I’m not a predator looking for them either

This article suggests a few techniques for finding personal websites on the Internet.

Source: Hunting the Nearly-Invisible Personal Website

I’m here and I’m not being that quiet either.

It’s not that I’m invisible. It’s that we don’t even figure into the Peasant Internet anymore(1) even though there’s a lot of activity on the twitters, facebooks, and instagrams of this here planet.

(1) Peasant Internet: Those who surf the waves thinking they’re safe in the embrace of social media or corporate firewalls.

Grain Belt Bee

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Grain Belt Bee Bzz Bzz

Tacaño

The last valid comment on this here blargh was in 2008, even though the blog had been running for longer than that.

Time flies when you’re doing other things.

Mind your own business

Anyone who knows me knows that I was among the biggest Apple Evangelists to ever live. Apple was in my DNA.  I believed in Apple’s products, Apple’s services, and Apple’s mission (or at least what …

Source: Dear Apple: Your Services Are No Longer Required. | Low End Mac

I agree with everything they say but this entire fucken thing could have been avoided if someone hadn’t been a nosy person.

I thought of using stronger language but hopefully she knows what her stupidity begat.

Shadow cities, rising

I love NYC. When I first moved to NYC, it was a dream come true. Every corner was like a theater production happening right in front of me. So much personality, so many stories.  Every subculture I loved was in NYC. I could play chess all day and night. I could go to comedy clubs. […]

Source: NYC Is Dead Forever… Here’s Why – James Altucher

Is NYC truly over? For the longest time it was the place to be in this entire planet but now it certainly feels like it’s spiraling downwards, and we say this from my relatively comfortable perch in the Midwest, which does have problems of its own.

City government is still throwing billions into its police department even though nobody living in the city wants that anymore. Nobody likes De Blasio, who keeps thinking salvation will come from somewhere even though Trump has repeatedly said he’s more than willing to let NYC die. NY state government have their own issues, which depend a lot on the economic might of the city. Landlords are about to start throwing themselves off roofs—let them, no one stop them!

It reminds us of Tijuana when I arrived there so long ago. I was told Avenida Revolucion would be teeming with people, people who would be drinking, laughing, partying; usually loud boisterus Americans, yes, but they’d bring along people from all over the world. It all came crashing down on 9/11 and the economy of the city took a big hit when the border closed entirely. After that, there would only be light crowds and those usually on the weekends.

We worked on La Revo for years. We remember. It took nearly a decade for the city to recover, and then that stopped with the cartel drug wars.

Reading this article about NYC reminds me of all of that. It also takes into account the availability of broadband for most everyone, which changes things when you can do your job from anywhere on the planet that has the bandwidth to let you.

Other cities are suffering from the same issues. London is seeing this compounded by Brexit. Hong Kong, compounded by the hostile takeover by PRC. San Francisco, compounded by sky-high rents. With broadband you don’t have to deal with any of these issues; You can now have your dream house in the country and have good wifi.

NYC will recover first but it will take decades.

Still messy

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Still messy

Never write documentation hangry, e.g. this post

I find I Love MDN demeaning to technical writers. It reminds me of breaking into spontaneous applause for our courageous health workers instead of funding them properly so they can do their jobs.

Source: I Love MDN, or the cult of the free in action – QuirksBlog

Another article related to the fall of Mozilla. Back in the day we relied heavily on quirksmode.org and doing that sort of data mining, collating, writing and publishing is not easy. For a while myself helped out writing documentation for WordPress during the <.09 era and we found out for myself exactly how hard technical writing is. It’s something we’re good at and, more importantly, enjoy. We appreciate the skill, nuance, talent and even luck that goes into writing good documentation.

It is something that we complain about often on teh twitter derp corn; often using ultraviolent language cos most developers are assholes. We’ve mentioned on this here blargh of using vimwiki. Their documentation looks like… actually, not even going to bother with a screenshot because they don’t have anything on their github or wiki that actually says “Documentation”. They take the easy way out and tell you “oh run :h vimwiki in vim”.

No, fuck you, lazy assholes.

Another few great examples of technical writing gone wrong:

  • Pretty much any plugins for vim. Most of them are just the same text file you’d use :h for, except without hyperlinking.
  • VirtualBox coming in with the one-page User Manual
  • Nextcloud, with documentation full of gotchas that should be mentioned prior or during installation, but aren’t.
  • Apple: Documentation? What’s that? Also there never was any documentation here.

Agent J: Move along, nothing to see here

I just had to use a gif for Apple. It’s that bad. Most Android apps don’t have any documentation of any kind whatsoever. Windows applications used to have documentation built-in but now they just direct you to their website, where documentation changes and disappears depending on the A-level goals for the quarter.

There are many more examples out there but these are some of the ones I can think of right now. The gist of it is this kind of thing is hard and people who do it should be paid for it, and if they’re good at it they should be paid well. If a developer doesn’t want to write proper documentation then… they should either have someone do it for them and listen to that feedback, or get their ass handed to them so they get on writing it themselves.

Going to go eat something now before the hunger makes me angrier.

All for a fistful of dollars

FOSS is dead. what now?

Source: Post-Open Source | boringcactus

the gods fucken damnit, Mozilla. This is but one article out of so, so, so many out there that are talking about the death, dearth, and zombification of open source projects. And that’s before we even bring in the tweets.

But sure, those Mozilla Corporation executives deserve millions of dollars so they can look preen themselves when they have to prostate themselves before their capitalist gods making hundreds of times their salaries.

Daystar

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Daystar

I’ll stick to regular cow’s milk, thanks

What actions has Oatly taken that would make us trust them? They’ve built an incredible marketing engine and raised 100s of millions of dollars convincing you that you should put sugar and vegetable oil into your coffee each morning, while hand-waving away evidence that they’re harming you.

Source: Oatly: The New Coke – Divinations

I personally prefer my coffee without oil but if other people want to do that to theirs, sure, go for it.

dafuq does RSS even mean, seriously

Source: How would I improve RSS? Three ideas (Interconnected)

We rely heavily on RSS to find things to read and keep up with The Noise on the Internet. We also tend to shun newsletters cos RSS is a much better tool for them and en’t nobody got time for yet more email.

We’re aware of other initiatives like JSON Feed but they require re-implementing RSS into something else. Maybe the solution is an evolution of what the protocol currently is?

Start with a proper name for the protocol though. Bonus points if someone figures it out how to make it recursive.

Gimme da (expensive) power

Although Fully Homomorphic Encryption makes things possible which otherwise would not be, it comes at a steep cost. Above, we can see charts indicating the additional compute power and memory resources required to operate on FHE-encrypted machine-learning models—roughly 40-50 times the compute and 10-20 times the RAM that would be required to do the same work on unencrypted models.

Source: IBM completes successful field trials on Fully Homomorphic Encryption | Ars Technica

Acquiring and maintaining this much computing power for FHE workloads is fucken expensive and that’s before you even start thinking about energy requirements for running this hardware and then cooling it.

Intel and AMD will be chomping at the bit to make us all buy new hardware though.

Y ora pa’onde?

No policy, though, would be able to stop the forces — climate, increasingly, among them — that are pushing migrants from the south to breach Mexico’s borders, legally or illegally. So what happens when still more people — many millions more — float across the Suchiate River and land in Chiapas? Our model suggests that this is what is coming — that between now and 2050, nearly 9 million migrants will head for Mexico’s southern border, more than 300,000 of them because of climate change alone.

Source: Where Will Everyone Go?

Mientras esto es lo que un modelo computacional prevee el Peje no quiere que le pregunten de nada a menos que sea sobre el avion.

Como emigrante leo esto y siento acongoje por el futuro que nos espera a todos. Mientras tanto, La Bestia sigue su implacable marcha.

damianwaynerocks: iroh: once, i told zuko that he needs to work on his inter turmoil. he screamed…

damianwaynerocks:
iroh: once, i told zuko that he needs to work on his inter turmoil. he screamed at me that he had no such inner turmoil, and then proceeded to go to a cliff during a thunderstorm to scream at God to strike him with lightning phantoms-lair:

Okay, but you’re missing the best part of this. silverscreenx:

fefeman:

I’m still stuck at the “batman has adoption papers in his utility belt”. jess-the-werefox:

*Zuko fighting the Joker* J: “wan na kno w h ow i go t thes e sc ar s” explorerrowan:

Zuko: Do you mind if I wear this blue demon mask? damianwaynerocks:

ok but if bruce wayne somehow came upon zuko fresh out of banishment he would lose his mind. black hair? check. bad parent(s)? check. trauma? double check. bruce: how’d you get your scar? zuko: my dad got mad at me for saying that killing people is wrong so he lit my face on fire and banished me.

bruce, vibrating with excitement, already pulling adoption papers from his utilility: that’s terrible. how do you feel about capes.

Bruce: *sniff, tear in his eye* Not at all.

Z: *rips off mask* i don’t give a fuck

“Quick, it’s time to use the Bat-adoption papers!”

Bat-option papers

Alfred and Iroh complimenting each other on tea while they discuss their overly dramatic children.

alfred: master bruce and i have that interaction at least three times per week.

Breakfast

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Breakfast

I want a drink and it’s not even 0700 yet

On this here blog I use a few things to help secure everything down and avoid issues, namely, nginx location blocks disallowing access to resources, fail2ban tracking nginx logs to prevent people hammering server or trying to do improper things, and the “Limit Login Attempts” WP plugin.

A combination of all these broke access with the wordpress mobile app. Ended up having to disable the wordpress fail2ban jail and altering some of the nginx directives.

This is going to be a pain in the ass to debug cos the wordpress app doesn’t have any kind of proper error messaging, urgh.

Huawei Hacked My Laptop? « Sunburnt Technology

Source: Huawei Hacked My Laptop? « Sunburnt Technology

At the end of the post the author does say:

I’m giving Huawei the benefit of doubt on this one. As a commenter suggested, it is probably a hack to run the GUI as root.

But we still have a problem with hardware manufactures thinking “oh we can just use root for everything and it’ll turn out alright!”, because they’re not familiar with the platform.

This is one instance where Microsoft was able to impose order and open source desktop environments need to start thinking about doing so, too.

Dramatic skies

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Dramatic skies

Some good, some bad

A similar process occurs in therapy. After a while, clients internalise the warmth and understanding of their therapist, turning it into an internal resource to draw on for strength and support. A new, compassionate voice flickers into life, silencing that of the inner critic – itself an echo of insensitive earlier attachment figures. But this transformation doesn’t come easy. As the poet WH Auden wrote in The Age of Anxiety (1947): “We would rather be ruined than changed.” It is the therapist’s job, as a secure base and safe haven, to guide clients as they journey into unfamiliar waters, helping them stay hopeful and to persist through the pain, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety and despair they might need to face.

Source: How you attach to people may explain a lot about your inner life | Science | The Guardian

We are all the voices of our past, then.

Another attempt at a note-taking workflow

In a previous post I mentioned one of the tools I use is Wiki.js. It was a great thing to learn how to set it up but… I was never entirely happy with it:

  • It’s somewhat slow on loading.
  • Not that customizable yet.
  • The update process is a total pain in the ass. They want you to use Docker and this ‘ere server can run it but performance wouldn’t be that nice.
  • On mobile I have to depend on the vagaries of whatever browser I’m using (Firefox) so I don’t get that good of an editing interface.
  • This is a private repository of knowledge so if it turns out wiki.js has a security issue my wiki is now at risk until I go through the pain of updating again.

So that’s that. I’d been playing with vimwiki since it’s text-based. After a bit of playing I was able to make it work nicely on the gVim instance I run on the Windows 10 desktop and the Ubuntu instance I run in WSL.

The mobile side of things was immensely helped along by Epsilon Notes, which blows iA Writer completely out of the water. Along the way I tried using Joplin which at first glance seems awesome but then you run into this issue:

Screencapture of JoplinApp filenames

Yes, I get the logic of completely unique filenames but it also means that I’m locked into the app. This is something people have complained about as it defeats all efforts at interoperability. I mean, these are fucken markdown files. And this is an open source app!

Oh right, it also uses its own WebDAV connection to the Nexcloud instance, so slow your roll.

So back to Epsilon. It’s got a few goodies:

  • Line numbers
  • CommonMark is the default markdown dialect.
  • It’s native to Android.
  • Let’s you use front matter for tags but doesn’t require it. I personally don’t care for it.
  • It sets up its own folder in the device filesystem which you can then sync with Nextcloud.

The workflow

All right, so this is what I have right now

vim/gvim

Assuming there’s already a working Windows gVim instance, a working WSL installation, and a working Nextcloud desktop client:

  1. Setup vim with vimwiki.
  2. Configure vimwiki to store its files in a directory being synced by the Nextcloud desktop client. For the sake of simplicity and avoid changing my .vimrc file unnecesarily in WSL/ubuntu I symlinked ~/vimwiki to the appropriate directory in Windows; this way the _vimrc file in gVim could remain the same. Using either vim instance gets me to the same location.
  3. Create your vimwiki index file: <Leader>ww, and save it. It should get picked up by Nextcloud.

Nextcloud

Using the web interface or the Android client, mark the vimwiki folder as a favorite so Nextcloud keeps it synced at all times. I don’t think there’s a way to do this in the desktop client yet.

Epsilon Notes

Assuming there’s already a working Nextcloud app

  1. Install Epsilon from the Play Store.
  2. Tap the folder icon on the top right and navigate to /storage/emulated/0/Android/media/com.nextcloud.client/nextcloud/USER@HOST/vimwiki/. If you have multiple Nextcloud accounts on the same app you’ll see all of those listed with a USER@HOST folder each and you can just jump between folders.

Another way of doing this is setting up custom folders but I think doing it this way makes for a simpler configuration. It’d probably be really useful you have multiple vimwikis or multiple Nextcloud accounts though.

Bonus: Servers

I have a couple of boxes that run headless and I also wanted to have my notes available on there. There isn’t a terminal Nextcloud client but I found Rclone. I could have used cadaver but Rclone is designed specifically for cloud file storage:

These instructions worked under my Debian 10 install:

  1. Install rclone and fuse3: sudo aptitude install rclone fuse3.
  2. Configure Rclone with rclone config. Documentation.
  3. Create an Rclone mount with something like
rclone --vfs-cache-mode writes mount NEXTCLOUD:/vimwiki ~/vimwiki --daemon

Which assumes NEXTCLOUD is what you named the remote configuration, your vimwiki directory lives at $HOME, and you want the connection to remain alive until you decide to stop it manually. The --vfs-cache-mode writes flag will enable some amount of caching. Documentation.
4. At this point you can access your vimwiki as if they were on the local filesystem.

Fucken awesome amirite

SO now we have wiki-like notes that can be edited on desktop, mobile, or server, using whichever editor you prefer. Another bonus: You’re not locked in to anything. I could edit notes on desktop with Notepad++, Sublime Text, or Atom. On mobile you can edit them with whatever text editor you end up with. On a server you can edit them natively with whatever you have at hand.

And in the sad event you don’t have anything you can still access them through the Nextcloud web interface. They even got a markdown editor but I’m not sure what dialect it uses.

The only thing I dont have anymore is a nice clean way to print these notes but this is where pandoc and a print.css file should be useful. If worst comes to worst I can always paste something into LibreOffice and just change the styling that way. Another thing I’ll have to change is how I search for things but since I do have access to the terminal I can always resort to grep if worst comes to worst.

Extras

I did have a few things that led me to try and avoid using web interfaces for this

  • The Website Obesity Crisis. Comments on reddit and Hacker News
  • The reckless, infinite scope of web browsers
  • I tried creating a web browser, and Google blocked me
  • Browser bloat has been a problem for a long, long time now.
  • The proliferation of browser-based text editors (StackEdit, Dillinger, Editor.md, WordPress) that try to do too much and they end up falling flat on their face cos nothing beats the responsiveness of editing locally.
  • The flipside of the above is I can use editors native to each platform. This post was typed on vim, then pasted into WP, for example. This makes for a much, much nicer editing experience specially when doing long-form text or to-do lists.
  • Avoiding lock-in. It was a drag to move from one platform to another and paste everything manually, cos all of these tools depend on locking you in.
  • Security. My Nextcloud instance is exposed to the Internet but I can always implement more things cos I control the network, the hardware, and the operating system.
  • Other people who were also on search of a good editing experience, like this, or this.
  • Easy migration of mark-up. I’m trying to use editors that support CommonMark since that way I can always be more or less sure of how something is going to look if I export it elsewhere, and I have the freedom of switching to something else like ReStructured Text or AsciiDoc, which I have considered.

I’m super excited about this. My notes en’t locked in anywhere and they’re all in plain-text, which is the only thing guaranteed to not change in the next 20 years,

“you can have backwards compatibility with the 1990s or you can have sound cryptography; you can’t have both.”

Cryptography engineers have been tearing their hair out over PGP’s deficiencies for (literally) decades. When other kinds of engineers get wind of this, they’re shocked. PGP is bad? Why do people keep telling me to use PGP? The answer is that they shouldn’t be telling you that, because PGP is bad and needs to go away.

Source: Latacora – The PGP Problem

I knew PGP was bad and had avoided it cos I knew of its eldritch complexity of integration but I didn’t know about the rest.

Figures that Thunderbird is planning on integrating it as a built-in function.

They should probably use something else, methinks.

Lapas con rifles

Source: Special Report: Drug cartel ‘narco-antennas’ make life dangerous for Mexico’s cell tower repairmen – Reuters

Ahora con eso que el mugre peje no quiere confrontación de cualquier clase con los carteles, que pueden hacer las empresas?

Si los empleados hacen algo mal, los matan. Si la empresa hace algo mal, la balean o secuestran. Mientras tanto los costos de energía siguen y siguen.

Mal asunto de cualquier forma que se mire.