Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Category: Geeky Stuff Page 1 of 53

Jeff is Listening

Do not, under any circumstances, have one of these in your home.

There is no reason whatsoever to assume that “smart devices” with microphones are not listening and analyzing everything they can hear 100% of the time.

There is no reason to assume that the mute button does anything other than turn on an LED.

There’s a reason that a 70″ LED monitor costs $4500 while a 70″ smart TV costs $399. They are making up the difference in revenue via the sales of your data. What you watch, what you eat, how much you argue, how much you have sex. What your kids talk about. If they can hear everything, they know everything.

I will have more about the state of IoT security in weeks to come. Suffice to say, things have not improved.

Black Friday Specials!

Super Sale! One low price for everything!

Plus: Not just free as in beer! Free as in Freedom. Not to mention, software that is constantly being inspected by a community at the source level will tend to be more secure, and will always get its serious security bugs fixed faster.

I support the Free Software Foundation, because they truly support freedom.

One Fire Pit…

…to rule them all.

Now, I don’t yield to many in terms of LotR fandom. I have probably read the four main books (Hobbit + the Trilogy) over twenty times. I read the appendices every time. For Pete’s sake, I’ve read the Silmarillion more than once. Who does that?

But this thing… this is next-level.

Social Media Update

Where to find me on Social Media.

Since absolutely nobody asked, here’s my take on the current social media scene:

Facebook is a cesspit, a refuge of racists and Nazis, Q-Anon crazies and MLM dupes. It’s trying to hold off having to declare itself a sovereign nation until after it can get Pumpkin re-elected.

Twitter knows its potential to be used for evil, sorta wants to do something about it, much more wants to be perceived as trying to do something about it, and has no idea how to accomplish either goal.

Instagram is putting forward a bunch of Ken and Barbie dolls (oh, sorry, did I misspell “influencers”?) to pretend everything is awesome. They hope they can keep this up until the apocalypse, at which point the board’s plan is to cash out and go hide in a bunker in New Zealand.

LinkedIn is everyone trying to sell something. For the people on there without a traditional product to sell, they are the product.

Reddit is a bunch of Gen Y and Z trying out acting like old curmudgeons and telling everyone they don’t know to get offa their lawn. All the topics of this curmudgeonly passion are so inconsequential that they could immediately cease to exist and the collective impact would be about that of a presidential tweet that somehow managed to neither start a war nor praise a Nazi.

It all is pretty worthless but with newspapers having mostly collapsed, it’s also all pretty indispensable.

It sucks to be us.


When I find a bug in a piece of software, I usually want to report it. Some software producers make this easy. Others put the burden of proof on me.

Here’s a fun negative to try and prove: prove that the issue you’re trying to report would not get fixed by the fixes to any one of these we already have in the backlog. It sounds easier than it is. And it doesn’t even sound very easy.

Companies: I have a better idea. Accept all the reports. Your QA staff are better equipped to evaluate them for duplication than we poor users. What’s that you say? QA is understaffed to handle this task? Then QA is just plain understaffed… and that’s how we got here in the first place.

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