Patrick's Rants


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3/1/2015

Rooted an LG Spectrum

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 9:42 am

So my LG Spectrum – getting quite long in the tooth at over 2 years old – was beginning to really, really annoy me. Yes, I could still text and email, but when I was trying to make phone calls the darned thing would reboot. After it did it three times in a row I decided it was time to update the phone. Verizon doesn’t have any updates available. Add a discussion over on Slashdot about vulnerabilities in webview libraries that Google isn’t going to fix and I was ready for a “fix”, load my own, or someone else’s own, custom ROM. I had already “rooted” my phone using the script I found on the Android Forums. I had tried a few others, but the phone that I have, running Android 4.0.4, or Ice Cream Sandwich, did not get rooted using any of those methods. I had actually used ES File Explorer to uninstall some of the apps that come with the LG Spectrum from Verizon, NFL Scores and other things like that that I won’t ever use, also the Verizon backup app since I moved my phone to another carrier. The only way to uninstall those preinstalled apps is to have the phone rooted.

After the multi reboot scenario, I had totally had it with this phone. I wanted a newer OS so I tried one set of instructions, then another and ended up more or less bricking the phone and ended up at the store to get different one (different model, a bit lighter on software/bloatware, newer – but not newest – OS). I would plug it in and the button lights at the bottom would just flash. I ended up reflashing using the LG_Tools file LG Mobile Update from this thread(Direct link to LG support pages you can actually download software for quite a few different devices). The LG Tools required me to go over to the Windows 7 laptop whereas everything else can be run from my regular Debian box. So the Spectrum was now recovered to the latest OS version that Verizon had available. The OS, of course, now relocked as originally shipped. Now, with a working phone and my now backup phone, the Spectrum, I could tinker at will. Having tried various methods that didn’t work for me, I tried the method in the unlocked bootloader thread. This one worked! I now have a Spectrum running the CyanogenMod bootloader and Android 4.2.2. Due to the licensing of Google Apps, the Play Store and couple of others, I had to install an additional package from the CyanogenMod page to match the version of CyanogenMod running on my phone. And then, because I haven’t been able to get a newer version of CM to install, I had to find and install a newer version of the PlayStore app (mine would open and then close). I sideloaded the PlayStore and now have a very clean, very lightweight install on this phone. Now, what to do with it?

Oh, and my “new” phone? I didn’t take the time to research if I could install custom ROMs beforehand and it seems like I can’t. It’s a Kyocera Hydro C6750 that all my after-the-fact research shows has a really, really locked bootloader so custom ROMs aren’t likely. I will do more research before I purchase a newer phone. It can be rooted, though, so a simple install of App Quarantine keeps the things I don’t want from running. I could uninstall those apps since I have root, but sometimes bad things can happen on a factory installed ROM.


Local files:

9/30/2014

What’s your best email address?

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff,It's funny — site admin @ 7:27 pm

I just went to download a pdf report and like so many others it asks for my name and email address. Unlike so many others in the email address box are the words, “Please enter your best email address”. So I entered yourbestemailaddress@ this site… that’s what they asked for, right?

7/1/2014

This is What I Meant

Filed under: Politics — site admin @ 7:05 pm

On election night, 2004 I said that a woman’s right to choose, that the balance of the Supreme Court hung on the results of the election. This rabidly conservative Supreme court has voted to give corporations the first amendment right of free speech and opening the door to unlimited “dark” campaign money in the Citizen’s United ruling. Now the court has ruled that small, “closely held” corporations have the right to freedom of religion, again under the first amendment. Except the ruling ignores that fact that – despite what Mitt says – corporations are not people. They are an artifice created to shelter the owners from direct liability. It also ignores the carefully crafted “closely held corporation” has been estimated to apply to 90% of all businesses in the US and affects some 51% of all US citizens – well, 25.5% if you discount the (old white) men. And it ignores the fact that Koch industries, run by two extremely wealthy old white guys might be considered a “small, closely held corporation”. Do we really believe that billion dollar businesses are “small”?

Will we next be hearing that women can be discriminated in these same businesses if women are to be considered chattel according to the religions of these same corporations? After all freedom of religion is the first amendment, well before that pesky one that gives women the right to vote, and the one that requires all peoples to be treated equally.

I wrote in 2004,

The makeup of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance tonight.

The pendulum has swung. We are reaping what Bush has sown. While there are some tides that will likely never again turn, the legalization of same sex marriage and medicinal and even recreational use of marijuana, the relentless onslaught of old white men on reproductive rights marches on.

For a more eloquent take, please read Why The Hobby Lobby Decision Actually Hurts People Of Faith

6/24/2014

Supreme Court Takes a Step to Partially Invalidate Patents on “Ideas”

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:10 am

In an interesting, if long, posting over on VOX reviews the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding software patents. Take a trip over to read The supreme court doesn’t understand software and that’s a problem. Should there be a patent on 1+1=2? That’s the most basic form of this question.

6/21/2014

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 7:25 am

Note to self: If you want the name of the fail2ban filter to show up in the email reports you have to spell the word “name” correctly.

6/12/2014

Closed GTE

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 3:07 pm

Today GTE hit 7.60 and my order that was in to sell was hit. So purchased just over a month ago and sold today. The simple return on this transaction is 5.89% annualized it’s just over 75%. I love it when a plan comes together :)
Time to take a look to see if I should be in for another roll.
edit
After looking over the chart and checking my screener I placed another order to buy at $6.89. GTE hit this three times in May and I believe that it could roll down again. I still like the frequency that it has hit 7.60 vs the possibly higher exit price of 7.75 so the sell price will be in at 7.60 if I get filled.


This is my account, I’m posting for entertainment and educational purposes only. There are no stock tips or recommendations here. Do your own thing.

6/10/2014

The Failure of a Mailing List

Filed under: Geek News and Stuff — site admin @ 8:27 am

Recently, I was asked if I could host a mailing list for a non-profit organization. Of course I told them yes. There has been a lot of back and forth discussion over six months or so to get things configured “just so”. Well. Things were not configured “just so”.

The thing is, all of the people whose email addresses we used were on a list provided by a governmental agency. Two things had to happen for someone’s email address to make it to this list: they had to actually provide it to the agency in the first place, they had to leave a box empty next to words similar to “do not share my email address publicly.” In other words, if you didn’t want your name and information to make it to this list you had to specifically ask that the information not be shared. I have filled out this application – and marked do not share. So my own information is on the full list but not on the publicly released list. And companies use this list for marketing and other purposes every single day.

This day was unlike any other day though. When the first email hit the wire (it was sent using Mailman mailing list software) I noticed a substantial slowdown of this server (well the server that this one replaced) immediately. The list had 21,000 email addresses on it. I was seeing loads of over 20, spiking at well over 30. When the load is at 5 things start to slow down. For a little perspective the load (as I write this) on the new machine is 0.00 0.03 0.00. There is one configuration check box on Mailman that would have made this an announce only list – which is what it really was being used as. That box was not checked.

Most normal people, me – and I hope you – would have treated this as an email to discard if you had no interest in the subject matter (it was for continuing education) and clicked on delete or even marked it as spam on their email program. Most normal people would have even recognized which list their email address was on due to the subject matter. In a group of 21,000 you will get folks from the whole spectrum. And maybe just a little less than normal. What actually happened was a few people hit reply (did I mention that the sender’s address was stripped and replaced by the mailing list alias?) Each reply of “take me off your list” went to 21k people. The cascade was at times humorous and at times sad. A simple, “hey would you stop sending me these emails?” was responded to by “I’m not sending you emails, I’m getting them too.” Times 21k.

One, very abnormal induhvidual, did the very clever thing of responding to each of the other eight or twelve responses with profanity and threats. The threats were mildly amusing in the amount of effort it took to track down names of people he felt were responsible and who might have influence. He called business offices of members of the board for the non-profit. He tracked my domain registration information and threatened to have my registrar “shut me down” on my voice mail. Well. I think he was smart enough to annoy people, but not smart enough to understand the law. The email, while annoying, did not reach the legal definition of “spam”. Yes, I have a lower tolerance for what I would consider spam, but we were well within the legal limits and only actually sent one email. It was the people clicking on reply who added to the storm. Yes, the list was misconfigured and should never have been set to allow posts by anyone other than the list administrator. I click delete on so many unwanted emails, I mark the ones that are clearly spam (made up addresses on my domain that come to the catchall address – I even have a few addresses sprinkled around this site to catch the bots) and shuffle them off so Spamassassin can learn from them. I don’t respond. If this were real spam, the act of responding is the real problem. Now someone knows the inbox gets read.

It took some fast typing on my part to get the machine wrestled into a more manageable state. I eventually set the list into emergency moderation mode (via command line – the web interface was non-responsive) and we started the cleanup process of not only the list, but of the server itself.

Filed under: Bumper Sticker,Seen on a — site admin @ 8:13 am

It was not really a bumper sticker – more of a warning on the back of a truck loaded with welding equipment and acetylene torches.

DANGER
Do not touch.
Not only will it kill you
it will hurt the whole time you are dying.

Short, sweet and emphatically to the point.

Filed under: Seen on a,T-Shirt — site admin @ 8:10 am

It was me.
I let the dogs out.

5/7/2014

New Position in GTE

Filed under: Money,Stocks — site admin @ 6:51 am

I had an order in to buy GTE at $7.04 and got impatient. Had I just left it alone, I would be in 200 shares of GTE. As it was I raised my purchase price to $7.08 which was executed yesterday. It’s down a little today (and I might have even gotten it lower). My target sell price is $7.60.
edit
The price dipped to $6.75 today. Looking at the outside boundaries of this range, if I had gotten in at $6.75 I would look to close the position at $7.75 for almost 15%. I still like my range of around 7% return, but wouldn’t turn down double the return. I’m in where I’m in.


This is what I’m doing, do your own thing. All posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only.

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