mahoukov's recent activity

  1. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Your confidence and comfort in your own skin is inspiring. It's easy to see why women find you attractive, regardless of physical appearance.

    Your confidence and comfort in your own skin is inspiring. It's easy to see why women find you attractive, regardless of physical appearance.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    I swapped out the lenses in my frames for those blue light filter ones, so I can still wear them if I feel like it and it goes with my look of the day :P

    I swapped out the lenses in my frames for those blue light filter ones, so I can still wear them if I feel like it and it goes with my look of the day :P

    3 votes
  3. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Thanks, I'm also inclined to think your hypotheses are probably right :)

    Thanks, I'm also inclined to think your hypotheses are probably right :)

    6 votes
  4. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Congratulations! I helped my best friend move the first time she got her own place, and I remember she had a similar reaction. Now, years later, I still bring it up to cheer her up when she's...

    Congratulations! I helped my best friend move the first time she got her own place, and I remember she had a similar reaction. Now, years later, I still bring it up to cheer her up when she's feeling down about things in her life, how she's made it, and it was all hers through her own sweat.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Thank you :) Here in the UK it's raining most of the year, and now having to wear a mask everywhere, glasses would get smudged and fog up. So I can still relate to the glasses-wearers when they...

    Thank you :) Here in the UK it's raining most of the year, and now having to wear a mask everywhere, glasses would get smudged and fog up. So I can still relate to the glasses-wearers when they complain about those things, heh.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    mahoukov
    Link
    I had laser eye surgery and no longer need to wear glasses. For the first time in my life, people now check me out and smile at me. I got to experience what it's like to be one of those attractive...

    I had laser eye surgery and no longer need to wear glasses. For the first time in my life, people now check me out and smile at me. I got to experience what it's like to be one of those attractive people (the novelty wears off after a while if anyone reading this wonders what it's like; other than the smiles and looks, there's really nothing more to it...or maybe a woman would be having a different experience but I'm speaking as a guy) having grown up with ugly duck syndrome.

    7 votes
  7. Comment on Did Bill Gates stepping down as Microsoft CEO in 1999 have much of an impact on the company as it is today? in ~tech

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Agreed on that. I have a dev friend who switched back to Windows from Linux because he says the Linux subsystem on Windows is now good enough that it pretty much satisfies almost all the needs he...

    A fair amount of their push for open source software also helps people stay on Windows, which is a plus for Microsoft.

    Agreed on that. I have a dev friend who switched back to Windows from Linux because he says the Linux subsystem on Windows is now good enough that it pretty much satisfies almost all the needs he had on Linux.

    1 vote
  8. Did Bill Gates stepping down as Microsoft CEO in 1999 have much of an impact on the company as it is today?

    I was thinking about the Ballmer era of Microsoft, how they missed the smartphone revolution and the repercussions of that on the company. How it all can be traced back to one man's actions,...

    I was thinking about the Ballmer era of Microsoft, how they missed the smartphone revolution and the repercussions of that on the company. How it all can be traced back to one man's actions, namely Sir Tim Berners-Lee and his invention of the web. Because of that, Netscape came to exist. Because of Netscape and Gates' subsequent pivoting of his company around it, Microsoft was hit with the antitrust lawsuit, which then resulted in Gates stepping down and handing the reins over to Ballmer. Ballmer mentions in an interview how he clashed with Gates when it came to mobile, and his comments about the original iPhone are immortalised.

    13 votes
  9. Comment on What are your thoughts on this name system? in ~comp

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    The greatest common denominator across popular OS file systems, so something that would work on ext, APFS, NTFS, and FAT (not sure about FAT but you get the idea).

    The greatest common denominator across popular OS file systems, so something that would work on ext, APFS, NTFS, and FAT (not sure about FAT but you get the idea).

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Statistics on bans and transparency in ~tildes

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    The smaller, more niche subreddits are usually cool and their users are kind and polite. The reason for that is the same reason Tildes is: small community. The larger subreddits have many toxic,...

    The smaller, more niche subreddits are usually cool and their users are kind and polite. The reason for that is the same reason Tildes is: small community. The larger subreddits have many toxic, shitty users. Once a sub reaches that level, I only lurk there and no longer post.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on What are your thoughts on this name system? in ~comp

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Your argument is perfectly valid and one for which I couldn't come up with a solution. It's not a foolproof idea I'm afraid, if such a thing even exists. It's the equivalent of me obtaining a...

    Your argument is perfectly valid and one for which I couldn't come up with a solution. It's not a foolproof idea I'm afraid, if such a thing even exists.

    It's the equivalent of me obtaining a phone number and being informed it belongs to DataWraith. The first time I call the number, I have to trust the person on the other end is in fact DataWraith. In subsequent calls, if someone with a different voice answers and still claims to be DataWraith, I'd get suspicious.

  12. Comment on What are your thoughts on this name system? in ~comp

    mahoukov
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply! I'm looking into Hypercore to see how similar it is to what I'm describing and how much control it gives me over files. One of the objectives I had in...

    Thanks for taking the time to read and reply!

    I'm looking into Hypercore to see how similar it is to what I'm describing and how much control it gives me over files.

    One of the objectives I had in addition to simply decentralisation was to avoid involving money for having an identity. This design would only cost you what it costs to normally run your computer. The software runs at a gentle pace that doesn't roast your processor because you're only solving PoW for your own identity without regards to what's happening on the rest of the network. If you're paying for Namecoin, you may as well just pay for a domain name and use DNS.

    As for distributing malware, the system makes sure to save files strictly as .txt. Stealthy malware typically uses something like .txt.exe. I can make it set file permissions after it saves them so that the files are not executable if that would help. Keep in mind a file can be a maximum of 256 bytes in size (system-enforced; a node will not read anything more per-file from another peer). I'm not an expert on malware but I'm unaware of anything executable that can fit in a space that small. A very simple "Hello World" C program compiles into a binary on the order of kilobytes in size.

    The downside of this idea is the constant risk of an attacker obtaining the computing power to take over your identity. But this change will be detectable since all files are signed and the attacker will have a different public key than yours. A potential solution would be a mechanism that allows a node to "ask" the network if it's the current owner of its identity and have it do this periodically.

    P.S. TIL about Zooko's triangle. Never heard of it before, so thanks for sharing that :)

    2 votes
  13. What are your thoughts on this name system?

    It serves the same purpose as DNS with the following differences: It's completely decentralised. It runs on your own computer. You don't pay any fees. Identifiers are not necessarily domain names....

    It serves the same purpose as DNS with the following differences:

    • It's completely decentralised.
    • It runs on your own computer.
    • You don't pay any fees.
    • Identifiers are not necessarily domain names. They can be, but the only format rules they need to adhere to are the same ones that apply to file names.

    Here's how it works:

    The system runs as a background process. In this example, we're hosting a website on our home PC. The web server is listening on port 80 and we've mapped that port from our router to our machine. We want to allow people to find our website without using DNS or knowing our IP address beforehand.

    The first time you start up the system, it'll create an empty text file that you can edit to set your chosen identifier.

    1. [Diagram] Edit the text file and set your identifier. Save and exit. The system then detects it automatically.
    2. [Diagram] The system then creates a directory (the location of its parent directory - the root directory┬╣ - is configurable) with the same name as your identifier.
    3. [Diagram] The directory is pre-populated with a private key and a public key that the system generated for you.
    4. [Diagram] You create a new text file and populate it with your machine's public IP address and the port number the server is listening on.
    5. [Diagram] Save the file to the directory representing your identifier ('mahoukov' in this case). Since we're offering a web service, we can name our file 'www'. This is not mandatory; it's just a convention. The system doesn't care what you name the file or even what contents it has (it does, however, truncate how many bytes it reads from it, which I'm thinking should be about 256. That can comfortably fit about four IPv6 addresses and port numbers along with some additional potential metadata like TTLs).

    And you're done! Now let's walk through the steps someone else needs to take to find our website. In this case, we have a user with the identifier 'bob' who is also running this name system.

    1. [Diagram] This is bob's root directory. Right now it only contains his own identifier's directory. bob hears about our awesome website, and that it's available at the name 'mahoukov'.
    2. [Diagram] He creates a directory and names it 'mahoukov'.
    3. [Diagram] The directory will be empty at first. After a while, two files will appear.
    4. [Diagram] He copies the IP address and port number from the 'www' file, pastes it in his browser, and presto! He's greeted with our homepage.

    In this example, we did everything manually ourselves, but you can imagine applications can easily automate these steps. A web browser designed to support this name system would automatically create the 'mahoukov' directory and then wait for a 'www' file to appear inside it before parsing the IP address from it and then connecting to the web server. If we make a change to our IP address in the 'www' file on our end (because the server now has a different address), the changes automatically get reflected in the same file on bob's machine.

    You might've noticed that the system created cryptographic key files that we never used in this example. These are required to make the system function the way it does, and serve to unify your identity across all the services you use through it.

    Technical Explanation

    The system is based on cryptographic keys with one major property: keys are paired with arbitrary mnemonic strings, e.g. your favourite username. These key-string pairs can be generated on the fly on any computer and there's no central database that anybody can control. When multiple people inevitably choose the same strings as their personal identifiers, e.g. 5 people choose 'bob', the system has a proof-of-work-based consensus mechanism (no, it doesn't use a blockchain) for resolving such conflicts across the entire network so 'bob' will always point to one node at a given point in time. This means that only that specific 'bob' will receive any messages sent to that identifier. The other 4 people won't receive anything unless one of them happens to complete the necessary proof-of-work to claim the 'bob' identity.

    Because of its decentralised nature, there's no guarantee that you get the identifier you choose. This shouldn't be an issue unless you pick something that's quite common and likely to be competed over by a lot of other people. If you've been fortifying your identity for a while, the chances of someone else claiming it away from you are low, unless you've chosen something like 'google', in which case you can bet Google would have the computing resources to quickly catch up with you should they ever decide to get on this system!

    Bear in mind that this system can work for all kinds of internet services and not just websites. My 'mahoukov' directory can hold any number of files, each representing a different service that I'm offering. Anyone else who creates a 'mahoukov' directory will see it get populated with those files and discovers what services they can access from me. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.


    ┬╣ 'root directory' in this context refers to the top-level directory used by this system to store identity directories. It doesn't mean your filesystem's root directory.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on LinkLonk - A link aggregator with a trust system in ~tech

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    I'll continue to play with it :) Another comment: I think the font size could be a little bigger? I like the font sizes used here on Tildes and Reddit (old.reddit.com) as well. They're quite...

    I'll continue to play with it :)

    Another comment: I think the font size could be a little bigger? I like the font sizes used here on Tildes and Reddit (old.reddit.com) as well. They're quite readable. Hacker News is on the smaller side and I don't enjoy reading long threads of comments there. You could ask others about this and see what they think.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on LinkLonk - A link aggregator with a trust system in ~tech

    mahoukov
    Link
    I like the fact that you allow people to try the service before asking them to hand over any personal details. That's a nice idea. How effective is this recommendation model though? I upvoted some...

    I like the fact that you allow people to try the service before asking them to hand over any personal details. That's a nice idea.

    How effective is this recommendation model though? I upvoted some posts, but when I refreshed the page, the new stuff that appeared wasn't necessarily relevant to me based on my past upvotes. You replied to my comment on how this is similar to PageRank, but I'm not sure if the same idea works for the votes from people who aren't connected to each other in any other way. PageRank works great when a user is performing a web search on a certain topic, with targeted keywords so Google knows exactly what they want to see. People, on the other hand, have broad ranges of interests that may overlap significantly or barely.

    Facebook follows a similar model of using your friend connections and what your friends like to determine things/ads to recommend to you. In the case of friends, it makes sense (there's a reason I'm friends with someone; we probably have things in common) so the recommendations turn out to be, more often than not, relevant to an extent. When I like things on Instagram, it starts showing me more posts about those things. I don't know what it takes into account but its recommendations get pretty good over time. I did notice that the profiles posting them would usually have a large following though. I don't think I've ever seen a recommendation I liked there that came from an obscure account. Same thing with YouTube.

    I wouldn't write off the whole concept you've got here so quickly; I don't know how it would perform when I've been using it for longer with more users voting on the posts I vote on, but these are my initial thoughts.

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

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    Your idea sounds like PageRank but for people's votes rather than hyperlinks, did I understand that correctly?

    Your idea sounds like PageRank but for people's votes rather than hyperlinks, did I understand that correctly?

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    mahoukov
    Link Parent
    A well-made knife is a beautiful tool. After I got my first one, I understood the appeal in knife collecting. There's something satisfying in the mechanical clicks they make when you open/close...

    A well-made knife is a beautiful tool. After I got my first one, I understood the appeal in knife collecting. There's something satisfying in the mechanical clicks they make when you open/close them; how they effortlessly cut through many different things. That then makes you respect the tool in your hands.

    I have the same kind of fascination with pens and guns, although I can't legally own a gun where I live.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    mahoukov
    Link
    Knife laws are pretty tight where I live (the UK). I carry a Spiderco UKPK that was specifically designed to comply with UK knife carrying laws. It's a good knife. I really like it. Apparently it...

    Knife laws are pretty tight where I live (the UK). I carry a Spiderco UKPK that was specifically designed to comply with UK knife carrying laws. It's a good knife. I really like it.

    Apparently it made some friends feel uneasy when they once noticed it strapped to my waist under my jacket and I told them what it was.

    4 votes