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.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood My two-year-old's current Favorite Thing is the PBS television show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, which is a latter-day spinoff of the excellent Mister Roger's Neighborhood. It's a cartoon about the eponymous Daniel Tiger (who was a puppet on Mister Roger's Neighborhood) and his family, where various small children/animals learn important lessons about sharing and whatnot; standard fare for TV aimed at a two-year-olds.

My son has been home sick1 for the last week or so, so I've watched a lot of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and there are some things that annoy and/or confuse me:

  1. Why do Daniel and …
read more

Mastodon Move (Again)

I know I just moved mastodon servers three months ago, but unfortunately tenforward.social just wasn't working out for me. I do like Star Trek, but my initial impression had been that the community would be a little more general interest, and unfortunately the Local Timeline ended up looking a bit more like a 90's era single-subject forum than I'd like. So, anyhow, I've moved to hachyderm.io (specifically, to @roguelazer@hachyderm.io), which is a tech-focused instance and where a lot of folks from mastodon.technology ended up going.

Beyond that, the fact that it was a small instance …

read more

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 …

read more

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 …

read more

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 …

read more

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
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 …
read more