Lacking Stylus And Style

Jan. 17th, 2017 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysromantic_feed

Posted by BD

Grocery Store | Kansas City, MO, USA

(While in high school I work at a grocery store. Our card reader has a stylus attached that fell off, so the manager puts up a sign that said “please use finger.” A gentleman comes up to the register with a few items.)

Me: *scans items* “Hi, how are you?”

Customer: “Fine. Just these, please.”

Me: *finishes scanning* “Your total is [total].”

Customer: *looks for stylus*

Me: “Oh, the stylus broke off. You have to use your finger.”

Customer: “That’s what she said.” *winks, creepy smile*

Me: *shocked* “Okay… Have a nice night, sir.”

Customer: “Oh, I will.” *winks again, leaves*

The post Lacking Stylus And Style appeared first on Funny & Unusual Romantic & Love Stories - Not Always Romantic.

(no subject)

Jan. 17th, 2017 08:08 am
nestra: Fandom is hard! (hard)
[personal profile] nestra
Damnit, I stretched this entry across like three days, then hit the wrong button and lost the draft.

DS9 rewatch:

"Past Tense"

Oh, a two-part time traveling episode. These are not always good, IJS.

If all of the senior staff are on the Defiant, who the hell is running the station?

Sisko mentions a sister in Portland. Brothers mentioned in a previous episode, now a sister? Do we ever see anything of these people or hear more about them?

Bill Smitrovich and Clint Howard are in these episodes. (Howard only briefly, as a complete weirdo.)

It feels like, as is often the case, the second part is a letdown. But honestly, it may just be that it hits too close to home. People in the 21st century who have no jobs or places to live, being shunted into districts they're not allowed to leave? I have enough reality in my reality. I don't need it in my space TV.

"Life Support"

Oh, lord, this episode. I vividly remember where I was when I was watching this episode, and how I noped out when it became clear where they were going. As far as I know, it's the only episode I never finished.

The subplot of Nog being a complete chauvinist asshole is not charming, and I don't care if it's just because of his cultural upbringing. IDIC and all that, but it's still shitty. (Jake's date is played by Lark Voorhies of Saved by the Bell fame.)

They try to raise the stakes high enough that it justifies what they do to Bareil and what he does to himself, but I find it unconvincing. There are very Trek-y moral questions raised. After multiple surgeries replacing body parts, when does someone become a different person? Does a peace treaty justify the cost of someone's life? But in the end, we're just watching a character be tortured.

"Heart of Stone"

And now this episode. I also remember this one quite well, for better reasons. Odo is a lovely whumping target. The story of how he got his name...ow.

Kira's got a much more flattering haircut now.

This is the first time Nog expresses a desire to join Starfleet. It kind of comes out of the blue, but then the episode does a good job exploring it. I wonder what happened to Nog's mother.

Aw, Bashir and Sisko have a talk about an ensign who's budding, i.e., pregnant. Bashir and O'Brien are throwing him a baby shower. Bless them.

It's weird that the main plot with Odo and Kira isn't at all affected by the what happened in the previous episode. I wonder if they were not always meant to air together.

"Destiny"

Hey, it's that guy! Erick Avari. He's also been on TNG and Enterprise. And Tracy Skoggins as a Cardassian.

The Cardassian scientists have a blue highlights on their necks and in the "spoon" shape on their foreheads. They talk about the Science Ministry -- I wonder if this makeup is supposed to indicate that. Or a caste thing, maybe?

O'Brien and one of the scientists learn to respect each other, except it had to include the inevitable sexual tension. It would have been nice to skip that and just have the whole thing be about their abilities.

Sisko struggling with being the "Emissary" and his place in Bajoran faith, versus his responsibilities as a Starfleet officer and commander of the station. I'm glad they never tried to paper over this plotline.

Music Meme

Jan. 17th, 2017 08:11 am
muccamukk: Jason Mamoa playing the guitar. (SGA: Guitar)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Tagged by [personal profile] garrideb

Rules: You can tell a lot about a person by the music they listen to. Put your music on shuffle and list the first ten songs, then tag 10 people. 

1. P!nk - Eventually
2. Hilary Hahn - Bach’s Sonata #3 in C - 4. Allegro Assai
3. Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces
4. Daughter - Tomorrow
5. E.S. Posthumus - Nara
6. Howard Shore and Ben del Maestro - Minas Tirith
7. Bing Crosby - All of My Life
8. The New Pornographers - Challengers
9. k.d. lang & Siss Boom Bang - Hungry Bird
10. La Roux - Bulletproof

Tagging: whoever wants to do it.

And this, folks, is why I don’t push shuffle all very much.
oursin: Photograph of Queen Victoria, overwritten with Not Amused (queen victoria is not amused)
[personal profile] oursin

Have been reading - it's pretty short - THE SINS OF THE CITIES of the PLAIN, OR THE RECOLLECTIONS OF A MARY-ANN WITH SHORT ESSAYS ON SODOMY and TRIBADISM by Jack Saul (privately printed in London, 1881, now available courtesy of Project Gutenberg), famous work of Victorian gay (though not exclusively) porn, featuring a certain amount of RPF in that Boulton and Park feature among the characters. However, I think that may be to convey a sense of verisimilitude and reportage to the narrative, and had it been written c. 1890 our narrator would be having been hanging out with Podge Somerset and telegraph boys in Cleveland Street...

One can quite see why it was considered an obscene work by the Victorians, given that sexual relations between men were criminal at the time.

However, the present day content warnings would be for problematic consent (there's a consistent trope that's applied across the board where there's a shift from 'aaaargh stop' to 'ooooh don't stop' from initiating a virgin to fladge), child sexual abuse, and what I suspect are undesirable lubrication practices, if this happens at all. Also some episodes that are not fun fladge but serious sadism.

It includes a number of scenarios that seem pretty stock Vict-porn - brother-sister incest (adults, consensual, and in fact incest wasn't a crime until 1908), birching, voyeurism, young men cross-dressed as girls (though voluntarily and not forced feminisation) and group sex in sandwiches and daisy-chains. Several of these had me going, would that be even possible?

Also enormous erections. And reference to the narrator's membrum virile as 'Mr Pego'.

Mostly about male-male sex, with some m-f activity (in and out of orgies), but although there is an appendix on 'Tribadism': ' a vice which every man in his heart looks on with kindly eyes' not much to offer in the f-f line.

carthaginians: ([mcu] my thinking face)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
You put on some new pants. I put
on some sunlight. I put on a coyote. You
put on a bigger coyote. You put on all
of the coyotes! You put on the sand as it flies
beneath your incredible little paws. I put on
rain not reaching the desert. You put on how we
feel sad after this. You put on the sadness. You
put on methods for dealing with it. The sadness tries
to put you on but you say No! You wrestle
the sadness to the ground. You are big and need
large wings. You put on the large wings. You are still
a coyote. You put on the howling. You put on
things that howl back. There is nothing
you won’t put on. You put on the darkness.
You put on some stars and even what
is between them. You put on the moon. The moon
that shines! You put on how we want
to stay here! You put on how we forget where
we were before. You put on the earth how
it cracks. You put on its face when it sees us.

Not being sarcastic

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:18 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
There's a title I didn't expect to use :)

I've always enjoyed sarcasm: not as a put-down, but as crafting just the perfect thing to say. And I still do, when I'm not arguing with the person I'm talking to. If I'm expressing frustration, or ranting, or humorously exaggerating, or doing anything where I don't expect someone to disagree, I often express things sarcastically if I find it funny.

But inspired by ciphergoth, I've recently been noticing that I often have an impulse to be sarcastic when someone says something I massively disagree with, but it usually means that I'm very certain, but I *don't* have any facts to hand which will be convincing to *someone else*. (It may be effective to onlookers who aren't already entrenched against what I think, but not at persuading someone who disagrees.)

If I think, "how would I phrase the basic point I'm making in a non-sarcastic way", it's generally something like, "I think that's really wrong", but without much specifics. And I've been making an effort to say nothing, or say the straight-forward version.

PSA from your amanuensis

Jan. 17th, 2017 03:09 pm
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Volume the Ninth now available for your collated reading enjoyment. Any particular appreciation may be expresst in the usual manner by way of PayPal.

Your amanuensis also wishes to mention that we are fast coming to the end of yet another volume. However, as there are several matters that remain unresolved, and upon which there is speculation, it is hoped that another volume of these memoirs may surface in due course.

Work proceeds apace upon the task of editing these memoirs with a view to a wider audience.

Women & politics

Jan. 17th, 2017 01:47 pm
elisi: (Grandma Clinton)
[personal profile] elisi


Warren embraces her role as a top Democratic foil to Trump

The “Women’s March on Washington,” explained
It was organized to put the Trump administration on notice about women’s rights — and it could draw more attendees than the inauguration itself.

(no subject)

Jan. 17th, 2017 05:25 am
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Catastrophe!
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 2
word count: 1022


:: This is part of the Mercedes story arc, set at the end of Aida's first week as an intern in the Maldives.

::PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION: There is an incident while diving, but Aida will be FINE. There is a somewhat detailed focus on her growing panic. The character is in peril, but it is NOT mortal, though no one else knows it at the time. One character is an entitled twit, so expect snarky, insulting comments. ::




She needed to dive. The ache of frustration diffused more as they sailed toward the dive marker. As always, the glint of sunlight on the water set fire to her imagination and lifted her spirits. Gradually, the knife-crease between her eyebrows smoothed out. When they arrived at the bright red buoy, Aida noted the number on the yellow and blue flag, automatically plotting the site in relation to their research area. The sound of the motor was still fading when the first four divers dropped backwards into the water.
Read more... )

WhatsApp Security Vulnerability

Jan. 17th, 2017 12:09 pm
[syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed

Posted by Bruce Schneier

Back in March, Rolf Weber wrote about a potential vulnerability in the WhatsApp protocol that would allow Facebook to defeat perfect forward secrecy by forcibly change users' keys, allowing it -- or more likely, the government -- to eavesdrop on encrypted messages.

It seems that this vulnerability is real:

WhatsApp has the ability to force the generation of new encryption keys for offline users, unbeknown to the sender and recipient of the messages, and to make the sender re-encrypt messages with new keys and send them again for any messages that have not been marked as delivered.

The recipient is not made aware of this change in encryption, while the sender is only notified if they have opted-in to encryption warnings in settings, and only after the messages have been re-sent. This re-encryption and rebroadcasting effectively allows WhatsApp to intercept and read users' messages.

The security loophole was discovered by Tobias Boelter, a cryptography and security researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He told the Guardian: "If WhatsApp is asked by a government agency to disclose its messaging records, it can effectively grant access due to the change in keys."

The vulnerability is not inherent to the Signal protocol. Open Whisper Systems' messaging app, Signal, the app used and recommended by whistleblower Edward Snowden, does not suffer from the same vulnerability. If a recipient changes the security key while offline, for instance, a sent message will fail to be delivered and the sender will be notified of the change in security keys without automatically resending the message.

WhatsApp's implementation automatically resends an undelivered message with a new key without warning the user in advance or giving them the ability to prevent it.

Note that it's an attack against current and future messages, and not something that would allow the government to reach into the past. In that way, it is no more troubling than the government hacking your mobile phone and reading your WhatsApp conversations that way.

An unnamed "WhatsApp spokesperson" said that they implemented the encryption this way for usability:

In WhatsApp's implementation of the Signal protocol, we have a "Show Security Notifications" setting (option under Settings > Account > Security) that notifies you when a contact's security code has changed. We know the most common reasons this happens are because someone has switched phones or reinstalled WhatsApp. This is because in many parts of the world, people frequently change devices and Sim cards. In these situations, we want to make sure people's messages are delivered, not lost in transit.

He's technically correct. This is not a backdoor. This really isn't even a flaw. It's a design decision that put usability ahead of security in this particular instance. Moxie Marlinspike, creator of Signal and the code base underlying WhatsApp's encryption, said as much:

Under normal circumstances, when communicating with a contact who has recently changed devices or reinstalled WhatsApp, it might be possible to send a message before the sending client discovers that the receiving client has new keys. The recipient's device immediately responds, and asks the sender to reencrypt the message with the recipient's new identity key pair. The sender displays the "safety number has changed" notification, reencrypts the message, and delivers it.

The WhatsApp clients have been carefully designed so that they will not re-encrypt messages that have already been delivered. Once the sending client displays a "double check mark," it can no longer be asked to re-send that message. This prevents anyone who compromises the server from being able to selectively target previously delivered messages for re-encryption.

The fact that WhatsApp handles key changes is not a "backdoor," it is how cryptography works. Any attempt to intercept messages in transmit by the server is detectable by the sender, just like with Signal, PGP, or any other end-to-end encrypted communication system.

The only question it might be reasonable to ask is whether these safety number change notifications should be "blocking" or "non-blocking." In other words, when a contact's key changes, should WhatsApp require the user to manually verify the new key before continuing, or should WhatsApp display an advisory notification and continue without blocking the user.

Given the size and scope of WhatsApp's user base, we feel that their choice to display a non-blocking notification is appropriate. It provides transparent and cryptographically guaranteed confidence in the privacy of a user's communication, along with a simple user experience. The choice to make these notifications "blocking" would in some ways make things worse. That would leak information to the server about who has enabled safety number change notifications and who hasn't, effectively telling the server who it could MITM transparently and who it couldn't; something that WhatsApp considered very carefully.

How serious this is depends on your threat model. If you are worried about the US government -- or any other government that can pressure Facebook -- snooping on your messages, then this is a small vulnerability. If not, then it's nothing to worry about.

Slashdot thread. Hacker News thread. BoingBoing post. More here.

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