Posts tagged network

github.com github.com
I recently wanted to set up some "internet free" time for certain devices on my wifi (sorry kids) and this python library did the trick. I used it to set up a script that blocks or unblocks devices by mac address and I run it on a regular schedule with cron. Netgear should offer a consistent, well-documented API for its routers. Until then, pyNetgear can help automate a few tasks. Which is nice.
pi-hole.net pi-hole.net
image from pi-hole.net
I'm a big fan of goofing around with a Raspberry Pi. At times I've used mine as a game emulator, media center, and caller ID server. Recently it has been sitting in a box, but now it's a DNS server that blocks ads on my home network thanks to Pi-hole. Pi-hole is software you install on a raspberry pi that filters the addresses you or your devices request through shared lists of known advertisers. It's simple to set up and it just works. I'm seeing 98% fewer ads across the web—no browser ad-blocker required. Once installed it has a nice web admin interface and it gives you statistics about which domains have been blocked. (8.7% of all my DNS queries have been blocked as I write this.) It was also easy to add my favorite ad-supported sites to a whitelist so they'll still get paid. It does bother me that this kind of tool leads to a nerds vs. everyone else experience (great interview, btw) but tracking, malware, and general browsing performance has gotten so bad due to ads that we need these tools. If you already have a tiny computer, Pi-hole plus an hour to set it up on a weekend will improve your web experience.
Motherboard Motherboard
image from Motherboard
Justin Kosslyn is addressing global security concerns at Google and here he argues that friction can be a positive force in technology. We tend to think of friction as something that should be removed from every aspect of our lives. (e.g. If we could only do our banking transactions faster than we could spend more time doing what we want.) Kosslyn argues, "It’s time to bring friction back. Friction buys time, and time reduces systemic risk. A disease cannot become an epidemic if patients are cured more quickly than the illness spreads." Ezra Klein at Vox ties this idea to the success of podcasting in The case for slowing everything down a bit: "I believe that one reason podcasts have exploded is that they carry so much friction: They’re long and messy, they often take weeks or months to produce, they’re hard to clip and share and skim — and as a result, they’re calmer, more human, more judicious, less crazy-making." Meanwhile, Farhad Manjoo signs off of his NYT technology column with a similar sentiment in How to Survive the Next Era of Tech (Slow Down and Be Mindful): "Adopt late. Slow down."
  • Cameron expands on the Economist article: "...while the average Facebook user communicates with a small subset of their entire friend network, they maintain relationships with a group two times the size of this core."
  • "...people who are members of online social networks are not so much 'networking' as they are 'broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances who aren't necessarily inside the Dunbar circle'..."
  • SBJ's talk at SXSW about the future of news. "...in times like these, when all that is solid is melting into air, as Marx said of another equally turbulent era, it's important that we try to imagine how we'd like the future to turn out and set our sights on that, and not just struggle to keep the past alive for a few more years."
  • "Las Vegas casinos increasingly pay attention to their customers - their likes, dislikes, moods and patterns - in order to create an engaging experience." This was my favorite talk at Gel 2008.
  • "What Bruce Sterling Actually Said About Web 2.0 at Webstock 09."
  • "It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves -- the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public -- has stopped being a problem."