Thursday, May 30, 2013

note to self, how to fix "requires installation of untrusted packages" in Ubuntu

I tried to install a couple of updates on my work laptop, running Ubuntu 12.04, a minute or two ago when prompted by the update manager, and I got the "requires installation of untrusted packages" error. I've since dicovered that there are two ways round this, one is to allow untrusted packages by doing the update as root or via sudo, and saying "y" when asked

Install these packages without verification [y/N]?
But I don't like that, you don't know who might be spoofing you with what fake packages. The better way is to rebuild the apt cache. I found the instructions here, I'm claiming no credit for solving the problem, just reproducing them below so that I can be sure to find them again next time I need them. Hopefully some of you who read this in the future will also benefit.

sudo apt-get clean
cd /var/lib/apt
sudo mv lists lists.old
sudo mkdir -p lists/partial
sudo apt-get clean 
sudo apt-get update


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The Best Indoor Streetview's in London

Googles "indoor streetview" is pretty cool, but when you stray away from the city centre there are some less glamourous locations that are a lot more fun, here are my five faves

Number Five, London's least exciting Art Gallery

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Number four, A garage in a railway arch

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At Three we have.. A Caff

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At Number TWO, Two guys in a post office

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My ALL Time Number ONE: Battersea Auto Stop!

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Privacy In Public II (less privacy)

Ars Technica ran this story last month
“Stop the Cyborgs” launches public campaign against Google Glass ,

Its about a group who think we should resist Google Glass, There are some thought provoking points raised:

As soon as we got inside however, the employees at Starbucks asked us to stop filming. Sure, no problem. But I kept the Glass’ video recorder going, all the way through 
"Google Glass is possibly the most significant technological threat to 'privacy in public' I've seen," Woodrow Hartzog, an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, told Ars.
 The law has yet to figure out how to unravel the fact that there are many situations where individuals expect privacy in public. So perhaps the best approach to this, at least initially, is a vocal, context-based opposition

Privacy In Public

I'm becoming increasingly disturbed by the possibility of what I call "MAC address stalking", where people could be located if their WiFi is on and if you can associate their phone number with the phone's MAC address. So imagine my horror this week when I saw these instructions for accessing free WiFi in ASDA stores..

Registering for Asda Wi-Fi couldn’t be easier with just a few simple steps:
1. Select Asda Free Wi-Fi from your network list on your phone
2. Enter your mobile number
3. Receive a text message with your access code
and from their Terms and Conditions this:
"By signing up to the WiFi service, you agree for us to share your information with ASDA and ASDA group companies for them to use this information for marketing and analytics purposes" 
Note that "ASDA group companies" probably means the whole of WalMart.
Doing this would mean that ASDA now have a link between MAC address and phone number.

At its most benign this means that whenever the same MAC address is seen nearby (you wouldn't even need to "connect" to their WiFi again) they could "use this information" to send a text or a call "for marketing" or just log you for "analytics purposes".

You wouldn't need to interact in any way for them to know that you walked past their store at 2am.

If this data got into the wrong hands (and ASDA isn't necessarily the right ones) it could be a stalkers charter.

Imagine if you could look up someone's phone number and get their phone's MAC address, then you could use the network to find out where they are connected, and use Google's location service to find their physical location.

Ok its not as simple as it sounds, but if I can imagine it, someone somewhere can make it happen. Interested?

Read more here:

android map - by samy kamkar
Stalker App Strikes Back at iPhones & Starbucks 
Hacker pilfers browser GPS location via router attack
Hack uses Google Street View data to stalk its victims 

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Road Not Taken

I've been taking some photos.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Battersea Power Station

I took this photo yesterday, because soon they're going to start redeveloping it, and this view will disappear, probably forever.
They're going to do this to it..

The Power Station has been one of my favourite London landmarks ever since I went to the funfair as a young kid, and was scared out of my wits by the roller coaster in the early seventies. In fact I didn't go on a roller coaster again for about ten years.
Worryingly Wikipedia says this about it
It was permanently closed down after five children were killed and thirteen others injured in an accident on 30 May 1972 when one of the trains became detached from the haulage rope, before rolling back to the station (the anti-rollback mechanism having also failed) and colliding with the other train. This is the worst accident in history of themeparks.

I know nothing, I'm not a fortune teller, and you'd be insane to think that I am. This disclaimer was cribbed from an email footer I once received. It is so ridiculous I had to have it for myself.

Statements in this blog that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding my expectations, objectives, anticipations, plans, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward looking statements include risks and uncertainties such as any unforeseen event or any unforeseen system failures, and other risks. It is important to note that actual outcomes could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements.

Danny Angus Copyright © 2006-2013 (OMG that's seven years of this nonsense)