Free speech and free press go hand in hand — and both are under threat

This article was first published on VozWire.

“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”

That quote, from George Orwell, is over seventy years old. Yet, given the vivacity with which we continue to debate the importance of free speech, it could very easily have been written today. We live in an age in which writers are harassed for having the wrong opinions. Our world is one where at least seventy countries around the world unduly suppress legitimate news media, and where over fifty journalists were murdered last year alone, simply for doing their jobs.

Keeping very close tabs on the media — and often using violent tactics of oppression — has long been a key feature of undemocratic authoritarian regimes. The desire to control is all-consuming, to the point that dictators want to be able to regulate what people see and say. Recent years, though, have seen something of a boost in intense disrespect directed towards the free press. Hatred of journalists is beginning to escape from the confines of totalitarianism and seep into supposedly liberal societies.

On 7 January 2015, two gunmen stormed the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an appalling attack that shook the Western world to its core. Terrorism was nothing new, of course; but this was different. In the past, terrorists had always espoused a clear cause. They had always been fighting for a specific ideal of some kind, such as the unification of Ireland.

Brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who killed twelve people and injured eleven others, had no such moral conviction or claim to a higher cause, besides an offensive cartoon. There were, of course, other factors at play: the Kouachi brothers were Islamic extremists and are thought to have been associated with established terrorist organisations.

What marked out this particular incident was that the aggressors did not seek to attack politicians, who might be perceived to have worked against a particular group’s interests or betrayed some political cause or other. Nor did they merely attack the general public in an attempt to spread fear. Their victims were writers and artists. This was a targeted attack on a small group of people who were seen to have made an insensitive joke. The attackers’ grievance was, quite simply, that they did not like something someone had said.

To become so offended after seeing a cartoon on the front of a magazine that you feel the need to commit such a heinous atrocity as this is a thought process that is baffling and terrifying in equal measures; it is this that cuts directly to the heart of the debate around freedom of expression, especially where the media is concerned. There is a small but growing worldview that satirising social phenomena, offering biting and erudite commentary on the world we live in, is an act of hostility that ought to be avenged. It is this view that we must heartily reject on all fronts.

Aristotle said that “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. That was true in ancient Greek society and it is just as true today. By subtly and implicitly encouraging people to be offended by the things they read and hear, we are slowly but surely fostering a culture of intolerance, in which dissenting voices can be arbitrarily shut down.

What does it mean to be offended by something? The Kouachi brothers were offended by a cartoon about the Prophet Muhammad in the Charlie Hebdo magazine. But there are around 67 million other people in France — including over 5 million Muslims — all of whom managed to refrain from reacting violently, no matter how offended they may have felt.

Charlie Hebdo is a publication that has never shied away from controversy. It is safe to say that thousands, perhaps millions of people have been offended by their savage cartoons and trenchant social commentary at some point in the past. And yet, none had previously thought that an appropriate response would be to murder the cartoonists.

The taking of offence is entirely subjective, so trying to police it in everyday life is not only undesirable but impossible, too. Irrespective of political leanings, all should be concerned that unelected, unaccountable, largely faceless bodies — such as social media companies — now seem to wield such extraordinary power that they are capable of shutting down people’s voices and platforms and extricating them from the international conversation at will.

There is a fine but clear line to be drawn between acceptable and unacceptable speech. Evidently, it is correct that directly inciting violence and recruiting people to known terrorist organisations is illegal. It is when the consequences are intangible, though, that we ought to draw the line. Since it is impossible to measure or even observe on an objective level the taking of offence, such subjective assertions cannot and should never be allowed to form the basis of law, societal structures or the nature of our social relationships.

The Charlie Hebdo victims may not have been journalists in the traditional sense — for the most part, they were not news reporters — but the awful fate they suffered is emblematic of a wider societal problem that is a real concern for journalists everywhere. Just last month, a journalist was attacked at a Trump rally for no apparent reason. Political discourse has become so fiery and divisive that levels of polarisation and tribalism are skyrocketing. And thanks to the Internet, the aggrieved reader can track down and harass the guilty party more easily than ever before.

What if I say the wrong thing? What if I report on a story in a way that is perceived as unfair or biased? What if I express an opinion that angers a particular group or individual more than I anticipate? The modern Western world contains several of the most prosperous and liberal societies that have ever existed. But can my safety be guaranteed if someone decides that I am guilty of wrongspeak?

This is not a party-political issue. It is not even ideological. Fundamentally, the values of free speech and freedom of the press are ones that we should all be on board with. After all, as Orwell himself said, “it is not possible for any thinking person to live in such a society as our own without wanting to change it.”

A newbie’s guide to Software Defined Radios on Kali Linux | Part 2: Listening to airplanes and on-call pagers

As I told you in the first part of this story, I got my hands on an SDR (Software Defined Radio) at the last Hackfest and started to learn how I could use it to listen to signals that are normally not meant to be listened to by the general public. As the second part of this story, I will demonstrate two of the most popular signals that hobbyists like to listen to. This article assumes that you are familiar with the software presented in the first part and that stl-sdr drivers and gqrx are both installed and working.

Listening to Pagers on the Ground: FLEX

Credit: Tech for Fun

FLEX is a signal used by pagers, quite surprisingly still in use by various “on-call” professionals: I have seen health emergency services, alarm systems alerting and even seen some IT emergency team receive some SQL error on this (unencrypted) channel. There are some quite interesting things happening on this frequency.

I am writing this in Canada, where the strongest FLEX signal appears to be on the 929.3 Mhz; In gqrx look for a quite small but clear waterfall signature, with intermittent stops every 2–3 seconds. Once you think you found it, configure gqrx to capture your frequency with these settings:

Frequency: <929.3 or other...>
Filter Width: Wide
Filter Shape: Normal
Mode: Narrow FM

And leave the rest untouched from defaults.

The next step is to demodulate the signal in order to have some actual bytes and decode the text carried by the signal. In order to do this, we need to install two dependencies: sox and multimon-ng :

# apt-get install sox multimon-ng

Finally, activate the UDP streaming in gqrx by pressing the UDP button at the bottom-right, and in a new terminal window, launch this command:

nc -l -u -p 7355 | 
sox -r 48000 -t raw -b 16 -c 1 -e signed-integer /dev/stdin -r 22050 -t raw -b 16 -c 1 -e signed-integer - | 
multimon-ng -t raw -c -a POCSAG512 -a POCSAG1200 -a POCSAG2400 -a FLEX -a SCOPE -f alpha /dev/stdin

Note that this should all be on the same line since it’s a piped command, but I decided to separate the three commands for clarity. Here, Netcat ( nc ) is used to capture the packets that have been captured and sent using gqrx while sox transforms those bytes to a format multimon-ng is able to receive.

When all is done, you should have a setup looking like this:

gqrx capturing FLEX communications

Here I have been careful to choose a moment where there were no personal information captured, but there are plenty, so just be careful with what you do with these when listening to FLEX communications. As stated earlier, these communications are unencrypted and often carry pretty sensible thing (as it is meant to warn people that are “on call” that there is a problem somewhere…). Also, note that if you don’t have a white window appearing after the triple-piped command, something is wrong. Perhaps you should verify if gqrx is still sending on the UDP channel. Also, some versions of Netcat do not require the last -p for the UDP port, so be aware of this as it can cause some problems.

Listening to Planes in the Sky: ADS-B

By Matti Blume — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

DS-B is a signal that pretty-much every commercial airplane emits in order for control towers around the world to be able to track the position and speed of airplanes (in addition to classic radar technology, of course). It operates at the 1 090 Mhz frequency and there are plenty of decoders out-there, which could be explained by the (strange) popularity of plane spotting, a hobby that consists of photographing and keeping track of airplanes

On Kali Linux, I suggest starting by just installing dump1090-mutability which comes directly in the repositories:

# apt-get install dump1090-mutability

It’s not the most recent version of dump1090 and even the authors are redirecting people to FlightAware’s version since the development there is still ongoing. That said, I found it to be the easiest way and it still works pretty well, even if some adjustment have to be made for all the features to work on Kali. You should still be able to try it as-is and begin to see messages looking like this:

# dump1090-mutability
...
*8dc07f3d580f06a95a2a37046e16;
CRC: 000000
RSSI: -16.5 dBFS
Score: 1800
Time: 64072988.17us
DF:17 AA:C07F3D CA:5 ME:580F06A95A2A37
Extended Squitter Airborne position (barometric altitude) (11)
ICAO Address: C07F3D (Mode S / ADS-B)
Air/Ground: airborne
Altitude: 1800 ft barometric
CPR type: Airborne
CPR odd flag: odd
CPR NUCp/NIC: 7
CPR latitude: 46.77182 (87213)
CPR longitude: -71.25794 (10807)
CPR decoding: global

As you can see in this example, this comes from an airplane flying at 1800 feet of altitude at latitude 46.77182 and longitude -71.25794. dump1090 only shows what it was able to decode here, but most of the time after a couple of messages (they are not all the same) you will also be able to see the airplane’s speed and flight number.

There is also a nice feature of dump1090 that displays the gathered information on a map, with their respective flight numbers and country of provenance; to do this, you must enable and start lighthttpd modules relative to dump1090 . Here are the commands you have to execute to enable dump1090 ‘s Web server:

# lighty-enable-mod dump1090
# mkdir /run/dump1090-mutability/

You can verify that the module is enabled by verifying if you have a file similar to this in /etc/lighthttpd/conf-enabled/89-dump1090.conf :

# Allows access to the static files that provide the dump1090 map view,
# and also to the dynamically-generated json parts that contain aircraft
# data and are periodically written by the dump1090 daemon.
url.redirect += (
"^/dump1090/$" => "/dump1090/gmap.html",
"^/dump1090$" => "/dump1090/gmap.html"
)
alias.url += (
"/dump1090/data/" => "/run/dump1090-mutability/",
"/dump1090/" => "/usr/share/dump1090-mutability/html/"
)
# The stat cache must be disabled, as aircraft.json changes
# frequently and lighttpd's stat cache often ends up with the
# wrong content length.
server.stat-cache-engine = "disable"

And next, just restart dump1090-mutability with this option:

dump1090-mutability --write-json /run/dump1090-mutability/

If all went well, you should be able to navigate to http://localhost/dump1090/gmap.html :

dump1090-mutability in action on Kali Linux

Conclusion

I hope I demonstrated that lots of information floating around on frequencies that were not meant to be public or easily listenable for everyday folks are now very easily accessible with a simple 30$ USB dongle.

Now, all this information is not encrypted or authenticated (although there is a checksum for error-correction). This means a malicious actor could emit on those same frequencies and inject false information in communication channels we thought were safe from tampering. I will demonstrate in a future story how it’s possible to emit on an arbitrary frequency using only a RaspberryPi and some open-source libraries.

Stay tuned and happy hacking!

Stepping Into Powerful Fierceness

JFW

At first she thought the “F” stood something else… and perhaps it did for a while… for she was to draw and squeeze strength from anything she could grasp on to

Clinging to her inner warrioress knowing she would be ok, with time

A long time

Powerful she felt

Even in a fetal position kicked into the corner

Because showing vulnerability is the deepest way to demonstrate strength

She became, into her presence, taking the powerful lessons of past

.

“jFw” empowered her to keep going even with broken pieces scattered on the Earth

It’s not, “this too shall pass”

No

It’s “this too I shall take with me, and carry on anyway”

Unfolding flower

Dropping into her power

Seeds planted and sharp jagged parts

Form together to rebuild a heart

Going through it and and growing through it

Emerging with grace

Compassion to taste

Navigating ebb and flow

Ensuring she didn’t completely blow

It

By re-steering the driving wheel as many times as it took, to find the right road

The one that she chooses to show

Up for now

In this moment

The road that serves her best

Mobility

Agility

Durability

And rest

And as she evolved, over her years, so did the “F”

Naturally, organically

But ever. so. radically.

She had become something “F”ierce

And she didn’t give a fuk

Whatever she wanted to say

She spoke her truth in her own way

She created her OWN luck

Driving her truck

Embracing her David Goggins “suck”

By learning to stay

She got unstuck

Now she has her own back

And behind her of course is the

Is her Fitness Hackers wolfpack

Unconditional self-love and self respect

Surrounding herself with tribes who keep her checked

Human BE-ings who serve as an inspiration

Not leading her into temptation

She found her OWN salvation

Hello!

Welcome everyone

We are gathered here today for the

JFW “F” ierce nation

Her burning ember was stoked

Limiting beliefs and fear and PTSD and resistance provoked…

And crushed!

Left in the dust

It’s live FULLY or bust

Lazer focus to be her best-self

Live out loud as well as being stealth

Careful of who and what gets space on her shelf

Consistent in her achor goals

Working towards monthly achievements

Making her accountability frequent

Dialed into her choices for health

No hiding in plight

She moved from dark to light

Emerging from fight or flight

She chose “F”ierce

It took years

More than she thought

To get herself here

Had she known the work she might not have started

But looking back (thank you universe) she departed

The cesspool of trying to survive

Because now she does what she wants to thrive

What a trip since January 2018!

Next up?

All in Driven

Pushing through fear?

That’s a given

All year preparing herself and creating space

To get here

After losing her stories she was near

And wanted to see what was possible

What was to come next

When she was ready to offer her best

Once she knew she was whole

Glorious mess mindful

Pieces of shards

And a heart that loves hard

With everything she has to give

With a light to be reflected

From someone worthy and respected

She put out the call

Her feet planted solid on the Earth

Warrioress of Fierce

Dreaming big dreams

Showing up and being seen

So now here we go!

February 2019

Ready for love

To be treated like a Queen

On this new moon

It’s time to flow

Powerful

She is fierce

Good to go

Packaged up with a pretty bow

Dropped down into her own

Naked to her bones

Pen on the page

Open book

Take a look

It’s all there

From chaos to steady

Open heart ready

A year ago she made it to the other side of hope

This place is dope

She can cope

With what comes her way

And whatever she experiences

She won’t hold back, she will say

What she feels

Prepare for words, my friends

When she deals

Are you ready?

If you look into her eyes and pierce

Her

And you don’t look away afraid

And can handle her irises for days and days

She will feed you and listen to your stories untold

She will bring you into her fold

As you walk with her in glory

Levitation, writing this story

For we know, fierceness rises

Equilibrium in partnership crystalizes

Motivated construction

Powerful productions

Welcome to the induction

Ready to go?

Let’s flow!

Agile working principles @ home24 Technology

Agile transformation is a long process. It requires a change in the nature of the organization. Understanding the complexity of software development and human interactions are necessary to trigger the change in mindset.

Transforming the organization requires a change at a profound level. Jumping into adopting specific practices won’t make the real difference, but we need to start with a change in our values and beliefs.

Working principles, as a definition of what are some of our beliefs, are helping the teams to adopt the right mindset, and practices emerge with the support of an agile coach.

At Home24 we started by keeping some basic principles very clear in the teams:

Agile is not about working faster, it’s about bringing more value in less time. We want to work on just the right things.

Some practices that follow this principle:

  • The Product Manager is prioritizing the backlog on a regular basis with continuous collaboration with stakeholders
  • Every ticket has a description of WHY we do it and the team always understands it
  • During refinement, the team is free to question the reason WHY a particular topic is in the pipeline.

Value can also be a value for the team, not simply revenue. It is the responsibility of the entire team to keep this mindset.

Collaboration between team members, stakeholders, etc. is necessary to reduce complexity.

Some practices that follow this principle:

  • Team members prefer face to face communication
  • Sessions, where the entire team is participating, are happening on a regular basis
  • We show stakeholders our work and ask for feedback from them

An Iterative process is about reducing risks. Risk of spending a large amount of time in building the wrong thing is what we want to avoid. This principle is applied to many areas of our work; For example, in the way, we build the team backlog and the way we improve the team process, etc.

Some practices that follow this principle:

  • Having practices of continuous improvement in place (i.e. retrospective meetings)
  • Always having an MVP for new features, where the outcome is learning for next iterations

The idea of cross-functional teams is to have a team who has all the capabilities to provide an end-to-end solution. Organizations that work with cross-functional teams, also give them autonomy to make decisions by themselves, without the need for management approval. But with this power comes the responsibility of self-organizing around delivery.

Some practices that follow this principle:

  • The team has a focus on getting things done, and this is reflected in the conversations, i.e. during standup meeting.
  • Team decisions i.e. tech decisions are made altogether, never imposed by one person.
  • The team creates their own agreements and revisits them based on continuous improvement practices (i.e. Definition of Done, team charter).

As we move further into the agile mindset at home24, our teams are growing and becoming more mature and self-organized to achieve greater goals.

For more information about working at home24 visit us here

Colheita inesperada

Testemunho cristã — Ganhos inesperados de meu filho ser erroneamente diagnosticado com câncer

Certo dia, vários meses depois, meu filho, ao voltar do trabalho, disse a meu marido: “Pai, olhe, tenho um inchaço grande em meu braço. O que será que está de errado?” Meu marido pensou que era apenas um inchaço e que diminuiria depois de alguns dias, então ele não levou isso a sério. Dois dias depois, quando meu filho me mostrou seu inchaço, vi que não havia diminuído. Então, eu o acompanhei ao hospital da cidade para um exame. Depois de uma série de exames, o médico me disse: “Seu filho tem câncer em estágio terminal. Ele viverá apenas por mais alguns meses, no máximo”. Seu diagnóstico caiu como uma bomba. Pensei: “Como pode ser tão sério? Pensei que fosse uma doença leve. Nunca esperei que fosse câncer. E já está nos estágios terminais. O que devo fazer? Meu filho se casou há pouco tempo e meu neto é tão novo. Se algo infeliz acontecer com meu filho, quem sustentará meu neto? Como nossa família irá suportar isso? E quem cuidará de meu marido e eu quando ficarmos velhos? Criei meu filho por muitos anos, não posso perdê-lo assim…”. Não me atrevi a continuar pensando dessa forma. Senti uma dor enorme no coração. E então pensei: “A coisa mais importante agora é tratar a enfermidade de meu filho. Mas vai custar muito dinheiro e não temos tudo isso. O que devo fazer?”

Por causa disso tudo, fiquei terrivelmente ansiosa. Ao pensar na doença de meu filho, não podia evitar as lágrimas. Desejei intensamente que eu é que tivesse câncer, em vez dele. Meu marido também estava preocupado pela doença de meu filho. Ele me disse com raiva: “Eu te disse para participar das reuniões em nossa igreja, mas você insistiu em acreditar no Deus Todo-Poderoso. Nosso filho agora tem uma doença fatal, então porque seu Deus não o protegeu?” Ao ouvir isso, fiquei atônita e pensei: “É mesmo! Por que Deus não protegeu meu filho?” Pensando nisso, não pude evitar de enfraquecer um pouco minha fé: “Quando cri pela primeira vez no Senhor, Ele curou minha doença. Agora aceitei a obra de Deus nos últimos dias, mas por que meu filho ficou com uma doença tão séria? Qual é o problema afinal de contas? Minha fé está errada ou há outra razão?” Naquele momento, fiquei inquieta.

À noite, minha nora veio ao hospital para cuidar de meu filho, e então voltei para casa. Depois do jantar, me apressei até a casa de uma irmã. Felizmente, havia outros irmãos e irmãs lá. Derramei minhas preocupações sobre a doença de meu filho e minha dor e confusão para eles. Então, um irmão comungou isto comigo: “Irmã, somos afortunados por termos aceitado a obra de Deus nos últimos dias e ganhar a oportunidade de sermos salvos por Ele. Mas Satanás se recusa a aceitar isso. Para competir com Deus por nós, crentes, ele faz o que for possível para destruir nosso relacionamento com Deus. Ele deliberadamente traz coisas desfavoráveis a nossas vidas para nos perturbar, de forma que teremos dúvidas sobre Deus e Sua obra, para que O traiamos e finalmente percamos a oportunidade da salvação. Então, não devemos cair na armadilha de Satanás. Como seu filho está doente, sua fé está fraca e você sente imensa dor. Isso é normal. Mas quanto mais crítico for o momento, mais devemos procurar entender as intenções de Deus”.

Então, o irmão leu uma passagem das palavras de Deus para mim: “Porque Deus Se tornou carne, Satanás empregou todos os tipos de método de acusação, querendo, dessa forma, atacar a Deus. Todavia, Deus não recuou por causa disso — Ele simplesmente fala e opera entre a humanidade, e permite que as pessoas O conheçam por meio de Sua carne encarnada. Satanás está com os olhos vermelhos de raiva e empregou um grande esforço sobre o povo de Deus para torná-lo pessimista e fazê-lo recuar e até perder o rumo. No entanto, por causa do efeito das palavras de Deus, Satanás fracassou, aumentando, assim, sua devassidão. Essa é a razão por que Deus lembrou a todos que: ’Em sua vida, pode chegar o dia em que você se depare com este tipo de situação: você prontamente se deixaria ser cativo a Satanás, ou você deixará que Eu o obtenha?’”

Depois de ler as palavras de Deus, o irmão continuou a comungar isto: “A partir das palavras de Deus, vemos que quando o Deus encarnado vem para fazer Sua obra e nos salvar, Satanás não está disposto a admitir a derrota. No presente, o fato de seu filho ter encontrado algo tão infeliz é exatamente um esquema de Satanás. Ele quer usar a doença de seu filho para fazer você duvidar de Deus, não entendê-Lo e até traí-Lo. Se não pudermos ver através de seus enganos, o seguiremos e trairemos a Deus, e seremos capturados por ele. Esta é a forma pela qual caímos nas armadilhas de Satanás. Vejamos o exemplo de Jó. Ele temia a Deus e evitava o mal, mas Satanás não estava convencido. Para compelir Jó a abandonar a Deus, ele o testou fazendo-o encontrar muitos contratempos: Jó perdeu todas suas propriedades da noite para o dia e, imediatamente após isso, perdeu todos seus filhos. Entretanto, como ele reverenciava a Deus e evitava o mal, testemunhou de Deus. Mas Satanás ainda não havia sofrido uma grande derrota. Ele provou Jó uma vez mais. Fez com que ele tivesse furúnculos por todo o corpo e usou sua esposa para atacá-lo, de forma que amaldiçoasse a Deus e morresse. Quando essas provações vieram sobre ele, Jó suportou extremo sofrimento, mas não caiu nos truques de Satanás e duvidou ou negou a Deus. Em vez disso, em grande dor, orava constantemente a Deus e buscou Sua vontade. Como resultado, ele disse isto: ‘receberemos de Deus o bem, e não receberemos o mal?’ Novamente, Jó testemunhou de Deus e envergonhou a Satanás. Depois de falhar e ser completamente humilhado, Satanás não tentou mais a Jó. Assim, seu sofrimento foi removido e ele finalmente foi abençoado por Deus. Então, devemos imitar Jó. Não importa quão ruim é a condição de seu filho, ela está nas mãos de Deus. Devemos penetrar o engano de Satanás, de forma que possamos confiar em Deus e testemunhar para satisfazê-Lo”.

Depois de ouvir as palavras de Deus e a comunicação do irmão, me senti muito mais iluminada no coração. Pensei: “Acontece que a doença de meu filho é resultado dos truques de Satanás. É uma batalha no mundo espiritual. Satanás quer usar a doença de meu filho para fazer-me negar e trair a Deus, e perder a oportunidade da salvação de Deus. Satanás é desprezível. Se Deus não tivesse usado a comunhão do irmão para me ajudar, eu teria caído no esquema de Satanás para me fazer duvidar se minhas crenças estavam equivocadas e não querer crer no Deus Todo-Poderoso”.

Então, o irmão continuou comungando: “Vamos ler outra passagem das palavras de Deus. Ele diz: ‘A menos que seja em seu benefício, você não acredita em Deus e se não pode receber as graças de Deus, você fica amuado. Como essa pode ser a sua verdadeira estatura? Quando a questão são acontecimentos familiares inevitáveis (crianças que ficam doentes, maridos que vão para o hospital, colheitas ruins, perseguição de membros da família e assim por diante), você nem consegue superar essas coisas que acontecem com frequência no dia a dia. Quando essas coisas acontecem, você entra em pânico, não sabe o que fazer — e, na maior parte do tempo, reclama de Deus’. Através das revelações das palavras de Deus, sabemos que cremos em Deus simplesmente pelo amor de receber graça e bênçãos. Portanto, quando alguns infortúnios e coisas desfavoráveis caem sobre nossas famílias, teremos reclamações e dúvidas sobre Deus e até quereremos traí-Lo. Isso mostra que nosso ponto de vista em nossa crença em Deus está errado. Nossa crença em Deus é apenas para fazer um trato com Ele. Quando Ele concede graça e bênçãos a nós — quando estamos saudáveis e nossa família está em paz — agradecemos a Ele e O adoramos, e temos fé para segui-Lo. Entretanto, assim que encontramos alguns infortúnios em nossas vidas, duvidaremos e O negaremos, e desejaremos deixá-Lo. Nós cremos em Deus, mas não temos amor e reverência por Ele. O que temos em nossos corações são apenas acordos e exigências. Se cremos em Deus dessa forma, como podemos receber a aprovação de Deus?”

As palavras de Deus e a comunhão do irmão me fizeram refletir sobre minhas ações. Pensei: “Todos esses anos crendo em Deus, sempre considerei que desfrutar das graças de Deus era a motivação para crer Nele e pensei que deveríamos receber graça e bênçãos, já que cremos Nele. Entretanto, nunca pensei que este ponto de vista estava errado, e que não está de acordo com o coração de Deus. Como sou egoísta e desprezível, simplesmente fiz-me cega às exigências de Deus, mas nunca pensei em como retribuir Seu amor. Ao encontrar o teste de Satanás, nunca pensei em como dar testemunho para Deus. Isso mostra que não sou uma crente verdadeira em Deus. Puxa vida! Devo mudar minhas posições equivocadas. Mesmo se a doença de meu filho não puder ser curada, não vou reclamar a Deus. Permanecerei testemunhando por Deus para envergonhar Satanás”. Depois de entender a vontade de Deus, me senti muito mais aliviada e tive fé para enfrentar a situação seguinte.

No dia seguinte, para fazer com que o câncer de meu filho fosse tratado, voltei-me para alguns parentes para obter ajuda financeira. Mas eles viraram as costas para mim, e comecei a me descabelar sobre o que fazer. Se não conseguisse dinheiro suficiente logo, o tratamento para a doença de meu filho seria atrasado. Pensando nisso, fiquei especialmente fraca e atormentada além da conta. Desamparada, podia apenas ir até a casa da irmã, onde contei aos irmãos e irmãs sobre as dificuldades que encontrei naquele dia. Um irmão disse: “Irmã, confrontados pelas dificuldades que encontramos hoje, contanto que confiemos sinceramente em Deus, Ele certamente as resolverá para nós. Devemos ter fé em Deus. Se você obtiver o dinheiro suficiente para o tratamento de seu filho ou não, isso é decidido por Deus e não por sua intenção subjetiva, porque tudo está nas mãos Dele. Devemos aprender a confiar em Deus e buscá-Lo em todas as coisas. Deus diz: ‘De tudo o que ocorre no universo, não há nada sobre o que Eu não tenha a palavra final. O que existe que não esteja em Minhas mãos?’ Confie mais em Deus e não haverá nada que não possa superar”.

Depois de ouvir as palavras de Deus e a comunhão do irmão, encontrei a forma de praticar. Assim que cheguei em casa, me ajoelhei diante Dele e orei: “Deus, meu filho está seriamente doente, e não posso fazer nada a respeito. Agora, confio a Ti a doença de meu filho. Deus, preciso emprestar dinheiro para o tratamento de meu filho. Se vou conseguir dinheiro suficiente ou não, entrego isso em Tuas mãos. Não importa qual será o resultado, obedecerei a Tua orquestração e arranjo, e não Te culparei. Por favor, guia-me”. No dia seguinte, fui até outros parentes para obter ajuda financeira. Graças à orientação de Deus, consegui o dinheiro facilmente. Uma semana mais tarde, meu filho foi hospitalizado para tratamento. Certo dia, um paciente na enfermaria nos disse: “Tem algo de errado. Seu filho consegue comer e beber. Ele não é como outros pacientes. Aqui, os pacientes nunca têm um bom apetite”. Ao ouvir isso, fiquei um pouco surpresa e pensei: “Será que meu filho está, na realidade, bem? Parece improvável, pois ele foi examinado por um médico deste hospital. O que está acontecendo? Não, melhor levá-lo a outro hospital para fazer outro exame”.

Então, eu e meu filho fomos a outro hospital. Depois do exame, soubemos que o diagnóstico anterior estava errado: meu filho não tinha nenhum câncer, mas apenas um inchaço. O médico disse que diminuiria logo. Ao ouvir isso, senti uma felicidade indizível, e meu coração estava finalmente aliviado de toda a tristeza. Enquanto isso, não pude evitar senão pensar em retrospecto em toda a questão. Olhando no exterior, meu filho foi mal diagnosticado e foi umalarme falso. Na verdade, no reino espiritual, Satanás usou essa questão para me provar e atacar, desejando me fazer duvidar e negar a Deus. Deus permitiu que isso viesse sobre mim. Por um lado, minhas posições falsas sobre crer em Deus foram reveladas. E através da iluminação e orientação das palavras de Deus e da comunhão dos irmãos e irmãs, entendi a intenção de Deus e mudei meus pontos de vista equivocados. Agora sei que em nossa crença em Deus, não devemos apenas buscar graça e bênçãos, mas sim buscar amor e obedecer a Deus. Por outro lado, ao experimentar as tentações de Satanás, vi claramente a essência maligna de Satanás em prejudicar e devorar pessoas, e mais do que isso, vi a santidade de Deus e Seu amor e salvação pelo homem. Obtive ganhos inesperados do mau diagnóstico de meu filho. Graças a Deus!

Talvez você gosta: O que é um cristão verdadeiro e como ser cristão verdadeiro?

February Medium Round-Up

Photo by Bence Balla-Schottner on Unsplash

After a rapid start to 2019 we can’t believe we’re in March already! So let’s dive straight into a month full of milestones completed by all the teams, progress across a number of research fronts and, as always, more code released…

Routing (aka the ‘brains of the Network’!)

The Routing team are focused on improving the performance of PARSEC (our consensus algorithm) performance and working towards the release of SAFE Fleming. As part of that journey, they’re releasing a series of posts on the forum to explain the work that’s taking place. February saw the second post in the Fleming Forum series as the guys looked at some of the challenges that the Routing team are tackling on the road to SAFE Fleming. It’s well worth a read if you’re someone who enjoys getting an insight into live discussions taking place as the tech is built. You can also read the first in the series (‘What is SAFE Fleming?’) and there will be a post discussing how Sybil Resistance is achieved on SAFE in the next week or so.

The other big news this month along those lines is that we’re about to release an updated PARSEC Whitepaper which sets out the holy grail that gets computer scientists all excited… — yup, that’s right, we’ve come up with a way to make PARSEC fully asynchronous (as opposed to the highly asynchronous algorithm that we have today)! Keep an eye on all the usual channels over the next few weeks to hear as soon as we finalise release the Paper.

Crust (aka how computers speak to each other!)

The Crust team welcomed a new member with month, Douglas, based in Brazil as a developer. Working alongside Povilas on the Crust layer, you will no doubt see his commits soon! With the help of these reinforcements, the team’s been working on the bootstrap cache process (i.e. how nodes will join the live Network), creating a plan for releasing extensive documentation to help others understand the layer in more detail and defining the upcoming tasks for dynamic connection management that will be used in the Fleming release.

Client Libs (aka how developers interact with SAFE!)

The team’s made great progress this month in adding the RDF stack into SAFE Client Libs, plus building out a plan for how to release the extensive SAFE Client Libs documentation to the community — something else to keep an eye open for!

Front End (aka what the end user sees!)

As usual, the Front End team have been very busy. We’ve seen great headway made on the safe_app_java milestones by the team in Chennai plus a new release of the SAFE Browser. Version 0.11.2 fixes bugs, with some minor updates and changes. As always, we’d love you all to give a whirl and feed back any suggestions you’ve got. February also saw the release of Josh and Gabriel’s Q&A video session on the Browser if that’s your area of interest. We’re planning to do these Q&A style live broadcasts more frequently so if there’s a topic you’ve love to hear more on, tweet us and let us know!

Last but not least, the team have been out and about on their travels as ever this month again this month. The second instalment of Viv and David’s runthrough of the SAFE Network Fundamentals came out on the SAFE Crossroads Podcast (if you missed it, start with Episode 51 first). MaidSafe UX designer Jim was also invited to speak at the Nottingham Green Party event on Human Rights, Privacy and the web in a wide ranging discussion which went down very well.

What’s Next?

We say it every time, but it really has been a busy month. The project is vast and with teams of people working around the globe, there’s always something both exciting and often groundbreaking taking place. There are many different things that we need to coordinate on the road to the release of SAFE Fleming — and we’re getting closer! So, if you want to join the community on the SAFE journey, you can get the updates hot off the press by checking out the Forum (in particular the weekly Thursday updates). And as ever, if you’ve got any questions, get in touch — either there or via Twitter (@maidsafe) or YouTube. We’ll see you next month!

Peluang Jasa Pembayaran AirBnB

Mungkin kita biasa mendengar dan mengetahui mengenai Jasa Titip untuk pembelian barang-barang online, nah kali ini saya akan memberikan informasi jenis jasa titip online yang tidak kalah kreatif lainnya yaitu jasa pembayaran AirBnb. Hampir sama konsepnya dengan jasa titip, namun yang kita berikan jasanya adalah membantu user yang tidak memiliki kartu kredit dan paypal namun ingin mendapatkan biaya yang bersaing untuk menginap di AirBnB.com baik di dalam maupun luar negeri. Bagi kawan-kawan yang belum tahu apa itu AirBnb, ada baiknya membaca artikel saya sebelumnya “3 Cara Mudah Booking Kamar di AirBnB”.

Jasa Pembayaran AirBnB

Pertama-tama mengapa jasa ini penting? konsep bisnis ini sebenarnya telah ada sebelumnya dengan produk yang berbeda yaitu jasa isi saldo paypal, atau jasa buat akun VCC (virtual Credit Card). Cara kerja jasa isi saldo paypal yaitu pemilik saldo paypal berlebih akan mengisi sejumlah uang ke rekening paypal kamu dengan rate harga yang disepakati (misal 1$ = Rp.14.000) ditambah dengan biaya jasanya. Sedangkan untuk jasa buat akun VCC agak berbeda karena memerlukan akses dan keterampilan tersendiri untuk dapat membuat rekening virtual yang dapat digunakan untuk melakukan verifikasi akun paypal. Dari berbagai jenis jasa tersebut, jasa pembayaran AirBnb yang akan kita bahas lebih mendekati model bisnis jasa isi saldo paypal.

AirBnB Sewa Rumah dan Properti dengan Budget Terjangkau

Jasa Pembayaran AirBnB

Salah satu alasan munculnya jasa ini adalah karena adanya keterbatasan pengguna di Indonesia untuk dapat membayar sewa melalui Airbnb dengan transfer bank lokal. Seperti yang tertulis pada website AirBnb, metode pembayaran yang diterima hanyalah melalui kartu kredit dan paypal. Untuk pembayaran dengan transfer bank lokal masih belum dibuka oleh airbnb.

Saya mau sewa via AirBnb namun tidak punya kartu kredit dan paypal, solusinya?

Seperti yang sudah saya jelaskan sebelumnya, kamu bisa menggunakan jasa isi saldo paypal atau menggunakan jasa pembayaran AirBnb. Jika kamu menggunakan jasa isi saldo paypal maka kamu harus mencari orang yang menawarkan jasa tersebut dan mengisi saldo paypal sesuai kebutuhan. Setelah itu bayar tagihan di airbnb dengan transfer via paypal. Cara ini memerlukan langkah yang panjang karena kamu terlebih dahulu harus mengisi saldo paypal lalu membayar via paypal. Efek sampingnya terkadang jumlah konversi yang kita inginkan tidak sesuai sehingga pada waktu ingin membayar ke airbnb saldonya malah tidak mencukupi. Belum lagi dana mengendap di saldo paypal jika kita mengisi saldo berlebih untuk mengantisipasi perbedaan konversi mata uang. Niat mau berhemat di airbnb malah keluar uang berlebih kan?

Cara yang kedua yaitu kamu menggunakan jasa pembayaran AirBnb. Bagaimana caranya?

  1. Buat akun baru di AirBnB.com dan install aplikasinya di smartphone kamu.
  2. Cari rumah atau properti yang ingin kamu sewa sesuai dengan jadwal yang fasilitas yang kamu butuhkan.
  3. Hubungi kami melalui pesan Whatsapp KLIK DISINI untuk melakukan order sesuai jadwal sewa dan sertakan data diri kamu.
  4. Pesanan akan kami diteruskan atas nama kamu, dan jangan lupa lakukan transfer biaya sesuai tagihan airbnb melalui transfer bank lokal (akan kami informasikan via wa).
  5. Setelah mendapat konfirmasi kesediaan dari pemilik rumah/properti, kami akan mengirimkan data serta kontak yang bisa dihubungi pada jadwal penyewaan rumah/properti.
  6. Selesai!

Catatan: Rate konversi mata uang Dollar ke Rupiah yang ditetapkan yaitu 1$ = Rp14.500. Biaya Jasa Pembayaran AirBnB dari kami GRATIS.

Jika kamu ingin menggunakan metode rekening bersama yang aman dan bebas penipuan, silakan melakukan order melalui link kami di:

(1) Tokopedia https://tokopedia.link/tGnaGc4yRU, atau

(2) Shopee https://shopee.co.id/marisole/1978911785

lakukan pemesanan sesuai langkah-langkah di website tersebut.

Bonus:

Dapatkan bonus potongan Rp350.000 untuk sewa rumah dan properti pertama kali kamu di AirBnB dengan mendaftar melalui link ini. Jangan lupa, ikuti langkah-langkah untuk mendapatkan bonusnya di https://medium.com/mahasiswaonline/3-cara-mudah-booking-kamar-di-airbnb-ece3a22c17f5

The Value at Bank of New York Mellon

The Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK) or BNYMellon is one of my favorite banking stocks. I like BNYMellon because it stays off the radar but makes a lot of money.

For example, Bank of New York Mellon had $88 billion in cash and equivalents in hand on 31 December 2018. Additionally, BNYMellon had $362.872 billion in assets on the same day. However, BNYMellon’s cash was down from $94.291 billion in September 2018 and $108.871 billion in December 2017.

More importantly, Bank of New York Mellon reports a gross profit of $4.007 billion for 4th Quarter 2018. Plus, the Bank records an operating income of $1.02 billion and a net income of $1.111 billion for the same period.

DDI Editor’s Pick — Start Trading Stocks Using Technical Analysis

Bank of New York Mellon is generating a lot of Cash

Revealingly, BNYMellon reports a financing cash flow of $13.458 billion, an operating cash flow of $3.184 billion, and a free cash flow of $2.85 billion for 4th Quarter 2018. Hence, the Bank of New York Mellon generates a lot of cash from its business.

That business includes international money transfers between financial institutions and corporations and wealth management. In addition, BNYMellon conducts a lot of research and development work in financial technology.

Hence, I consider BNY Mellon both a bank and a financial technology (fintech) company. Moreover, the focus on fintech can lead to new products, services, and revenue streams.

Bank of New York Melon Explores Crypto Custody

For example, BNY Mellon is exploring Crypto Custody for the banking of blockchain assets.

To explain, a Crypto Custody service safeguards crypto assets like altcoins, stablecoins, decentralized applications (DApps), smart assets, utility tokens, smart contracts, crypo securities, and blockhain equities. The hope is that wealthy people will want to keep their crypto safe and insured by putting it in a bank.

Regulated Crypto Custody is the ultimate aim for Bank of New York Mellon. To explain regulated crypto custody would be crypto accounts governments regulate and insure like traditional bank accounts.

However, American authorities like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are in no hurry to regulate or insure crypto. Thus, it could be years before authorities make regulated Crypto Custody available in the United States.

BNY Mellon is interested in Crypto Custody because it could be big business. In fact, Sam McIngvale; leader of Coinbase’s Crypto Custody efforts, estimates the potential value of Crypto Custody at $20 billion.

Moreover, Crypto Custody could become a big revenue stream for BNY Mellon. In fact, Bloomberg claims, Coinbase charges a $100,000 set up fee for large Crypto Custody customers.

BNY Mellon could offer the ultimate in Crypto Security

Notably, BNY Mellon is exploring the possibility of storing crypto offline, Bloomberg reports. For example, BNY Mellon could store cryptocurrency on disks, tape, or hard drives, kept offline in its vaults.

Thus, the Bank of New York Mellon could offer the ultimate in cryptocurrency security. That is a cryptocurrency stash that criminals will have to physically steal to access. In addition, it will be harder for tax and debt collectors to track or seize, hard crypto assets.

However, hard crypto assets kept offline will not be useful. For example, it could be difficult to sell hard crypto, or borrow against it. Notably, a creditor could have a hard time accessing the value of hard crypto locked up in a bank vault.

In detail, one of the big advantages to crypto is that you can access it fast and quickly determine its value. Thus, hard Crypto Custody destroys one of the main advantages of crypto and digital assets, ease of access. Under those circumstances, I think hard cryptocurrency will not be popular.

Is the Bank of New York Mellon a good Dividend Stock?

I think the Bank of New Mellon is a good dividend stock because it paid a 28¢ dividend on shares that traded for $51.23 on 7 March 2019.

To explain, BNYMellon paid a 28¢ dividend on February 8, 2019, but it shares traded at $51.23 on 7 March 2019. Hence, the Bank of New York Mellon offers a decent dividend and a low stock price.

Additionally, the BK dividend grew by 4¢ in 2018. To explain, BNY Mellon paid a 24¢ dividend on May 11, 2018, and a 28¢ dividend on August 10, 2018. Meanwhile, Dividend.com credits BNYMellon with six years of dividend growth.

In addition, Dividend.com reports Bank of New York Mellon offered stockholders a dividend yield of 2.15%, an annualized payout of $1.12, and a payout ratio of 26.8% on March 4, 2019.

Why the Bank of New York Mellon is a value investment

I consider BNY Mellon, a value investment because it is a somewhat obscure stock with a low price. Yet, the Bank of New York Mellon is a company that generates a lot of cash. In addition, BNY Mellon pays a nice dividend for a $51 stock.

If you are looking for a cheap fintech stock that can generate a lot of money, BNY Mellon is a good choice. The old-line New York bank is definitely a value investment that could make money for years to come.

Updates from the Dev Cave: What Do We Mean by “Data Sovereignty?”

On yesterday’s livestream and AMA, CEO and architect Arie Trouw brought up the idea of data sovereignty. What exactly does that mean, in the context of XYO?

Traditionally, data sovereignty refers to the idea that when data is collected, the collector needs to follow the laws of the region they’re collecting data from. This is where issues like GDPR come into play — a US company is bound by EU laws when it comes to data they collect or store within the EU. This can become complicated when applied to blockchain projects, where data is by definition decentralized.

When we talk about data sovereignty, however, we want something more. We think that the individual — you — should have knowledge of and control over where, when, and how data you provide is collected, used, and monetized. As Arie says, we think of sovereignty in the sense of owning your own castle and being the sovereign ruler of your data. This is one of the cornerstones of XYO — when you provide useful data, you should be the one rewarded for it! Similarly, we want you to have control over the data you provide to XYO, and how it’s linked to you and your devices.

Here are some of the ways we approach data in order to keep you in control:

  • All nodes in the network are rewarded for providing useful data. If your Sentinel or Bridge provides information that’s used to answer a request, if your Archivist stores that information, or if your Diviner calculates the answer, you’ll receive part of the XYO that was paid to make the request. In a centralized system like Google’s, you’re providing valuable information when you use their services, but Google reaps the rewards when it sells that information to advertisers.
  • You can control what information you provide and how it’s linked to you. At any time, you can reset the Proof of Origin Chain on your Sentinels or Bridges. From the point of view of an outside observer, it’s no different than if you’d destroyed your devices and replaced them. By providing more information, through a longer Proof of Origin Chain, you’re more likely to be rewarded. By resetting your Proof of Origin Chain, you’re de-linking previous interactions from your current and future interactions, which makes the data you provide less likely to be used and thus rewarded.
  • Unlike some other platforms, we don’t work off of a pooled Proof of Work mechanism. You’re rewarded for the data you and your devices provide, rather than for being part of a mining pool that shares rewards.

Ultimately, we feel that the most successful economies are ones that give the most control to their participants. That’s how we’re approaching every aspect of development, from the reward structure to governance to issues like data sovereignty. By giving you control, we’ll all be more successful.

Johnny Kolasinski
Head of Community
XYO Network

How to Know When it’s Time to Break-up, with a Friend…

Pexel Stock Image

It was about the hundredth time this particular person was a complete dick to me in public…this was the final straw, and it happened to be over a freaking board game. But this time, it wasn’t my competitive nature that set the wheels in motion, instead it was the utter disrespect I felt from someone who had for years called me their “best friend.”

We were at a popular festival in Richmond, VA. One I go to almost every year, and almost every year I don’t have a good time. Why I keep trying, I don’t know, probably because…alcohol.

We were at our third bar that afternoon, I had already had one tense moment with this person earlier in the day and was desperate to have a good time.

Stupidly seeking approval, a pat on the head from someone who had manipulated and abused me for years, I picked up a board game, this one, knowing that my “friend” is a fan of the subject matter. I walked over, grinning and said “Look!”…I was met with a condescending glare…I continued, “But you love this…” he looked at the box and said, “I can read” and dismissed me in front of all our friends.

And that was it, I was done, I ended our friendship that day. Sound trivial? Maybe the situation was, but you know when you can’t take it any more. You know when it’s just become too hard to be someone’s friend.

I’m not proud of how I ended our friendship, for lack of a better way to describe it, I “ghosted” them. According to Urban Dictionary: “Ghosted” is defined as, “When someone you love disappears without explanation.” And that is exactly what I did. I have no doubt that this person knows exactly why I severed ties though. And explaining why won’t make me comfortable being friends with them again, so I think it best to dis-include the reasons here as well. Let’s just say, it ain’t pretty.

So, how do you know when it’s time to end a friendship? I admit, it’s a subject I still struggle to understand, but I think I’m getting better at recognizing when it’s time to cut ties. So, here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. They are not supportive of you.

Feeling supported by loved ones is invaluable to our self-esteem. About 7 years ago, I had to make a very difficult decision, but it was the one that was right for me, and I don’t regret it. I had a couple of friends who did not support me, including the “friend” I mentioned earlier (and made that very clear), and it hurt.

Supporting someone, is different than agreeing with their decisions. You have to let people learn their own lessons. And feeling judged doesn’t help anyone learn those lessons any quicker.

2. You feel like you’re being used.

I have dealt with this a lot. This feeling can manifest itself in many different ways. But the times that stick out, are the times when I, like most people, felt like my emotional relationships with friends were not reciprocal.

If someone is treating you like their therapist, doesn’t ever ask how you’re doing, is only ever complaining, or talking about themselves, you’re being used. Let me say, I understand when people need to vent, when they’re having a rough day, week, month, etc. But when this behavior is consistent over an extended period of time, it isn’t healthy for either party and it’s time to cut ties.

3. You feel drained after seeing them.

Beware the Energy Vampire. Many know what this feels like, after being around the person, you feel exhausted, physically and emotionally. If after spending time with them, you don’t feel rejuvenated, inspired, or appreciated, they may be stealing your energy for themselves.

The people we chose to have as our friends should make our lives better as a whole, add enrichment to our day to day. And if your energy is being depleted by an Energy Vampire, you aren’t going to be able to make the best decisions for your health or your well-being.

4. You can’t trust them.

A true friendship means that you can tell the person anything without worrying about being judged, deceived or lied to. Put simply, you don’t have your “guard up” around them. It’s an extraordinary feeling to feel completely safe with someone. And if something is telling you to withhold information from them, listen to your gut. You don’t trust them, and shouldn’t consider them to be a true friend.

AZ Quotes

Now, with all of that said, I am not a perfect friend, and I don’t think any one is really. We have all alienated people, hurt people, lied to them, been jealous, maybe even been un-supportive. But, it’s how we handle our mistakes that says the most about our character. Can we say “I’m sorry?”

I believe someone is a good friend if they can own up to their mistakes, knowing that they may not be forgiven for them. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” everyone’s heard that tripe right? Guess what? It’s bullshit. A lot of the time, love means having to say you’re sorry! Because if you don’t love someone, you may not be sorry if you hurt them.