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Dell pulls a Lenovo and ships security-breaking root certificate


In February of this year, China-based computer maker Lenovo maker was roundly condemned for shipping certain of its consumer laptops pre-installed with the Superfish adware, which used a self-signed root certificate to break website encryption.

Now, nine months later, U.S. computer maker Dell Inc. has been caught doing much the same thing — shipping some number of Windows 10 laptops pre-installed with a self-signed root certificate that can be used to defeat the encryption on secure web sessions. Read more…

The Homeless Hub’s easy way to get off the street


Part of the infographic that accompanies the article.

The Homeless Hub is one of the largest web-based resources on Canadian homelessness. I think of it as being aimed at providers of services to homeless people, mote than at homeless people themselves and I see it as the Canadian home of the American-born Housing First approach to ending homelessness.

So I was quite interested to read a Homeless Hub article entitled: Infographic: How to Survive the Street and Work toward Employment and a Home, in part because it drew on the advice of a former homeless person.

On the surface the article seemed at odds with the Housing First philosophy which otherwise imbues the Homeless Hub website.

Housing First, as I would boil it down, avers that one ends homelessness by simply giving every homeless person free government housing.

The article, on the other hand, advises homeless people to make sure that they shower and wear clean clothing and look presentable and that they get themselves a job. And once they’ve saved enough money, they should rent themselves a place.

I like this advice a lot and I wish that it had worked when I tried it. Read more…

It was a Frosted Flakes kind of morning


Waking up this morning in my parkade and getting out of bed(ding) was very nearly like how I remember it was as a child, waking up in an unheated cabin on a weekend ice fishing trip in northern Saskatchewan.

It just after 6:30 a.m. when this homeless person poked his head out from under the cover of a toasty warm sleeping bag and un-zippered to feel the sudden in-rush of 1┬░ C outside air.

“Brrr” is right! Read more…

A trip through Mount Pleasant bears rare fruit

An immature durani; won't be fully grown and ripe until February.

This little one won’t be ready to pick until February.

At one point on my way to a bottle depot on Thursday afternoon (November 19) I stopped briefly on the north side of 16th Avenue on Manitoba Street. I did so to admire a rare sight for Vancouver as a whole but one not unexpected in the tree-lined, family-friendly neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant.

If I wasn’t mistaken, I was looking at one of the city’s handful of durain trees.

The durain (Duraini laneum) is not a native British Columbian species but a late 19th century import from Eastern Europe, where it is prized, especially in the Dzija region of Upper Latvia.

For hundreds of years the Latvian Dzijani have maintained orchards of durain trees in order to harvest the durain fruit each winter for a truly ingenious purpose.

Read more…

Light rush hour traffic over the Cambie Street Bridge


Looking north from 12th Avenue at Cambie Street Bridge traffic at 4:39 p.m.

Is a light bulb as light as a feather? What about a light bulb of garlic? How many meteorologists does it take to change a light shower? What’s the best light colour of paint for illuminating a room? How light a burden is a box of fluorescent tubes?

Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers, I’m just making light conversation. Click the image to enlarge it.

Zune is dead. Long live Groove (aka Xbox Music, aka Zune)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue: Zune, Groove, Xbox Music and Adobe Flash.

Microsoft has consolidated its two online music streaming services under one name — Groove. But beneath the fresh coat of UI paint it’s really the same old same old.

In a nutshell: the nine year old Zune music service, which (many believed) became Xbox Music in 2012, was finally shut down this week and rolled into Microsoft’s Groove streaming music service, which, as of July 6, became the new name of Xbox Music, which, as I said, was originally the Zune Music service.

News of this confusing reorganization deeply shocked the tech press, which could hardly believe that anything connected with Microsoft’s ill-fated Zune portable media player still existed to be shut down in 2015. Read more…


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