Tuesday, December 29, 2015

#32c3 Chaos Communication Congress (gated communities)

Some of the biggest media outlets reporting:

* http://www.zeit.de/digital/datenschutz/2015-12/32c3-hardware-trojaner

Leaving traces in social media. To be alive in such moment - honour and a privilege!

A photo posted by Michal Stefanow 馃檹 (@stefek99) on

Building a sticker wall - it's constantly growing - it's always changing - it will never be finished...

Taken from: https://twitter.com/stefek99/status/680969830976098305

Note the "no photos" policy. In my understanding dark silhouettes of people do not apply... Watch the video and you tell me:

I'm not leaving the building...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Syria - climate change - global warming - environmental refugees

A few weeks ago a picture of a boy was all over the place:

At first I was thinking ‪#‎mediapropaganda‬ and ‪#‎newscorporations‬ playing on my emotions. I directed my first attempts towards obtaining reliable source of information. Computer phrase - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbage_in,_garbage_outcomputers operate by logical processes, will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data ("garbage in") and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output ("garbage out")

Human brain is the most powerful computer that we know and I personally adhere to these values - https://genesis.re/wiki#Core_Values - Love, Peace and Respect are on top of the list - I treat them more important than respecting the law (that in some instances is obsolete, while Love, Peace and Respect are above all)

So I was presented with an unprecedented problem. Bombarded by Syria information and having no way of verifying it. And even if I receive a verified information - how do I ensure it presents the larger picture? (not just a view of a wealthy technologist who can afford satellite internet to transmit data)

So here is the root cause


If we don't stop it - read more on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_migrantfigure by 2050 might be as high as 250 million

Some of my views are controversial but the way how I see it - if we don't restore balance it will get even worse - it will affect future of planet and it may happen that we reach point of no going back... Where positive feedback loops will kick in:

* white ice cover (that reflects Sun) will melt and transform into ocean (that absorbs heat)
* Siberia will melt and release gases
* speaking of gases - just find some data how much water is required to produce meat - http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/10/how-much-water-food-production-waste - and how much 'gases' are produced in the process

Topic of veganism is completely different story. In fact my moral compass allows me accept responsible use of animal products (don't dwell too much on that). I actually did some research - http://health.stackexchange.com/questions/3660/is-it-healthy-to-eat-meat-of-an-animal-that-died-of-an-old-age - if an animal dies of an old age it might be better for environment to eat it, rather than allow to rot and provide environment for germs. But the animal exploitation on an industrial scale? Not cool. Just to name a few movies exposing the thing:

I highly encourage you to get familiar with work of Daniel Pinchbeck: http://www.pinchbeck.io

I had a privilege of meeting with him on various occasions (in person and online) and I highly appreciate his gift of telling stories.

Breaking Convention: http://www.pinchbeck.io/blog/2015/7/29/psychedelic-initiation-and-the-ecological-mega-crisis-qa-with-russell-brand

Daniel Pinchbeck - Psychedelic Initiation and the Ecological Mega-Crisis from Breaking Convention on Vimeo.

Daniel also announced on his Facebook than a new book is coming: "How Soon Is Now?"

Ecological mega-crisis is an initiation for humanity - much like a shamanic initiation - that will force us, as a species, to reach another level of consciousness, and embody that consciousness in a new social system, as well as a new technical infrastructure.

We must shift our industrial and commercial system away from "planned obsolescence" toward the production of durable and repairable goods. Doing this requires a change in the underlying "game rules" of our financial system.

If we want our civilization to survive - if we want to survive as a species - we will need to reduce meat eating, or eliminate it entirely, and curtail excess travel as well as production of unnecessary goods, reducing our burden on the Earth's natural systems. This is only conceivable through a broad-based, global movement of civil society.

A new social system, a new technical infrastructure

May the the Force be with you.

genesis.re - I don't engage in current affairs, matters, politics, economy - starting from the beginning - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants - connecting experiences, connecting the dots...

It is not cool to mess with the climate


(watch the video from the tweet above)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Being homeless is not cool (especially in Winter)

I try to better understand the world, reality and things around me...

I see homeless people and on a few occasions I asked them a question: "is it your choice or necessity"? Most of the time they look angrily at me and I take is as "necessity" (not a choice)...

Is it really a necessity? There are so many safety networks in place, so many charities and organisations, social workers... To the point where it is called a "third sector" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_sector - to distinguish from public sector and the private sector.

In my opinion cost of being homeless is enormously huge:
* cost of not having good sleep
* cost of carrying around your stuff
* cost of not being able to cook
* cost of not being able to buy food in bulk
* cost of not being clean and fresh to apply for jobs
* cost of being sick and getting medical attention and medicines
* cost of... (list can go on and on)

Speaking of applying for jobs - https://www.pinterest.com/mstefanow/jobs-in-london/ - yesterday it took me 15 minutes to upload 8 job offers - on some occasions it was longer to upload via 4G than to find a new post:

(truth to be told it is an expensive area of London and a successful candidate would have to spend some time commuting)

Yet another cost - cost of being desperate. Some people may think that stealing that phone or that laptop will buy them food and bed in a hostel for a week. But for any person who is in possession of the device - the device itself is maybe 1/10 of the cost of the associated data and lost productivity.

That is why I dare to say:

Being homeless is not cool

Especially in Winter, when it is cold outside.

It is not cool and economy behind is not cool either.

It is £26 to provide bed & breakfast in a volunteer run place outside London: http://jimmyscambridge.net/about-us/facts-and-figures/

It is £8 to provide same service in a commercial enterprise in Central London: http://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/smart-hyde-park-inn.en-gb.html (just the cheapest option on Booking.com in a month from now)

Economy behind it is it not cool - volunteer run places outside London that provide "public benefit" shouldn't be three times more expensive than commercial enterprise in Central London.

(economy of being homeless just doesn't add up)

Homeless Home

I'm actually quite keen to try converting shopping trolley into a portable solution:

I love their website, I love their products - http://hipopotamstudio.pl

Author of the Homeless Home - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krzysztof_Wodiczko (Harvard professor)

Money saved on rent will be invested into:
https://www.wework.com/pricing (or any other co-working space)

I may want to use a trolley as a standing desk too.

I may want to invest into a battery pack - http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/macbook-portable-battery/ - or buy an entirely new MacBook - http://mashable.com/2015/04/13/apple-new-macbook-external-battery-charging/

(sometimes I laugh at my problems - I live in a total bubble - and I try to better understand the world, reality and things around me...)


I found this article on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeless_shelter#United_Kingdom - that links to charity dealing with homeless people - http://www.crisis.org.uk/pages/rough-sleeping.html

"Many people who sleep rough will suffer from multiple health conditions, such as mental health problems and drug misuse."

The way how I see it - only people with mental health problems and misusing drugs can't be bothered to fill the paperwork and receive free housing. Suggesting that sleeping rough (which is another term for being homeless) triggers mental health problems and drug misuse ("will suffer") is a huge misconception or my very poor understanding of written English.

(or the following way of thinking - it's internet - we can write whatever we want - screw the factual accuracy - let's appear as compassionate and raise more money)



Triathlon and The Guinness Book of World Records were born from a discussion (an argument). I may well try to prove the point and run a 1 month competition: make the most amount of money given very limited resources and impaired circumstances.

I may as well try to do it without external motivation but it is easier when you have eyes watching you... #brainhacking

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Google API oauth flow with node.js

I think that video should speak for itself.

I had 25 minutes before I leave for BJJ (brazilian jiu-jitsu) and I was pretty sure I'll manage on time but I've made so many little mistakes in the process and I was a few minutes late. Shame on me - on the other hand I really liked the time constraint and rushing through London.

I should have known better... In reality I make these type of mistakes all the time. I think that it is a nature of work. Don't get me wrong but majority of the people I work with make these type of mistakes too - typos, discrepancies and the true strength is in overcoming challenges and working one step at a time - you probably noticed how many times I've reloaded the browser (all the time).

Enough talking. You have the video, you have the code: https://github.com/stefek99/google-API-demo-tutorial

(readme.md should explain some technical details)

That is just the beginning. You still need to store token somewhere and make actual API calls to use it... From the time perspective everything seems obvious. When starting the amount of components and dependencies can be overwhelming. I knew exactly what to do and even though it took me 37 minutes! (without the video it would be even longer as I would be focusing on other stuff)

Two major files that make it all possible (server and client):

(full source lives on GitHub and of course remember to keep your tokens, secrets and credentials safe)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Drinking own urine as a token of appreciation

A few days ago I saw this video and I thought it is awesome:

It's authentic, genuine, honest... Sasha - sashapua.com - who has already earned a lot of esteem and respect now showed his vulnerable part and I really liked it.

Since he is coming to London (full schedule / talk I'm attending) in just a few days I decided to reciprocate feelings by drinking my own urine too. On the video I talk about token of appreciation / token of friendship even though we've never met - I'd call it asymmetrical intimacy - the internet dissolves boundaries (you get the gist).

Video is not perfect

It uses front-camera (yep) and vertical orientation (yep) but that was the only way for me to see what's going on. Also the amount of piss relatively small and the lightning conditions could be better. I am very well aware of that but as they say: Done is better than perfect

I had a lot of fun doing that! Challenging norms, culture, society, stigmas, dogmas... It is liberating! And the taste - it's actually not that bad at all.

I mention Nobel Peace Prize and I'm relatively serious / you can interpret that whatever you want. Just to elaborate - so many guys are frustrated and they tension / aggression / testosterone in a million of other ways. No one would go to wars if they had a woman they love.

Closing remarks / train of thoughts:
* Sasha's podcast on Ayahuasca: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3omzpJmsOs (I'll be flying to Peru in December)
Eat That Frog - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-That-Frog-Important-Things/dp/1444765426 - I can summarise the book in one sentence: "If you start the day with the most gruelling task the rest can be only better" - that is why some folks recommend CST (cold shower therapy) - I can recommend cold showers in general as a way to wake up and be alert in no time!


#review #feedback #testimonial

Enough said.

Respect Sasha, you are the man!

Monday, September 28, 2015

JavaScript arrays and iterating jQuery array-like objects

It took me a few moments to figure out.

jQuery map: http://api.jquery.com/map/

JavaScript map: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/map

Notice the difference: both map functions accept callback, but the order of 'index' and actual thingy (array element or DOM element) differs.

To circumvent that I'm calling $.makeArray method: https://api.jquery.com/jQuery.makeArray/

See live example here: http://plnkr.co/edit/toSy8o4kFSiStnLWpJa2?p=preview

Would be nice if it was consistent - index always first... I wonder what were design considerations back then...

How I discovered this 'issue'? (it's not an issue, it's me now knowing exactly what are library function I'm using) I use jQuery selector to fetch some data embedded in the DOM and for testing purposes I just created a hardcoded array and things started to break.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Morning Glory #gloryville (conscious raving)


WOW... One of the best parties out there.

I'm a computer programmer who uses devices all the time. I also like to leave a trace for anyone who wants to connect with me. Some people may say that I wasn't present, some other will mention trans-humanism (wiki):

fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities

Either way:

A photo posted by Michal Stefanow (@stefek99) on

PS. LoveSpecs - http://lovespecs.org/ - are super cool! (try it out and let me know what you think)

UPDATE (Wed 12 Aug): 

You can also comment on Facebook.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Attention span - single line of code

In my previous blog post I described adventures of creating EmberJS template to post questions on forum / Stack Overflow. As the result, I was able to create a single index.html - view on gist - file capable of delivering all functionalities.

On the same note - here is my single file for AngularJS - view on gist - a very reasonable starting point, although I need to admit that versions might need updating...

Speaking of one-liners - see Angular Loader Bar:

I love stuff that just works. 

And that is why in one of my projects - cmdctrl - decided to go with the single line approach:

I still need to figure out the way how to show / not show the overlay. Currently it loads everytime, which is annoying when navigating pages / jumping between sites I own... It annoys me and I'm thinking about rewriting links to contain #noshow in the URL. That should probably do the trick (unless there is an existing hash), probably in order to manipulate URLs I'd have include jQuery (not a big deal, I really like jQuery as DOM manipulation is a matter of a single line)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ember Data - resolving various issues

If you ask me what I've been doing at work:

It isn't perfect (it's far from perfect) but gets job done. I can post my issues / queries in a standalone manner.

I'm using old version of Ember Data as Fixture Adapter is now deprecated. If I was using CLI I could use an addon - https://github.com/emberjs/ember-data-fixture-adapter/tree/master - but since I'm resolving to JS Bin / Plunker / JSFiddle I'll have to follow 7 step process described here and find a reliable hosting - https://github.com/ef4/ember-giftwrap#how - also the comment -  This is a work-in-progress. It's alpha quality. - wasn't encouraging me to invest...

(because trying to fix something in order to prepare test case to illustrate an issue in a demo is just like yak shaving)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My adventures with Twitter

I've received a push notification from Chris Sacca (twitter). You can listen to a great episode of Tim Ferriss show here. I'm yet to read this post but it trickled reaction so that Chris was interviewed by CNBC and had opportunity to watch it live via Periscope (a $100m acquisition):

I saw great potential in Twitter. And wanted to get involved. But I didn't know how... 

(this guy knew, he simply purchased a lot of stock)


I wasn't great communicator, my slides aren't great either... So much to learn :) (constantly learning)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Independent festival business is not easy






The festival was cancelled in 2013, it did not reappear as was planned in 2014 and the future of the festival is currently unclear.

One another:

Yes, and we broke even on the figures we had but there are always hidden costs. And we did our figures on ticket sales at £60 but had to lower them as they were not selling. So the answer is more ticket sales if people wont pay, but as were underground it's hard to advertise is all good, we are exactly where we thought we would be

Independent festival business is not easy, as opposed to being a computer programmer with skills that are in high demand...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Android - Phonegap - Cordova - Plugin - AdMob - Intents

I was recently fiddling with the user flow of an Android app.

It's the location based app so what should happen if location is not available?

Let's go to settings and change it'!

Here is how it looks:

(the demo shows going to settings, dialling a number and showing a full screen AdMob advert)

Source: (hosted on gist)

- Searching for the right plugin: https://github.com/Initsogar/cordova-webintent/issues/42
- Android detection code: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6031412/detect-android-phone-via-javascript-jquery/28236817#28236817 

Thursday, January 1, 2015


By far one of the best events I have ever came by...

I've learnt a lot from a keynote by Alec Empire - Atari Teenage Riot, digital hardcore and relationship between hackers and music. Another favourite is infrastructure review and 1.2 tons of equipment from Juniper insured for the amount of 3 millions Euro.

I wasn't able to attend the event in person but as far as I can tell this is the event I would like to be part of.

There is no further.

(they say last year the CCC network was better than the whole Africa, this year Africa caught up)

See you at #CCC15 (still thinking about DEF CON)