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  • January | 2014 | Irreal
    Crazy Over Snowden Posted on January 27 2014 by jcs The latest meme being floated by the apologists for the NSA is that Edward Snowden must have been a spy who received aid from the Russians Mike Rogers chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was busy pushing that theory on Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment The Insanity of Open Space Offices Posted on January 26 2014 by jcs Bodil Stokke tweets an excellent point on open space offices This bears repeating NOTHING is more hostile to developer productivity than the modern open plan office http t co Q9K3XMtMfZ Bodil Stokke bodil January 4 2014 I ve written about this before and Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Idiocy Leave a comment A Blank Canvas in Emacs Posted on January 25 2014 by jcs Some people especially creative writers like to write on a blank canvas without any distractions from their editor Bastien Guerry who we ve discussed before and who s sat on both sides of a Sacha Chua interview has a nice post on Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Leave a comment Java and Security Posted on January 24 2014 by jcs With respect to Java I m pretty much in the same boat as Paul Graham I ve never used it but it does seem to have an unpleasant odor One thing for sure it s a major exploit vector and as a result Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Security Leave a comment An Empty Do Posted on January 23 2014 by jcs Back when I was first learning Lisp by reading Paul Graham s Ansi Common Lisp Graham mentioned that sometimes you can do useful work with a DO loop having an empty body I thought that was pretty

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201401 (2016-04-25)
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  • December | 2013 | Irreal
    be a bit of a hassle Now Patrick Krusenotto has come to the rescue with LispStick a Zip file that has everything you need to get started Continue reading Posted in Programming Tagged Common lisp Lisp Leave a comment Data Loss and Reproducible Research Posted on December 26 2013 by jcs As long time readers know I m a big fan of reproducible research 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The aspect that I m particularly interested in is keeping the data software and other supporting material together with the source for the Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Babel Emacs Org mode Reproducible research 2 Comments Emacs 24 4 Draws Nigh Posted on December 25 2013 by jcs Not quite in time for Christmas but a new Emacs is coming our way Stefan Monnier has announced the feature freeze for Emacs 24 4 on the emacs devel list I am hearing that things are pretty much working now so if Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Leave a comment Tor Best Practices Posted on December 24 2013 by jcs Over at Digital Era there s a nice post on Tor best practices While the Tor protocol and software are reasonably secure you can t use them blindly The most recent example of what happens when you do is demonstrated by Eldo Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Security Leave a comment Git Bisect Posted on December 23 2013 by jcs Over at randyfay com Randy Fay has a great screencast on debugging with git bisect If you re not familiar with git s bisect command the idea is to find the git commit that introduced an error The process is basically a binary Continue reading Posted in Programming Tagged Emacs Git Leave a comment A Talk

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201312 (2016-04-25)
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  • November | 2013 | Irreal
    reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment More Site Tuning Posted on November 26 2013 by jcs Since I tuned up the caching software for Irreal org I ve seen a significant improvement in download speeds Unfortunately I ve also seen some problems with client side caching After I add a new post and reload the site I see the previous Continue reading Posted in Blogging Tagged Blogging Leave a comment Counting Check Marks Posted on November 25 2013 by jcs Here s my solution to the last EmacsGolf challenge I used the apparently little known how many command I normally use how many in Elisp to count the occurrences of some regex Here s an example from my old blog that leverages some code from Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs 3 Comments Experience With flx ido Posted on November 24 2013 by jcs After watching Sacha Chua s interview with Magnar Sveen I wrote that Sveen had demonstrated some Emacs features that I wanted to try out One of those was flx ido The flx package was written by Le Wang to bring Sublime Text s Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Leave a comment The NSA and Terrorism Fear Mongering Posted on November 23 2013 by jcs Whenever ordinary folks push back against or even question the NSA s extralegal surveillance of innocent citizens they are always told that it s to protect them from terrorists Don t let there be another 9 11 they say Really they assure us it s for your Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment What Does It Take European Edition Posted on November 22 2013 by jcs Just in case those of you in Europe think that you don t have reason to

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201311 (2016-04-25)
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  • October | 2013 | Irreal
    Leave a comment The End of Journalism Posted on October 27 2013 by jcs Many of you know that I m not a fan of newspapers or most journalists When reporters aren t pursuing an agenda or otherwise abdicating their journalistic responsibilities they run around chasing trivia and sideshows like the seemingly never ending series of Continue reading Posted in General Leave a comment CrptoSeal Shuts Down Posted on October 26 2013 by jcs The U S Government s overreaching has claimed another victim The CryptoSeal VPN service has pulled the plug These are good guys who did everything possible to provide a secure private VPN service They didn t keep logs and could provide authorities only Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment Update on OS X Emacs Battery Status Posted on October 25 2013 by jcs Yesterday I wrote about the problems I had with Emacs when I updated to OS X Mavericks The problem was that the call to display battery mode failed For OS X Emacs uses pmset to get the battery status data With Maverics Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs 2 Comments Mavericks and Battery Status Posted on October 24 2013 by jcs I just upgraded my iMac and MacBook Pro to the new OS X Mavericks The upgrade went flawlessly everything should work as well and my iMac came up without a problem I spend most of my time in Emacs of course so Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs 1 Comment The Aaron Swartz Legacy Posted on October 23 2013 by jcs I ve written before about Aaron Swartz s last project software to enable whistle blowers to communicate with news organizations anonymously The New Yorker was the first to implement the system Those with information about

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201310 (2016-04-25)
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  • September | 2013 | Irreal
    General Tagged Emacs 1 Comment Building a Blog with Org Mode Posted on September 26 2013 by jcs As regular readers know Irreal posts begin as Org Mode files that are subsequently published to WordPress with org2blog This works very well for me but not everyone wants to run WordPress For those of you who want to build Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Org mode 2 Comments Hating Apple Posted on September 25 2013 by jcs My friend Watts has a perspicacious tweet concerning those who hate Apple At times I suspect hating Apple is at least as much of a fashion statement as buying them is That s right I think How else to reconcile the Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Apple Leave a comment The New York Times on Encryption Backdoors Posted on September 24 2013 by jcs In a bit of good news The New York Times has published an editorial Calling on the NSA to close their backdoors There s nothing in the editorial that will be news to Irreal readers but it s useful because it educates Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment Code Snippets in Org Mode Posted on September 23 2013 by jcs Everyone who s hung around Irreal for a while knows that I m a big fan of Org mode and that I use it to among other things write all my blog posts One of the really nice things about it is Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Org mode 3 Comments Safe Password Hashing Posted on September 22 2013 by jcs I have written several times about the absolute necessity to properly hash passwords The tricky part is that properly It s a bit subtle to get it right Happily the

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201309 (2016-04-25)
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  • August | 2013 | Irreal
    of all Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Security Leave a comment Dinner With General Alexander Posted on August 27 2013 by jcs Jennifer Granick has an excellent article My Dinner With NSA Director Keith Alexander in Forbes Unlike most reporters Granick doesn t waste her and our time with sideshows such as the whereabouts of Edward Snowden Instead she zeros in on the Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment Is the NSA Really Abuse Proof Posted on August 26 2013 by jcs President Obama General Alexander the Director of the NSA and Senator Dianne Feinstein Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have all assured us that we needn t worry about NSA snooping on Americans because the NSA has several systems Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment Keeping the French Safe From Terror Posted on August 25 2013 by jcs Rick Fallvinge has a jaw droppingly funny or sad depending on your point of view story about French efforts to stop terror His story is at the expense of the French but really I m sure no country is immune to Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Stupidity Leave a comment The Joys of Java Posted on August 24 2013 by jcs Jean Philippe Paradis retweeted this pithy observation from Branimir Karadžić about a developer s life in the Java world Evil of me I know but sometimes the truth is too screamingly funny to ignore Posted in Programming Tagged Humor Leave a comment Implementing Prism Break Posted on August 23 2013 by jcs A while ago I wrote about Prism Break a site dedicated to helping you choose private and secure alternatives to many popular proprietary systems and programs Now Laurent Eschenauer has posted a description of his

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201308 (2016-04-25)
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  • July | 2013 | Irreal
    to DuckDuckGo for Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Mac 2 Comments Doing It Right ISP Edition Posted on July 27 2013 by jcs I wish these guys were my ISP Although it won t be news to Irreal s European readers Americans may not be aware that British PM David Cameron is pushing a plan to have ISPs filter pornography Originally the plan called for Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Privacy Leave a comment A Patent Win Posted on July 26 2013 by jcs This is so cool Joel Spolsky tells how he shot down a garbage software patent with only a 15 minute effort He did that by using his new Stack Exchange site Ask Patents a site on which anyone including patent Continue reading Posted in General Leave a comment Printing From ibuffer Posted on July 25 2013 by jcs Ever since I remapped Caps Lock to Control I occasionally type Shift X instead of Ctrl X or vice versa Usually this doesn t make much difference but when I m in an ibuffer list it invariably causes havoc The problem normally happens like this Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs 4 Comments So Close Yet So Far Posted on July 24 2013 by jcs Crap Posted in General Tagged Private Leave a comment Credit Card Numbers and Lazy Programmers Posted on July 24 2013 by jcs Ben over at Brush Technology has a splendid rant on something that I ve written about before on my old blog Why in 2013 are we still suffering Websites that refuse to accept spaces in credit card numbers There really is Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Stupidity Leave a comment EmacsMovies Looks at Gnus Part 2 Posted on July 23 2013 by jcs Noufal Ibrahim has part

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201307 (2016-04-25)
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  • June | 2013 | Irreal
    of the Press Yes yes a free press is vital to a free and democratic society and all that I just wish they d do a better job Continue reading Posted in General Leave a comment Tasker Posted on June 26 2013 by jcs As most of you know I live in the Apple ecosystem so I was a bit jealous when I read this post by Ben Simon Simon has an Android phone and therefore has access to the excellent Tasker app One Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Emacs Technology 4 Comments An Elisp Mystery Posted on June 25 2013 by jcs Over at the Emacs Reddit wadcann posts a nice idea The problem is to have abbreviations that touch their surrounding text The canonical example is punctuation like the em dash Many national security professionals those in the CIA NSA and similar You Continue reading Posted in Programming Tagged Emacs Emacs lisp 2 Comments Keeping Your Data Safe From the NSA Posted on June 24 2013 by jcs After another week of seemingly never ending revelations about government snooping into our phone calls and Web activities you guys in Europe can stop snickering you aren t immune either many of us are wondering how we can regain a modicum of privacy Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Security 1 Comment Speculative Problems Posted on June 23 2013 by jcs Jean Philippe Paradis tweeted the perfect answer to those who complain about problems with Lisp syntax The tweet was apparently provoked by this post from John Cook that while discussing symbols in programming languages remarked that Lisp s typographical monotony makes it Continue reading Posted in General Tagged Common lisp Lisp 7 Comments Lisp Hackers Posted on June 22 2013 by jcs For some time Vsevolod Dyomkin has

    Original URL path: http://irreal.org/blog/?m=201306 (2016-04-25)
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