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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…

In praise of commons-based development

Let's say you run into an operating system bug on a Friday afternoon. You post it on a user forum. You ask around on IRC, and you find somebody who can reproduce your problem on a different system architecture. (Ha, I'm not crazy!) You investigate a bit, but nothing obvious shows up. Monday morning, you…