I bought my significant other a Geiger Counter for her birthday and now Amazon will forever think I'm a prepper

I haven't kept up w/ Blender (the open source 3D app) so I only just watched the "Spring" open movie that came out in April. Wow, amazing work by Andy Goralczyk & everyone involved. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out:


Or watch it on Blender's PeerTube instance:


Nonprofit ops/infra jobs alert -- boosts appreciated:

Freedom of the Press Foundation (where I work) is hiring a Senior DevOps Engineer. Budgeted base salary range is $90-$110K/year, remote-friendly for folks working in PT to ET time zones. Working in NYC office is also an option.

Responsibilities will include building out our Continuous Delivery infra using Kubernetes, and supporting the SecureDrop open source project and other technical initiatives by FPF. More:


Pet peeve: corporations that ask for free homepage links to their products in order to grant a nonprofit discount. That's not a discount, that's a sponsorship agreement.

I have a couple of Humble Bundle gift links for Windows games (since I will only play the Linux games in the bundle), if anyone wants them.

One is for Immortal Planet, the other is for Cat Quest. More info:



Tell me if you want them and I'll share the gift links via DM. Will delete the toot once they are gone :)

Side note: It's available for Linux (yay!) but looks like the new one isn't (boo!). If you're a Linux gamer, supporting the first one hopefully sends a message.

Finished "Life is Strange" yesterday -- quite the game! I'm a retro-loving point and click adventure nerd, but I was impressed with how well the story was told in 3D. Lovely voice acting, too.

The whole game was on sale for $3 when I got it, but honestly, having played it I can recommend it even at full price if you're not looking for the very best graphics (lip movement in particular is a bit cringey) but just a very moving story.

May write a proper review later, but .. yeah, great game.

Review from the weekend: "How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" by Daniel Immerwahr.

Deals with the relationship between the US mainland and "territories" like Puerto Rico, as well as the Philippine-American War and US colonial rule over the archipelago.

Highly readable and very insightful book with lots of facts that were new to me, but a bit limited in its analytical frame. Full review:


regarding the new resident of 10 downing street Show more

Review from the weekend: Ken Liu's "The Paper Menagerie and Other stories".

A really quite lovely collection of speculative fiction by a very talented author. If you want to sample his work, I'd recommend starting with the story that gave the book its title. It's available online:


Here's my review of the collection:


Keyservers are one of the most frustrating aspects of using public key crypto. They're notoriously unreliable & vulnerable to various types of flooding attacks.

Last month keys.openpgp.org was launched, which is a very well-architected and collaboratively run new keyserver.

As of today, the SecureDrop team is using it for its release key. Very proud to be early adopters of this new public infra. Hopefully we'll be able to add WKD support soon, as well.

Enjoyed the beautiful (and - warning - very dark) story "The Literomancer" in Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie" collection.

It's a story of family, identity & human folly; centered on the experiences of a young American girl in Taiwan during the Cold War. On a side note, I had no idea that literomancy was a real practice.

Here's an offiical online copy (via kenliu.name/blog/2010/09/01/li):


Do you ever end up with mystery magazine subscriptions? I have one for Wired now for some reason. Maybe I should call them to find out how I got it.

Although I like some of the people involved, I would never in a million years subscribe to Wired, the journalism/tech fetishism ratio is just not high enough.

Review from the weekend: "Gone Home", a short but beautifully told interactive story that came out in 2013. Quite enjoyed it and appreciated the layered story & attention to detail:


Free download of Toonstruck on GOG for a little over a day (Windows/Mac/Linux), classic point and click adventure starring Christopher Lloyd. Played this like 10-15 years ago and quite enjoyed it:


Just finished reading the first issue of my subscription to
logicmag.io/ ; a tech/culture magazine (in a book format).

Each issue covers a specific topic; this one focused on China with multiple knowledgeable voices shedding light on China's notorious "social credit system", the influence of Chinese websites like TikTok on rural communities, the success of Chinese sci-fi, etc.

Interesting read overall. Will post a review of Logic after a couple more issues.

And another book review for the long weekend, "Exhalation", a new short story collection by Ted Chiang (thanks to @xor for the recommendation).

While only two of the stories are originals, most of them were new to me; I find Chiang's ability to turn the most implausible premises into highly engaging stories to be matched by few other authors. Full review:


Review of Ian McEwan's novel about human-like AI, "Machines Like Me":


Like his his other recent works, "Machines Like Me" is a vehicle for McEwan's political expression: Where is humanity headed? Are the political tribulations of today (Brexit etc.) a reflection of the limitations of our species?

He suggests answers on the small personal scale and the larger societal one. Not a hopeful book but a thought-provoking one.

If you like point and click adventures, Kathy Rain is free on Steam until tomorrow. Lovely pixel art and engaging mystery storyline; not a super long game but still overall pretty fun. (I found the first hour a bit frustrating, but it picks up.)

Windows/Mac, but I played it on Linux via Wine without problems (use Lutris: lutris.net/games/kathy-rain/ ).

Here's the Steam link:

Firefox extension breakage reminding me how shitty the web is with ads on it. How anyone can tolerate that garbage version of the web eludes me.

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