kjwcode: Serious putty. (serious)
Notes:

- my reference to "especially when it comes to sexual matters" is a reference to his impregnation of a much younger political staffer. I believe this is abuse of authority on the same order as what he is supposedly trying to prevent.

- my reference to "This may be the only truth in this whole letter" refers to his letter to which I am responding.

Begin:

I'll respond inline, below.

-----Original Message-----
From: vic.toews.c1@parl.gc.ca
Sent: Wednesday, 22 February, 2012 10:41
To: kjw@pathillogical.com
Subject: RE: Stop Online Spying

"""Thank you for contacting my office regarding Bill C-30, the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act."""

The name of the bill is disingenuous and insulting, very much inline with the "with us or with the child pornographers" line you trotted out. You should be ashamed on both counts. It is very lucky you enjoy parliamentary privilege and an appointment -- if the Canadian public were those you were beholden to, you would enjoy neither.

"""Canada's laws currently do not adequately protect Canadians from online exploitation and we think there is widespread agreement that this is a problem."""

Untrue, and an opinion, respectively. We frequently hear in the news that people are arrested and convicted of all flavours of on-line crime. This is proof positive that the existing laws work and new laws should be:

- VERY carefully considered
- made in consultation with Canada's privacy commissioners AND the public
- not reduced to bullet points -- Canadians will NOT have a 100+-page bill reduced to a few convenient bullet points and be told "just trust me", especially as it's come to light that we *can't* trust you, especially when it comes to sexual matters
- minimal, only giving EXACTLY what powers are necessary to the EXACT people it is necessary to give them to, with NO over-reaching and ABSOLUTELY NO powers given because they may one day prove to be useful -- they MUST be IMMEDIATELY useful
- PROVABLY useful and MUST be accompanied with citations of MULTIPLE, RELEVANT, SPECIFIC cases where the existing laws have proven to be lacking

"""We want to update our laws while striking the right balance between combating crime and protecting privacy."""

Then why was there no apparent effort in this direction?

"""Let me be very clear: the police will not be able to read emails or view web activity unless they obtain a warrant issued by a judge and we have constructed safeguards to protect the privacy of Canadians, including audits by privacy commissioners."""

This does not seem to be the case. To sum it up one concern in a few words, it is remarkably easy for any of a wide variety of people and roles to engage in "fishing expeditions", and there are many more privacy concerns than that in this bill. The only hope for bill C-30 is to kill it and put forward a bill that doesn't have the baggage of defeated rhetoric and a misleading name. Truly; do you think American-style politics and lawmaking are acceptable in Canada? I do not, and a great many Canadians agree. Again, you and the others who thought this was at all acceptable should be ashamed.

"""What's needed most is an open discussion about how to better protect Canadians from online crime. We will therefore send this legislation directly to Parliamentary Committee for a full examination of the best ways to protect Canadians while respecting their privacy."""

"Open discussion" is discussion with ALL INVOLVED, not just in Parliament. To put it bluntly, what the hell makes you believe discussion amongst a few hundred people who are not representative of people with a knowledge in the state of the technical art of the Internet and other electronic communications media at all open? You are trying to write a law about something which you provably do not understand. Again, this is shameful.

"""For your information, I have included some myths and facts below regarding Bill C-30 in its current state."""

Loaded terminology gets you nowhere, Vic. Nowhere. They are not completely myths, and your "facts" are not complely true -- and you are aware of that, or ought to be.

"""Sincerely,"""

Again, I doubt it.

"""Vic Toews
Member of Parliament for Provencher"""

This may be the only truth in this whole letter.

Yours very truly,

Kevin J. Woolley
Constituent of the North Vancouver City riding of British Columbia, writing to you in your capacity as a federal commissioner.

For reference, I leave your purported myths and facts intact:

"""
Myth: Lawful Access legislation infringes on the privacy of Canadians.

Fact: Our Government puts a high priority on protecting the privacy of law-abiding Canadians. Current practices of accessing the actual content of communications with a legal authorization will not change.

Myth: Having access to basic subscriber information means that authorities can monitor personal communications and activities.

Fact: This has nothing to do with monitoring emails or web browsing. Basic subscriber information would be limited to a customer's name, address, telephone number, email address, Internet Protocol (IP) address, and the name of the telecommunications service provider. It absolutely does not include the content of emails, phones calls or online activities.

Myth: This legislation does not benefit average Canadians and only gives authorities more power.

Fact: As a result of technological innovations, criminals and terrorists have found ways to hide their illegal activities. This legislation will keep Canadians safer by putting police on the same footing as those who seek to harm us.

Myth: Basic subscriber information is way beyond "phone book information".

Fact: The basic subscriber information described in the proposed legislation is the modern day equivalent of information that is in the phone book. Individuals frequently freely share this information online and in many cases it is searchable and quite public.

Myth: Police and telecommunications service providers will now be required to maintain databases with information collected on Canadians.

Fact: This proposed legislation will not require either police or telecommunications service providers to create databases with information collected on Canadians.

Myth: "Warrantless access" to customer information will give police and government unregulated access to our personal information.

Fact: Federal legislation already allows telecommunications service providers to voluntarily release basic subscriber information to authorities without a warrant. This Bill acts as a counterbalance by adding a number of checks and balances which do not exist today, and clearly lists which basic subscriber identifiers authorities can access.
"""
kjwcode: A perching chickadee. (chickadee)
One thing I really miss about being active on Freebase is doing the bird data thing. There was a lot there to begin with, and I added a lot more of it. I'm no longer active on Freebase for a variety of reasons, and I've been kind of missing the data thing.

Rather than give it up entirely, I'm building my own data set from scratch. It's a much more limited data set than Freebase's, but it's within reason for me to compile and maintain. I'm not using Freebase, Wikipedia, or any other aggregation site as a source. I've got the first few test entries published, mostly as a test of BuzzData's sense of humour when it comes to my workflow. So far, so good.

The NCBI and ITIS data comes right from the source, and the IUCN statuses are checked across a couple of common sites. The four-letter codes come right from the IBP, and so on and so forth -- I'm not stealing someone else's aggregate data and passing it off as data I've compiled. To the best of my ability to tell I'm permitted to use the information in this way. If I'm wrong, let me know.

I'll be building it up several entries at a time. Expect it to contain a useful amount of data in a few months or so.

ETA: Workflow changed -- now doing it on the iPad. It can be my morning commuter ferry task.
kjwcode: Phoebe character art. (phoebe)
Songs in no particular order, and especially not any order of importance.


Lessons learned:

Wasted -- Barstool Prophets
Whirlwind -- Beauty's Confusion
Fractured Fairytales -- Consolidated
A Million Things -- Perfume Tree
This Is Letting Go -- Rise Against
Rumours of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated -- Rise Against
Chalkline -- Strike Anywhere
Broken -- Peter Searcy
Ready to Fall -- Rise Against


Laid bare:

Autumn's Monologue -- From Autumn To Ashes
Ceremony -- New Order
A Skeleton On Display -- Now It's Overhead
Paradise -- Perfume Tree
Saviour -- Rise Against
September's Children -- Rise Against
Injection -- Rise Against
Miss Encyclopedia -- Antrabata
Hiding Place -- Cinephile


The past:

Voices Off Camera -- Rise Against
1979 -- Smashing Pumpkins
Silent All These Years -- Tori Amos
Contact -- Perfume Tree
Paper Wings -- Rise Against
My Tiled White Floor -- Curve
Everchanging -- Rise Against


The future:

Chasing Cars -- Snow Patrol
Sunshine So Fine -- Barstool Prophets
Both Oceans -- Perfume Tree


Yeah, it's a little Rise Against heavy, but it's hard to find artists who express themselves like that.
kjwcode: assert("it's going to be okay"); (it's going to be okay)
Lots of ups and downs. Today marked six years on the job with $dayjob. Well, technically yesterday did, but people are enamoured with this particular off-by-one error, so I'll roll with it. Still missing Suzie a lot. I was looking forward to having her at the wedding when R and I get married, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Fireworks are currently pissing me off beyond belief -- why is it okay for cretins to run about with explosives and generally be irresponsible with them? Police here in North Vancouver don't tend to do a lot of enforcement, but that's par for the course here for just about everything. Fun chats in IRC tonight, but I have stuck my foot in my mouth more times than I care to admit. Today just isn't a people day, I guess...
kjwcode: Bella, the little silly dog. (Default)
Okay, perhaps it's not insanity in the traditional sense, but it is pretty intense.

In no particular order, the last few weeks have involved my stepmother passing, many late nights, a fair amount of playing Glitch to keep my mind off things, upping my Ubuntu learning curve, upping my AWS learning curve, and a bunch of other stuff that's no less important but for some reason isn't coming to mind at the moment.

Rather than do my usual thing and go into detail on each of these, I'm just going to leave them and move forward. I'm happy to go into detail on any of them on request, though.
kjwcode: *sigh* (phoebe sigh)
The subject of today's fooling about was hton?() and ntoh?(). Probably more C than C++ there, and much more reading than playing with code, to be honest. Mostly, I spent time rolling the concept that that family of function is "not portable" around in my head. I'm trying to decide if the pedants are coming out to play on that one ("but it won't work on a 36-bit VAX running BSD 4.2 with patch..."), if the concept of switching natural host order to MSB (or simply doing nothing if it's already MSB) is more difficult than I give it credit for, or whether I just don't understand the thrust of that argument. I'm going to guess at the latter.

For all I can tell right now, it seems like people just want another excuse to write their own routine that does exactly the same thing to show how clever they are, or possibly to avoid getting real work done. I think it akin to writing one's own string class for no better reason than you're convinced you can do better than whatever STL implementation you use. In turn, I liken that to hand-tweaking the assembly output of your compiler because you think you can do better (excess hubris, rather than the rare times where it actually makes sense). It's one of those urges I've outgrown, thankfully.
kjwcode: assert("it's going to be okay"); (it's going to be okay)
This Is Letting Go by Rise Against makes them sound an awful lot like the Gin Blossoms. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
kjwcode: Viagra: $20.  In the TSA line-up. (anxiety)
One nice thing about Subversion is that it's easy to host repos yourself. One not-so-nice thing about Subversion is that it's centralised, which kind of puts a kink in the style I'd developed while using subjecting myself to Git. Someone brought up Mercurial on IRC today, and I realised I hadn't given it a fair shake, so that's what I'm doing now.

In a quick tour of the Mercurial docs I couldn't find an easy and complete way to host repos on one's own, but it turns out I'd actually signed up on Bitbucket a couple of weeks ago. It didn't take long to get a repo set up and pushed, and that owes to its large similarity to Github.

Now comes the interesting part -- trying Mercurial for a month or two to see how well it fits. Worst case, back to Subversion I go.
kjwcode: assert("it's going to be okay"); (it's going to be okay)
Like most new language standards, C++11 currently lacks a book describing what's new and giving some examples. Sure, you can skip from site to site and blog to blog and put it together for yourself, but I'd rather spend more time learning than searching.

I did some searching for books that might fit the bill and found two.

C++ Primer Plus, Sixth Edition wasn't in the top search results, but it's the one I bought based on the reputation of earlier editions. It's currently in pre-publication "rough cut" phase, but O'Reilly lets readers follow as the book's being worked on. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of that way of doing things! I don't need perfect information just yet -- I just need a bunch of pushes in the right direction.

The other book I found is Professional C++, 2nd Edition. I'm not as familiar with Wrox books as I am with O'Reilly, and I didn't see any sort of early access program. This book is also probably slightly ahead of my C++ skill level, as I still need the occasional extra bit of information to get things to click. At any rate, this book is due to be published in October.

At any rate, I'm happy to have something to work from. If you know what the perfect next step after C++ Primer Plus is, please let me know.
kjwcode: Segfault. (compiler complaint)
Catching up on C++11 and C++ in general now. On one hand it doesn't feel like it makes sense, given that Perl is such a versatile tool, and I don't really do anything important, anyway. On the other hand it feels like it's worth checking out now that the new standard is out.

I've seen the C++0x label for so long that I've taken to calling C++11 C++0xB instead. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of it, but it amuses me somewhat.
kjwcode: A woodpecker flies away with a power drill. (woodpecker)
In a move that stunned everyone who's heard of the LCL's fetish for not liking Linux, it decided to reverse its previous position and start working fine. As if that wasn't enough strangeness, it did it with a current distro.

Fedora 15 is its distro of choice, which is nice, given that it's mine as well. It appears that F15 got the correct Ralink driver and/or firmware added to the update stream sometime in the last weeks, and during the same period the ATI driver install script was fixed so it would install properly. The end result is a mostly-happy little lappie with a working wireless subsystem and the LCD firmly in "don't strobe" mode.

This makes me inordinately happy, as it now means I can use the operating system I actually want to use without having to boot Windows, start VirtualBox, boot Linux, and deal with such crappy performance that I wanted to tear my hair out, regardless of whether or not I have any. It also shows that if you have an AMD APU (like the E-350 in the LCL), the proprietary drivers are the way to go. Fortunately, this detail doesn't bother me as much as it bothers some other folks.
kjwcode: You must be tired 'cause you've been running through my mind all night.  Screaming. (pickup lines)
Ask Me Meme: One of the quirks of DW interaction in general: We think we are close, but really, we know nothing about each other. Ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away. Then if you want to, post this in your DW and find out what people don't know about you.
kjwcode: Bella, the little silly dog. (Default)
Initially I spun up one Linode in the US and one in the UK. I wasn't too surprised that the UK Linode didn't have IPv6, but I set out to find another one that did. I gave their Tokyo data center a shot, but came up empty there as well. Finally I checked their IPv6 page and found the best I could do for the moment was one in the eastern US. Now I've got us0 and us1, as far south and east as I can get them. I'll keep an eye on the IPv6 page and push another to whichever of London or Tokyo gets IPv6 first.

I don't have IPv6 at home yet (and knowing Shaw, won't for another decade) and Carat is still working on some IPv6 deployment issues, so it's good to have two well-connected machines with v6 to play on.
kjwcode: Bella, the little silly dog. (Default)
To Superb.net's credit, they've done the right thing -- they've waived the 30-day cancellation period, refunded the unused portion of what I've paid (plus an extra day or three, I think), and they're passing the last bits of information on to their networking team.

I've got to hand it to them for this -- they showed class when it matters most. Thanks to Superb.net for that.
kjwcode: Fuck this place. (dne)
After some bullshit and stress with Superb.net, I've decided to drop them as a provider. If you want specifics, ask -- I don't feel like telling the story again right now, other than to say that I respond fairly predictably to dismissive, condescending responses from tech support.

I've kicked off two Linodes to replace that machine. One's a CentOS 6 machine to handle the DNS and other stuff the Superb machine used to. The other is a Fedora 15 that will be mercilessly upgraded with each update until I have a good, solid C++11 environment.

I don't need huge amounts of transfer (at least, not any more) and I actually like the service that Linode provides. Heck, I love it. That's what brought me back there, rather than looking for another co-lo provider. I just don't have time to deal with untried, untested providers any more.

If you're looking for a co-lo provider and want a great one, check out Carat Networks. I still have a co-lo machine with them, and they've been nothing but great. You can't go wrong with them.
kjwcode: Knock yourself out. (knock yourself out)
In the past 24 hours I've found one each of active police, ambulance, and fire frequencies. All told I'm up to twenty or so memory slots used, so only 95% to go. I do need to start organising them for easy scanning, though.

I'm pretty impressed with how easy the TH-F6A is to learn to use. There are only a few fairly advanced things that I still have to look up -- the others are becoming habit now. This is much better than my last HT (also a Kenwood -- can't remember the model) where I pretty much had to have the manual close at hand to do much at all.
kjwcode: *banff* (*banff*)
It's only been a full day and so far I've found a few interesting frequencies. A couple of them I think are police. One's definitely fire department dispatch. My favourites so far are the harbour air traffic control and Vancouver maritime traffic channels. Not a bad haul so far! I do need to get my contact logger web UI started at some point, too. It'll be a couple of months before I test for my license, most likely (I'm shooting for an honours mark so I can broadcast on HF), but I'd like to have something in place for when I can broadcast and not have to migrate a bunch of data.
kjwcode: A woodpecker flies away with a power drill. (woodpecker)
It's on its way. I ordered the Kenwood TH-F6A from the local place. It should arrive at my office later today or tomorrow, along with a copy of an up-to-date study guide for my basic license. My old study guide is "new for the year 2000 exams", so something tells me it wouldn't have been up to snuff, with all the rebanding and whatnot that's gone on. Graphs that don't look generated by a Commodore 64 will be a nice thing, too. :)
kjwcode: Citation needed. (citation needed)
After much checking about and figuring out what's available in Canada, it seems to me that the Kenwood TH-F6A is the best bang for the buck in amateur handhelds. 0.01-1.3GHz receive, built-in 1200/9600 TNC ready (works with external unit), wireless remote, built nice and sturdy, and all that good stuff. I can pick one up locally for about CAD360 before HST. Can anyone suggest an equivalent or better model in the same price range?
kjwcode: Click. (click)
A decade or so ago I had a handheld amateur radio unit and was getting ready for my advanced amateur license test. This process ended when I got in the car one day, only to discover that someone had broken in and stolen the unit from the glovebox -- on the only night it had ever been left in there.

Now someone (okay, it was [personal profile] sophie) got me all interested in radio again, especially the scanning end of things. I was fond of scanning before, but now that scanner to PC interfaces are much more advanced, I think I could really get into it now.

My favourite unit so far is the Kenwood TH-F6A, which is a transceiver with a continuous 0.01 to ~1.3GHz receive capability (minus the mobile phone frequencies, of course). I could scan happily until I do my advanced test and get my license, then use it for VECTOR events, keeping in touch with my mom and stepfather when they're on the road, and so on.

I definitely can't afford that right now, though. Hopefully bonus time will provide just enough extra money to make it possible.
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