Welcome to James Brown's blagoblag! This contains various thoughts and opinions, mostly wrong, going back a couple of decades. All of the opinions are my own, and probably not my employer's. Feel free to visit the about page for more useless interesting facts about me.

New Style

I decided that this website looked a little too much like a product of the early aughts, and decided to redo the theme. Key changes since the last revision:

  • No more Bootstrap
  • No more JavaScript (except for Commento and GoatCounter, neither of which impacts any important functionality)
  • Simpler layout that looks more like Web 1.0 and works better with browser-default stylesheets.
  • Some more-modern CSS features (all flexbox all the time, variables for all colors, a less-janky dark mode than before, using the ch unit for some text width things)

Hopefully it's a little less visually-distracting. 🤷

If you want to …

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Mastodon Move

Unfortunately, the Mastodon server I've been on for the last few years (mastodon.technology; since 2018) is shutting down next month. Thankfully, the decentralized nature of Mastodon means that it's pretty easy to jump ship to another server1, and there are even semi-automated migration tools. Since Twitter seems to be about to dive back into being the hosting platform of choice for neo-nazis, I don't want there to be any gap in my Fediverse access; I've set up a new Mastodon account at @roguelazer@tenforward.social2. Hopefully it'll be another great community, like mastodon.technology was.


  1. Compare and …

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What's Next?

Today was my last day at EasyPost. At a bit over seven years1 this was the longest-running job I've ever had, which is very odd to think about. In those seven years, the company's grown from 10 people sitting around a scavenged table in another company's lobby on 2nd St in San Francisco to a large enterprise with a veritable hydra of subsidiaries and hundreds of employees; from one transaction per second to thousands; from 50,000 SLoC in one monolithic application to several million SLoC in hundreds of microservices. While I was at EasyPost, I seem to …

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SSH MITM at Best Western

I'm currently staying in a Best Western hotel in Eureka, CA, avoiding the Bay Area heat wave, and I noticed something remarkable: the hotel's free WiFi network performs automatic man-in-the-middle interception of all SSH traffic. I've literally never seen this before on public WiFi… Check it out:

$ ssh github.com
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@    WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED!     @
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING NASTY!
Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that a host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the RSA key sent by the remote host is
SHA256 …
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Let's Talk About Elastomeric Masks!

As has become abundantly clear recently, COVID-19 isn't going away; in fact, it's striking more and more of my friends and family who had successfully avoided it for years. At this point, we have ample evidence that masks work to drastically reduce the spread of COVID; however, none of the local, state, or federal governments are willing to take the low-cost, high-return step of requiring mask usage in public settings, so most people just don't bother. The fact that I'm usually the only one wearing a mask in any given space, combined with the increased contagiousness of the Omicron family …

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Reflecting on Photography Gear; Leaving Micro Four Thirds

As far back as I can remember, I've enjoyed photography as a hobby. It's probably because my father's father was a journalist and he never went anywhere without his Leica around his neck — or maybe it's just because there's something magical at being able to hold the past in your hand and look at it whenever you want.

Poppop
My grandfather, seen with his Leica Minilux

While it's absolutely true that your camera doesn't matter, I've just recently changed up my camera gear again, and I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the cameras I've used …

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