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  • cqwww 10:40 pm on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    “On the Ethics of Planetary Scale Measurement Meta-Structures” – Zack Stein 

    This was one of my favourite conference talks this year. It was seen at ParTeck, which is an invite only annual conference hosted by the Human Data Commons (I’m in the board of this org) which bridges leaders in tech, and consciousness — two worlds that don’t normally intersect and often find challenging with the other — at least in my experience.

    I discovered after this talk Dr. Stein is also a member of the neurohacker collective!

     
    • cqwww 12:33 pm on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

      It’s time to bring in ride sharing programs already 

      I’ve been reading the ride sharing debate for some time. The most notable arguments against it, are related to the history of the most popular ride sharing program, Uber. Accusations of improper insurance (we have socialized insurance in B.C, easily solved) and below legal minimum hourly wages. People are opposed to allowing ride sharing companies here based on these two arguments — but if our legislation is so weak we don’t think these companies will have recourse for non-compliance, what does that say about our laws? More relevant, if we don’t have have recourse for companies paying below minimum wage, how many of them are out there right now? This is not a ride sharing issue, and should be considered separately.

      The reason I say we bring rides sharing into B.C, is because I’m a taxi user. The only people arguing against ride sharing are not regular taxi users. There is no regular taxi user that would make this argument, because the situation is so dire. If you’re going to comment on this post against ride sharing, please confirm you’re at least 3-figures-a-month in a taxi in B.C.

      The reason I say this is several:

      • Ask anyone with disabilities what their experience is with taxis, and just listen, don’t argue how you think you know better. Taxi companies here in Vancouver will often just hang up on my handicapped friends. Why? They might only want to go a short distance, such as my blind friend and regular taxi user. She misses many events because taxi companies have hung up on her, or they have taken her call and then never show up. Ride sharing services prevent both of these issues from occurring.
      • Taxis often just don’t show up. 2 of the last 3 times I’ve called a taxi, they simply didn’t show up. With Uber/Lyft, you know in seconds when you order a ride who’s picking you up, and how far away they are. Taxis have no responsibility here.
      • It’s a lot better if you’re waving down a taxi instead of calling, and a lot better if you’re mid-upper class, white, and traveling in a suitable direction. I say this, as it’s common for a taxi to pull over and see you, and just drive away; or to just drive by you if they don’t like the look of you. There are also many stories where they pull over, case you, and when they ask where you’re going, they don’t like the response, and just drive away. Ride sharing services have this judgement on racism, travel distance, and socio-economic standing resolved.
      • No way to follow-up with a driver. This can be simple from forgetting a sweater in a cab, or an ID, to more serious allegations of assault and sexual assault from a driver. Good luck getting your garments back from the taxi company, or knowing who drove you home last night. With Uber/Lyft, you know the identity of the driver and can easily have recourse if any of these situations take place. How many people have contacted a taxi company to follow-up with a violent act from a driver and get the cold shoulder and no way to identify their assailant? Even on the less extreme, knowing that a driver will have a reputation score and can clearly be identified changes driver behaviour. This might be anecdotal, but as someone who travels and uses ride-sharing services, Vancouver is a common joke in the regular traveler community due to its terrible taxi service, specifically the weak use of the word service. We’re a world class province with a laughable ability to transport our visitors around.

      One of my friends who is a world class expert in his field at Google just got poached by a popular video game company that exists here in Vancouver. On his week long visit to meet his senior team, he had one complaint — ability to travel via Uber/Lyft from his company meetings to downown.

      So if you’re concerned is that Uber is not going to be following our laws if they come here, work towards ensuring our labour laws are strong enough to discover and remediate companies who are non-compliant. Don’t fight against solutions for the disabled and vulnerable that don’t exist today. Let’s resolve this serious safety problem here in British Columbia as soon as possible.

       
      • Rupert 4:04 pm on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It seems ridiculous that Vancouver is the largest North American city without Uber/Lyft, a city known for its unaffordability and lack of infrastructure for people to use what little assets they own to make an income. Only concern I do have with Uber/Lyft is the tree hugger side of me, that NYC has seen an increase in cars/congestion within the city: https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-lyft-creating-traffic-cities-bruce-schaller-2018-7

      • Erin 10:15 am on October 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I hear those concerns, however, have you seen the research that shows ride hailing services like Uber actually INCREASE vehicles on the road, not decrease? Is that a good thing?

        Is there merit to improve public transit so that the need for these services is lessened?

        • cqwww 11:34 am on October 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply

          I have seen some anecdotal evidence in one city (NYC IIRC). Do I prioritize having a reliable transportation option for those who are disabled, vulnerable, drunk/stoned, and/or victims or what we have now over more vehicles on the road? Yes. Do I encourage simultaneously improving transit options for those are not in those categories, such as bike lanes and public transit? Heck yes. At least until the autonomous vehicle options arrive.
          Again, only those who don’t use taxis regularly argue against Uber, no regular taxi user does, because it’s so bad. Talk to actual taxi users who fit until those categories I listed above, before making a judgement related to other criteria.

    • cqwww 12:42 pm on October 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

      Collaborative Sunday Story Time – Oct 28, 2018 

      Add one sentence to the story as a comment:

      “Choosing not to deeply understand the perspective of the other person, is choosing an ocellus over true sight”, she opined, as she floated by him.

       
      • cqwww 11:33 pm on October 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

        Thoughts on Initiative Q 

        I responded to an influencer I know who is sharing links to Initiative Q. He’s an NDPer, so I empathize. Seriously though, he’s a math genius whom I respect, so I’m confused by the share. My response:

        Do you know more than I do here? I see no white paper. I see no evidence this is not an MLM/scam.

        Has everyone read their privacy policy who is giving them their browser info and email address and name? They share your personal information with “Business Partners, Service Providers, Affiliates, and Subcontractors” without identifying them, which is not GDPR compliant.
        “In certain circumstances you have a right to have Personal Data that we hold about you deleted.” is not compliant with Canadian privacy law.

        Maybe this is just an exercise in stealing personal information from [victims] who don’t read terms of service and privacy policies?

        I hope no one I care about falls for this.

         
        • cqwww 7:40 pm on October 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

          Join Vancouver’s newest busking band. 

          Did you know the Vancouver public library rents instruments? While checking out their renovated top two floors and rooftop patio, I decided to challenge myself and took home a 1/4 violin.

          After talking to my friend Claire, regaling her with my story of how I’m learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Thanks Chantal!), we’ve decided to start a busking band. Claire is going to take out an instrument she’s never played, and learn Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as well, and within 2 weeks, we plan on busking in Vancouver with our new found talent (we hope).

          We’ve decided to open the call out, as we could use some more people in our band, especially some percussion. So if you’re down for the challenge and also not very musically inclined, let us know, and take out an instrument you’ve never played, and join us on our busking adventure.

          Before returning the instruments, we’ll try to find a slot to get into the VPL’s inspiration lab so we can record our collaboration and have the memory live in permanence forever.

           
          • cqwww 12:12 pm on October 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
            Tags: #stopoverdose, carfentanil, , fentanyl, heroin, opiod   

            Carfentanil found in Vancouver region 

            Here in Vancouver, specifically in the downtown eastside (DTES), on average two people are dying from an overdose per day, because of fentanyl. Fentanyl is roughly between 50-100x more potent than morphine. Enter in the real nightmare in the room, but Karmic just reported that they’ve found carfentanil (and 4 other fentanyl analogs) while testing some drugs in West Vancouver. To put the risk is context, carfentanil is 100 times as potent as fentanyl, or 5,000 times as potent as a unit of heroin, and 10,000 times as potent as morphine!
            This is a good time to remind everyone that in Vancouver, there is free access to a Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) at 4 locations in Vancouver, where you can safely test your drugs. This device can identify multiple ingredients, including cutting agents, in minutes. It’s also a good reminder that Naloxone can reverse these affects, and you can get a kit for free at any pharmacy.

            Comparison of estimated lethal doses of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil Comparison of estimated lethal doses of heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil-Huffington Post, May 2, 2017

             
            • cqwww 11:47 am on October 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

              It’s time to seriously consider the Canadian government’s handling of cannabis 

              As the world looks on to Canada who will be somewhat legalizing Cannabis tomorrow, there have been several actions taken by the same government that are cause for alarm.

              The first, and most important takeaway is a reminder that cannabis is illegal federally in the United States, even though some individual states have legalized it. There are already documented cases of Canadians being asked at the border, “Have you ever tried cannabis?” as well as border agents rejecting Canadians due to their admitting of cannabis usage, even once, including evidence on social media.

              I’m nervous that as of October 17th there will be a wave of Canadians gloating about the cannabis change on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and that could affect their travel to the United States, for the rest of their lives. Think twice before documenting your participation and/or usage of cannabis on any piece of technology.

              So far I have covered the risk of disclosing usage to the the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, as well as posting it on social media, but the biggest concern to me is what the Canadian government is doing to protect you — or are they about to do the opposite?

              Why would I be concerned? During the recent NAFTA negotiations over the last few weeks, the Justin Trudeau Liberals have endorsed a U.S. War-on-drugs “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem” which was tabled at the United Nations. How the Canadian government will handle this new commitment to our neighbours is left to be seen.

              It’s also worth remembering that Liberal national defence critic at the time, Joyce Murray, endorsed the data-sharing behemoth and hugely unpopular omnibus Bill C-51, and had the entire Liberal party unanimously endorse it, when their role was to oppose it. The liberals promised to fix it under their last election campaign, but it’s sadly still on the books to this day and due to the secrecy, we don’t know how bad the data sharing and allowing our spies to act against us really is. It’s also worth the reminder that she, as an MP believes “Freedoms do not exist when there are attacks…“, but I digress…

              So in terms of Justin Trudeau and Liberal support for the U.S. War on drugs, where does that leave Canadians? They have not disclosed the countless data sharing agreements with our neighbours, that list would be useful. Another relevant example worth review is our extradition process; Canada has an extradition treaty with the U.S, and has already extradited a Canadian for violating US drug laws even though though they committed no crimes on Canadian soil. If the American government thinks you might be guilty of participating in cannabis in any way against their own laws on their soil — is the Canadian government ready to send you to an American prison at the request of the American government? They’ve done it before.

              It’s also unknown what the international repercussions will be for violating 3 UN drug conventions.

              What does this mean for Canadians? While profiting from the sale of cannabis, is the Canadian government now sharing the personal participation of cannabis with the U.S. authorities, putting the livelihoods of all Canadians at risk?

              This means you should not trust any system that is collecting your personal information, including credit card, for the purchase of cannabis once it becomes “legal”, as that information is likely shared with the U.S. in some capacity or another. For example, is the credit card company itself American? (Visa, Mastercard etc). Is the Shopify instance using any third party american privacy trackers? It’s a good time to check if you have any privacy protection from your browser.

              We have an election next year, and every four years after that — what happens if a future government reverses this cannabis legalization decision, and demands a list of every purchaser of cannabis from the distributors and retailers?

              I’m no judge of your participation in the cannabis industry, but this so called legalization sure seems to be putting a lot more Canadians at risk.

               
            • cqwww 9:18 am on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

              Collaborative Sunday Story Time 

              Add one sentence to the story as a comment, to continue the story.

              Once the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) realized they couldn’t compete with Mr. Trump, Kanye, or Banksy, they sent their latest climate report to Sotheby’s auction house with the intention of auctioning it off, with a rigged matchbox inside the frame.

               
              • Claire 9:33 am on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

                Unknown to IPCC, a wealthy oil baron attending the auction had inadvertently bumped up Sotherby’s thermostat dial, and the ticking time bomb that was the frame was sat dangerously near the radiator where an ice sculpture also silently dripped by the night’s electronics.

            • cqwww 9:00 pm on October 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

              Interactive Tutorials 

              While you can learn anything you want for free online these days, or in person, some people learn best with interactive tutorials. For those people, I’ve provided this post to get you started.

              Let me know if you know of any interactive tutorials I’m missing that teach something other than what is taught in the lessons below, that I should add to the list!

              Codecademy (HTML, CSS, Python, JavaScript, Java, SQL, Bash/Shell, Ruby)
              freecodecamp (HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, Databases, Git/Github, Node.js, React.js, D3.js)
              DataCamp (R, Python, SQL, Spark, Shell, Spreadsheets)
              shell programming
              learn python
              learn php
              R
              Haskell
              Go
              C++
              C#
              VBA
              D3.js
              knockout.js
              SQL
              PostgeSQL SQL
              API
              Learn Git Branching
              Interactive vim
              Vim Adventures (game)
              Markdown
              Codingegame (many languages, tied to games)
              Unity 3d (for making games)
              docker and containers
              kubernetes – creating a cluster
              hacking
              Music / Ableton

               
              • cqwww 10:25 am on October 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
                Tags: altruism, , selflessness   

                What are you doing to support your community and those in need? 

                I think all of life is competing against your past self, and I don’t recommend ever comparing yourself to someone else, but it’s hard not to reflect on one’s contributions to their community and those in need when you hear stories like Gia Tran.

                 

                 
                • cqwww 3:41 pm on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
                  Tags: ,   

                  Met a woman on a bench here in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. She went from homeless to an SRO recently, as she had a double mastectomy and needed the stable shelter. The city just announced modular housing options she told me, but she’s ineligible as you have to be homeless to apply.

                   
                  • cqwww 8:02 pm on September 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

                    QubesOS on an Intel NUC 

                    I recently installed QubesOS 4.0 on an Intel NUC (model: nuc7i5bnh). It works fine, with one caveat. After you reboot the first time, everything just works. However, after first use & dom0/template upgrades, I attempted a reboot and realized EFI boot was not working. In order to resolve this, you manually will have to follow the steps at Boot device not recognized after installing. Note, every kernel or Xen update you do afterwards, you will manually have to go through this process again if you want your OS to boot without manual intervention.

                    For those who don’t identify as a techy, QubesOS is one of the more secure operating systems out there, one of two I recommend — the other being OpenBSD. Neither of these is easy to use. If you want to eventually get there, I recommend you try something like debian or Ubuntu in the interim, as they are a lot easier to learn yet have a slight learning curve. All of these operating systems replace osx or windows, and are fully free forever, and open source. If you feel like going down a rabbit hole regarding operating systems, check out distrowatch.com which follows all of the open source operating systems.

                     
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