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    BORP an object from the future with AI that understands everything and removes the need for programming. Every program can be reduced to two calls- BORP.get() to get all data needed and understand everything and BORP.do() to do everything. This was created to represent some combination of 1) an idyllic future state where programming is easy; 2) a cynical reference every time some product promised a “no code” environment like “I saw the demo of that new analytics tool, it guess they finally implemented BORP to actually work”: 3) a joke call and response with managers who would create schedules assuming that BORP worked

    blargh any string, activity, or noun where the content was not important for the conversation. “I wrote this blargh that makes sure the input gets mapped to the output”

    functional narrative “use case” and “user story” were deemed too jargony one day and couldn’t be referenced anywhere on the chance that it confused the client, so we came up with this term. Oddly it was deemed not jargon and started being used in various works. I was very happy when we had a visitor who asked what the fuck a functional narrative was, the manager spent a few minutes trying to explain it. A developer eventually leaned forward and said “it’s a use case” and the visitor said “why don’t you just say that.”

    1. 2

      I use something like BORP a lot when explaining things that need to be built to other engineers, except I usually call it “PBM” or “AM” – for “purpose-built magic” and “accidental magic” resp.

      So we’ve got machine X here doing PBM to connect the Y and Z services together.


      What is the AM around this service?

      to mean “Show me the weird parts of this service.”

      Mostly it’s used for things that are complicated, perhaps even necessarily complicated, but usually just a result of organic growth over many years. AM came first, but I use PBM more these days. AM also variantly means “Arcane Magic”, “Asinine magic” or any other fun variant I come up with on the day.

    1. 3

      Probably the main one I use a lot is “Order Imports”, it comes from a phrase I use when training people for dealing with some of the safety-critical parts of the application my team supports, “In chaotic situations, order is an import commodity.” The idea is to remind people that you can’t “Grow your own order” when things get chaotic, you have to rely on borrowing it from other people, or have a stockpile of it handy. Your goal in most situations isn’t to solve the problem yourself, but be the person who can quickly and expertly expend your reserve of order to acquire more, and then spend the sum of it to solve the problem you can’t afford to solve alone. In my work, a number of our systems have a “TTK” (another entry for my personal jargon file), a TTK is the length of time before unavailability of a service results in significant harm to a user of the service. Working in a safety-critical environment is about managing a very certain kind of stress very efficiently, so having a good model for what is actual required of you in those high-stress situations is important.

      1. 1

        Do you have a link anywhere that documents that idea of importing order? I’d like to hear some more about it, and/or have it fleshed out/clarified a bit mroe.

        1. 3

          No, it’s just something I came up with when on a midnight call w/ a junior guy. He was pretty frustrated that I wasn’t as stressed out as him, and I was trying to explain what I was doing and how I was handling it.

          The problem he was having was that he was so focused on trying to solve each new problem himself, “I have to jump on to this machine and then execute on that machine and review these logs to find blah blah” that he didn’t step back and think to delegate or try to see the bigger picture. Oftentimes when things go wrong, they go wrong in a constellation of errors that is recognizable without actually having to review any given error. He was so focused on the chaos that he spent all his reserved order trying to solve each problem and was left without any resources to move solve the root problem.

          Part of that is inexperience, but part of it was having a bad model of what it is we were hired to do. Most often the right answer to a problem is to ask someone else to solve it. Often the imported commodity is of better quality than the domestic. The point of the phrase (it actually comes with a second part, “In calm situations, order is an export commodity.” – a thing that mostly has value when you can give it to someone else), was to emphasize the need to recognize that the problem was bigger than he was and he needed to focus on marshaling resources effectively.

          The idea kind of comes from a concept in psychology about interpersonal relationships, as well. The idea is that we all have a kind of ‘square’ which delineates what we are responsible for, and what others are responsible for. In this square, we grow our own resources. Our own crop of happiness and resilience. Occasionally you may find someone who needs to borrow from your square because something has happened to theirs, e.g., when a friend leans on you for support after a traumatic experience. The metaphor extends in lots of ways – if we think about chaotic situations as a kind of traumatic experience, the real damage done is rarely to the system, but to the people in it. To that end, the goal as the point person on that chaotic situation (in our case, we’re part of an on-call team for a safety-critical product) isn’t to put out the fire, but rather to organize the bucket-brigade.

          As an example, a recent issue (not rising to the level of an outage) involved a kind of pathological use case which knocked over a webserver every couple of minutes by rapidly (MB/s) wrote to a couple logfiles. Our alerting system lit up like a tree, and I get a call as the primary on-call guy. Couple people are working (based in another TZ, it’s early morning for me, late morning for them). They have order in good supply, I have very little in reserve, so while they’re not expert on the particular systems with failures, they are smart folks so I pull them on a call and start talking through what’s happening – borrowing their awake brains to do the task of debugging while I just drive around. In that situation I am coming to their square and taking their resources, but the problem gets resolved quickly and the total amount of resources we had to spend were far more minimal due to the fact that I didn’t wait for me to scrounge up enough order to solve the problem.

          It’s not a novel concept, it’s just a way of looking and justifying something that can feel bad. It’s not uncommon to not want to take from someone what you could, in theory, provide for yourself; but the point of having teams is to have a system of mutual dependence precisely for chaotic situations where it is more expensive to not rely on others. Looking at it in an economic metaphor helps, in my experience, clarify why it’s okay to think in these terms and not be afraid to import order when you need it.

          1. 2

            That’s actually a pretty good metaphor, and a good way of expressing it, IMO. (and novel ways of expressing known ideas are also valuable). Definitely going to feature it in my best-of feed.

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        Boring: A praise for things that could go very badly and haven’t. As a teenager I joked that I want to be boring to doctors, lawyers, and police because, if I’m not, something is terribly wrong in my life. I’ve been using the term this way ever since. In August I got a performance review at work that was boring: I knew everything that would come up in it and believed it was fair. On Lobsters, almost all of our deploys and database migrations have been boring, and all but a dozen users are boring at any given time.

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          I end up talking to auditors a lot, $work’s product is highly regulated so there’s a lot of time spent talking about processes and regulations and so on. One of the lines that comes up is something to the effect of, “We try very hard to be boring and reliable, so sorry for this being a pretty uninteresting part of your audit today.” Usually gets a laugh or two, but it’s very true, in my world, it’s best to aspire to be as boring as possible.

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          • turdlets: unrequested, unwanted output files generated by poorly-written programs that litter their users’ filesystems (may also include editor backup files, e.g. *~, .*.swp). “Stupid Acrobat Reader’s leaving turdlets in my $HOME again.”

          • splat: an inverse of snarf. “Snarf that blob from the file and splat it into memory at 0xf00dface.”

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            I always called turdlets, “raisins” due to a very funny (but unfortunate) story that involves my sister, a pet rabbit, a some culinary mistakes that occurred.

            It cracks me up every time and that makes it so I don’t get mad at the programs leaving raisins all over.

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            As an amateur astronomer, this is a ‘big deal’ for completely different reasons… tens of thousands of (effectively) mirrors in low Earth orbit is going to really fuck up amateur astrophotography.

            1. 8

              Tens of thousands more, I already have lost more than my share of frames to the wandering satellite or plane, shoving more shit up there is not something I’m looking forward to.

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                They’re going to do a pretty bang up job of fucking up professional astronomy as well.

                1. 1

                  Unfettered high-speed internet access provided by these LEO satellites would do a great service to democratizing highspeed internet access globally. However, if there is a constant reflection from thousands of satellites hurling across the night sky, that would be a huge negative.

                  However, it seems to me that spacex is genuinely concerned about the light pollution ( Or.. is it inverse light pollution? ) Here’s an article about that, https://spacenews.com/spacex-astronomers-working-to-address-brightness-of-starlink-satellites/

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                    How is it ‘democratizing’ if it’s 100% controlled by a private company that can be legally 100% controlled by the US?

                    1. 1

                      As a citizen of the US, I have hopes that the traffic sent through the starlink cluster will be less monitored than the current hegemony of ISP’s, particular because the logistics of tapping into the data being carried would be much more complex than say, a centralized point like room 641A https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

                      1. 2

                        particular because the logistics of tapping into the data being carried would be much more complex than say, a centralized point like room 641A https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

                        Is this going to be a completely separate network from the global internet? If not, then there will be at least 1 room 641A (the point(s) where packets from users are passed from satellite to a ground dish plugged into some ISP)

                        Sure, it’ll probably be a step up from the current situation but as a citizen of the US, I have severe doubts that this will turn out to be a utopia of freedom. I guess I don’t understand what you mean by ‘democratizing’ in this context.

                        1. 1

                          Regarding my initial use of the word democratizing, I meant that this will offer faster service, as well as offer consumers an alternative choice to rural areas in the US and around the world. But to be honest, the main reason I’m excited about this is because it complicates blanket nation-state snooping and I suspect it may help catalyze unfiltered internet access in countries that impose internet restrictions, not legally of course, but technically.

                          1. 1

                            because it complicates blanket nation-state snooping

                            Well, that was basically my whole point above. If you are in North Korea or China and using it illegally, then yes it will (as you pointed out). However if you aren’t, then you will definitely be subject to snooping by the US and other N-eyes nations with agreements with the US. So it really only ‘helps’[0] those who are in nations that don’t have snoop agreements with the US.

                            1. and in those cases, it merely exchanges 1 snooper for another, granted the other is probably not in a position to immediately inflict damage on you
                1. 2

                  I have a few of them, they run my HomeAssistant server, a Plex server, an Octopi server (which goes mostly unused) and another that drives whatever weird project I’m working on. They’re nice for just testing out things. I’d like to see at some point about trying to integrate a touch-enabled screen and making one that I can use at my little baking area to store recipes and stuff on, right now I use an iPad which works okay but turns off at inopportune times and also gets appropriated by my wife when she wants to play games on it. Something dedicated would be nice.

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                    This seems very finicky. If you want something really reliable I would consider options that don’t rely on electronics booting up.

                    Some ideas:

                    • Stamped metal (there are punch kits available on Amazon for <$50)
                    • Paper (human readable or machine encoded)
                    • DNS (Namecheap lets you set up auto-renew and store a few hundred dollars in a balance. Drop in some encrypted TXT records and 10 years is very realistic)
                    • Optic disc (Blu-ray or M-Disc)

                    Any of these options can be recovered from any device you have in 10 years. Also, if you’re asking a friend to store this for you, they’ll definitely prefer a slim envelope over a laptop.

                    1. 4

                      Yeah - agree this is overthinking it.

                      If you don’t want to feed your passwords through a possibly-compromised printer, spend 30 minutes with a piece of acid-free artists paper and write them all down. Do it twice. Lock one of them in a safe in your house, and one in a safe at a trusted persons house.

                      With the right forensic techniques, that will still be recoverable even if it has burned or several thousand years have passed (but probably not both).

                      1. 3

                        Safety Deposit Boxes run ~30-60$/year depending on where you look and how big. Better option than a home safe, IMO, since those are really not much more than deterrents from a would-be attacker.

                        That said, if you aren’t storing the launch codes probably home safe is fine. For sensitive documents like this though, a deposit box at a good sized bank gets you active security, monitoring, and relatively easy access if you ever need it.

                        1. 4
                          1. 3

                            I think this is a case where you are both right. Safe deposit boxes are clearly not secure for valuables. But the threat model here is probably not a dedicated attacker trying to steal your password - unless you are indeed that special ;)

                            When I had an apartment broken into years ago, I lost personal electronics, a jar of coins, and the personal safe I’d just purchased earlier that week to store passports and what not. It was (luckily) empty but locked, so it presented an appealing target for a thief hoping something good was inside. That inadvertent loss of your passwords would be a risk with a personal safe.

                            Safe deposit boxes have another property you may consider an advantage in this case: they can be opened by the executor of your estate. Mine has (among other things) a written copy of my master password to my password manager. I was sure to include it knowing my personal files will be accessible in the event of my death.

                            1. 3

                              (I’m going to reply to you, but it’s really a reply to both you and njha)

                              Exactly, There’s a big difference between storing watches in a SDB vs a couple bits of paper. That said, the real security principle here is that you should never have a single-point-of-failure. If you only store your stuff in a single way, then you are at risk of exactly the situation the article shows. What the article doesn’t show; or, in fact, shows the opposite of is that SDBs are resilient to theft:

                              Of the 19,000 bank robberies reported to the F.B.I. in the last five years, only 44 involved safe-deposit heists.

                              It’s certainly not zero, but again – in our model we’re storing a couple bits of paper which are meaningless out of context. Depending on how paranoid you are you might have multiple boxes with a n-k style recoverable password (i.e., you have n boxes of which you must recover at least k to get any meaningful information from them), further insulating you from the problems presented in the article.

                              I guess my point is just to re-iterate yours, SDBs are not for valuables, they’re are other services for that that offer insurance and higher liability assumption at accordingly higher cost, but for a slip of paper with (maybe part of) a password on it? An SDB is great for that.

                      2. 2

                        I agree, if the USB-c is and an SSD are prefer nces/requirements, then then there is no point in having the laptop. An SSD with with an USB case would suffice.

                        Metal stamp is another cool option. And has the bonus of being fun. A few years ago, I bought army dog tags and a metal stamping kit and saved my Bitcoin seeds in hex format. Although I have since sold the coins, I kept the tags for nostalgia. It did gave me piece of mind at the time.

                        1. 1

                          None of these are even remotely similar to what I was asking about, or solve the problem.

                          1. 2

                            I need a new scheme for getting my passwords back in the unlikely event all my gadgets die

                            I’m confused. Everything I suggested solves this problem. That seemed to be what you were asking about. What is the actual problem you’re trying to solve?

                            1. 1

                              Finding the right kind of shitty laptop is the problem I’m trying to solve. The motivation for that was included just to explain why I don’t care about performance, why I do care about power interoperability, and why I want a complete laptop rather than some slapdash taped-together RPi solution. I don’t need 10 people telling me to “put a disk drive and/or letter in the cupboard” which is an obvious suggestion that I don’t think fits my needs, otherwise I wouldn’t be here hoping to find somebody who’s stumbled on a laptop that fits what I’m asking.

                              I tried looking online for something based on keywords and google, but “cheap laptops” isn’t exactly a spam-free subject area, so I came here looking for recommendations.

                              1. 2

                                Finding the right kind of shitty laptop is the problem I’m trying to solve

                                I need a new scheme for getting my passwords back in the unlikely event all my gadgets die

                                We are answering the question you asked. Frankly, rather than being a dick, you should look at some of the suggestions and consider them: storing a backup laptop under your bed for 10 years in the unlikely event you’ll need it is a hell of a lot riskier than trying some of the good ideas here.

                                But what the heck, you want a shitty laptop? Today is Cyber Monday in the USA. Shitty laptops are a dime a dozen. Get one and hope it works, I guess!

                                1. 2

                                  I’ll add that the failure rate keeps increasing as hardware gets newer. The storage might not last 10 years. If it boots at all, it could have bit errors that corrupt the passwords.

                        1. 1


                          • Mirzakhani: Custom built rig, 64GB Ram, i7-8700k, nvidia 2080, m2 drives, the works. Mostly gets used for video games.
                          • Kepler: Cheapass Acer laptop off of amazon, drives my astronomy rig.
                          • Conway: A currently-in-pieces custom rig that I’m turning into a password cracker for recreational pentesting (this was my previous main machine)
                          • The Eigenpad: iPad mini which is basically our kitchen computer.
                          • Max: My Wife’s iMac she never uses.
                          • About 6 thousand Ras Pi’s, including:
                            • Hass, home automation stuff
                            • Plex, running a plex server
                            • Astro, currently getting set up to supplement Kepler so my astro rig doesn’t need so many wires flying around


                          • Ramsey: Mac Pro with the fake escape key. I honestly kinda hate it, the built quality from Apple has dropped off significantly. I do most of my work on Mirzakhani when I can help it.
                          1. 2


                            Ramsey: Mac Pro with the fake escape key. I honestly kinda hate it, the built quality from Apple has dropped off significantly. I do most of my work on Mirzakhani when I can help it.

                            I agree. I’m coming around to the idea that Apple never ACTUALLY cared about the non Apple developer demographic, and we were just a kind of accidental “freebie”. Apparently the recent changes really appeal to creatives - e.g. folks doing video / sound editing or lots of writing. I dunno. For my person use I’ve given up and bought an Alienware laptop that I’m delighted iwth :)

                            1. 2

                              Yah, $work requires I’m on a mac, but practically it sits on my desk and I do almost everything on a VM on the big machine. Doesn’t hurt I’ve got a 3-monitor battlestation vs the puny 15” screen. :D

                              1. 1

                                I’m in the same boat but I have my 34” monitor and mechanical keyboard set up using a simple USB switch so that I can hook my work MBP up to it and just switch inputs on the monitor and flip the USB switch and I’m golden.

                                Much simpler, cheaper and less hassle than the traditional KVM route since the whole idea is falling by the wayside given the high bandwidth of most high powered video setups.

                          1. 15

                            Without further context, this just looks like RMS is being insufficiently socially aware to realize that being pedantic about rape vs. statutory rape is inappropriate in this context; wrong time and place to go into that conversation.

                            But there’s not actually enough context, so this doesn’t change my opinion from “RMS is extremely pedantic and principled and sometimes that’s a problem”.

                            ETA: Also, not impressed with this bit:

                            and then he says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be “entirely willing”

                            No, the email fragment says that she may have presented as willing. Regardless of what you think of RMS, Minsky, etc. those are extremely different statements, and it’s dangerous to conflate them. That actually makes it harder to solve the problem of human trafficking.

                            1. 5

                              Without further context, this just looks like RMS is being insufficiently socially aware to realize that being pedantic about rape vs. statutory rape is inappropriate in this context; wrong time and place to go into that conversation.

                              I think our subculture should get over this idea that we have special privileges when it comes to social interactions. If we fuck up in code, we (usually) take the blame and move on. Why do we (some of/most of us/well, me at least sometimes and RMS apparently all the time) tend to just shrug when we fuck up socially?

                              1. 9

                                I guess I should be more clear: RMS being persistently socially awkward is actually plenty of reason for him not to be a figurehead. I’m mostly objecting to this article spinning that email fragment into something like “RMS is supporting pedos”.

                                Reliance on heroes tends to be problematic over time.

                                1. 4

                                  The critical mistake that rms made, that you make here too, is a failure to employ code-switching when discussing matters that are inescapably emotional.

                                  Whoops, me too! I meant to say, that issue is so hot that you can either speak against pedos or say nothing–it ain’t necessarily logical but every fool knows that you can’t post stuff like he did on his homepage and expect to remain the leader of an international organization. Like duh. Case closed. Can’t believe it didn’t happen EARLIER.

                                  Seriously, if you’re* the sort of person who never lets go of precision-in-language long enough to say anything like “nope, that’s just 100% wrong and I don’t even need to explain why”, then you will inevitability get tripped up down the road by a mob of people who do. Don’t get Stallman’d, friends! Feelings MATTER.

                                  * I mean you the reader, not necessarily you ‘saturn’. :)

                                  1. 1

                                    Yeah, it’s a topic I won’t actually discuss on the internet, in general. Nothing good can come of it. It’s probably dangerous to even say “hey, that guy over there has an unpopular opinion on this and I’m going to say literally anything other than a condemnation of him”, but I decided to cross that line this week.

                                    (Also, for posterity: Since this article came out, I have seen 1) more context, and 2) a lot of history of how RMS has been an utter creep to women. Bear in mind that my previous comments were not made with that information available.)

                              2. 2

                                Here is some additional context for you about his thoughts on pedophilia. I didn’t know this until I searched on stallman.org. It’s there in plain sight.

                                  1. 3

                                    I think it’s OK for people to disagree on this. I might not agree with them, but I’m not going to call for someone’s ouster just because they have a different belief on age of consent. Because look, it sounds like he’s talking about teenagers, which is hardly a thing to bring out the pitchforks over. US states have varying laws in the 15 to 18 range.

                                    1. 2

                                      Why do you think he is talking about teenagers?

                                      1. 5

                                        The phrase “parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing” could have been lifted out of any number of discussions I’ve heard of parents who are uncomfortable with the idea that their teenager is experimenting with sex.

                                        I don’t think there’s enough information there to damn him.

                                        1. 2

                                          Support for teenagers having sex with adults is damning still though… why are we debating this in 2019?

                                          1. 11

                                            19 is “teenager”, but that’s okay? 17 years and 364 days is underage, but 18 years and 1 day is age of consent. Perhaps it was different for you, but when I turned 18 there was no “magic moment” where I was somehow more wise or capable. In quite a few jurisdictions the age of consent is 17 or 16.

                                            Besides, what is an “adult”? 18? 20? 25? 30?

                                            The entire thing is tricky. There are no easy answers and there is an uncomfortable grey area.

                                            Why do you think he is talking about teenagers?

                                            Who do you think he is not talking about teenagers? The thing that disturbs me about this entire affair is that the author takes everything rms said in the most bad faith way possible, immediately assuming to all sorts of conclusions about what he meant, even though that’s not very clear from what he actually said. The claim that rms made “excuses about rape, assault, and child sex trafficking” is a very long stretch, unless you are trying to find that in his comments.

                                            1. 7

                                              Also, I should point out this more recent entry: https://stallman.org/archives/2019-jul-oct.html#14_September_2019_(Sex_between_an_adult_and_a_child_is_wrong)

                                              « Many years ago I posted that I could not see anything wrong about sex between an adult and a child, if the child accepted it.

                                              Through personal conversations in recent years, I’ve learned to understand how sex with a child can harm per psychologically. This changed my mind about the matter: I think adults should not do that. I am grateful for the conversations that enabled me to understand why. »

                                              Yours was 13 years ago, and this one is this past week. People can grow and learn and change.

                                              1. 1

                                                A half-hearted “I guess I was wrong” that refutes four or five previous comments means very little to me without some type of analysis into why you were wrong or what changed your position.

                                                A half-hearted “I guess I was wrong” as you are receiving justified criticism? I don’t see growth and change and learning, I see deflection and minimization.

                                                A half-hearted “I guess I was wrong” as you are receiving justified criticism, followed up by a “I didn’t really do anything wrong but I’m going to fall on my sword (how noble)”? Suuuuuure, you’ve changed!

                                                1. 2

                                                  From all the examples of RMS’ behaviour that have led up to this moment, you think he’s finally going to “deflect and minimize” instead of vehemently defend his position?

                                                  You appear to be acting in bad faith.

                                          2. 1

                                            Why do you think he is talking about teenagers?

                                            Because he has made other statements like:

                                            1. Calling Epstein and friends “serial rapists”
                                            2. He has stated in the past that if one can argue that if a child is too young to refuse or give consent, or unaware that they can refuse due to various reasons (positions of power and/or the adult/child power relationship being some of them), that one could and should view that as being non-voluntary and/or rape.
                                            3. He has clarified what he means multiple times.
                                            4. He dissects the group of pedophiles to narrow in on a very specific subset of classifications in which “all the stars align on a clear night with a full moon” and still does not explicitly rule out that the activities could be harmful. But you do have to hunt around and read multiple of his statements to get a clearer picture of what he might really be thinking. It simply does not fit in one post or e-mail.

                                            There is pretty much only one age-group that fits the bill after processing all this information, which is the group of teenagers from 14 to 17. (By all means, correct me if I’m wrong and/or if I have missed something, but please use primary sources only).

                                            In this group there exists a huge variation in how far the individuals have progressed in their development. Some teens voluntarily have their first sexual experience at the age of 14, others wait until they are 16 or 17, and yet others wait until 25 or even never have a sexual experience during their lifetime.

                                            The whole point of puberty is that people experiment during that phase in their lives. Some of them might experiment with people whom are much older than they themselves are. He acknowledges that those kinds of people exist and he acknowledges that those experiments could be voluntary and he doesn’t want to take away the freedom of those who want to experiment like that. He also states that these cases “do not necessarily have to be harmful” but he also never rules out that they are not harmful. He even tends towards the default case of “yes it is harmful” in most cases by far.

                                            However, when I count all the variables involved:

                                            1. It has to be someone to young to consent.
                                            2. It has to be someone who consciously knows what he/she is getting into.
                                            3. It has to be someone who knows that he or she can say no.
                                            4. It has to be someone who is confident enough to say no.
                                            5. It has to be someone who is not pressured into the act.
                                            6. It has to be someone who is voluntarily getting into the act.
                                            7. And the list goes on and on….

                                            I have to conclude that we are considering a proposition with so many variables that we are way past the point of what most individuals can mentally buffer and/or process. Cognitive psychology tells us the average person can buffer about 4 variables before the others tend to fade from memory (see Matlin or Coursera’s “learning how to learn”-course for sources on this), here we are already processing 6 and we are not even close to the required number of variables yet. This also means that the average person can probably not precisely define which cases they are discussing. Getting outraged and causing a lynch-mob is usually the easier solution. Yet Stallman does seem to buffer, process and understand all those variables which denote different shades of white, black and grey in the overall picture. He has also demonstrated in the past that he can change his opinion about controversial topics.

                                            Yet this doesn’t change the fact that we are speaking about a number of cases in which “all the stars align” that is so small, can be considered a negligible number, while the number of cases in which something goes wrong is huge by comparison.

                                            If you were to argue that because of this, it makes sense to create blanket legislation which essentially states “Everyone 18 years of age or older should refrain from any form of sexual activity with anyone younger than 18 years and everyone who violates this is a sex offender”, I would probably agree with you if I had never given this topic any thought before.

                                            However this isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this topic and therefore I know that reality is never quite cut that clearly. The world is made up of all kinds of shades of white, grey and black and just thinking in black and white is simply not going to work out well for everybody.

                                            It is exactly the kind of naive and uninformed blanket legislation I mentioned two paragraphs before and the black/white thinking that is on display in the same paragraph and the one before that one, that Stallman is advocating against. The message he has been sending for his entire life can be summarized as: “We must not forget about the edge cases in society that do not fit our current systems.”

                                            Ironically this is exactly what the people who threw Stallman under the bus are pretending to advocate, but they fail to see that Stallman is actually sending the same message on a much bigger variety of topics than they themselves are and that he has been doing so for a much longer time span.

                                            This brings me to the core of “what I perceive is going on here”.

                                            They see a white man in a position of power and therefore he has to go down. He has debated a few controversial topics which no one can ever fully debate in 180 characters. Let’s take him down on that and call him a sex offender or a defender of sex offenders!

                                            Note how this nicely fits within the average of 4 variables most people can buffer… And if you scream this loud enough and often enough, many people will simply believe it and therefore develop a bias against everything that will follow after.

                                            To me this looks like a dirty power play to set an example and oust one of tech’s most prominent figures.

                                            This figure conveniently also happens to be the guy who runs the foundation that builds the tools many others can use stay independent of big corporations (and others in general) and helps them to stay in charge of the technology they (should) own, because they bought it with their own (often hard earned) money.

                                            You also appear to be completely blind to the fact that many victims of sexual or domestic abuse or even sex-trafficing rings, quite often have to turn to GNU-software because it operates separately from everything else and because it provides them with the controls they need to get away from their abusers. Software which operates on licenses that Stallman developed, precisely to fit these types of cases.

                                            I won’t say I am triggered, because I’m not and I can handle a fierce discussion without assigning any blame, or negative personality traits to the other party I’m talking to.

                                            But I am sick through my nose about; 1) the power-play I have seen playing out before in the last few days and 2) the hysterical and nauseating opinions that have been put on display in this thread out of a blatant lack of thought and preparation with which some, including you, Selam Jie Gano and others of the same political partition, are judging others and are willing to start a smear campaign which ultimately destroys a person and/or a whole group of people associated with them.

                                            Please stop that. The other party might have something meaningful to say as well. Half of the discontent in the world can be removed if if are just willing to inform ourselves and listen to each other without assuming beforehand that the other party is wrong, ignorant, a religious zealot, a racist, a bigot, or just plain evil.

                                            If this were a football match between Chelsea and Manchester United, the supporters of either side both see a totally different match than the other. Usually this ends in physical violence and riots. In Stallman’s case, the violence is more subtle, but getting someone fired over an opinion, still qualifies as violence in my opinion.

                                            Lets at least try to understand each other and lets try to stay away from violence and all other vexing behaviours as much as possible so we can have a decent conversation, while understanding that the other party might be watching a totally different football match.

                                            I thank you in advance for your consideration.

                                            1. 3

                                              I was with you for much of that, but here’s what I suspect actually happened: People were sick of RMS being creepy to women in ways that the world turned a blind eye to for years, and the mischaracterization (and inflation) of his comments last week was used as a proxy for finally getting him kicked out for past sins. An abuse of process, but I can see why someone would do it, frustrated at not being listened to for years.

                                              (I hadn’t heard about him inappropriately hitting on women at conferences and at MIT before, but apparently it was A Thing.)

                                              1. 1

                                                Selam Jie Gano and others of the same political partition,

                                                Let me guess, you think i’m a Liberal?

                                                They see a white man in a position of power and therefore he has to go down

                                                This has nothing to do with race. Why bring this up? Is it related to above?

                                                The whole point of puberty is that people experiment during that phase in their lives. Some of them might experiment with people whom are much older than they themselves are. He acknowledges that those kinds of people exist and he acknowledges that those experiments could be voluntary and he doesn’t want to take away the freedom of those who want to experiment like that.

                                                My two year old wants to drive my car, maybe I’m terrible for not letting him? A teenager wants to have sex with an older person, note it takes two to tango. You are making it sound like that older person is giving the younger one a gift. How blessed must the pedophiles be? So charitable! Certainly my two year old would be happy too if I let him drive, but only for a moment.

                                                See, I have children so I understand what it’s like to have children. I would love to hear others who also have children if they disagree with me? Because you know, while we were all teenagers once, and understand what it’s like to be teenagers, not all of us are fathers and mothers. And it turns out not all of us are adults despite our age. Let me tell you, the reason the pedophile wants to have sex with a 14-year-old is that they have a pathology. Not because they are charitable. Not because they are kind. That 14 year old can explore as they will with others of their age, it’s their time to learn together, not some “mature person” to show them the way.

                                      2. 1

                                        realize that being pedantic about rape vs. statutory rape is inappropriate in this context

                                        Which context? The source of all this mess is a private conversation of his that was published without his consent. Can’t we share controversial opinions privately anymore?

                                        1. 2

                                          Semi-public, really; it’s a university mailing list. The problem isn’t actually public/private here, it’s the threading context and timing, as far as I can tell from the jumbled mess of emails that Vice got ahold of. (I also don’t totally trust Vice, because they’ve been flagrantly misquoting him.)

                                          I actually feel bad for the guy. Minksy is a colleague of his, and people are using this phrase “sexual assault”, which means different things to different people. RMS has already denounced Minsky, but wants to clear the record; he then goes about that in a very Stallman-ish way, talking about what is and isn’t rape vs. statutory rape. That last bit is the biggest problem, I think; it might have been OK if he’d just said something like “while Minsky deserves to go to prison, let’s use the right term for what he did out of respect for the difference”. (I dunno, making stuff up on the spot here, but I think that’s an accurate description of what he meant.)

                                          1. 2

                                            Do you realize that Minsky died three years ago? It makes no sense to talk about him in the present tense.

                                            I have read the part of the thread published on vice, and there is nothing wrong with Stallman’s words. The misquoting by vice and the other media is unbelievable. The only possible critique is that “it was not the right moment to talk about that”, but then again, so what?

                                            1. 1

                                              I did not know that! Not sure how I missed it.

                                      1. 37

                                        Because I’d rather admin a CA, manage cert signing, handle revocation (how does this get pushed out to servers?), and all that jazz, more than running some ansible scripts? Wait.. No, I wouldn’t.

                                        1. 11

                                          Hah. I thought about this a lot when I read this article.

                                          I think plenty of companies grow organically from a couple of dudes and as many servers, and before you know it you have 3 branch offices and 2 datacenters and a bunch of contractors, and it’s all well and good when everyone sort of trusts each other but then you get purchased and SOX’d and you have to scramble to make sure Larry who quit 3 years ago doesn’t have root on production still…

                                          I assume your ansible scripts are well documented, and are run when you’re on vacation? ;)

                                          I thought this article made a bunch of good points. Of course it’s an advertorial, but there’s enough meat in there to be interesting.

                                          1. 6

                                            I think plenty of companies grow organically from a couple of dudes and as many servers, and before you know it you have 3 branch offices and 2 datacenters and a bunch of contractors, and it’s all well and good when everyone sort of trusts each others but then you get purchased and SOX’d and you have to scramble to make sure Larry who quit 3 years ago doesn’t have root on production still…

                                            Precisely this. My team went from 2 DCs with maybe a few dozen machines between them to 6 DCs in various stages of commission/deccommision/use and hundreds (probably just over 1000) machines to manage. Running an ansible script to update creds on hundreds of machines takes a very long time even on a powerful runner. We’re moving to a cert-based setup and for the machines where it’s enabled it’s incredibly quick, lets us do key rotation more efficiently, and is just generally a huge improvement. It’s an economy of scale problem, as most are, ansible was fine when it was a couple of us, but not even at our relatively small Xe3 scale. I can’t imagine trying to do that on larger scales. Managing a few servers for CA and so on is a dream comparatively.

                                            1. 3

                                              What do you do with hundreds of machines?

                                              1. 2

                                                Currently? We wait.

                                                In the hopefully near future – something like OP

                                                EDIT: I feel like the brevity may be interpreted as snark, so I’m going to add some details to mitigate that as it wasn’t intended. :)

                                                Right now it takes a weekend or so to fully update everything, we mitigate some of it by running the job in stages (running only on pre-prod environments by product, only legacy machines, etc) It works out to running the same job a couple dozen times. That bit is automated. The real killer is the overhead of executing that many SSH connections from a single machine, basically. Running it in smaller chunks does mean we have a not entirely consistent environment for a while, but it’s pretty quick to run the job on a single machine if it fails or was missed. The runner has got flames painted on the side which helps, but it’s still quite slow.

                                                I think this is probably representative of a big disadvantage that Ansible has compared to something agent-based like Chef or Puppet, on some level I’m okay with that though because I think Chef/Puppet would just hide the underlying issue that direct key management is a little fraught.

                                                1. 3

                                                  This is why I switched from Ansible to Saltstack - deploys are fast and it has a similar feel and structure as Ansible.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    So to piggy back on SaltStack, it’s also neat because you can do a distributed setup of multiple Masters.

                                                    Makes it even faster for large fleets to roll out changes as each master manages a subset of the fleet with a salt master then farming out tasks to the other Masters to farm out to the minions/hosts.

                                                  2. 2

                                                    Another option may be to use a PAM module that updates the user’s authorized_keys file (from a central repo, such as LDAP) on attempts to lookup an account.

                                                    I’ve done this in the past and it worked out okay for largish deployments.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      You don’t need to update the key file on disk from ldap, you can use ldap to produce the contents of the key file directly.



                                                      1. 1

                                                        Also an option, but you need to ensure that there is a timeout and caching, etc as well. Updating the on-disk copy has this trivial and built-in (respectively)

                                                        1. 2

                                                          sssd does all that, and more

                                                    2. 1

                                                      Gah, sorry, let me rephrase: what sort of workload is it?

                                                      (also, why not kerberos or something similar?)

                                                      1. 2

                                                        I added an edit. As for kerberos, I just found this idea first – there was a FB article about it I came across a while ago (last year sometime, before this became a real problem), and started pushing for it. I work for an International BeheMoth, so changing things can be slow.

                                                  3. 1

                                                    I’ve reached this point too - considering moving the base stuff to either an os pkg and/or to use something like cfengine to distribute these faster than what ansible does. As an interim stage, I have a git pull-based ansible run on each box for the core, but I would prefer something that is more “reportable” than manually collating the status of packages on each system. Either way, I’m keen to store the CA info in an OS package, as a faster way to get boxes set up and updated.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Precisely this. My team went from 2 DCs with maybe a few dozen machines between them to 6 DCs in various stages of commission/deccommision/use and hundreds (probably just over 1000) machines to manage. Running an ansible script to update creds on hundreds of machines takes a very long time even on a powerful runner.

                                                      this is why you can keep your public key in a kind of centralised store, say, an LDAP server, and disable local storage of public keys entirely; sssd supports this model very nicely.

                                                      (what irks me a bit about the advertorial above is that it conflates using host certificates and user certificates; and you can have one without another)

                                                    2. 3

                                                      I’ve managed ldap systems to handle distributed ssh / user authentication. I have less fear of that than anything CA related. I think its because OpenSSL taught me that all the tooling around it is terrible. Though I feel that Vault and other tooling is changing that slowly.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Probably about as well as crl’s get pushed out to server fleets, and accounts are actually deleted along with certificates revoked. Eg. Not bloody likely. ;)

                                                        1. 1

                                                          I think for every sysadmin who knows their sh*t, there are 10 who don’t. This article is meant for them.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Fair enough; this probably also makes more sense for large (or very large) companies with a full team of ops/secops managing fleets of servers, coupled with some type of SSO solution (as mentioned in the article).

                                                            1. 3

                                                              I estimate that this becomes a problem once you surpass the the fact that more than 3 users need SSH access and have more than 30 machines accepting SSH-connections.

                                                              Below that, it’s probably not worth the effort, but the moment you reach those numbers you will probably continue to grow beyond that rapidly and it’s still possible to make the change with relative ease.

                                                    1. 5

                                                      Bought some redheart last week, gonna turn some seamrippers. Also probably going to put some time in on the hammock out back. It’s gonna be a really nice weekend, and I’m going to try to do as little as possible.

                                                      1. 9

                                                        #NESdev dev diary: over the weekend I made some nice initial progress on my NES tile editor, which I’ve decided to name “tilerswift”:



                                                        Qt is kind of nice! And without having to use it via C++ it’s even nicer.

                                                        But now I’m kind of stuck, since my current approach has made it slower and unworthy of the name I christened it with. Someone in IRC suggested I rethink the layout with QGraphicsGridLayout. I don’t know if that will help. It appears that having the individual ~16k tiles of a single ROM as raster images and updating them all so I can change the palette isn’t the best idea. If there are any Qt experts out there, I would love your help.

                                                        On a different note, at work I’m facing a different problem. I need to figure how to make Postgres do a query over a M2M relation. I’m trying to find all activities that have specific kinds of factors. Each side of the relation isn’t that big,

                                                        jordi=> select count(*) from emissions_activity;
                                                        (1 row)
                                                        jordi=> select count(*) from emissions_factor;
                                                        (1 row)

                                                        but the through table is kind of huge:

                                                        jordi=> select count(*) from emissions_activity_factors;
                                                        (1 row)

                                                        and Postgres on my laptop has a helluva time doing a simple SELECT across the through table. Our servers in AWS aren’t that much more powerful.

                                                        I only need to do this query across the M2M a couple of times during a data migration, so I can accept some slowness, but I still am curious to know if there’s some magic I could do to improve the situation.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          A long time ago I had a similar issue, I ended up building a bunch of materialized views that cached out parts of the query that were relatively easy to produce once and then keep up to date w/ triggers during the move. I basically had a situation where we full joined an M2M into one big result that was roughly similar in size (I think it was in the 50m row range), filtered off all the intermediate tables, and then just kept them up-to-date w/ triggers till the migration was complete. It was a nightmare to write, but honestly everything was (that’s why we were migrating), but we were porting from MySQL -> PG so it was easy to keep all the streams separate.

                                                          The other idea I had was just to rent a really big ass server with flames on the sides, but we didn’t really have it in the budget for the amount of time we’d need and we weren’t sure it would work.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            A table scan over 68 million rows is going to take a little bit of time.

                                                            If you have an index on (emissions_factor_id, emissions_activity_id) (in that order), the following should be much quicker (assuming you are working with a small enough subset of the factors):

                                                            select * 
                                                            from emissions_activities
                                                            where id in (
                                                                select emissions_activity_id 
                                                                from emissions_activity_factors
                                                                where emissions_factor_id in (
                                                                    select id 
                                                                    from emissions_factors 
                                                                    where <conditions snipped>
                                                          1. 3

                                                            $work: Piles of stuff, new products going to POC, paperwork from last week, it’s busy busy for me. Good busy though.

                                                            !$work: Gonna probably get back to turning again now that the weather isn’t 99% humidity and 100% awful. I picked up some Redheart to make some seamrippers out of and see how it turns, I’ve got an idea for a laminated bowl I’d like to make with it too. Trying to write a bit more of my next RPG campaign as well. I’m aiming for a more structured experience and am having some writer’s block on it. Usually that means I just need to step away from things for a while but I’m stubborn and won’t re-learn that lesson for at least a few more days.

                                                            1. 18

                                                              Last weekend I went outside at night to capture photos of M31/Andromeda. After taking 102 photos and stacking them together (with a bunch of flats, bias and dark frames), I ended up with this: https://twitter.com/YorickPeterse/status/1165614942218805248.

                                                              This week there are two things I will be working on:

                                                              1. For Inko I really need to get some work done on porting the parser to Inko itself. I don’t really like writing parsers, so I have been slacking off a bit.
                                                              2. Figuring out what exactly I would need to do to obtain higher quality images of Andromeda. I probably won’t go out again this weekend as I have other activities planned, but I want to at least be prepared for the next time.
                                                              1. 1

                                                                Wow! That’s frickin’ awesome! Love to hear more about this as you go along.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  In this case I think it took a total of three hours, including setting things up. I was initially going for a total exposure time of around 1 hour. Sadly, for some reason my camera refuses to take more than 10-or-so shots when using interval shooting, even when telling it to shoot 100 photos. This meant a lot of back and forth between my chair and the camera, accidentally messing up the focus in the process, etc.

                                                                  The post processing took around three hours, most of which was spent reading articles about how to do X, Y, Z in GIMP, as most tutorials assume you are using Photoshop or other software not (properly) available on Linux. The process of stacking photos is largely automated using this set of scripts, followed by some manual tweaking of colors, sharpness, etc.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    The last time I made an attempt, I bought an app that allowed me to take shots from my tablet. That was a big time-saver.

                                                                    I haven’t done the stacking yet. So many cool things to do, so little time, you know?

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  What’s your astrophotography setup look like? (I see the postprocess comment to Daniel below, but what kind of camera/scope/etc do you have?)

                                                                  I recently got a pretty nice Dobs (big upgrade from my walmart special) and have been thinking about trying some astrophotography (I’m in a short drive to a lot of pretty dark areas from which to shoot). I figure on starting with just a phone mount, if only because the space is so big and so full of rabbit trails to chase I haven’t been able to get a foothold on what I actually need. :D

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    I am using the following setup:

                                                                    • Scope: William Optics Zenithstar 61 + WO Field Flat61 field flattener
                                                                    • Mount: Star Adventurer Pro
                                                                    • Tripod: some 10-ish year old (but still decent) Vanguard tripod, without the pan/tilt head
                                                                    • Camera: Nikon D700, unmodified
                                                                    • Binoculars: Nikon A211 10x50, mostly used for plotting a course for my telescope as I don’t have a goto mount

                                                                    The total kit (including tripod and counterweight) weights around 5 KG, so it’s quite portable. This is important as I do not own a car. The cost (excluding camera and tripod) was around €1200, which for telephotography is quite affordable.

                                                                  2. 1

                                                                    Nice work! My two telescopes are both dobs (that I built a while back), and I experimented briefly with astrophotography by taking high resolution videos of objects as they moves across the FOV in the scope (since the dob mounts are alt/az and don’t track). It’s OK for planets and other bright objects, but I have never tried capturing something as faint as Andromeda.. I may have to give that a try soon (assuming I remember how to do all that, it was a fairly involved process as you allude to..)

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I’m pretty sure I’m about 2 steps away from actually saving a yak. My stack overfloweth.

                                                                    1. 25

                                                                      Boy, this might not be a popular opinion, but here it goes…

                                                                      Suppose someone posted a manifesto to Lobsters, and then went on a mass shooting spree. Should Lobsters be shut down for it?

                                                                      If 8chan uses Let’s Encrypt (I don’t know if they do), should their TLS certs be revoked?

                                                                      It’s no secret that 8ch is extreme compared to the rest of the internet. But on the gunman’s thread, apparently 8chan mocked the shooter. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the thread; that info comes from hearsay around the internet. The point is, we’re getting our news about this incident from sources other than 8chan, because it seems like most of us don’t participate on 8chan.

                                                                      Note that Cloudflare has terminated support for a social network for sex workers: https://twitter.com/SarahJamieLewis/status/1158203593071067136

                                                                      It’s very easy to jump on the bandwagon of targeting 8chan for this. It’s not so easy to carefully consider the long-term implications of shutting down years-long websites with active communities.

                                                                      8chan’s cloudflare protection terminates in just over three hours. We’ll see if a gigantic DDoS is about to follow.

                                                                      I think this is one step closer to the web becoming a series of centralized institutions. And personally, I don’t like the implications of that. The New Zealand shooter livestreamed his attack on Facebook, yet faced no repercussions. When I tried to google for 8chan, the site is completely absent in the search results. I had to use ddg just to get to it.

                                                                      This is simply my own point of view though. I understand and respect that others have different feelings on the matter.

                                                                      EDIT: I found a copy of the 8chan thread: https://web.archive.org/web/20190803162950/https:/8ch.net/pol/res/13561044.html

                                                                      I encourage all of you to read the community response and form your own conclusions.

                                                                      EDIT2: 8chan is now offline. I assume they’ll be back up within 48 hours, but for better or for worse, cloudflare basically took down this site on short notice in the middle of the night on a Sunday.

                                                                      1. 35

                                                                        Suppose someone posted a manifesto to Lobsters, and then went on a mass shooting spree. Should Lobsters be shut down for it?

                                                                        I assume the post would be removed for violating site policy and wouldn’t harbour it - no need for the state to force the site.

                                                                        1. 14

                                                                          Certainly. Calls for violence are against 8chan’s ToS too.

                                                                          It could be true that 8chan doesn’t enforce their ToS. But we don’t have the data, and it seems plausible that 8chan deleted the thread when the moderators became aware of it.

                                                                          EDIT: It’s impossible to know for sure, but people are claiming that 8chan took down the manifesto within minutes, and reacted faster than Facebook did. https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/cm4on1/cloudflare_to_terminate_service_for_8chan/ew075j6/

                                                                          1. 18

                                                                            I think the ToS and how fast the manifesto was removed is irrelevant.

                                                                            The events leading up to the shooting rampage are what matter. There is every indication that over the last six months multiple terrorist attacks were committed by people radicalized on 8chan. The whole extremist community is the problem, not how fast they respond to obvious signs of extremism once an atrocity has been committed.

                                                                            There is one method we know that works for extremist communities like this: cutting off their platform restricts the extent they can recruit and pushes them underground, where they can be better contained.

                                                                            Are there some non-extremist parts of 8chan? Possibly, but it’s also irrelevant. Having a community engage in extremism or being taken over by extremists should have consequences and that applies to people willingly associating with that kind of community.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              radicalized on 8chan

                                                                              I would assert most people aren’t radicalised on 8chan. It’s where you end up once you’re radical, because only a radical can find that kind of environment sufferable. In a sense, 8chan works as refuge for radicals.

                                                                              1. 17

                                                                                There is probably a progression, however the evidence seems to bear out that 8chan’s environment heavily contributes (but probably isn’t the only factor) in making extremists out of these people.

                                                                                1. 9

                                                                                  Radicalization isn’t a binary. I’m sure there are plenty of people posting on 8chan and similar corners of the web who are quasi-racist trolls posting “for the lulz” and wouldn’t escalate to violence. But how much does the insular environment push them further to violence? How much does an environment filled with people saying “kill (((them)))” further push people who are already willing to become violent?

                                                                                  Some research on this topic paints a picture of the impact of sites like 8chan:

                                                                                  For lone wolf terrorists of the post-9/11 period, traditional loci of radicalization have been replaced by informal online social networks, the civilian workplace, and mass media

                                                                                  Lone wolves are enabled through either direct means in the form of people who unwittingly assist in planning attacks, or indirectly by people who provide inspiration for terrorism.

                                                                                  During the pre-9/11 era, 57% of the lone wolf terrorists were enabled by others. In the post-9/11 era, the figure rose to 67%. Nearly all of the enabling was indirect.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    Out of a morbid curiosity, are they including lone wolves that were groomed by overzealous feds?

                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                      In their longer book on the subject, Hamm and Spaajj pull no punches there:

                                                                                      The strongest and most provocative work exists in the book’s final two chapters which provide a thorough indictment of the FBI’s Sting Program on its ethical grounding and “for diverting resources away from the real problem”

                                                                                      [they] accuse the FBI of “mythmaking”: exaggerating the threat of these suspects to appease a “results driven culture”, to give the impression that America is winning the war on terrorism and to justify additional funding.


                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                8chan’s moderation is often laser-focused when it comes to rulebreaking, on the popular boards at least.

                                                                              3. 3

                                                                                8chan /pol/’s moderators did and were trying to remove it for violating site policy.

                                                                              4. 23

                                                                                I can see how you might get to this position, starting from zero or close to it. I don’t even think such a position is bad in the abstract, i.e., if we were to apply a veil of ignorance, I would generally agree that Cloudflare shouldn’t do this. But 8chan and lobste.rs are very different sites, as you allude to. Your hypothetical positions them as equivalents, but 8ch is not the same kind of site. Consider the work done by Bellingcat contributor Robert Evans, that links to his most recent (and relevant) work on the subject. He lays out clearly how the 8ch board members aren’t mocking the terrorist here, but rather encouraging and radicalizing others.

                                                                                A more apt analogy would be if someone posted a manifesto to Daily Stormer, or the InfoWars message boards, or another site which actively works to radicalize it’s members, in those situations, is it ethical for someone to continue working with them if those sites show a longstanding tolerance for speech which leads to terrorist acts?

                                                                                We don’t live in a perfect world, and I am happy to stand at the front of the line in criticizing Cloudflare for lots of things, but I find it difficult to defend a site which so happily supports terrorists and who’s participants work to create more of them. I don’t think it’s ethical to work with terrorists, I don’t think it’d be unethical for Cloudflare, LetsEncrypt, or anyone else to refuse them service.

                                                                                I think it’s reasonable to worry about the web being centralized, but I don’t think that this is any more or less a step in that direction than the existence of cloudflare as a service in-and-of-itself. I’m also someone who generally dislikes any corporation because I’m a weirdo lefty. But that’s another topic.

                                                                                1. 12

                                                                                  If 8chan is anything like 4chan

                                                                                  Certainly. Calls for violence are against 8chan’s ToS too.

                                                                                  Anon imageboards have a simply unsustainable community model. It’s impossible to hold anyone accountable for anything they do on there. Facebook and Twitter has serious problems, but at least if they kick someone off the site, it has some teeth to it (you lose all your followers). The closest thing 8chan has is an IP block, and that can be instantly routed around with a proxy and you lose nothing when you do so. There’s a reason why, despite nominally having a rule against it in their ToS, these sites are known for activities like the Anonymous group, /pol/, and cyberbullying. They might talk a good game about moderating their site in their ToS, but they deprive themselves of the tools to really pull it off.

                                                                                  But on the gunman’s thread, apparently 8chan mocked the shooter. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the thread; that info comes from hearsay around the internet.

                                                                                  These sites are a lot less conflict-averse than most online communities. I’m not surprised that somebody on there would mock the shooter. There’s probably someone else saying that the shooter did nothing wrong, someone else saying that the shooter was driven to it by our “degenerate” society, and someone else saying that the shooter should’ve just committed suicide and left everyone else out of it. A sufficiently long thread will always have a dissenter in it, pretty much no matter what.

                                                                                  I have reservations about this incident, because I don’t like the fact that it’s CloudFlare doing it. I’d rather just have the site shut down by the government for negligent publication of text that incites violence, but that’s never going to happen as long as the big websites lobby against it…

                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                    Polite request - could you add a NSFW disclaimer to those top links? Those advertisements are not something I’d want popping up in the office :)

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      activities like the Anonymous group, /pol/, and cyberbullying

                                                                                      These are not against the rules, and so are not bannable offenses.

                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                        You know that hacking, hate speech, and harassment are illegal, right?

                                                                                        1. 0

                                                                                          Anonymous are not inherently hackers, hate speech is free speech, and cyberbullying could be depending on the context: I doubt posting about someone online without posting directly to them would be deemed harassment in court.

                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                            I’ve seen calls to directly harass someone not be removed, (and was moderating the other end), so my view of their mods are not as positive as yours.

                                                                                            Hate speech is only free speech in a very fundamental interpretation of it and definitely illegal in many jurisdictions.

                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                              Anonymous are not inherently hackers

                                                                                              Sure, they also did zero-hacking DDoS, spear phishing, and intentionally flooding phone lines, all of which would at least be grounds of a restraining order if it weren’t such a pain to figure out who the order should even be served to.

                                                                                              hate speech is free speech

                                                                                              As was already brought up elsewhere in the conversation tree, “free speech zones” suck like a Hoover. That’s probably one of the reasons you’re on Lobsters instead of /g/.

                                                                                              cyberbullying could be depending on the context

                                                                                              I’m talking about planned raids when I refer to cyberbullying. Not just calling people names in public, but rather calling people names in places where they will be notified about it (like if I posted @WilhelmVonWeiner is a poopy-head on here, so that you would be automatically notified and thus making it probable, rather than merely possible, that you will read it).

                                                                                              Obviously, there’s always an element of context to something like that, but considering how beyond-the-pale the instances have been known to get, I’m curious what definition of cyberbullying you’d use that doesn’t include 4chan raids on other sites.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                No, I’m not on /g/ because 8chan’s equivalent is /tech/, and nobody on /g/ or /tech/ actually knows anything about technology

                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                  I agree, but I’m curious: have you ever thought about why so much more interesting discussions happen on here compared to there?

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    …nobody on /g/ or /tech/ actually knows anything about technology.

                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                      Why? Why don’t people who know anything about technology hang out on anon boards?

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        Probably for the same reason. More people who know nothing past consumer technology post there than people who do, so it drowns out anything interesting. This was the case long before the extreme politicisation of imageboards.

                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                          I’m not sure entirely how it works, but I’ve flipped though 4 and 8chan enough to notice that 8chan must have some sort of moderation.

                                                                                          4chan pol is all over the place. Extremists and conspiracy theorists of all stripes constantly arguing with each other and trying to out-troll each other. It’s hard to tell what’s even serious, and I’ve never noticed any consistent position to it all.

                                                                                          8chan pol appears to be full-on Nazis. No serious opposition noticeable. But there also appears to be a leftypol that is full-on Communists, calling for violent communist revolution. Apparently they raid each other periodically, though the righty pol seems to be much bigger.

                                                                                        3. 10

                                                                                          Suppose someone posted a manifesto to Lobsters, and then went on a mass shooting spree. Should Lobsters be shut down for it? […] It’s not so easy to carefully consider the long-term implications of shutting down years-long websites with active communities.

                                                                                          I would shut down Lobsters rather than run a site where mass murders regularly propagandize their atrocities, yes. This is, in fact, a very easy question.

                                                                                          1. -1

                                                                                            There are less easy, more realistic scenarios. Suppose someone posted a manifesto, and then took down an electric grid due to an unpatched security issue, resulting in some deaths. (This may seem contrived, but public infrastructure has historically been the most vulnerable.)

                                                                                            Lobsters has become my home. It’s unfortunate that the community would be shut down due to the actions of one malicious person.

                                                                                            On the other hand, even if you wanted to keep Lobsters running afterwards, you might not be able to, because the wider internet might deplatform your CDN: https://twitter.com/CodeMonkeyZ/status/1158422046176530432

                                                                                            1. 8

                                                                                              Why do you keep imagining scenarios of one lone wolf when 8chan has been home to three mass murderers this year?

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                Personally, Im looking at the potential of and actual good Ive seen on Lobsters vs some asshole who might do their evil deed anywhere. Destroying all the good Lobsters did and might do over one murderer is a poor trade in my book. I’d rather fight the specific behavior or commenters promoting violence against innocent people to eliminate the problem while keeping whatever good the site brings.

                                                                                                8chan couldve adopted this philosophy. They and that channel didnt care. Damage followed. It wasn’t because 8chan as a whole existed, though. They just didn’t cut out those with the worst intentions consistently working toward delivering on them. The haters weren’t even hiding what they were doing per articles Lobsters shared. Bad administration over there is all.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  Because I am trying to persuade you to think about the implications of what you’re saying. Calls for violence are against the site’s ToS, just like Lobsters, and they actively moderate and ban offenders, just like Lobsters. Yet 8chan is being forced offline for not doing a good enough job in the eyes of the wider internet.

                                                                                                  We don’t know how much those people used 8chan. Before the internet, crazies sent mail to news stations to get attention. Why is this any different?

                                                                                                2. 6

                                                                                                  You seem to be trying your best to treat both sites as equal and come up with a “this could happen anywhere!” argument. But it wouldn’t. Because most sites are not the first port of call for white nationalist terrorists looking to chat with other white nationalists in advance of a terror attack; that honor falls to 8chan and friends.

                                                                                                  If your hypothetical came true, most likely the manifesto would be downvoted from the beginning. I can’t speak for mods but would be shocked if it wasn’t removed immediately and the poster banned. The community certainly would not repost it multiple times after that; if you’re looking for that experience, try 8chan.

                                                                                                  And the site wouldn’t face any harm afterwards because the community does not have a history of supporting terrorism and terrorists - 8chan does.

                                                                                                  These things don’t just happen in a vacuum. Context matters.

                                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                                    I can’t speak for mods but would be shocked if it wasn’t removed immediately and the poster banned.

                                                                                                    That is literally what happened on 8chan. They reacted within minutes.

                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                      Cool. Now try the other two.

                                                                                                      Context matters.

                                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                                    Don’t use weasel words such as “deplatforming” - it’s not what’s happened here. The CDN in question (BitMitigate) was renting hardware and broke the acceptable use policy of their host.

                                                                                                    “Deplatforming” refers to the practice of “meta service providers” such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook of removing content from popular listings, search results, and/or ad revenue for reasons that are unclear to the content producer, or that can change over time. It’s also a dog-whistle used by right-wing commentators who believe that content they approve of is being suppressed by these large social media companies.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      Then why isn’t 8chan up and running again? The site’s still down.

                                                                                                      This is a legit use of the term deplatforming. The entire world is coming together to make sure 8chan stays offline.

                                                                                                      The host wasn’t the one demanding that BitMitigate be taken offline. The internet was. Reporters even showed up on the Twitter thread – if they had said no, what do you think would have happened? You’re literally not allowed to say “Yes, this content can stay” in that context, because you’d lose business.

                                                                                                      Framing it as an AUP violation isn’t really true in that context.

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        Then why isn’t 8chan up and running again? The site’s still down.

                                                                                                        Presumably because they didn’t have a contingency plan in place, other than contracting with BitMitigate, who seem to have built their free-speech mansion on shaky ground.

                                                                                                        No doubt they will be up on the internet in a couple of days. Non olet as the Romans used to say - money doesn’t smell.

                                                                                                        This is a legit use of the term deplatforming.

                                                                                                        I don’t agree. It’s more restrictive than deplatforming. The content is, as you say, inaccessible. Deplatformed content is accessible, as long as you have the direct URL to it. But you are using “deplatforming” in the wider, politicized context. This is just confusing, because people might think that it’s just a question of 8chan not being indexed by Google, or them not being able to use AdWords for ads.

                                                                                                        The entire world is coming together to make sure 8chan stays offline.

                                                                                                        This does not seem to be the case to me. It might look that way on Twitter though.

                                                                                                        Framing it as an AUP violation isn’t really true in that context.

                                                                                                        I’m obviously not privy to the specific terms of that AUP that Epik/BitMitigate signed with Voxility, so I’m quoting from the Verge article I’m using as source for this (it was submitted to HN yesterday):

                                                                                                        “As soon as we were notified of the content that Epik was hosting, we made the decision to totally ban them,” Voxility business development VP Maria Sirbu told The Verge. Sirbu said it was unlikely that Voxility would work with Epik again. “This is the second situation we’ve had with the reseller and this is not tolerable,” she said.

                                                                                                        It seems pretty cut and dried to me. This is a business decision by Voxility, regarding the kind of customers they want to work with.

                                                                                                        (Edit added a quote and a response)

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          It’s probably productive to agree to disagree then.

                                                                                                          A website was cut off from ~all services within 24 hours on short notice. If AWS, Digital Ocean, and every other host refused to do business with you, would you say you didn’t have a contingency plan?

                                                                                                          No doubt they will be up on the internet in a couple of days.

                                                                                                          This is looking increasingly unlikely. I think we may very well be looking at the first large-scale deplatforming of a relatively popular website. I keep using that word because that is the definition:

                                                                                                          Deplatforming, also known as no-platforming, is a form of political activism or prior restraint by an individual, group, or organization with the goal of shutting down controversial speakers or speech, or denying them access to a venue in which to express their opinion.

                                                                                                          No business in the world can host 8chan and face no backlash from their customers. There is no business incentive to do business with 8chan, so all of them will say no. Therefore the world is cooperating to see that 8chan is removed from a venue to speak: the internet.

                                                                                                          By the way, I was blacklisted from HN nearly a year ago after asking about their moderation policies publicly. This is partly why these issues are rather important to me.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            I agree, I think it’s best we end our discussion.

                                                                                                            Thanks for clarifying what you mean by “deplatforming”. What’s the source of that quote, by the way? I’ll update my vocabulary accordingly.

                                                                                                            No business in the world can host 8chan and face no backlash from their customers.

                                                                                                            You have a higher opinion of the morality of global capitalism than I do.

                                                                                                            Therefore the world is cooperating to see that 8chan is removed from a venue to speak: the internet.

                                                                                                            Let’s get real here - the world is depriving a website the ability to monetize speech that is explicitly anonymous. I have very little sympathy for people espousing the sort of ideology apparent on /pol/, but I have even less for cowards who won’t stand behind their words.

                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                              At least I was able to persuade you from “It’s not happening” to “It’s happening, but our cause is righteous.”

                                                                                                              The main point isn’t really about 8chan. It’s about leading indicators. Once it’s in vogue to start banning social networks and working together to keep them off the internet, it seems like a matter of time before various communities are targeted by news agencies.

                                                                                                              By the way, you could make the same argument about Twitter: It’s allowed white supremacist content for years. It’s a platform where people go to reinforce their own views. And it served as the largest hub for 8chan followers to figure out where to go next. Ban twitter? Why or why not? What’s the difference?

                                                                                                              (re: the definition, honestly I just typed define: deplatforming into google.)

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                At least I was able to persuade you from “It’s not happening” to “It’s happening, but our cause is righteous.”

                                                                                                                You have done no such thing. I have never denied that 8chan is offline, or the processes that caused it.

                                                                                                                I am not advocating online for the banning of 8chan - I’m not naive enough to believe that this will stop the radicalization of lone wolves. I’m interested in the mechanics of modern web publishing at scale, and how it interacts with free speech. I’ve learned a lot about the roles of CDNs through this story.

                                                                                                                As to my distaste of people anonymously or not advocating mass murder - that’s hardly a fringe position.

                                                                                                                Finally, the definition of “deplatforming”. This is the link I get from searching like you did:


                                                                                                                A quick glance through the reference list shows that this is most likely a partisan article that’s worked hard to satisfy Wikipedia’s standards for notability. Like many other hot-button issues and terms, I do not believe a Wikipedia definition to be a good basis for discussion.

                                                                                                                This is my final comment in this matter. Thanks for the discussion.

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  8chan is still offline, 3 weeks later.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    So it is. Guess it’s harder than I thought to monetize a bunch of anons.

                                                                                                3. 8

                                                                                                  When I tried to google for 8chan, the site is completely absent in the search results. I had to use ddg just to get to it.

                                                                                                  Yep. And this censorship feeds directly into the narratives peddled by the hate groups.

                                                                                                  1. 32

                                                                                                    And this censorship feeds directly into the narratives peddled by the hate groups.

                                                                                                    Any circumstance would be bent to fit their narrative, so this isn’t particularly relevant to informing policy.

                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                      Sort of, but there’s a little more to it than just that.

                                                                                                      As an outsider, it is hard to sell me on “look at the (((people))) that run everything, fluoridate our water, and steal our precious bodily fluids!”. Like, that’s clearly some neonazi nutjob.

                                                                                                      But, a smaller complaint–“hey, some metagroup of people don’t like us (nevermind why) and they keep banding together to kick us off of public platforms…you could be next!”–is, critically, able to be backed up with evidence and sold to a rube really easily.

                                                                                                      We aren’t weakening their positions by engaging in the exact tactics they accuse us of, and, what’s more, we are setting precedent that probably is going to be abused.

                                                                                                      1. 14

                                                                                                        We aren’t weakening their positions by engaging in the exact tactics they accuse us of, and, what’s more, we are setting precedent that probably is going to be abused.

                                                                                                        The point of the parent is that they will accuse others of any tactic (and exactly that can be found in relevant playbooks). Opposition is an important democratic property and refusal of support is a the most basic and important form of opposition. And that’s precisely what that strategy aims for.

                                                                                                        Following that demand is just as good as dropping dead.

                                                                                                        1. 17

                                                                                                          We aren’t weakening their positions by engaging in the exact tactics they accuse us of

                                                                                                          You absolutely weaken their positions! No platforming is a patently effective way to deny people the ability to spread a fascist message with ease.

                                                                                                          Nobody is saying you are forbidden to print your neonazi newspaper, just that the printing press in town will politely decline your business and the community won’t let you set up your table in the farmers market. Go try to pass it out on the street if you want. If you want to spread your message, we won’t make it easy, you’re going to have to add your own effort & money to the mix.

                                                                                                          More concretely, 8chan didn’t get null routed: a business decided that it was within their best business interests to decline to take money from a web site linked to multiple fascist terrorist attacks. Another business, one willing to attract a similar clientele will likely extend their service. I find it strange that so many capitalists all over the internet are wringing their hands over this… it’s what the system demands, right?

                                                                                                          we are setting precedent that probably is going to be abused

                                                                                                          Oh mate, the next time you see coverage of BLM protesting police brutality, people marching against ICE, or a counter protest against the KKK, take a look at the pictures the media puts out: see who is holding riot shields and tear gas guns and which group they’re pointed at.

                                                                                                          The state - not just private enterprise - has favored certain categories of speech over others for over a century. In some cases it has been direct, by passing laws that criminalize membership in certain named organizations, and in other cases indirectly through the use of “investigative committees”, surveillance and support of oppositional groups.

                                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                                            We aren’t weakening their positions by engaging in the exact tactics they accuse us of

                                                                                                            Deplatforming hate groups literally weakens their position. It’s not only acceptable but ethically responsible to do so. Or even ethically necessary: sunlight is not always the best disinfectant.

                                                                                                          2. 2

                                                                                                            Yes! Also, these arguments ignore that there’s also a tangible effect: labor that needs to be invested to build the features yourselves.

                                                                                                          3. 4

                                                                                                            Google delisted 8chan a long time ago because people kept (keep?) posting child exploitation images in there.

                                                                                                          4. -1

                                                                                                            Wow, be careful on that slippery slope! They should really put up a caution sign or something…

                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                              …slippery slope? A quote from a later comment on this post…

                                                                                                              MasonJar avatar MasonJar 1 hour ago | link |

                                                                                                              Uhhh guys, seems to be a bit of an update on this, but it seems that the free-speech-absolutist CDN BitMitigate, which took over 8chan’s service and was also serving DailyStormer, was just taken down by its upstream provider, Voxility. Is this getting disturbing to anybody yet? If you’re okay with a website that doesn’t censor opinions you don’t like being dropped by companies providing services to it, are you also okay with an internet service provider being dropped by its upstream provider because it refuses to terminate services to that website?

                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                I don’t see how this outcome has anything to do with the alarmism of the parent post.

                                                                                                                And, although you didn’t ask:

                                                                                                                Are you also okay with an internet service provider being dropped by its upstream provider because it refuses to terminate services to that website?

                                                                                                                Yes, absolutely: this was a good and correct maneuver by the upstream provider.

                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                  I replied to the comment in question here:


                                                                                                            1. 12

                                                                                                              Just about finished:

                                                                                                              • Neoreaction, A Basilisk: A funny, dark, and informative collection of essays on and around the Alt-Right. The author is fantastic and the approach to the subject matter, while sometimes bleak, is refreshingly honest and direct. Really great read.
                                                                                                              • Walden I start reading this every year around July 4th, I rarely read it through at this point, just skim it a bit before bed. I like thinking about someday doing what Thoreau did, just going into the woods and trying to live ‘so simply and so spartan’. I doubt I ever will, the modern world doesn’t really admit that kind of thing in the same way he did, but I like to think about it.

                                                                                                              On the Docket:

                                                                                                              • The Conquest of Bread I’ve actually read this one before too, but I have an idea for a project that involves this, so I think it’s time to read it again.
                                                                                                              • There are a couple books on Metamodernism which I’ve been meaning to dig into.
                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                Thanks for the review of “Neoreaction, A Basilisk,” that’s been on my list for a while. “The Conquest of Bread” is classic and, funny enough, I’m also reading right now. Would love to peek your Metamodernism list.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  Haven’t put together a solid list yet, it’s more of a ‘I’d like to dig into this more’ thing atm. I’ve heard and read bits and bobs about it, and it seems to match up with some things I’ve been thinking for a while. I like the generally optimistic/non-cynical feel of the whole thing, and the idea of resolving the modernist/postmodernist divide by treating it as a dialectic and just, y’know, resolving it is both brilliant in it’s simplicity and it’s depth. I definitely land on the PM side of things more often than not, but this all strikes me as very much closer to my actual line of thinking. I currently plan on reading The Listening Society and then probably van den Akker et al’s Metamodernism. Figure I’ll branch out from there via the bibliographies. :D

                                                                                                                2. 4

                                                                                                                  Sandifer is great, & I loved Neoreaction: A Basilisk for its deep dive into those figures, but the ending (where she uses Blake’s pantheon as an anti-basilisk) felt like a cop-out to me. (Maybe I’m just not enough of a Blake scholar.)

                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                    I feel similar, like she was just running out of steam. It’s a long essay and the idea of a philosophical basilisk is kinda tricky to talk about. I definitely also felt the “This is a thing where your nerd-fu is greater than mine.” Blake is a bit esoteric.

                                                                                                                    Overall I think I liked the Essay on David Icke much more, it was a much more straightforward summary of who he is.

                                                                                                                    I’ve been on a bit of a ‘How do fascists fash?’ kick lately, I think from listening to Knowledge Fight while working; their deep dive into Alex Jones has sent me on a rabbit trail looking at other figures, which is how I landed on Neoreaction, I think (I don’t actually remember how I came upon it, I read pretty slow and didn’t write it down. :D)

                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                      Have you listened to Robert Evans’ Behind the Bastards podcast? For obvious reasons, it spends a certain about of time on fascists & fascist-adjacent folks (moreso than the similar but more true-crime-focused Last Podcast on the Left), & Evans is the closest thing to a serious journalist to come out of Cracked Dot Com. (Like, they literally embedded him in various middle-eastern civil wars.)

                                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                                        I love BtB (it’s how I found KF). The Cracked diaspora has been pretty good in terms of new content.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  Finishing up converting to Home Assistant (from SmartThings). There are a few stubborn items that won’t pair, and after I get them I have a few more to install. Switches and Outlets are next on the list after that, along with code to control everything. Everything ‘fails dumb’ right now, so being in the interstitial period between hubs is pretty okay (though I definitely miss having lights turn on/off automatically, redoing this in python will be much more maintainable).

                                                                                                                  I also need to take a detour and replace my router. The one I have (stock ISP-provided router) is beginning to fail in it’s wifi duties, so I bought an A1750 and hopefully that’ll fix the issues.

                                                                                                                  Lots of projects this weekend, probably won’t finish half of them, but that’s alright, it’s fun stuff.

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    Would be interesting to know how it worked for you. HA/hassio hasn’t been very reliable for me.

                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                      So far the main problem has actually been w/ zigbee, big house, no good central location for the hub, so strategically placing repeaters to get a good mesh going is important. I’m running hassbian now, but I might migrate to a custom setup (I like hassio, but I don’t like the managed install, and I have a machine waiting for something to do anyway, instead of the pi I’m running on now).

                                                                                                                      I was on SmartThings for a while, but the SmartApp ecosystem seemed pretty shitty to me, so I went to this, there’s another opensource hub thing out there that I haven’t checked it out much. The prospect of being able to write my automation in Python and have a fairly straightforward path to interface with other tools was pretty appealing.

                                                                                                                      In terms of reliability, I haven’t had too much in the way of dropout or w/e where I have a good mesh, but I went with Zigbee lights (I needed to upgrade from old CFLs -> LED anyway, so I just decided to make all the lights smart lights, and get to migrating switches and outlets later, the usual repeaters come from the switches though, so in retrospect it’d’ve been better if I’d’ve done both at the same time)

                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                    Looks like a Java programmer turned into a Python power user. There is a thing called makefile, and it goes like this.

                                                                                                                    username ?= default_user
                                                                                                                    Done: SendPrivateKeyStep
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Run:'
                                                                                                                            @echo '   ssh-keygen -t rsa -f ~/$(username)'
                                                                                                                            @read line
                                                                                                                    GitCommitStep: CreateSSHKeypairStep
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Copy ~/new_key.pub into the `user_keys` Git repository, then run:'
                                                                                                                            @echo '    git commit $(username)'
                                                                                                                            @echo '    git push'
                                                                                                                            @read line
                                                                                                                    build_url = 'http://example.com/builds/user_keys'
                                                                                                                    WaitForBuildStep: GitCommitStep
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Wait for the build job at $(build_url) to finish'
                                                                                                                            @read line
                                                                                                                    dir_url = 'http://example.com/directory'
                                                                                                                    RetrieveUserEmailStep: WaitForBuildStep
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Go to $(dir_url)'
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Find the email address for user $(username)'
                                                                                                                            $(eval email = $(shell read -p 'Paste the email address and press enter: ' email && echo $$email))
                                                                                                                    SendPrivateKeyStep: RetrieveUserEmailStep
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Go to 1Password'
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Paste the contents of ~/new_key into a new document'
                                                                                                                            @echo 'Share the document with $(email)'
                                                                                                                            @read line

                                                                                                                    You do have to accept the TABs and use Gnu Make.

                                                                                                                    1. 13

                                                                                                                      I expect they did it in Python so that you had access to a full language directly for automation (esp. if you factor out the definitions of those actions into a library, you can slowly build up a shared language for automating other procedures with the same verbs).

                                                                                                                      I think the idea is the real meat of the article though, the approach (whether make or python or whatever) is not super relevant, pick what fits best for your team. The idea of ‘shelling out’ to a human to do something you don’t have time to automate is very clever as it provides executable documentation on what needs to be done, and breaks down the problem really well so that it can be tackled by whoever has time to tackle it.

                                                                                                                      I work on a pretty small IT/Ops team, this is definitely something that’d help us out a lot, we have lots of procedures and using something like this as an organizing principle would prevent a lot of the thrash we end up with when trying to remember which things were annoying us most recently.

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        The real sin is a class for each process. You can do just great by having simple functions.

                                                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                                                        The tsunami of opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine that started surging into the United States from Mexico in the latter years of the Obama Administration is one of the greatest dangers to the wellbeing of our Nation that we face today. In a single year, more Americans die from drug overdoses than we lost in the entire Vietnam War. In addition to this death toll, hundreds of thousands of lives are destroyed. The vast majority of the drugs are trafficked into the United States by large, transnational criminal organizations

                                                                                                                        Wait. What!?

                                                                                                                        by large, transnational criminal organizations


                                                                                                                        1. 24

                                                                                                                          I mean, I don’t disagree with him that large, transnational criminal organizations are responsible for the opioid crisis.

                                                                                                                          I think we may disagree on who those large, transnational criminal organizations are and why they’re criminals…