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Study criminal opportunity instead of criminal personalities

Posted by admin |

Most criminologists seemed to agree that all that was necessary to explain crime was to explain criminal dispositions, which somehow lead directly to criminal behavior. But scholars do not usually follow slavishly the advice of those coming before them, however eminent. So why did they do this? The answer, once again, comes from social psychologists, such as Nisbett and Ross (1980), who built on Lewin’s work in a series of experiments in the 1970s to describe what they called the “fundamental attribution error”. This is the pervasive human habit of overstating the role of the person and underestimating the role of the situation in explaining people’s behavior.

Ken Pease and Gloria Laycock (2012) have described a pernicious little wrinkle of the error—we do not apply it to our own behavior. As they explain:
“We are happy to acknowledge situational determinants of our own peccadilloes. I am bad tempered because I slept badly. He is bad tempered because he is that sort of person.”

Jul 18, 2016 03:09

Public key signatures for a distributed Facebook, LinkedIn & news service

Posted by admin |

Is a classification system of relationships all that is needed to usher in distributed implementations of the functionality of Facebook, LinkedIn and of news services?

Public key cryptography allows you to sign stuff in an efficient way: You sign it with your private key and enclose your public key. There it is, signed in your good name. But what does what you've signed mean? It must have a relationship to something else, and that relationship needs to be of a kind:

Lucy loves Ricky

That could be expressed as the private key of Lucy's signing a relationship "loves", including Ricky's public key (and her own public key). Now, anyone who got across this statement could verify it as being correctly signed. There is no need for a central database of the statement "Lucy loves Ricky", but there is a need for a way to make sure the public keys do indeed belong to Lucy and Ricky respectively.

This is where a web of trust comes in. As long as you have good access to a web of trust, the actual statements of relationships can be stored anywhere, redundantly, and be retrieved by a search engine. A blockchain can be used to order relationship statements in time, including revocations.

The vocabulary

One would ned to agree on a vocabulary of relation types such as:

  • loves
  • likes
  • friends with
  • worked for
  • knows skill of X
  • witnessed event X
  • concludes conclusion X


Jul 18, 2016 03:50

You can run raspberry pi programs on the bare metal

Posted by admin |

That ought to clear the path for real-time applications.



Read more: Link - Step01 – Bare Metal Programming in C Pt1 – Valvers

Jul 15, 2016 09:38

Combining lodash/fp with promise chains

Posted by admin |
const P = require('bluebird')

const f = require('lodash/fp')

Jul 15, 2016 06:15

Blockchains may bring truth back to the news landscape

Posted by admin |

When self-published hypertext went global with web pages and blogs, there were high hopes for a truly democratic news landscape. Many believe we have instead got:

  • populism
  • insularity
  • and paranoia.

How technology disrupted the truth | Katharine Viner | Media | The Guardian

However if one looks at it from a grander perspective, it was a given that the old model of mainly hierarchical trust had to go. Luckily, there is a new trust model in the works: Blockchains.

  • They allow signed reports to be time-stamped in a way that everybody agrees on. This gives agreed causality, i.e. you can agree that X was reported before Y.
  • They prevent the signing party to divulge different reports to different people, i.e. it enforces actors to be coherent. This is called solving the double spending problem.
  • They allow people to watch the message flow that builds up the blockchain, to detect if some stuff gets delayed and other stuff favored.


Blockchains are not all that easy to understand at first, but what they basically do is to assign different people to be notaries of what has happened, in a way that is hard to predict, a bit like in a lottery.

This will not be an easy path forward, there will be false starts and faulty blockchain models, different models need to be tested and people must get used to:

  • Signing stuff and
  • Learn how to use and trust a web of trust


We all must learn the skills of:

  • Weighing evidence,
  • Establishing causality chains and
  • Gauging the reputations of those who report the news


But I believe this is the way forward and it is given the confusion we live with on-line now, high time we get this baby rollin'!



Jul 12, 2016 12:50

Fixing Ubuntu 16.04 "Networking disabled" after sleep

Posted by admin |

This worked for me:

sudo service network-manager restart

These did not work for me:

  • Any invokation using nmcli
  • sudo service networking restart


Jul 11, 2016 12:14

Don't buy a universal charger for your laptop

Posted by admin |

Don't buy a universal charger for your laptop, it may end up damaging your laptop, so that it does not charge again. Instead have a spare original-brand charger that you store separately. If you are travelling, pack it e.g. in a different bag so you don't lose it at the same time as the charger you're using.

Update 2016-07-08: I now have an OEM charger and the flashing of the keyboard backlight has stopped, and charging seems to work. Last night, with the universal charger, it both flashed and refused to charge which made the OS shut down the laptop. However with the new OEM charger, no flashing and it seems to charge just fine. It could have been as simple as the universal charger not having enough juice to drive the laptop and charge it, when the battery is close to empty. In that case there was maybe no risk for damaging the laptop. However the OEM charger is only rated at 3.42A and the T'nB universal charger at 4.7A, so the universal charger should have no problem. Still something goes wrong.

Longer story

Last week I lost a charger for my Acer laptop at the Vivatech fair in Paris. Totally my own fault, just forgot it in the wall socket and it was never retrieved. I still needed my laptop so what to do on a Sunday in Paris? I went to fnac and got me a universal charger, that should work with Acer. Before buying it I searched the Internet for info on universal chargers and to my dismay I read that they have a history of destroying laptops, such as the charging circuitry part.


I bought one anyway and at first it seemed fine.

But I thought about it, and remembered that I did buy a universal charger for my previous laptop too, a Dell. And that worked fine. I had to change the battery shortly afterwards because the computer did not run without the power cable plugged in. So I bought a new battery. That did not work either. Oh my! I realised that it is quite likely that it was the universal power charger that put my previous laptop out of commission.

With my current laptop, I have noticed that the backlight of the keyboard has started flasing in pulses and the battery does not charge. An original charger should arrive tomorrow. I hope I have not destroyed one more laptop...


Jul 08, 2016 12:55

How to detect if a motor moves

Posted by admin |

I'm gonna copy a part of Reddit user gnorty's comment and paste here:

1- detect the physical rotation - you could use an encoder, a magnetic region on the rotor and a reedswitch, a high contrast colour change and a photodetector, a physical gap in the rotating part and a proximity switch/laser/other thing that "sees" the change. Any of these work essentially the same way - if you don't see the signal change in a set time you can assume no rotation.

2- Sense the current on the motor. Most types of motor will draw a higher current according to the torque it is applying. You can measure this current and if it rises significantly above "normal" you can again assume something is wrong with either the motor or the mechanical movement. Obviously the same if the current is too low. Most motors use this system to some extent, as the high current will trip the motor protection (fuse, breaker etc). Some breakers have very precise settings for exactly this purpose.

Read more: Link - How do you detect if a motor fails to move? : arduino

Jul 07, 2016 12:55

Brexit, Pax Americana & urholkningen av Europa

Posted by admin |

Det här (Brexit) var inte roligt. USA:s makt minskar i världen, och EU har vuxit fram för att axla ett ansvar efter Pax Americana. Men utan Storbritannien består EU bland annat av veliga västmakter (Tyskland), ett Frankrike som nu också kan tänkas gå ur och som har nog med sina egna problem, och ett antal för detta östländer där flera också går åt det nationalistiska hållet.

En bra grej med demokrati är att det är en lärande organisation, att man lär sig av de beslut man gör, korrigerar och fortsätter. Besluten och konsekvenserna blir ett slags institutionellt minne. Men ibland undrar man om det finns tid att lära; svängningarna går så fort.

Brexit, Trump, Erdogan, Polens nya regering, Fidesz, Front National i Frankrike och sverigedemokraterna ser jag som symtom på samma sak:  Elitens misslyckande att förankra sig i folklagren. Jag tror den ekonomiska politiken med QE och annat har ställt till det mycket på en kognitiv nivå: Det har uppstått en desorientering ( se ) . Och när desorienteringen sätter in så försvinner förtroendet för eliten.

Jag vet inte om det är bara jag som fast jag inte levde då ändå på något sätt har den omedelbara tiden efter 2:a världskriget i minne. Jag är inte alls säker på att man kommer att kunna bygga upp något nytt ur spillrorna av EU. De demokratiska instinkterna är inte så starka över kontinenten utan har ofta påbjudits av USA. Sveriges totala oförmåga att försvara sig, inkompetens vad gäller polis mm visar på en institutionell urholkning.  I USA har partierna föga makt över de nya politikerna: Trump, Cruz, Sanders:

Klaus Mann råkade på en svensk intellektuell efter kriget och deras konversation säger en del om tillståndet då:
Glad midsommar! :D

Jun 24, 2016 12:08

A new generation of hashing algorithms

Posted by admin |

A competition was held and Argon2 was selected as winner:

Password Hashing Competition

It seems one of the traits they were looking at was resistance to ASIC optimization.

Honorable mentions of Catena, Lyra2, Makwa and Yescrypt.

Jun 23, 2016 03:52