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My Opinion On: PRISM

It's been two months since Edward Snowden gave information to The Guardian. Let's recap what has happened since then:

To be honest, it's not much. While most people now know they're being spied on they don't really seem to care.
Some say "I've got nothing to hide" or that we have to stop terrorism, but all we know is that this is not going to end the whole thing.
But what we also know is that it's not just the Americans who do it, it seems that everybody is doing it.
The British do it, the French do it, ..., and in Afghanistan there's also something called "Prism".

Apart from that, most governments have started their "research" about what's really happening, because, as they say, they didn't know what was going on before.
But it's getting quieter and quieter. It seems most people have already forgot it and the governments don't really want to do something because it would stop their own plans, who knows.

The plan seems to be the same all over the world. More and more surveillance for our own security.
But security isn't free, security has a price and the question is whether we're willing to pay it.

First I think it's important to understand how surveillance won't help you to uncover any terrorists.
Wiretapping millions of connections means having millions of pieces of data. No human being will be able to go through that amount of data and filter it, so we have to make machines doing it and they just look for keywords.
Also computers won't be able to make an educated guess if person #457297372 is suspicious or not.

But which people do get into the filter after all? As far as we know it's you and me, the people who use Twitter, Facebook, various Google services, send unencrypted emails and store their data in the cloud. It's very very easy for intelligence agencies to wiretap our connections because we don't use an end-to-end encryption and store our data in the data centers of huge companies. There's always one point where every packet of data goes thru and that's where they intercept the connection.

But if we want to uncover terrorists, the question is, what do terrorists do?
I'll tell you, they won't do all that. I haven't seen a single terrorist who tweets: "Yay! Bomb is placed. Visit me on 42 2nd St.". Why? Well, you can get it by yourself.
Terrorists also don't write unencrypted emails and they don't download their bomb cooking guides without using at least 3 VPN servers. If they use forums at all they won't publish on Such forums won't be online on the same IP longer than a few days.

What I want to say is: Terrorists know how to hide themselves. If they don't, they won't be a threat anyway ;)

So let's see:
No Twitter, no Facebook, no social stuff -> all these black boxes the NSA stored in big data centers are useless
Encrypted emails -> the same, because if they use Gmail, an encrypted email is useless to intelligence agencies if they cannot decrypt it.
Anonymized internet connection -> data preservation is useless, because the only thing they'll see is an encrypted connection to server So they don't know what data has been transferred nor do they know where the data has eventually arrived.
Forums which don't live long -> until they have found the server on which the forum was running, everything is deleted already.

So you see, most of what intelligence agencies do, won't help us at all. The only ones who are being watched are the innocent.
Another fact that proves me right is that since they started the whole stuff in the 90's they didn't detect a single attack. They didn't stop 9/11, the Boston marathon bombing, the London bombings, or Breivik just to name a few.

Also why do they have to meet in secrecy? We should make all of our actions public while they classify everything.
Why can't they be open too? Do they have something to hide?!

But if they don't stop any terrorist, why are they doing what they are doing then? Isn't it wasted money?
This is a good question. I don't really know why they're doing what they're doing. Nobody except for themselves really knows, but maybe the target was to watch us. Maybe the terrorists only were a pretence.

Also we have to understand that the chance to die in a terroristic attack is almost zero.
In Switzerland e.g. the last attack was in the 70's and killed about 250 people. Of course that's 250 people too much but if we have a look at how many people have died in traffic since then the difference is just immense.
Why do we spend such big amounts of money on stopping terrorism then and not in making cars more secure, for example.
And the point is that these huge amounts don't even have a guaranteed effect. It's just something they're trying to do. Maybe it helps, maybe it does not.

So we have to take a look on why they could want to spy on us.
I don't have any idea to be honest. Now it's your turn! Make your own thoughts!

The only thing that comes into my mind is a bit conspiracy.
They want to increase the amount of surveillance until they know about everyone to finally drop democracy and build a dictatorship all over the world. A New World Order, maybe.
I do not have any proofs for this idea, it's just a mind experiment (which sadly works).

As history shows, every reformer/future dictator increased the amount of surveillance, mostly because the rest of the world was apparently dangerous and they needed to keep the country secure of the evil.
But the truth was that it was needed to keep the people under control. If someone wanted to stand up against the regime, he was publicly shot to make an example.
Surveillance also allows them to block each site on the net that criticizes the system to prevent people from getting stupid thoughts at first.

If you're interested in this subject, I can recommend the books "1984" and "Animal Farm" by George Orwell to you.
They show similar subjects in great detail.

Finally I want to make a note on why surveillance is so dangerous.
It's very simple. You don't see it. People don't notice whether their connection is wiretapped or not.
If you don't notice it, you will not stand up against it.
But what they're really doing is walking into your digital living room. Would you tolerate that in reality?

Some say, why not, if it helps to make me more secure. "I have nothing to hide!"
And this is completely wrong. Just because you think you have nothing to hide today, it doesn't mean it has to stay like this forever.
Law changes and maybe in the future you have something to hide.
"Having nothing to hide" also means that you will have to accept what your governments decide forever.
Standing up against the government might be something you wanna hide in the future, like I stated before.

Because of that it's important to stop them now before it's too late.
After they've passed a certain point of surveillance it won't be possible for us to stop them anymore.

Who knows what the future brings us. We should not ruin our future because of a fear of today.
Let's not decide on fear. Fear is never a good idea to make decisions on. Just make a list of positive effects and one for the negative ones. And decide by the longer one.

"Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."
- Benjamin Franklin

written by: Takashi Yoshi
Tags: opinion

How To: Getting Google Music Manager to work on PowerPC, again!

As we all know, Google hates PowerPC and none of their desktop apps nor most of their plug-ins are still available for PowerPC Macs even though they often support Leopard.

But there are some exceptions where the Product Quality Manager was a bit drunk and made some Universal Binaries available to the public.

The "Google Music Manager" was one of these until Google decided that they should release a new version and break the full PowerPC compatibility leaving you with a build that ran on PowerPC. However, you cannot use the Preference Pane, which actually is the most important part of the whole application.

Just stay with the old version you thought? Nah, Google somehow changed their login procedure (or whatever they've messed with) which leaves you with a neat "error code 5".

But fortunately the Product Quality Manager came to work drunken again and left the build half working which lets us fix the build with a few (more or less) easy steps and upload songs to Google Play Music from our beloved PowerPC's :)

So here we go:

  1. You need two disk images (one with the old version of the Music Manager (1.0.27) and one with the new version (1.0.65)). I've provided them to you and you can download them from here:
  2. After you have them both downloaded you mount "musicmanager_1.0.65.1341.dmg" (the new version)
  3. Drag "Music" to your Applications folder.
  4. Unmount "musicmanager_1.0.65.1341.dmg".
  5. To fix the new build we need the old preference pane which we get from (means you have to mount the image) "musicmanager_1.0.27.206.dmg" (the old version)
  6. "Show Package Contents" of "Music" (from the image you've just mounted) and open Contents/Resources.
  7. "Show Package Contents" of "Music" (from your Applications folder) and open Contents/Resources (now it's important that you don’t confuse both windows as they look pretty similar!)
  8. Copy "MusicManager.prefPane" from the Music Manager you opened from your Applications folder to a temporary location.
  9. Replace "MusicManager.prefPane" (in the new version) by the one you find in the old version.
  10. "Show Package Contents" of the Preference Pane you have just replaced and open Contents/Resources
  11. "Show Package Contents" of the Preference Pane from your temporary location and open Contents/Recources.
  12. Replace the "Music" from the "real" Preference Pane with the one from your temporary location.
  13. Done.

Now you can launch Music Manager and have a full working (as far as I could test it) copy of Google's Music Manager!

written by: Takashi Yoshi
Tags: HowTo, Google Play Music

My wishes for Android 5.0 (Key Lime Pie)

We're all waiting for the next version of Android and presumably it will contain many new great features as 4.1 and 4.2 only were a small and an even smaller update.

Android is not perfect and will probably never be, but these are the things I would appreciate the most to see in 5.0:

  1. News Hub

    News Hub

    Admit it, you know the problem: You have a weather app, like 1Weather, that constantly displays the actual forecast in the notification pull-down and because of it’s expanded size it pushes all the other notifications off the screen.

    This is not how notifications are supposed to work.

    The Notification pull-down in my opinion should have three panes which the user can swipe through.
    No. 1: News Hub (contains all persistant and informative notifications)
    No. 2: Notifications (like we all know and love them, clean and organized)
    No. 3: Quick Toggles (like in 4.2)

    Oh, and btw: Notifications should be pinnable so that you cannot simply slide them away.

  2. Better File System integration

    Surely there are File Browsers in the Play Store but they're not really integrated into the system. Sure many of them implement themselves into the global Share menu but when using the phone you tend to forget the file system that’s working in the background.

    How would it be if there was a certain folder on the SD card that would be displayed in the Launcher directly?
    You could save all important files there and see them directly.

    Because en empty folder is quite useless, there should be a nicely designed save dialog that can be implemented by every app.
    It's quite stupid when every app saves its files onto it's own folder somewhere on the SD card.

  3. USB Mass Storage emulation

    Newer Nexus devices all have that one partition scheme which is great, no question, but removes the ability to use UMS (USB Mass Storage mode).
    The new protocols are MTP and PTP, but, to be honest, they just suck and I’ve never heard someone saying "Oh awesome! Finally they dropped that awful UMS for that awesome Microsoft-built proprietary MTP!"

    So why doesn't Google just build an UMS emulation? It can't be worse than MTP ;)

  4. Multiple windows

    Samsung introduced the dual window feature some time ago and CyanogenMod also wanted to implement it, but Google didn't want them to.

    I still want dual windows, which could be very useful on tablets (especially on 10" ones).

    Imagine you have been sent a picture of an invoice by a friend and need to type its number into an email.

    Now you have to possibilities:

    1. Open the picture, write the number onto a piece of paper, switch to your email, type it in.
    2. Switch between the picture and email about 1000 times while trying to remember a few more numbers each time.

    Not very convenient, is it?

  5. Revocable permissions

    No question, the permission system of Android is a great idea. You can clearly see what an app is allowed to do, but some apps take permissions you don't want to give them. MIUI has already solved the problem and so should AOSP do.

    Permissions have to be revocable!

  6. Transparent/Colored status bar

    Because black gets boring by time.

  7. SIM-Change Lock

    You lose your phone, someone finds it and wants to put his own SIM card into it.
    There should be an option to set which will then block the phone so it can’t be used anymore until the connected Google account information has been entered.

    This, of course, is still not 100% secure, but maybe it convinces the finder to return the phone, especially if he's not very experienced with computers and stuff.

  8. Quick-Switch Apps

    If I’m switching between apps I normally only do between 2 or 3 of the last used ones.
    Pressing the Multitasking-Button, waiting for the app thumbnails to load and select the app I want just takes too long.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have one unified gesture to switch to the last used app?

  9. WhatsApp & Co. Integration into Messaging App

    Having 5 messaging apps is annoying.

    Having all messages in one unified place would be awesome!

  10. Lag-Free experience

    Please Google, please!!

These are my 10 most wanted features for 5.0 (Key Lime Pie).
Let's some of them turn into reality on I/O13.

written by: Takashi Yoshi
Tags: Key Lime Pie, Android

Imma try 'em all: Sunrise

Sunrise ist einer der drei grossen Mobilfunkanbieter der Schweiz und hat auch ein eigenes Netz.

Sunrise ist vor allem bei der jüngeren Generation und preisbewussten Kunden beliebt.
Aber ist Sunriseauch gut?

Ich hatte im St. Galler Rheintal Geschwindigkeiten von durchschnittlich 1800kbit/s Downlink und 900kbit/s Uplink auf einem Gerät, das bis zu 7.2/5.76Mbit/s unterstützt.
Die Geschwindigkeit schwankte jedoch stark. Beim Downlink streuten sich die Werte von 800 bis 2500kbit/s, beim Uplink 700-1200kbit/s.

Diese Werte sind mässig gut und können, meiner Meinung nach, nicht wirklich mit den Werten von Orange, oder der Swisscom, mithalten.
Bei Orange schwankten die Werte weniger stark und ein Ping dauerte nur etwa halb so lange.

Ich hatte beim Testen den Eindruck, dass man dies beim täglichen Surfen stärker bemerkt als es vielleicht den Anschein macht.

Bei diesen Werten erwartet man dann aber dafür wenigstens tiefere Preise als bei der Konkurrenz, aber auch hier ist Sunrise ziemlich enttäuschend, denn die Preise sind nicht wirklich tiefer als bei Orange.
7.50 für 250MB oder 19.- für 1GB sind etwa im selben Rahmen wie bei Orange und das ist für die erbrachte Leistung etwas sehr grosszügig bemessen.
Im tieferen Datenmengen-Bereich kann Sunrise bei Wenigsurfern auf Grund der geringeren Datenmenge, und dem daraus folgend tieferen Preis, zwar eher überzeugen als Orange, aber ob die Kunden sich da nicht eher für Lebara oder LycaMobile entscheiden, ist fraglich.
Für Vielsurfer ist Sunrise bezüglich der Geschwindigkeit definitiv keine Empfehlung. Das Netz ist zu instabil und der Ping ist einfach zu hoch.

Was mir hingegen sehr gut gefallen hat, ist, dass "Mein Konto" sehr übersichtlich gestaltet ist, sehr viele Informationen anzeigt und auch vieles angepasst werden kann.
Leider sind die Beschriftungen manchmal etwas unglücklich gewählt.

So zeigt Mein Konto genau an, wann wie viele Daten/SMS verbraucht oder wie viel telefoniert wurde, es können Optionen aktiviert/deaktiviert werden und das ohne nervige SMS oder Anrufe.
Das Design ist, wenn einem das Sunrise-Theme zusagt, sehr ansprechend gestaltet und man findet sich im Groben dennoch recht schnell zurecht.

Im Vergleich zum Angebot von Orange ist das Angebot mehr oder weniger ebenbürtig.
Im Gegensatz zu Orange zeigt das Angebot von Sunrise die verbleibenden Leistungen für die aktuelle Daten-Periode an, dafür jedoch nicht wann wie viele Daten verbraucht wurden.

Beim Kundenservice kann Sunrise überzeugen. Sunrise reagiert auf Twitter sehr schnell und freundlich auf Anfragen und kann Probleme, falls dennoch mal welche auftreten, souverän lösen.


Sunrise ist einer der grossen Schweizer Mobilfunkanbieter mit einem eher mageren Datennetz, dafür Stärken in einem stabilen System, bei der Verwaltung und beim Kundenservice.
Über Mein Konto lässt sich viel anpassen und es funktioniert auch alles, was schon beinahe unglaublich erscheint, wenn man das mit gewissen anderen Anbietern vergleicht.


Netzgeschwindigkeit 3.5
Datenvolumen und Preis 4.6
Verwaltung 5.2
Kundendienst 5.0
Zuverlässigkeit des Systems 5.5

Note 4.8

written by: Takashi Yoshi
Tags: ProjectITEA

Imma try 'em all: Neue Bewertungen

Wegen eines kleinen Zwischenfalls bei Lebara, der mir die Datenverbindung für 4 Tage gekappt hat, habe ich festgestellt, dass meine bisherigen subjektiven Bewerungskriterien für Anbieter nicht wirklich die Realität widerspiegeln und habe nach neuen Kriterien gesucht, die eher der Realität entsprechen und weniger subjektiv sind.

Diese habe ich (denke ich ;-)) gefunden und sogleich die Kriterien ausgemistet:

Die bisherigen Berichte wurden natürlich bereits mit den neuen Noten aktualisiert.

written by: Takashi Yoshi
Tags: ProjectITEA
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