Monthly Archives: June 2009

Καταγραφή χρήσης του Internet απο τα παιδιά.

Το πρώτο μου blog post στα Ελληνικά !

Τον τελευταίο καιρό τα ΜΜΕ έχουν δημιουργήσει αρκετό πανικό για την παιδική πορνογραφία και παιδοφιλία μέσω Internet. Το αποτέλεσμα είναι οι περισσότεροι γονείς, και ειδικά οι μή τεχνογνώστες, να είναι πλέον παρανοϊκοί για την χρήση του Internet από τα παιδία τους.

Κάθισα λοιπόν και σκέφτηκα: τι θα ήθελαν τα MME και η Κα. Μαρία να έχουν για να κοιμούνται ήσυχοι πως τα παιδιά τους δεν κάνουν κάτι ανησυχητικό στο διαδίκτυο ? Το αποτέλεσμα ήταν να γράψω το πρόγραμμα project rautor. Το rautor κρατάει τις οθόνες (screen dumps) των λειτουργιών που έχει κάνει ο χρήστης του υπολογιστή, τι πλήκτρα έχει πατήσει καθώς και ότι δυνατόν περιεχόμενο έχουν τα παράθυρα της οθόνης. Ο γονέας μπορεί μετά να ξαναπαίξει σε μορφή video όλη τη συνεδρία (session) του χρήστη/παιδιού.

Πώς όμως να με εμπιστευτεί η Κα. Μαρία ή ο εκάστοτε δημοσιογράφος, πως δεν παρακολουθώ εγώ κρυφά αυτά που καταγράφει το πρόγραμμά μου; Ο rautor είναι πλέον πρόγραμμα ανοιχτού λογισμικού. Μπορεί ο καθένας με τις ανάλογες γνώσεις να το πάρει και να διαβάσει τι κάνει, και αυτό ελπίζω να είναι αρκετό…

Toot toot: that's my own horn!

Allow me the vanity to toot my own horn for a post. I live in Greece among denizens who are mostly paranoid about the use of the internet. There has been a lot of hullaballoo on the local media of child porn and child abuse cases that have happened with the aid of the internet. So parents, rightfully to a point, are suspicious.

So I started thinking, what would Mme. Maria like to have so she could sleep with the knowledge that her kid is not accosted online ? I came up with the auditor solution, i.e. save a full copy of the kid’s session including screen copies, key strokes and quite everything I could get of the PC. So I sat down and wrote rautor. It will save all of the above info and the parent can then replay like a video the user’s/child’s session.

Now being that Mme. Maria is paranoid, why would she trust me that I am not eavesdropping with my code ? So I have made it available on line on project rautor. I hope this will be enough to quell the paranoid streak in the average home keeper.

I have also another little ‘stein in the works. A little tray application that forces browsers to use a certain proxy for browsing. This way one can deploy a content filtering proxy like dansguardian and with the aid of “kidmon” can sleep easy that the kids will not browse offending content.

Now all I need is someone to finance deployment.

Yourstruly was truly prescient ?

Hark ye all seekers of IT’s wisdom and listen to the sequel of the true story I have recounted so far for you.

After the ghastly daemon mysqld (d for daemon) was thwarted back to subservience, Yourstruly had some free time to cast about his star charts and do some cthonic calculations. Lo and behold the abacus revealed a well hidden bottomless pit. The red ink lined pit of corporate terror. The almost cabalistic numbers showed that the castle was losing approximately one Eyr per prepaid card sold. Yourstruly knew that the chief of crooks and manhandlers wanted to enter the market so he was selling at almost cost. Unfortunately he had not foreseen the counter-allied castle that was collecting our calls and receiving monies for that aforementioned collection. That fee was never drawn with red ink , but the total was drawn to the red ink pit.

Yourstruly raised his considerable brow in disbelief and fired off an imp with a warning eee-mail to the chief of crooks and manhandlers as well as the castle treasurer. Time went by and cards were sold and Yourstruly kept reminding people of the numbers to no effect at all.

Suddenly one cold and harshly lit morning the inquisition was illuminated. They slithered down to Yourstruly’s officium collecting the treasurer within their mass and in a single chorus announced a full inquisition on why the castle was grossing big , yet losing Eyrs. We have lost nearly two lakh of Eyrs this past month they chanted in unison. Upon hearing that Yourstruly took upon himself the semblance of an innocent child and asked: Perchance has our castle shipped twenty myriads of far talking cards within this period? Perplexed was the Inquisition that Yourstruly had such insightful knowledge of the daemonic ways of the treasury.

Undaunted and full of its status and powers to twist hands, the inquisition started to ask for charts and reports, so Yourstrully started to script scriptures on bashed shells and talk the arcane language of See and QueL. The deamon mysqld (d for daemon) upon hearing his native language of See and QueL responded gladly. Reports were presented, drawn and redrawn , and pressed and imp-mailed. And Yourstruly was discovered to have an red ink drawing insect in his code and was chastised. Yet the small insect was not enough to blanket the elephant of losses. Report after report , chart after chart, incantation after incantation it became clear that the loss was about one Eyr per card. Upon realizing that, the inquisition unrolled into a fog and vanished into thin air, leaving yourstruly’s abacus reset, just in case.

Vocabulary
==========
Eee-mail: Imp delivered mail, imps go eee while traveling through the twists of the castle’s metal wires.
Infernal/cthonic calculations: Mostly multiplication and addition, simple stuff really.
Eyr: oh come on !
The chief of crooks and manhandlers: The manager of the sales team.
The treasurer: The CFO
Yourstruly: Yours Truly
Myriad: Greek for One Hundred hundreds
Lakh: Hindu for ten myriads.
Bashed shells: a wink at the unix wizards.

supercalifragilisticexpialidociouly fried disk controller

No modern IT is not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, most definitely not.

As I write theses words all hell has broken lose in the data center. A SUN cluster lost a filesystem; again! So here I am stuck at one o’clock in the morning babysitting a failed disk controller, waiting for replacement parts. There has to be a better way to store data than arrays of spinning metallic plates with magnetic overlays. What the hay, it is the 21st century! Where is my holographic optical storage prisms? Where are the brilliant inquiring kids with the diamond sharp minds to think and built such finery?

Why is it that we drive our kids to an MBA or law degree ? It is just for the money, so they can have a “good” life. So after thirty (30 !) or more years of studying a “successful” medical student ends up injecting toxins into hags’ eyebrows to make them look like facsimiles of frozen nymphs’ statues. If that is the culmination of a successful life path then we certainly deserve what we live through day in and day out.

Come on, let us educate more scientists so they can cerebrate the cool things that would make our lives and jobs fun again. Let’s train engineers to built them and humanists to keep a tight leash on us all before we go completely bonkers.