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Showing posts from November, 2022

Racism, Fascism, and other Human Problems on Mastodon

I am continually fascinated by the amount of users from the Twitter Diaspora who are decrying the lack of robust fixes for socialogical issues within the Fediverse at large, but specifically within the Mastodon social media realm. It is not any surprise to those of us that have studied human behavior or history that bigots and other practicers of vile “-isms” are to be found on the fediverse as every where else. And while everyone has a right to a freedom of expression, it can and should be limited in cases where those expressions are vile and harmful. There is an onus that belongs to the instance owners to police their users and provide a moral if not inclusive environment. However, the fediverse, if representative of any high ideals, is the embodiement of individualism and voluntaryism. From the first, it is essential that users of the fediverse be responsible for curating their own content. This is built into the tools available to us in most of the software stack. With no alg

Mastodon Privacy for Small Instances

Mastodon, one of many social media platforms on the Fediverse, has attracted a lot of attention since the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk.  With some instances growing by tens of thousands of users in as little as a week, and new personal instances popping up everywhere, I thought I'd take a moment to look at some of the security and privacy features.  As instances are usually ran by a tech savvy individual and service a small group of friends, family, and colleagues, it seems imperative that privacy be at the forefront, especially for marginalized groups.  To that end, Mastodon provides several features to protect users of an instance.  User Options One notable user feature is "hide social graph" which blocks a user's follows and followers from being visible.   While this will keep users from being able to see exactly who you follow or who follows you, with absolute certainty, this data may still be reasonably accessible and associated with you.  Let's look at t

Cabbage and Beef Bake

This quick low-calorie meal makes use of pantry staples and can be ready with little fuss. A chopped onion, a shredded cabbage, and some tinned tomatoes and you’re ready to eat! I’ve not included a picture as it is not photogenic by any means. Serve with buttered dinner rolls and finish with a flaky salt or go heavier with the seasonings throughout. Ingredients 1lb (450g) Ground Beef 1/2 White Onion, minced 2 Garlic cloves, minced 1/2t (3g) Paprika 1t (7g) Garlic powder 1t (7g) Onion powder Salt and Black pepper to taste 3/4 head Cabbage, shaved 28oz (800g) Diced tomato with Italian herbs 14oz (400g) Tomato sauce 1C short grained rice, Jasmine 1.5C (345g) Parmesan cheese, shredded Steps In a brazier, sear ground beef. Season and remove cooked meat from pan. Allow remaining drippings to cook until no bubbles appear. This will ensure the drippings have clarified. In the same pan, saute the onion until almost translucent. Introduce minced garlic and cook until fragran

Japanese Golden Curry

Great with Beef, but enjoyable with pork, chicken, and shrimps. This is a favorite around our table and is a welcome detour from soups when cool weather comes around. This can be easily adapted for pressure pots, and modifications are included inline for doing so. Ingredients 2Lg Onions, cut into 16pcs ea. 2Lg Carrots, sliced faux tourne 1Lg Waxy Potato, cut into 8 pcs 1Lb (450g) Beef Rump Roast or Pork Butt/Shoulder cut into 2"x2" pcs Water to cover, roughly 3qts ( 2.75L) 1 (3.2oz/92g) Box S&B Golden Curry 2-3T (30-45g) McCormick’s Curry Powder Note: If using shrimp, clean and devein, add with the S&B in final step to prevent over cooking. Or sear as stated, remove, and reintroduce before serving. Steps If time allows, place meat in a container with a lid, add the curry powder and shake vigoruosly. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight and rest on the counter up to 1 hour before cooking. In a heavy bottomed pot, sear the meat over a high heat, remove

Red Bean Chili

A rustic chili for cheap. Makes the most of cheap cuts and pantry staples. Ingredients Brine 4L warm water 3T (15g) kosher salt Chili 1/2lb (225g) small red beans, dry 1/2lb (225g) red kidney beans, dry 1/2lb (225g) pinto beans, dry 1Lg Onion, chopped roughly 1lb (450g) rump roast, cut into 1"x1" (2.5cm x 2.5cm) squares 2qt (2L) water 1/2T (7g) Knorr beef broth powder 1t (5g) Knorr tomato chicken broth powder 4T spice mix (below) Spice Mix 1/2T (7g) Cumin 1/2T (7g) Paprika 1/2T (7g) Garlic powder 1/2T (7g) Onion powder 1/2T (7g) Dry mustard 1t (5g) Cayenne 1T (15g) Chili powder Steps If using dried beans, brine overnight on the counter. Otherwise, substitute with tinned (14.5oz) beans and drastically reduce cooking time. Do not drain the tinned beans, this will contribute to the richness of the cooking liquid below. In a large heavy bottomed pot, sear beef and remove from pan. Add white onion and cook until transluscent. Reintroduce be

Impostor Syndrome

  "Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?” ―  Axel Oxenstierna, Lord High Chancellor of Sweden to his son who feared holding his own as a peace delegate at the Peace of Westphalia   I find that people in the Information Security field often believe that others are smarter than them, or more educated or experienced than them. But my experience has been the opposite.  When I got my first official IT job in a NOC in 2016, I assumed that the people I would be working with were experts in their field. I had studied hard, worked harder, to make sure I understood the technology I was responsible for and was excited to step into my role.  Without sounding haughty or thinking too highly of myself, I quickly learned that many of my peers did not care about the job, or the technology. It was a means to an end, and their career had ended the moment they decided that it was a means to an end.  My yearly evaluations quickly reflected that I was operating above my