Backup of David's Google+ Posts

Welcome to my Google+ archive!

This is like a time capsule of my Google+ posts from 2011 to 2018. Here are some things I like about the archive:

  • Adaptive design. (Looks fine on computer and phone.)
  • Easy navigation. Swipe left or right, or use arrow keys, or use WASD or vim keys to navigate.
  • It keeps some of the look and feel of my Google+ site.
  • Entire site is static. No frameworks. It should be very fast.
And here are some notable posts:

Feel free to browse around!

Brown-Eyed Girl originally shared:

I never intentionally set foot on the path to becoming a graybeard. However, I can't help but notice I have to reconcile with the differences in the following different *nix variants in my every day life:

DreamHost: Ubuntu
Raspberry Pi: Debian
Work: Fedora
Macintosh: Darwin
Windows: Cygwin

One of my quirks? I handcraft the GET parameters for the local library's URLs to keep tabs on when new volumes of my favorite trade paperbacks come in. For example, here's a query for some of the trades I follow:

I guess you could call them artisanal links.

Search | Santa Clara County Library | BiblioCommons

Joyce, we've moved into our new digs at your old work on Winchester Circle! Sometimes I wonder if I've got your old cube. I'm on the first floor of Building B. Where were you?

We'll be walking over to building D tomorrow for a weekly sync.

If you encrypt a 7z archive with 7z's encryption, attackers can still navigate the hierarchy of the archive, it's only the compressed files within the hierarchy that are encrypted. So you can leave messages to the attackers in the names of the directories. I like to imagine the president having an archive of nuclear launch codes that he mis-named as, but left a message to the attackers like in the picture below. (A real picture of an encrypted zip file in Google Drive.)

If you want your encrypted archive to be opaque, you have to make the tarball first, then encrypt that in a second step. #security  

1 comment
One of the things that made my Dead Man's Switch trigger is that it stopped knowing what I listen to.

Up until April 29, 2013, the Audio Scrobbler scrobbled both what music I listen to, and what podcasts I listen to. (Scrobbling is making a note of what was listened to. It keeps a record.)

Then Apple split podcasts out of the Music app into its own Podcast app. (One of the most horrible Skeuomorphism abominations of all time.) This had the effect that podcasts would never be scrobbled again.

Fine. At least songs would still be scrobbled. Then Apple updated iOS breaking scrobbability of songs.

Fine. Sergey Pershenkov released QuietScrob, restoring the ability of to scrobble the songs I listen to, if not the podcasts.

Then, with much fanfare, released a new site. And neglected to turn back on the 1.0 API, and never announced one way or another whether it was coming back. (The 1.0 API included an RSS feed that my lifestream watched for the songs that were scrobbled.)

Fine, then I'd apply to become a 2.0 developer and get an API key. But, wait for it,'s "Get an API account" link is broken.

Shoot me now.

The good news about API keys? People are always posting their API keys in community forums or open source repo's. So I'm borrowing one until gets their ducks back in a row.

In the end, my lifestream keeps track of my music scrobbles again! Yay!

2015-09-27, 08:32 0s OK 2015-09-27, 04:32 0s OK 2015-09-27, 00:32 ...

For her birthday, Lillian took the family on a balloon ride with +Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides. They run a great operation, and our pilot, Jeff, was friendly and professional. We all loved it. Lillian's birthdays are the best!
Click through for more pictures.

This is what happens when code you wrote five years ago wakes up now and tries to interact with the new world. This is the true story of my 5-year-old #python  Dead Man's Switch triggering last week.

Oh, Damn it. This is the reason not to update software.

In 2010, I wrote a Dead Man's Switch, inspired by +Daniel Suarez's Daemon. One of the things it does is post to a couple of blogs. One is Habari, and one is Wordpress, and it uses the AtomPub API to publish to both since they share the API.

In 2012, WordPress not only deprecated the AtomPub API in v3.5, it removed it from the Core. I updated WordPress with each release, as many were security fixes. I didn't know that they removed the API that my Dead Man's Switch uses, so I didn't know I was breaking its connection with my DMS.

Luckily(?), my Dead Man's Switch triggered last week because I've been heads-down at work and at home, and it threw an exception when trying to publish to my WordPress blog.

Not only am I going to fix the connection to WordPress, I'll probably fix the handling of the error, because as it is, the one failure would block the continuation of the daemon's work. Nice to catch that, I guess.

A while back, I read Feynman by Jim Ottaviani because Donald Knuth mentioned it on his Retirement page.

I've just enqueued Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" and "Homeland" because that's what Edward Snowden was reading while in Hong Kong in Citizenfour.

Is it OK to correct spelling when the article is about higher education? Mic Cullen writes "lead is buried" and I'm trying to let it go... But the conventional spelling is "lede".

My Generation is Just Awful, and Colleges are Making it Worse — Autonomous Magazine

1 comment
My thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack? They used bcrypt, too, and there's talk of the passwords still being decrypted. This is the first time a technology I trusted is at the center of something like this.

Also, I'm amused by Avid Life Media condemning the release of the data, "act of criminality ... illegal this ... criminal that". While true, that's such a smaller problem than all those relationships in need of repair or dissolution. I'm talking about the original lies by the cheaters, not the release of data. My heartbreak is for all those people who felt they couldn't be honest to their spouses and for those spouses.

A Shakespeare command-line reference.

(tail -F /var/log/sound & tail -F /var/log/fury) 1>/dev/null 2>&1

Google motto 2004: Don't be evil
Google motto 2010: Evil is tricky to define
Google motto 2013: We make military robots
Google motto 2015: We are the Alpha and the Omega

A continuation of Brent Butt's 2013 tweet, after they bought Boston Dynamics, In 2015, their umbrella company, Alphabet, has the URL

Brent Butt on Twitter

I hope my kids take this advice to heart.

Yonatan Zunger originally shared:
In the past 16 years, Jon Stewart has reshaped both comedy and journalism around the world. This may seem an unlikely pairing, but if you think about it, it makes a certain sense: the jester's job, like the reporter's, is to tell uncomfortable truths out loud. Tonight he signed off from his show for the last time, and closed it with a speech worth remembering.

I look forward to the day when schoolchildren are reciting this for their history classes.

Since there isn't yet captioning available, I'll transcribe it here:

"Bullshit is everywhere.

There is very little that you will encounter in life that has not been in some way infused with bullshit.

Not all of it bad; your general, day-to-day, organic free-range bullshit is often necessary, or at the very least innocuous. "Oh, what a beautiful baby! I'm sure it'll grow into that... head." That kind of bullshit in many ways provides important social contract fertilizer, and keeps people from making each other cry all day.

But then there's the more pernicious bullshit: your premeditated, institutional bullshit, designed to obscure and distract. Designed by whom? The bullshitocracy. It comes in three basic flavors.

One, making bad things sound like good things. "Organic, all-natural cupcakes." Because "factory-made sugar-oatmeal balls" doesn't sell. "PATRIOT Act." Because "are you scared enough to let me look at all your phone records act" doesn't sell. So whenever something's been titled "Freedom-Family-Fairness-Health-America," take a good long sniff. Chances are, it's been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit.

Number two: hiding the bad things under mountains of bullshit. Complexity. "You know, I would love to download Drizzy's latest Meek Mill diss," (everyone promised me that made sense) "but I'm not really interested right now in reading Tolstoy's iTunes agreement. So I'll just click 'Agree.' Even if it grants Apple prima noctae with my spouse."

Here's another one: simply put, banks shouldn't be able to bet your pension money on red. Bullshitly put: it's -- hey! this! Dodd-Frank. Hey, a handful of billionaires can't buy our elections, right? Of course not. They can only pour unlimited anonymous cash into a 501(c)(4) if 50% is devoted to issue education. Otherwise, they'd have to 501(c)(6) it, or funnel it openly through a non-campaign-coordinating SuperPAC, with a coordinating.... [stage whisper I think they're asleep now. We can sneak out.]

And finally, it's the Bullshit of Infinite Possibility. These bullshitters cover their unwillingness to act under the cover of unending inquiry. "We can't do anything, because we don't yet know everything! We cannot yet take action on climate change, until everyone in the world agrees gay marriage vaccines won't cause our children to marry goats who are gonna come for our guns. Until then, I say, teach the controversy!"

Now, the good news is this: Bullshitters have gotten pretty lazy, and their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time. Like an I Spy of Bullshit. 

So I say to you, friends: The best defense against bullshit is vigilance. So if you smell something, say something."