Mitt Romney bribes supporters to induce donations

November 30, 2007 at 09:06 PM | categories: ron paul, mitt romney, liberty rants, uncategorized | View Comments

I hate to stay on the topic of Mitt Romney, there are plenty of bad things about most of the other presidential candidates too.

But... Mitt makes it so damn easy for me to pick on him: the official Romney contribution page now offers you a tiered selection of Christmas gifts bribes in exchange for your donation:

Obviously Romney doesn't need the money; he has plenty of his own to do with as he pleases. Ever wonder why he has so many supporters at all the rallies he goes to? Because they are the same supporters at every rally. He buses them from place to place at his own cost.

To win though, Romney needs more than just his own money. He needs individual contributions so he doesn't get slaughtered by you know who when it comes time to report real donations to the FEC.

Instead of getting random SWAG for my donation, I'd rather give my money to Ron Paul and get a much greater gift: a president who will restore the constitutional boundaries of this great, but fallen country.

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Resizing a LUKS / DM-Crypt / cryptsetup filesystem

April 28, 2007 at 06:26 PM | categories: linux, uncategorized | View Comments

I run Gentoo linux on my laptop. I love it because it's based on a constantly updated rolling release which means I get all the latest software when I want it. One of the side benefits of running Gentoo is that I get to do all of the cool linuxy stuff before the other distros get it: Like encrypting my entire root filesystem.

I used to be running Edgy Eft on my laptop before deciding to go back to Gentoo. So I only installed Gentoo on a 20GB partition and left Edgy in a 60GB partitition. I find myself using Gentoo 100% of the time and have all but abandoned Edgy on the laptop (I have nothing against Ubuntu by the way, it's great, and I maintain several other Ubuntu machines).

So, now that I have a few hours spare time today, it was time to get rid of Edgy and resize the Gentoo filesystem to use the entire hard drive. This is usually done with a fine tool like Gparted, but since this is an encrypted filesystem it's not quite that easy.

First things first, backup the partition to another machine:

Run netcat on another machine where you want to store your backup:

nc -l -p 80000 > /path/to/backups/your_image_name.img

Now on the machine you want to backup (substitute sda1 with your partition name):

dd if=/dev/sda1 | nc hostname_of_2nd_machine 80000

This will transfer an image of the partition to the second machine at an incredibly fast speed (I love netcat!)

Resize the partition:

Boot up on your Gentoo Live CD.

Run fdisk (or your favorite clone), and jot down the start and end block of the partition you want to keep. In my case it was the first partition and it was on block 1.

Now delete all of the partitions you want to delete as well as the encrypted partition. "WTF?" I hear you say? Yes, that's right, DELETE the encrypted partition. This doesn't actually delete any data mind you, and as long as you correctly remembered the start and end block of the partition you are perfectly safe in doing this.

Now create a NEW partition with the same start block as you originally had. Make the end block anything larger than the original end block. Save your changes.

What we've done at this point is resized the partition which is only part of what we need. We now need to resize the filesystem contained inside the partition.

Now decrypt/map your encrypted partiton however you do it. In my case I do the following:

gpg --decrypt key.gpg 2>/dev/null | cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda1 root

Run fsck on it:

fsck -f /dev/mapper/root

And resize it with an appropriate tool (like ext2resize for ext3)

resize2fs /dev/mapper/root

resize2fs will resize the filesystem to the size of the containing partition.

And you're done. Reboot your machine and you'll have more hard drive space available.

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Lazy Gigolo Asses

February 09, 2007 at 09:18 PM | categories: uncategorized | View Comments

It's science! According to the March issue of Discover Magazine, in a column entitled "20 things you didn't know about bees," overcrowded bee hives are filled with 'lazy gigolo asses'... and you know what? I DIDN'T know that!

Here's the excerpt:

Drones - the male honey bees - live only for mating with the queen. If there is a shortage of food in the hive, the workers kick their lazy gigolo asses out.

Seriously though, I think that this must have been a filler line put in by the author because she didn't know how else to say it, but knowing that she would come up with something else before she submitted it. Looks like she forgot as the rest of the article is void of humor.

(First post since November! I need to get my lazy gigolo ass blogging again.)

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Google Talk now (fully) supports Jabber!

January 17, 2006 at 09:45 PM | categories: uncategorized | View Comments

I've been highly critical of Google ever since Google Talk came out. Google Talk is based upon the open-source, patent free, instant messaging protocol called XMPP otherwise known as Jabber. Unfortunately, Google Talk has never been able to talk to other Jabber servers. That is, until today.

Today, Google flipped the switch that allows all Google Talk users to talk to all Jabber users.

Why is this such a huge deal? Think back to the days before the internet got big, when email was just starting to become popular. There were several providers to choose from. However, if I was on Compuserve and you were on Prodigy, we couldn't (easily) email each other. Worse yet, if I wanted to start my own little internet service provider, there was absolutely no way my customers could email you. Then along came the idea that email could use DNS. Letting DNS tell email servers how to route emails was revolutionary. Anyone could email anyone, anywhere, no matter what service provider they used. The Instant Messaging industry is in the exact same situation as email was before it used DNS. If I'm on MSN, I can't instant message you on Yahoo. Jabber, on the other hand, is an open protocol that uses DNS to route messages just like DNS routes email. I can have my own jabber server running on and I can instant message you on your server running on

However, Jabber has not gotten very big because no big company (like MSN, Yahoo and the like) have any incentive to dethrown themselves off the IM food chain.. and because all the IM services are free anyway and there is such a huge user base already, the users have little incentive to change either.

Today, Google fully embraces Jabber. This means that Jabber now has a huge company with large amounts of dollars publicly declaring that you can use whatever network you want (that uses Jabber) and connect to us and talk with our users. The incentive that Google has though, is that they will be first. If Google plays it right, pushing the "openness" of it all.. people will flock to it.

Good move Google.

Now, I'm off to make some "additions" to ECsniff.. You can pry gaim-encryption from my cold dead DSL line.

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Why I hate Creative Commons

November 27, 2005 at 10:39 PM | categories: uncategorized | View Comments

Did I get your attention? No, Creative Commons is not evil, and I don't actually hate them.

First of all, let me clarify my position. I fully support anyone licencing anything they create in whatever manner they choose. I don't care whether they charge $1 Million and require that I only use the work while jumping on one foot. I won't agree to that particular licence (and therefore I won't aquire the privilege of using the work), but I fully support that persons right to licence it that way. They should also be just as free to give all their rights away and release something to the public domain. Or, they should be able to do anything that's in the middle of those two extremes. That's just the way a free society should opperate.

The problem I have is this: I've had people recommend to me in the past to release some of my work in a "Creative Commons license". What the hell does that even mean!? Just take a look for yourself on their Licences page.

Here they are, all THIRTEEN of the current Creative Commons licences (there are other, albeit deprecated licences too):

So, it really is utterly meaningless to suggest to someone that they consider a Creative Commons licence. Every Licence is different. On the contrary, when I suggest to someone to use the GPL for releasing software. There is no ambiguity. Even if that person has no idea what the GPL is about, if they search Google for "GPL" ... they are only going to find one license. Actually, I just lied. There is another reference to the GPL on the first couple of hits on google. It's the Creative Commons GNU GPL. Yes.. I know it's the same thing. But it sure sounds like it's different. Adding "Creative Commons" to the front of the GNU GPL and adding some cute little logo for it make it sound like it is a derivitive licence, when in fact it's not. Granted, if someone who has never heard of the GPL before finds it through Creative Commons, that's great! On the other hand, it could also be very confusing for that person.

It seems to me that although Creative Commons has good intentions for proliferating free exchange, as evidenced by their outline of Baseline Rights and Restrictions, the end result is that they are really just poplularizing the idea of licencing in general. I know some bloggers that release under the Creative Commons just so they can slap another button on their site. If you currently have something covered by a Creative Commons licence, I am not asking you to revoke that licence for future work, I would just urge you to think about your reasons for the particular licence you chose to release under.

In the end it's not really Creative Commons fault. It's the user's fault. Stop recommending that I use a "Creative Commons" licence. If you feel that a particular licence is a good one, let me know, and tell me why, I'll listen to you, and possibly even agree. But they are not all the same and they don't all reach the same goal. There is literally an entire political spectrum covered by the many Creative Commons licences.

Creative Commons truley is great for a number of reasons. I don't want to have to write a fully legal licence for something. I have neither the time nor the knowledge. Creative Commons gives me an easy repository to go to find licences that I would possibly agree with. That's really the proper perspective to take with them. They are a repository of various licences, not a pillar of enlightened thinking. I may choose to use a Creative Commons licence in the future, but I won't be adding a cute little button to my site. Buttons are for telling people "Hey, these are things I BELIEVE in and you should too!" ... Creative Commons is just not something that one can believe in.

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