Vader Stencil at 7-11 on hawthorne

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Sorry about that, guys.

I guess I hit the wrong button. In my defense, they ARE really close together.

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Timberline Lodge a year and some days later

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Having an anniversary dinner at the lodge tonight.

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Fighting copyright – You're doing it wrong

Full disclosure: I used to work for JSTOR, a non-profit company that archives and provides online access to academic journals.

Recently one of the co-founders of Reddit was indicted for some sort of computer crime that involved downloading millions of academic articles from the JSTOR archive. Trespassing or breaking into a closet or some other property crime may have been involved, and "data theft" was the big one that all the internets are talking about now.

After this indictment occurred, a person going by the name Greg Maxwell released a torrent of approximately 32 Gigs worth of the JSTOR archive. With the release was a manifesto of sorts, indicating discontent with the academic publishing industry and lots of general rage.

"Instead the articles are available at $19 each–for one month's viewing, by one person, on one computer. It's a steal. From you."

That's complete nonsense. JSTOR can be accessed from libraries and universities all over the place. Chances are if you have a library card you can legally and freely search the JSTOR archive and download non-DRM encumbered pdfs of any article.

I think the copyright problem is a different problem and lies with the publishers, not with JSTOR. They're a non-profit organization doing the hard work of digitizing, organizing, archiving and adding features like reference linking to these journals as well as making them available to the public. That access should cost money, but it should be paid for by organizations like libraries and governments to make this knowledge available.

If these people are pissed off about not having access to academic journals, they need to take that up with the governments that cut funding from libraries and stop attacking JSTOR with these kind of releases.

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Mt Hood by Airplane

I shot this from the window of an airplane, as we descended to land at PDX airport.  I think it came out surprisingly well!

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Hoshiko no Neko – An Ambient Space Song

This is a space song I made. The video is a slide show of Hubble Space Telescope photos. You can probably figure out how I made the music part, but I left a few really obvious clues in the video if it wasn't clear.

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Random Usernames

Hacking and password security and all that kind of junk has been all up in the news lately, and this Dropbox breach is just the latest story I heard about today. This particular one was a breach that appears to have allowed a user to bypass the password and gain access using only the username for an account. That sucks, and maybe this kind of thing is preventable by adding another level of randomization. Everyone should know by now that you should be using random passwords and storing them with a tool like 1Password. Well using a password manager like this means you also don't really have to know the username either, so why not add another level of security, however small it might be? I'd like to do some more in depth research on this, and see if randomizing the username actually does increase security and by how much.

Even usernames that require an email address can have some randomization added to them. Just about any host should allow you to create an "email alias" that will forward to your regular email address, for example instead of yourname@example.com, set your login for facebook to use something like fb-ia6vcmwuq1@example.com.

I think this is something I'm going to start doing, but obviously it's not going to work for everything. Having a randomized twitter username, for example, would probably not be the best choice.

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World Naked Bike Ride

It's naked bike riding season in Portland again. Good times!

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Telehack

I started playing with this Telehack thing last night after reading an interview with the creator. It's sort of like a text game that simulates the state of computer networks in the late 80's early 90's and reminds me a great deal of Digital which I played through a while ago.

The best part of telehack to me is that you can connect to it right on the telnet port, and then set a variable to simulate modem speeds from the era. Watching text crawl by at 300 baud was a bit much for me, but I captured a video of a hacking at 2400 baud which wasn't too bad.

[youtube='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_9qLIvtTjY' ]

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Did Stumptown just get bought? – I have no idea

Willamette Weekly recently ran a story with the very sensational headline that Stumptown Coffee has "been sold". The truth to that isn't really apparent to me yet. The primary source for this appears to be Todd Carmichael, who wrote a really stupid article in Esquire about how jealous he is of Stumptown's success. It really needs to be said that Carmichael is a direct competitor of Stumptown, by his own admission in the article he wrote so I don't think he should be taken as a reliable source.

The Oregonian, of all places, actually ran a levelheaded piece about this whole kerfluffle, in which Stumptown spokesman Matt Lounsbury said there's been confusion over the way investment paperwork was filed. I'll be interested in seeing how this whole thing turns out, because I do love some Stumptown beans and would be sad to see things change but holy cow, let's not get crazy with speculation.

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