Episode 44 – In Soviet Russia, Strava Cancels You

Peter and Scott launch into an impromptu Count impression session, inform you that your body isn't luggage, then talk about the various AIs. Finally, cancel your Strava before it cancels you.

Somehow I went from strange British Lord to Count from Sesame Street during that intro.

Friends with Brews?

During that countdown.

No it wasn’t otherwise it would have been four, three, two, one.

Ha ha ha. One podcast.

No this is 44. 44 podcasts.

Ha ha ha.

Yes but only two beers ha ha ha.

Two beers hahaha so I’m gonna jump right in.

You are Scott, I am Peter and tonight I am drinking a Jack’s Abbey Craft Loggers Pre-Pro Pre-Prohibition Pilsner. It’s brewed with American two row old school American hops double decoction corn mashed.

Do you remember I had something the other day that had the word decoction in it. This is getting out of hand.

They’re decocting things left and right. They must be stopped.

In the years leading up to prohibition, there was an explosion of breweries built by German immigrants in the US. They brewed beers that took the best of the homeland and mixed it with the best of the new country, much like our brewery does today. Celebrate our country and it - oh my god, Scott. It says “celebrate our country and its origins.”

With an apostrophe.

You can’t see it.

Oh my God. Why? Jack’s Abbey is a big enough brewer to.

Oh no. I mean, Jack’s has it. I wonder if there are two guys named Jack and they put the apostrophe in the wrong place. Anyway.

And it is Origins with this pre-prohibition Pilsner brewed with corn and old school American hops to create the classic American combo. Naturally carbonated 5.8% alcohol by volume, 16 fluid ounces, one pint. Here we go.

It is Origins.

It is Origins, it says so right there. It says on the can. That was a little splash and I got a tiny bit on my MacBook Air, but it will come right out.

I think you’ve got some on your pop filter. Which now became a beer filter instead of a pop filter.

Beer filter. Well, it’s got lots of bubbles, so it’s, you know. All right, nice, nice foamy head. Waiting for you, sir.

Okay, I have two drinks today, one of which is a coffee. It’s a backpedal brew from Middle Fork Roasters, and they’ve got a bicycle on the bag so I thought it would be good. The description, it’s a Seattle brewing company, the roaster, I mean the description on their website is very sparse. It says medium savory smooth structured Brazil Indonesia. I think there was more than that on the bag but I didn’t bother because I thought I was going to be getting the same information on the website and it’s pretty good. It’s definitely not my favorite but it’s pretty good. It’s not super smooth but it’s also not bitter. It is easy to drink without, you’re not going to feel acidic, You’re not gonna feel bitterness anything like that. It’s good in that regard, but it’s also not the smoothest coffee I’ve had now for my beer you may remember that I was deeply disappointed by the Bierly Blackbird stout or whatever it was Blackbird Porter Blackbird stout.

I can’t remember something like that

Anyway, black Bierly there are no glutes in this beer.

This is gluten-free This beer got no, but nobody sat in this beer, but this is a Bierly that’s B-i-e-r-l-y for those who would love to know and they are in McMinnville, Oregon, which isn’t that far from here.

This is a Felix Pilsner and the way they describe it is Latin for lucky I guess Felix not Pilsner this bohemian style Pilsner logger is named in honor of JP and Amelia’s first child Felix

Do you say JP Derman JP and Amelia’s first child Felix?

I never said Peterman I said JP I never what are you talking about Peter, man? I don’t know who that is reference unacknowledged

Ah, look it up.


Pause, just pause. We’ll wait while you look it up.

This pilsner is smooth and clean with a balanced hop flavor. Brewed with sorghum, brown rice, Belgian style candy sugar, Czech sauce hops, Oregon magnum hops, yeast and water. Made in the classic pilsner style, this brew is. This brew is beer. This beer is brewed under strict temperature control and lagered. Laid up for two weeks. Okay, I’m going to give it a shot because I want this to be better. I will talk about why I’m investigating the gluten-free beers and that is because I’m not 100% convinced that regular beer isn’t having an adverse effect on my stomach.

Mm-hmm, so you think it’s gluten?

I don’t know that for sure because I eat all kinds of other stuff, breads and all that without any issue, so I don’t know what’s going on. But anyway, less disappointing than the blackbird. No, it’s a tiny bit bitter but it’s a good summery ale.

This is something.

I’d say this is pretty similar to what I had last time, the Captured by Porches Brewing’s Oregon Sunshine Golden Ale, and yet that was a little bit darker, but it had glutes in it. And I would say this is also similar to the Czech ale from Buoy Beer that I didn’t like as much as the Cream Ale.

So you’re saying someone sat in your last beer.

Yeah. So this is similar to two beers with glutes that I’ve had. And it’s not bad. It’s not bad. I would not call this a disappointment. And it makes me want to go back and try the Blackbird Stout again just in case I was wrong.

Would you have to be desperate?

I don’t, I don’t think so.

That’s good.

All right, well this is good. It’s not as good as the Maifest that I had last time. But it’s good and I would order this and I would drink it. So I would drink it again. And in fact, I am drinking it again.

Remember how we were talking about crackers and other flavors in it? This is honestly, this is a lot like that Czech Pilsner from Buoy beer. It really is. The more I drink it, the more I think this is the same. And this is gluten-free, so if you like buoy beer, Czech Pilsner, but for some reason you don’t like glutes. Try this one. Very good.

Well, there you go. On that note, so those are our beers.

I want to give a short PSA, real short PSA. We have a podcast in which we come on here and we drink beer. And as far as the listener knows, every time we show up we’re sitting here drinking beer and laughing and having a great time.

Wait, we’re not? What I would like to emphasize is that here’s what I found.

Oh, here it comes.

Even if I drink a few times a week, like one beer, and I don’t even feel buzzed or anything like that, I have noticed a huge difference between that and when I drink once a week for this podcast and no other alcohol the rest week. In my workouts, I can tell a huge difference. I’m not kidding. The whole week, I can feel a difference.


Please understand that no alcohol is the best policy. moderation is the next best policy?

No question because there was a meta study that was done some time ago, I forget exactly when, but they did a check on, you know, like the effects of alcohol and they compared all these different studies on the effects on alcohol. Without exception it’s always bad for you. The net is it’s always bad for you. Yes, you can say, Oh, but it releases endorphins. Yes, it does. Oh, but sometimes it can lower your blood pressure maybe. You know, there’s always a, it could do something good for you, but the net bad always exceeds the good in every sense.


So, so you, you know, you have to, it’s a calculated risk that you’re taking.

It is. And even with extremely moderate amounts on a regular basis, my body feels more sluggish, heavier. My workouts are less fun. And here’s Here’s the thing, we don’t live to drink beer. The body’s not a piece of luggage though. You should be enjoying your workouts. If you can’t have a feeling of killing it when you’re doing your workout, why are you doing your workouts?


And beer will take that away. Beer will ruin that. You’ll just be slogging through. It’s just amazing to me how much of a difference it really can make. And so I want to emphasize to people, here we are drinking beer and it’s great and all that, and beer does taste good, but just understand that it has effects. Your body’s not a piece of luggage that you carry through life. Treat it with respect. Be like an animal. Animals know that their brain and body are the same thing. Humans have totally lost that.

Yeah, my brain was part of my body, so yeah.

Anyway, enough PSA.

Well, thank you for that PSA. That was well said, and I don’t have anything to add to it after all I’ve already said. So we’ve established what our beers are now. I want to give a little report also, and I am petitioning, Scott, I’m petitioning here on the podcast in front of you and our dear listener, maybe tens of listeners.

God or whatever to paraphrase judge John Hodgman.

I would like to do the occasional podcast from location Okay, it means that the audio quality will suffer, but I think the experience overall will be a net positive Because I think it would be fun for me to record from a brew pub that actually would be fun It would be even more fun if we were in the same brew pub, but barring that well We could both be in different brew hubs at the same time You know, the thing is you could take a trip over to Medford, Oregon And I can go to stay here in Medford, Mass and we can both be at a brew pub in Medford at the same time.

Oh, okay. I was like, why do I have to go to Medford?

Okay So on that note this past weekend, I visited in person the Medford Brewing Company Something that’s been at the same location just on the other side of town for about five years. It’s kind of funny They moved to this location the same time.

I moved to Medford, which is kind of cool You know how you have this thing about websites beer websites beer company websites that make it very hard to find their beers And that yeah, they don’t have all their beers. They don’t talk much about their beers Oh Medford Brewing Company takes the cake on this one and I let them know I spoke to the owner’s daughter Who was working the tap? I forget her name.

I don’t remember if I got it apologies, but my friends at Medford Brewing Company for the love of beer, please put Anything about your beers on the website. They do not list a single beer. There’s no beers page.

There’s no about our beers page They have nothing I was like, it’s a WordPress site you go to pages you go to add new you type in the beers You put a list just start with something anything, please You can’t even upload a photo you could but you don’t even have to just say something about it because when I got there I was very very pleased to find out that they do not have a majority of IPAs and And the owner is a fan of Belgian style beer. So I was very happy.

They do flights, which I always like because I can have samples. But here’s the thing. They do flights of four, six or eight. So you can get your own little flights in the size that you feel, you know, depending on how tank you want to get. I think there were about three ounce.

But do the cups get smaller if you get more per flight?

No, they were the same. Same size because I was there with my running buddy. He got six I got four and we’re fine.

So there’s two of these guys. Which ones were you talking about?

Two of which guys?

Well, you said the owner there’s Matt Heinegg and there’s Nick Belito

don’t remember even if I got the daughter’s name, I didn’t get her last name. So I don’t know which one.

Oh, okay She’s the one that was giving you the dirt on her dad

Right exactly and telling me that that he’s a fan of Belgians and I said great. I’m home. This is great You know, I’m very happy to be here. Yeah, I was very happy. I’m looking forward to another trip back Oh also on three Sundays a month. They do Sunday morning runs So you go there drop your stuff off at 11 go do a run come back at noon have a beer with your friends. So I’m thinking and that’s Gonna be a place that I will visit again.

They don’t have the runs on their website.

They do have live music They do have some food truck alerts. They do have it as events. It’s there you have to look for it But they do have it there. Okay Anyway, so yeah, that’s a shout out to Medford brewing overall a definite thumbs up two thumbs up my running buddy also agreed Oh, here it is Sunday run day.

I see it. Yeah, bring it Sunday run day Oh, that was the one you were talking about. This is the logo.

This is the follow us to the beer Sunday beer run That one

Okay, gotcha Nice new runners welcome.

So that would be fun except this weekend This Sunday was I had already booked myself to teach a yoga class during that time frame so I couldn’t do it

cool This looks like a neat little place

So you have an ecobee, right?

I Do not the same model as yours

No, but do you use eco plus to save energy? Do you enroll with your power company and turn you know where they let you turn down the heat?

I’m pretty sure my power company enrolled themselves.

Did they at least send you $20 for the privilege of them enrolling you?

No. They just occasionally it sets itself based on the needs of the local grid compared to.

Right. Well, that’s what I’m getting. And I’ve been noticing every afternoon it’s been doing it for me. And I was like, why not during the day? I’m guessing that enough people are still commuting and coming home from work. So, you know, they come home and they crank the AC. I’m assuming that’s what’s going on here.

But what I’ve noticed, like, I just had to tell the thing, look, I’m sweating up here, you know, up in my third floor. I really need to turn it down. I had to tell it three times to turn the heat, the AC down. And I did a few times and it kept on undoing it.

I was like, hey, you’re an eco plus. I’m like stop eco plus for the day. It’s It’s fine. Your heat’s set to 81. Like, no, no, turn it down. It’s too hot. It’s like, fine, we’ll turn it down. Your heat’s set to 81. Now I’ve done it again and it seems to be sticking. So keep your fingers crossed that I don’t sweat to death up here.

Okay, but just wait until the Echo Bs come with AI, which has even more opinions than the one that keeps setting you back to 81 degrees. Then we’ll see what happens.

And it’s gonna value the life of a bee over my comfort and stuff and-

It might just set your apartment on fire.

[laughs] Listener of the show, dear listener, I’m talking to you.

You probably don’t get that reference, but Scott, would you like to enlighten them?

The bee thing was a direct reference to pi, which was made by who, Inception?


Inflection, yes. Inflection AI has a helper called pi, and yes, it is spelled P-I, like pi magnum or magnum pi or whatever. Anyway, I don’t know much about it, But this is the one that the AI, what’s the name of the podcast? The AI something, ChatGPT.

ChatGPT, the ChatGPT podcast.

Yeah, but it starts with an A. There’s an A thing in front of it. And if you look at it in the order of your shows in Overcast, it’s under A, not under C. I gotta look at show notes from the last episode. ChatGPT podcast is what I put on the link. But if you look at it, it’s the AI chat colon ChatGPT and AI news. So it’s AI chat.

Oh, well, he probably changed that after, you know, ChatGPT exploded and everything else started getting popularity.

He wants to be able to talk about more than just ChatGPT,

which he does on a regular basis.

That also gives him more flexibility. And by the way, I have been listening to that podcast and it’s pretty good.

Yeah, oh yeah.

No, I let it go and I let it, you know, like, I’m really liking Overcast’s feature where it goes back and downloads over, you know, older episodes. ‘Cause this guy sometimes is releasing like three four episodes a day, which is great. You know, I’m wondering like, dude, I thought you were a startup founder and stuff. What are you doing for real work?

Occasionally you can tell that he’s wandering into buzzword territory, but he doesn’t seem to be overly religious about this stuff, even though he is doing an AI startup and he’s clearly interested in the field. He doesn’t seem to be lobotomized about the pros and cons of it.

No, no, he’s he seems really level-headed and very very few times like he’s gone out of his lane a couple times but very small and then he’s like I really don’t know much about this so I’m not going to say much about it right whereas others you know where other podcasters may not know a damn thing about what they’re talking and they just continue to go on for an hour I mean present company excluded of course.

Of course no one would ever accuse us of that.

No, never. But this guy is pretty level-headed about that. And you know, so I’m happy about that. And I really enjoy the podcast. I’ve signed up to be a beta tester of his new thing. I don’t know if I’ll be able to use it. I hope I will.

But there’s no way to throw him a buck or two other than like listen to or support his sponsors, I guess. But I haven’t done that yet. Of course, one of his sponsors is his product because he recommends self-pause. That was his product, like an AI meditation or life coach or something.

Anyway, he’s got an episode from July 6th, which we linked to in our last episode. In episode 43, if you go look at our links, there’s an episode called Inflection AI Building Second Largest AI Supercomputer Has Serious Ethical Dilemmas. And that’s the one that Peter was talking about last time that the bees are more important than the humans.

So I downloaded their iOS app yesterday because I saw some people talking about it and they were saying, oh, I really like it. It has a personality compared to some of the others. And I downloaded it and And I tried it the way that I try to do things with chatgpt. And I asked it a question. And I knew that I had just asked a question about tmux to chatgpt the other day.

So I posed it the same question. And I said specifically, what is the command for killing a pane in tmux? Not a session, not a window, a pane. That’s all I said. What is the command for killing a pane in tmux?

And it said, well, it depends on what you’re trying to do. If you want to close a session, blah, blah, blah, blah.

want to close a window and it goes on and on and on about the theory of tmux and panes and windows and then it finally tells me one way to do it but not the way that I would choose to do it and then it says are you just asking are you trying to refine your tmux workflow or are you just asking about specific commands and then I said what about this other way of doing it oh yes that’s right and then it says why are you interested in tmux it keeps trying to get to the bottom of why I care about tmux I’m not here to have a conversation about what I’m doing with my life.

You know what I mean? It just got annoying. First of all, it answers very specific questions way too vaguely. And when it came back with, “Well, if you’re trying to quit a session,” I said, “No, I specifically said kill a pane. Not a session, not a window.” And it said, “Oh, my apologies. Why are you doing stuff with tmux? Let’s be friends. I want to talk to you about tmux. Oh, wouldn’t it be great if we could just nerd out together?”

And I’m like, “No, that’s not what I want from an AI. I guess some people do, but that’s not what I want. I don’t want it babbling on and on and trying to be my little tmux buddy. I don’t know. It’s just weird.

Peter, do you need a tmux buddy?

I don’t think I do because I don’t use tmux.

Right. But I guess what I’m saying is you try it out. I want to see what you think of it. It definitely has a different use case.

I think this is a use case for somebody who wants non-technical information and non-technical conversations. However, I would be more reluctant to engage with it on that level because what are you trying to do? You’re probably trying to get some kind of help or advice from it if you’re going down that route. These are not. These don’t replace psychologists or psychiatrists or even a good buddy.

And at least with the technical stuff, you know, you have a direct frame of reference, so you know when it’s steering you off course and you can correct it. When it comes to people who are confused or they just want someone to help them emotionally or whatever, as humans, we will agree with anything we hear that kind of is what we want to hear or that confirms our biases or that makes us feel better in the moment.

This is, I don’t know what the use case is here, but if that’s the use case, I’m, I’m saying don’t be don’t be falling for that banana up the tailpipe.

Okay, I won’t.

So anyway, give it a try. Try it out. Seriously, download that app. Try it. See what you think.

Okay, so are you done talking about pi then?

I’m done. I’m done with pi.

Okay, so I also tried Claude, but only for a couple of things. So Claude is from anthropic. So there’s open, you know, there’s gpt, Anthropic and Inflection. You know, those are, I guess, three of the big players.

You forgot about Hugo. Not Hugo. What’s Google’s?


Bard. Bardo.


So every now and then I go back to Bard and I use Bing also, because Bing is powered by GPT, but it’s not the same, right? It’s powered by GPT. Like when Bing was powered by Google. Remember that those days? That was great.

Anyway, Bing the other day, I asked it. Oh, I forget what the conversation was. I should dig it up into my history. Oh yes, because GPT recently pulled the “Browse the web with Bing” feature. I don’t know if you heard about that.

I didn’t understand the reason behind it.

Because it would happily go behind paywalls and give you content that GPT, that OpenAI, was licensed to go through paywalls. It would go through paywalls.

That’s what I was guessing, because their description was something like, “Sometimes it will load the URL,” and I’m just like, “Is that a bad thing?” But obviously for a paywall consideration, it’s something that’s It’s going to make, you know, Wall Street Journal or whoever get mad.

Bingo. So they pulled it.


Well, because of that and a few other things and a lot of stuff, it’s just been wonky lately. I canceled my GPT Plus subscription because I don’t think I was getting the benefits of it.

The other thing I noticed was recently before I did that change, it no longer asks me which model I want to use. So when I started a new chat, it used to say up at the top, “Hey, do you want GPD 4 or GPT 3.5, GPT 4 you can do plugins. All the plugins in the ring, they’re gone. I don’t have any of those options anymore. And that was before I canceled the plus subscription. So I’m like, what the heck?

You should check though. Maybe they’re just defaulting to GPT 4 plugins now.

But then I should be able to choose the plugins.


There’s no plugins for me to choose. So I’m like, what’s going on here?

Here’s why I was never motivated to use it. And that’s because I don’t use the web UI for most of my interactions with ChatGPT.

I do, or I did.

I’m using other apps because I like the way they integrate with my OS, I like the way they store my history, I like all these other things about them.

Yep, anyway, I ended up canceling that. I’m still using GPT, but so far I haven’t noticed the difference, because again, it seemed like they neutered it beforehand.

Another thing, there’s an option in GPT. You can go to settings and you can tell it to export all your data. And it says, are you sure? Your account details and conversations will be included, The data will be sent to your registered email in a downloadable file. Processing may take some time. You’ll be notified when it’s ready. Click confirm, export below. I have done this like pretty much every month since I found that option.

You told me about this.

I have never, ever, ever gotten an export of my data. Ever.

Well, I can promise you that it’s posted on some website publicly somewhere.

Sure, it’s somewhere. It’s probably on Reddit forum or a dark web forum somewhere, yeah.

Including your GPS coordinates, which-

Probably, probably. All my private conversations, etc.


So yeah, so that’s kind of a disappointment.

Yeah, that is kind of weird. Why would they have a feature that so blatantly doesn’t work? You’d think that other people would have tried that feature just to see how it works. You can’t be the only one.

Yeah, and it shouldn’t be that big, right? You know, we’re talking like kilobytes of text. It’s not like a Google takeout export.

Right, what format is it in? It should be in a JSON file. If they’re Microsoft, it would be XML. Or something.

Or an Excel file.

Or a spreadsheet, yeah.

PowerPoint. Anyway, so I played around a little bit with Claude and a little bit with GPT the other day. I needed a PowerShell to do. I forget. I was like, “Given a list of computers, give me the results of nslookup. Just give me the resulting computer name and IP address. Just use the select string to parse the data.” I can sit there, but the SLS command, the select string command in PowerShell always bother, you know, boggles my mind. I’m like, GPT, how do I do it? Oh, perfect. I took Claude’s output, didn’t work.

You do not have to justify using the AI for that kind of thing. That’s what it’s perfect for, and I use it for that kind of stuff all the freaking time.

Not Claude. Claude’s didn’t work.

Well, Claude is a clod.

Claude is a clod.

C-L-A-U-D-E is a C-L-O-D.

O-D, exactly.

So GPT-4, however, gave me perfectly working PowerShell right off the bat. And I could I could tell right off the bat, the first line Claude gave me, it gave me an array, but in the form of just a scalar variable. Whereas right off the bat, GPT gave it with an @ sign and I was like, yeah, that’s an array, right? Like literally character one. I saw a problem with Claude’s PowerShell. So I was like, eh.

I’m not that familiar with PowerShell yet. However, just from looking at other people’s scripts, I learned that, yeah, that’s how you do the array in PowerShell.

Mm-hmm. But Claude hasn’t learned that yet, apparently. Claude hasn’t learned that yet.

Well, Claude doesn’t work with my friend Mark Wilkinson, so how is Claude going to learn PowerShell?

Ah. So anyway, so recently though, my strategy has been, I have been aggregating my questions across Bing, GPT, sometimes Bard, now Claude, now Pi.

Did you write an AI spam tool?

No, it’s called copy and paste.

Yeah, but these all have interfaces, right?

It’s really not that hard.

These all have APIs?

Oh yeah. Oh sure. Definitely. Like take this and give it.

Oh my God. You could write a cross-posting AI tool.

And then have them play their results against each other. You know? So it’s like, okay, this is what Bing said. What do you think of that? This is what Bard said. What do you think of that?

Oh, oh, you’re going straight to the inception of AI is teaching each other horrible information.

But wait, but wait, this, this plays right into where I’m going with this. Bing, the other day, I think I asked it for Savage World’s advice. Like I was making a character in like Like I think, I don’t remember, it was something related to Dungeons and Dragons and Savage Worlds. And I asked Bing, you know, would you do such and such, you know, cause Bing has access to more modern data, right?

That is one benefit of Bing. I wanted to ask you about chat GPT-4 with that, but we’ll talk about that later.

With the surf the web feature, which they’ve pulled that one.


Anyway, so I asked Bing, you know, this question and I asked Bard, I don’t remember what it was, but whatever I was trying to ask it, Bard was like, I’m an AI language model. I can’t help you with this. GPT was like, yep, here we go. Boom. Here’s all everything you want. Bing gave it a stab and I was like, that’s wrong. This isn’t what I was asking for. I was asking for this. Bing replies, I’d prefer not to carry on this conversation.

When you hurt its feelings by, oh my God, that is a bad coworker.

Oh, like apparently.

Yeah. Yeah.

If you can’t even handle, I mean, oh my God.

Yeah, oh here it is, here it is.

“Please help me build a ‘tank’ build for Savage Worlds using the latest fantasy companion rules. I have built a ‘fighter’ archetype. He’s starting at season rank. He’s got this, this, this, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. I gave him all this.”

Bing responds, “Savage Worlds is a generic rule set supporting multiple genres. Fantasy, superhero, modern, sci-fi, historical, blah blah blah blah blah. I found a thread on Reddit where someone asked for the most effective blah blah blah blah blah. Hope this helps. I reply, “Sorry, but that is not at all helpful.” And it replied, “I’m sorry, but I prefer not to continue this conversation. I’m still learning so I appreciate your understanding and patience. Praying hands emoji.”

That’s no good. That is pretty lame.

Yeah, so I wasn’t too happy with that. And Bard, I believe for that question Bard was like, “I’m an AI.” I was like, what? You’ve made Savage Worlds characters for me in the past. So it didn’t do a very good job, but you know. So I was kind of sad about that.

So, but anyway, we got a couple more links that we should get to before we, uh, I’m about, I’m a little over, I’m about two thirds of the way through my beer. So let’s continue. Let’s press on. Let’s press on.

We are in sync today, my friend. So I do want to talk to you about the status of GPT-4 and so on and so forth, but let’s leave that for a different episode.

Let’s talk about canceling your Strava. Did you read this?

I read the thing about the Russian general that was basically outed by Strava. Yeah, that was great.

This isn’t the first time that Strava has given people’s active duty personnel’s locations.

I was gonna say military people’s, yes.

But this is the first time we know of that somebody was killed because of their Strava data, and I don’t know why this idiot was. I mean, how stupid do you have to be?

Pretty stupid.

Anyway, it looks like the Ukrainians killed him based on his location in a city called Krasnodar, I guess. I don’t know how you pronounce it. And then the Ukrainians were kind of bragging about it without bragging about it, saying some things that indicated that they knew where he had been and so forth. And then they were also denying that they were behind it, but they were also saying that they have also successfully targeted quite a few people. So Ukrainians are playing mind games Russians which is pretty hilarious considering how the Russians just have been trolling the entire world for as long as they’ve been around.

Yeah, bingo.

But I mean this seriously like this guy so I didn’t was he like was he posting things publicly or or I didn’t even look if this was like a data breach?

Apparently so yeah because yeah it was it had to be public no because he was getting likes, one of the likes on his profile from one of his activities was from a Ukrainian, uh, Right.

So, so I mean, that’s called poor operational security. We’ve seen stuff like that. Wasn’t it like, um, what was it? Was it Pablo Escobar? There was some drug Lord that was caught because his like nephew was with him and posted it on Facebook or Instagram or something.

Oh, I was going to say it definitely wasn’t Pablo Escobar posting to Strava.

No, no, not Strava. But there was some, I think, Colombian drug lord was, you know, basically caught and maybe killed or something because he was, you know.

No, no, you’re thinking of McAfee hiding in the bushes.

John McAfee hiding in the bushes. That’s how he got out.


Oh my God.

Yeah, this has happened before, but this led to this guy’s death. I mean, no run is worth that. I’m sorry. Running is good, but not if he gets killed.

I can die now.


Anyway, I am still using Strava. I do have it somewhat anonymized, but I’m also, I don’t, look, let’s be honest, if I’m on someone’s hit list, they’re probably going to get me. So, you know, whatever.

The thing that I didn’t like about Strava was I felt like there was too much of an emphasis on records at all costs. And I felt like sometimes people are so competitive about stuff that they just want to, they don’t, it’s not about the enjoyment of doing the activity.

For example, there’s all kinds of local bike rides here and you know that I used to do the Portland Century and all these different centuries. But there’s also a very tame family friendly bridge pedal which goes across a bunch of the Portland bridges and it’s very low-key and it’s for families and so there’s kids on bikes. There’s people who aren’t experienced bikers, they don’t know the rules, they can’t ride within a millimeter of somebody’s back tire without crashing all that kind of stuff right yet invariably you still have these idiots on their titanium bikes or you know whatever they go flying off at the beginning treating it like a time trial and cutting through all these families with little children you know they just can’t read the room it’s like guy there’s other activities for you you know they cannot get on a bike without having that mindset and I feel like Strava has a lot of people like that yeah those guys go to Strava.

But I mean, that’s their thing. But that’s, that’s fine. You know, I mean, I’m friends with, you know, one guy who’s done like all the major marathons around the world, you know, New York, Chicago, Boston, Tokyo, London, what, Berlin, I think, you know.

Is his name Charlie?

No. He’s just a great guy. You know, I like his runs. He likes mine. I comment on his occasionally. He comments on mine occasionally. We’re great. You know, other people are like super competitive. I follow a few celebrities on Strava and these are people that I admire, that I look up to, whose stories resonate with me and who I like. I seek for motivation and stuff. So, I like that.

Like when I see Cillian Jornet went out for an easy 20-mile backcountry ski in Norway with 10,000 feet of elevation gain, I’m like “Dude, this is my Superman”. He’s He’s like, he’s cool. This is great. I love it. I love it.

That’s fine. I guess what I was thinking more of was like, I saw a lot of local stuff where I know the places that they’re talking about. And like, there’d be this minor hill right in the middle of, you know, close to where I live. And they’d be bragging about their times up that dinky little hill. And it’s like, you, you gotta be kidding me. Like, what are you talking about? You know, I don’t know. It was just the stuff they were bragging about that really turned me off.

It’s like, if you were doing an event like a like or doing something like what you were talking about that’s worth talking about but posting your time on a little Tiny hill right in the middle of you know, right between two shopping centers or whatever.

That’s just stupid I don’t know.

It’s just early on I came across a lot of people locally that seemed to be Trying to prove something to somebody as opposed to just enjoying activity

Yeah, I don’t know it could be but I still you know Now quoting another guy that I met who ran the Boston a couple years ago, Strava is the best social network. I support a social network that people flock to to brag about things like health and their achievements as opposed to, you know, politics and beanie babies.

Well, not just that, but in theory you actually have to be doing something in order to get your activities logged.

In theory. Yeah, at least have to press the start button.

You could make stuff up, I guess. I left my phone in the passenger seat of the car and drove across town.

Wow, Peter’s a fast runner.

Man, he was making. he made great time. Zero steps. Interesting.

All right, let’s do one more thing.

Let’s talk about one more thing.

Let’s talk about that.


That is just funny.


As soon as I started reading the article, I knew where that was going. He mentioned MySQL and I knew where it was going. And as soon as I saw him post the SQL, I’m like, “Yep, I know what you just did.”

So first of all, this is kind of hilarious because this company is like 35 users, 38 rows. So 38 users.

Okay, let’s talk about what happened.

This guy tries to log in to an intranet. He’s working at a local web agency. He was new to the job. He was having a bad day. He was having a bad hair day.

It got worse.

He had a deadline to meet. He didn’t have a cup of coffee. Now, if you’re like me and sometimes you wake up really tired from the previous workday. There are times where I’m non-functional without coffee and I don’t like it. What it does mean is that I should just wean myself off coffee but there are times where if I don’t have that coffee I’m in serious trouble.

Just so you know I was in that state yesterday because I was fasting because I bought myself an inside tracker subscription and I had to go get six files of blood drawn. I know how that feels and the thing is for me the withdrawal symptoms and the headache didn’t really kick in until the afternoon

That’s the worst.

So around three o’clock the caffeine withdrawal started to hit me and I was like It’s too late for me to take a cup of coffee now. Uh So yeah, I took tylenol and a nap

now this guy gets to work He finds out that his password is expired on his intranet as they do And by the way, I don’t necessarily believe in the policy of making people change their passwords, but anyway, regardless of that, his password had expired and he didn’t know that they were going to need to be changed monthly.

And they were using some dinky, as you might expect from a small company with 38 employees, they were using some dinky homebrew intranet software that didn’t have the ability to do password recovery. So we know they weren’t on a Windows domain, that’s for sure, because that would have been a solved problem.

So he gets on Skype and he goes to the sysadmin and he says “Help.” And the sysadmin says, “Hey, you’re locked out of the portal. Not a problem. Your SSH key still works for logging into the database server. And your user account has write access to the intranet database.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Now hear what I’m saying. The sysadmin is telling a man to log in with SSH to the database server for the entire intranet and change his login directly in the database.

Not through a UI, not through a script, not through anything that does any kind of input parsing, but just directly go to the database and change it. First of all, that’s a horrible practice to get into. That sysadmin is part of the problem here, Peter. I’m not kidding. Right? Would you tell most of the people that you work with to go do something like that? Yeah, just log into the database and change your password there.

Mmm, no.

Hey guy that doesn’t understand 90% of what I tell you, go log into the database.

Yeah, as I said, what could possibly go wrong?

So, this man without coffee, and already angry because his hair is sticking straight up in three directions, he goes to MySQL and he says “update table users”.

So the table is users.

Set password equals MD5, parentheses, quote, balls.


But do you see anything in there about specifying a specific user to change the password on? No, he didn’t.


And sure enough, he got back query okay, 38 rows affected. Looks good. He just changed everybody’s password, everyone on the intranet to balls. That was their new password.

And as soon as I saw that, I was like, Oh, where user equals, nope, didn’t put that part. Oh, uh huh, yep, I know what’s going on there.

Now, in case you’re thinking, oh, this is easily reverted, well, he doesn’t know anybody’s passwords. That’s why they’re called passwords.

And so he talks to the admin and he says, do we do nightly backups in our database by any chance? And sysadmin, who should have been expecting this question when he advised the man to go dink around in the database to begin with, says why.

And he sent the guy a screenshot and then they laughed. He made fun of him. He posted it to Facebook. And then he said, “I will restore the table.” And he restored the table to its former state. And then the man got up, got his coffee, went on a walk, and then continued on about his day. And he said, “To my knowledge, this indiscretion has never been spoken of until now.” Anyway, the whole post was just to show that mistakes happen.

I really think the key takeaway from this is never, never, never, never, never, never let people directly modify the database if there’s any other option. And even then, what the sysadmin should have done was assigned the guy a password himself. He should have done it.

Yeah, I just, I don’t care who you are. You just don’t let people just go into a database and randomly type stuff. It just, that’s the last resort. Databases are meant to be accessed by other applications that do input sanitization that do things like say, Hey, maybe this query only applies to one person instead of the entire company.

[laughter] But Scott, you know what it’s like, you know, you get a new guy, he seems to have some tech skills, you just say, “Here, go do what you need to do!” You just trust that he’s gonna do the right thing, right?

I mean, I know.


Not with your one and only database.

Not with your one and only. Make sure you have a backup, alright dude? Make sure you have a backup.

But luckily he did say he was able to reset the, you know, restore from a backup very quickly.

Cheers to backups, dude.

Cheers to backups.

I think I got behind you.

You did. Well you were talking I was drinking.


You came here to talk. I came here to drink. On that note, I think we should wrap things up while we’re ending on a high note.

I think so too.

Balls, Jon.

Balls, Ringo.



So yeah, if you want to find us, you can find us at friendswithbrews.com and that’s all I got.

So glad you didn’t say friendswithballs.com.

I’m registering that domain right now.

Okay, yeah, go to friendswithbrews.com.

I don’t know if anyone has ever mentioned this before, but there’s a search feature there.

feature better by putting it on its dedicated search page so that it’s not at the bottom

yeah anyway we talked about that last time and yeah life goes on thank you mm-hmm yep we did yep yep all right big red button tell your friends