October 26, 2016

Ad-hoc routing: another benefit to life in The Republic

Filed under: bitcoin, tmsr — Benjamin Vulpes @ 5:06 a.m.

Behold, the amazing benefits conferred upon even peripheral members The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin's Web of Trust, and casual observers of court proceedings in #trilema:

2016-10-25 18:33:34 +asciilifeform in other noose: << linkfarm.
2016-10-25 18:33:38 +asciilifeform RIP.
2016-10-25 18:34:05 +shinohai bwahahahaha
2016-10-25 18:34:06 +ben_vulpes ahaha
2016-10-25 18:34:09 +mircea_popescu uh
2016-10-25 18:35:32 +phf despite the schadenfreude, the amount of entropy is disconcerting
2016-10-25 18:36:15 +mircea_popescu which schadenfreude ?
2016-10-25 18:36:33 +phf ^
2016-10-25 18:36:41 +asciilifeform and wasn't the d00d just here a couplea days ago
2016-10-25 18:36:49 +asciilifeform asking after intel boobytraps or somesuch.
2016-10-25 18:36:53 +mircea_popescu yeah something about routers.
2016-10-25 18:37:36 +asciilifeform seems like domain simply expired.
2016-10-25 18:37:43 +mircea_popescu heh, i see the registration is still unchanged. i thought the deal included the guy's obligation to change them wtf.
2016-10-25 18:37:46 +trinque the whois tells a tale of lulz
2016-10-25 18:37:51 +mircea_popescu wouldn't surprise me if he lost the domain because of this.
2016-10-25 18:44:09 +asciilifeform << plain http dun work
2016-10-25 18:47:13 @deedbot << Trilema - Romanul. 1929.
2016-10-25 18:48:30 +trinque asciilifeform: worked fine with added to hosts
2016-10-25 18:48:49 +trinque not like that's a compliment

To recap:
- BitBet enters receivership, changes hands, many lulz are shed and carebear tears had
- Months go on
- BitBet's registration in the global NATO namespace expires
- 10 minutes elapse for The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin between asciilifeform's report of the routing issue and his hand-delivered DNS update1

Benefits conferred:
- backup namespace routing for BitBet
- backup namespace routing for everyone reading #trilema logs
- moderate piles of lolz

  1. Routing this discovery over to the old gossipd layer takes three minutes and routing the fix five after its discovery. Discussion then drags its carcass through the challenging territory of a new (Intel and BitPay-branded, this time!) tardano and the fullness of blocks on the bitcoin blockchain. []

October 23, 2016

Halloween pre-fab

Filed under: bad poetry — Benjamin Vulpes @ 4:19 a.m.

The girl barreled out
fresh from a long bout
'gainst a strep' that wanted to torch her.

Two gloves overhead
sick of days spent in bed
sketched a plan guaranteed not to bore her.

The child's birthday
(obviously nowhere near May)
was going to need budgets and planning.

Costumes were designed
a turkey was brined
and girlie dispatched to the shopping.

The child he napped
on Postfix I hacked
and took the old dog dog a-romping.

Fast forward past bedtime
(kiddo really hates bedtime)
that marvelous girl now is hatting.

I am to be the Dad Hatter this Halloween.

I am to be the Dad Hatter for Halloween this year! Accompanied by the prettiest Alice you've ever laid eyes on and the world's most adorable White Rabbit. Costumes are coming along quite well, thank you very much.

October 18, 2016

Headlight Replacement on a C3 Corvette

Filed under: Stella, auto — Benjamin Vulpes @ 7:22 p.m.

The girl's sick, and I'm studiously avoiding doing any sort of "work" that's not related to La Serenissima. So I changed the headlights on my car! One of my favorite things about rattly old American cars is a) the low cost of entry and b) the ease of maintenance on the mostly-mechanical and easily inspected systems. Onwards!

First: Erect the headlamps.

Kiddo was asleep when I did this, so I cranked 'em up by hand. If you have a proper shop in which to perform this operation, turn the machine over so that the vacuum pump is running, turn the lights on, turn the car off and disconnect the battery. You might not, but I installed a battery disconnect switch. This means I can let the beast sit for a few weeks without murdering the battery. Anyways, with the headlamps up and electrical system disconnected, proceed to...

Step Two: Debezzling:

Start like this:


End like this:


There's another screw on the far side of the headlight assembly that needs removing, and two going through the bezel into the top of the assembly. Super interestingly, the drivers-side top bezel screws are machine screws and the passenger side uses self-tapping sheet metal screws. Exciting!

Ye Thirde Steppe: Debulbing. Three screws hold the bulb retention ring in. Unscrew them. Don't touch the bolts next those that secure the housing, they handle beam calibration and fucking with that is far over your pay grade. Before proceeding on from Ye Thirde Steppe, take a moment to clean out the bulb housing and the bezel exterior. This is what can accumulate in the years between bulb changes:


Gross! Get that shit out of there.

Fourf: reassemble, rinse, repeat.

Put it all back together! Try not to touch the bulb too much, as it gets hot and oil's not great for it (use gloves if you're a real neat freak). Keep the screws in a plastic bag like we learned to do in kindergarten so they're readily accessible when you need them. Repeat the process on the other side; the only thing worse than driving with mismatched beams in the rainy dark is being seen driving with mismatched beams.

The Corvette's already a ratchet enough car, don't make it look goofy in an effort to save 10 dollars and 10 minutes.

et voila

We don't have a security problem, we have a branding problem!

Filed under: branding, pink washing — Benjamin Vulpes @ 6:36 a.m.

Despite living in the boonies near the very end of the train line against which the old-school Clackamites once railed for the inevitable flooding of their precious suburb with the carless poor (trans in local cant), and debarking from my morning train in the hairiest armpit of downtown Portland1, the most active hostility I encounter on a daily basis is the odd baffled grunt from the street folk when I don't stop to carry on a conversation with them on my way from the train to my desk-hole. Therefore, when I stumble across marvelous American artifacts like the following mace dispensers, I practically fall down laughing.

First up, Business Mace. Business Mace is all reds and blacks, colors that make Americans think about strong men, firetrucks and faceless police officersthugs delivering beatdowns to hapless bystanders. Business Mace features a "safety flip and grip trigger", some words a packaging and branding team cooked up to fill empty space on the boxes. It claims to be made in the USA, but I have my doubts.

Business Mace enjoys the dubious monikers of "POLICE MODEL" and "Pepper Gard".

I pine for a world in which people strive for at least the image of erudition and learning. Not one in which misspellings are celebrated as creative branding. Creative branding just rekindles the black fires deep within my soul that can only be quenched by the long and excruciatingly painful death of this culture2.

business mace

Then, we have Sporty Mace:, aka "SPORT MODEL", aka "hot pink".

sporty mace

Business Mace disposed with spelling. Sporty Mace disposes with capitalization. Either a priapic clown or an embalmed witch are going to be running this country next year, and all I have is a case of fermented corn syrup.

Sporty Mace is indistinguishable from Business Mace (patience, patience), except that Sporty Mace features the Mace Cares branding, to inform the savvy American consumer that their purchase will somehow end up doing something about cancer NOPE NOPE NOPE OHO AHA So I sat down and actually looked at the Mace Cares program for half a second. They commit to donating $10`000 to: "Casting for Recovery", the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center, and the SMC Safety Foundation. There's also some madness I don't personally care enough to tease apart having to do with Mace Tactical. All very well-intentioned, and I can't imagine that any of them do their jobs, whatever that may be, any better or worse than any other random sample of the charity industry.

But! They claim donations of 10K to the above organizations. Charitably, let's split that across the four, to arrive at 2.5K per org. For the low price of 2.5KUSD, Mace can field a checkout impulse-purchase display set with something for everyone.

Where, however, in their financials I am to find those ten thousand dollars donated to charity?

Back to the display items to regard our final star, "Percy Mace", the "PURSE MODEL", or "Exquisite".

An...exquisite pepper spray?

percy mace

The "Exquisite" can only shoot 5 bursts, and only out to 10 feet.

On one hand, this is for sale at Lowes, to people who spend their lives in cars, offices or homes. On the other hand, rape can happen anywhere?

Precisely the same mechanism sells guns as sells pepper spray: lifestyle advertising. Firearms, in America, are sold to people who hunt and to people who maintain the illusion that they're just the kind of badass to get into the gun safe, load something handheld and dispatch with that nasty home invader. So too are pepper spray dispensers sold: to people who desperately want to believe that they're juicy tail, who like to imagine that they take runs at night through dark parks and don't huff and puff on the walk from the car to the Lowes (and then drive the car to the other end of the strip mall to Dick's instead of walking there and back -- "but what about the shopping cart?" "You've never taken the Home Depot shopping cart into Lowes? Honey, you're not living..."), people who have swallowed the inseguridad myth (paging Mircea Popescu...) wholesale.

Tools that address fear and not the risks for which the fear should be interpreted as a warning signal are symptoms of a deeply ill society. If the world is such a terribly dangerous place, how can any thinking person admit that the thing to be done is buy products? Buying a weapon does not make you safer, it gives your attacker a lever they lacked to begin with. Personal defense is not purchased at the supermarket, it's a few possibly obvious possibly not dudes or chicks with various amounts of firepower and hand-to-hand combat experience and a set of smarts as to what dumb situations to avoid. None of which is applicable to the suburban lifestyle.

If (ha ha ha ha) blessed/cursed with more children, and further blessed/cursed with females, you can be damn sure they're getting fuck-you-up martial arts training (currently leaning towards Krav Maga, but open to suggestions. Capoeira's straight out.) from a young age. Along with ballroom dance, latin, piano, singing, multivariate calculus, formal logic, organic chemistry, the standard elementary-school regimen; no different from the boys. Then wilderness training, and skiing, riding bikes really fast through the mud and a whole host of fleshly mortifications, because the only cure for statally-induced fear is the hard-won knowledge that one can actually handle oneself and whatever the dipshits that vote find painful and so avoid at all costs is actually pretty mild compared to crushing an elbow or falling off a cliff or you know any of those painful things kids endured once upon a time.

Plus, it's just plain funny to watch kids fall over. Especially if they're yours.

  1. The Greyhound station is truly the armpit of Portland, although people who work in Big Pink (aka the US Bancorp Tower, one of the taller buildings in downtown due to a) the absurd costs of building up on ground that liquefies during earthquakes and b) the imperative that American bankers labor under to build monuments to their corporations on a bi-centennial schedule. The bank buildings from the early 1900s in Portland are beautiful, featuring gorgeously cut local stone, gorgeous lobbies, rotating entryway doors with amazingly detailed bronze shielding that wraps around them after hours, marble floors, ceiling detail work commissioned by someone who'd at least heard ofthe glory of Europe...) will claim that distinction for Right 2 Dream Too, and people who bike the Springwater will claim the dubious honor for the encampments along their commute. What sets the Greyhound station (and by dint of proximity, Union Station as well) head and shoulders above the competition is that the people who arrive in Portland by bus are those who lack the personal capital to arrive on a plane or train, and lack the social capital to get a ride into town or a place to stay once they arrive. This is compounded by the Bud Clark Commons directly across the street, which for all that it only has some hundred-and-thirty low-income units certainly has a lot going on around it at all hours.

    The net effect is that the armpit of town where I keep my dingy little office is riddled with what I described to a saintly grandmother I was guiding around the armpit to the nearby Post Office last week as "hostility". To paraphrase my mother, paraphrasing Judith Martin, "Manners are only sometimes about making people feel comfortable. Sometimes they are about talking trash without the trash cottoning on."


  2. Blowjobs help too. []

October 9, 2016

[UPDATE] Mimisbrunnr: last block received

Filed under: bitcoin, common lisp, mimisbrunnr — Benjamin Vulpes @ 7:49 a.m.

Now on the homepage of my block slicer, Mimisbrunnr:

• Last block received at: 2016-10-09 07:13:43

Perhaps this does not look like much, but it is the web-facing tip of a whole wall of bricks I put into place to track and respond to events dumped into TRB node's logs.

Fully granted that political time is foreign to The Republic of Bitcoin. Nevertheless, I had to implement the bulk of this machinery anyways in order to handle reorgs in any case. Sharing the data with friends is simply a nice cherry, teaser, or status update, depending on your perspective on the project.

Let's be real, though. I just want to show off that my system spots blocks ~5 minutes before other block explorers.

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