Sunday, December 18, 2016


Installing TAILS on Mac:

For more information on other platforms -

December 14th, version 2.9.1 is available.   Best to update.

Why would you care?   Surveillance of all kinds, by groups from everywhere, increasingly threatens your privacy and any ability to communicate privately with anyone.   This article addresses why journalists should not use Signal for conversations, but on the side the descriptions of surveillance should let you know the sophistication of the techniques brought to bear:

The New York Times suggests that TAILS is a viable method to send in a news tip (as in
"Here is evidence that this government representative is breaking the law.
Here is proof that this company is conducting itself unethically."

NYT also has a "Secure File Drop" accessible through "tor" (the onion router) that anonymizes your network location.

Note:  Nothing can guarantee complete privacy, and any software might have defects that make it vulnerable to a determined, well funded attacker.  But learning about the available tools, and their strengths and weaknesses, is ultimately the responsibility of every citizen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

psst - got a tip ? submit one anonymously to NYT or elsewhere

Got a confidential news tip?

Do you have the next big story? Want to share it with The New York Times? We offer several ways to get in touch with and provide materials to our journalists. No communication system is completely secure, but these tools can help protect your anonymity. We’ve outlined each below, but please review any app’s terms and instructions as well. Please do not send feedback, story ideas, pitches or press releases through these channels. For more general correspondence visit our contact page.

Postal Mail

What Makes a Good Tip?

A strong news tip will have several components. Documentation or evidence is essential. Speculating or having a hunch does not rise to the level of a tip. A good news tip should articulate a clear and understandable issue or problem with real-world consequences. Be specific. Finally, a news tip should be newsworthy. While we agree it is unfair that your neighbor is stealing cable, we would not write a story about it.

Examples of good tips include:

Here is evidence that this government representative is breaking the law.

Here is proof that this company is conducting itself unethically.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

thought SMS was a secure 2FA method? maybe not as safe as you assume

This article suggests that 2 factor authentication by SMS is insecure.  This conclusion is based on the observation and interpretation of a recent hack on blockchain based cryptocurrency.

Long article, but once you have completed all the steps, you can relax, a little.
Until then, malware attacks on your phone, or a "too helpful" phone company helpdesk, can defeat the assumption that you are actually in control of your phone and SMS messages.  If you use SMS for 2 factor authentication and you are the victim of this type of malware, game over.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Aldous Huxley and Perennial Philosophy

Huxley in his later years became immersed in mysticism, expanding on an idea of the "Perennial Philosophy"  .

In the introduction to a 1944 translation of the Baghavad-Gita, Huxley states:
At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

First:  the phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness -- the world of things and animals and men and even gods -- is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be nonexistent.

Second:  human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning.  This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.

Third: man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and and external Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul.  It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.

Fourth: man's life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his enternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.
finally -- 
What do you believe?
Is it something that someone else told you?
Jiddu Krishnamurti would probably say "then you are living someone else's life".
In his book "Freedom from the Known"
In it, ultimately, self reliance is the ultimate goal
If I were foolish enough to give you a system and if you were foolish enough to follow it, you would merely be copying, imitating, conforming, accepting, and when you do that you have set up in yourself the authority of another and hence there is conflict between you and that authority. You feel you must do such and such a thing because you have been told to do it and yet you are incapable of doing it. You have your own particular inclinations, tendencies and pressures which conflict with the system you think you ought to follow and therefore there is a contradiction. So you will lead a double life between the ideology of the system and the actuality of your daily existence. In trying to conform to the ideology, you suppress yourself - whereas what is actually true is not the ideology but what you are. If you try to study yourself according to another you will always remain a second-hand human being.
A man who says, `I want to change, tell me how to', seems very earnest, very serious, but he is not. He wants an authority whom he hopes will bring about order in himself. But can authority ever bring about inward order? Order imposed from without must always breed disorder.
Perhaps we can take the journey together and compare notes, since to achieve freedom from all that is known, sounds like a lonely road.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

your own universal truth, your objective reality - how much responsibility do you have?

What reality are you creating for yourself ?
Yes, you are making your own reality,  recognize the fish shaking its head.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Walking On Sunshine

Morning walk videos - new ones appear at top of playlist when added.  Directly on YT:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Jhamtse Gatsal 2016 fundraiser Oct 29th

update: this year's playlist:

This year's Jhamtse Gatsal fundraiser will be October 29th, 7pm at the Concord Rod and Gun Club.

A documentary on this orphanage won the 2016 Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Short Documentary -- it can be seen this week at  . 

Come join us for an evening of fun, music, dancing, and potluck.

From 2015

From 2014

From 2013