black's very uncomfortable 2001 book "IBM and the Holocaust". Now the EFF has filed an Amicus Brief in a case accusing IBM of some responsibility (with another household Corporate name: Ford) for facilitating apartheid in South Africa. (Link.)

I've been preparing...

... for the mass relocation of all my internal 'molehole' files to their new, slightly roomier, SD card by first copying them, temporarily, onto a USB memory stick. But taking care to jettison all the cyberspatial flotsam and jetsam encrusting some of the darker corners of many a file subdirectory. It's amazing what large amounts of cruft can build up while you're lazily looking in another direction. Actually, last time the need to relocate arose (and the time before that, and the time before that) I just zipped up everything and expanded it on the target server. Doing it on a file-by-file basis is strangely satisfying.

But then so is counting grains of sand on a beach. Recall Andy Hamilton's lovely story of one of the kids in "Outnumbered"?

The Modern App...

... version of Kindle for Win8.1 has been totally successful in obfuscating where it keeps its book (correction, my book) files. To hell with it. I shall just use my 'real' Kindle and the SHIELD tablet PC. Len kindly offered me the program installable for Windows 7, but I don't doubt Amazon would throw a major wobbly as soon as it saw that running on a Win8.1 PC. Life's too short to dally overlong with ugly software. Besides, I can't begin to describe how surreal Kindle looks in Modern App form on a 40" 4K screen :-)

Colin Cotterill...

... strikes me as an interesting chap. He drew the Da Vinci cartoon for the Church of Dudeism. Just sayin'.

Having enjoyed...

... Pink Floyd's music so much, and so consistently, since about 1968, I finally caved in and decided to give "The Endless River" a listen.3 It's cheaper than drugs, after all. And they are one of the very few music acts I've actually heard play live, too. [Pause, for dramatic effect.] In 1972. Off the top of my head:

I'm really just not that interested in live music. Nor am I including the Sandy Denny 'tribute' evening (May 2012) as I left at the first interval. Though I have to admit I enjoyed the weekly jazz-and-a-pint at the "Red Lion" pub in Hatfield as a student.



1  Evidence? Four security updates for the Adobe Flash Player embedded into Microsoft's Win8.1 web browser since mid-January.
2  I'm very naive. And trusting. I assume the White Hats can't read files unless I actually put them on my external server (which lives on a rack in Texas somewhere) in the first place. And I decided not to bother with all the hassle of password protection or maintaining lists of 'authorised' users. Life's far too short.
3  Frankly, it's disappointing noodling for the most part. Just as I'd been warned.