BitTorrent Sync

Since the cloud has been seeded with poison (see what i did there…) i’ve been deleting accounts and try to move away from centralised services. One of the things that has been done away with is Dropbox. That turned out to be rather prescient… not that things aren’t already legally pretty stupid for any US hosted service.

Mostly if there is data that people want to share it turns up in my mailbox unencrypted (and therefore backed-up by the NSA / GCHQ…), if it’s too large for that then it’ll be on Dropbox. Privacy is still way to difficult. There is literally only one person who routinely manages to send me things encrypted, be it mail, data, whatever. It’s obviously still too difficult. Even GPGMail is too much for some OS X users… some of this is the usual magical thinking stemming from, “if i’ve done nothing wrong, i’ve got nothing to hide”, while some is genuine fear about not wanting to standout by daring to communicate privately. Cowed much, citizen consumer?

People still routinely look at me like i’m insane for asking if they have the means to communicate with me privately. Even those who are communicating obviously personal / private information. Until it’s the default… losing / lost battle.


BitTorrent Sync is interesting. It’s an application / service that you run locally that allows others to securely share a directory on your machine with others. Setup is as simple as pointing the application at a directory, generating a secret key for that directory, and then sharing that key. Obviously there are the usual problems of sharing the key securely, but there is PGP (haha, see above), OTR (thanks Google for all your good work on fucking that up…), or sending a printed QR Code by regular mail… we’re so screwed! When the other parties run the application, giving it the shared secret key, they get a sync’ed copy of the directory. Changes you make to the directory (new files, changes to files, etc) will be propagated to all those with the secret. The synchronisation happens without any of the data being stored on centralised servers, which are only involved to facilitate the connectivity between the two peers – in the bittorrent sense, it’s a tracker.

The client on OS X is pretty polished, although the terms used are probably still a little jargon-ish. There is no official UI client for Linux, but there are implementations out there. As the code isn’t open, there are all the usual potentials for conspiracy, but that could be overcome by allowing additional implementations of the protocol.

My sense is that this isn’t the magic bullet for safe / secure file sharing. At least not yet, and certainly not until the channels that are needed to share the keys are secured… there are also completely open alternatives out there, but expect the experience to even poorer in terms of client support, and UI polish.

That turned into a long rant to say, “meh, it works, but not yet.”

Maugham – Collected Short Stories Volume I

51edWkqid+LThe story ‘Rain‘ seems to be well known / famous… but it had never crossed my horizons until now. What a way to start a collection of short stories!

Simply saying that these pieces are “good” doesn’t begin to cover the range of styles, emotions and weights that they touch. And while the overall sense of ‘white man’s burden’ is obviously pervasive, it’s explored from such varied angles that it doesn’t really get repetitive.

It’ll be interesting to see if i feel the same about them at the end of the next volume.

7 a Day?

For some reason this was interesting:

Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – a familiar mantra for those concerned about their own and their children’s health – may not, after all, be enough, according to a new report by scientists, who suggest we should instead be aiming for seven a day, and mostly vegetables at that.

– Fruit and vegetable intake: five a day may not be enough, scientists say, Guardian

Made me wonder how many fruits / vegetables i eat a day. The whole “portions” things is obviously the point, so i thought i’d steer well clear of that, and just count how many different fruits / vegetables i eat on a normal day. Doubt i’ll be able to do this for more than a couple of days without getting bored… (you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear!)

1. Breakfast

  • half an apple
  • half a pear
  • banana
  • nuts, ~20g (1 brazil nut, 3 cashews, the rest walnuts / hazelnuts / almonds)

2. Lunch

  • bowl of split pea soup (split peas, onion, shitake mushrooms)
  • large salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato, cooked green beans, new potatoes (cooked), carrot, avocado, red onion, broccoli (only the stem…), with hemp oil / apple vinegar)
  • two dried figs

Will update with Dinner after that happens… and here is dinner

3. Dinner

  • yasai itame (japanese stirfry) (cabbage, leek, carrot, onion, garlic, thai chili, smoked tofu, red onion, shitake mushrooms, nori (seaweed))
  • pickled turnip (julienned white turnip, plum vinegar)
  • Augusteiner Braeu München Edelstoff (carbs from beer!)
  • grapefruit

Should note that i’m currently on  my spring “reset” and therefore eating more vegetables and less carbs / fats than is perhaps usual. Breakfast is usually a bowl of some oat based cereal with soya milk, a banana, and nuts. Lunch would sometimes involve noodles or bread, but the above is actually pretty representative…

Edit: a rough count is ~25 different fruits / vegetable varieties in a day. Lets see what happens tomorrow.

Nightmare Nr. 16376247

First recollection is stepping off the back of the dive boat, on the outer parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Hit the water and go to take the first breath, but the valve isn’t open. With no air in my vest, start to sink. Quickly. The water is crushing me. The boat is moored at the edge of the reef. The drop away is probably a 1000m. Start trying to get out of my vest, while kicking upwards, still falling…

and wake up struggling.

Oddly, i take this as a sign that the oceans are calling me, and it’s time to go diving… just don’t forget those safety checks!

It Takes Time


Every now and then, i’ll look at one of these kinds of shots as i’m paging through “past glories” and suddenly stop, wondering ‘what on earth… ohhh! clever!’. This was one of those.

Oh, and look at the light that is parallel to the top of the frame. Not a very smart way to try to get things level / square. Live and learn.

4AD Emergency

One of the newer(?) 4AD artists, Sohn, was looking for cover art, and put a template for people to use. I’ve literally waited my entire life for this! This is obviously my moment…



I tell myself that Nigel would approve… but in reality he’d probably tell me it was derivative, needed more movement, and some aspect of water or trees. Oh, and a fish. Definitely a fish!