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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Linux BASH Quick Browser, Random Stuff, and More

- browsers and websites are becoming way too slow. Came up with the following script which allows for faster browsing. You can download it here:
- description is as follows:
#    Over time, you would have noticed the increased propensity of
#    websites to become more heavily dependent on JavaScript (and 
#    (associated libraries such as jQuery, AngularJS, etc...) and browsers
#    to become slower. This has led to rediculous load times on 
#    'lesser systems'. Hence, I decided to build my own 'mini_browser'. 
#    It basically takes takes input from a file called 'bookmarks.txt' 
#    (add links to this file as we wish). It then builds a menu system 
#    from this and uses a local Linux CLI based browser such as links, 
#    lynx, elinks, etc... from which to render and 'dump' an existing 
#    webpage or else you can browse it like normal if you use the 'browse' 
#    option on command initialisation.
#    If you prefer speed you'll obviously prefer the standard functionality
#    (don't add 'browse' option) at runtime. As a consequence of it's 
#    construction it also happens to skip over advertising as well as 
#    some types of paywalls as well.
#    As this is the very first version of the program (and I didn't have
#    access to the original server while I was cleaning this up it may 
#    be VERY buggy). Please test prior to deployment in a production 
#    environment.
- obviously, if you're into the news and you're into this script/program you'll may also be interested in some of my other research/work into this area:

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
libreoffice ebook template
- latest in finance and politics
Keiser Report - China’s ban on ‘foreign garbage’ (E1164)
CrossTalk Bullhorns - FBI-gate (Extended Version)
Keiser Report -  American Empire Entering Decline (E1163)
Is Cape Town facing a future without water
Inside Story - Has the war in Yemen achieved its goals
Al Jazeera World - Lebanon - The Refugees' Midwife - Al Jazeera World
Inside Story - How much of a threat are Russia and China to the US
The Stream - Can the Rohingya go back to Myanmar _ The Stream
- latest in defense and intelligence
- latest in animal news
- latest in music and entertainment

Random Quotes:
- Once again, Pope Francis has pressed forward the mantra that much of the world’s problems — hunger, overrun borders — are due to man’s failures to stop wars and address climate change.

Not so, according to the Bible. But what’s a little Bible-based reading between the pope’s political devices?

“The relationship between hunger and migrations can only be addressed if we go to the root of the problem,” he said in an address before the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, Breitbart noted. “In this regard, studies conducted by the United Nations, like many others conducted by civil organizations, agree that there are two major obstacles that must be overcome: conflicts and climate change.”

Now compare that with this, from the pope’s own supposed guiding compass, the Bible.

“You desire and do not have; so you kill,” according to James 4. “And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

Hmm. Wars come from evil desires, and hunger and poverty, in large part, from wars. That’s the word according to God, anyway.
- As the tectonic plates of global politics shift, it is worth asking do we want the world to be led by a nation whose guiding principle is this:

“We should not just mechanically copy the political systems of other countries. The CPC stresses the unity of Party leadership, the people running the country, and law-based governance. Party leadership is the fundamental guarantee for ensuring that the people run the country and governance in China is law-based; that the people run the country is an essential feature of socialist democracy; and law-based governance is the basic way for the Party to lead the people in governing the country. The system of people’s congresses must be upheld and improved to ensure the people’s exercise of state power.”

Or this:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Personally I’d prefer life, liberty and happiness over state power but I’ll have to check with the wife.
- What a sight a lunar lava cave would be. Protected from meteors and radiation that bombards the surface, the tunnels might preserve evidence from the moon’s early history and clues to its mysterious origins. And many scientists have long dreamed of building bases inside natural moon caves, where lunar explorers might sleep safely in inflatable homes, protected from the storms above.

But the lava tunnels of the moon, like the mythical canals of Mars, proved elusive.

NASA’s Ronald Greeley hypothesized in 1971 that one of the great channels in the moon’s Marius Hills region might in fact be a collapsed tunnel. But he admitted that no mission had yet photographed a lunar cave entrance — and some doubted they even existed.
Half a century after Greeley’s paper was published and NASA left the moon behind, in a paper published this week, Japanese researchers say they've found proof of the tunnels no one could see.

Japan calls its Kaguya orbiter the “largest lunar mission since the Apollo program.” It was launched in 2007 with state-of-the-art instruments, deployable satellites and a mission to solve the great mysteries of the moon’s origin.
- Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin has fired up the most powerful new US rocket engine in decades, BE-4. The engine can be used in multiple rockets, including United Launch Alliance's Vulcan and Blue Origin's own orbital rocket, New Glenn.

The BE-4 engine, powered by liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants, has been closely watched within the aerospace community and in military space for a number of reasons.

SpaceX Dragon Cargo Ship Departs International Space Station - NASA
Designed to pump out 550,000 pounds of thrust at sea level, it promises to be the most powerful American-built rocket engine since Rocketdyne developed the RS-68 engine two decades ago. The BE-4 uses innovative new technology, is fully reusable and could become the premier US rocket engine for both commercial and military heavy launches.

It is also notable that the engine was built with mostly private money and no direct cost to taxpayers.

On Wednesday, the company successfully fired up the BE-4 at 50-percent power for three seconds at a facility in West Texas. It's a major stepping stone in the development of the engine, which is expected to play a key role in Blue Origin's economic future.
- "When you have a market economy, it all comes down to whether or not you acknowledge where the market has failed and where intervention is required.," she said.

"Has it failed our people in recent times? Yes," Ardern asserted, adding, "How can you claim you've been successful when you have growth roughly three percent, but you've got the worst homelessness in the developed world?"

The new prime minister offered that her government would use more than the simple measure of gross domestic product (GDP) to measure economic success, observing that life is much more complicated than a mere financial statistic, cited by Newshub.co.nz.

"We need to make sure we are looking at people's ability to actually have a meaningful life, an enjoyable life, where their work is enough to survive and support their families." 

Her newly-formed New Zealand coalition government will include child poverty reduction targets in the country's laws and increase the minimum wage to $16.50, with the intention of increasing it again at an unstated point in the future.

"We have to make sure we balance the need to see that wage increase whilst at the same time ensure that we give enough notice so we can ensure the cushioning for those who are paying those wages. $16.50 is our first step. We'll look to move beyond that over time," Ardern said.
- Sao Paulo (AFP) - Nicknamed "dog food" and made from nearly expired left-overs, a new product designed to fight hunger among school kids in Brazil's largest city has sparked controversy.

Sao Paulo mayor Joao Doria this week presented the dry pellets at a press conference and promised they will reduce hunger among the city's poorest school children, while also slashing food waste.

In some of its forms, such as the pellets, the recycled food -- officially known as "farinata" -- can be eaten on its own, but it can also be added to other meals, such as spaghetti or cakes.

Despite the public outcry over its dystopian appearance and unappealing provenance, the mayor -- from the conservative PSDB party, and tipped as a potential presidential candidate in 2018 -- said he had already authorized the food to be distributed to some the city's schools this month, without specifying how many children would receive it.

"The ministry of education has been authorized to use it in school meals, in a complementary form," said Doria.

Human Rights secretary EloĆ­sa Arruda said the move had been taken before a full study on the nutritional needs of underprivileged students had been carried out in Sao Paulo, the largest metropolis in South America.

- Blessed food -

Doria described the pellets as a "blessed food" when he presented them, and defended their immediate distribution to children from lower income families.

"Starting in October, we will have a gradual roll-out... to offer it to people who are hungry," he said.

But a lack of transparency over farinata's production and exact usage have only sharpened the controversy in a society already plagued by vast disparities between rich and poor.

"When we offer pellets to lower income people to eat, we are only exacerbating the inequality in society," said Vivian Zollar, a spokeswoman for the Region Council on Nutrition, saying the move demanded a broader debate within society.

The council issued a statement this week questioning the distribution of the pellets, saying it was a violation of the right to adequate food and "flew in the face of advances made in recent years in the field of food security."

Zollar also accused the mayor's office of not having sufficiently researched possible alternatives to tackle the problem of food scarcity.

"When the city presented the pellets, they said it was a good practise ... but no one ever thought it would replace food," she said.

The state of Sao Paulo has a million and a half people suffering from a lack of food, according to 2013 study by the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics. That number rises to 7.2 million across the country.
- During the first half of October, three reports in the three main US mainstream newspapers made serious allegations about the company and this may, in part have contributed to the decision not to have Eugene testify before the panel.

A report in The Wall Street Journal on 11 October hinted that Kaspersky Lab could have made available its source code to the Russian Government.

Prior to that, a report in The Washington Post on 10 October claimed that Israeli Government information security professionals had found NSA hacking tools in Kaspersky Lab's system when it gained access to the company's servers in 2014.

And The New York Times claimed on 11 October that Russian Government employees had used Kaspersky's anti-virus software to search for the code names of US intelligence programmes, while Israeli intelligence officials looked on.

Kaspersky Lab was asked whether there has been any official contact from the US Government regarding the apparent change.

A company spokesperson responded: "We have seen the reports that the Committee has rescheduled its hearing. It has not communicated this to Kaspersky Lab. If the Committee proceeds with a rescheduled hearing we look forward to being provided the opportunity to address their concerns directly."

Meanwhile, in another blog post overnight, Eugene again denied any wrongdoing on the part of the company. However, as when iTWire put direct questions to him a week ago, he did not deal directly with the accusations made in the three articles by the WSJ, NYT and WP cited above.

However, a point made by the Kaspersky Lab team in a blog post on 16 October is worth citing here. In a Q and A, the team asked this query: "Is it true that Kaspersky Anti-Virus collects data from your computer?"

The response ran thus (emphasis mine): "Yes, it is true, but it doesn’t collect personal data such as documents and photos. Our products, much like antivirus software from most other companies, have a cloud protection component. It quickly reacts to any new threats and protects all of our users quite literally within a minute. We call this Kaspersky Security Network (KSN). As KSN works, the antivirus may actually transfer files to the cloud, but only if they’re related to malicious or suspicious files. More detail about this may be found here.

"And you can turn KSN off when installing the product or at any time after installation in the protection settings. If you like to develop cyber weapons on your home computer, it would be quite logical to turn KSN off — otherwise your malicious software will end up in our antivirus database and all your work will have been in vain. Our corporate customers can choose to use KPSN, our Private Security Network, instead, which provides the same level of protection, but does not transmit data to Kaspersky Lab’s servers."

Cheesy Tomato Based Pasta Recipe, Adding Subtitles to Video Files, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapeasyhealthy-tomato-based-pa...