Putting on my hacker hoodie to View Source


Seriously, the Chrome team just landed a patch that lets sites block "View Source" right in the middle of the Chrome Dev Summit.

(To everyone saying "this is just an enterprise policy": Look at the conversations in the bugs.

Somebody said, to the Chromium team, schools are using Google Forms for testing, and the kids can see the right answers in the forms, so to address that, we want to prevent students from reading source code.

And without an ounce of pushback, without so much as a nod in the direction that this might not be the right solution to this problem, the Chromium team said yes.)

That's what sticks in my craw here. Not the policy part, not the (naive, flawed) implementation. Somebody asked the Chromium team to restrict students access to devtools and source code, and there wasn't even a discussion.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson unavailable for comment.

Update: Because this seems to be catnip for "Well Actually" techbros, let me clarify:

Adding the ability to block View Source is antithetical to what the web used to stand for. It is profoundly fucking evil, and everyone responsible should be ashamed. I don't care how many times you say the word "enterprise" as an excuse for your decision.

Update 2: spifbv:

Imagine being a kid who would like to learn about how the web works. Your only computer is a Chromebook managed by your school district. They block access to view source with this. Are you okay with that?

This is why computer people need to study ethics.

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Exposure Notifications

I turned on the iOS bluetooth exposure notification thing when it came out (May 2020?) Since then, I've never gotten a single notification. I'm at DNA Lounge nearly every night we're open, which means that I'm in close proximity to thousands of strangers per week. And though DNA Lounge has the strictest vaccination policy in the country, having gotten zero notifications still seems... unexpected. Possibilities include:

  • I have not been in bluetooth range of one of the infected.
  • Not nearly enough people have opted in to this system.
  • Not nearly enough of those who have become infected have volunteered that information to the system.

My phone says I had 82 exposure checks in the last 14 days, which seems to be all that it saves. I guess that sounds low?

Exposure notifications are a deeply flawed system (proximity is a poor substitute for contact tracing) but false positives should be expected to be the most common failure mode.

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These are some good heists

This list is a little cowboy heavy, but I am glad to see that the Nutella, Butterfly and Bee heists were featured, though the Syrup and Walnut heists are notable omissions. But they found a different Cheese heist!

9. The Harry Winston Jewelry Store Robbery, 2008:

A group of gunmen raided the Harry Winston jewelry store in Paris, making off with $90 million worth of jewels. The men pulled off the entire heist while decked out in women's wigs and high heels, with one of them waving around the ultimate fashion accessory statement piece: a hand grenade. In 2011, $20 million worth of the jewels were found in a drain in a Paris suburb.

14. The Black Truffle Heist, 2019:

$100,000 worth of black truffles were stolen from a warehouse in Provence, France, in the dead of night. The crooks traveled by rooftop, using rope ladders and night-vision goggles to slink into the warehouse and access the refrigerator where the truffles were kept.

For your convenience, I have expanded the taxonomy with a heist tag.

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Guilty of Walking Without Lowjack

How it started: "Robot cars will be safer than humans!"

How it's going: "To make them barely work at all you must re-design all public spaces, and strap radio transmitters to anything you don't want killed."

Biden's $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Hastens Beacons For Bicyclists And Pedestrians Enabling Detection By Connected Cars:

Beaconization -- or equipping bicycles and pedestrians with transponder beacons that can be spotted automatically by sensor-equipped cars -- has been given the official seal of approval in the U.S., reveals a tucked away part of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed on November 5. [...]

For tech companies and affluent cyclists, the future will be rosy [...] The more likely version of the future is deeply dystopian, says transport historian Peter Norton. Only the beacon-equipped will be spotted, he fears. Those choosing -- say, for economic or privacy reasons -- not to fit bicycle-to-vehicle beacons will be blamed for being hit by sensor-equipped cars.

Same as it ever was: The Invention of Jaywalking:

Local auto clubs and dealers recognized that cars would be a lot harder to sell if there was a cap on their speed. So they went into overdrive in their campaign against the initiative. They sent letters to every individual with a car in the city [...] The industry lobbied to change the law, promoting the adoption of traffic statutes to supplant common law. The statutes were designed to restrict pedestrian use of the street and give primacy to cars. The idea of "jaywalking" - a concept that had not really existed prior to 1920 - was enshrined in law.

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Batman Returns taught us everything we need to know about Boston Dynamics:

"They're really cute until you remember that they are actually weapons platforms."

"Stan Winston Studio designed and built thirty full-body mechanical penguin puppets -- ten each of three different penguin species -- and six mechanical heads and suits."

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Ever Given

I see a Third Stage Guild Navigator. Why? What do you see?

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I have been loving the new Chucky TV series, so that inspired me to rewatch all 7 movies. In a row. Yeah I white-knuckled the whole thing in one night and I have no regrets. Ok, here we go:

  1. Child's Play (1988):
    This is extremely 80s, but holds up pretty well. The end of the first act drags a bit but nobody wastes any time in denial. Once someone sees him walking around they're all, "Yup, that's a talking doll. Kill it with fire." B+.

  2. Child's Play 2 (1990):
    I like that it just picks right up a couple of weeks after the first movie ends. Mom is in an asylum and the kid is in foster care, like you do. The Chucky resurrection is contrived but consistent, I guess. Plot wise, it's the first movie again, but annoyingly there are some kills that were just counterproductive to Chucky's goals. I know that he does just love killin', but he's also smart, so that bothered me. The third act goes extremely surreal and Willy Wonka / 5000 Fingers, and the most unrealistic part is that in this universe industrial manufacturing facilities still exist in the US. B-.

  3. Child's Play 3: Look Who's Stalking (1991):
    Well first of all the timeline is wrong. Andy is 16 but should only be 9. Is this a 1991 movie set in the far future of 1998? This is like 20% Chucky movie and 80% on the theme, "military school is vile and full of bullies" and wow, who gives a shit. Also, brief appearance by Uncle Frank from Hellraiser as a deranged barber. D+. No wonder there was such a gap before the next one.

  4. Bride of Chucky (1998):
    Ok now we're off to the races! After a 7 year gap, this one is an absolute gem. It's still very gory but this one is more of a comedy than the earlier installments. This movie is really the Jennifer Tilly show, and I forgot how hilarious she is. The banter, the murder oneupsmanship. It's so romantic. And the puppets are so expressive. A+.

  5. Seed of Chucky (2004):
    This is the wall-breaking self-referential one of the series, the "New Nightmare". Jennifer Tilly is playing herself, there is a John Waters cameo. There is a kinda cringey trans subplot and ironic fat jokes. It's set in "Hollywood" and like all such, it's the writers licking their own assholes. It is... less funny. I give it a B- if I'm being generous.

  6. Curse of Chucky (2013):
    And I guess Seed didn't go over very well, given the 9 year gap. Very different tone on this one! It's played totally straight and it's basically a Victorian haunted house story. Chucky is Chekhov's Gun until at least halfway through. The cinematography is beautiful and it is genuinely scary. And I love it that it's now a dynasty, starring Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad, the voice of Chucky. A++.

  7. Cult of Chucky (2017):
    Nica (Fiona) is in the loony bin, so this is the "Dream Warriors" of the series. Also Andy's back! And he's got some fuckin' issues. (One of the things that I love about this series is that as the characters return they have been played by the same actors, even if it's 30 years later -- with the notable exception of Child's Play 3.) This one also is a straight horror movie rather than a comedy, though not quite as dark as Curse was. One of my favorite scenes is when Chucky briefly possesses Nica because at that point Fiona is doing an impression of her real-life dad and it's just gloriously inappropriate. There are some weird but promising, and largely unexplored, expansions to the mythology that were really begging for a follow-up that hasn't happened yet. A.

So, they also did a remake of the first one, and I hadn't realized that it was actually released in 2019. I haven't seen it. It has a good cast on paper, but neither Don Mancini nor the Dourifs are involved, so that sounds like some bullshit to me.

I would like to see Chucky Invades and Chucky's Vacation Slides, anyone got a torrent for them?

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Fucking Apple.
Lazyweb: How do I make copy and paste work between Virtualbox 6.1 host and guest? Or, dare I dream, drag files? Both are macOS. I gather this has something to do with "Guest Additions" but every hit talks about menu items that do not exist.

Because this is the world we live in, I now need to run an emulated macOS 10.13 within macOS 11.6 to keep certain 32 bit apps working. Here are some things that I have learned, for the benefit of future generations.

Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

  • How do I install 10.13 into the emulator?

    • Download the "Install macOS High Sierra.app" from the app store.
    • hdiutil create -o /tmp/HighSierra.cdr -size 5200m -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
    • hdiutil attach /tmp/HighSierra.cdr.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build
    • sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/install_build
    • mv /tmp/HighSierra.cdr.dmg ~/Desktop/InstallSystem.dmg
    • hdiutil detach /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ High\ Sierra
    • hdiutil convert ~/Desktop/InstallSystem.dmg -format UDTO -o installer.iso
    • mv installer.iso.cdr installer.iso
    • Create the VM and in "Storage / Controller / Empty" click the tiny icon on the right and attach the ISO file to it.
    • Boot the installer DVD image.
    • In the installer, run Disk Utility to partition the new virtual disk, then install.
    • It should boot! Run Sofware Update and wait forever.

  • What's the right way to shut it down?
    Clicking on the Close box of the emulator offers you choices.
    • Save the machine state:
      This is like closing the lid on a laptop. Probably what you want.
    • Power off the machine / Restore current snapshot:
      As far as I can tell, this means that the next time you boot, it has rolled back to prior to any changes you made during this session, including to the file system.

  • How do I get the guest and host on the same network, so that host can ssh in?
    Use "Bridged" network adapter. Otherwise it hides behind an internal NAT.

  • How do I get a 1080p display instead of this postage stamp?
    /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOS/VBoxManage setextradata "vm name" VBoxInternal2/EfiGraphicsResolution 1920x1080

  • Why is it so slow that it feels like I'm running VNC over a 9600 baud modem?
    Because you're on a Retina display and it's moving too many pixels.
    • open /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/Resources/
    • Finder "Get Info" on VirtualBoxVM.app
    • Check "Open in low resolution"

  • And now all the text is fuzzy.
    In the guest, un-check System Preferences / Displays / LCD font smoothing.

  • How do I transfer files?
    Guest: Turn on Apple File Sharing, turn off SMB.
    Host: Finder / Go / Network.
    Hopefully the client host name will show up there.

  • I did a software update on the host and now Virtualbox stopped working with an error message about "Kernel driver not installed".
    Apparently you have to do this every time you upgrade macOS:
    • sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxDrv
    • sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetFlt
    • sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetAdp
    • sudo kextload -b org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxUSB
    • Reboot.
    Oh and keep your eyes on System Preferences / Security / General for things you have to say "yes" to.

  • How do I enlarge the emulated file system when I realize that the recommended 20GB was too small?
    You're fucked. Delete it and start over.

  • How do I make ⌘Q quit an app inside the emulator instead of Virtualbox?
    I have no idea.

Update, Dec 2020: Emulating macOS 10.13 on macOS 11.6 or 12.0 using VirtualBox 6.1 is bullshit, and it stinketh. I gave up on it entirely and am now just VNCing in to a sufficiently-ancient physical Mac Mini instead. This is sad and wrong but it works.

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Now I'm no train expert, but...

I can't wait until the trains are running on this line and they are still doing this.

"But I've always parked here!"
"I'll just be a minute."
"Why don't you just go around?"

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What's with all the phone spam?

I've had the same phone number forever, and had been living in a state of grace where I would get a robocall or SMS spam maybe once every couple of months. Until about a year ago, when it ramped up to 3 to 5 per day.

I never give out my number to businesses (except for 2FA), and rarely even give it to co-workers. Any time I fill out a form, I use the DNA Lounge infoline, 415-626-1409.

But halfway through lockdown, the robots found me, so obviously my cell number is out there in some database now. Do I have any effective recourse?

I have been using Abine DeleteMe for years, and it works pretty well, especially for reducing physical spam. The only glossy garbage that appears in my mailbox is from politicians and realtors. (Realtors: the cockroaches of commerce.) But it's certainly not helping at all with this phone situation. And we know the Do Not Call Registry has always been a joke.

Infuriatingly, the ACLU just sent me a text message, and I am 100% certain that in my decades of donating to them, I have never once given them this phone number.

So somehow they purchased it and correlated it from some other database, and I am offended.

I never answer the phone, least of all from unknown callers, but it's still annoying. Especially the texts.

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