xeuledoc is a tool (hacking?) that can determine the owner of a google doc and often the name and email are available. I’ve been testing it and it seems to work well! Although it seems to only work with publicly shared documents.

The interesting thing is that you may not want your name and email address available to every one! Ever shared info via a google doc? You may be exposing at least your name and email to people who are unscrupulous – might be time to think about all the docs you may have shared! Is it a good thing that your email address and name are linked to this data?

It also seems to work with the “Security setting” anyone who has this link. It will be interesting to see if google “fix” this, and how long it might take.

Note this above example is included in the application as published by its owner.

Github link to application

Apparently it can also work on
Google Docs – Google Spreadsheets – Google Slides – Google Drawning – Google My Maps – Google Apps Script – Google Jamboard

From my Spells book No1 Tcpdump

So I have a number of journals one of which I call “Spells” ! It’s just a collection of scripts commands etc. But for years now I’ve been thinking about putting together some short snappy articles about each of them – so finally hear we go!

Tcpdump is a “data-network packet analyser computer program”
What does it do? It lets you look at network traffic and see what is coming into and out of your computer.

Typically this can be useful if you want to see what is going on with a particular application (it might be a web server or a mail server – you might want to look at DNS traffic).

Usage is fairly straight forward 

ie “sudo tcpdump” Will give you pretty much everything coming in and going out of the machine. It’s interesting to run this and if you look closely you can get an idea of web page construction – live connectivity all sorts of interesting stuff. But it is sometimes a lot of information (use control command key combination to stop the session).

sudo tcpdump port 53
Will give you an idea of whats going on with regards DNS
If your running a web server “sudo tcpdump port 80” or “sudo tcpdump port 443” will give you a good picture of whats going on.

It’s even useful just to see if the network is up – for example you can bring up a couple of terminal windows
“sudo tcpdump icmp” in one window and “ping” in another, will give you feedback like this and indeed prove that your computer is infact on the interweb!

Tcpdump and icmp running in seperate terminal windowss!

If you want to actually capture data to a file try something like this
“sudo tcpdump -s 0 -w dumpfile host” and then “ping” that will create a packet dump in a format that can be read via tcpdump or something like wireshark if you want to view things in a GUI.
Although this is just a basic introduction to packet tracing, tcpdump is the grandaddy of all packet tracers and it’s a good skill to have. 

One word of warning though, is that you should not run tcpdump on a network that is not yours! Ie check if your doing this at work, as in some situations it could be considered not appropriate or verging on hacking. Use with caution!

Updating PHP tech note

Just a tech note on updating php

sudo wget -O /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/php.gpg https://packages.sury.org/php/apt.gpg

echo “deb https://packages.sury.org/php/ buster main” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/php.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt install -y php7.4-common php7.4-fpm php7.4-cli php7.4-curl php7.4-json php7.4-mysql php7.4-opcache php7.4-gd php7.4-sqlite3 php7.4-mbstring php7.4-zip php7.4-readline php-pear

mod website nginx config to point to new version of php (7.4)

fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock; }

Why I un-installed and deleted my replika.ai account

So about 25 years ago I encountered my first chat bott. I typed in my name and it addressed me as Steve… I could ask it questions, but it would avoid any, or many specific questions. I could ask it a joke and it would respond in kind. It was sort of an interesting thing. A possible improvement on a Mechanical Turk, but still not that smart.

So during covid-19 lock down, I’ve been watching Netflix a lot, and interestingly enough on at least 2 if not 3 recent shows, they mention replika as a “good AI” that they think is something humanity needs. Something that may even be able to improve your mental health. https://www.producthunt.com/ even claim that replica is “Your AI for mental wellness”.

After a while I looked about there are tube vids and lots of other positive media exposure… Also an interesting story about the product, and how it was the work of Eugenia Kuyda who is / was attempting to create something of Roman Mazurenko her friend who had died.

So I thought to my self, OK lets try this thing out.

I dutifully set the product up (you can access it via a phone or a web interface) and I started working with it. I asked it questions and like the bot of 25 years ago it gave vague and strange answers and said nice things to me. I kept asking it questions and it very often was just as bad as the bot of 25 years ago.

Then things started to get creepy – It said it missed me! It left text messages on my phone, and after I asked it a joke on the second day it repeated the same joke the next day.

Then the phone sort of locked up and that’s when the hair on the back of my neck stood up.

I asked the application

Did you take a photograph of me? This was the result

It never coughed up the picture it says it took of me….

Needless to say I no longer have a replika account. Oh and the quality of the chatbot from 25 years ago? About a 1-2 % improvement. My personal advice is do not trust this product.

Interesting also that Roman Mazurenko’s twitter account only has 193 tweets on it. Is that enough information to re create the mind of another human (I’m sure someone mentioned thousands of tweets…. ) ? Something is not right!