29 December 2011

Dreamwidth, brought to you by the head of the LiveJournal abuse team

Dreamwidth is an offshoot of LiveJournal that a lot of people moved to in search of a censorship-free blogging platform. A recent hagiographic biographical sketch of Denise Paolucci coincided with a posting from someone I know offering Dreamwidth invites, and it occurred to me that there are still a lot of people who don’t know why they should be wary of Dreamwidth. So, here we go, one more time. Let’s start with the Dreamwidth Diversity Statement. ... Read more

24 December 2011

War is over (for the moment)

Mark Steel is a UK comedian and a committed socialist. In “What’s Going On?” he describes his world falling apart. His marriage is collapsing, and at the same time he’s coming to believe that the Socialist Worker’s Party will never be an effective political organization. (Yeah, I know.) All that, and mid-life crises too: One of the shocking aspects of becoming forty that I hadn’t fully appreciated is that once you get to that age it doesn’t stop. ... Read more

23 December 2011

The dark arts: Baking

We decided to make a trifle for Christmas Day. Trifle isn’t a fast thing to make, and the recipe called for stale cake, so we started this evening. The idea was to make a couple of layers of sponge cake which would be left for a day until the assembly stage of the project. Total cake fail. I know nothing about baking, and it mystifies me. I think it must be one of the dark arts. ... Read more

21 December 2011

Explaining SOPA

A lot of people are concerned about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. There are plenty of pages that say that it will destroy the Internet, but very few that explain clearly exactly why. It has also become clear that the politicians writing the law have no idea how the Internet actually works. So here is my attempt to explain it all. Let me start by explaining DNS, using a situation that doesn’t involve computers, that hopefully anyone can understand. ... Read more

20 December 2011

Log all the things!

I’ve tried to keep a diary a couple of times, but the habit never stuck. A few months ago I realized that what I really wanted was something like a cross between a time log and a journal. It had to be digital and searchable, because the main reason for wanting it was to be able to answer questions like: How many days have I spent outside the USA in the last 5 years? ... Read more

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