Moral dilemma

August 26, 2008

HIJACKED! (238/365)

Originally uploaded by sleepyneko

Is it unfair to sneak up on deaf people and hijack their pictures?

Dear Lazyweb,

Is there a nice way to tell gnome-power-manager to run ‘ssh-add -D’ as me before suspending or hibernating?



August 25, 2008

I decided to unplug and not be online much this weekend. Friday evening we got some food, nestled back and watched a movie. Then early to bed and up for the farmer’s market. Then I had a huge list of household stuff to do, a number of those things I accomplished. We pulled up most of the finished summer plants, we added compost to the beds and planted fall/winter items (lettuce, kale, collards, arugula, etc). Then we cleaned up the yard and generally tidied everything up. Then I moved on to finish painting a brick wall in the mudroom, which looks pretty good, too.

Woke up bright and early on sunday to meet a friend for a bike ride out to hillsborough. We took the tandem and we traveled about 14-15mph both ways. Had breakfast at weaver st then came on back. Cleaned up, rested, ran a few errands then worked on pickling okra with Eunice. She did most of the work, I just got cranky occasionally. Then I played a couple of video games and now I think I’m going to go read and tuck myself in.

I hope to be back and less burnt out tomorrow.

I will routinely get corrected by various bicycling afficianados  if I refer to the thing you sit on as a “seat”. They, of course, say “It’s a saddle, not a seat”.

So my question is this. Why are the parts of the frame called a seat tube and seat stays if the thing you sit on is not a seat?

Dear LazyWeb,

I’ve recently been using pidgin-otr a lot and I have to say, I love it. The setup is straightforward, I’ve watched the XMPP as it goes and I feel pretty good that google can’t see my stuff. Yay.

However, it makes me want to have a similar feature for evolution or tbird. Something so I can say “send this person an email and confirm encrytped communication between us”

I did some searching and I found nothing.

Any thoughts?

After that you can’t produce anymore and your body and mind start to collapse. 5 days is waaaaaay beyond the pale.

On the plus side waiting for IBM server machines to POST is a good time to take a 15 or 20 minute nap. 🙂

I received a call back today from the manager of a VERY LARGE company with regard to the problems interacting with their ‘authentication’ mechanisms on behalf of another person. They said “It is probably easiest to just lie about who you are and provide the necessary authentication passwords, than to tell us you’re a third party.”

Classy. Gotta love it.

I have an idea, why even bother asking who a person is at all. Just ask for the name/number on the account (your login name) and the appropriate password. Ignore everything else about the name since it is a useless authenticator over the phone anyway.

Boggles my mind.

I am not deaf but I’m close to someone who is. The following things are true

1. TTYs suck.

2. Giving your personal info out to some random relay operator does not fill you with confidence.

3. TTYs and ‘press 9 now’ systems don’t  work, at all, the delay is FAR too great for most voice messaging systems to work.

4. Most people have never heard of TTY and relay services and respond as if you are a criminal or worse a telemarketer

When I call I verify who I am I give you a password or some person information that verifies that I AM that person, that I am acting on behalf of that person, or that I’ve taken that person hostage and am forcing them to give me this information. Why is it not good enough for me to give you that information if I honestly tell you I’m calling on behalf of that person but s/he cannot make the call herself? Why am I instantly less trustworthy? If I tell you that I AM the other person does that make me any more of a liar or your policy any less stupid? No one at your company can identify anyone’s voice, they MIGHT be able to tell if the voice belongs to a man or a woman, but they cannot tell, necessarily, if the name does.

The whole point of a password verification is that it AUTHENTICATES the caller. If I call and I have all the necessary passwords then for all intents for your company I AM THAT PERSON. Get this shoved through your processes and stop treating deaf people like crap. If you still cannot comprehend this then if there is ANY service that your company offers which cannot be COMPLETELY accessed via the website then you have FAILED to do your job.

10% of the population is deaf or hard of hearing. Figure it out.

If you’re having trouble putting this in context think of it like this:

You login to gmail, you are prompted to answer your secret question. You answer it. Then gmail says “nope, we still don’t believe you are who you claim to be, please call”. If you cannot trust the authenticators that the user provides correctly then you cannot trust the phone, either.


August 11, 2008

Saturday out bright and early for bikefest over in hillsborough. Eunice and I did the 35 mile ride on the new tandem and were feeling pretty good about things. This is the first time we’ve done any distance greater than about 19 miles together and the first time on this tandem. Worked well. A few adjustments need to be made but overall, very smooth and comfortable ride. Nice day in hillsborough, beautiful weather, felt like april instead of august, most welcome.

Come home, nap, get up, start to work on the fig preserves. Screw them up pretty damned badly. Be angry and sad all at once. Watch Buffy episodes to improve my demeanor.

Sunday, slept late, went to Watts for brunch, come home, start working on pickling/canning okra. Come to discover that no, in fact, the plans we made to do that won’t work. That we’re just pretty much SOL b/c of complexities with the stove + canner + etc.

Decide  to consider our cooking/canning/preserving adventures a complete wash for this weekend and we get food and ice cream from wholefoods and spend the evening watching a movie and not thinking about cooking at all.

After that read a little bit and think about going to bed early so I can get up and get a fresh and good start on monday. Hopefully, w/o any cooking for me. Seems like the only thing I can effectively do is brew tea and fry things. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you)

I got a request to talk to someone in google talk (using pidgin) that I didn’t know. Here’s the log:

(10:58:52 AM) soledad: Hola silvia como tai??
(10:59:04 AM) me: I think you have the wrong person
(10:59:07 AM) me: my name is seth vidal
(10:59:18 AM) me: I live in North Carolina in the United States
(10:59:30 AM) me: I’m sorry
(11:00:56 AM) soledad: Silvia????

At this point I went to and started typing what I wanted to say and pasting what they said back.

(11:02:33 AM) me: Lo siento, no soy Silvia, mi nombre es Seth Vidal, yo vivo en Carolina del Norte.
(11:03:17 AM) soledad: me equivoque entonces, lo siento..
(11:03:24 AM) me: Lo siento no hablo español, estoy usando para traducir lo que estoy diciendo.
(11:03:43 AM) soledad: ok…lo siento
(11:04:14 AM) me: tener un buen día
(11:04:20 AM) me: 🙂
(11:04:29 AM) soledad: gracias..u igual

Not a perfect conversation but the point came across. So, when does the translate pidgin plugin happen? It may not be perfect but imperfect seems a bit better than talking at each other incomprehensibly.

Update: spot was nice enough to point out to me some abandoned plugins: