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:

lib.reviews/gone-home

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:

gog.com/game/toonstruck

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:

lib.reviews/exhalation

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

lib.reviews/review/46c3ec47-85

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:
store.steampowered.com/app/370

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.

A quick review of Rob Larson's "Capitalism vs. Freedom" (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️):

lib.reviews/review/29f9ed36-66

An important contribution to debunking libertarian mythology about what it means to be free.

Freedom of the Press Foundation is hiring again :)

This role has more of an administrative bent -- managing relationships with news orgs who use our services, e.g., SecureDrop support & digital security trainings -- but it also includes tier 1 support for SecureDrop, and room for technical advancement.

A great "starter" role if you want to get into tech nonprofit work, are super-organized, & are into digital security in particular. Remote -friendly (US time zones):

freedom.press/jobs/job-opening

OK Bernie campaign, you got me. A donation in honor of defeating Joe Biden in the primary? Hell yeah.

Holy crap Firefox multi-account container extension looks useful. I suspect it'll become part of my standard kit, along w/ uBlock Origin

Any Ruby on Rails security experts looking for a small (side) gig?

In April/May, Freedom of the Press Foundation is looking for contract help (small-ish contract, think 4 digits total USD) auditing the configuration of our Redmine support portal and associated plugins, including the OpenPGP plugin (github.com/freedomofpress/redm), and preparing for a release upgrade. (Redmine is built on RoR.)

No formal RfP; if this might be of interest and you have questions, please DM me :).

One of the many reasons I've been a Linux user for most of the last two decades: you (almost) always have options.

Upgraded from Ubuntu 14.04 to 18.04 on my 11-year old desktop and wasn't happy with the performance. Too lazy to debug why it was crawling, apt-get installed Lubuntu, switched to it; not only is it zippy, it's faster than before.

Finished "Paradigm" a few days ago, a fun point and click adventure by Jacob Janerka. An indie title that's also a real labor of love, worth checking out. A bit more in my review:

lib.reviews/review/4a99fa26-ed

I wrote about how to read password breach notifications and what the heck hashing and salting mean: freedom.press/training/respond

Here's my review of Lutris, the Linux gaming client. Overall I like it a lot and really think it's a promising alternative to the walled garden store-centric approach (i.e. Steam).

It nicely integrates native games from stores alongside emulators and Windows games run under Wine. A few rough edges but definitely worth checking out. Full review:

lib.reviews/lutris

Was sad to learn that Ben Daglish died back in October last year. One of the great chiptune composers for the C64 (Last Ninja, Krakout, Firelord, Auf Wiedersehen Monty, etc.) and other 8/16 bit era computers. Still heartening to see many tributes on YouTube etc., nice to know the greats won't be forgotten.

Here's a pretty epic symphonic version of the Firelord theme by Glyn R. Brown:

youtube.com/watch?v=9a7bO7bbww

I'm really impressed with what lutris.net/ is doing for Linux gaming. Basically an integrated environment for running native Linux games, Windows games (via WINE), assorted emulators, etc., with optimized "runners", hand-picked emulators, custom per-game install scripts, even GOG integration.

The Patreon for Lutris is at patreon.com/lutris ; if you like Linux gaming, I'd encourage you to 1) give Lutris a try, 2) join me in supporting it. I'll write a more detailed review soon.

Love when I come across stuff like this on some random blogspot site:

Detailed fan review of the game "Champions of Krynn" (1990) as run on an Amiga with a CRT monitor, with lovingly created GIF animations, examples of hand-drawn dungeon maps on graph paper, etc.

shot97retro.blogspot.com/2018/

I played that game on the Amiga back in the day, and the reviewer is right -- it was by far the best port. :)

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social.coop

social.coop is a cooperatively-run corner of the Fediverse. The instance is democratically governed by its members, who generally share an interest in the co-op model, but topics of discussion range widely.

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