Monday, March 14, 2022


Name the marauding beast
to mark it from its heedless kin.

Name the rock
as a place to meet
at the hunt's end.

Name each other to...
Oh, kinsmen, what have we done?

You, me, I
separate one from the other.

You are Hunter, she is Healer, he is Runner.

Known by my skills.
Known by my past.
Shackled and chained
by others,
by myself.

No longer free to be.
No longer free to flow
with Nature and Time.


Jim Hart

Copyright Jim Hart, 1997, all rights reserved. May not be copied or published digitally or in print without express permission of the author.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Kinds of People

“If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.” – Margaret Mead

If everyone were aggressive, fights would be constant and nothing would get done.

Many of the aggressive power seekers in our modern world don't recognize this. To them, anyone who isn't aggressive is weak, lesser. Thus the tribes, our societies, are broken.

Is this an inevitable outcome of human aggressiveness? We seem to be one of the most violent creatures on the planet. Certainly the most violent among the mammals. Chimps are perhaps closest. They have inter-tribal battles. They're willing to commit genocide. Other predators are sometimes violent, but in a limited way. Males don't usually kill females. They kill males and young so their genes dominate. Or they kill for territory.

Most creatures compete for resources and reproduction. Expand territory, kill others, acquire mates. Thank you DNA, not! Weirdly, it isn't just DNA. Viruses are a collection of proteins, yet they're driven to reproduce. Why?

Margaret Meade is also to have expressed the sentiment that she had done her duty by bearing and raising children, passing on her DNA. After that, her life was her own. In other words our whole purpose for existing is reproduction.

Our societies are broken at least partly because the powerful don't recognize the value of non-aggressive members. If everyone tries to be a chief, who will take care of the tribe? Arguably, a tribe can thrive without a chief. There are other forms of governance. It can't survive without caregivers.

And yet societies can survive based entirely on violence and slavery, e.g. the Taliban. We don't call their people slaves, but in fact they are. Conform or die. Follow orders or die. Try to leave, you die. Slavery.

Russia: conform or die, follow orders or die. Slavery.

Syria: conform or die, follow orders or die, More slavery.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Apache SSI, is it secure?

Various authors have challenged Apache SSI security. For example:

Protecting Web Servers from Security Holes in Server-Side Includes by Jared Karro, Jie Wang, Division of Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402, USA, Jared,
All of the examples this paper sites are internal attacks. Controlling who can edit the Web site and what user Apache runs as completely negate the claimed problems.

Generally, when people talk about the security of a Web scripting language, they are referring to external attacks. No one will claim that a Web language is totally immune, but SSI has, historically, had the fewest issues of any such language.

Other claimed vulnerabilities:

  • Server-Side Includes (SSI) Injection
    • The authors provide no explanation of how the injection is to be accomplished. Setting the file system permissions so the Web server can't write to the Web pages and turning off Exec permission, which are standard procedures for securing an Apache site, should eliminate any possibility of this working.
    • Perhaps they are referring to using the query string as a variable in an SSI command. Programmers must be cautioned to never do this without checking the content of the query string.

Thoughts on Chromebook

In particular, Acer CB515.

We have retired our desktop computers, a Mac Mini and the mid-tower running Ubuntu, in favor of Acer Chromebooks. Yes, there is the concern about being logged into Google all the time. Offsetting that are the following pluses:

  •     Low price ($300, Oct. 2019)
  •     Simple   
  •     Excellent performance
    •         Dozens of browser tabs
    •         Half a dozen or more apps
    •         Slow loading Linux apps...but once loaded performance is excellent
  •         Run most Android apps
  •  Multiple desktops (with a dedicated key for creating and switching - F5 on external keyboard) and separate desktops for each display
    • With one external monitor and the laptop screen, that's 4 desktops each for a total of 8
  •         Multiple displays, mirrored or extended desktop, user choice
  •         Run Debian compatible Linux apps
  •         Special keys for search and multiple desktops
  •     Works with most printers, either directly or via Google Cloudprint
    • Better than Linux
  • Has Penguin Linux available. Most things seem to work.
    • Thunderbird
    • Firefox
    • Gimp
    • grsync
    • Missing:
      • apturl
  •     Integrates with Android smart phones
    • Unlock
    • Text messages
  •     Hardware:
    •         All solid state
    •         Display full 1080 15.6" screen with excellent color and viewing angle
    •         Good speakers and keyboard
    •         Lots of ports
    •             USB 3 (2)
    •             USB C (2)
    •             HDMI (external monitor)
    •             Headphones
    •         MicroSD slot
    •         Brushed aluminum case with strong screen hinge (very similar to Apple MacBook Pro)
      • Slim
      • Lightweight
      • Note: screen hinge failed in a little over a year
    •         Touchscreen
    • Large touchpad with 2-finger support
      • 2-finger drag
      • pinch and zoom
    •         Long battery life
    •         Kensington lock slot
Even though it has only 32GB of built in eMMC, the MicroSD slot expands that substantially. Huge external drives can be connected to the USB C.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hate In Religious Holiday Seasons

Note to self: check out the psychology of hate

Dec. 25, 2011
Bomb blasts targeting Christmas Day church services in two Nigerian cities have left at least 28 people dead, with three more attacks on other towns.
The Islamist group Boko Haram said it had attacked St Theresa's Church in Madalla, near the capital Abuja, killing 27 people.

Dec. 25, 2009
In the eastern Baghdad district of Sadr City, Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb blast killed six Shi'ite Muslim worshipers as they observed the solemn Ashura holiday.

Nov. 6, 2011
Three explosions occurred today, November 6, in a market in Baghdad, on the first day of Eid Al-Adha, a Muslim holiday commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, reports Reuters. As stated by the Baghdad police and the staff of Al-Kindi Hospital, the blasts left at least eight dead and 26 wounded in the city’s central market of Shurja.

"Content Management" - Hard Problems

There are a number of "hard problems" in the context of Enterprise Content Management (ECM or just CM) and institutional information in general.
  1. Treating Web content as something separate.
    1. Makes extra work.
    2. Creates errors and conflicts by having information in more than one place.
  2. History and archiving
    1. Archiving fixed artifacts is hard enough, but how do we keep long term history of all the information in all the systems of an organization?
      1. Business systems
      2. Phone calls and text messages
      3. Email
      4. Contact management
      5. Office electronic documents
      6. Web CM
      7. Photos and videos
      8. Printed documents
      9. External systems
        1. Social media
        2. Chats
  3. Search
    1. Information and data is stored in multiple systems in multiple forms, from simple word processing documents to complex business systems. Currently nothing is capable of connecting them all in a useful way.
  4. Formats
    1. How can we possibly relate data, documents, pictures, audio and video in all the systems in an organization? It's being worked on with such things as facial recognition, media tagging, etc. But, we aren't there, yet.
Many enterprise software systems have a Web interface or are Web based entirely. That helps with problem #1, but, typically, not any of the others.

Popular "content management systems" have all of these problems. Wordpress, Drupal, et. al. are self-contained. Plugins often provide interfaces to other systems, but not to the point of searching all of them at once. Incorporating word processing and spreadsheet documents is usually clumsy or impossible. History and archiving are idiosyncratic, usually in the form of database exports with no standardized structure.

Does Global Warming Matter?

  1. Assertion: Predicted sea level rise will wipe out most coastal cities around the globe. Find the evidence.