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  • cqwww 10:44 pm on April 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Tinder, but for books 

    Or more accurately, Bumble, but for media you’ve consumed lately.

    You’re likely aware of Tinder and Bumble, popular dating apps where you choose a potential date based off images of a person. The suggestion is, you should usually keep the photos of yourself within the last 3 months, as you don’t want to meet the person and look different than was in your photos.

    Enough about that — that’s boring. I like people who read books, I’m always interested to hear what books you’ve read recently, be it a friend, or more. Which led me to the idea of a better tinder — one where instead of profile photos of yourself, it’s a list of the books you’ve consumed over the last 3 months.

    I’ll take it a step further, as an old friend visiting town last week reminded me of an app I had built over 5 years ago called mymediamemory. The intention of that app was to be your memory of media you’ve consumed, in 4 categories — books, movies, tv shows, and video games. He mentioned he was upset it went away, as it had a lot of his memory of these media in an easy to use format. Last week I posted on social media:

    When I posted it, I got a few comments in the various places I posted it, that there just might be something there. Some said they also had the idea, some say they would use it. So here we are, let’s see if there is interest in building this thing. I would love an excuse to revive my mediamemory, and this seems like the perfect excuse, and a tool that would be perfect for such a platform.

    If you’re interested, I’m going to host an open discussion on jitsi, which is an open source alternative to Skype or Zoom. If you’re going to join the discussion, please bring to the conversation where you’d like to see the project going, and what you’re willing and able to contribute.

    Details:
    Date: April 28, 2019 (Kiss your mate day!)
    Time: 13:00 Pacific Time
    Location: https://meet.jit.si/tinderforbooks
    (please test your webcam and microphone in advance on this website!)


     
    • cqwww 9:33 am on April 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
      Tags:   

      idea: A dating app like tinder, but instead of a recent selfie, it’s a pile of the books you’ve read in the last 3 months.

       
      • cqwww 5:19 pm on March 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

        It’s time to think about jurisdictional data sovereignty 

        There are many ways to think about where your data is stored. The most popular today are centralized vs decentralized, and the other is where the borders are. Today, I’ll only discuss the latter.

        Here in Canada, this became prominent back when British Columbia added section 30.1 to B.C’s public sector privacy law, “Storage and access must be in Canada”.

        The intent here was the early realization, in a US PATRIOT ACT world, that countries are starting to collect all of the data they legally can on foreigners. Hence in the information age, where people are collecting data for big data sake, this is not only useful for profit in terms of sharing and selling the data, governments will also now be able to use this data, forever.

        Let’s use a relevant example here in Canada. I live in B.C, where cannabis is legal. I live above Washington state, also where cannabis is legal. But if the U.S. government ever collects evidence as to my participation in cannabis, I can be rejected entry, as it’s currently against federal U.S. law even though many states have legalized it.

        So as we think about where the data rests in this case, the easiest way to legally purchase cannabis online is through the various provincial government stores. What is not clear is what their process is in terms of using American tech or digital services. For example, if you buy cannabis with a Mastercard or Visa, those American companies can now provide the government a list of cannabis purchasers in Canada.

        This is not just a risk to Canadians today, but it could be a greater risk tomorrow, or in 15 years from now under a different political regime, as long as the data is still stored there.

        While I’ve talked about this risk for over a decade, the political climate change between Obama and Trump makes it easy to understand this: If you were a Muslim or Mexican who visits the U.S, which data the American government has of yours now vs 4 years ago has changed a lot.

        Even more recent, is the current discussions around the sale of Grindr, which describes itself as the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. If you are in that demographic, you are likely aware that the company’s majority changed hands from Joel Simkhai to Kunlun Group Limited, a Chinese company. If you’re in a vulnerable population such as this one, where your data is stored and can be accessed, this can affect your life and/or your livelihood.

        In the last year, we’ve seen two notable laws pass here in the 5EYES region, most popular being the Australian AA Bill which passed last December, and with less attention, the US CLOUD Act before it. Under the Australian bill, their police can force companies to install a technical backdoor that would give them access to encrypted messages without a user’s knowledge. This means you can no longer trust Australian employees, or Australian software. I professionally brought up jurisdictional sovereignty last year when explaining that the new US CLOUD Act which states that:

        • Primarily, the CLOUD Act amends the Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986 to allow federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies via warrant or subpoena to provide requested data stored on servers regardless of whether the data are stored in the U.S. or on foreign soil. [source]
        • § 2523. Executive agreements on access to data by foreign governments. 

        This means that you can no longer trust American tech companies as custodians of your data, and who knows which other countries have partnered with them on this.


        This is no simple feat. If you do anything related to technology, you likely use some type of Google services, or Atlassian, but even more broad is to evaluate which of those products are storing your data on an American “cloud” server somewhere, or using an Australian chat software.

        I’m working on solving some of these issues with PGKYC, where all of our data is stored in Canada only for our Canadian deployment, and it’s architected with jurisdictional sovereignty in mind. In each country we deploy to, the data will only be stored on that country’s soil.

        This is a lot more expensive, as we can’t use Amazon’s AWS for example, or any cloud related products, except for our American users in the American deployment.

        I haven’t touched on centralized vs decentralized yet, as that’s a deeper topic for another day, but my surface perspective is I like decentralization better, as long as it’s using PKI and the user controls the private key. That’s a long way from being trusted by first world governments, so I think centralized models are still the near future.

        In the meantime, if you’re looking for alternatives to American or Australian tech services, like an alternative to Gmail or Google docs for example, I’m always happy to share my ideas on Twitter, as well as engage in constructive dialogue on topics such as this, especially in the solution space.

         
        • Mark 10:31 am on March 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

          Very nice perspective. The discussion of where data is stored is epically important not only to Canada but personally. Although this discussion highlights the important distinction in privacy by design, between data minimisation and removing the need for data protection. The lack of standards or discussion about default privacy expectations for Canadians in the context of PIPIDA, as oppose to that of the US based services. I think ultimately, this is a Canadian governance issue and the government needs to step up.

      • cqwww 2:23 am on March 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

        Work 

        There’s a great SXSW quote from (the internet’s) new girlfriend, AOC,

        “We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in,” she said. “Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

        This is counter to common political narrative in commonwealth countries, where jobs are the marker of success, as well as growth. As Canada heads into an election season, let’s pay attention to this narrative, as a successful leader in 2019 will be documenting what their plan is for when your job is automated, not forcing your job to exist because you’re in a powerful union.

        Unions are not focused on a guaranteed livable income (GLI), mincome, or basic income projects. They want you to work for most of your life.

        Politicians are currently focused on jobs and growth, which they manipulate metrics to make you think that lucking out on a minimum wage job is a marker of success for a country.

        The most successful country this century will be the country that goes back to the old adage that your country’s success should be measured on how it treats its most vulnerable.

        Consider the most wealthy people you know — they likely make their money from having their money work for them, not from trading time for money, which is the antiquated model of the oppressed.

        Yet when you rely on time for money as most of the planet’s population, or you die, your best option sounds like jobs and unions. Unions were great 50 years ago, but like cable television, fossil fuels, ad companies, or first-past-the-post election systems, the only people supporting these systems are oppressive dinosaurs.

        Do a little research into universal basic income (UBI). Anywhere that has implemented it, most notably Denmark, has been listed at the happiest place on earth for over a decade. Also pay attention to where trials exist, and are being taken away.

        There’s nothing more notable and noble in 2019 than creating a world where your peers don’t have to work, automating everything, and building a world where we have new and exciting problems.

        Your work should be about your purpose. Your selfless contribution. Your give.

        What would it take to make a world where no one had to work for an oppressor ever again?

         
        • cqwww 11:01 am on February 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

          Be careful what you allow to access your bank account 

          There are a lot of interesting things happening on the bridge between tech and finance, or FinTech. If you’ve observed what the EU’s GDPR did for privacy around the world in a short time, it’s time for you to take a look at the EU’s PSD2 which is going to have a similar affect to FinTech.

          What is PSD2? The Revised Payment Service Directive allows private/tech companies to manage the bank accounts of both consumers and businesses. I don’t know how to hit home how relevant this is in terms of privacy, but if you’re aware that your web surfing habits are actively bought, sold, and traded in the background, this can legally now happen with your bank account information.

          This means there will be a new wave in short order of FinTech apps that are offering you services to make your financial life easier — and the question will be the same as your web surfing and free email service choices — will you accept the convenience of what they offer, in exchange for your privacy? For example, there will be apps that can help you improve your credit score, or help you invest smarter, or automatically increase your credit card size, or shop for you. All of these will be common within a year or two. They’ll likely even be “free”, just as Google is an advertising company that offers a free search engine and free email service you likely use. In the background these companies will sell, share, or broker your data. In many cases even some of those broker deals might also offer you better service delivery than you have now.

          There’s one notable distinction — your search engine data offers plausible deniability, and unless published is really hard to tie to you as a person, especially in increments. This is different than your financial transaction history. This is not a dynamic list that often changes — once it’s out there, it can be used against you for the rest of your life.

          What would a privacy breach of your financial history do to you?

          This is an issue that will become real, and in the short-term.

          This is not unique to the EU. In Canada, the Department of Finance as released an OpenBanking 101 document, and just closed a consultation on the merits of OpenBanking. Not only are all of the big 5 banks actively in discussions on this, the Canadian Credit Union Association is on tour to all of the credit unions in the country on this.

          I have several concerns about this.

          1) There have been no in-depth study as to the repercussions of a FinTech financial transaction history data breach. The closest we have is the resultant of the Equifax breach, which opens the doors to ID fraud for your lifetime, at a minimum. Again, this is different than your shopping habits at one given store — if your transaction history is breached, this is a disclosure of all of your past shopping habits, out there for ever. I would propose this needs a massive re-think on access control lists for your transaction history.

          2) It’s not clear what the repercussions of a breach will be. In Canada, we have good (not great) privacy laws, but we have little to no repercussions for violations. The federal privacy commissioner does not have binding power. This means that companies don’t really care if they violate your privacy, or if their data is breached, there are little repercussions to them. There needs to be strong financial penalties for any breach of privacy, but this is especially important before Canadian’s financial histories are on the line to exposure.

          3) The above two are compounded with the growth of a new industry. The creation of this new wild-west FinTech OpenBanking industry will introduce anyone looking to make a quick buck. This means instead of building in strong risk management regimes, strong compliance regimes, as we have with our banks and credit unions, all will be out the window as my fellow tech entrepreneurs race for “first mover advantage” to collect your bank records.

          The average consumer to date hasn’t been willing to fight for their right to privacy, and as such, it will continue to be eroded like any human or civil right that isn’t fought for. People are still choosing free, over paying for products that will protect their privacy.

          If you’re interested and willing to put time and/or money into protecting the privacy of yourself and others in terms of FinTech and OpenBanking, I’d love to start a dialogue.

           
          • cqwww 1:36 am on February 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

            Getting your ham radio licence in Canada 

            If you’re interested in getting your amateur (ham) radio licence in Canada, you can start with Industry Canada’s website. I would start on the radio exam generator page which has two important links. Obviously you should start with Basic, and there are two notable things on this website.

            When you go to write the actual basic exam, the examiner is randomly pulling 100 multiple choice questions from a 500 question bank. The above link gives you direct access to the 500 question bank, as well as a tool to randomly pull 100 questions from that bank, emulating the real exam experience. Once you can confidentially get 80/100 questions correct, contact a local examiner to have them give you the free exam. Once you pass it, you have your callsign for life!

            The other website worth checking out is the Radio Amateurs of Canada (rac.ca) website.

            If you have any questions about the process, please reach out! It’s a nerdy hobby that few appreciates, unless you’re in a state of emergency or when the phone system breaks. I’ve been in the situation twice in my life (IceStorm ’98 and Eastern Blackout 2003), and when you’re the only person in your network capable of communicating outside your network, they appreciate your ability to do so.

            73 de VE3URL/VE7BNE

             
            • cqwww 9:27 am on January 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

              Open source self-hosted small business tools 

              I’ll start by listing some of the tools that most if not all of my businesses use:

              Nextcloud — Not only is this a dropbox replacement for file management, it is a platform with many features I recommend like Collabora/ownpad, and Calendar and Contact syncing (I don’t use or endorse any Google products, ever). Use this to replace Dropbox, and Google Drive/Calendar/Contacts/Sheets/Docs.

              Signal – This is for secure video and voice calls, as well as messaging. You might also check out Wire.com. Use this to replace Skype/WhatsApp/Messenger.

              Jitsi – This can be used for group video chats as a replacement for Zoom/appear.in/Skype.

              Postfix+gnupg+Enigmail+Thunderbird (K9-Mail on Android) – This is how we use email. For contractors, I ask them to use Tutanota or Protonmail. Use this to replace Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail. Which tools are your organization using?

               
              • cqwww 6:49 am on January 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

                Marie Kondo has helped me Spark Joy 

                A dear friend lent me Marie Kondo’s “the life changing magic of tidying up” last year, and I had it sitting around for months until the last few days of the year. I had seen how this friend was folding her socks, in something called the KonMari method from the book, and it was not the roll-one-sock-into-another method I’ve been using all my life.

                Over the last decade, I’ve been downsizing — from a house with an empty basement filled with storage, to now living in an apartment that is less than 500sq ft. In the process, I’ve kept many rubbermaids in storage, and eventually over the years close the storage units and moved them to my house — but have never been motivated, or rather prioritized, to go through them.

                I decided to give the book a try — not only in terms of reading it, but I committed to giving its recommendations and process a try. After the purging process, which is rather innovative and warns against the traditional one-room-at-a-time model most of us use for cleaning, Ms. Kondo’s clothes folding technique is also innovative.

                I found myself weirdly memorized by the cathartic process, that I found myself pro-actively doing laundry over the next few days just to fold more clothes this way.

                It was then that I realized one of the three major benefits of the KonMari method, and that is the introduction of a slowness and formality to the process.

                As we transitioned into 2019, I noticed a social media buzz start to grow regarding Ms. Kondo, as an increased scale that crossed both into meme territory, but it started to generate a lot of love, and haters. As I looked further into it, I discovered that on Jan 1st, a show launched on Netflix providing her process to a new level of audience that could probably use her even more.

                I watched a few of the episodes, to realize why there was so much discussion about her, but also an even larger respect for what she is introducing into North American society when it could use it the most — respect. In each episode after touring a house, she asks to sit quietly in prayer and thanks the house for being a protector to that family, and the opportunity to tidy and organize. She takes this further and will thank each item that gets evaluated, and encourages her clients to do the same.

                As a logical thinker, I found this a challenging as most would, in wondering why on earth would one be sending a virtual thanks to inanimate objects? But then I realized, when you do this, two things happen. One, is by acknowledging a subconscious respect for an object, you immediately subconsciously start treating it differently. The other benefit of this process is if you’re thanking 5 of your t-shirts for being there and covering you and making you feel good — and you have a reaction to one of those t-shirts that doesn’t illicit a “spark of joy” — you’re recommended instead to thank the garment for the time it has spent with you and throw it away.

                While praying to inanimate objects might be a logical leap even after the explanation, consider a more North American lens, gratitude. Science shows this is one of the most important things one can do for internal satisfaction.

                The first episode was one of the most controversial, as it involves a typical patriarchal couple with children where the man is complaining a lot about the kitchen and laundry and his busy work days. Now I don’t know how much of it was staged, but by the end of the episode, it shows the couple folding laundry together using the KonMari method, and even showing their child to fold in the process. This is a very powerful message that Marie Kondo is introducing into North America, and I hope it propagates. They’re not each doing their own thing, like watching tv — as a family they’re taking on the responsibility of the home together, as a process. What would be more fulfilling?

                These are the two things that KonMari introduces, respect, and slowness — two things our society could use more than ever.

                I don’t know if it will work for you, but I recommend the books and the Netflix series, see if either work for you. Two weeks in and I’m still purging and tidying, but it’s entertaining to see new patterns developing. When I get home now, everything I bring into my apartment gets immediately put away into its place in the home, no longer just thrown onto a counter, table, or couch. I’m not sure how long this will last, but it’s also amazing to just sit in the cleanest apartment I’ve ever had and realize how cathartic the experience is. I hope you find it equally rewarding.

                We live in an information addicted society, that encourages a fast paced lifestyle, and busyness until we can allow laziness. Consider instead, introducing a slowness into your life, which involves respect and gratitude for all of the things in your possession. Imagine instead of spending family time ignoring each other and watching tv, or catching up on instagram, you were sharing the experience of tidying and organizing each of these items, together. This might sound silly, but why not? It would make for happier humans, better relationships, and a tidier living space that who knows — might eventually spark joy.

                 

                 

                 
                • Lea 5:48 pm on January 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

                  Great conversation starter, Kris! I like the way you describe your experience and discovery. Seems like a smart way to spend some rainy days, too.

              • 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:

                  VANCOUVER, BC:

                  VICTORIA, BC:

                   

                   
                  • 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
                      Tags:   

                      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,
                      X

                       
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