Apple 7th Gen iPad + Smart Cover Fix

Perhaps the most frustrating part of using the Apple Smart Cover with the 7th Gen iPad is that the keyboard just randomly stops working from time to time with no real rhyme or reason as to why. After lots of searching around and not getting anywhere I finally found a solution that works like a charm

  1. Physically disconnect cover from the iPad
  2. Reconnect the cover
  3. use Cmd + Tab to switch through a few apps
  4. resume typing because Apple hasn’t fixed this in the software yet

Considering I have seen articles from like 2 years ago where this was an issue it really feels like Apple should have fixed this by now but nope, an up to date 7th generation iPad in 2020 is still having this issue. Makes me wonder what that premium price tag for most Apple goods go to if not fixing/refining the products.

Pure Win – Monitoring Comcast’s Failures

So this is the greatest thing I have read in ages; for those too lazy to click a person having lots of problems with Comcast took it upon themselves to create a python script that ran a speed test and if certain conditions were met would send a tweet to Comcast complaining about not getting what they paid for.  Unfortunately there are lots of people getting paid to fellate Comcast and they flocked to the r/technology thread on Reddit to remind OP that he should be grateful for paying a pile of cash for “up to 150 Mbit” like he is somehow blessed to have the absolute worst company in the US as his ISP.  Naturally I grabbed the code and set it up on my development box to run every 15 minutes so hopefully in like a week or so I can generate a fancy graph to see just how bad Comcast is boning me on my already high monthly bill.

Four Years of Conditioning

So I just started a new job and its made me realize a few things. First is that I was at the previous gig for far too long, just over 4 years to be precise. That is an awful long time now that I actually sit down and think about it, four years of driving an hour each way to get paid enough to make ends meet and buy a house along the way. A whopping 49 months of dodging crazy drivers on the highway, sitting in traffic behind an accident and twitching at every deer on the side of the road at night.

Despite that long duration its taken only a few days at the new place to realize just how badly I have been messed up by the previous employer. Its not even that the direct supervisor or manager were bad people, to be honest their hands were mostly tied by the corporate structure in place that moved at the pace of drunken dinosaurs in tar. One of the biggest things is the change in lighting, the new office is so bright it sometimes bothers my eyes if I don’t look at something dull like a piece of paper or my matte black new Dell laptop. While I’m thinking about laptops let me contrast the previous with the new; HP Elitebook i5 w/ 4GB of RAM and Windows 7 x32 (with a flat out refusal to update to x64) versus a brand new Dell i7 w/ a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM and an x64 version of Windows. You would think over 4 years the hardware would have been updated but somewhere along the line a policy was put in place that you had to justify updated equipment, so instead of getting a new machine at 3 years I was told to suck it up.

Without going through every little difference the main point I am making is that I didn’t realize how bad I really had it at the previous job until I finally left. Sure I miss the people I worked with, they were probably the only reason I managed to make it to the four year mark. But now I can’t help but shake this feeling that the other shoe is waiting to drop at the new job, that some dark secret or terrible truth is waiting to spring free when I finally let my guard down and accept that not every employer is a monolithic behemoth of bureaucracy that that treats its employees more like prison inmates than actual free people doing a service for them. This of course is not healthy in the least bit, but it is what it is and I have to fight every day to not let that negative voice inside my head be the loudest.

ComputerCOP and your local police force.

The fact that the police are distributing this software is absurd (most of them barely know how to use a computer beyond basic web surfing) but the fact that they are pissing away our money on it is the real salt in the wound. I really hope anybody who reads this takes a moment to check if their local agency has taken part in distributing this spyware and does their part to raise local awareness to the flagrant violation of privacy as well as the absurd waste of tax payer money on an attempt to further erode our rights.

Intuit holds your data hostage

So I recently started the process of applying for a home loan to buy a house and during the process I was asked to produce tax documents from the past 3 or 4 years. The past 3 years weren’t much of a problem till I got to the last year I filed using TurboTax’s website to file, since I hadn’t used them in several years they basically locked me out of access to my return paperwork; every road basically said I could file with the IRS to get the documents (which we all know might take the better part of a month) or I could shell out about 50$ to Intuit to purchase the current years basic ‘product’ just to get access to prior year returns. After going around and around with the website in hopes of finding another way I was left with no choice but to pay the extortion fee to access my information so I could print off my return and provide it to my mortgage originator. The moral of the story is to always check out who you are doing business with and what kind of policies for accessing historical data they have so you don’t end up getting scammed out of money for essentially nothing.

Simple integrity script

So I came into work today and my inbox had a wonderful little gift; a co-worker had made changes to some of my code that was considered production without providing me a log of what changes he made, just a general not of what sub-folder might contain changes that were naturally NOT included in the git repository.  Naturally I was so pissed about this that I considered doing bodily harm to inanimate objects while screaming profanity, then I got busy actually finding all the things he changed.  All I had to work from was the bash history showing me every file he touched, so I manually diff’ed them against files from the repo that I knew he hadn’t touched only to find out he did more looking than touching, but that was probably a godsend really once I realized he was changing commented out code (hope he didn’t expect to see anything actually change).

After I got all the non-changes found and replicated in the repo by hand (obviously hes not up to speed with such things as version control) I decided I was done fucking around with undocumented changes to live production code which could have all kinds of nasty consequences, thus the following quick and dirty script was created.

# author: dword
# purpose: generate daily md5 sums of files and email them off for tracking of changes

# Lets generate the msg file, not used currently but will be later

echo "*** Daily Integrity Report ***" > int.msg
echo " " >> int.msg
echo "Generated: " >> int.msg; date >> int.msg

# Now to tag the log with today's date

date > int.log

# Generate MD5 sums for every file we want to track

for f in $(find /var/www/html/); do md5sum $f >> int.log; done

# Mail it off!

mail -s "Daily Report" paranoid@somewhere.tld < int.log

# Clean up files

rm int.log

Just change the path that find uses to whatever location you would like to keep track of and make the email actually something that works, slap it in a @daily crontab and you should be golden.  Its not anything fancy like tripwire or the like but at least hopefully it will save someone else from having to do a bunch of manual work diffing files wondering which were edited and which were just looked at.  I would have liked to simply lock the reject out who managed to cause this whole mess in the first place but I don’t think the boss would appreciate me circumventing the chain of command to start decreeing who works on what, even if they are total morons who probably shouldn’t be allowed to touch production systems in the first place.

Goodbye 4th Amendment!


I don’t even know what to say anymore, its beyond disgusting that these people are willing to let their rights be stripped away all for a perceived benefit that has yet to truly bear fruit.  Previously I considered the death of the US to coincide with the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care act (hint: raping of the Commerce Clause) but perhaps this would be a more appropriate date; the day the American people decided to give up their 4th Amendment rights without so much as a whimper of a fight.

The Truth Will Set You Free (or at least it was supposed to!)

I’ve been telling people for literally years now that the NSA monitors every single piece of communication in the US and people just looked at me like I was crazy; looks like its time for them to eat some  crow!.  I would love to say I feel vindicated to finally have proof to hold up to those who doubted me, but honestly its just sad on the whole.  The fact is there is NO privacy in this country anymbig-brother-is-watching-you4ore, you can’t even have a phone conversation with someone without the federal government snooping in on it.  

The sick tragedy of all of this is that nobody will stand up and demand change, demand the NSA stop its blatant pissing on the 4th Amendment.  Nobody will demand the head of the NSA be busted to hell and back over this, no one will call for resignations and criminal charges and NOBODY will stop and think that maybe the government has finally gotten so far out of control that it needs to be slapped and hard.

No, people will just go on keeping their heads in the sand or repeating the vile bullshit line “if you have nothing to hide whats the problem?”  This will be accepted as the price of “fighting terrorism” as so many of our (s)elected officials seem to think, but its not.  If you haven’t deleted your facebook already, if you aren’t so seething with anger and rage at the government that you want to burn it down now please do me a favor: walk into traffic in front of a speeding truck because you are a waste of human flesh and are part of the reason we have this kind of bullshit going on in the first fucking place.

You are a mobile sensor package!

“You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off,” he said. “You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.”


That is a quote from the chief technical officer for the Central Intelligence Agency regarding the electronic devices we all carry around.  If there was ever anything that creeped me out enough to consider throwing away my cell phone and turning my iPad into a modern art sculpture using a blow torch this would definitely be it.  I don’t want these freaks tracking my every move, its bad enough I have to carry around a cell phone and laptop essentially 24×7 when I am on-call for work, but the idea of some giant server computing all of my whereabouts and possibly making decisions that could directly impact me based on that data is disturbing.


Achievements to be unlocked?

So at work we have to set a batch of goals ever year that we work towards achieving, however this year it seems they are actually going to make us do this.  We have to accomplish these goals under penalty of losing our bonuses.  Two of my goals are going to drive me nuts, the fist being that I must complete the Portal project where I have to develop a set of internal tools.  We are going soft launch by the beginning of March so I’m under retarded levels of pressure to produce working code at an astronomical rate.

Then comes the part where they financially knee-cap me and make my brain implode all at once; I have to take and pass my RHCSA before the end of the year.  What makes this a pain in the ass is that the company wont pay a single cent towards this since they don’t pay for certs, only coursework done at accredited colleges (see also: CCNA).  Last I priced them a single sitting for the RHCSA is 400$ and its a multiple hour long test (that I will probably have to burn personal time to take in the first place).  To make this even more fun I have to study for this in-between doing my normal duties and coding half of a fairly complex project in which there is no set-in-stone list of features to work on, just a starting list that is subject to change from one week to the next.

To make the turd sandwich slide down just a little bit easier they are trying to wash it down with a 6% raise, but I would almost prefer being given more hours in each day so I have room for code, normal work, studying and still be able to get a decent nights rest, but sadly common sense at work aint that common.