Maybe y'all can't be first to solve the relevant puzzles, but if you can get to Oakland, you can still have fun solving them. https://social.coop/@anaulin/106540900185277426 is the "rabbit hole." Go go go.
[Update]: A clarification… The picture says "510 Puzzles". I solved five puzzles about Oakland, which is in the 510 telephone area code.
Consider this a "soft re-opening" announcement for Octothorpean.
Also, I'm asking for bright ideas on a UI/usability thing.
Update: a couple of smarties suggested using "Import/Export" instead of "Save/Restore" and that sounds good to me.
Unlike the previous version of Octothorpean, this new version doesn't have you log in to an account to track your progress. Instead, it saves your progress in local storage. You're thinking, But what if I want to stop working on this machine and start working on that machine? Local storage sits on a machine; it doesn't magically zap itself to other machines. Do I have to start over?
Instead of making you start over, I set up a way you can copy a special blob of text on this machine, get it to that machine (perhaps by emailing it to yourself or whatever), and paste it… and then hey nonny now that machine is caught up on your progress.
What words should I use for this process? Right now, the link to the page is a 💾 and I use the words "Save" and "Restore" to talk about getting the info off of one machine and using it on another machine. But I dunno how well "Save" and "Restore" convey the idea of what's going on; and I doubt the youth of today know what to expect when they click on a 💾.
Anyhow, "Save" and "Restore" aren't terrible, but I wouldn't be shocked or dismayed if one of the geniuses who reads this pipes up with "There's another game _____ that does this same thing and they use the words ____ and _____ and they don't expect their users to know what a floppy disk is for."
One of Snowden's projects was organizing the NSA's internal documentation and making it internally accessible and useful. People within the NSA wrote reports that they wanted widely known within the NSA. Snowden set up a service that looked for new documents and added likely-interesting documents to feeds for other NSA folks to read. Thus it didn't seem strange when NSA computers under his control scanned other NSA computers for documents; and on occasion he stumbled onto mis-classified documents that he wasn't meant to have access to. Since I'd worked on organization-internal documents myself, this was an interesting "Things are tough all over" answer.
In amongst the serious stuff, a fun detail about life under government surveillance from Snowden's girlfriend's diary:
…But still a tail following. I left the house, happy to get back in the air at this local aerial silks studio. Made it to the studio and couldn't find street parking, but my tail did. He had to leave his spot when I drove out of range, so I doubled back and stole his spot.
This is an interesting read, even if you followed the news back at the time; plenty of the problematic crap that was going on then is still going on.
In related news: After I helped save lives by donating platelets and plasma this morning, I sure was embarrassed when I tried too hard opening up a trail mix snack-pack and sent snacky bits flying all over the cantina. I know you're supposed to take 15 minutes resting, but it took me that long to find all the frickin' raisins. Those things have something like kitchen-appliance camouflage, I swear.
*Or LA, NOLA, Memphis, WashDC, ATL, Orlando, Miami.
During 2020 when the USA's pandemic was in full swing, a new issue of Cometbus came out and I didn't notice because pandemics are distracting. But I'm catching up! This issue of interviews looks at why some punk-era organizations stuck around and others fell apart. Reading these stories over, it seems like these organizations hit milestone-crises. E.g. a publisher's been expanding but has started to plateau; should they spend lots of money to promote new artists, or make sure they pay royalties on time? What happens when the founders are ready to move on to other projects; did they ever think about what might happen to the organization afterwards? Here, you might think I'm going to make some point about how a punk squat and a tech startup encounter and a whatever face similar crises… but no really, the relevant people define "success" quite differently; there might not be a universal path to resilience. Nevertheless, these interviews are pretty interesting; I found out about some still-around institutions I hadn't heard of, something for everyone.
220.127.116.11 - - [28/Jun/2021:08:20:22 +0000] "GET /new/atom.xml HTTP/1.1" 200 18292 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0; +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)"
This appears to be a bot from Microsoft Bing checking my blog for updates. Of the 4000 "hits" on my website yesterday, over ⅓ of them were the Bing bot checking my blog for updates. How many times did I actually update my blog yesterday? Zero, that's how many. All the other blog-checking-bots on the internet combined: Brandwatch, Hypefactors, Feedly, NewsBlur (yay!), Feeder, Omgili, Feedbin, Bloglovin, et frickin' cetera checked 34 times total. And that was plenty. That's why I say "a million hits" isn't so impressive; it's not necessarily a signal of an impressive website, maybe just some over-eager bots.
Anyhow, thank you excellent bingbot programmers for helping me to juke the stats. And to the rest of you, humans and bots alike: Thank you for reading.