KRACK attack flack

I saw on a newsletter about a hack that goes through WP2 routers, and that was unsettling. Originally found some time ago, I was hoping there was a firmware update to my router. So, as soon as I had time after dinner I logged in to my wireless router to check.

I was really relieved to see there was an update for my router!

Yay! (yes, my interjections can be really retro) I can do the upgrade and get back to my reading or NaNo prep!

So I select the options to download the firmware upgrade. The download took a bit longer than expected, But I read an already open web article while waiting. The install finished without a chirp.

That should have been the first hint that there was a problem.
After installation finished, a new router login screen appeared. My user name and password for the router failed to work. I tried the default. I tried adding the https to the router address like my browser complained about. I tried the name of my network. Note I repeated all these steps several times with whatever variants I could come up with.

Finally after finding a bunch of pages that told me all the things I already knew, one, ONE, ONE! page on firmware updates mentioned that I might have to reset the router to factory. Note that I could not even log in to get any old customized settings written down or archived to make the full reset more palatable.

Setting up a new router with my ISP is a pain. I remember that stress, and last time I sucked it up to pay someone to get it working after dead air.

The good thing is that I have internet access, but I cannot change anything in my wifi. The bad thing is that there’s a high chance that if I reset, I will lose internet access. Which would you choose?

And old lesson: Save all your settings before upgrades if it’s important.

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What Was that Quote?

I’m writing a fic (hoping to finish the last 50k draft during NaNo) about a period after a failed grab for political power and civil war, where frightened people are reforming the areas that were thought most dangerous. So I am looking for thoughts for various advocates in the story. They want to keep what works, what is humane and effective, but don’t really have a body of thought or examples to guide them in what to do or how to do it. They’ve gone too many years without thinking about these things and nearly lost all rights after frightened people gave too much away.

I remembered a quote about needing a little revolution in some movie. Digging for the quote in my memory, I thought it was Lenin or some other Russian.

Well google is my friend when it comes to trivia. I was surprised the learn it was a quote from a letter from Jefferson to Madison:

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccesful rebellions indeed generally establish the incroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medecine necessary for the sound health of government.” ― Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

That wasn’t exactly what I remembered some actor saying, but by this point I thought it was Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October..

Capt. Marko Ramius:
A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing, don’t you think?

That is a slight restatement of the same insight of Jefferson. Healthy as a thunderstorm is not a common metaphor, but storm winds do clear out dangerous fogs, bringing in fresh rain and new ideas. So the change serves the concept, even if it is a little ambivalent with it spoken by a Soviet defector.

Looking back in my story’s world, it’s easier to spot problems in the story’s setting, just like real life. But how can a republic be structured to balance effectiveness and freedom? Those in my fic are quite serious about keeping the good parts of the system, and hammering out important change is so much harder than ripping it all down. But ripping it all down whole hog can make for a far worse system, just ask those under Emperor Palpatine.

Discovery?

Federation Symbol – Star Trek

I’ve been a fan of Gene Roddenberry’s universe for a long time. I’m especially fond of IDIC and finding other solutions instead of clinging to the no-win ones. It was occasionally preachy, but especially the original series knew when it was time to fight and when to have a laugh. One of the lead principals during the Great Bird of the Galaxy’s lifespan, was that violence should not be the first reaction* and understanding is better than bombs. The later and later the series, and the more they tend to get caught up in the biggest issue of the day in heavy-handed ways and bigger explosions and lens flares. One feature said a work-life balance is good, but you don’t have families on a flag ship that will encounter combat. Each show has had at least one flaw, though I think the later casts should have been a little smaller to allow time for development and still tell good plots.

But now CBS/CBS Access is doing a new series, only ten years before the original series. So we could run into the Enterprise under Captains April or Pike. Spock is a young science officer and Kirk a junior officer on the Farragut. *One of the interesting things in the story was whether the Federation can shoot first? Can Han Solo shoot first? Do to follow traditional Federation/western culture of your own culture or adapt the the alien culture? Of course, the teaser tonight didn’t give the old answer.

I don’t know the result, and may not until I might use christmas giftings. Paid subscriptions to get only a fraction of the field, just can’t fit my budget. No Defenders, no Westworld, no Star Trek. I can afford a little more than basic cable, but I already spend too much on video content. I have a senior mother and midway home repairs and I think I speak for many when I say enough to all these companies who want me to subscribe to their corner of the pool.

Tonight the first half of the pilot was on open TV. Seeing the second part depends on getting that subscription. I like some of the characters, and one in particular reminds me of Chamberlin. Some characters already look strong and the near season big bad looks good. I do have two things that seem minor, but were very distracting and annoying. 1)The opening sucked. Schematics against a so-so score were not engaging, did not engage the imagination, or sweep us away. The show is supposed to be about exploration and discovery, and we see blueprints for a phaser. Where’s the spacescapes? Where’s the captain’s voiceover that states the purpose and theme of the show, the goal for the crew of the USS Shenzhou or Discovery. The opening shows a lack of focus and so many SF shows wander off and lose what starts as good. The opening reminds the viewers and the makers of the purpose of the ship. This one looks as much like an opening for How It’s Made…

Another annoyance was that the subtitles for the klingons had many lines in a short time. The subtitles were white on an often bright/torches background and ran faster than we could read. Surely it isn’t that hard to put a shadow behind the text so there is a contrast. Or anytime an alien tongue takes more than 5 minutes if airtime and long dialogues, switch to english. Few people have learned conversational klingon. Those scenes went on way, way too long and the captioning was inadequate for people with visions issues. Even someone with okay vision could not read it fast enough for someone who could not. It takes much longer to piece it out when there is little contrast.

Now those were my only objections to the teaser and I give it a cautious thumb’s up.


I’ve seen two episodes of the Orville, and it also gets a cautious thumb’s up. I like the humor, SF is often too grim. The second episode actually reminded me of “the Menagerie.” The characters are being established at a good rate, with a better slope to the threat level. It goes a little too sophomoric but it’s not only on open channels, but also rerun on an FX cable channel. That gives it a bigger audience that Trek deserves too. There are a few serious moments too, and it avoids the too PC like the avoidant Lt. Saru in Trek. People make mistakes and they learn. Trek leans to epic, Orville is an homage to much of Trek like Galaxy Quest did so well. Both shows have heroes, but there is only Number one who is interesting on Trek.

The Orville did not make the mistake to spend more time on the season’s big bad in the pilot than introducing the main cast. “A Vulcan Hello” isn’t “Encounter at Farpoint” or “Where No Man Has Gone Before…” or “the Cage.” BTW, this show should hae an effort to resemble the footage of the Cage as they should be contemporanaous. The tech can be better, but there was no effort to make the costumes and material culture align. I just wanted an effort, like not dressing Gueen Victoria is spandex just because someone ants to make a mark. Some things should not be changed,

Screeching Halt

Broken Incandescent Bulb

Broken Lightbulb by Kevin Galens, via Flickr

Yesterday started out as a good day. Before I finished washing when I got up I had a fun idea for a short fanfic for familiar characters as cast and crew for a pending disaster of a school musical. Picking setting, picking majors, and modifying canon background to fit an inner city university. I wrote a good intro, started and infodump… took a good look and screeched to a halt.

Oh, I had bits I wanted to include and the train wreck of the homemade production, but no character arcs. And no ideas. All I could come up with were the grind of a stage production. So I decided to let it wait… after I pruned the worst of the infodump.

I needed a day off my laborious combat chapter in another work, so I found an original short story I misplaced when my beta returned it.

It sucked. I’m not even sure much of it could be salvaged.

I’m not that enthused to fix it, but that will be another day. If I can fix it, that will give me a full series for Kindle.

At the end of the day I hadn’t finished anything, not even the musical one shot.

My consolation is that I had another idea that was even stronger, ten chapters and maybe more. I just wanted to do something lighter.

Where Have All the Ideas Gone?

damaged and worn clockface

il tempo si è fermato by Alessandro Prada, from Flickr under the Creative Commons 2.0 licensed attribution

Long time passes. I’m a champion procrastinator. Now many of the things I put off, like cleaning out my email and starting holiday cards early are not that big a deal, and finishing that needlepoint for the fair can wait. After all, I only started it in ’87 and I’ve picked up and dropped several hobbies since then. and an unfinished textile project just might make by top one hundred things I could be doing. It’s not that important. Other tasks are more stressful, like tracking down info for a new HMO, avoiding them gives me a small joy. I can put off writing for a looooonng time if I don’t have an idea. But finding nonfiction ideas is another task I can put off.

Right now, I was trying to recoup the idea for this blog I had during a bath earlier. It was perfect. The essence of the idea was pithy and had a snap. It had some relationship to the real world and humor without mean.

But it’s gone.

Soppy, soapy wash-cloths do not make for good record keeping. All that remains is just how shiny the idea was.

And an empty textbox…

A Lady Said It First

There’s a relevant quote that seems to have been forgotten as the wheel turns. Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a biographer steeped in Voltaire, wrote in her Friends of Voltaire:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This summarized Voltaire’s beliefs, but he didn’t actually say it. Evelyn Hall was an active author and coauthor for about thirty years, but her work related to Voltaire and free speech seem to be her most influential. So much that her quote is attributed to him.

I don’t like what a lot of people say, but it’s not just the loathed neonazis who push their hatred onto others, but also those who think their good intentions make up for their virulent hate for those who don’t agree, like vaxxers and global warming.

It doesn’t.

The wheel keeps turning, never forget that. I regret all the damage and lives ruined because they forgot how to play well with others. If your ideas are that convincing, you don’t need to be spiteful. The wheel turns and those the old guard will change or pass. By being mean and petty, they are the bastards, the ends do not justify the means.
[inspired by Ethics Alarm report of crude counter protest

Summer Doldrums, redux

This year isn’t the health nightmare last year became, but I got thoroughly sidetracked back into fanfic again. This year has its own challenges, a home remodel stalled, sans materials and helpers, plus an employee issue that just won’t settle. I’ve also discovered that your GP retiring can make for a real mess in fining a new doctor if your HMO likes to count the same ten doctors four times when they brag of having five hundred. And neonatal were not marked as such.

Really, this year isn’t a nightmare.

Do you believe that?

I am close to finishing the one fanfic, and I want to shift that time to original fiction again. The other is only halfway through, tho most has been drafted. I haven’t decided if I will resume short fic or restart revising a novel. Also, do I want to do NaNo this year? It’s only a month, but I have too many unrevised NaNos already.