Let's Encrypt

I have setup TLS for sono.us and www.cell-game.com using Let's Encrypt. Both certificates will expire January 25, 2016.

Instead of running letsencrypt with sudo privileges on my server, I ran letsencrypt-nosudo. According to Issue #5, this can be done using the official client as well. Because letsencrypt-nosudo was very short, I was able to modify it and vet it easily. There are weaknesses in any system, but the options are quite limited in this system. If you'd like my patch, let me know.

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I thought I'd just write a few thoughts down and see where it goes. I'm having trouble writing down my thoughts. Apologies if I go too fast. I'm not in the mood to be patient.

First things first. I write a lot. My mother is a bibliophile. I am a scriptophile, I love to write. But I don't publish most of what I write. My graphic novel Javantea's Fate ground to a halt not long after it started, so I started a blog called "Making of JF" hoping to gain readership by writing keywords and drawing interesting things a few days per week. Years later very few pages of Javantea's Fate were finished, but 378 pages of Making of JF were done. That's a huge amount of writing. It was a very tough part of my life, so I'm glad that I have that corpus of writing to show what my mind was thinking. But I didn't post everything I wrote. The House MD episode "Private Lives" discussed a person who wrote down everything she was going through. I didn't do that back in 2001, but I was spending a few hours three days a week on it. I can't do that now because I signed a confidentiality contract with my previous employer and one of our clients. They went to bat for me and I owe them my current happy status but I also think that the past four years of not quite radio silence (comparatively) has warped my mind. Of course my mind was warped before I went to work in infosec, but the secrets I've kept have gnawed at me. It's the whole issue of doublethink straight from 1984. I am holding two contradicting truths to be true at the same time. Operational security is incredibly important, information should be made free. But information is power and with great power comes great responsibility. I am an irresponsible person. I don't believe in control.

Let's talk about control. There are more than a few theories on the human mind that talk about control and I'm not going to do them any justice explaining them right now. Let's say that my friend, let's call him Descartes for now says that human beings are incapable of moving. He's wrong, but let's say I'm so furious that I want to prove to him that human beings are capable of moving. So I tell him, if I am able to walk from my current position to one foot in front of you, then I can move and your statement is false. He replies, but how do you know you're moving and not changing my mind about what's going on? Occam's razor? Nope. Descartes isn't having it. So I think again. I am unable to reach out and touch you right now. If I am able to reach out and touch you, I must be able to move therefore your theory is wrong. Descartes is too smart for that. You can change my mind, so how do I know if you're actually touching me?

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Digg Diversity

June 10, 2009
Update July 23, 2009

Digg Diversity is a new project by AltSci Concepts. It uses the Digg API to calculate a more fair score for articles on Digg. Why is this algorithm necessary or preferable? Digg has an algorithm that is based entirely on profit, which is acceptable for a company like Digg. The more diggs that occur, the more profit that Digg makes, which means that they will accept, even encourage their users to game the system. The Digg front page algorithm which promotes articles to the front page with as few as 100 diggs means that a small number of people can control the front page of Digg by simply getting 100 like- minded people to digg their articles (and visa-versa). The company Digg benefits when corrupt users promote the same content repeatedly, but the overall community is diminished (especially those users who wish to see important non-repetitive content). This topic is extremely deep and deserves an essay but definitely not tonight on the night of the beta release of Digg Diversity. Many digg comments, blogs, and even a mashup that is currently offline have been written about this issue, but I hope to write the solution.

Digg Diversity is a entirely javascript mashup using the Digg API to retrieve important information about what data is found on Digg. The first set of results may be rather surprising. You will see a list of results quite similar to the front page of Digg. However, the order is by "divvs" which are a new calculated value based on timing and repetitiveness of the digger. The raw data can be found at the bottom of the page (there is a link that displays the data).

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July 23, 2009

Success is defined by goals achieved and hypothesis confirmed. I have succeeded in many ways in my project Digg Diversity and yet it is not nearly ready for version 1.0. It remains Beta because there are issues that a person cannot overlook. On the other hand, I am able to use it everyday without any important issues stopping me. I suspect that anyone who likes Digg and doesn't like users that abuse Digg's front page can use this as an alternative front page.

One issue that I'd like to address in version 1.0 is to allow a larger set of data to be shown and compared. By multiplying the number of articles shows by 20 and filtering out all those items that will be given a score of zero (or less than 1.0) from the current version, the competition will become quite a lot fiercer for Digg Diversity's front page. Items that would never show up on Digg's front page will show up at the top of some or even all of Digg Diversity's users' list. The main success in Digg Diversity's 1.5 month Beta so far is that it has perfectly followed my hypothesis that is far graver than I even imagined when I wrote a rant against Digg at the initial release of Digg Diversity. In fact, the data that I currently possess is far graver than anyone could possibly know besides Digg or the Cabals that run Digg's front page could guess.

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