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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Automated Audiobook Maker Script, Random Stuff, and More

- wanted to find a way to automated building of audiobooks. Built the following:
- description is as follows:
# I wanted a way to make audiobooks automatically. This is the result.
#
# To use it just drop the relevant TXT, DOC, or PDF files into the current
# folder, comment/uncomment out the relevant function calls and run the 
# script. Wait while the script runs and you'll have your audiobooks at 
# the end.
#
# Obviously, this is very useful for a multitude of reasons including 
# lack of current audiobook options, vision impaired people, other 
# training options, 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.

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
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Random Quotes:
- According to Washington-based Nilsu Goren, who studies Turkey's military, Turkey turned to Russia after concluding that the U.S., and the U.S. Congress in particular, would not provide the Patriot air defense system made by Raytheon that Ankara wants to defend its southern border.

"From their perspective, the U.S. has denied them the technology and access to its security assets at the times that Turkey needed them the most," Goren tells NPR. "Turkey sees no contradiction in purchasing a Russian air and missile defense system while continuing to work with its NATO partners."

Oklahoma's Lankford disagrees. "If Turkey is not going to end up cooperating with NATO," he tells NPR, "there's no reason to have a NATO base there."

But former U.S. ambassador Jeffrey says losing Turkey as part of NATO would be a huge blow to the alliance.

"You can do nothing in the Levant, nothing against Iran or very little, nothing in the Caucuses, nothing in the Black Sea without Turkey's geographic space, its bases and its military force, which is the second largest in NATO," says Jeffrey, who's now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "I mean, it's extremely important."

Jeffrey says it is unlikely Erdogan will make any concessions to the U.S. until after Turkey's June 24 national elections, given what he says is the longstanding unpopularity of the U.S. among Turks. "It's a little bit tricky for the Turks to respond to this," he adds.

It's bound to be a conundrum for the U.S. as well.
- Then in 2003, he made the most crucial discovery. Professor Mojica noticed that the weird repeating DNA in the bacteria usually sat alongside chunks of DNA that matched viruses that attacked that type of bacteria.

An in-depth explainer of the gene editing technique and how it works.

He realised, in effect, the repeats were framing a kind of mugshot in the bacteria's genome, that lets it recognise viruses.

"This is a bit like human antibodies," Professor Crossley said.

"If you've been infected once, you have a snapshot of that and you're ready for next time. And what CRISPR does is take a little piece of the viral DNA and puts it in the bacteria's genome so that next time the virus comes along the bacteria is ready."
- “This might sound like science fiction, but space agencies and private companies around the world are actively trying to turn this aspiration into reality in the not-too-distant future,” said Professor Krausz who is from the ANU Research School of Chemistry. He was a co-author on a paper detailing the work of the team which appeared in the journal Science.

“Photosynthesis could theoretically be harnessed with these types of organisms to create air for humans to breathe on Mars. Low-light adapted organisms, such as the cyanobacteria we’ve been studying, can grow under rocks and potentially survive the harsh conditions on the red planet,” he added.
- He and his partner began dumpster diving, visiting soup kitchens to find food and “spanging” (spare changing) for money. “The homeless community taught us how to get given money,” he says. “You stand in certain places and ask for money, they give you money because they know you’re homeless because of where you’re standing.”
- An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω, literally meaning "an uncovering"[1]) is a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology (see wiki chart in this article: Series on Eschatology) and were obtained through dreams or spiritual visions. Also, it is the Greek word for the last book of the New Testament entitled "Revelation".[2] The term is also included in the title of some non-biblical canon books involving revelations.[3][4][5] Today, the term is commonly used in reference to any larger-scale catastrophic event, or chain of detrimental events to humanity or nature.[6] In all contexts, the revealed events usually entail some form of an end time scenario or the end of the world or revelations into divine, heavenly, or spiritual realms. For more specific examples of apocalypses, see Apocalypticism.
- THE hardest-working man in the insemination business is at it again this Father’s Day, doing what he does best: impregnating strangers. But now an entire nation is trying to stop him.

“They’re banning my sperm,” Ari Nagel said of Israel’s Ministry of Health.

Known as the ‘Sperminator’, Mr Nagel, 42, has fathered 33 children over the past 10 years, many of them born to New York women after he ejaculated into cups in public rest rooms — including at a Brooklyn Target and a Starbucks, the New York Post reports.

In December, a 43-year-old woman agreed to fly the Seed Superman to Israel with the intention of freezing his sperm at a private clinic. But before he even left the clinic, Mr Nagel said, an employee disposed of his sample and told him the facility was not allowed to store his sperm. He believes the clinic recognised his name and alerted health authorities, which ordered the move.

The Ministry of Health sent a letter to the would-be mother saying Mr Nagel’s sperm cannot be used in Israel and that all sperm banks have been alerted.

According to Israeli law, sperm donation must be anonymous; neither the donor nor recipient can know one another’s identity. Mr Nagel, the letter suggests, is widely known.

But knowing Mr Nagel’s identity and wanting him in their children’s lives, the mothers have said, is the very reason he is in such high demand in the country.
- In a blog post from June 2012, Koum wrote: "No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they'll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn't).

"We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake... and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.

"Advertising isn't just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it's all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out...

"And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen."

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Opera Browser Cache Extractor, Random Stuff, and More

- recently had trouble extracting some media from a website. Built opera_cache_extractor.sh to deal with it. Download it from here:
- description is as follows:
# For some sites extracting content (streamed music and video in 
# particular) can be difficult unless you're willing to go down
# the protocol level analysis route. Even with the advent of mass and 
# automated downloaders, browser extensions and addons, etc...
# you need to do a packet/network trace to get what you want.
# Examine youtube-dl and you'll have a better understanding of
# what this entails.
#
# I've obviously looked around at most utilities but when in a hurry
# and these options aren't working I've always found a useful 
# 'fallback position'. Namely, extracting files from relevant
# browser cache directories. It was cumbersome so I wrote this script
# to automate things. The periodic wait and copy structure is there for
# those websites which choose to encode/encrypt the cached files in
# question upon complete download.
#
# It's obviously been tested with Opera but should work with any
# browser which functions similarly. Relevant packages are the following.
# dpkg -i opera_11.60.1185_i386.deb
# dpkg -i install_flash_player_10_linux.deb
#
# 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
Q: How can I disable SPTD on my computer to check if it causes problems?
A: If your system has some problems with SPTD installation you can do as follows:
If your system is already running then go to step 2 directly. Otherwise start from step 1.
Step 1. Boot in safe mode and press ESC key when you see on bottom line of display: "Press ESC to cancel loading SPTD.sys". This will abort loading of SPTD layer.
Step 2. Find "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\ Services\sptd" registry key in REGEDIT and set DWORD Start value to 4 (i.e. disabled).
Step 3. Reboot again in normal mode and check if your issue is solved.
To reenable SPTD restore the DWORD Start value back to '0' and reboot your computer.
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Random Quotes:
- "My goal is not to bring back the mammoth, it's to bring back mammoth genes and show that they work. We have got 44 mammoth genes that have been resurrected," he said during the Unite To Cure Fourth International Vatican Conference in Vatican City.

"If we get this thing out into the wild, it will be more than just a cold-resistant elephant, it won't be limited to mammoth genes.

"We're putting in genes that reduce the tusk size to prevent poaching, making them so they can eat a broader range of plants.

"We want something that can adapt to a different environment so we save two ecosystems, one is the elephant ecosystem and the other is the tundra."

Woolly mammoths could help prevent tundra permafrost from melting and releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

One of the papers, due for publication within the coming months, sets out plans to create a working "decidua" or womb lining in which the mammoth-elephant hybrid can grow.

The scientists are keen not to impregnate an elephant in case something goes wrong. But one of the biggest stumbling blocks has been creating sufficient blood vessels in artificial womb tissue to provide support for a growing embryo.

The process, known as vascularisation, is one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to grow human organs in the lab. But they now believe they have solved the problem and want to start testing on mice, because they only have a 20-day gestation period, in contrast to the 22 months of an elephant.

"Finally after 11 years we are going to publish work on this," said Prof Church.

"The hardest part, where we are now, is testing all these genes that we have made, which requires at least embryogenesis (growing an embryo), so since we don't want to interfere with the reproductive success of existing female elephants we're trying to do it in vitro in the lab."

The woolly mammoth roamed Europe, Asia, Africa and North America during the last Ice Age and vanished 4500 years ago, probably due to a combination of climate change and hunting. Its closest living relative is the Asian, not the African, elephant.
- Privacy-focused apps like Signal, GreatFire.org and Psiphon's VPN services, all of which help users avoid censorship by nation states, will be affected by the Google and AWS moves.

According to Wikipedia, domain-fronting is "a technique that circumvents Internet censorship by hiding the true endpoint of a connection. Working in the application layer, domain-fronting allows a user to connect to a blocked service over HTTPS, while appearing to communicate with an entirely different site".

In its statement, AWS said: "Domain Fronting is when a non-standard client makes a TLS/SSL connection to a certain name, but then makes a HTTPS request for an unrelated name. For example, the TLS connection may connect to 'www.example.com' but then issue a request for 'www.example.org'.

"In certain circumstances this is normal and expected. For example, browsers can re-use persistent connections for any domain that is listed in the same SSL Certificate, and these are considered related domains. But in other cases, tools including malware can use this technique between completely unrelated domains to evade restrictions and blocks that can be imposed at the TLS/SSL layer.

"To be clear, this technique can’t be used to impersonate domains. The clients are non-standard and are working around the usual TLS/SSL checks that ordinary clients impose. But clearly, no customer ever wants to find that someone else is masquerading as their innocent, ordinary domain."
- Mathematically brilliant but shy and introverted, in 1958 he was accepted to Harvard College, where he was deceived into being part of a series of deliberately brutalising experiments. From late 1959 to early 1962, Harvard psychologists led by Henry Murray conducted disturbing experiments on 22 undergraduates. Kaczynski was identified as “Lawful”. Intended to measure how people react under stress, Murray subjected students to intensive interrogation, admitting to “vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive” attacks on his subjects’ egos and most-cherished ideals and beliefs.
- “Do not bother us, and we will not interfere with you.” What is unsaid is: "Don't bother us while we seek to destroy you, and we won't bother you till it's too late for you."
- “What I find is, you find things in common, and then you can talk about differences. That’s much better than just concentrating on differences only. That can lead to conflict.”

But he said the US and China were in competition and “I would label it for the Chinese as a ‘hyper-competition’”.

Asked what “might bring back that fear”, General Brown said it would be military innovation that enabled US and allied forces such as the Australian Defence Force to fight seamlessly and flexibly across the domains of battle: air, sea, land, space and cyber.

“It gives us … the ability to present dilemmas to an enemy and be less predictable,” he said.

“You think about a web where you could link all of the assets you have together and have many options ... We don’t have that right now. We’re extremely predictable and linear and there are folks out there - Russia and China - that have watched that and learnt from it and developed these systems to counter that.”

He said if the US and its allies got that transformation right, “we’ll prevent conflict because they wouldn’t be foolish enough to go against us”.

Automated Audiobook Maker Script, Random Stuff, and More

- wanted to find a way to automated building of audiobooks. Built the following: https://sites.google.com/site/dtbnguyen/audiobook_maker-...