Tag Archives: emacs

I Thought We Solved This NSA Thing Long Ago

Or, at least, I’m surprised that this earlier implemented solution has not been mentioned in all the discussion about NSA spying.

Richard Stallman invented an approach to obviating the NSA’s attempts to spy on email. He included it in emacs, the world’s greatest text editor. Here how it works, from the manual. The “M” is the “alt” key (for all practical purposes) and “M-x followed by a word implements the command attached to that word.

32.6 Mail Amusements

M-x spook adds a line of randomly chosen keywords to an outgoing mail message. The keywords are chosen from a list of words that suggest you are discussing something subversive.

The idea behind this feature is the suspicion that the NSA1 and other intelligence agencies snoop on all electronic mail messages that contain keywords suggesting they might find them interesting. (The agencies say that they don’t, but that’s what they would say.) The idea is that if lots of people add suspicious words to their messages, the agencies will get so busy with spurious input that they will have to give up reading it all. Whether or not this is true, it at least amuses some people.

You can use the fortune program to put a “fortune cookie” message into outgoing mail. To do this, add fortune-to-signature to mail-setup-hook:

(add-hook ‘mail-setup-hook ‘fortune-to-signature)

You will probably need to set the variable fortune-file before using this.

________________________
Footnotes
[1] The US National Security Agency.

That is from the current, on-line emacs manual but it also appears in my hard copy of the manual which I believe dates to the last quarter of the 20th century.

Emacs Mail Amusements

Apropos this, cribbed from the GNU Emacs manual by (originally) Richard Stallman:

35.6 Mail Amusements
====================

`M-x spook’ adds a line of randomly chosen keywords to an outgoing mail
message. The keywords are chosen from a list of words that suggest you
are discussing something subversive.

The idea behind this feature is the suspicion that the NSA(1) and
other intelligence agencies snoop on all electronic mail messages that
contain keywords suggesting they might find them interesting. (The
agencies say that they don’t, but that’s what they _would_ say.) The
idea is that if lots of people add suspicious words to their messages,
the agencies will get so busy with spurious input that they will have
to give up reading it all. Whether or not this is true, it at least
amuses some people.

You can use the `fortune’ program to put a “fortune cookie” message
into outgoing mail. To do this, add `fortune-to-signature’ to
`mail-setup-hook’:

(add-hook ‘mail-setup-hook ‘fortune-to-signature)

You will probably need to set the variable `fortune-file’ before using
this.

———- Footnotes ———-

(1) The US National Security Agency.

___________
Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to gnu@gnu.org. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections (or suggestions) to webmasters@gnu.org.

Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2007/06/10 18:26:22 $ $Author: cyd $

Emulating The Terminal Emulators For Fun (with emacs color-theme)

I have a small laptop that I carry to the coffee shop for writing. It is a bit shaky in the hardware department, very small, and has no functioning wireless. The hard drive is encrypted. These attributes together make it the perfect laptop to carry around between, say, the gym, the coffee shop, the grocery store, Huxley’s daycare, etc. I have a small number of files synced on it via a hard wired network connection at home so there is quasi-real time work to do with it, but only a subset of the larger number of files and folders I regularly use. The lack of an Internet connection means that I am not distracted while writing, the low value of the hardware means it won’t matter if it gets dropped, crushed or even stolen, and having the hard drive encrypted with a killer password and such means that the very valuable data (as if) that is on it can’t fall into the wrong hands.
Continue reading Emulating The Terminal Emulators For Fun (with emacs color-theme)

emacs for writers: org mode

After a little messing around with interesting emacs goodies, we might as well get right on to the good stuff.

emacs uses a concept called “modes.” You’ll learn about that if you use emacs. For now, what you need to know is that there are “major modes” and “minor modes” and we’re only interested in major modes at this moment. There are several major modes that make emacs highly useful for specific purposes, and some of those modes are designed with writing in mind, such as the text-mode the outline-mode and what is known as muse-mode. But writers really want to use org-mode and not much else.

I use org-mode and html-mode for everything.

Continue reading emacs for writers: org mode