Chosen Destiny 3

When I was in high school, me and my classmate made this story line plot that we want to program into a game that never really materializes because our knowledge were lacking and there are no mentors from our school; with no Internet that time.  Anyway, we would like to have this build up and developed. Hope the reader would contribute.

  1. In the beginning, there was nothing… then God said “Let there be light!”… and there was light…
    1. Master Druid Vince finds a baby crying in the forest.
      1. Vince takes a peel to see whether it is a boy or girl…
      2. Vince gives the baby a name (default is Wei)
    2. Vince raises Wei, lives in Druid Stonehenge west.
      1. Vince sends Wei on errands
        1. Wei collects beans, looks around the forest
        2. Wei purges the forest of gooes
        3. Wei stops a forest fire.
        4. Wei defends their home from bandits (with Vince’s help)
      2. Vince teaches Wei some spells (Wei starts with Heal wounds)
        1. Wei learns Fireball (after collecting beans)
        2. Wei learns Iceblast (after fighting gooes)
        3. Wei learns Searing Wind (after forest fire)
        4. Wei learns Rumbling Earth (after figthing bandits)
    3. Vince sends Wei on quest. “Find yourself, child. Choose your destiny”
  2. The Quest
    1. Passing the Forest of Silence… meeting Quietus
      1. Sidequest: before passing the Forest of Silence, go thru Halfling Hills
    2. Maisung, meeting Xiao Fu
      1. Sidequest: after leaving Maisung, go to Tristam before Bourdomburg
    3. Bourdomburg, ghouls and demons, meeting Kishin and Kyrie
      1. Sidequest: before going to Burdomburg, go to Furaiwu – Fuku village
      2. Sidequest: At Furaiwu, visit Fakefuji – Hoka village
    4. Marina Wharf, meeting Marin, and Shoki, Xiao Fu leaves
      1. Sidequest: kill the sea monster
    5. Semoki Territory, look for Druid Stonehenge north
      1. Sidequest: kill the Abominable Snowman
    6. Draconi Territory, meeting Elle, Juno, and the Dragons
      1. Sidequest: defeat Khusheame in battle
    7. Deshdulb Territory: meeting Erlaike, looking for DSH East
      1. Sidequest: enter Maccoro City, meet Pygmalion
    8. Tepirs Territory: looking for DSH South
      1. Sidequest: look for Elven Village where Elle lives
    9. End of quest, everyone goes home.
  3. Disaster Strikes – the Druid of Chaos appears
    1. DSH West, Vince is badly injured, but still alive.
    2. Looking for friends (everyone is in their hometown)
      1. Quietus joins right away
      2. Xiao Fu is in jail (cant join)
      3. Ninjas have their own group (wont join)
      4. Kishin asks for some money to pay for his debts, then joins
      5. Kyrie is scared, joins anyway
      6. Juno joins after Wei brings him back to his senses
      7. Khusheame tells a story about the past and then joins
      8. Erlaike joins after Wei help him fight a bunch of demons
      9. Marin and Shoki have their own fight under the sea
      10. The Faries are busy protecting their forest
      11. Pygmalion is busy with his mercenaries
      12. Elle joins right away
    3. The foresaken Land: Isles of Pearls
      1. Looking for the Realm of the Chaos Druid
      2. Final Battle. — Ending Credits
  4. Epilogue: Dragonspire

Jovi and Khusheame are having a conversation about what had just happened and relates it with what had happened in the past. Pygmalion appears and says it is an eternal cycle that will always happen. “It is best to prepare for the next chaos stream…”

“What Chaos stream?” Jovi asks…

“You didnt know?” Pygmalion replies.

– END OF GAME –

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Income equality only possible with growth

This is a reaction to the point made by Joseph Estrada:

“Income equality distribution is only possible with economic growth.” – Mr. Estrada

Theoretically I believe that even with no economic growth, i.e. that being constant over time, it is possible to have an equal distribution of income. Why? Because equal income distribution is just a matter of distributing properly the money collected by the government (using direct or indirect taxes, etc.) and allocating it correctly until the ratio of the first through the last decile is equal to one. Meaning that all the 1-10th decile is given 20% allocation so its equal.

Another point is according to Ravallion and Chen (1997) in their research paper using 64 countries sample across Europe and Asia, there is a negative correlation between growth and equality of income.  The more growth you have as a country, the more income distribution varies. This may be because of corruption or bureaucracy, but another study entails this.

One of the possibilities of equal income distribution is the regressive collection of taxes, then assigning it to high integrity officials who really likes to help alleviate the country’s economic outlook. And we dont need growth for that. Collection of taxes from major corporations and growth will affect the per capita, not the income distribution.

Not good at UI but good at UX

Is there a difference?

I am a software developer, engineer and a consumer.  I am never good at the front end UI especially when designing a UI.  But as a meticulous consumer and an enthusiast of gadgets and technologies, I can say I am good at UX and providing inputs on how consumers think.

The best UX does not necessarily have the best UI design

Take Google for example. Their search engines, gmails, every part of their product does not have a massive UI design, but a very simple direct to the point UX.  Apple’s website doesnt have a very good UI, in fact one can argue its simple enough to provide good UX.

A good UX always comes from the consumer’s point of view

I believe anyone can be good at providing UX (user experiences).  UX is how the consumer would intuitively use your designs.  Being a consumer myself, means I am more direct to the point of what I want to do with the product itself, website for example.  It should provide clear way of navigating things, of doing things, and of transacting things.

If its an ecommerce website, it doesnt have to be misguiding the user about different products aside from what the user searches and offering the alternatives.  The alternatives should be intuitive enough not to divulge over other products.  The user would just love to hate that, if you always offer another alternative different from what he searches.  Its not meaningful.

Also, the user would love a clear workflow from search until the end, and not misguided by some other offers in the middle. Ads perhaps.

UI supposed to simplify things

Like craigslist, it doesnt matter if the consumer is presented with all text.  As long as its simple, easy to understand, easy to perform transaction with.  With too much information nowadays, theres a trend to getting as much UI printed in a visually appealing way but non-sensical.  UI is supposed to simplify things, not complicate it.  My rule of thumb (being a developer and not a good UI designer) is just to present the website full of text, in a simple manner like Google does, and also to simplify the presented text further using UI if you cannot get away with words.  That way, you minimize the text presented, and minimize the visual infomration presented.

To summarize this, consumers usually go for all things simple. In text as well as in UI. If the text is simpler to present, use text. If the UI is even simpler, use UI. Do not overuse text and UI. Do not overuse Ads, do not over present a misleading information when the user are searching.  Always take the least effort to make the website, the straight line (the direct path) is the shortest path between two end points.

Who will be the next drop-out billionaire?

According to Peter Theil’s foundation, here’s a list of his class mentorship that could be the next drop-out billionaire.  The foundation is giving away $100,000 provided you have a good vision and grit, and you drop-out college as well.

  • Caroline Beckman, 20 — Health and Wellness Products
  • Cathy Tie, 18 — Genomic Sequencing
  • George Matus, 17 — Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Harry Gandhi, 22 — Wearable Medical Technology
  • Jason Marmon, 17 — Real Estate Technology
  • Jeremy Cai, 19 — Software, Human Resources
  • Jihad Kawas, 17 — Sharing Economy
  • John Backus, 21 — Software
  • John Meyer, 19 — Media, Crowdsourced News
  • Kieran O’Reilly, 19 — Animated GIFs
  • Rory O’Reilly, 20 — Animated GIFs
  • Liam Horne, 19 — Software, Retail Real Estate
  • Max Lock, 18 — Supply Chain Logistics
  • Ocean Pleasant, 17 — Media, Social Good, Technology
  • Olenka Polak, 21 — App-Based Software, Linguistics
  • Patrick Coughran, 21 — Logistics Software
  • Simon Tian, 20 — Wearables, Consumer Electronics
  • Stacey Ferreira, 22 — Technology, Entrepreneurship
  • Zach Latta, 17 — Education, Nonprofit
  • Zoli Kahan, 19 — Mobile Games, Software

These areas may be the next big thing. We can use this to brainstorm any ideas for these areas.

Moving or Upgrade Old Mac HD to a New Mac HD

Okay. Moving or Upgrading from an old Mac HD (including its partition, boot, installation, recovery) to a new Mac HD (maybe because you want to increase the capacity to a higher HDD) is relatively an easy task.  The hard part is just for the preparation on how you want to partition your new HDD.  Here is my story.

I am coming from an old MacBook (early 2009 edition – the white one) and my latest maximum Mac OS X version that I can install is the Mac OS X Lion 10.7.  Since I am a developer, I increased the RAM capacity to 4GB – the maximum it can get.  Now I am planning to increase its internal HDD size from 120GB to 500GB since I have a spare 500GB HDD that I am not using anymore.

As I am writing this blog, I am also doing the upgrade at the same time.  Here goes:

Partition Planning

My old Mac HDD (120GB) have by default 3 partitions – a MacBook partition is the primary bootable partition and this is where the Mac OS X Lion is installed and this is also where I am installing any apps I might have.  My second partition is the Data partition which is where I am storing my data (unencrypted – since I hardly connect to the net from the Mac) – data includes my huge collection of music files (Hey, I love music!)  The third partition, is the mandatory Mac Recovery partition – which is named Mac OS X Base System.  This is where we will boot just in case anything goes wrong and we want to re-install the Lion again.

First, get your Mac OS X Lion DVD and boot from it. Holding Option key when the Mac is starting up.  Then open the Disk Utility.

Now, I got my external USB drive, and then change the HDD inside into my spare 500GB drive.  Inserted it. Erase *all* of its partitions from the Disk Utility.  Then setup my own partition, which goes like this:

Partition 1: MacBook – main bootable partition to which we will clone our old previous installation into this.  I set this into 200GB.

Partition 2: Data – my data, and music partition – 200GB

Partition 3: Reserve partition – to which I am planning to install Kali Linux and CentOS for experiments (developers love to experiments) – I assigned 98GB for this.

Partition 4: Recovery partition – Mac Lion needs 2GB of space for this.

When all is said and done, click Apply so that your partitions will be saved.  Also be sure to backup first your data before doing this since changing the partition WILL erase all your data from your new HDD.

Cloning

There are ants crawling on my computer, I hate them now.  Anyway, the second process is to Clone your previous partitions into your new partitions.  Cloning is the right term since basically it will copy ALL files, boot, permissions, folders, from your old HDD to your new one.  It doesn’t matter if the size of both HDD is different.  Theoretically since I am upgrading to a higher size HDD, I have no problem.

Now, to clone the main partition from your old HD to your new one, click the main partition and then click the “Restore” tab.  You will see that there are input fields labelled Source: and then Destination.

Drag the main partition into the source, and drag the new main partition into the destination field, and then click the Restore button.  This will copy everything from the source to the destination; erasing everything from the destination.  It will just ignore the free spaces, so it should have no problem if your HDD have different sizes.

Do this for the (1) main partition, (2) data partition, and (3) recovery partition.

Then you are done!  If you have more data, then the process will take longer.  Please wait until finish.

Checking

To check, restart your Mac, and hold the Options key while booting.

It will display a list of bootable partitions to which your Mac can boot.  At the minimum, it should display: (1) Old main partition, (2) Old recovery partition, (3) New main partition, (4) New recovery partition.

Once you see this 4 partitions, you are good to go.

You can then open your MacBook and then remove the old HD, and replace it with your new HD.  And when you boot, holding the Options key, you would then see the 2 partitions from your New HD (the main, and the recovery)

Different kinds of Tor attacks and how to combat those

Different kinds of Tor related Cyber Attacks and ways to combat those attacks.

  1. BIOS attacks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNYsfUNegEA
  2. Man in the middle attack – eavesdrop through listening of unencrypted traffic at end nodes of network.  Can be protected by SSL and end-to-end encryption.
  3. Confirmation attack – if both ends cooperate to attack you passing information from you, and then confirming information from the other end through correlation. Tor protects against traffic analysis such as the man-in-the-middle, but cannot protect against traffic confirmation.
  4. Metadata of images that may contain information such as date, time, GPS coordinates when the picture was taken, brand, serialnumber of the device, thumbnails or the original.  Use the Metadata anonymisation toolkit to remove the metadata.
  5. Different tasks must have separate contextual identities by restarting Tails because Tor uses the same circuit relays (allowing to easily identify you)

Increasing your privacy and anonymity through Tails

According to Tails, it is a live system (Linux live system that can run on USB or CD) that aims to preserve your privacy and anonymity by masking your online presence with Tor and I2P.

Whats good about it is that since it comes with a live system, it therefore allows you to bring your media (USB, SD) so that wherever you go, your bring anonymity with you.  Plus it has its own of software suite that you can use like a browser, a messaging client, email client, office suite, and the like.

Another benefit of Tails is that it uses the Tor framework. Tor is basically an open distributed network (no single point of server – in fact every Tor node is a Tor server) that masks (encrypts) and bounces the traffic between those nodes.  The benefit of this is that your location is not seen as well as there are no man in the middle attacks between these bouncing of traffic between Tor nodes.  You however, should still use GPG or SSL as encryption for end to end communication because Tor does not encrypt the traffic after passing the Tor end node.  Another benefit of Tor is that you can consume services or see websites available only in Tor as .onion domain.

The I2P technology that Tails uses is an anonymity overlay network.  It is an additional layer (simple encrypted layer) above the TCP/IP (unencrypted) which make sures that your end-to-end connection tunnels are secured.  Basically it protects you from your ISP and your local proxies from spying on you.

That having said, you as a user still have to make sure to use all the tools incorporated with Tails so you can be totally secured.  Some guidelines include:

  1. Encrypt your USB sticks
  2. Use HTTPS instead of HTTP
  3. Encrypt and sign your emails and documents using OpenGPG
  4. Use the OTR to encrypt instant messaging channels
  5. Secure delete your files and clean your disk using wipe.

With all said and read, here’s how I installed Tails.

  1. Download and verify its ISO image file
    1. Windows: https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb/index.en.html
    2. Mac: https://tails.boum.org/install/mac/usb/index.en.html
    3. It is preferred to use Torrent since it automatically validates the ISO.
  2. Install the intermediary Tails on your first USB
    1. Windows: https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb/index.en.html
    2. Mac: https://tails.boum.org/install/mac/usb/index.en.html
    3. Follow instructions above to install on Windows or Mac.  This intermediary Tails is needed in order to install Tails using its own live system, which ensures that all are secure.
    4. What I did with my system is that I burned the ISO image into a DVD since I don’t have a USB boot on my old MacBook laptop.
  3. Install the final Tails on your second USB
    1. Windows: https://tails.boum.org/install/win/usb/index.en.html
    2. Mac: https://tails.boum.org/install/mac/usb/index.en.html
    3. Install this final Tails on a higher size USB as this will contain your Tails live system, as well as your encrypted documents, emails, configuration, etc.
    4. Once done, you can delete the intermediary Tails. Intermediary Tails is just a pawn to install Tails into a more usable final version.  What good does it have, if Tails cannot store your documents in it securely.
    5. This final USB then can be booted from any computer that boots from USB.
  4. Create an Encrypted Persistent Storage
    1. Start the final Tails
    2. Go to Applications > Tails > Create Persistent Storage
    3. Select Personal, then click Create
    4. Restart

 

Accessing Tails using Administrator

Tails is still in the buggy stage since it is still being developed heavily.  It just started to be conceptualized since 2013 and some of its underlying framework i.e. the I2P are not yet mature.

CAUTION: When you enter Admin mode, it may update itself and if you cannot connect to the Tor network, it may hang leaving you no option but to restart.

Also, when you restart or shutdown, you may encounter a hang after the screen goes black that says attempting to wipe the system memory; and that if the system does not power off automatically in a few seconds, it may mean that the memory wiping has failed.  But the system hangs and doesn’t proceed after this.  This is a known issue in Apple MacBook systems.