Heartbleed is one of those things I wanted to ignore, but ultimately I had to pay attention too. Truthfully, I am pretty bad about passwords, I tend to use the same 2 or 3 passwords for all my logins, so this is something I probably needed to do anyway. At the suggestion of a friend I installed LastPass on my system and began the process of fixing my bad habits.
LastPass imported all my saved passwords from Firefox, which made things nice and easy for me. I started with a security check, LastPass gave me a score of 6.25%, this is really bad, I thought I was using 2 or 3 passwords, but I was really using 1 about 80% of the time and many of my passwords had not been changed in years. The plan here was to delete all the old accounts I don’t use any more and update the ones I do with impossible to remember random strings that are managed by LastPass.
I went for social media first, FaceBook, G+ and Twitter, all three of these used the same password. I then moved on to the more utility sites like Dropbox, Yahoo Mail and Godaddy, my passwords were a bit more varied here, but I had not changed Yahoo Mail and Godaddy in several years. Finally I hit the gaming sites, Dragonsfoot, RPG.net, Steve Jackson Games and DrivethruRPG, these were actually the best of the bunch. Finally I attacked all the financial sites, banks, investment sites, bill pay, etc, these I just cringe about.
It is all done though, all my passwords should now be very strong and all I have to hope for, is that the LastPass site does not get hacked.
I am currently trying to organize FaceBook to make it a more manageable tool. left unmodified, you pretty much get an unending stream of conscience from the entity known as “Your Friends”. The first thing I did was remove everyone from my news feed except those who consistently post interesting content, unsurprisingly, that was about 10% of my friends list. I then clicked on the Friends link on the side bar where I can manage lists. I took advantage of the pre-made lists for Close Friends, Acquaintances, Family and then I added a Work list.
- Family: Everyone I am related to either by blood or marriage.
- Close Friends: Anyone not related with whom I have a life long bond with.
- Work: Everyone with whom my relationship is primarily professional.
- Acquaintances: Pretty much everyone else who did not fit into any of the above categories.
I then added everyone on my Work list to my Restricted list, this keeps those people from seeing posts unless I specifically allow them to see it. This keeps me from having to edit myself, or worry about SFW content or an off color statement affecting my career. And of course when the next culling comes, the Work and Acquaintances pools gives me a short list for the UN-friending.
Every year I go to the hassle of renewing my PGP keys. I have done this every year for at least 10 years, I dutifully post my public key on my website and I lave a link to it in the signature of my most of my emails. In that time, not a single person has ever used it for anything, nor has anyone ever asked me to use PGP, or even exchange keys. I expect this from normal not paranoid type of people, but I know plenty of Conspiracy Theorists and none of them use it either. I also expected to see more people want to use encryption with the recent revelations concerning the NSA, but again, nothing. Learning curve and technological barriers are not really an excuse, making a key pair and using them is trivial these days, anyone can do it nearly seamlessly.
Okay I am done with this project, it seems to have gotten way too strange. This morning on my IRC Chat I had a message waiting for me that said “So long and thanks for all the fish.”. Several things have weirded me out about this. First, my IRC server is internal to my network, I set it up for PezWitch and I to use, there is no access to it from outside our house. Second, the user name was DMO, which is the name of the program I have been working on, it stands for “DogeCoin Mining Operation”. Third, when I traced the IP address of where the connection came from, it was 10.0.0.1, the IP is for node 0 of the DogeCoin Cluster. Finally, all of my work is gone, the program, the database, the source code, all of it. Mind you, this could simply be the work of a hacker, but I have to tell you, I feel a bit like I have just seen a ghost, really creeped out.
I am amazed at how far it has progressed without my intervention. Apparently the self optimizing code has been doing its job, everything is working nicely and has not needed any bug fixes for a couple of days. It seems to have recompiled itself at some point, which is exactly what the anthropomorphic bot code was suppose to do. The program has stopped writing log files, the program probably optimized this function out and I will probably have to go back in and re-add the code and blacklist it from removal. However, looking at the source code, I see a lot of added assembly language in here, since I am not familiar with ARM assembly language, it will be sometime before I can figure what it did.
My only concern is the amount of storage this project is taking up. A few days ago when I was adding the 4th node, I noticed, all the 4 GB SD cards I originally used for this project were full, so I replaced them all with 32 GB cards. Those cards are pretty cheap and I figured that would take a while to fill. I was wrong, so today I have attached the spare 1 TB drive I removed from PezWitch’s system several weeks ago and off loaded the sql database files onto it. When I have time later I will have a look at that database and see why it is expanding so fast.
This morning I mentioned an odd influx of DogeCoin on Christmas day according to the program logging. I did not have a chance to actually check my DogWallet prior to going to work. However, I checked it when I got home and found only 14 DogeCoin. I went back and looked at the logs and sure enough, it looked like I was acquiring coins at a ridiculous rate. My only explanation at this point is perhaps a decimal error in the logging function. I will look at the source code this weekend and see what’s up.
I am very concerned this morning, I have a lot more DogeCoins than I thought I would have at this point, and I do mean A LOT. I think this might be a bug in the reporting, but I am not sure yet.
Beyond that, my rig has been running pretty well since I added the node and setup a dedicated network. The code seems to be doing what it is designed to do, which is mine DogeCoins. The code has become very low maintenance, the memory leak seems to be under control and CPU usage, while high is not pegged out.
I am in the process of cleaning up my code, making sure I have given credit where it is due and that I am not violating anyone’s copyrights. It is interesting that there is code in here I don’t remember adding in, for instance there is a call to a LISP based module. I don’t remember installing LISP or compiling any modules that used LISP. I have to admit, I did a couple of long nights running on nothing but coffee and code, so I suppose I should be happy I didn’t try to drive during that time.
So I have the software mostly going now. There were some very problematic bugs in the software, including a nasty memory leak, that kept me from finishing up this project and moving on. I went to a programming forum for some help, several people suggested I try some sort of anthropomorphic self model subroutines. Frankly, this sounded like a lot of bullshit, I figured they were pulling my chain, but with a bit of research, I discovered that self optimizing anthropomorphic software is actually a thing. I found a lot of useful code on the blog of a software developer in Norway.
So after another lost night of working various blocks of code into my mining software, I have finally gotten a successful mostly warning free compile of the binary. This code is getting huge, I am not sure I have enough bandwidth for this, so I am buying another Raspberry Pi to add to the cluster. This thing also seems to take a lot of network resources communicating between the nodes, so as not to interfere with Netflix or World of Warcraft, I have purchased another router and setup a dedicated network to the DogeCoin Cluster. The two networks are linked, but all the node communication is done on the dedicated network and only connects to the Internet when necessary for the mining operation.
Step one of my project is completed. I got the Beowulf cluster up and running, ran some quick benchmarking tests on it and found it operates at approximately the speed three clustered Raspberry Pi’s. Not being a particularly brilliant programmer, I scoured the net for bits and pieces of code to help me do the optimizing of the mining software for a clustered environment. There is actually quit a lot of code snippets out there I found very useful. Digital currency programming is not really a popular subject among serious computer science researchers, so I did not find anything really pertaining to this, but rather oddly enough I got a lot of solid code I could integrate from a couple of AI research papers I found. It took me several hours properly integrate the new code and fix the strange little bugs, but I have successfully compiled my new mining software. There still seems to be some bugs, I am working them out and as soon as I have a reasonably functional binary, I will release it back to the community.