Top Navigation  
 
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
 
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 
 
Backwoods Home Magazine, self-reliance, homesteading, off-grid

Features
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues
 Print Display Ads
 Print Classifieds
 Newsletter
 Letters
 Humor
 Free Stuff
 Recipes
 Home Energy

General Store
 Ordering Info
 Subscriptions
 Kindle Subscriptions
 ePublications
 Anthologies
 Books
 Back Issues
 Help Yourself
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

Advertise
 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

BHM Blogs
 Ask Jackie Clay
 Massad Ayoob
 Claire Wolfe
 Where We Live
 Dave on Twitter
Retired Blogs
 Behind The Scenes
 Oliver Del Signore
 David Lee
 Energy Questions
 Bramblestitches

Quick Links
 Home Energy Info
 Jackie Clay
 Ask Jackie Online
 Dave Duffy
 Massad Ayoob
 John Silveira
 Claire Wolfe

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Enter Forum
 Lost Password

More Features
 Meet The Staff
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address
 Write For BHM
 Disclaimer and
 Privacy Policy


Retired Features
 Country Moments
 Links
 Feedback
 Radio Show


Link to BHM

Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Canvas fingerprinting and evercookies: something new to beware of

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

You may have been hearing about it since yesterday: the new way of profiling your computer (and, with enough other data, you) without leaving either traditional cookies or flash cookies on your system.

Those cookies you can get rid of. The new “evercookie” you can’t even see — although your own system created it on orders from a site or sites you visited.

The underlying technique is “canvas fingerprinting.” Here’s some not-too-geeky info on how it works.

Using TOR apparently helps, but not completely. Firefox’s wonderful NoScript add-on does the trick. It prevents a nasty little company called AddThis from executing its scripts on your device. However, I’m not clear whether other sites you’ve previously marked as trusted can execute the same script on you even if you’ve blocked AddThis.

Lots of big sites are using the evercookie technology. They then sell the info to advertisers — apparently even if you’ve set all kinds of “do not tracks” and opt outs. Some sites (Hey, we’re talking to you, WhiteHouse.gov!) use the technology counter to their own stated privacy policies. Yes, they’re lying to you. What a shock, eh?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed a countermeasure called Privacy Badger and is asking people to help them test it. They also recommend Disconnect as another possible method.

Of course, we know by now that merely having privacy settings on your computer makes you suspect. And we know that you can create your own unique fingerprint merely by having privacy software and settings, using non-standard browsers, etc.

Still … just one more thing to know about beware of.

Geeks, please chime in if you have better info.

(H/T JG)

Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, July 7th, 2014
  • A different way of fighting addictions. Article is a little vague on whether these newish ways are more effective than the old. But it’s certainly good to see the old “you’re helpless, forever sick, and dependent only on a higher power” model of treatment getting some competition.
  • Kim Jong Un is terrified of … poor-quality imitation Moon Pies??? Well, take it with a grain of salt, but stranger things have helped bring down tyrants.
  • Yes, some cops should be charged with murder. And conspiracy. And attempted coverup. And …
  • Obama The Great. Or why he thinks he is and is expects us peasants to acknowledge it. (Presidents do tend to be a scurvy lot, but I don’t believe we’ve ever had one more narcissistic than this guy.) UPDATE: G**gl* cached version, H/T. M. Original article has slipped behind a paywall.
  • It figures. There are actual scientists studying that great (and I really mean it) problem of modern life: why the heck all those electrical cords tangle into Gordian knots just by being left lying around.
  • Via jed: Order restored to universe as Microsoft gives back all those other-people’s domains it managed to crash.
Claire Wolfe

Moar links!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
  • I thought the Hobby Lobby decision was the right one. I also think the owners of Hobby Lobby appear to be flaming hypocrites on the subject of contraception.
  • Right from the moment of legalization, Washington state authorities have treated cannabis use with gentle good humor. The latest: a series of ads about things that it’s now legal — but not necessarily smart — to do while stoned.
  • One-armed man fined for riding bike with only one handbrake.
  • It might be no surprise the Microsoft security people just broke a chunk of the Internet The surprise (to me at least) is why the fedgov would give one private company control over another private company’s e-turf in the first place.
  • The way various govs have been treating Uber and Lyft is such a perfect example of the real agenda of government: protect the cartels.
  • So apparently Chris Christie still thinks he has a shot at running for president. He’s playing pro-gun this week.
  • Dumb robbers.
Claire Wolfe

Now JPFO’s back on F*c*b**k, too.

Monday, May 5th, 2014

As of this afternoon, JPFO has a F*c*b**k page — and it’s all thanks once again to the Amazing Nicki.

JPFO lost control of its old social media feeds late last year for reasons too grim & complicated to go into. It took social-media whiz Nicki no time at all to get new ones going. Now, of course, comes the long slog of winning back all those JPFO Twitter and FB followers — and there were thousands. So please … spread the word.

I swear, just watching Nicki work wears me out. I think I’ll go have a Bloody Mary to recuperate.

Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
  • This is both fun and educational: How Secure is My Password? Just in case, I suggest you not enter any real passwords, but something entirely different that just has the same general mix of numbers, letters, and symbols as any password you might use. And of course, how long it takes a PC to crack your password and how long it takes some creepazoid with the full power of government behind him are two very different things.
  • Why we should all watch Groundhog Day. (Contains spoilers; but then, is there anybody who hasn’t already seen or doesn’t already know how that great movie unfolds?)
  • Don’t you just hate that trendy new put-down by our superiors on the left? Well, here’s somebody who snotty “check your privilege” types the smackdown they deserve.
  • John Lott has some good observations about Bloomberg’s latest.
  • Bob Hoskins has died. Damn. He was a terrific actor and sure was a lot of fun in Roger Rabbit.
Claire Wolfe

OMG! Such a shock! Who could ever have imagined??? Internet Explorer is FLAWED !!!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

In light of the latest in the endless series of revelations about Internet Explorer bugs and vulnerabilities, I bring you …

Demotivational-Posters-Internet-Explorer-6

And now, being gunfolk and technoids (as so many of you are), you can all go off to the comment section and beat each other about the head and shoulders over which firearm should actually represent which browser.

But nobody will disagree on the one that best depicts IE, right?

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
  • So … some uninsured Californians get covered under Obamacare. Whoopee. Months later they’re desperately banging on the doors of free clinics for the uninsured because they can’t get doctors to see them. (How many of us kept shouting, “It’s not about ‘coverage.’ It’s about access to actual care!”)
  • Wanna see the impact of state sales taxes on business? Check out Amazon’s numbers. (Well, that may help explain why after a strong start to the year, my personal Amazon links are producing spit and bubble gum this month.)
  • Could low blood sugar be wrecking your marriage?
  • So this is what the ultimate mainstream ‘zine thinks of the Cliven Bundy standoff. Not a word about federal overkill. Not a word about needlessly slaughtered animals. Not a word about why the BLM operates paramilitary forces. Just that the fedgov had better crack down harder lest the peasants (We the Picts) get even more uppity. Yeah, thank you King George III for your advice.
  • “Through a Google Glass, Darkly.” A tech skeptic beta tests the infamous snoop device.
Claire Wolfe

I don’t know if this is a dumb question or not

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

You tell me.

I know that the right software and the right settings are key to electronic privacy on computers. But are there some computers (laptops, especially) that are inherently more private and secure due to their hardware?

I always buys used Lenovo laptops. They (and their predecessors from IBM) are the sturdiest beasties in the computer world. Mine have been knocked off tables by rambunctious dogs (or by me) dozens of times, and while various plastic bits may have cracked or broken off, the workings inside their titanium cases have just gone right on ticking.

Unfortunately the other day my main computer (ThinkPad T400) was sitting on a hassock next to a window when Ava spotted a cat. This time she didn’t knock the computer to the ground. That would have been fine. Nope. She stuck a claw into its screen.

Oh, it’s still working just fine. But when you spend as much time at the computer as I do, a dog-claw-sized hole in the middle of the display will drive you nuts. So I’m thinking about a new (used) laptop. It’s about time for one, anyhow.

But one of the things I like about this one is no built-in camera. It’s got a stupid fingerprint reader, but that’s totally ignorable. It worries me that the newer an electronic device, the more likely it is to arrive with hardware and pre-sets to communicate with Uber-Snoops. Shel reminded me of such unknown hazards when he posted this link in comments.

That’s not for me. But then, neither is the prospect of buying increasingly older laptops just to avoid creepazoids.

So tell me: how far off-base am I in thinking that I should be able to buy a recent, but used, laptop that isn’t designed and pre-set to betray its users to Our Robot Overlords?

And if I’m not off base, what are some good candidate laptops built in the last few years?

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
  • Beaded guns. Yes, very, very weird.
  • Cops in Hawaii assert that they really, really, really need that law that allows them, and only them, to have sex with prostitutes.
  • So what exactly did Erdogan think would happen when he tried to ban Twitter? Didn’t somebody say something about “can’t stop the signal”?
  • I see the point. Larry Page would rather leave his billions to Elon Musk than to charity.
  • Dog names (per jed in comments). Belladonna Squishypup. Definitely beats Maggie. Or Max.
  • Okay, now I’ve gotten some fabulous deals at garage sales, yard sales, estate sales, rummage sales, or jumble sales as this article prefers to call them. But I must admit I’ve never just picked up some random little item for … $14,000??? Fourteen thousand dollars? At a junk sale? Are you kidding me? Still, if that’s your idea of a bargain, well, in this case, you’re amazingly correct.
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
  • So you still don’t think Google Glass is creepy? Well how ’bout when New York City cops are testing it? (H/T MJR)
  • “The repentant informant.” This article on liberty’s former friend Stacy Litz was published last year. The reporter (whose name really, truly is Jason Nark) interviewed me but forgot to tell me when the story hit, which is why I’m late with the news. I’m not quoted, but he does reference the booklet the Commentariat collaborated on: Rats! So pat yourselves on the back. You’re famous. :-)
  • Cops do the usual no-knock dawn raid. On the usual word of a lying informant. Resident, believing he and his pregnant girlfriend are in danger, shoots and kills a deputy. Cops find pot. A grand jury refuses to indict. Even a blogger cop says it’s the right decision. And you thought there were no such things as miracles.
  • Unfortunately, the usual *&^%$ still goes on. But you know … credit card fraud was involved. And somebody in the house had a concealed carry permit. So of course any amount of coppish violence is totally, absolutely justified. If you don’t think so you must be a domestic terrorist or something.
  • Uh oh. Tricksy, buggy Adobe Flash now carries malware that can infect even Linux machines and Macs. Guess the good old days are truly over.
  • Here’s more on Freespeechme.org from MWD. For nerdstuff, this is pretty lucid. And he very kindly tells me he’s snagged me a clairewolfe.bit domain name just in case.
  • And never forget, no matter how weird the world gets, we can always enjoy the puppies. So here, via MLS, are big dogs who don’t realize they are.

Cheers!

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.