Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Internet (page 1 of 13)

ArchiveTeam Warrior

You’d think that everything on the internet lasts forever. But it doesn’t.

Through Jason Scott’s escapades on Twitter, and his podcast, I have in many ways re-discovered the Internet Archive. It’s the modern day reincarnation of the Great Library of Alexandria, and contains a significant part of the internet as it was. The Archive is also crammed with all kinds of files, from books to recordings of live music performances.

But is the internet, and everything on it, really something that has to be preserved? Yes, it is. Even though it’s mostly cat pictures, porn, and incoherent ramblings, it’s is an important part of our cultural heritage. The internet is a unique gateway into life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and will be important when future generations try to figure out what went wrong.

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Let’s Hack A City!

If medical equipment isn’t a big enough target for you, why not hack a city?

A while ago I went on one of my familiar rants. The subject was how ridiculously easy it is to hack medical equipment, with medical device maker Meditronic’s pace maker programming devices being the concrete example. Even though I wrote the post in August, it’s still very relevant. Just a couple of days ago,  Meditronic made headlines again when they issued a statement saying that their CareLink line of pace maker programming devices is actually vulnerable to attacks.

The first news of vulnerable Meditronic equipment dropped during the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. But medical equipment was not the only Black Hat target. Far from it. Another interesting subject of hacking was “smart” cities.

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Find Free High Quality Photos Online

Are you spending a lot of time trying to find free high quality photos online? Let me help you spend a lot less time.

The heading sounds like SPAM, but this is a legitimate post. Honestly.

A couple of years ago, I started adding featured images to my posts. The featured image is the one you see on top of every post. I used to take a few of them myself, and back in the days I was an avid amateur photographer. I even took a proper photography course once. You’re probably not that impressed, but it’s one of the few times I’ve paid someone else out of my own pocket to have them teach me about a hobby. My photography interest has faded, though, and my trusty 300D, and lens collection is silently collecting dust in the basement.

So now the majority of the featured images you see are shot by someone else. Finding photos online is pretty damn easy, since every major search engine has an image search feature. So any joker can just lift a photo from another site online, and use it. But most of the photos you find through search engines are copyrighted. Someone else owns them. And you wouldn’t steal a photo, would you? Or perhaps you put yourself above the law? Then you’re an idiot. If you are, now is your chance to stop being an idiot: I’ve put together a list of sites that offer free high quality pictures with no copyright attached.

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We Need to Toot About Mastodon

Is Mastodon the silver bullet, or yet another social media dud?

First of all, we’ll have to clarify one thing. This post isn’t about the American heavy metal band Mastodon. It’s about the social network Mastodon. You’d think that the creator of Mastodon (the social network) would to at least a little research before picking a name, but apparently not.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it.

The internet is great. It makes it incredibly easy to for us to connect, share, and educate ourselves. It’s also a place where trolls breed and feed, and hate is amplified. The anonymous nature of the series of tubes that is the internet often brings out the worst in people. There are few things that will make you lose faith in humanity faster than reading comments on a random, high-traffic site on the internet.

Historically, any lack of anonymity has restrained the trolls to a certain degree. And life was good. But with the rise of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, we’ve seen that some people really don’t need anonymity to go absolutely nuts. They’ll write and share whatever they think about race, sexual orientation, global warming, and other heated topics. This has turned many social media sites into very hostile environments, and people are looking for alternatives.

So wouldn’t it be great if there was a Twitter, but without all the hate and hostility? Mastodon tries to be just that, but can it succeed?

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Finding the Best Router for OpenWrt, DD-WRT, and LEDE

Let’s find the best router for OpenWrt, DD-WRT, and LEDE.

OpenWrt, DD-WRT and LEDE are all Linux-based, custom firmware for your router. They give you a whole lot more features than your average stock router firmware, and they are more often than not better maintained than the firmware provided by the router vendor. From what I can see, OpenWrt, DD-WRT, and LEDE have enough in common that if one of them works well on a router, it’s a fair chance it’ll also work on the other two. OpenWrt and LEDE, in particular, have a lot in common. LEDE is an OpenWrt fork that was started because of internal disagreements among the OpenWrt members. Now they’re all friends again, and LEDE and OpenWrt will merge again soonTM, using the more actively maintained LEDE code base, and keeping the well-known OpenWrt brand.

But what router works best with third party firmware? It’s not easy to figure out. All three projects support, to various degree, a large number of routers, from a wide range of vendors. But some routers are better supported than others, in particular when it comes to WiFi support. The reason for this is that router vendors use different WLAN chipsets in their routers. How easy it is to obtain drivers for the different hardware varies, with Broadcom in particular being a hard nut to crack.

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