OK brace yourself. There are cat pictures on the Internet. And, apparently we have been running out. So, let’s bring some deepfake machine learning AI GAN tech to bear. https://thiscatdoesnotexist.com/. Each time you refresh that you get a different fake cat.

This is the pinnacle of human achievement. What the Egyptians set in place with their worship rites and sphinx statues. The raison d’etre for Nvidia (who posted stylegan for this reason).. The reason matrix math was invented.

Next step, cross-post these pictures into kittenwar.com and start the culture war.

And yes, the below images are of non-existent-machine-generated-cats.

sim phish

Another day another breach. ~550M facebook users have their, well, everything including their colonscopy results, released online for cheap. And, this includes (for many) their phone number. Should you care?

Yes. In a word. Facebook bought WhatsApp, and is trying to force users to accept a weakened privacy policy. And WhatsApp has your phone number as the key. You know, the same phone number you used with your Bank to call you in case you forget your password? The one you used for 2-factor authentication because you through SS7 was secure?

Fortunately its the work of minutes for someone to steal your phone number by walking in to a phone shop in a mall and knowing one or two facts that are *in the same breach*. “I lost my sim”. OK, we just need to verify your account, first name, last name, date of birth, phone number, here you go. Boom, now they go to your bank, click the “i forgot my password”, and, well, the bank txt them a link to reset it.

So, head on over to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and enter your phone number (in E.164 format I think, side note: all phone numbers start with a + sign and then a country code or you are doing it wrong… go fix your address book now). The good folks there will tell you if you’ve been breached. Welcome to the public domain.

While you’re at it, open up your WhatsApp, and add me on Signal. Same phone number. After may, whatsapp will die for me.

Tire Nail

What was intended as a nice long bike ride to soak in the 13C sunshine became a somewhat less interesting walk home. The culprit? a nail, the arch enemy of the tire since Robert William Thomson’s 1845 invention.

Fortunately I have a bottle of slime in stock. Half in the front (as a preventitive for next time), half in the rear (as a repair for this nail).

Tires have come a long way. From the original, which had rubber tubes inside a leather tire. Yup that’s right, today we have steel-belted, back then they just had belted 🙂

It used to be that people got multiple flat tires per year. Today, its very rare. Better technology (and maybe better roads).

Still, no solace on my walk back home to install the slime.

At least it’s not been stolen yet!

Years I spent doing complicated network demos. The first gen demo box was an asus media PC, a bit bigger than an Intel NUC. It had a WiFi chip and an Ethernet, 2GB memory, and 2 core Intel processor. By squeezing our code and demos into a couple of VM’s on it, and by using multiple AP on the single WiFi, we were able to demo our product.

It was fairly simple (when it worked): plug the Ethernet into the Internet somewhere, it would act as a WiFi AP, route the traffic through our product, and away we would go.

But periodically there was a need for “one more Ethernet”. Maybe to debug it (you would get to a hotel room and, no monitor, have to guess what was going on inside it). Maybe to divert some traffic. But nothing fit the bill of being portal and multi-ethernet.

The other day when I was working on the Starlink router setup, I was challenged to mock up 3 Internet connections. I have a 4-port PCIe card, but to install it in my desktop would mean removing something. I have a switch with VLAN’s available, but that is a pain to configure. Well I suffered through it. But then I had a minor epiphany. I have 1-port USB devices, I wonder if there are 2-port ones? And lo and behold there are. But even better, behold this 4-port Gigabit Ethernet, USB-3 widget. Where where you 10 years ago? And why do I have you now!

Plugged it in, it works. But, the need is no longer there.

Years ago I was required to go to somewhere in western africa, some place that you needed a Yellow Fever shot to enter. Around here the way that is accomplished is you to go to the travel nurse. I did my research, I went, this is the story.

Armed with the knowledge I needed this Yellow Fever shot I showed up. The nurse started to ask me some questions. “Have you ever drank the tap water in China”?, “Have you ever been to Brazil”, that sort of thing. Sure, the answer is yes to all of them, how does this affect my Yellow Fever shot? Finally we are done the questions, she says, here are the 17 shots you need. I’m like, 17? Give me your top 3! I’m no pincushion, I just need the Yellow Fever. OK, no problem she says, but before I give you this, let me tell you a little story.

You see the guy that left before you came in? Well, he has a worm coming out of his arm. Every 3 days he has to come back in here, I take a pencil, we wrap the worm a bit more around it, eventually the worm will be out. Me: “EEEWWWWW. OK, Give me the Worm Shot”. Her: There is no Worm Shot, that’s something you’ll just have to suffer through. Ugh, now she’s messing with me for refusing the 17 shots. Sigh, I will try to avoid the arm worm.

And then she told me something that is with me to this day. “Do you ever put your face in the water when you shower”? Me, of course. She then tells me about this fly that lays its eggs in water, is activated in steam, and inhaled where it hatches. And, it has a huge habitat. Shivver.

So I got the Yellow Fever shot, I got a few of the other top risks (not all 17). And I got ongoing nightmares about arm worms and lung flies. Thanks travel nurse, I’ll go back to you for my covid shot when its my turn for your wry sense of humour in messing with me.