Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

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"Fear, Uncertainty, and Period Trackers"

I was pointed to this essay by Bruce Schneier's blog. Bruce is one of the foremost digital security experts and he was right, this is an excellent essay which basically highlights at period tracker app data is a red herring. If you are concerned about someone finding out about your pregnancy, etc., there are a myriad of ways and things to be worried about which are more important than the apps and their data. OpSec is a thing in so much of our lives, and the internet makes it very hard.

7/13/2022 7:22 am | | Tags: women's rights, privacy, personal security, digital security

A small editorial note for the blog

This will be overlooked by most people, but one thing I've been chafing at on the blog is how to mark when I'm reusing the link's headline or title vs. when I'm editorializing my own. I've settled on a simple (I think) structure moving forward: when I'm using the link's title or headline I will be enclosing it in double quotes. My editorialized titles will not.


7/13/2022 7:26 am | | Tags: glowbug

Digital Defense Fund

We are Digital Defense Fund, and we do digital security for the abortion access movement.

We envision a future where technology and innovation support secure, autonomous reproductive decisions, free from stigma.

7/13/2022 7:41 am | | Tags: women's rights, abortion, privacy

Sri Lanka's crisis has not been getting the attention it deserves

7/13/2022 7:54 am | | Tags: world politics, economics, sri lanka

Process Explorer from Microsoft

I have had a weird ghost notification showing up on my computer and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. It's a tiny window bar that says "Notification" and is always on top. No way to close it, etc. I can move it around the screen but it remains otherwise. I finally was able to find the culprit software by using the linked software tool from Microsoft. It lets you click on a window and find out the process driving it.

7/13/2022 8:34 am | | Tags: app, windows

"Google exec suggests Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google's core products, Search and Maps"

The TikTok threat to Google’s business isn’t just limited to YouTube, as it turns out. Core Google services, including Search and Maps, are also being impacted by a growing preference for social media and videos as the first stop on younger users’ path to discovery, a Google exec acknowledged today, speaking at an industry event.

7/13/2022 8:44 am | | Tags: google, tiktok, search, technology, social media

Adding Commenting to Glowbug

I find myself thinking about adding comments to the blog in an effort to foster it's community growth. If I did it I would want the following:

  1. Identity - Some sort of identity tie. Not trying to force real names, but something that lets me force a user to be identifiable across comments. - Lessens spam and furthers the growth of site.
  2. Lightweight - ie not Javascript driven - I could turn to 3rd party tools (like Disqus), but speed is a big part of this blog. The whole reason I switched to it being that every page is its own html file and not a server built page. So loading big external JS is not interesting to me.
  3. Threading - I would want a simple level of threading of comments. Maybe it caps at 2 or 3 depth, but I don't want just an endless scroll.
  4. End of life - As with my Twitter, I am growing to believe that a lot of content is not useful or beneficial to remain available forever. I haven't implemented an EOL for posts on the blog, but I have been thinking about it. And in that same vein, I am thinking about it for comments.
  5. Upvotes - A way for viewers to promote and support a comment they like. I don't just want a thumbs up or up arrow. Right now I'm thinking there are two options "Interesting" and "Informative." Readers could vote for one or both.
  6. Troll Fighting - To be big enough to get trolls is still a ways away for the blog, but it would be prudent to plan for it now and have tools in place to avoid brigading, spamming, hate, etc. whenever it did eventually arrive.

I'm also trying to divorce myself from the standard model of comments where the comments are just at the end of a post. What if the comments were set up like page highlights and folks could comment on specific sections? What would that look like? How would that work?

This is what I'm pondering. We'll see what, if anything, comes from it.

7/13/2022 9:23 am | | Tags: programming, glowbug, discussion

"January 6 hearing makes it clear: MAGA is a cult"

What the committee hearing on Tuesday made clear is that Trump viewed his supporters as mere instruments in his quest for illegally obtained power. He cared not one whit how much damage he inflicted on his supporters.

"These Americans did not have access to the truth," Cheney said of the Big Lie believers. "They put their faith, their trust, in Donald Trump ... he deceived them."

To be sure, there's a genuine tension there. Painting Trump as a mastermind who knows what he is doing, but portraying his followers — or a good chunk of them, anyway — as mere dupes feels like a contradiction. If the Big Lie is so obviously false that Trump didn't believe it, then why would his followers believe it? Or, conversely, if his followers convinced themselves the Big Lie was real, then why couldn't Trump have done the same? Isn't it simpler to just view Trump and his followers as like-minded liars, people who collectively agree on falsehood in order to achieve their political ends?

7/13/2022 10:43 am | | Tags: january 6th, us politics

Mary Mcleod Bethune becomes first black American in National Statuary Hall

I am ashamed to admit that I had to go look her up. Her name was familiar as someone I learned about in school, and I believed she was taught as part of Black History and the Civil Rights, but I couldn't be more specific. Here's looking to celebrate as that hall is filled with more and more non-White Americans.

Here is a great biography on the Bethune-Cookman University website:

Bethune-Cookman University’s founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, is one of America’s most inspirational daughters. Educator. National civil rights pioneer and activist. Champion of African American women’s rights and advancement. Advisor to Presidents of the United States. The first in her family not to be born into slavery, she became one of the most influential women of her generation.

Dr. Bethune famously started the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training Institute for Negro Girls on October 3, 1904 with $1.50, vision, an entrepreneurial mindset, resilience and faith in God. She created “pencils” from charred wood, ink from elderberries, and mattresses from moss-stuffed corn sacks. Her first students were five little girls and her five-year-old son, Albert Jr. In less than two years, the school grew to 250 students. Recognizing the health disparities and lack of medical treatment available to African Americans in Daytona Beach, she also founded the Mary McLeod Hospital and Training School for Nurses, which at the time was the only school of its kind that served African American women on the east coast.

7/13/2022 2:50 pm | | Tags: civil rights, us history, black history

Casinos not seeing signs of recession... yet?

In most things, you should always look for multiple view points. This article calls out the gambling industry as not seeing any signs of a slowdown yet, but at the same time Bank of America's economists are predicting a slight recession this year and oil prices took another dip on recession fears and this article in Barron's says a double-dip recession is looking likely.

I personally believe the recession is coming, and it's going to suck for a while. Hope I'm wrong, we'll see!

7/13/2022 2:57 pm | | Tags: gas prices, us economy, economics

I just realized that Twitter's co-tweeting functionality is 100% meant for brands and influencers.

7/13/2022 7:54 pm | | Tags: twitter, social media

New blog site idea (this digs back to an old old idea I had years ago.)

What if, instead of an author defined templated design, instead the blog presents you with options to build its layout to your liking. Not just overall layout, but lets you filter posts, etc.

Then, when you hit the site, it loads XML/JSON of posts and builds the page as you laid it out. Also, with this, it knows the last posts you saw, so it puts the ones which are new since your last visit front and center.

It (relatively) minimizes the server hit as you're being served an html page, js file, css file, and the post xml/json file.

7/13/2022 8:02 pm | | Tags: blog, programming, idea

"What's happening in Sri Lanka and what comes next"

Sri Lanka's president, who had announced he would resign Wednesday, has fled the country after months of turmoil culminated in protesters converging on the presidential palace. Here's what's happening in Sri Lanka:

  • The country is hurtling toward bankruptcy
  • Daily essentials including food and medicine are scarce
  • Political corruption has deepened mistrust in the government
  • The double whammy of government and economic instability is further complicating recovery

Sri Lanka's prime minister, who said he'll step down after a new government is installed, says the island nation's debt-laden economy has "collapsed" as it runs out of money to pay for food, fuel and medicine. It's been relying on help from neighboring India, China and from the International Monetary Fund.

7/13/2022 8:38 pm | | Tags: sri lanka, world politics, economics
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