Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 03/07/2013 - 09:00
This past weekend I taught a workshop at Workshop Weekend on basic cybersecurity. I covered things like social media privacy settings, why you should use https for all your web-based email, banking, and other important communication and how to use encryption with your IM chats. I showed people why it's so important to change the default passwords on home internet routers. There was also a demonstration of what your traffic looks like when someone snags it out of the air with a tool like Wireshark.
The class was hugely popular, so I'm giving it again!
Next Thursday, April 14, 2013 (that's PI DAY!!!) from 10 - 11:30 AM at Tech Liminal.
The Eventbrite calls the class Web Security for All, but think of it is general security for your identity, your data and your devices. It's a bargain at $30!
Sign up here
Submitted by lishevita on Sat, 03/02/2013 - 00:35
If you are taking my CSS3 class today, you will want to download the starter html page from http://www.alwayssababa.com/css3-class/class.html. We'll be using that page the way we did last week for experimenting with different pieces of code.
The whole presentation is available at http://www.alwayssababa.com/css3-class/
I recommend that you go back to this page after class to explore the linked pages and practice your new skills.
Thanks for joining me!
Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 22:42
Over the last few years the Washington State government has been decreasing the funding to services and the safety net for the state's most vulnerable populations. The rural poor, like my mother, are getting the worst of it. In the midst of cuts that directly hit the pockets of people who rely on Social Security, Food Stamps and Medicare, the quality of the food provided through the commodities program and other nutrition programs has deteriorated. In Whitman county, local growers and grocery store chains have stepped in to try to correct these wrongs, but they can't do it alone.
Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 03:40
Tonight I'm teaching a class in which all the students will be able to log into my server, create a database, download Drupal 7, install the site, and then go and look at the apache logs to see what they've done. The class is aimed at newbies, and I could just give everyone an account with full sudoers privileges on my server and hope that no one does anything nasty, but I'm not so dumb as to think that a clever student won't get bored and start poking around at other things.
So, how am I going to do this and keep everything safe for my own websites, and those of my clients, that sit on that server? Essentially, I have built sandboxes for the students to play in.
First off, I created users for each of the students using a format that identifies them as students of this class. I'm not bothering with their names at all, actually. Just giving them usernames like "student1", "student2", etc.
Each account has a home directory at the usual place (eg /home/student1) plus two more directories underneath that: web and log.
Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 02/07/2013 - 00:06
Wendesday February 13 from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Tech Liminal in Oakland.
Learn how to make Drupal look nice and do what you want with third party contributed themes and modules. We will find, install and configure a theme and a module and then learn how to keep them updated using drush on the command line. We'll also learn how to bring content from different parts of the website together onto any page.
This is a lecture and demonstration class. Feel free to ask questions at any time.
Sign up now!
Whenever I think of a dystopian story about technology, my mind goes right to the movie Minority Report which is about a future in which violent crime has been eliminated by the use of psychics (called "pre-cogs") who predict crimes and a special police force that arrests the perpetrators before they have the chance to commit their crimes. While there are many examples of dystopian technology films, this one affects me in a special way in part because so many of the technologies that were predicted in the 2002 movie have become real. The gesture interfaces in that movie exist today in a few slightly different forms. The biometric identification systems in the movie are also functional technologies now. Self-driving electric cars exist, though they aren't yet on the market and we certainly haven't gone so far with the vehicle design and smart road building. Ignoring the central "technology" of the movie, ie the three pre-cogs who predict future crimes, let's look specifically at how the biometric identification systems feed into the overall dystopian view of this movie and how this relates to the real world in 2013.
Submitted by lishevita on Sat, 02/02/2013 - 00:24
Have you wanted to get started with Drupal but felt like it was overwhelming to install it without some guidance? Have you tried to install Drupal before but been thwarted by mySQL or file permissions or some other frustration? Have you never heard of Drupal, but you want to learn about Web dev and get your hands dirty on the Linux command line with a great instructor who makes it fun and easy? Then you should sign up for the Drupal install class at Tech Liminal in Oakland Wednesday February 6 from 6:30 - 8:30.
In this class you will install Drupal 7 from scratch on a Linux server. Create a mySQL database, download and unpack the Drupal source files, edit directory and file settings, and run the Drupal install. You'll also learn how to use the Drupal command line tool called drush and what it can do for you.
No previous Linux experience necessary. Temporary accounts on a Linux server will be provided for this class.
Bring your laptop to get the most out of this hands on workshop.
Submitted by lishevita on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 23:20
I want you to know that you have the power to do good things and be the voice for what's right. You do not have to bend to the will of those who would wield power for their own benefit and to the detriment of other, less powerful people. You can stand for the high ideals that we hold up as the basis for this nation's mythology.
No, our nation has never truly lived up to its vision of itself, but we do have the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights that we can point to and strive towards. These serve as guides across the generations to help us find our way when politics turns the path too dark.
Submitted by lishevita on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 22:13
Today I learned about the Jewish Educator Awards, and found myself terribly excited for just a moment. These awards, funded by Lowell Milken Family Foundation provide public recognition along with cash rewards to teachers and administrators of Jewish education in the United States. I wondered if there was a way to nominate two of my favorite teachers from elementary school. Unfortunately not. The award is only available to educators at BJE Affiliated Schools and my alma mater Brandeis-Hillel Day School is not one of those. Even so, the idea of an award for teachers in Jewish day schools and religious schools still excites me.
Submitted by lishevita on Fri, 01/11/2013 - 02:18
So, in case you hadn't figured it out from reading my blog already, I'm a bit of an oddball. I also have some wonderfully oddball friends. One of the things that my beloved oddball friends and I like to do is sit around contemplating horrific dystopian futures*, including the question of "What would it really mean if the Mayan end of the calendar means horrible death and destruction?" My take on that one has always been to look at the last Mesoamerican "end of the world", and to realize that from the perspective of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, it pretty much was the end. Even before most of them had seen a European face, Small Pox rushed ahead and killed two thirds of the population. And then the genocide really got started. Since December 21st came and went, all that Mayan Apocalypse stuff is completely blasé, but I say "Nay!" A single day is just a turning point. Not the thing itself.
I say, at least for the purposes of this discussion, that we are well and truly in the midst of a Revealing of a New Future that heretofore has only been contemplated in fiction. Mostly the scary kind of fiction.