WhatsApp backdoor allows snooping on encrypted messages

​“(Tobias) Boelter reported the backdoor vulnerability to Facebook in April 2016, but was told that Facebook was aware of the issue, that it was ‘expected behaviour’ and wasn’t being actively worked on.”
www.theguardian.com

Earlier, I posted two messages for my friends on Facebook. One with my Threema address, the other with the above quote and link to the article critical of Facebook’s conduct. Within hours, the latter had mysteriously disappeared from view. I don’t routinely use Facebook and now I know why: on this evidence, nobody gets to see much of what I post there, anyway…

Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to disrupt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light.”
wikipedia.org

What’s your favourite desktop and why?

In response to Voice of the Masses

My favourite Desktop is Unity because it is not MATE. This has been bugging me for quite some time.
Like almost everyone else on the planet, I was unhappy when in 2011 Canonical declared Unity Ubuntu’s new default desktop. After years of using GNOME 2, I just thought that Unity felt a bit awkward. But I stuck with it, mainly for a perceived lack of alternatives and my wish to avoid PPAs if at all possible.
Fast-forward a few years and, thanks to the excellent Martin Wimpress, I hear of MATE Desktop Environment almost every other podcast I listen to. With the release of Ubuntu 15.10, MATE is finally elevated to official flavour status and I was sure to be making the switch away from Unity.
I ended up using MATE for about one day before going back to Unity. It was quite an uncomfortable thing to have to admit, but there was a problem: After years of using Unity, I just thought that MATE felt a bit awkward…
ubuntu-mate.org

Carbon posts for comfort

If you are a cyclist and would like a more comfortable ride, you might want to consider switching to a seat post made from carbon fibre. At a diameter of 27.2 mm, the Easton EC90 is the most compliant seat post that I have used to date. With enough of the post exposed, it offers a much more comfortable ride. If you require a larger diameter seat post, the theoretical advantages of carbon over other materials are much less likely to be realised in practice. At a diameter of 30.9 mm or greater, I’d stick with aluminium. Use a torque wrench and carbon assembly paste.

Best cycling gloves ever?

This is a picture of my Roeckl 3104 803 MTB gloves, which I picked up towards the end of the summer. In certain ways, these really are the best cycling gloves that I have used. Feel, grip as well as comfort are outstanding. But while I am aware that light gloves such as these cannot reasonably be expected to last forever, the amount of use I got out of this pair is disappointing at best.

About that helmet

This is a picture I took of today’s newspaper. You can usually pick me out from a group of cyclists because I am the one wearing the full-face helmet. Comments I get from other cyclists are mostly positive. But somebody, somewhere is always telling me that I must be really scared to be wearing that helmet—before proceeding to tell me everything about injuries and treatments that they had to endure as a consequence of having had a serious crash.
royalgazette.com

In other news this week, current World Downhill Champion Rachel Atherton was involved in a head-on collision with a car.

Hug your grandma today

I wish I would have had another chance to. Unfortunately, for me and my grandma, things didn’t quite work out.

The plane I’m on won’t get me there in time. My grandmother, Edith Knabe, died earlier this afternoon in Hamburg, Germany. She was 82.

I am going to miss her every day, for the rest of my life.

Robin Cook is dead

youtube.com

Robin Cook, one of few political figures to command my lasting respect, has suddenly died on August 6, 2005. If you are only ever going to read one political statement made to the House of Commons, read Robin Cooks’s resignation speech from 18 March, 2003.

A minute of silence

Last week I got caught up in the traffic jam that followed the killing of an innocent man at Stockwell tube station. Today, I passed the same spot again. This time I stopped.

Remembering Jean Charles de Menezes one week after he was shot and killed by police at Stockwell tube station in London. What did the ubiquitous CCTV cameras record that morning?

Update: Reports are now emerging that Jean Charles de Menezes had already been restrained by an officer when he was shot in the head seven times.

Food for London

You are in London. You are hungry. Here’s what to do: Find Dominique at his stand and ask him for galette. You like fresh spinach? Good. Ask him to prepare something with spinach. Alternatively, try his crêpe with Grand Marinier and banana. Anything. If you’re not satisfied, come back and hack this site…

Dominique Ait-El-Manceur serves arguably the best galettes and crêpe in the whole of London. You can find him weekdays at Exmouth Market from 12:30–18:00 and Saturdays at Broadway Market from 10:00–16:00.

Echoes of war

World Press Photo is the largest and most prestigious press photography contest in the world. Every year, the exhibition is visited by more than a million people in over 40 countries. Today I got a chance to see the Winners Gallery 2005 in Hamburg. Of all the images on display, that of Private Eric Ayon had the biggest impact on me.

“Private Eric Ayon of Echo Company of the Second Battalion, Fourth Regiment of the US Marines stares through the windshield of a Humvee ambushed at Ar Ramadi in Iraq on April 6, 2004. Eight out of the nine marines on board were killed. Ayon himself died in an ambush at the same intersection only three days later. During its tour of Iraq, Echo Company suffered the worst casualties of any US company since Vietnam.”

2nd Prize in the category General News Singles, World Press Photo 2005.
© David Robert Swanson, USA, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reproduced with kind permission.