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Thursday, May 17, 2018

FOSS Software Mirror Script, Random Stuff, and More

- got tired of of having to manually download software for Windows systems (for updates). Scripted the task. You can download it here:
- description is as follows:
# If you've ever administered a network of any sort you'll have needed
# to download/update your software on a regular basis. Over time, you
# get tired of manually doing this so I created a script to automate it.
# It obviously mostly deals with standard FOSS software that you would
# normally expect to be deployed in a Windows network. If you understand
# the code you can easily expand it to arbitrary application sources.
# Some sources are easier to automate then others. The applications in
# question represent a reasonable subset though and give you an idea
# of how to expand to any application you might imagine.
#
# Deploy network wide using GPO, WAPT or any other network orchestration
# that may be applicable in your network.
#
# Am aware of similar things such as Ninite out there but I want
# something that is less opaque.
#
# At some point down the line I may be building a WSUS compatible service
# (for those without the budget to deploy Windows Servers in their network)
# in future but it's likely to be non-free. Watch this space...
# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Server_Update_Services
#
# As this is the very first version of the program it may be VERY buggy. 
# Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.

Random Stuff:
- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services
- latest in science and technology
handrake alternative to
scratch software
rpgboss
php news aggregator
extract hyperlinks webpage javascript
javascript parse webpages
php parse webpages
extract hyperlink remote page python cgi
create msi package from linux
create windows installer package from linux
create windows install package from linux
- latest in finance and politics
- latest in defense and intelligence
- latest in animal news
- latest in music and entertainment

Random Quotes:
- Experts with the Iranian Air Force have successfully overhauled an F-4 fighter, rendering it airworthy, news agencies reported on Sunday.

The 1.5-year-long project at the Shahid Lashkari Air Force Base in northern Tehran Province was finished, using up to 18,000 man-hours, Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday.

The aircraft had been grounded for years before the overhaul process began. It has undergone a final test and restored to the Air Force’s fleet.

The news of the overhaul came as Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said on Sunday Iran’s Armed Forces are not afraid of any enemy.

“Today, notwithstanding all the enemies’ hue and cry, our beloved nation stands steadfast courageously and powerfully,” he told a group of military cadets in Tehran.  

“Thank God, the enemies have fallen short of realizing all their objectives so far,” he added.

Iran's Armed Forces, he said, are capable of guaranteeing security in the region. “Today, we are honored to be pushing for maintaining stability and security in the region,” Hatami said.

The Global Firepower List 2018 has ranked various countries in accordance with their defensive strength, placing the Islamic Republic on the 13th position above Israel and Saudi Arabia.

This is while Tel Aviv and Riyadh enjoy open-handed military support from the United States, and their military spending rises well above Iran, whose defense budget is even less than that of the United Arab Emirates, according to officials.
- “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” - Albert Einstein

The relationship between science and religion continues to be uncertain and confusing. While the Neo-Darwinians like Dawkins and Hutchins simply dismiss religion out of hand, others try to create a place for each in the life of humans. The above quote by arguably the greatest scientist of all times Albert Einstein intrigues and irritates atheists for it is often used by the theists as a proof that the great man was religious. I will come back to Einstein later but first let me mention Stephen Jay Gould, an evolutionary biologist, and historian of science who is considered one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. In his book Rocks of Ages (1999), Gould puts forward what he described as “a blessedly simple and entirely conventional resolution to … the supposed conflict between science and religion”. Gould calls it NOMA (Non-overlapping Magisteria) and proposes that science and religion are harmonious because they had distinct but complementary tasks: science helps us understand the physical structure of the universe, while religion deals with human values, morals, and meanings.
- Also withdrawing its gold reserves from the US were the Netherlands and Germany's Deutsche Bundesbank which launched a program of partial repatriation of German gold that was stored in the Federal Reserve since the end of World War II in 2012.

At the end of the day, 300 tons of gold have been returned to a Bundesbank storehouse in Frankfurt am Main. As for the Netherlands, it has withdrawn about 100 tons of gold from the US Federal Reserve System.

Due to the increasing interest rates of the Federal Reserve System, the US pressure on the euro and other currencies as well as growing geopolitical risks, it is possible to assume that the outflow of foreign gold reserves from the US Federal Reserve System will continue.

With Russian and China agreeing to settle trade in ruble and yuan, there are signs are that the world seeks to reduce its dependence on the dollar.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Novation Launchpad Lightshow, Random Stuff, and More

- if you've ever seen some of the Novation Launchpad lightshows on the Internet you'll have wondered how they are possible...
Launchpad Basics _ Lightshow Building
Novation Launchpad Light Show
Novation Launchpad Light Show TUTORIAL
Novation _ Launchpad Pro - Making a Lightshow
- I did some digging... The obvious way is to use a music DAW to fire off lights of your choosing since the Novation Launchpad device is a control as well as feedback device. There are actually heaps of free plugins and tools out there to help out with this
novation launchpad lightshow
- I've been interested in something was more 'lightweight' though. Namely a library which could be used to program the device in any which way you desire. I found some code online but it doesn't really do all that much. I decided to see what I could do. Lots of light tests including spelling out out letters, random light colour sequences, movement, etc... You can download the result of my experiment here:
- details are as follows:
# Wanted to see whether I could program a lightshow (independent of a DAW)
# for my Novation Launchpad device. Found the following library/code:
#
# There's obviously a lot that you can do with this device especially
# with the full colour models that move beyond the original RGB modes. 
# The code in this script allows the a Novation Launchpad Mk2 to spell
# out out letters, create random light colour sequences, create worm like
# movement of lights, etc...
#
# As this is the very first version of the program it may be VERY buggy. 
# Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.
- obviously, I've made a many changes to the original code. Classic problems that you often find with 'hobby code' such as lack of modularity, strange naming conventions, lack of commenting, strange error handling, etc...). Had to de-comment and alter to figure some things out...
novation launchpad linux lightshow
novation launchpad linux github.com
- if you've watched this blog for a while you'll have guess I play around with embedded hardware/firmware regularly and dabble in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) arena a bit. Here are some links to similar experiments for those who are interested:

Random Stuff:
- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services
- latest in science and technology
- latest in finance and politics
- latest in defense and intelligence
- latest in animal news
- latest in music and entertainment

Random Quotes:
- Maher has expressed the view that a lot of illness is the result of poor diet and lack of exercise, and that medicine is often not the most appropriate way of addressing illness. In an episode of his show about the 2008 presidential candidates' health plans, Maher stated that poor nutrition is a primary cause of illness, and that "the answer isn't another pill."[100] He also has said: "If you believe you need to take all the pills the pharmaceutical industry says you do, then you're already on drugs!"[101]

He has expressed his distaste for the pharmaceutical and health care industries in general, on the grounds that they make their money out of treating people who are made sick by consuming unhealthy food that corporations urge upon the public. He maintains that mass consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is a contributor to the rise in frequency of obesity in the United States.[102]

In a discussion with Michael Moore about the film Sicko, Maher said, "The human body is pretty amazing; it doesn't get sick, usually, for no reason. I mean, there's some genetic stuff that can get to you, but, basically, people are sick in this country because they're poisoned. The environment is a poisoning factor, but also, we gotta say, they poison themselves. They eat shit. People eat shit, and that's, to my way of thinking, about 90 percent of why people are sick, is because they eat shit."[103]
- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the time has come to move away from hegemonic illusions which are causing strife in the Middle East.

Zarif made the remarks while addressing the 72nd High-level Meeting on Peace building and Sustaining Peace at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

"Conflict prevention requires focusing on the root causes, including the mutually reinforcing afflictions of occupation, foreign intervention and extremism. Additionally, advancing hegemonic illusions or attempting to achieve security at the expense of others through exclusion and block formations, have invariably caused tension and conflict, and led to destructive arms races," he added.

Zarif also noted that Persian Gulf countries must join forces in order to maintain regional peace instead of trying to become regional powers.  

The Iranian foreign minister further called for the establishment of a "Regional Dialogue Forum" and the establishment of new security networks aimed a replacing current national security blocs.

"It is crucial to now shift to a new paradigm based on joining forces to create strong regions, instead of anyone seeking to be the strongest in our region. And shifting from forming security blocks to accepting security networking. Both are predicated on respect for the interest of all stakeholders--large and small--coupled with a win-win philosophy. In the current inter-connected world, no country’s security can be assured at the expense of others," he noted.
- The decision affecting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province echoes a similar ban introduced there more than a decade ago, after militant groups including the Pakistani Taliban threatened barbers with dire consequences for trimming beards.

"Creating different beard designs is against the Sunnah (teachings) of the Prophet Mohammed," Sulemani Hairdressers Association president Sharif Kahlu told a press conference in the provincial capital Peshawar on Monday.
- WASHINGTON — After the Big Bang, it was cold and black. And then there was light. Now, for the first time, astronomers have glimpsed that dawn of the universe 13.6 billion years ago when the earliest stars were turning on the light in the cosmic darkness.

And if that’s not enough, they may have detected mysterious dark matter at work, too.

The glimpse consisted of a faint radio signal from deep space, picked up by an antenna that is slightly bigger than a refrigerator and costs less than $5 million but in certain ways can go back much farther in time and distance than the celebrated, multibillion-dollar Hubble Space Telescope.

Judd Bowman of Arizona State University, lead author of a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature, said the signal came from the very first objects in the universe as it was emerging out of darkness 180 million years after the Big Bang.

Seeing the universe just lighting up, even though it was only a faint signal, is even more important than the Big Bang because “we are made of star stuff, and so we are glimpsing at our origin,” said astronomer Richard Ellis, who was not involved in the project.

The signal showed unexpectedly cold temperatures and an unusually pronounced wave. When astronomers tried to figure out why, the best explanation was that elusive dark matter may have been at work.

If verified, that would be the first confirmation of its kind of dark matter, which is a substantial part of the universe that scientists have been searching for over decades.
- "He just keeps talking … It's meant to create the impression that he knows what he's talking about. But it's also just meant to drown you in meaningless stuff."
- The study of religiosity and intelligence explores the link between religiosity and issues related to intelligence and educational level (by country and on the individual level). Religiosity and intelligence are both complex topics that include diverse variables, and the interactions among variables are not always well understood. For instance, intelligence is often defined differently by different researchers[1] and also all scores from intelligence tests are only estimates of intelligence because concrete measurements, like those of mass or distance, cannot be achieved given the abstract nature of the concept of "intelligence".[2] Religiosity is also complex in that it involves wide variations of interactions of religious beliefs, practices, behaviors, and affiliations in diverse cultures.[3]

A meta-analysis found a negative correlation between intelligence quotient (IQ) and religiosity for western societies. The correlation was suggested to be a result of nonconformity, more cognitive and less intuitive thinking styles among the less religious, and less of a need for religion as a coping mechanism.[4] Some studies have shown a correlation between national average IQ and levels of atheism in society,[5] although others have questioned whether any correlations are due to a complex range of social, economic and historical factors, which interact with religion and IQ in different ways.[6] Others argue that any differences in national IQ and levels of atheism are not necessarily due to levels of religiosity or nonreligiosity, but are correlated with economic, educational, environmental, and social factors.[7] Less developed and poorer countries tend to be more religious, perhaps because religions play a more active social, moral and cultural role in those countries.[8]

One study suggests that intuitive thinking may be one out of many sources that affect levels of religiosity and that analytical thinking may be one out of many sources that affect disbelief.[9] However, others who have reviewed studies on analytic thinking and nonbelievers suggest that analytical thinking does not imply better reflection on religious matters or disbelief.[10]

A global study found that Jews, Christians, religiously unaffiliated persons, and Buddhists have, on average, higher levels of education than the global average.[11] On the individual level, one study observed that education level is positively correlated with a belief in a god in African countries, and negatively correlated in western countries.
- “In the past, when elephants were sick, they were often released back into the forest. The sick elephants would seek leaves and herbs to treat themselves. But now forests have been largely destroyed; there are few medicinal plants left,” Long added.

Long said elephants were big animals that were generally in good health. Most of their diseases are caused by working too hard and carrying loads that are far too big.

“In recent years, elephants tend to have more tumours in their bodies. The tumours stem from polluted food and water, which leads to lack of nutrition and resistance in their bodies,” he added.

Long often uses the bark of lộc vừng (fish poison tree or barringtonia), and leaves of trâm (Jamblon or syzygium cumini) and some salt boiled to rinse off the injured areas. After sterilising the injury, Long uses soil taken from the nest of termites or fermented rice to cover the open injury.

“Both substances have antibiotic functions and kill parasites and work very well for elephants with tumours,” Long said.
- Modi emphasized that growth needed to be achieved in a sustainable and responsible way. "I see many moving from need-based consumption to greed-based consumption," he said through an interpreter in Davos.

"The question is: Is this really development, or is it the beginning of society's downfall?"
- "Reggie has redefined what a spinal cord injury is because up till now, they thought a 'complete' injury was characterised by a complete loss of sense and function below the injury," he said.

"But there might be small numbers of nerve fibres, functional, still running through the injury site, some pathway," he continued.

"Reggie's technology elevates the ability of the lower part of the spinal cord to hear the small signals that are coming through the injury site, so it may not be a 'complete' injury."

The latest spinal cord stimulation study shows participants require less and less stimulation to achieve the same movements, suggesting the therapy sets a "cascade of repair events" to bring about recovery.

In addition, yet-to-be-published research by Dr Edgerton shows electrical stimulation can also be used to manage high blood pressure, which is an important finding because high blood pressure caused by dysreflexia is a leading cause of death among paralysed people.
- "Faith has always accompanied us, it strengthened when our country, our people faced particularly difficult times," Putin said in an interview for the documentary film "Valaam," a clip from which was broadcast by the Russia 1 TV channel.

"There were such severe years of militant atheism [during the Soviet period] when priests were killed, churches were destroyed. But at the same time a new religion was being created — Communist ideology, which is very similar to Christianity, in fact. Freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice — all of this is enshrined in the Holy Scripture, it's all there. And what about the Code of the Builders of Communism? This is a sublimation, it's really just a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented," the president said.
- HIGHEST INCOMES BY POSTCODE
• $192,500 — 2027 (NSW: Darling Point, Edgecliff, Point Piper)
• $190,777 — 3142 (Victoria: Hawksburn, Toorak)
• $182,829 — 2030 (NSW: Dover Heights, Rose Bay North, Vaucluse)
• $180,412 — 2023 (NSW: Bellevue Hill)
• $167,266 — 3944 (Victoria: Portsea)
• $161,360 — 2088 (NSW: Mosman, Spit Junction)
• $159,736 — 2063 (NSW: Northbridge)
• $150,230 — 6011 (Western Australia: Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove)
• $147,757 — 2110 (NSW: Hunters Hill, Woolwich)
• $146,521 — 2028 (NSW: Double Bay)
LOWEST INCOMES BY POSTCODE
• $12,004 — 2387 (NSW: Bulyeroi, Rowena)
• $15,411 — 3482 (Victoria: Watchem, Watchem West, Morton Plains)
• $18,291 — 4732 (Queensland: Tablederry, Muttaburra)
• $21,540 — 3889 (Victoria: Errinundra, Manorina, Club Terrace)
• $22,119 — 2308 (NSW: Newcastle University, Callaghan)
• $22,520 — 3542 (Victoria: NSW: Tittybong, Cokum, Lalbert)
• $23,641 — 2386 (NSW: Burren Junction, Nowley, Drildool)
• $23,881 — 5306 (South Australia: Wynarka)
• $24,261 — 3391 (Victoria: Brim)
• $24,641 — 3237 (Victoria: Weeaproinah, Wyelangta, Yuulong)
Source: ATO Taxation Statistics 2015-16
- In genetics, the mutation rate is the frequency of new mutations in a single gene or organism over time.[2] Mutation rates are not constant and are not limited to a single type of mutation, therefore there are many different types of mutations. Mutation rates are given for specific classes of mutations. Point mutations, are a class of mutations, which are small or large scale insertions or deletions. There are also Missense and Nonsense mutations, which are variations of point mutations. The rate of these types of substitutions can be further subdivided into a mutation spectrum which describes the influence of the genetic context on the mutation rate.[3]

There are several natural units of time for each of these rates, with rates being characterized either as mutations per base pair per cell division, per gene per generation, or per genome per generation. The mutation rate of an organism is an evolved characteristic and is strongly influenced by the genetics of each organism, in addition to strong influence from the environment. The upper and lower limits to which mutation rates can evolve is the subject of ongoing investigation. However, the mutation rate does vary over the genome. Over DNA, RNA or a single gene, mutation rates are changing.

When the mutation rate in humans increases certain health risks can occur, for example, cancer and other hereditary diseases. Having knowledge of mutation rates is vital to understanding the future of cancers and many hereditary diseases.[4]

Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Downloader Script, Random Stuff, and More

- had to do some research recently. Wrote a script to mass download stuff based on links via Google search engine. You can download it here:
- details are as follows:
# From time to time you just want to download a bunch of documentation
# on a particular topic. This script automates that process by scraping
# relevant links via Google and then downloading it.
#
# To use it just alter the "keyword" variable in the script and then 
# run it. Else, modify the relevant part to take first argument
# as part of keyword search to use things from command line. I like
# to keep it in a script to keep a track of what I've already 
# looked up and downloaded.
#
# Use it in combination with my whitepage_examine.sh script to compare
# and summarise documents quickly. This script obviously uses large
# amounts of code from my compare_social_media.sh and email_harvester.sh
# scripts. Very useful for training and/or study and much easier
# then looking up educational websites. You may be surprised at how
# much good free stuff is out there.
#
# I obviously considered using links obtained from alternate search
# engines but I found out from email_harvester.sh that the level of
# indexing by Google seems to be much better then the others. Hence,
# I've left the code out. If you want those results it's obviously
# not too difficult to port. Ironically, you'll discover that while
# search engines are good in some areas they're very weak in others.
# You're best bet is to use specialised search engines if you want
# to hone in on a particular area. Testing hasn't been easy because
# of the way replication, caching, networks, etc... works. You can't
# get consistent data even if the same requests have been made within
# seconds of one another.
#
# As this is the very first version of the program it may be VERY buggy. 
# Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.
- as an aside, above script can be easily modified for other purposes such as searches for music, pictures, videos, etc... 
music search engine
face search engine
security search engine
alternative to shodan

Random Stuff:
- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services
- latest in science and technology
selenium extension chrome
- latest in finance and politics
- latest in defense and intelligence
- latest in animal news
- latest in music and entertainment
funny rss
followforfollow twitter all my followers follow back

Random Quotes:
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A man was injured north of Anchorage after a moose that he had just kicked stomped his foot in return, state officials said.

KTVA-TV reported the man escaped major injuries in the encounter Thursday with the moose and her calf.

"It sounds like the moose were on a trail and in this case, it sounds like the guy was trying to go through them," State Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said. "That's never a good idea."

The two moose left the area after the man had his foot stomped, said Alaska Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

"I am not a biologist, but as a lifelong Alaskan I would advise people not to go around kicking moose," Peters said.

Moose have vast leg strength, Marsh said.

"If you get into a kicking contest with a moose, guess who's going to win?" he said.
- According to The Times, they ‘found’ a British nuclear-powered Astute-class attack submarine.

This sparked a deadly, days-long dance.

“This is interesting, considering the Astute class are arguably fitted with the finest sonar suite ever to go to sea and are equivalents to the US Seawolf class in terms of their ‘stealthy underwater ninja-ness’,” Dr Clarke says. “The odds of one being found if it didn’t want to be, seem very remote or very unlikely ... yes they do make more noise than a diesel-electric submarine running on batteries, but its not a lot of noise and again it comes back to the sonar suite, they’d have known the Russians were there a long time before the Russians knew where they might be ...”

According to The Times, the Russian forces strove to keep the pressure up on the British sub day after day. Meanwhile, it sought to lose itself among the currents and temperature layers of the Mediterranean to get within firing range of Syria.

Dodging the Russian ships and aircraft was the easy part.

But the Project 638 Improved Kilo-class submarines, which Russian media calls “Black Holes”, was likely another matter. One, named Krasnodar, last year demonstrated their ability to run silent and evade Western trackers.

They also trailed Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth as it undertook its first sea trials. Later, another watched NATO naval drills off Scotland.

Last week, Russia’s submarines appear to have been involved in an attempt to interfere with preparations for the strikes on Syria.
- “The central concept of liberalism is that under the enforcement of universal rules of just conduct, protecting a recognizable private domain of individuals, a spontaneous order of human activities of much greater complexity will form itself than could ever be produced by deliberate arrangement, and that in consequence the coercive activities of government should be limited to the enforcement of such rules, whatever other services government may at the same time render by administering those particular resources which have been placed at its disposal for those purposes”
- Do not control the people with laws,
Nor violence nor espionage,
But conquer them with inaction.

For:
The more morals and taboos there are,
The more cruelty afflicts people;
The more guns and knives there are,
The more factions divide people;
The more arts and skills there are,
The more change obsoletes people;
The more laws and taxes there are,
The more theft corrupts people.

Yet take no action, and the people nurture each other;
Make no laws, and the people deal fairly with each other;
Own no interest, and the people cooperate with each other;
Express no desire, and the people harmonize with each other.
-  Wil Allsopp, principal consultant with Verizon Business and a veteran penetration tester, says the abilities of a pen tester is best learnt by reading their CV. “My opinion is that certs for pen testing are pretty worthless all round for experienced testers; you should be able to look at someone's CV and within a short time interviewing them have a pretty good idea of where they are.”

Allsopp has taken the CHECK test, equivalent to senior CREST infrastructure certificate and run by CREST in Britain. His criticisms came despite having hired and been hired based on the certificate. His criticisms about the technical relevance of the exam are shared by others contacted by SC Magazine Australia.

“CREST … assumes that pen testing is a single discipline that can be baseline evaluated,” he says. “It isn't and you can't. To be a good pen tester takes time and experience because you need a very broad knowledge of operating systems, databases, languages and so on.” That broad experience doesn’t translate well in an exam, Allsopp says, arguing that a question asking ‘what stored procedure would you use to compromise an MS SQL 2005 server’ is unfair when examiners accept only one answer (xp_cmdshell) of dozens.
- Almost three quarters of school leavers who enrol at university get in using their ATAR, and its calculation is a frequently misunderstood science. The ATAR is not a mark out of 100 but a rank - a ranking of 80 means the student has performed better than 80 per cent of their year 7 cohort.
- Gordon: [looks back at Blake, offended by what he said] There's a point far out there, when the structures fail you. When the rules aren't weapons anymore, they're shackles, letting the bad guy get ahead... One day, you may face such a moment of crisis. And in that moment, [agitated] I hope you have a friend like I did! To plunge their hands into the filth, so that you can keep yours clean!!!
- Bane: Home, where I learned the truth about despair, as will you. There's a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth... Hope. Every man who has rotted here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy... So simple... And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clambering over each other to stay in the sun. You can watch me torture an entire city and when you have truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny... We will destroy Gotham and then, when it is done and Gotham is...ashes... then you have my permission to die.
- Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
- "...No ordinary child. A child born in hell. Forged from suffering. Hardened by pain."
―Prisoner[src]
- Miranda Tate: You see, it's the slow knife, the knife that takes it's time, the knife that waits years without forgetting, then slips quietly between the bones, that's the knife, that cuts deepest.
- Ra's al Ghul: Oh, there are many forms of immortality.
- Innocence cannot flower underground. It has to be stamped out.
- Aslan was born into a Shia Muslim family.[19] He converted to evangelical Christianity at the age of 15,[20] and converted back to Islam the summer before attending Harvard.[21] In 2005 The Guardian called him "a Shia by persuasion".[22] In a 2013 interview with WNYC host Brian Lehrer, Aslan said: "I'm definitely a Muslim and Sufism is the tradition within Islam that I most closely adhere to."[23] He also proclaims himself a "genuinely committed disciple of Jesus of Nazareth."[19] In a 2013 article in the Washington Post, Aslan states: "It's not [that] I think Islam is correct and Christianity is incorrect. It's that all religions are nothing more than a language made up of symbols and metaphors to help an individual explain faith."[24] In 2014, in an interview with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, Aslan described Islam as:

    a man-made institution. It's a set of symbols and metaphors that provides a language for which to express what is inexpressible, and that is faith. It's symbols and metaphors that I prefer, but it's not more right or more wrong than any other symbols and metaphors. It's a language, that's all it is.[25]

Aslan states that he follows the Sufi movement.[26]

FOSS Software Mirror Script, Random Stuff, and More

- got tired of of having to manually download software for Windows systems (for updates). Scripted the task. You can download it here: ht...