why I refuse to wait in giant lines like cattle - or, musings on the San Francisco “experience” - 2018-10-21 19:16:02.613744

Recently, a trend has been occurring in large cities across the US, from San Francisco to New York. This trend is to open an oftentimes small and overpriced venue, whether it be a restaurant or some other “experience factory,” and run it in such a way that there is always a line out the door, seemingly as a means to advertise the venue’s own popularity. This trend is most evident in the pop-up experience shop, as called out in this New York Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/arts/...). While this article calls out the issue in its most glaringly obvious form, that of the pop-up “experience,” I’d like to discuss this issue in the context of its more prevalent, but oftentimes, inconspicuous form, restaurants.

The key issue here is that these trendy restaurants offer nothing more than the next restaurant of a similar genre. All while seeming to have a low view of their own patrons. It says volumes to me, the customer, about how much you value my time when I have to wait two hours in line for the privilege of overpaying for your food. I’m not saying my time at a restaurant is not time well spent. I do enjoy spending an hour or more at a meal, wining, dining, and waxing philosophically with good friends. No, what I’m talking about is waiting outside a postage-stamp sized restaurant for multiple hours like cattle while I gaze longingly inside waiting my turn. Nothing is fun about this first part.

I’m not convinced these so-called “popular,” “trendy,” or “highly reviewed,” restaurants are that great to begin with. If you live in a large city, I’m sure there are so many unturned stones and hidden gems that you don’t even know about. I propose that instead of waiting in line for that trendy brunch spot, we as collective consumers, start seeking out the highly underrated restaurants of the world, while not attaching ourselves to our favorite spots, but only seeing them for what they are, lest they befall the popularity curse that will make it not worth it all over again.

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thoughts on SF ballot propositions for November 2018 - 2018-10-10 14:36:41.889073

I’m not voting for any SF ballot propositions this election other than the sea wall. Direct democracy is a bad idea in general, and this year there are some particularly bad proposals on the ballot.

Prop A: Bonds for a new sea wall. With climate change upon us, this is the only one that makes sense.

Prop B: privacy restrictions sound nice, but this is just virtue signaling that will cause more headache than it’s worth. We need national privacy regulations, not a patchwork of local rules. I haven’t heard one thing out of Aaron Peskin that I agree with.

Prop C. Again more virtue signaling. We need accountability of the existing funds for “Homeless Services” before I vote for another cent for this.

Prop D: More cannabis taxes are a bad idea. We already have 15% plus 8.5% SF sales tax. High taxes are already pushing people into the black market, causing us to miss out on tax revenue.

Prop E. Also virtue signaling. Funding for arts and culture sounds nice until you consider that this proposition would permanently lock funds up to be spent on this and this only, no matter the circumstances.

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basic web pages for blog posts with IPFS - 2018-09-22 20:39:20.196173

Since the beginning of the ehLabs blog feature, it has been uploading each blog post in JSON form into IPFS. This was done with the intention of rendering the blog posts via an alternative means in the event of ehLabs' nonexistence. This, however, requires an alternative means, such as an iPhone or Android app, to render the posts from the JSON format. A much better solution would be to embed a full HTML page into IPFS, such that the post can be rendered independently in a web browser. Starting today, each new blog post created will do just that, in addition to storing the JSON format. Now, when you click the "This content is embedded in IPFS" link, if available, it will redirect you to a basic HTML page which renders the post's content. The JSON format is now only retrievable via the ehLabs API.

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introducing real time chat powered by IPFS - 2018-09-19 14:46:36.936679

For over a year now, ehLabs has been demonstrating the power of IPFS with features like file storage and censor-proof blogging. Now I’m excited to say that IPFS will be powering another one of ehLabs’ features, chat. For now, only the global chat page will be running on the IPFS pub sub engine. Direct chats will continue to be powered by the Redis engine for now. This is the bleeding edge of IPFS features so you may experience issues. You can read more about the technology that makes this possible at https://ipfs.io/blog/25-pubsub/

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browsing safely in the post-net neutrality era - 2018-04-24 23:57:44.291189

Now that Net Neutrality is no longer a guarantee and the states are slowly forming a patchwork of new laws, it is essential for the individual to take matters into his or her own hands. One such way ISPs implement content monitoring and filtering is via DNS. Now the easiest thing one can do is simply switch their DNS servers from their ISPs, to a non-logging, impartial 3rd party DNS server such as Cloudflare or Google. I’m partial to Cloudflare (https://1.1.1.1).

To really secure yourself, you need to encrypt your DNS queries via a technique known as DNSCrypt. Now this is not easy, and the specifications for the different implementations of DNSCrypt are currently being written. However, I got one such implementation, DNS over HTTPS, running on my home network. This means that even my non-logging, non-filtering, DNS provider couldn’t see my DNS queries even if they wanted to.

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create folders in IPFS with ehLabs - 2018-01-24 15:46:38.710076

Today, I’m happy to announce a feature that I’m really excited about. Directory (folder) support for IPFS. Now, when you go to the Files page in ehLabs, you’ll find an option to create a new folder within your user’s home directory. Each folder acts just like an additional Files page, but on the backend, it is actually a real IPFS directory. Additionally, encrypted file support remains per-file, meaning you can create a folder with a mix of encrypted and unencrypted files. No nested folder support at this time, and folder names must be alphanumeric only, so don’t try any funny business.

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an opt-in ad-free monetization alternative has been added to ehLabs - 2017-12-21 20:20:17.643580

Seasons Greetings, blog readers and ehLabs users. I have always stated that I would like ehLabs to remain ad-free. With this decision, I have decided to try out an ad-free monetization alternative via CoinHive (https://coinhive.com), an in-browser, opt-in digital currency miner. Now, at the bottom of every ehLabs page, you'll see a little miner box that can utilize your computer's extra computational power to help me support this site. This functionality is completely optional and customizable and must be enabled by you. Thank you for your support while using this site.

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editing posts is live - 2017-11-21 22:51:03.326501

You can now edit posts on ehLabs (desktop only). Click the dropdown in your BLOG view. Editing and creating are also enhanced with marginally better form sizing.

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solving IPFS's privacy problems with application level encryption - 2017-09-01 15:53:33.163500

IPFS is great. If the internet were to adopt it, service outages could be eliminated, spikes in demand could more easily be served, and free speech could be protected. A permanent, distributed, data storage layer fits with the true ideals of the internet; that of a peer-to-peer decentralized, and therefore democratic, system.

So that's great and all, but what about privacy? IPFS does wonders for the First Amendment, but what about the Fourth? What if we wanted to take advantage of IPFS's permanence and availability, while still allowing users to access their content selectively and privately? One possible solution is implementing application layer encryption on top the storage layer. I'm pleased to say that I have a working prototype of this concept in ehLabs' FILES feature. Now when you go to upload a file, there is an additional option to upload encrypted. Try clicking on your IPFS public link after uploading an encrypted file.

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announcing ehLabs - 2017-08-29 05:21:54.660406

I'm excited to unveil ehLabs, a project I've been working on for a long time. ehLabs is first and foremost my personal testing ground for ideas and innovations. It contains many projects and easter eggs that I hope you will enjoy, free of charge.

This blogging platform is backed by IPFS, the InterPlanetary File System, a project which aims to create a permanent, distributed storage layer for the internet. This means that this content is censor-proof, and although ehLabs could go down, the content itself will always be available, for example: for another application that renders blog posts.

Full disclaimer: I built this entire site from the ground up and it's hosted on a Raspberry Pi. It could go down, crumble under load, get hacked, or some other horrible thing so no guarantees as to the sanctity of your data just yet if you so choose to sign up. By all means though, I'd love it if you would create an account and have a look around!

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Mobile post - 2017-08-29 03:39:52.940426

This is the first post I've written on mobile. It's quite difficult. There's no resizing this body field, but at least there's word wrapping. This has been edited. This has been edited a second time to test that editing functionality still works. Still works.

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This is where the content starts to get real - 2017-08-29 02:48:35.744792

From here on, you'll notice that the content gets more real and less testy. This presents quite the challenge when I've yet to implement editing or deleting.

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