Faking Normality

Faking Normality, adj: Pretending that things are OK, that the status quo is acceptable.

About Faking Normality

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Faking Normality. The one place we don't do it. All is not well. The world is not coming to an end. Don't fake normality, achieve it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lately on YouTube


A "blog" that hasn't been updated in a long, long time?! NO! You don't say. 
So why haven't I updated a blog on the Internet? Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, iZombie, Scorpion, Moonshiners on Discovery, well, pretty much everything on Discovery... and lots of other junk including books on feminism, god, science and beach books like "Girl on the Train". 

What I'm saying is this: It's tough in the world that I (we) occupy today to sit down and create something whole-cloth simply to be published in text form. It seems that we are able to consume the medias that help us to identify ourselves, then, while full of confirmation of our beliefs from others we... what?

Do we search for someone who has an answer to the argument that we just witnessed? Do we send messages to our friends asking what their perception is? Or do we click or flip to something else, something that will again re-enforce what we think we already know? 

It seems that the YouTube algorithms are beginning to recognize that most people are simply clicking on videos that help to re-enforce the the ideas that people already have and are sneaking things into the recommendations that might be contrary to the user. Be careful out there or you may be exposed to someone who disagrees with you more eloquently than you agree with yourself...

(either that or I've just discovered that I like to analyze contradictory opinions)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Root Access is Getting Scarce. 7.1 Is a Jail-Brake Killer.

     The SSL flaw that 7.1 patches is the most likely vector for the most popular IOS jail-brake to gain Root access. Updating to 7.1 (un-patched), will most likely only un-jail-brake your phone. Otherwise, 7.1 means no updates to the OS that runs Cycadia's Apps, and a h-u-g-e hole in a jail-broken phone's security -- that there is very little possibility of ever getting fixed. 
     There are several things prepare for: 
  • A fully forked, pirated version IOS. 
  • Moving to Android 
  • The continuing game of cat and mouse with jailbrakers.
Those are listed in order, least-likely at top. 
     With the SSL patch breaking jail-brake, it is clear that was either the vector of attack for Root access, or a method used to impersonate an un-broken phone. It was a crazy, crazy idea that led to the discovery of that particular SSL vulnerability, and that’s a strange place to have to go looking if what you’re looking for is Root access to the phone. We don't know why 7.1 brakes the jail-brake. We may not get a straight answer, or it may have come out while I was writing this. You never know with the programmers. But one thing is clear: With code that tight, I don't know how many more people, with enough skill and time there are left. I don't know if we'll find find a way back in to IOS after this, and that means getting further and further away from new hardware. The jail-broken phone and the Programmer could finally be out of options. 
     Apple has not been forgiving with those who haven't accepted Cycadia's fate. The users who continue to jail-brake their phones and the programmers who continue to provide the service, suffer at the whim of Apple's ever more secure code. Now, another incremental update fixes a very nasty security issue and IOS is kryptonite to the jail-broken again. 
     Apple's Security is a few lines of code from being as secure as it’ll ever be. The App Store is just a breath away from being the only place to get apps for IOS and OS X. Soon, some people will be free to run around in the hedge maze unattended while some will be booted and the door locked behind them. One way in, one way out -- of a hedge maze. Sounds like a fire hazard to me. 
     That full, pirated, IOS as an option. We saw how well that worked with OS X. And now Apple has the experience to go after a pirated IOS in ways that look like magic. Any result the community would see from that uphill slog is a buggy beta right before their phones are excommunicated from the cell network ad infinitum. I don’t think there’d be a single part of that project surviving anywhere. No where on the Internet. Not even as an idea scribbled on a bar napkin would survive. 
     Android. What can I say? Cyanogen seems to be doing some pretty big things. It’s not a fair comparison, really. Cyanogen is building a powerful open source User Interface while continuing to encourage a more open ecosystem. They need to maintain Root access not just for the apps, but for the entire OS. Could the carriers and handset makers band together to to create an OS fork that is hardened against Root access? Yes. But it's a desperate move, a final +9000 Kamehameha that's likely to miss. And miss big. Bad security implementation could tear the entire Android phone business apart from the inside. 
     Hopefully before then, those behind the open source movement will have fought the battle in court. Hopefully by then the legal system will realize that leased or purchased, that phone is mine. And mine means Root access.  

Apple's security is getting tight. If that SSL vulnerability was the jail-brake vector, this could be the final nail in the coffin of IOS jail-braking. And without Apple's UI, what is Cycadia but just an App Store?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Russia on The Brink.

Russia is heading for a new strange type of civil war. The Ukraine, while neither a member of the EU nor a Russian state, was called upon today for igniting civil war.