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Showing posts from December, 2018

Your silly email parser is not good enough

Read and weep. The originators of the internet have deemed this (RFC 5321, 5322) to be a valid email address:
Address: <(!) "foo;bar,shar!" (woof """) @ (blah; zar, far) +-!~.example.com (???)> Local part: <(!) "foo;bar,shar!" (woof """) > Domain: <+-!~.example.com> Domain is VALID according to RFC 5322The text inside parentheses are comments. Yes, our forefathers saw it fit to allow email addresses to contain comments. Maybe to include instructions for the postman.

The local part is preserved exactly as-is because of the following:
"Consequently, and due to a long history of problems when intermediate hosts have attempted to optimize transport by modifying them, the local-part MUST be interpreted and assigned semantics only by the host specified in the domain part of the address."Detailed analysis of the address's structure:
Root at 1:1 addr_spec at 1:1 local_part at 1:1 quoted_string at…

Facebook predictions: The campaign against Zuckerberg is about message control

Context: Like Google, and the rest of the almost-parasitic surveillance capitalism, Facebook is a snooper. Like Google, they position themselves to be unavoidable:
Through Google Analytics, Google is there on most websites you visit. Through popular web frameworks like React, so is Facebook.If you use Android or a Google app, Google knows everything about you through your phone. If you use Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp – so does Facebook.Observation: There is currently a media campaign against Facebook. This campaign is:
Coordinated. Facebook hit pieces are appearing across a variety of media outlets.Persistent. Facebook hit pieces have been appearing since Donald Trump's election.Misleading. A headline will say Facebook shared your private messages with Netflix. It turns out Netflix had technical ability to access your messages as part of a cooperation to insert video into chat. The article emphasizes how a Netflix developer might have abused this. Facebook developers can do that…

Simple things that do not work in the US

In the well-established tradition of being a grumpy person who complains, I can't resist describing a couple unexpected things a European might expect would work in the US, which do not work well at all.

In this post, I avoid major things. If I didn't, I'd have to start with the US medical system. Or the extortion-enabling software patent system. Or the gerrymandering of political districts. Or first-past-the-post voting instead of ranked-choice. Or the lack of any accountability by the "news media" - of any brand - to report what's true and important, and to not misinform with what's false and unimportant.

You get the gist. This is about a couple of everyday things.
Dysfunctional TelephonesUnlike any other country I've lived in, in the US you can expect to be bothered by illegal spam calls with faked caller ID numbers multiple times a day. I'm in the "Do Not Call" registry, yet today I'd been up for 4 hours and had already received t…