smores's recent activity

  1. Comment on Open Source Vulnerabilities database: Nice idea but too many Google-shaped hoops to jump through at present in ~tech

    smores
    Link Parent
    I’m still confused about how that’s supposed to read

    I’m still confused about how that’s supposed to read

    6 votes
  2. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (February 2021) in ~talk

    smores
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    That's fucked up; I'm glad you managed to find someone. And you're spot on with the abstinence dogma; Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program have just absolutely ruined all dialogue about...

    That's fucked up; I'm glad you managed to find someone. And you're spot on with the abstinence dogma; Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12-step program have just absolutely ruined all dialogue about substance use disorders for the last hundred years across most of the world.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (February 2021) in ~talk

    smores
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    That’s wonderful. I’m so hopeful that we can collectively improve the way we talk about, diagnose, and treat alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders. Do you mind if I ask roughly...

    That’s wonderful. I’m so hopeful that we can collectively improve the way we talk about, diagnose, and treat alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders.

    Do you mind if I ask roughly where in the world you live, and how you found someone specializing in the Sinclair method?

    Either way, I’m happy and hopeful for you!

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Considering the silence of teenage boys in the wake of my son's traumatic injury in ~life

    smores
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    This was... a little devastating for me to read. My little brother was this boy, and it almost killed him, too. He had so much anxiety and discomfort and dysmorphia that it was eating him from the...
    • Exemplary

    This was... a little devastating for me to read. My little brother was this boy, and it almost killed him, too. He had so much anxiety and discomfort and dysmorphia that it was eating him from the inside out, and he almost never said a word about it.

    I think my mom thought she was like the author. She thought she had a secret language with my brother, that she knew how he really felt, despite his silence. But no one could have predicted just how good he was at holding it all in.

    When he was nineteen, he had alcohol use disorder, he had extremely unhealthy cocaine usage, and he was at least recreationally using narcotics. Nineteen. And no one really knew. My parents knew he drank too much, and that he didn’t look as healthy as he should given how fit he was. My mom was anxious about the fact that he was smoking pot.

    My brother is better now. He survived nineteen, he’s getting A’s and B’s in college, even though he had to start over as a 22-year-old. He’s probably one of the best college lacrosse players in the northeast (though, the age difference probably helps a little). He’s not suffering as much. He can drink just a little, just sometimes, and then stop. Like a normal 23-year-old.

    I think being older than his peers helped a lot. It gave him a unique perspective on teenage boy silence, being able to see it happen with boys so much younger than him. And he’s not silent anymore. He ends phone calls with “I love you”, unprompted, which brings me to tears about half the time. He hugs me whenever he sees me, and it’s a real hug, like he doesn’t need to flinch away from physical affection anymore.

    I don’t know how my brother survived nineteen. I know that some of his peers didn’t. I know that he saw masculine silence modeled in my dad, but I don’t know why I didn’t follow that model, and he did. I’m sure organized sports had something to do with it, but I’m also sure some of it was just luck. I know that my family was willing to drop everything to help him when they finally understand how much pain he was in, and that my dad took off work with no notice to drive him to a rehab facility 9 hours away when he said he though he needed rehab. It all still feels like it was so close to not being enough.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing this. It hurt my heart to read it, but I never want to stop thinking about the journey my brother went through, and the quiet pain in the silence of teenage boys.

    13 votes
  5. Comment on New Spotify patent involves monitoring users’ speech to recommend music in ~tech

    smores
    Link Parent
    Yeah totally! I’ve been a little tuned out of the music information retrieval world lately, but this is a pretty common subject of research. Here’s some papers from past ISMIR (International...

    Yeah totally! I’ve been a little tuned out of the music information retrieval world lately, but this is a pretty common subject of research. Here’s some papers from past ISMIR (International Society for Music Information Retrieval) conferences:

    http://ismir2011.ismir.net/papers/PS6-18.pdf

    http://ismir2009.ismir.net/proceedings/OS5-4.pdf

    http://ismir2006.ismir.net/PAPERS/ISMIR06105_Paper.pdf

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Trans comedians on transphobia and cancel culture: While 'cancelled' comedians continue to succeed after transphobic jokes, their trans peers are still finding it an often unwelcome industry in ~lgbt

    smores
    Link Parent
    I loved that quote. I’m not in any way a comedian, but this is absolutely how I feel about comedy. This whole article is just chock full of good and nuanced takes about “calling in”, the...

    I loved that quote. I’m not in any way a comedian, but this is absolutely how I feel about comedy. This whole article is just chock full of good and nuanced takes about “calling in”, the distinction between “cancelling” and just “calling out”, and the other side of cancel culture; where it has been used basically forever to mark minority comedians as “dirty” or simply refuse them jobs outright. I have felt all of these things, but I have never seen them laid out all in one place so well.

    9 votes
  7. Comment on I made a thing: Ode, an open source, self-hosted collaborative document editor in ~comp

    smores
    Link Parent
    A read only URL is exactly what I was picturing, yeah! But I could see it going any number of ways. I threw a few rough screenshots up on the GitLab project earlier today:...

    A read only URL is exactly what I was picturing, yeah! But I could see it going any number of ways. I threw a few rough screenshots up on the GitLab project earlier today:
    https://gitlab.com/smoores/ode/-/blob/main/screenshots/desktop.png
    https://gitlab.com/smoores/ode/-/blob/main/screenshots/mobile.png

    2 votes
  8. Comment on I made a thing: Ode, an open source, self-hosted collaborative document editor in ~comp

    smores
    Link Parent
    Hey! Thanks for taking a look! There’s a “cloud function” that executes as a PostWrite callback on Steps that aggregates them into the base document. Steps are only used to communicate changes to...

    Hey! Thanks for taking a look! There’s a “cloud function” that executes as a PostWrite callback on Steps that aggregates them into the base document. Steps are only used to communicate changes to the document after first load; on first load, the user will almost always get the entire, up-to-date document (plus maybe a few steps if someone else is actively editing during load).

    That’s an interesting idea! I’m thinking of this more as “self hosted Google Docs” than as an embeddable editor, at least for now.

    Prosemirror uses a pull-and-rebase approach for synchronization, which is done by the clients (as opposed to the server). It’s super cool, and very fast, and I am very glad I did not need to implement it myself :D

    2 votes
  9. Comment on I made a thing: Ode, an open source, self-hosted collaborative document editor in ~comp

    smores
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Can you tell me more about what you mean by reliability? For context on why Ode uses Mongo: Ode uses Parse Platform as its backend framework, which supports two databases: Postgres and Mongo....

    Can you tell me more about what you mean by reliability?

    For context on why Ode uses Mongo: Ode uses Parse Platform as its backend framework, which supports two databases: Postgres and Mongo. Mongo is the recommended datastore solution by the Parse folks, and it makes more sense of the two in this case due to the document-shaped nature of... well, documents! I mentioned this in the above comment, but schema enforcement is primarily handled by Prosemirror in the client, which is more flexible and stronger than a SQL schema could be.

    I also specifically use and recommend the Percona Server for MongoDB, which has some nice additional features like hot backup and audit logging. Parse actually recommends using the MongoRocks engine for Mongo, which Percona supports but I unfortunately can’t use for Ode yet, because they don’t yet have support for MongoDB 4.2 (and Ode needs transactions, which were introduced in 4.2). Hopefully that will change soon though :)

    Edit: actually, after refreshing my memory a bit more here, MongoRocks/RocksDB has been deprecated and several improvements have been made to WiredTiger, the default engine. I think that Parse recommendation is just old/stale!

    6 votes
  10. Comment on I made a thing: Ode, an open source, self-hosted collaborative document editor in ~comp

    smores
    Link Parent
    Thanks!! Yeah prosemirror works well with schemaless dbs; the client libraries have such strong schema enforcement that you can rely heavily on them to maintain data integrity, and reads usually...

    Thanks!! Yeah prosemirror works well with schemaless dbs; the client libraries have such strong schema enforcement that you can rely heavily on them to maintain data integrity, and reads usually take the shape of reading the whole document at once, maybe plus some additional steps!

    2 votes
  11. Comment on I made a thing: Ode, an open source, self-hosted collaborative document editor in ~comp

    smores
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    I've been working on this for a while! It's still very rough and has not been battle-tested, but I have been using my instance for note-taking for a little while and it seems to be going well. I'm...

    I've been working on this for a while! It's still very rough and has not been battle-tested, but I have been using my instance for note-taking for a little while and it seems to be going well. I'm happy to talk more about why this exists or how it works if anyone is interested! Self hosting is a passion of mine, and I really enjoy the flexibility that Prosemirror provides as a rich text toolkit.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    smores
    Link Parent
    So I also love purple, and I have a theory for why it's so enjoyable: it's not a real color. I mean, it is of course a real color, in the sense that it's a color that human brains can perceive as...

    So I also love purple, and I have a theory for why it's so enjoyable: it's not a real color. I mean, it is of course a real color, in the sense that it's a color that human brains can perceive as different from other colors, but there's no frequency of light that corresponds to the color purple (I think the right way to say this is that it's not a "spectral color"). Purple is how our eyes tell our brains "I'm getting just as much blue as red, here". In nature, when we see purple, we're seeing something that's both red and blue. Mixing them together doesn't change them fundamentally, but it completely changes how we see them!

    5 votes
  13. Comment on The Lab-Leak Hypothesis—for decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if …? in ~health.coronavirus

    smores
    Link Parent
    Yeah thanks for pointing this out. This article was very technical, and although I have a passing knowledge of some of the science involved, I am by no means an expert and this author clearly had...

    Yeah thanks for pointing this out. This article was very technical, and although I have a passing knowledge of some of the science involved, I am by no means an expert and this author clearly had a specific point they wanted to convey without a huge amount of real evidence. They shoved a ton of information about several different aspects of this virus and general biodefense research into an article that was monstrously long and still incredibly dense, and it had the effect of bombarding the reader a little bit.

    I think that they made a convincing case (to me, at least) that this was very much a possible origin, but I don’t think they made a very convincing case that there’s any particular reason to think that this chain of events is more likely to be the true one than if the virus did naturally jump from bats to humans. And I fully agree that this article, without much evidence, throws Shi, Baric, and potentially the whole Chinese government and Shi’s lab under the bus, which is wildly irresponsible, in my opinion.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on The Lab-Leak Hypothesis—for decades, scientists have been hot-wiring viruses in hopes of preventing a pandemic, not causing one. But what if …? in ~health.coronavirus

    smores
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    I’m still reeling a bit from this one. I truly did not expect to go into this article and have my mind changed in any significant way, but it turns out that I really didn’t know very much about...

    I’m still reeling a bit from this one. I truly did not expect to go into this article and have my mind changed in any significant way, but it turns out that I really didn’t know very much about what this kind of research looked like and how plausible an accidental leak of an intentionally created pandemic-level virus was.

    I am actually suddenly finding myself believing that a lab leak really is at least as likely as animal origin for COVID-19. The article, while at times a little breathless, demonstrated several clear patterns in viral “defense” research that make it hard to ignore the possibility. I do think that the “how it might have happened” bit at the end was highly speculative and maybe veered on unprofessional. I think it would have been best for everyone to wait for stronger evidence before pointing fingers at specific individuals and all but accusing them of negligence that led to a global pandemic.

    11 votes
  15. Comment on Email: How about doing it right? in ~tech

    smores
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    The biggest win for me is that burnermail lets me send emails from my generated emails as well as receive them, which makes them significantly more useful. It’s also a little easier to burn them...

    The biggest win for me is that burnermail lets me send emails from my generated emails as well as receive them, which makes them significantly more useful. It’s also a little easier to burn them (just a button) than it would be to set up an auto-trash rule if I used a catch all email.

    Burnermail also has a nice little browser extension that generates new addresses for me when I need them, which is neat :)

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Email: How about doing it right? in ~tech

    smores
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    This is pretty similar to what I do. My personal email address that I give out to humans is first@firstlast.me, and I use burnermail.io for everything else. They all forward to a second account...

    This is pretty similar to what I do. My personal email address that I give out to humans is first@firstlast.me, and I use burnermail.io for everything else. They all forward to a second account (burners@firstlast.me). Aside from one single company inexplicably refusing to allow me to set my email address to anything with the domain @tryninja.io, this has worked out perfectly for me. Usually I will just unsubscribe from spammy or unwanted companies, but if someone refuses to respect my email settings (or sells my email address to someone else, which is easy to detect when all of the addresses say the company name) I can just disable the email address and never worry about it again.

    My inbox is very manageable; I get maybe one or two emails a day, and I actually want to read almost every email I get. I’m a big fan, definitely never going back!

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Run more stuff in Docker in ~comp

    smores
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    I don’t really have a dog in this fight; I don’t use Docker for running consumer desktop software, but I do run UnRaid for my NAS and self-hosting, which primarily relies on Docker containers for...

    I don’t really have a dog in this fight; I don’t use Docker for running consumer desktop software, but I do run UnRaid for my NAS and self-hosting, which primarily relies on Docker containers for running services. I only have one Postgres server, it’s just that that server is running in a Docker container. Each service that needs it just connects over the (local) network. But I have several services running different versions of PHP and Python, and any other number of dependencies that are a massive pain in the ass to manage multiple versions of on a single machine. Containers absolutely just solve this problem. I simply haven’t worried about it on this system, ever.

    I don’t think everyone needs to do this, or that it’s practical for all applications, or anything like that. But I do really like when folks have Docker images for their software, especially web based software, because it just makes self hosting trivial.

    I’ve even walked a friend through using docker-compose to set up a local Trello clone on a Windows computer. The manual install would have been a nightmare to try to do on Windows, potentially completely impossible. But the Docker install was as simple as installing docker, downloading the repo, and running docker-compose up. I think even for consumer desktop software, it can be nice to have to option!

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Why I don't believe in encrypted mail providers anymore in ~tech

    smores
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    I’ve seen takes like this a few times, and I think they might a be a little bit misguided. I use Protonmail and have never used Tutonota, so I can only speak for Protonmail but: Protonmail...

    I’ve seen takes like this a few times, and I think they might a be a little bit misguided. I use Protonmail and have never used Tutonota, so I can only speak for Protonmail but:

    Protonmail supports OpenGPG, like you mention in your post, which IS an open standard for encryption. I agree that it’s not one that’s easy to grok or use for folks that aren’t pretty technically literate, and that’s a shame, because it’s a great tool. I’d love to see a larger effort to create better systems around supporting everyday computer users understand and use tools like OpenGPG, but I don’t think moving away from one of the only email providers that supports it will accomplish that goal.

    For what it’s worth, Protonmail does also support the interface you describe with Tutanota, where you can email someone an encrypted message, and they get a link asking for a password. I don’t think this is a particularly nice experience for most people, but I have used it in the past for remote secret sharing in a pinch, and it is fairly simple to use, even for people without a lot of computer literacy.

    All that said, even without any truly end to end encryption, I think there are significant benefits to using encrypted email providers. I think by now there’s a pretty good cultural awareness of the kinds of harms that come from a large corporate entity having access to things like a user’s web browsing history. We know how companies are able to use those datasets to create profiles of their users, and sell manipulative advertisements and even the profiles themselves, often to other companies that the user themself would prefer to never interact with, let alone give a huge set of identifying data to.

    Your email inbox is akin to your web browsing history, at least for most people. Almost every website you make an account with ends up sending at least one verification email to you. In many ways this is an even stronger signal than just browsing history; it shows a much clearer intent than just visiting a link.

    If Protonmail is my email provider, then at the very least I can know that the contents of my inbox are being stored in a way such that they simply cannot be read by anyone who isn’t me. As someone who isn’t particularly concerned about a specific person or entity targeting my communications, but is frustrated by and concerned about largescale corporate spying on individual browsing habits, this is what I’m looking for in an email provider. I pay them money, they store my emails, and they give me a key to access them, but don’t keep a copy for themselves. I think this is how all cloud storage should work, always.

    One more minor quibble: running Protonmail Bridge doesn’t remove “all of the benefits of encryption”, it specifically allows you to continue to use your encrypted email service through a client that knows nothing about encryption. If you receive an email while running the bridge, encrypted or otherwise, it will be decrypted by the bridge, using your key, before being sent to the client you’re using. That way the email only lives unencrypted on your machine, but is still encrypted on Protonmail’s servers.

    9 votes
  19. Comment on Rate my homepage! in ~creative

    smores
    Link Parent
    Thanks! Ah, you mean on hover? Yeah I was definitely a little lazy on that.. just left the default browser styles! A background change isn’t a bad idea, changing the font weight might be another...

    Thanks! Ah, you mean on hover? Yeah I was definitely a little lazy on that.. just left the default browser styles! A background change isn’t a bad idea, changing the font weight might be another option. I’ll play around with it, thanks for the feedback!

    2 votes