jackson's recent activity

  1. Comment on Waymo can now charge for robotaxi rides in LA and on San Francisco freeways in ~transport

  2. Comment on How I accidentally made my link shortener into a malware honeypot in ~tech

    jackson
    Link Parent
    I have a private shortener that I use for presentations- I manually edit a Cloudflare K/V table to create a new link, so no risk of malware being distributed through it. Looks nice since it's on...

    I have a private shortener that I use for presentations- I manually edit a Cloudflare K/V table to create a new link, so no risk of malware being distributed through it.

    Looks nice since it's on my own domain, works great for QR codes (which work better at a distance when they're simple), and allows people to quickly type them in if they don't want to use their phones.

    I don't use it too terribly much, but it's running on a serverless function so it's not like I'm paying to run it 24/7 (usage has always fallen into free tier anyways).

    I've also implemented URL shorteners in applications as a part of the app, but that's again been done without an actual UI, just to make ridiculously long URLs (like data display configurations) presentable. Those usually don't make the URL "short," the unique reference is just a UUID, but it's an improvement from the several hundred character length of the original URL.

    9 votes
  3. Comment on Police bodycam shows sheriff hunting for 'obscene' books at library in ~books

    jackson
    Link
    I originally wanted to post a comment alongside the article, but was really struggling to put into words what I thought about it. I'll let the subject of the article speak for herself: Out of...

    I originally wanted to post a comment alongside the article, but was really struggling to put into words what I thought about it. I'll let the subject of the article speak for herself:

    “You can check out anything in here, no holds barred. You can be 10 years old and get anything on any subject,” Cochran says. “They can, at home, log online literally with three clicks and get any book from one of 28 libraries. It doesn’t matter if you can’t drive. Say you live in Athol and you want a book that’s in Coeur d’Alene [30 minutes away]. They shuttle it,” she adds, referring to a Bookmobile program (that is currently out of service) where people who are unable to find transportation to the library can get books delivered to them. “It’s parked right back there. They shuttle it. They shuttle it.”

    Out of context, this seems innocuous- almost as if she supports it. There's a video in the article where you can hear her incredulously describe how a library works (including that portion), which gives a fascinating view into the mind of someone who wants to ban books.

    The sheriff went so far as to remove the barcodes from the books he personally found offensive (after refusing the return them), which meant the library was unable to put them back into circulation.

    28 votes
  4. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    jackson
    Link Parent
    It's pretty much the go-to for really advanced data viz tasks, if you're wanting to break beyond the confines of a "chart" it's what most people would use. Here are some examples from the...

    It's pretty much the go-to for really advanced data viz tasks, if you're wanting to break beyond the confines of a "chart" it's what most people would use.

    Here are some examples from the creators: https://observablehq.com/@d3/gallery

    3 votes
  5. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    jackson
    Link Parent
    It's remarkably challenging to get some inputs working just right in HTML- I was very surprised to see there's not any kind of native numeric range selector. For graphing, I'd highly recommend...

    It's remarkably challenging to get some inputs working just right in HTML- I was very surprised to see there's not any kind of native numeric range selector.

    For graphing, I'd highly recommend looking at chart.js. It's not perfect, but it's much easier to use than d3 and has a lot of options for customization.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    jackson
    Link Parent
    Thanks! It depends pretty heavily on the post, the first two were written in about a week each, and the MFA post written in about two weeks. Usually just spend some time after work when I have a...

    Thanks!

    It depends pretty heavily on the post, the first two were written in about a week each, and the MFA post written in about two weeks. Usually just spend some time after work when I have a lighter work-from-home day, or on the weekend at the coffee shop.

    It's all on github, so you can see me struggle to make everything work exactly as I'd like it to haha

    2 votes
  7. Comment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | February 12, 2024 in ~tv

    jackson
    Link Parent
    Absolutely! Still working on getting my bearings (moved to WA in August last year), but had a lovely chat with my new city councilmember while she was running for office. It was refreshing to...

    If you want to see answers to the problems in our system that you have so thoroughly outlined I believe the key is start local.

    Absolutely! Still working on getting my bearings (moved to WA in August last year), but had a lovely chat with my new city councilmember while she was running for office. It was refreshing to finally have a representative that I could say actually represented me.

    One caution about focusing entirely on local elections: state elections in more conservative states can be even more impactful: Texas has a pattern of passing legislation at the state level with the sole goal of preventing cities from governing themselves–it's harder to enact change at that level, but worth keeping a close eye on.

  8. Comment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | February 12, 2024 in ~tv

    jackson
    Link Parent
    As do I. Here's the problem: the primary system doesn't work. Third parties are a joke. I feel comfortable saying it is impossible for an independent left-leaning candidate to take the presidency....

    As do I. Here's the problem: the primary system doesn't work.

    • Third parties are a joke. I feel comfortable saying it is impossible for an independent left-leaning candidate to take the presidency. I use left-leaning as a qualifier because I could see Trump being successful with an independent campaign because of his cult of personality; I don't think any other candidate could pull this off in the next 10 years.
    • Primaries don't happen on the same day: a vote for president in the primary in Montana is practically worthless because the results have already been decided before Montana's primary election day.
    • This leads to primaries over-indexing on "electability". The question the primaries are asking isn't "who would be the best leader for our country," it's "who can earn more votes than Trump."
    • A primary-free system with ranked-choice voting would allow constituents to vote for candidates that actually inspire them without risking "throwing your vote away" which is what third-party voters are doing today.
    • Don't even get me started on the electoral college nonsense.

    Of course adopting a new elections system is not easy, nor will it solve all of the united states's problems.

    • Those in power are benefited by the current elections system: incumbents see a massive advantage already, and while ranked-choice wouldn't eliminate this advantage, it does make it less effective as other candidates from the same "side" aren't splitting the vote.
    • Broader than incumbents, ranked-choice poses the risk of changing the status quo: the major political parties are extraordinarily powerful today, and ranked-choice would risk making them irrelevant since there could be other viable options.
    • Even assuming we implement ranked-choice voting, states can make it harder to vote than necessary.
      • In Washington state I've been mailed a ballot and a booklet that covers information about each candidate and position for every election, no opt-in necessary other than checking a "register me to vote" box when getting my drivers license. I filled in my ballot on my couch, with access to the internet to investigate candidates' claims. When I finished, I dropped my ballot into my mailbox and that was it.
      • In Texas, I had to drive 3 hours to my official county of residence to vote in-person during specified hours. Phones are not allowed to be used in the voting booth, and finding what is actually on your ballot before it is printed at the voting location is remarkably hard. I had to use a 3rd party website vote411 to (inaccurately!) figure out who was on my ballot, and many candidates chose not to respond to their interview questions. I then had to write notes on a piece of paper, and reference them on my ballot, which again did not entirely match the ballot returned by vote411!
        • This also means that voting in smaller, more important elections (city council, primaries, school board, etc) is challenging because you don't know what's on the f&#@%!g ballot and you have to make time to go stand in line and vote.

    Our systems are fundamentally broken. Systems built on good intentions stop working when people participate in bad faith.

    We deserve better.

    Biden was supposed to be a one-term president. Biden could've resigned, the DNC could've pressured him to resign, or could've facilitated a primary so others could at least have a chance at getting some recognition before 2028. "Vote blue no matter who" is a cop-out, full stop.


    I don't have solutions to any of the problems I've listed above: they're incredibly challenging problems that all require their own multi-faceted solutions. But I know the solution isn't Joe Biden.

    For what it's worth, I will be voting in the election. And assuming nothing changes*, I'm voting for Biden. But he didn't win my vote, just like he didn't win it in 2020.

    *ie: he becomes incapacitated because he is too old to have The Most Important Job In The World

    6 votes
  9. Comment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | February 12, 2024 in ~tv

    jackson
    Link Parent
    This is exactly what we were told by the democratic party in 2020. What makes you think it's going to be any different in 2028?

    These are the choices.

    This is exactly what we were told by the democratic party in 2020. What makes you think it's going to be any different in 2028?

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Want to automate my home with a privacy focus (but I'm a bit slow and need help) in ~life.home_improvement

    jackson
    Link Parent
    HomeKit's one of the smart home protocols, not worth fussing with unless you have an iPhone etc (it's what the Home app on iOS uses). It's just what I'm currently using over HomeAssistant because...

    HomeKit's one of the smart home protocols, not worth fussing with unless you have an iPhone etc (it's what the Home app on iOS uses). It's just what I'm currently using over HomeAssistant because it works well enough and I haven't reconfigured my HomeAssistant server for my new place yet. One of its key benefits is if you have a device like an Apple TV box it'll automatically use that device as a gateway to your home's devices from the internet, but you can achieve similar results with HomeAssistant and a VPN.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    jackson
    Link
    I started a blog! I've maintained a personal website for a while but never put much more content than a resume on it. I've been experimenting with post formats, trying to see what's the most...

    I started a blog! I've maintained a personal website for a while but never put much more content than a resume on it. I've been experimenting with post formats, trying to see what's the most interesting to write.

    Definitely trying to keep it going, but the biggest challenge I've been facing is figuring out what I want to dive into.

    12 votes
  12. Comment on Want to automate my home with a privacy focus (but I'm a bit slow and need help) in ~life.home_improvement

    jackson
    Link
    Some things worth looking into: Z-Wave devices are probably what you're looking for. They don't connect to the internet at all: they talk to a hub which may provide a bridge to the internet, but...

    Some things worth looking into:

    • Z-Wave devices are probably what you're looking for. They don't connect to the internet at all: they talk to a hub which may provide a bridge to the internet, but this hub could be your HomeAssistant server.
    • HomeKit has one of the better implementations of basic home automation, assuming you're in the Apple ecosystem. It doesn't work directly with Z-Wave (but does with Matter, whenever things start actually adopting that standard), but you can hook HomeAssistant into it and bridge any smart device into your HomeKit environment. It runs over your local network instead of relying entirely on outside servers.
    • For outside access, Tailscale may be worth looking into. It's a mesh VPN (i.e. regular internet traffic doesn't go through it, only traffic between Tailnet devices) and works pretty seamlessly. They have a free tier with a relatively generous number of devices. You can also host a VPN from your own network, but this is a nice and easy way to do it.

    Can't offer much help on wiring. Since I live in a small apartment, I've just went all in on Philips Hue bulbs. They're not cheap (and are doing a bit of enshittification with their new account requirement), but the hardware is great. My apartment doesn't get much natural light since it's south-facing into a courtyard so the ability to automatically adjust color temperature throughout the day has been incredibly valuable.

    Thermostats you're probably not going to find anything without an app but I'd absolutely consider a good smart thermostat worth it. At my last apartment I installed an ecobee and my electric bill went from $100/mo to $50-60/mo because of its ability to use a motion/temperature probe (there was very poor ventilation where the thermostat was located) and auto-away features.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | February 12, 2024 in ~tv

    jackson
    Link Parent
    Only when it’s convenient: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-signs-bill-block-us-railroad-strike-2022-12-02/ Like yeah I’m glad he’s not trump but I think we can do better.

    Biden is literally the first president in history to join striking workers on the picket line.

    Only when it’s convenient: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-signs-bill-block-us-railroad-strike-2022-12-02/

    Like yeah I’m glad he’s not trump but I think we can do better.

    11 votes
  14. Comment on how do you manage your personal ssh keys? in ~comp

    jackson
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don’t personally use 1pass for SSH (I use Tailscale SSH for personal devices and my job has some fancy CA setup) but I believe it has your ssh agent query 1pass directly when trying to use a...

    I don’t personally use 1pass for SSH (I use Tailscale SSH for personal devices and my job has some fancy CA setup) but I believe it has your ssh agent query 1pass directly when trying to use a key, so you’d need to unlock your vault to access them each time.

    Could be totally wrong, just remembering off the top of my head.

    edit: seems I was mostly right, but they do have their own ssh agent that you use in place of the regular one, seems pretty neat: https://developer.1password.com/docs/ssh/agent/security/

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Deepfake scammer walks off with $25 million in first-of-its-kind AI heist in ~tech

    jackson
    Link Parent
    It's not quite as infeasible as it sounds: equip every employee with a yubikey and require it to sign in to any corporate resources (ideally through your SSO provider). The video conf software...

    It's not quite as infeasible as it sounds: equip every employee with a yubikey and require it to sign in to any corporate resources (ideally through your SSO provider). The video conf software should be locking usernames to the name on the employee profile, and should also be aggressively marking users outside the company as external.

    At that point you basically have what's described in the blurb, just abstracted out to something practical. The key here is employee training–your video conf software is almost certainly used with external users (partners, customers, etc) and employees need to be very aware of how to tell if someone on a call is not part of the company. If they don't know what external users look like, the external user indicator might as well not be there at all.

    17 votes
  16. Comment on The decline of username and password on the same page in ~tech

    jackson
    Link
    I think it’s almost entirely because of SSO. Even login screens that “feel like” they’re for consumer things can support enterprise SSO (main thing that comes to mind is apple ID). Some may be...

    I think it’s almost entirely because of SSO. Even login screens that “feel like” they’re for consumer things can support enterprise SSO (main thing that comes to mind is apple ID).

    Some may be because they want to stop users early if they try to sign in to an account that doesn’t exist, but this is misguided since it opens you up to account enumeration attacks.

    23 votes
  17. Comment on Tips on building keyboard-centric workflow in ~tech

    jackson
    Link Parent
    Haven't used Alfred before, so might have trouble selling you on it. I mostly use it as an application launcher on my personal computer, but at work the custom internal extensions we have are...

    Haven't used Alfred before, so might have trouble selling you on it. I mostly use it as an application launcher on my personal computer, but at work the custom internal extensions we have are incredibly useful for doing quick data lookups or finding and opening specific links out of lists of thousands of links.

    I can join my next meeting with just ctrl+space followed by enter, it opens the videoconf app and I'm good to go. Also has a camera preview tool if you're planning on turning on your camera. Clipboard history is one of the tools I use the most since it just silently runs in the background.

    It has window tiling features, but I just use Rectangle for that instead.

    So really it's all about the extensions, and there's a lot. If you're already happy with Alfred I'm not sure if it's worth switching but it's absolutely worth switching from basic Spotlight.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on Tips on building keyboard-centric workflow in ~tech

    jackson
    Link
    A few software suggestions for mac: Rectangle: it’s window titling for mac. You can set it up to drag windows to zones, but I much prefer using keyboard shortcuts with it. rCmd costs some money...
    • Exemplary

    A few software suggestions for mac:

    • Rectangle: it’s window titling for mac. You can set it up to drag windows to zones, but I much prefer using keyboard shortcuts with it.
    • rCmd costs some money (definitely more now than when I bought it) but allows for very fluid app switching. I know some people miss alt-tab on macOS but imo this is so much better than alt-tab
    • Raycast: spotlight search on steroids. It has a whole plugin ecosystem. My company has an internal Raycast extension pack and it’s incredibly useful - the default set is also very useful too (clipboard history, join scheduled video calls, camera preview, etc).

    Some default keyboard shortcuts to know:

    • alt-arrow moves one word at a time
    • cmd-arrow moves to the beginning/end of a line (or start/end of a document for up/down)

    Combine with shift to select the range, or delete to delete the range.

    others I use frequently:

    • cmd+` will switch windows of the currently open application as well
    • cmd+ctrl+q to quickly lock your screen, or press the touch ID button
    • cmd+ctrl+space if you want an emoji picker (in messages you can press the globe/fn key after a word to get an associated emoji too)
    • hold alt while looking at a context menu to (potentially) see additional/different options. For example, you can do this when right-clicking an app in your dock to reveal a force quit option.
    • if you need special characters, mac doesn’t do alt-codes, instead you can press alt+[sometimes shift]+[some other keyboard key] to get the character. For example, pi is alt+p.
      • You can also do this for international characters on a US keyboard (unsure about international keyboards but I imagine it’s similar): alt+u followed by a character supporting umlauts will yield the umlauted character (ex: alt+u e yields ë).
    10 votes