Time for another “old man shakes fist at sky” moment.


[several deleted attempts to justify why this time you should engage with safe guarding your privacy, and how i’m moving personal communications away from mail]

How about you get it installed:

Trust is in short supply these days. Trust that you can express yourself freely.

Photo Archiving?

I have a problem… yes, yes, i know. This is different.

One of my photography projects (lets call it IWTFY) is quite popular. This means that periodically there are requests for sets of images. When this happens i end up trolling through Lightroom libraries on several machines looking for images, exporting them at an appropriate size / dpi, gathering them into one place, packaging them for distribution, uploading them to be downloaded. Bleugh!

What i need is a place that i can:

  • archive / upload a full-sized processed image
  • tag / label all images
  • search / select subsets
  • define an export size
  • have everything processed into a download bundle

Does such a thing exist? Is it worth paying for? Should i just get my shit together and import everything into a new Lightroom library on one machine?


What is Twitter Doing?

Don’t think twitter and i are going to stay friends for much longer… which is a real shame because up until recently it has been a really useful tool for keeping up / reconnecting with friends around the world.

To me twitter is a fairly private place* – i have a private account and have had since day one, only follow people that i know or are posting things that will be relevant, automatically prune my tweets with a month long moving window, am cautious about accepting new follow requests. Consequently my interactions with celebrities, brands, clickbaiters and other assorted scum of the earth is greatly limited.

Having curated my set of follows over time it has become a reliable means to keep up with what friends are doing (many of which live far far away), a feed of research happenings (mostly security and climate change related), and an “important” events feed (earthquakes, prime ministers fucking pigs, that sort of thing…)

That has all worked really well for a while. And then recently it stopped being so frictionless. At first it was just the website, but that was alright because the iPad client was still nice and simple. Then promoted tweets started coming up in the iPad feed… first i blocked all of them, then i started reporting them as spam. That was followed by ‘who to follow’ (otherwise known as, “fuck off! stop being creepy!”) and ‘while you were away’ (are there people too stupid to manage a timeline?). And, then i deleted it.

Which left me with the Mac client. When the App Store update for that one came i made a backup of the current client, and have been steadfastly refusing to be tricked into getting rid of the “1 update to apply” flash on the icon.

Eventually that client is going to stop working, and the only way forward from that point is deleting my account!

Obviously there are plenty of twitter replacements, but i know from past experience that it’s pretty much impossible to get any level of engagement on those platforms. Something new will come along, catch the zeitgeist, and we’ll do this whole rollercoaster ride again.

Which brings me back to the original question: what is twitter doing?!

Well, in the grand traditional of silicon valley startups, obviously they are attempting ‘monetise their user-base’. The people running the company now are not the same as those who put the original idea out there – they are long gone, and busy frittering away more money than they can ever reasonably be expected to spend in a lifetime on coming up with the “next big thing”. Which leaves us, the user-base, to deal with a wave of vultures all attempt to cash in before the collapse. Short-term profit over all.


*  this is probably an oddly considered use of twitter, or any SNS for that matter, but to me the wide open dash for followers / following is far more bizarre. In what social situation would you make connections and express your thoughts to almost complete strangers. What is normal about having hundreds / thousands of “friends” that you don’t know?

The situation is obviously different if your engagement with twitter is for promotion, information dissemination, performance, art, etc. but purely personal accounts? Odd.

Blau SIM in Japan

[Posting because i couldn’t find this information easily online]

Was rather surprised to find that my venerable unlocked Vodafone branded Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (shipped in 2008!) with a German SIM *now* works in Japan. That’s notable as two years ago the exact same phone and Sim resolutely refused to connect to anything!

If only it was something other than stubbornness that stopped me from “upgrading” – i’ve never bought a phone, and see very little need to start now, he Luddited.

The rates aren’t terrible for what i need. It’s 99¢ / min for voice, 19¢ / SMS, and 99¢ / MB for data. The only data i need is for mail, and thus far i’ve yet to manage to the use a megabyte in a week. The only “problem” is that it’s completely impossible to decrypt / encrypt pgp on this thing… well, maybe there is a Symbian pgp mail app out there somewhere, but you have to draw the line somewhere!

Also finally bought the infamous CA-100C cable and can charge thing thing off a laptop / iDevice wall-wart. Worldwide mobility is within my grasp, etc.

GPGMail Beta for 10.10

You can get it here:

For some reason that’s the best link i can find…

I’ve only had it installed for a couple of days and stability isn’t terrible (one or two related crashes i think…) Up until that point i’d be living out of the services menu, which isn’t bad until you need to deal with attachments, and need other command line tools to decode / extract mime parts. Even then it’s not that bad, and will always be free.

Edit: the notes on setting up GPGTools Services are here, and the command line tool for mime is ‘ripmime‘.

Building the GPGTools Mail Bundle


The usual dance. You upgrade an OS X release and your plugins get disabled. As they are working with unpublished APIs this isn’t in the least bit surprising. Apple really should get their act together and make easily extensible – if they can’t include PGP support by default, at least make it easy for the good people that do. Changing the API between beta and GA is a dick move.

If you followed the link above you’ll know that the GPGTools mail bundle is moving to a paid model. That seems like a sensible decision to me. When they get that system setup i’ll pay. In the meantime i wanted to see how easy it was to build from the source. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t get you a working mail bundle.

IMPORTANT: the below won’t give you working GPGMail in!! It just shows you how to build and install the currently broken version.

That said, if you’re interested here are the steps:

  • install XCode
  • clone the git project, In a terminal:
$ mkdir src ; cd src
$ git clone
$ git checkout yosemite
$ cd GPGMail
$ make
  • the above will build everything but fail to create the actually bundles due to an issue with signing. To fix that open the Xcode project:
$ open ./GPGMail.xcodeproj
  • in ‘Navigate’ menu, select ‘Reveal in Project Navigator’. Open the GPGMail project in the left most pane, and select the ‘GPGMail_Updater.xcodeproj’ target. In the centre pane, in the ‘Identity’ section, change the ‘Signing’ to ‘None’. The project seems to auto-save on close… no idea, i’m not an Xcode user.
  • Now go back to the terminal and reexecute the ‘make’ command.
  • To manually install the bundle, close, and copy execute the following:
$ cp -r ./build/Release/GPGMail.mailbundle ~/Library/Mail/Bundles/

And restart It should tell you that the bundle is incompatible and is being disabled. This is the part that the GPGTools developers are working on fixing.

Encrypt the Internet?!

Over at Wired they’re blistering their lips again:

The Heartbleed bug crushed our faith in the secure web, but a world without the encryption software that Heartbleed exploited would be even worse. In fact, it’s time for the web to take a good hard look at a new idea: encryption everywhere.

Followed by an article (i’m almost reluctant to link to it…) that goes on:

Most major websites use either the SSL or TLS protocol to protect your password or credit card information as it travels between your browser and their servers. Whenever you see that a site is using HTTPS, as opposed to HTTP, you know that SSL/TLS is being used. But only a few sites — like Facebook and Gmail — actually use HTTPS to protect all of their traffic as opposed to just passwords and payment details.

Which is such unmitigated bollocks that it’s hard to know where to start. Do they really not understand this? The likes of Facebook and Google make their money from flogging the relationships between the personal data that they collect on their cannon fodder. For Google this business amount to something like 97% of revenue, all the fluff about making knowledge available to humanity is just that: fluff. The real goal is monetising mass data collection by selling it to advertisers. Consumer cannon fodder, pure and simple. Facebook? Don’t know the numbers, but presumably equivalent or worse. The silicon valley business model is pure poison for privacy.

If they were interested in privacy they’d be serious about encryption of data at rest, they’d set themselves up to be cryptographically unable to access your data. Until they do that they are willing victims to any government that orders them to “bend and brace”. That they are not even making an effort to fight for this level of protection for their “product” tells you everything that you need to know.

This post was bought to you by The Swans track Raping a Slave (irony overdose as i link to a google property that you probably don’t even ad block…)