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  • cqwww 2:48 pm on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The police and military aren’t here to protect you 

    I read today that the US Federal Court has ruled that the police have no duty to protect you. This is not intuitive to most citizens who feel their tax dollars are being spent to protect them. I tweeted out this URL, and got a response:

    which caused me to recall many years ago I look up the Canadian military to discover that protecting citizens is not in their mandate, so I looked it up again:

    and then I decided to look up the mandate of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to discover that it’s the same here in Canada. No where in their mandate is a duty to protect citizens.

    An important distinction for anyone who is under the illusion the military or police have a duty to protect us as citizens.

    • cqwww 5:27 pm on January 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

      A few more Facebook groups and pages 

      If you’re still on Facebook, the first thing to keep in mind is that anything you write there — including every profile you click on, every keystroke you type and backspace, and every private message you make there — you should assume will be public within 5 years. It is an American tech company bound by the US CLOUD Act, and already has a long history of giving up access to your data.

      That being said, if you’re still there, about a year and a half ago I posted some Pages and Groups that might be of interest: 

      I’ve started a few more groups since then:




      • cqwww 1:42 am on January 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

        Time to retire your old American tech company email service 

        Still using gmail, hotmail, or yahoo email? Ready to start focusing a little more on your personal privacy? Last year I wrote about the two most popular alternatives, which still stand today. The process is simple, take the next few minutes and create a Protonmail or Tutanota email account. Then, go into your gmail/hotmail/yahoo and find the forwarding option — then forward all of your emails to your new privacy centric email provider. This way you don’t lose any emails going to your own email address, and over time as you reply, your contacts will learn your new email address.
        I’ve also previously written why you should leave fastmail (Australian) or gmail/hotmail/yahoo (American).
        If you have a custom domain name, like krisconstable.com, you can even pay a few dollars and use your own domain name with their services.
        In 5 minutes, you can be well on your way to upgrading to a more privacy centric email email service. One small step in protecting the privacy of your emails moving forward. Even if you feel you have nothing to hide, but using these American or Australian services, you are offering up all of the emails from your friends and family to those governments as well — in a way that they can use them against you for the rest of your life.

        • cqwww 6:34 am on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

          Merry Xmas 

          For years, I’ve said Merry Xmas, to the ire of many Christians in my life.

          This year, I present: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas
          which explains how Χριστός (X) was used centuries before Christ. So while I often hear how I’m part of a conspiracy to take the Christ out of Christmas, I am more aware and respectful of the original intent.

          In fact, X was initially kris (sounds like ks if you’re Greek), so I propose I’m the leading authority on the matter on this.

          Merry Xmas,

          • cqwww 5:28 pm on December 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

            Removing Australia and Australians from the online world 

            We’re in an era where governments are seeking the ability to overpower privacy laws and circumvent security measures, such as encryption. Any government who legislates that, can no longer be trusted.

            Only a few months after the US CLOUD Act, which forced my companies to stop hiring American developers, as well as forcing us to end using any American tech service such as Google, Gmail, or Amazon AWS, Australia has just passed a law that is also frightening.

            In this new Australian legislation, police can force companies to create a technical backdoor that would give them access to encrypted messages without the user’s knowledge. As a result, you can not only not trust any Australian technology company, such as Atlassian (parent of awesome tools like Trello and Jira), or Fastmail, but you can’t trust any company that has an Australian software developer any more. We’re even discussing if we can trust any company that has an employed Australian any longer.
            I’m furious for my Australian friends over this, as your government has just abandoned your livelihood by making you not trusted any more.

            My companies have immediately stopped using any Australian tech company’s services, as we’re still rolling off American tech services, and we can no longer hire Americans or Australians without some reasonable type of Warrant Canary situation.

            As Asher Wolf noted, this bill also goes against the GDPR, so Europeans can’t trust Australians or their technology companies.

            Even if you’re naive enough to think only law enforcement would use this when appropriate, it’s perhaps worth mentioning as someone with a background in information security, it is not possible to create a backdoor only for the ‘good guys’, but a backdoor is now a vulnerability for bad actors to exploit as well.

            We’re seeing this creeping digital surveillance culture be trialled in the various 5 EYES countries, with the others eyeing the reactions to see the impact that would take place if they passed similar legislation on their respective soil.

            For any Canadian law or policy makers reading this, please consult me if a silly idea like backdooring encryption enters the room of any conversation you’re in. It’s a hard and obvious no, every time, with no exceptions. The economic impact of such a policy can not be ignored, or the impact of making your technical workforce no longer employable — as two obvious impact examples that will impact their livelihoods as noted above.

            I hope the USA and Australia are measuring the chilling affects of these policies, which get larger every passing day.

            Any time you hear a politician who suggests putting backdoors into encryption they should never be trusted again (someone should start a Wikipedia page listing them all, by jurisdiction). They’re either not knowledgeable in the subject matter, or they’re aware and lying to you, and willing to give up your privacy and civil liberties of all of their citizens instantly, in the process.

            • cqwww 4:13 am on November 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

              Stop relying on other people 

              One of the things I’m witnessing lately is a lot of people who spend most of their social time complaining. “The government didn’t do …”, “My parents didn’t do …”, “My boss isn’t fair…”, “The weather…”, “Housing prices…”. Avoid these people like the plague they are. Relatives, lovers, employers, regardless, they are toxic. I’m referring to the perpetual complainers, although the anecdotal ones are worth a review as well.

              We live in the best time ever to be alive. If you’re privileged enough to be reading this, you likely have an internet connection. Which means you can learn anything, for free. You also have full access to the attention economy. No one needs to know your age, or gender, or ethnicity, or name, if you don’t want to share them — yet you can make millions of dollars US, from your keyboard.

              Spending your time complaining about things you can’t control helps nothing — no one cares. Only the other losers in your life will listen — those who spend their time doing things instead of complaining, are busy doing.

              What you likely can control is upping your skills, to make yourself more in demand. If you spent 20 minutes less per day watching t.v. or reading social media, and picked one thing to learn, in 3 months you could likely do that thing with a basic proficiency. In a year or two, you could be paid for it.

              Let’s say for example you’re interested in computers. You could choose a language like elixir, or R, or voice, or solidity, or hacking; if you dove into one solid year of study you could likely be making $50k-100k within a year (at the time of writing this — all of these languages will be popular for at least 5 more years). Unless you’re going to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, I have no idea why anyone would go to post-secondary anymore — unless your parents are paying for it, you won a scholarship, or you want to learn how to learn, as you can’t figure it out on your own.

              I live in one of the most expensive cities in my country. When I can’t afford to live here any more, I will leave; but you won’t hear me complaining about the housing prices here, even though that seems to be the trendiest things to do conversationally right now, if not complaining about the weather, which is one of the least cold areas in the country. I can’t control the housing prices (or the weather), so I focus on what I can change. I can change my situation to one where I can afford to live here, and/or spend my spare time learning politics and being engaged where I can affect housing price change — if that’s an issue that I’m passionate about.

              You should not complain about anything that you can’t change, or don’t have a solution for.

              It’s of course worth noting not everyone has this privilege; the longer you take in life to build discipline in self-reliance, the harder it is to have time to spend on that, as well as the harder it is to form that habit. For example, if you’re a single parent, this is more difficult. Also if you have special needs of some variety, you might not have access elsewhere. Like everything, this is just a generalized suggestion based on the many, grossly privileged people whom spend their time complaining, most notably on social media. If you’re going to spend your privileged time complaining, complain to the source or work towards change based on the solutions you support. You’ll soon see that’s the tribe you’re meant to be with.

              • cqwww 2:17 pm on November 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

                Is it time to review the Vancouver business noise complaint process? 

                I write this on a Sunny Friday afternoon, birds flying by, a peaceful serenity looking out over to the city from my condo — with the blaring of car alarms that the city can’t do anything about.

                It all started several months ago, when I reached out to Carter Honda of Vancouver, to ask them if they could find an alternate way of finding the cars in their overflow lot. The space they use for overflow, is on the top of multi-level car parking lot. When they want to retrieve a car, they drive top the top of the parkade, trigger the car alarm for the car they’re looking for, and then drive around in loops and figure 8s, until they find the car in question. Often, they’re looking for more than one car, so as soon as one alarm stops, another begins.
                The starts with sunrise, and goes on throughout the day. As I write this, 14:00 on a Friday months later, there is a black van eagerly doing loops to find an active car alarm.

                So I reached out to them on Twitter, and asked them if they could find an alternative way to find their cars. Being beside several buildings, anyone in any of those apartments will be barraged by these alarms all day long. Good luck trying to have a nap, any day of the week, if you live in the neighbourhood.

                So on July 24th, I asked them publicly to fix their process.

                They responded right away, on July 24th, that they would work towards a resolution.

                Over the months, I realized this was not going to be resolved by the company, so I called the City of Vancouver, to file a noise complaint. The alarms had continued almost daily for 3 more months, I think I was more than patient. I was given a reference number, and a noise complaint against a business was opened. 3 weeks later, and I still had not heard back from the city — perhaps they could improve this process as well — so I called back looking for an update, and was provided the contact information for a case worker. His voicemail said not to leave him a voicemail, so I sent him an email at the email address provided. I did not get a response from him, just asking for an update, so I followed up with him again. We eventually were able to connect.

                He told me he’d reached out to Carter Honda, and that they were extremely apologetic, and would work towards a remedy. When I heard that, I told him about my experience, which got me to where we were at that moment. He told me frankly, there’s not much he could do. It turns out the noise complaint process with the City of Vancouver has two steps, and both work against my complaint.

                The first one, is that the noise by-law officer allocates up to 2 hours, at a random time, during business hours, to investigate. If, during those two hours the officer doesn’t hear a noise, the file can be dropped. This is bizarre, for situations like mine, where the alarms can start and stop at any time, but if the 2 hours of silence I get tomorrow happen to be when the bylaw officer is there, the case can be dropped?

                The second issue I am told, is that the noise measurement tool has to be used from the ground. This is a bizarre requirement, as there are hundreds to thousands of Vancouverites who are forced to listens to the sounds of Carter Honda’s alarms, but because the sound is travelling upwards, from a rooftop, the noise meters are not likely to have a notable difference to the ambient noise floor from the ground, outside the parkade.

                So here we are today. four months later — after being directly promised, and after promising the City of Vancouver, we have Carter Honda driving around with car alarms blaring all afternoon with not a care in the world.

                • 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.

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