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Johannes Ernst

Why decentralized social networking never makes it — ever heard of Crossing the Chasm?

Every now and then, the "why hasn't decentralized social networking succeeded" discussion pops back up. And inevitably, that motivates somebody who thinks they can do better. They proceed to design a new set of decentralized networking protocols, write lots of code, and get early adopters to enthusiastically adopt the New Thing. Which then, inevitably, never…

Global Warming and (My) Productivity

Reporting on the results of an unexpected experiment ... with unexpectedly global implications. After 20 years in the same house in Northern California, we installed whole-house air conditioning earlier this year. It seems that most of the apartments here have it, but not too many single family homes. Somehow the weather seemed to have gotten…

How to lose the midterm elections in two easy steps — 2018 Democrat Edition

Step 1: "Abolish ICE!"What does Joe Average hear? "They want to have nobody guarding the borders at all! Everybody, friend and foe and gangs and foreign armies, can just walk in. Not only are those Democrats insane, that's criminally endangering the country and all of us!"Step 2: "We need socialism!"What does Average Jane hear? "They…

Remote backends for incremental Linux backup software

One of the Arch wiki maintainers thought it was "useless bloat" to add information about which remote backends are supported by various Linux backup programs on the Arch wiki, and reverted my contribution. Well, I don't think so, as I did the research because I needed to know. I don't want it to be lost,…

The Case of the Secret Compartment in the plain-text file

Hidden data somewhere in a big opaque file? Nobody would be surprised. But hiding in a very short plain-text file? It sounds impossible until you use Amazon's AWS tools: % echo hello > hello % aws s3 cp hello s3://indiecomp-test/hello > out % cat out upload: ./hello to s3://indiecomp-test/hello Seems all very straightforward, right? The…