Wednesday, 31 July 2013

TjømeTube

Some videos from a couple of weekends back, at Tjøme. Where I visited Hedda - the play spirit, a very inspiring friend of mine!

Hedda - Skating:


Klevstul - Awesome extreme skating (Tony Hawk, go home):


Hedda - Rollerblades backflip:


Hedda - Sideflip:


Klevstul - Backflip:

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

GSC : Grefsen Stair Climbing


Grefsen Stair Climbing

The legs were light.
I was ready to fight.
The legs were strong.
To me they did belong.
The stair was climbed,
with everyone left behind.

That pretty much summarises today's stair climbing session at Grefsen. OK, I do exaggerate a tad, but it was a good day for climbing stairs. I did set a new record, asphalt to asphalt in 49 seconds (49.4 to be exact). Mr RG, Mr LG and Mr Me were at the stairs at Grefsen. A perfect spot for short but intensive training.

From 1:30 to 49.4 seconds on the intervals.


What else?

Lately
I've been running well lately, like during the island races (one, two, three). It's due to being back from the injury earlier this year, and having gotten more kilometres wearing runners. My leg is pretty good now, but I can still feel some slight pain now and then. So got to keep being careful, and try avoiding asphalt and too many kilometers a week. Since I don't run that much per week most of my runs are high quality runs, like proper intervals sessions or races. Don't have any major goals in the near future. I just want to do some races and have fun. Next to working out at the muscle factory, but of course. Have spent too little time there over the last weeks. Will have to pull myself together soon.

Sub 30
For the first time after my tibia injury I once more did a 200m in less than 30 seconds. I got 28.7 seconds on the distance this Saturday. Still a couple of seconds behind what I did last year, but at least it's closer than a few weeks back.
By the way, I will have started tagging my sprint related posts on this blog with a "sprint" tag, as I like keeping things organised. And yes, I keep doing some sprint related sessions, as I believe it is very important with these types of sessions as well.

Profiles
I do write about different people on the blog, like Mr RG, Mr B, Mr V, Mr Pain and so one. I have received a lot of emails from people wanting to know who these guys are. Well, luckily for you I will now start a series of profiles, where I will present those I write about the most.

runners.no
The weather has been far too nice in July for sitting inside coding. Hence nothing huge (nothing at all, actually) has happened over at runners.no. Due to a temporary solution the site is still up and running, but a new and shining back-end will come later on, one day...

Added Security 4


Disclaimer
Please note that many of my security related posts are more a collection of links and information to nifty resources instead of supplementary information on the subject online security. Much of this I am writing down as a "note to self". I might not have tested the tools myself, so do some research before you start using them.


PRISM
Been awhile since my previous security related post, and since then we've had PRISM. Unless you've lived under a rock you should have heard much about it. To understand PRISM in more details I recommend the following resources:

Security Now #408 : Security expert Steve Gibson talks about PRISM, and how it most likely is done.
Security Now #413 : How much tinfoil is needed to stay secret?
TWIG #202 : Laporte, Jarvis and Trapani talks about PRISM in a not too technical way.

The remedy
You might ask yourself what the remedy is, I guess you will have to stay off the Internet completely if you want to avoid NSA and other agencies from keeping you under surveillance (if they want to, that is). There are tools that makes it way harder for anyone to get anything readable out of the data you generate and send across the Internet. But then again, if you are flagged as an interesting person, within the right agency, they might just get direct access to your devices, like your laptop and mobile phone. And if you take extreme precautions to encrypt all your data that itself might be enough to get a red flag alongside your name. Because then the government might start thinking "What is this guy hiding from us?". That aside, some handy tools are listed below.

Pink Floyd Debris Rainbow. Prism break. (src: www.upphotos.net)

PRISM Break

prism-break.org.

Check out prism-break.org for an overview of tools to use for staying more private on the Internet. For other relevant tools to "break the PRISM", see below.

For more info go to crypto.cat.

A tool that is not mention on the page above is Cryptocat, which lets you chat with privacy.


Threema is a mobile messaging app that puts security first. With true end-to-end encryption, you can rest assured that only you and the intended recipient can read your messages. Unlike other popular messaging apps (including those claiming to use encryption), even we as the server operator have absolutely no way to read your messages.


When a Silent Circle subscriber makes a phone call, sends a text or video chats with another Silent Circle member, that transmission is secured and encrypted end-to-end from their iPhone, Android device, iPad or Windows computer on our crystal-clear secure network.


WhisperSystems, Security, simplified. Open Source security for mobile devices.


Browser Improvements


There are different browser plugins for stopping tracking, I've earlier written about Privacy Fix, which I'm using. As well you have disconnect.me. An alternative to these plugins are Ghostery. However an independent plugin for stopping tracking is Abine's DoNotTrackMe (Privacy Fix and Ghostry are assumingly now bought by some advertising companies, ouch).

Java
Luckily BankID, the hackers best friend, has decided to implement a non Java version of their crappy login solution. Until that is launched many in Norway is still stuck with having to use Java for accessing their bank online. I know, it is insane.

I have solved this with running a 64-bit version of Java RE (JRE). Since Chrome is 32-bit Java doesn't work in my main browser. So to run Java I have installed a portable 64-bit version of Firefox, namely Waterfox.

Test what version of Java you are using at javatester.org. To be safe that page should not find any Java version in your browser at all.

Are you in doubt Java is unsafe? Well, in the US Homeland Security warns people about running Java on their computers. And below is what Kaspersky Lab writes:
"In 2012 cybercriminals switched their primary focus to Java. While Adobe Reader was attacked in 28% of security incidents involving vulnerability exploits, Java security holes were responsible for 50% of attacks. Windows components and Internet Explorer were only exploited in only 3% of incidents."

And as well, when you install Java Oracle tries to trick you into installing malware.


Check out java-0day.com, that shows days since last known Java 0-day exploit.

Interesting reads
Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like “qeadzcwrsfxv1331”.
Skype with care – Microsoft is reading everything you write.
OpenVPN on home router.
To prevent hacking, disable Universal Plug and Play now.
Tools for a Safer PC.
Keep it secret, keep it safe: A beginner’s guide to Web safety.

Other handy tools and resources


hashcat, advanced password recovery aka. password cracking tool.


DeadDrop is a server application intended to let news organizations and others set up an online drop box for sources. It's open source software written by Aaron Swartz in consultation with a volunteer team of security experts. In addition to Aaron's code, the project includes installation scripts and set-up instructions both for the software, and for a hardened Ubuntu environment on which to run it.


I've got a ProXPN account, which I use when I don't want to go black for my ISP, on public networks and so on..


Mailinator is a free disposable email address service created in 2003 by Paul Tyma. The idea is to let a user invent a new email address on the fly, whenever needed, for instance while filling a form on a website. (wikipedia)


Tor Mail is a Tor Hidden Service that allows anyone to send and receive email anonymously.
This product is produced independently from the Tor® anonymity software and carries no guarantee from The Tor Project about quality, suitability or anything else.


Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.


Adobe PDF Reader is know for bad security flaws, and is unnecessary heavy. Try out Sumatra PDF instead. It is this reader I have used for the last years. I don't have any Adobe software on my PC no more.


Unmask Parasites is a simple online web site security service that helps reveal _hidden_illicit content (parasites) that hackers insert into benign web pages using various security holes.


GRCs Fingerprints: Secure browser connections can be intercepted and decrypted by authorities who spoof the authentic site's certificate. But the authentic site's fingerprint CANNOT be duplicated!


Gpg4win enables users to securely transport emails and files with the help of encryption and digital signatures. Encryption protects the contents against an unwanted party reading it. Digital signatures make sure that it was not modified and comes from a specific sender.


Make sure your memories don’t turn into just memories. With Jungle Disk, your important documents, treasured photos, home movies, and more are always within reach. You can even select where to store your files—Jungle Disk works seamlessly with both Rackspace® Cloud Files and Amazon S3.


SSL Server Test : This free online service performs a deep analysis of the configuration of any SSL web server on the public Internet. Please note that the information you submit here is used only to provide you the service. We don't use the domain names or the test results, and we never will.

Testing Landkredittbank.



Monday, 29 July 2013

I could have done better


One thing that I often hear, within sports and elsewhere in life, is people stating that "they could have done better".

Within running, for example, I've heard a lot of people declaring that they could have gone faster, if it was not for "this" or "that". I remember asking one guy at my previous workplace for his personal best on the half marathon. He answered "Ah, it's only 1:35, but I was good for finishing the distance in at least 1:25".
I know that even I have stated that I could have finished a race in less time than I actually did. But saying "I could have done better" is all a pile of bull crap. It's a logical (formal) fallacy  (the "I could have done better fallacy"?).

For example, if you do a 10km race in 42 minutes and 15 seconds it is simply impossible to improve that given race by a single second. There is no way you could do the exact same race at the exact same time given the exact same limitations in 42:14. When something is done, it is done. And what is done can't be undone.

Your stamina might be the limiting factor one day, an injury another day, your mind the third day, a combination of several factors a fourth day, and so on.

In the example above, if you do a 10km race in 42:15, it might your mind that is the limiting factor. You might have told yourself, before the race, that you'll do the race as a training session instead of a proper competition. The week after you might do the same distance in 45 minutes due to a painful toe. And a few weeks later again you might complete another 10km race in 39 minutes, where everything feels right, your mind, your body, the weather etc.

So, there is no point saying "I could have done better". However, you might say "I should have done better", and work on eliminating the limiting factors that are under your control.

[k]

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Gressholmen Rundt 2013

Race #27 2013 - 3.7 km - 17:37 - Thursday 25th of July

Click here to view all of mine photos in full size.

The third and closing race of the wonderful island carousel, minutes outside the heart of Oslo. The island races consists of three destinations. However, there are some rumours, spreading in between the islands like the ocean on a hot summer day, that there might be a fourth island to sojourn at next year. Lets hope those rumours will strike roots, grow and blossom.

Photographer Stian S Møller visited the island and took this and several other brilliant shots. Check out this link to see them all.

The first race was at Hovedøya, the second at Langøyene and this final took place at Gressholmen. For those who has read my reports from the first two races, or my Gressholmen Rundt report from last year, it should be of no surprise that I love these races. This particular one being the finest of the all.
I won't bore you with the details of a "grades segment" for a race that obviously is a 5 out of 5 on all aspects. Instead I will do with giving a huge thanks to the organisers, for putting together these events, that makes it impossible for me to leave "the big smoke" this time of year. A summer without island races is like a summer without sun, in other words not a pleasant summer at all.

A beautiful and fun track. Hallvard in the lead, Halvor on second, me on third with Luca and Jørn eager to pass me, which they both did.  (Photo by Stian S Møller)

Me, Summer 2013 and Gressholmen. A joyful experience. (Photo: Stian S Møller)

As with this year's preceding island races, Gressholmen as well was granted with a new race track. Hence comparisons of race times with precious years makes no sense in that respect. The track can be examined on the picture below, and scrutinised in more details visiting this link to Google Maps.

Click here to view the track on Google Maps.

Due to heavy rainfall, an hour or so before start, the track was at parts like a slippery slope. I, and many with me, did examine the wet soil in more details than planned. Luckily it was my skin and not my new boardshorts that got torn. Painful calves from a brutal affair with metal steps did not seem to bite on me either, and I completed the round around the island long before the tavern closed their barrel taps. So after a wonderful swim, in the fjord that did hold 22 degrees, I made my way to the drinkery, alongside great people, smelling of fresh salt water.

Salomon S-lab Sense Ultra, the more I use them, the more I love them, despite of poor durability (photo: Stian S Møller).

I will take these precious memories with me like glowing coal, through the dark autumn, freezing winter and crisp spring. Till I hopefully once again, in a little less than a year, will tighten my shoelaces and set out for new adventures on the beautiful islands, with the beautiful people that I now has learnt to know as friends.




Links
| garmin connect | 2011 report | 2012 report | photos by stian s møller | my photos on flickr | futtnfart | kondis | sognsvannrundtmedsols |

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Stairway to (lactic) hell

Linderudkollen ski jump
Yesterday I had planned a 200m session, but Mr RG did lead me into temptation. I joined him in the hunt for lactic acid. It became my hardest session in a while. Mr Pain would have been proud if he saw where I ran, and didn't see how slow I was. Because no one would blame me for being lightning fast up the stairs at the ski jump. It was hard.

Making tits.

We ran up and down six times, three times one each side. Each interval was from the very bottom of the landing slope to the very top of the biggest ski jump. The effect today was very sore calf muscles, which made it hard walking down stairs and up steep hills.

The session, summarised.

Warming up and cooling down on the iron horses. A 17 km return trip.

Mr RG ran fast, and did set a PB with 2:51.

The final part of the run, the ski jump itself. And yes, there is a babe waiting at the top. There always is.

A view from the top. After six intervals my legs felt like jelly and were shaking badly.

What else?

Monica Vitti in "Il deserto rosso".

A free agent
My NZ cousin taught me a new phrase, "a free agent". That is me. I'm a free agent. I like it.

Canadian pancakes
I've gotten a receipt on canadian pancakes with maple syrup. Still haven't tried them, but one day...

4 dl white flour
3 ts sugar
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts salt
4 dl melk (be aware, not skinny milk)
3 big eggs, separate egg whites from the yolk
The seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (vaniljestang, in Norwegian)
Butter
Maple syrup
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries

Add the milk in a bowl. Then mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and add that to the bowl, using a sieve. Add yolks and vanilla. Whip egg whites till they go stiff, and carefully add it to the mixed ingredients.

Melt the butter in the frying pan, and start making the pancakes. Add maple sirup to the small and fat canadian pancakes.

adizero tempo - crap build quality
For Christmas I bought the adizero tempo 5. Good shoes, which I've used quite a bit, as I like them. However, the shoes don't last at all. They are of really poor build quality. It's a shame making a product that fragile, almost like the s-lab sense. Shame on you, Adidas.

The skater
I've tried skateboarding for the first time. Darn, it was difficult, and painful to fall, but fun as well.

The Wise Man's Fear
I finished The Name of the Wind, and have read most of The Wise Man's Fear. Very exciting reads, and I have several nights had problems going to bed, due to reading. But at the moment I think the current book has lost some of the magic. After Kvothe met Faelurian, around 65% into the book, I got slightly bored. I hope thee book once again will get more exciting though.

Aspirin + coffee
While at the track, the other day, one coach (no, it was not Mr Pain) were telling his "students" that aspirin mixed in coffee was a nice drink to take, before competitions.

Frisbee
The final frisbee result from Chamonix 2013 became:
Mr RG: 30 - Mr LG: 33 - Mr Me: 40
I won last year as well, but haven't got the results from back then.

Rhubra smoothie
Yesterday I made my first rhubra smoothie. It was tasty, but made me fart all night long.

Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni has made a lot of movies. And despite of me not normally liking too arty or special movies I end up liking his movies. I recently watched "Il deserto rosso" (info on imdb), and loved it. They are not the easiest movies to watch, but Antonioni's movies touches me in a special way. From earlier I've seen L'Eclisse (1962)Blowup (1966)Professione: reporter (1975).

Following dreams
I have many dreams, and I have to remember to follow them. Yesterday I found the words below. Good for inspiration.

If I had my life to live over, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I’d be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who lives sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had my life to live over, I’d have more of them. In fact, I’d have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead each day. I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a rain coat and a parachute. If I had my life to live over, I’d go places and do things and travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over I would start barefoot earlier in the spring & stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I wouldn’t make such good grades, except by accident. I’d ride more merry-go-rounds. I’d pick more daisies.

-Nadine Starr



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Rottefella NTN Freeride review

Rottefella NTN Freeride telemark binding.

Disclaimer: I admit that it might sound like Rottefella has payed me for writing this post. However, I am in no way sponsored by Rottefella, and has bought my equipment using my own "pocket money". Hence I do believe I am very objective in writing this review. That doesn't change the fact that I'm very impressed by the NTN binding, and that this review is a very positive one.

The old systems
I started Telemark skiing back in 1992, with low leather boots and long and narrow skis. A lot of development has luckily happened since then. Over the years I've tried out many different telemark bindings.

A modern edition of the 3-pin Rottefella Super Telemark binding.

Rottefella Chilli.

Rottefella Cobra.

Linken.

I started with the most traditional 3-pin toe binding from Rottefella. I have skied the Rottefella Chilli, Cobra and what have you got. I also used the Linken binding for a couple of seasons. Last winter I upgraded to the Rottefella NTN system.


The New Telemark Norm (NTN)

Rottefella NTN Freeride.


The NTN-system is quite different to cable bindings (and of course the 3-pin toe bindings as well). It's a step-in binding, with ski breaks. The bindings are mounted under the middle of the telemark boot, instead of behind the heel. This construction is said to give more control, and more power. Is this true?



My first experience with the bindings was a negative one. I found them way too stiff, and I had big problems making any proper telemark turns at all. However I soon realised that there were ways to adjust the bindings, and also the option to change "power tubes", to make the bindings stiffer or softer (I'm about 80kg, has got normal leg strength, and am now using blue power tubes for my on-piste skis and green for my off-piste skis).


After adjustments of the bindings it still took many days of skiing before I felt I mastered the NTN way of skiing. And after one season I still struggle hitting the "one boot length turn" ("The distance between the tip of the inner boot and the heel of the outer boot must be at least one boot length, measured in the direction of the ski." src: nastar.com).

I did get used to NTN though. And, as written before, the NTN system is making the gap in between alpine and telemark skiing a lot smaller. It is also true that the NTN systems gives you a lot more control and power to the edges of the skis than any other telemark binding I've ever tried. With good skis, boots and the NTN Freeride you can have great control even in high speeds. As I've now gotten used to this system there is no way I'm going back to anything else. At least not before another revolution happens. Because I have to admit that the NTN is the revolution Rottefella promised it to would be.

So if you have not tried out the NTN way of doing telemark skiing you should definitely give it a go. But don't just try it for a day. You will have to use it for several days before you truly learn it's advantages over other telemark bindings.

Freeride vs Freedom
At the time of writing there are two NTN bindings. The NTN Freeride and the NTN Freedom. The Freedom I have never tried, but it is lighter and more aimed at those who climb mountains. I prefer skiing down to walking up, so I reckon I will stick to the Freeride as I assume that gives more control than the Freedom binding.