Once again, I have collected far too many links over far too long a period of time. Anyhow, here is a collection of blog posts and links from around the web that I found to be good reading over the past couple of months. Is it too late in January to say Happy New Year?
2024 has been a pretty weird year for me so far. I spent the first couple weeks of the year in isolation, and then Portland got hit with a Snowpocalypse (I love how that’s a regular thing now), followed by freezing rain. This is the third day in a row that the sidewalk outside my front door is basically an ice skating rink. That means it’s a great time to do some reading!
- Privacy is Priceless, but Signal is Expensive [Security] I really appreciate this incredible breakdown of Signal’s costs and how they use donations. Signal is cool. You should be using it. For real.
- Breaking Laptop Fingerprint Sensors (Bruce Schneier) [Security] Do people actually use their laptop fingerprint sensors? I hate mine. I just disable the dang things and use a password.
- Surveillance by the US Postal Service (Bruce Schneier) [Security] To Catch a Thief, starring Cliff from Cheers.
- Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon opens discussion of push notification surveillance by Apple and Google (Rick Turoczy) [Security] There is some interesting legal stuff going on around the ability of tech companies like Apple and Google to use push notifications to capture user data that could be used for nefarious purposes. Definitely a story to keep your eye on!
- Holding NSA’s Feet To The Fire (jcs) [Security] Here is a second post about Senator Ron Wyden. He appears to be fighting the good fight! Go Senator Wyden!
- Transient for convenience with emms [Emacs]
Tory Anderson shares a really convenient EMMS control panel that uses the new version of
- Talk to Emacs with a GPT4 Co-Worker [Emacs] Gallagher Pryor shares a method he has for speaking to Emacs using ChatGPT-4. This is from back in November, so perhaps he has a package now!
- Jeremy Friesen: Mentoring VS-Coders as an Emacsian (Jeremy Friesen) [Emacs] I really enjoyed this talk about moving people away from VS Code and toward Emacs. The big takeaway for this talk seemed to be that demonstrating what Emacs could do was going to be more effective than just arguing. Let Emacs win just by letting it do what it does.
- Jeremy Friesen: Test Driving a Campaign Status Document (Jeremy Friesen) [Emacs] This post has some superb ideas for running a TTRPG campaign from Emacs. I’ve been doing this for a while, but my documents get really messy. I need something a bit more structured.
- EmacsConf backstage: Using Spookfox to publish YouTube and Toobnix video drafts (Sacha Chua) [Emacs] I love how crazy this is: using spookyfox to work with YouTube’s crappy interface to do things to videos. Go Sacha!
- Charles Choi: Improving Emacs isearch Usability with Transient (Charles Choi) [Emacs]
This is pretty cool. I recently learned about how rich the
isearchfeature set is, but I haven’t played around with it a ton yet. Another thing to add to my Emacs to-do list!
- William Denton: Basic citations in Org (Part 1) (William Denton) [Emacs] This is an excellent introduction to how citations work in org-mode. There are four parts in the series so far, so keep reading!
- Pike’s Rules Of Programming (jcs) [Programming] These are some good rules, even if they can make some parts of programming a little less exciting.
- Variations on styling variables in SSGs (Bryce Wray) [Programming] I am still using Sass a lot more than the vanilla CSS stuff that should be replacing it. Also, I am starting to see that this is a change I’ll need to take in my future WebDev adventures.
- Firefox on the brink? (Bryce Wray) [Programming] Bryce Wray is warning (or predicting?) that Firefox may be in a very dangerous spot in its loss of user share. This is really disappointing, given how evil Chrome continues to be. And it’s only going to get more evil. Convince your friends to run Firefox!
- Zachary Kanfer: Numberdle! (Zachary Kanfer) [Programming] This is a really fun browser game for people who enjoy numbers more than words. Move over, Wordle!!
Finally, here’s something fun to share with the kids.
- The Teddy Bear Was Once Seen as a Dangerous Influence on Young Children Before gifting stuffed animals to the wee ones in your life, consider that bears are dangerous!