Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An open letter - Re: Welcome to the Aalto Talk with Linus Torvalds!


Since this is a topic I have thought about writing on my blog and discuss with people, this shall be an open letter with a copy on my blog, Semantics(

I feel that traditional valedictions( are boring, don't accurately represent my attitude and don't deliver what I want to say. To be honest, they are quite archaic and mostly submissive to the point that it's ridiculous and when taken literally even false. Even an insincere person can type the word "sincerely". Honesty is important to me as is accurate self expression, thus "May the Force be with you" is a farewell that is most suited for me, not only because I'm a huge science fiction fan. I will never be anyone's humble servant, but I do wish a methaphorical Force be present in everyone's life. That something which drives us (to do better).

ps. Sometimes I end my letters with:

Live long and prosper,
Sebastian Mäki

12.06.2012 21:53, Zaira Mammadova kirjoitti:
Hi Sebastian, 

Thank you! 

Out of curiosity, what does "may the Force be with you"? :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Osuuspankki hack

Last night I tried accessing the website of my bank in order to check my balance. I was in for a surprise. The front page was redirected by javascript to and then back again in an endless loop. As I have some experience in these matters, it seemed to me like a prank some malicious hacker might have done, on their way out of the system. I was starting to seriously suspect my bank's online systems had been compromised.

I started searching for any news regarding this in the morning with no success. I was amazed by the lack of any news or people complaining online. Only after I saw this article, I thought I might have possibly found the reason for last night's suspicious script-behaviour:

OP-verkkopalvelun käyttöä tuetaan tietyillä selainohjelmilla ja niiden versioilla. Tuettuihin selaimiin tulee muutoksia 6.6.2012.
6.6. 2012 alkaen OP-verkkopalveluiden käyttöä tuetaan seuraavilla selaimilla:
Internet Explorer 7, 8 ja 9
Firefox 11 ja 12
Opera 11
Safari 5
Google Chrome
Suosittelemme tietoturvan ja sivujen yleisen toimivuuden vuoksi uusimpien selainversioiden käyttöä. Selainohjelmiston päivittäminen on tärkeää OP-verkkopalveluiden turvallisen käytön kannalta.
  • OP-verkkopalvelun käytön tekniset edellytykset (PDF 28 kB) (PDF 13 kB)
  • Lue lisää selaimista ja niiden päivittämisestä
Basically what they are saying is that from this date froward the bank's online service will be supported by these browsers. Even here was no mention of the blunder and/or compromised system that took place last night.

What to learn: Land users on a page that informs what's happening. Don't leave your system in a state that screams blackhats are doing pranks here. It's even more embarrassing if the very people who are responsible for the system leave it in a state that an attacker would. At least some hacks happened last night and I'm sure it's not good even if in this case hack meant an untalented professional.

What to learn, for the users: Expect that your bank has hired your neighbour's son to do your banking systems.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The future, cancelled?

So the thing is, I really want the human kind to get to the point where it can inhabit other planets. This place is getting crowded and it seems that it's either space or world war 3, 4, 5 etc from here on. In case someone didn't know, today we are blasting humans off the map with the excuse being that that other guy was possibly a terrorist. Collateral damage? So what? Less people to share these limited resources with. Good riddance. Governments lie and murder. Instead of healthcare we now just treat illnesses. Wars are waged because it's good business in the short term for the conqueror. Policies are made mostly to serve the financial system rather than people. It's not going to be long now when hospitals all over the world will treat only the rich. Rejuvenating technologies that can to prolong the lifespan of a human will be banned when they are effective enough and known by the public. Execution in the style of Logan's Run will be a norm. All who lived too long would be a threat to humankind.

I might not be an optimist, but I am a dreamer. Technology has often presented solutions to difficult situations,  people in difficult situations have been extra motivated to come up with solutions. It would be wonderful if we all learned how to behave before heading to the stars, but in case we don't, maybe we can learn when we head to the stars. Making sure that prolonging the lifespan would not be criminalized would allow us to grow wiser and more patient btw. I saw a news article about spider silk that I think could make bigger and more durable solar sails possible. I wonder if it's sails or some other method of propulsion that will first take us exploring the final frontier.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Default browser in XFCE4

In Fedora 16 some applications fail to launch the default browser set in Default Applications. I use Google Chrome as my default browser and having Firefox pop-up unexpectedly has been an annoying shortcoming. Today I had finally time to actually get to the bottom of this. Seems like
is the culprit. After editing the file by switching the order of appeareances so that chrome is listed first I can finally have my preferred browser present me with teh Internets
[Default Applications]
edit. This problem is present in Fedora 17 as well

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taistelu internetistä

Avoin ja sensuroimaton internet on terveen yhteiskunnan perusedellytys. Sen puuttuminen on paluuta aikaan, jolloin sopimattomia kirjoja poltettiin. Sensuurin ja valvonnan tie ei koskaan ole päättynyt siihen ensimäiseen askeleeseen. Sitä seuraa kansan totuttaminen ajatukseen, ettei vapautta ole, eikä kuulu olla. Sitten otetaan taas uusi askel jossa lisää vapauksia poistetaan ja rangaistuksia yhä kovennetaan. Ihmiset pyrkivät jatkuvasti sopeutumaan ja omaksuman yhteiskunnan sääntöjä. Tilanne muuttuu kuitenkin tarpeeksi sietämättömäksi osalle kansasta. Syntyy vastustusta. Uskon, että olemme tässä käännepisteessä.

Nyt on käynnissä kamppailu siitä, mikä saadaan vallitsevaksi yleiseksi mielipiteeksi ja sen myötä ohjeeksi sille, millä tavalla tiettyihin oikeuksiin tulee suhtautua. Tämä kamppailu ratkaisee sen, mitä tuleville sukupolville opetamme oikeasta ja väärästä. Toivon, ettemme joudu opettamaan huonon esimerkin kautta. Toivon, että meissä on tarpeeksi sisua sanoa ei sensuurille. Mikäli meillä on tapeeksi tahtoa, päätämme itse millainen tulevaisuutemme on. Tuntisin oloni turvattomaksi maassa, jossa tietoliikennettä kuunneltaisiin ja sensuroitaisiin. Sensuuri ja valvonta etäännyttää ihmiset toisistaan, itseä ei enää ilmaista avoimesti. Hajoita ja hallitse.

Jos avoin internet olisi ollut jokaisen ihmisen perusoikeus ja edellytykset siihen olisivat olleet olemassa, holokaustilta olisi vältytty.

Avoin ja sensuroimaton internet on kirjattava perustuslailliseksi oikeudeksi. On osoitettava, että sanan- ja tiedonvapauden kustannuksella ei saa milloinkaan tehdä kompromisseja.

Tätä kirjoitusta kirjoittaessa käytettiin yksi natsikortti. Natsikortit kätevästi varustelekasta.

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