Warning. The following publications may induce intense reasoning.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hacking Is Moral

Download this blogcast in MP3 Audio.

You do not own your privacy.

Privacy is a social term that defines an acceptable limitation of interference into another person's life. It means that even if the space around me is not mine alone, we all agree that I have greater rights over it, than others.

For example, even if no one is touching me, it is within my [socially accepted] right to remove people from my near proximity. Or, even if the sound of my echoing voice is not strictly under my possession, it is still frowned upon to eavesdrop to a conversation.

However, simply because a group or society might hold certain aspects of privacy as the norm, that does not mean that they are logically correct. If a person, by chance, walks near my door, and overhears me saying something of relevance to them, then it is hardly expected that they pretend otherwise.

Continuing with that logic, if I really wish to uphold my privacy, then it is up to me to take responsibility on the matter, and not discuss my private matters in an open environment, or in plain words.

But, am I blaming the victim?

I am not. Privacy is not akin to property! There is no ownership of information. For example, my voice and words are mine, but once they go out into the air, they are attached to a public medium. Thus, they are public.

If I wish to protect my privacy in a public medium, then it is entirely my responsibility to add safeties that will make my information less accessible, for anyone whom I did not intend it.

xkcd has an opinion on everything, and so do I.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Better Things To Do

Download this blogcast in MP3 Audio.

Do you ever feel like you are not doing enough? Or that you are somehow not doing the "right" things?

Have you ever noticed how the larger part of your time is spent on doing what others want of you? Or how your main occupation does not reflect your dreams and ambitions?

If you nodded in agreement at any of the above questions, then you need to ask yourself, "What am I missing?"

And the answer is highly likely one or more of these three: Artistic creativity, volunteering with others, and going on adventures.

Artistic Creativity

Work does not only mean doing something for money. We often miss to notice that much of what we do is out of sheer joy. Playing games, organizing events, or helping friends out. Many things.

However, when we create something out of our own enthusiasm, regardless of others, a sensation of pride and achievement is manifest!

There are few things that we can do that satisfy our emotional needs, as creating out of sheer will does. A drawing, a sculpture, an accessory or device, and even just a brief text or recording.

Volunteering With Others

It seems that when nothing quite works for me, then I can always go and find someone else, even online, whom I can help and cheer. People appreciate kindness. And the amazing thing about it is that helping others, makes us feel achieving and positive, too!

It makes sense. When you help others, and improve their lives, then it creates a sort of promise of helping you in the future, and gives a feeling of security and comfort within your social circles.

Going On Adventures

When all else fails, go and do! Do not think. Do not plan. Do not seek understanding. Go, outside, or within, or even online, and seek new and exciting places, people, and ideas!

There is a misunderstanding, when it comes to achievements. Success is not only when we get the results we wanted. Success is also when things just work out, just because we kept on doing with a positive attitude and courage, even when there was nothing noticeable in sight, ahead.

So, to conclude, remember that there is always something to bring out to the world, regardless of circumstance or ideology. Keep on doing, keep on learning, and keep on having a blast, every day! :-)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Recording Studio: The Next Level!

I want to describe the latest additions & editions to my home studio, even though I have already shared these photos on my FB and G+ accounts.

I have designed my reverb-cancelling booth, using strings and bamboo poles. This gives it a comfortable shape, and lets me roll the cloth up quickly, when I am not recording. The reverb-cancellation itself is great!

My new Audio Technica AT2035 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, as purchased from eBay. What a brilliant device! Sounds so good and lively, without any problems. No sibilance. No noise. Just voice.

And my new Focusrite iTrack Solo usb audio interface, which brings the audio into my computer clearly and quickly, as purchased from Amazon. No lag. No noise. Very comfortable & hardy design. I also play everything through it, now, because it is a sound card, so my output audio is crisp clear, as well!

Accessible and sturdy connections and controls.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Freedomain Radio by Stefan Molyneux

Download this blogcast in MP3 Audio.

Stefan is the only person I know that is laying down, for all of us, a modern-day philosophical foundation, derived from the best works of thought of previous generations. And he also practices what he preaches!

The core of his ideology takes from Anarchism, and the practical value of Capitalism. On the one hand, no person must ever be forced against their will - other than in self-defense, and on the other hand, the best approach to financial success is through free & voluntary trade.

The 47 year-old Canadian host of Freedomain Radio.

Surprisingly, even now, almost ten years into the existence of the podcast, Stefan only has three team members: Mike, James, and Stoyan. This leads me to think that the endeavor, while beneficial to millions of viewers, and true in its' ideology, is an impossible mission.

There is much evidence to say that almost the entirety of his audience treat the show solely as entertainment. The show is run by donations, at an estimated request of $0.5 a podcast, and even BitCoin is accepted.

However, it appears that less than one-percent of the audience actually donate anything. At all. Even much less than one-percent, if I have the right impression.

Ironically, Stefan, similarly to Dr. Phil, also puts emphasis on achievement through work; something he had experienced extensively in his own life. This goes in stark contrast to the likelihood that most of his audience are either living on welfare, or like many young adults in dysfunctional economies, living through their parents' funding.

Why is the Freedomain Radio so important?

Stefan is a radio-show host, author, and public-media spokesperson. He addresses & practices topics such as BitCoin, Relationships, Morality, and Liberty.

Renowned for talk shows and call-in shows.

I have personally enjoyed a better understanding of these topics, by being a listener and participating community member. The amount of positive feedback from listeners is vast, so there is no doubt that this is a good endeavor.

So, how come Stefan does not grow his business?

The show is not a charity! However, its' current business-model is a sort of honesty box. Sadly, most people are not honest, even if they want to be, and so this strategy is too futuristic - if we assume future people to be more honest.

I look at history, contemporary societies, and modern advancement, and intuit that only successful business-models actually make a positive long lasting impact. Charismatic and socially-adored people, who have not managed to also go beyond normal finances, usually impact a generation, and then lose relevance; because people aren't satisfied with ideologies, only.

People want success. Moral success is part of it, but morality is meaningless without sustenance & prosperity. A true leader leads on all accounts; moral and economic.

I would guess that Stefan will eventually expand his business model to include the [paid] training of more philosophers, who can mimic his success, and continue the cycle of benefit to themselves, and to their audiences.

I hope he does that earlier, rather than later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Easily Tweak Your Android By Hand

It has been long enough, for me to feel comfortable about tweaking my Android Smartphone. This includes a certain technical risk of killing the device.

I started by rooting the device: a Tatop W858 MTK-6577 model running Android 4.0.3. I used the notorious Framaroot application, even though my device was not on the list of officially supported devices. The MTK models are very common, so I felt comfortable trying it.

A one-click operation. Super easy!

Now with SU access to my system files, I started to take interest in tweaking the system! For this, I used the free ES File Explorer app, and activated Root permissions for it, in its' settings.

First to go, was the annoying Search Button that I never use, but always accidently touch. I Googled, and found that I want to edit my "/system/usr/keylayout/mtk-kpd.kl" file. It is usually a file-name that relates to your model or chip, so you can identify it easily.

Naturally, I copied the file into my SD card, so that I have a backup! Now, I opened the file with the ES File Explorer's Note Editor, and found the line:
"key  217    SEARCH"

[For more button keycodes and function, click here.]

As you can see, it can be very easy to locate buttons by their function. This was the only line with the "SEARCH" function. By commenting that line out, I could disable it, and now it looked like this:
"#key  217    SEARCH"
(Notice the added # at the beginning of the line.)

However, when I restarted my device, there was no change! After some testing, I found out that my device used the "Generic.kl" file, instead. So, I copied it into my backup folder, and edited the exact same line, in the same way.

Now it worked! :-)

Second to go, were all these useless extra home-screens. I just do not need five screens there. Three are plenty. I Googled and found that, this time, I want to edit my "/system/app/Launcher2.apk" file.

Again, I copied the file into my SD card, and then learned how to modify it. APK files are compiled files, meaning that they cannot be edited as simple text. Luckily...

I found APK Studio, which is able to edit APK files, and then rebuild them properly.

It is quite simple, when you have a forum post to guide you.

I was not sure which part I had to edit, so I Googled, and found a forum thread about exactly what I wanted, and even some more. The instructions are super easy, and it took me exactly two minutes to do this from start to end.

You do not want to make a typo error in this step! This is a system APK file, which means errors are fatal, and are sometimes not recoverable!

I found the lines of code I wanted to or edit, carefully made the changes - rechecking them for mistakes, and then clicked File -> Save All, and then Project -> Build. I renamed the new "rebuilt.apk", under the "build" directory, into the original "Launcher2.apk" name.

Just in case, before copying the new file back, I went ahead and cleared the fourth and fifth home screens from widgets.

I then copied the file back to my Android device, and over-wrote the original file in the "/system/app" folder. This made my device freeze, so I waited about twenty seconds to make sure it is done copying, and then pressed (or held) the Power Button, to reboot the device.

Happily, the device works fine, and now I have only three home screens, just like I wanted! :-D

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Business of Death

Download this blogcast in MP3 Audio.

"Satisfaction guaranteed, or your life back," said the technician, a slight young man with disinterest in his eyes.

"Can it, somehow, go wrong?" Lemrick asked worriedly.

Since the discovery of the after-life, and the device that can restore people from the cold grip of death, there had been a boom in people asking to entertain the experience. Lemrick, being a cautious latecomer, decided that he wanted a glimpse of it, as well.

"You mean, could you die?" The technician verified.

"I mean, do I come back... all right?" Lemrick explained.

This story would do well,
with a second part full of Futurama references.

"Yes, you do. Although," the technician gossiped intimately, "some people come back different. But, that is the whole purpose of the thing, eh?" He laughed, and passed over the bun to Lemrick.

The 'Bun of Death', or 'Bun of Doom', and even 'Roll of Call', was how previous customers had amiably chosen to refer to the edible gizmo that would remove them from the world of the living.

Lemrick sat down on a comfortable gel cushion, folded his legs, and took a bite. Then ensued the dream that is not a dream...

All Time Popular Posts