New Chair!

Hello dear readers! Like most of you (and as I've written about before), I've been stuck working from home for the last year and a half, out of the little converted covered porch on my house. For the last six months or so, I've been doing so with my butt firmly planted on an HON Basyx pleather-upholstered office chair that I rescued from my office when we moved out. This chair is, uh, not in the best condition1:

old chair

This chair actually originally belonged to Curse, a now-defunct company that made some kind of WoW fansite. They used to be …

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CDPH Digital Vaccine Record

Yesterday, California released their Digital Vaccine Record system for securely verifying residents' COVID-19 vaccination status. I took a look at it and thought I'd write up my findings here. At a high level, the DVR consists of a QR code which contains a cryptographically-signed assertion in JSON Web Token (JWT) format. I'll walk you through how to get one, how to decode it, and what it contains in the rest of this article.

Getting one of the tokens is pretty easy; you just go to the Digital Vaccine Record website and put in your name, date of birth, and the …

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More ModeRNA: Vaccinated (part 2)

Yesterday around 10am, I got my second shot of the ModeRNA COVID-19 vaccine (unsurprisingly, I got my first show four weeks ago); at this point I'm in the countdown to be "fully vaccinated"1. So far, the side effects have been pretty mild:

  • I was maybe a little tired yesterday afternoon
  • Yesterday evening I had an elevated temperature of 99.7°F, but no clinical fever
  • This morning my arm feels like I lost a really intense game of Punch Buggy

I know the pandemic is nowhere near over and people are dying by the thousands around the world, but …

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What's on TV (May 1, 2021)

Just Finished

For All Mankind Season Two. This season had a lot of slow moments, and more of Karen than I really wanted but holy shit did those final two episodes deliver. If you've bought an Apple product in the last couple of years, you get this for free, so you might as well watch it!

Half-Way Through

Babylon 5 Season Three. I'd never seen any B5 and $SPOUSE and I decided to watch it over lockdown. It's pretty fun seeing how much DS9 stole from this show. My main complaint is that I don't really care about any of …

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Vaccinated (part 1)

As of yesterday morning, I've gotten my first shot of the ModeRNA1 COVID-19 vaccine!

I'd been trying to get an appointment since Berkeley opened them up to all adults on April 9th, and had no luck until 3am on Friday morning, when I managed to get one of the spots released by the CVS near my house (they were all gone a few minutes later). I was surprised to find when I arrived at CVS that, despite the intense competition to get vaccinated, supply is so tight that they were only being issued 10 doses (one vial) per day …

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Surprising behavior in GNU tar

Here's a fun game for you: what do you expect to be the state of the filesystem after running the following commands in an empty directory on a Linux system?

$ touch foo:bar
$ tar -cpf foo:bar.tar foo:bar
$ rm foo:bar
$ tar -xpf foo:bar.tar

Do you expect the directory to contain the files foo:bar and foo:bar.tar?

What if I told you that instead the directory would only contain foo:bar.tar and stderr would say

tar (child): Cannot connect to foo: resolve failed

Yep! It turns out that GNU tar, if passed a …

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