Meditative Monday: Does Facebook Skew the News?

Recent editorial states that Facebook is derailing political news.


I’ve not kept up much with Facebook after leaving it.  However, yesterday The Kernel posted a through provoking post, “How Facebook is wrecking political news“.  To be honest, I believe the author, Aaron Sankin, makes a very good point.

Updates Coming Out of Your Ears!

Several important updates for various pieces of software are being pushed out today.


Yesterday was Microsoft Patch/Update Tuesday, which occurs normally the second Tuesday in the month.  However, I noticed Ubuntu had some updates as well, and there are various Java and Adobe updates that are thrown into the mix.

HP Splits Into … Two HPs?

Is HP divorcing Compaq, or is it really divorcing itself?


Admin Note: I won’t be posting very much over the next couple of weeks, if at all.  Specifically, there will be no Geek Friday articles this or next Friday.

Well, I suppose you’ve heard the news by now, even though for many it isn’t a shocker.  HP is splitting up into two separate companies.  One will be HP Inc., and the other HP Enterprise.  Basically, they are dividing up their enterprise and consumer products.  Their PCs and printers will belong to the latter, whereas their rack and various other services will belong to the former.

Nelnet Is Stupid

Some companies would have made Ernestine proud.

What Nelnet's logo should look like

What Nelnet’s logo should look like

We’re the phone company. We don’t care; we don’t have to.

~ Lilly Tomlin as Ernestine, the telephone operator

You know, some companies really have to try really hard to be so screwed up to piss everyone off and still survive.  It has become clear that the best way to see how messed up a company is is to see how entangled they are with the federal government.  If they are in education, healthcare or finances, they get extra screw-up points.  Nelnet is entangled in both education and finance.

Meditative Monday: Is the Media Overhyping Security Flaws?

News Update: The world has still not come to an end.

The Nothing in the Never Ending Story meant the end of the world

The Nothing in the Never Ending Story meant the end of the world

Apple OS X has a patch out now for the Bash Shellshock bug, in case you weren’t aware.

I don’t want to understate the seriousness of several flaws and problems that have recently occurred in the realm of IT lately, but maybe it is time to step back and take a deep breath of fresh air.  I am not a big fan of people who love to run around with their hair on fire, and part of the problem lies with the media fanning small flames into large infernos.

Geek Friday: Adding Forums to WordPress With bbPress

Should be easy, right?

bbPress logo

bbPress logo

If I were designing a website from scratch and part of the requirements would be to have forums, I’m not so sure I would choose WordPress over Joomla or Drupal.  These alternatives may take more effort to get to how you want the site to look, but both are geared towards that sort of thing.  All three of these are CMS systems, but WordPress still is primarily a blogging platform.  If faced with a forum only model, then phpBB sounds like a good choice.  However, what if you already have an established WordPress site?  That’s where it gets interesting.

The popular go-to software seems to be BuddyPress + bbPress to add forums.  They all used to be under one umbrella, but, for reasons I don’t quite get, they split up the functionality of the forums and the social media aspect.  You can install just bbPress, but you lose the power of group management if you do so.

Are You Affected by the Bash “Shellshock” Bug?

Maybe that isn’t the right question.

An example of a patched bash session

As is too often the case, there is a lot of confusion and such over the latest vulnerability discovered by security experts.  I saw one poor guy try to explain why most Mac OS X users probably were not at high risk, and it quickly became quite a disaster.  Hopefully, this attempt will fare a little better.

NOTE: OS X is another Unix-like operating system, so that is why the other blogger was trying to explain it.

Geek Friday: Installing MediaWiki on CentOS

MediaWiki-logo.png right arrow CentOS logo

I finally got MediaWiki installed in my CentOS virtual machine.  The problem is not that it is difficult to install, it turns out, but rather the problem is that 75% of the installation instructions out there are totally incomplete and misleading!  The installation procedure itself is a bit inflexible, at least compared to something like WordPress, but it is not completely difficult either, which is something you would not know following most installation guides out there.

Security Roundup: Malware in Ads, Malware in New Domains and Protecting Your Home Network

Does your home network need a gate guard?Photo of Coast Guard Air Station, San Diego, 2013Photo by Visitor7, used under CCA-SA

Does your home network need a gate guard?
Photo of Coast Guard Air Station, San Diego, 2013
Photo by Visitor7, used under CCA-SA

The next few weeks are going to be busy ones around here, so expect a few roundup articles in lieu of the usual.  Today, I want to point out some security related articles you should be aware of, as knowing is half the battle.

GNOME 3.14 Shows Off It’s Cool Factor

GNOME logo(not affiliated with John D's)

Not that I’ll change my mind right away about moving to KDE on my main box, but I can see at least giving the latest GNOME desktop a whirl in a VM and/or spare machine when it comes out.  A few days ago, GNOME posted on their blog that “3.14 On Its Way“, and they posted a video showing the cool animations and a fairly clean implementation that looks nice.