web auth standards: hot take 

JWT is a trash spec IMHO. it's ideas are sound but the execution is terrible.

first, there's absolutely no reason to separate out the header and payload if they're both just JSON with standard keys that don't overlap. if someone's going to have to add custom keys then it doesn't matter which they're in.

second, using JSON instead of a more compact format like CBOR really just bloats the tokens and makes them massive. there's no point in using a readable format if you're just going to mangle it with base64 anyway.

and lastly, the way that validation is handled could definitely be improved in a way that makes it easier to avoid bugs with the key. simply checking and verifying the algorithm isn't enough, because there's a "none" algorithm -- IMHO they should have added a static string header that changes depending on the algorithm type so that you can easily filter what kind of tokens you're accepting.

overall it's just a spec that looks like it was designed by Software Engineers™ and not people who are actually good at making specs.

mario 3d all-stars, nintendo's policy on glitches 

30 fps for mario 64 on switch is extremely upsetting considering how the hardware absolutely can support it

even more depressing is that I'm almost certain that the reason why they didn't do it is because they were worried about introducing more potential clips into the already jank physics in the game, and rather than accept that speedrunners might exploit those they decided to keep the game objectively worse.

like, lack of wide-screen I understand because it was never planned during development (unlike sunshine which did account for it) and could cause camera weirdness throughout the game and require a lot of effort, but upping the framerate should ideally just require halving or doubling a bunch of speed values for movement.

but they didn't want to reintroduce new potential clips so they just decided to not.

fun related video from Ceave Gaming on them doing this sort of make-game-worse-to-avoid-exploits stuff in the past; includes some ableist language but does a good job explaining: youtu.be/p3vF1aOW1RM

streaming self-plug 

was gonna just play by myself but, why not, streaming Celeste: twitch.tv/ltdk_

whoever invented getting out of bed: why

clar fon boosted

poll/question regarding media captions and boosts 

Do you boost posts that have media attached, but no captions (or context within the post itself)?

(I'm not judging anyone here and this won't affect my posts, I just know many people won't boost uncaptioned stuff and I want to know how common that is. Feel free to boost.)


clar fon boosted

amusing/ridiculous error messages 

@clarfonthey lp0: On fire

proposal for new term: nearpost 

subposting refers to responding to someone or venting about someone without directly mentioning them, and depending on who you ask, this may require that the original person be able to see the post.

given the negative connotation of this term, I propose a new term for something similar that doesn't deserve the same term: nearpost.

nearposting is when you see a topic that someone else talked about and it prompts you to say something related to that.

nearposting doesn't always have to be a great thing (e.g. someone may feel like they need to state their own opinion on a recently discussed topic when they really shouldn't) or even positive (e.g. talking about reasons why you dislike the creator of a piece of media someone talked about) but it's not directly negative about the poster itself.

a few examples:

  • someone talked about a game they played and you decided to nearpost about a cool thing in that game, or another game by the same person
  • someone mentioned a current event and it prompted you to discuss something similar that affected you
  • someone talks about a particular topic and you feel inspired to talk about it yourself

a few potential reasons for tagging nearposts:

  • letting someone know that "yes, I did see your post, but I'm talking about something else"
  • letting folks know that something recently happened and that's why they're seeing a lot of people talk about it
  • making it clear that talking about something wasn't your idea
  • more applicable and less charged than terms like "drama" and "discourse"

a few potential reasons for not tagging nearposts:

  • not wanting to call someone out for something they talked about
  • it might make it seem like you're only saying something because someone else did, and not because it's important
  • you're honestly not sure if it was your own idea or not

potential extension terms:

  • suppost: subposting, but for explicitly positive things about other people (e.g. "X person is cute" without referencing them). also sounds like "supposed" and kind of implies that positive things are "supposed" to be true
  • farpost: nearposting but you thought of something completely unrelated to the original post. alternatively: an explicit attempt to talk about a different topic.
  • boatpost: callout posts, because instead of being under the water in a submarine you're on top of it in a boat

note: the concept of nearposting (or neartooting, if you prefer) is a genuine suggestion but I make no guarantees about the seriousness of the rest of this post.

there is no reasonable manufacturing under capitalism 

proposal for a new standard: if your tool/gadget/whatever is intended to spend most of its time in a room where GFCI/RCD is required on all outlets by law due to excess moisture, it should not rust when exposed to water.


someone who's tired of kitchen and bathroom things being stained with rust despite claiming to be made of stainless steel.


I deleted my yarn cache and found out basically my entire hard drive was in that folder

tech gripe 

email still doesn't have a standard method of threading and we still rely with including a full copy of every email in a thread and letting clients figure it out, in 2020

extremely misinterpreting the news 

this corporation has an expensive hunger for human flesh

grab bag of command prompt formatting utilities 

have been trying to take current command prompt setup and code a slightly-more portable version, and this was the result. I coded a bunch of small utility commands which can be coloured and reordered to make a nice-looking command prompt. they are (in my preferred order):

  1. sigs (pipestatus): vc.ltdk.xyz/ltdk/sigs
  2. me (user/hostname): vc.ltdk.xyz/ltdk/me
  3. wh (working directory): vc.ltdk.xyz/ltdk/wh
  4. omst (prompt character): vc.ltdk.xyz/ltdk/omst

I personally have my prompt separated into two bash scripts: one that calls me and omst to create a formatting string at the beginning of a session, and the actual prompt which substitutes sigs and wh into that string.

the ultimate goal is to make these work in a cross-platform way, but right now I'm just testing them on my Linux laptop. feel free to offer suggestions/code if you want to use or improve them. :)

also: if relayd craps out on you and shows an error page, just refresh the page and try again. I'm slowly moving to a different server setup but haven't yet, and so relayd is spuriously failing in ways I can't fix for now.

taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (downsides) 

I figure that I should add: while I think these are extremely cool, I don't necessarily recommend you get one unless you want to put in the work.

a few downsides and why most folks don't use them any more:

  • the character wheel, although mostly designed to not get offset, does sometimes get offset. this means that the top half and bottom half don't have the same character on them, and you don't actually make anything meaningful when you try to make labels. you can easily fix this by lining up the scissors area, but it's a pain and it means that you have to be careful to turn both sides at once, usually by holding them tight.
  • although the labels are held in place easily by tension, once you've cut a label, it usually doesn't have enough tension on just the one side to hold the label steadily in place. this can lead to all manner of things including multiple characters being printed on the same spot, the label getting stuck and requiring you to rapidly click a bunch of different characters or dislodge it with tweezers, or just a nice old super-bent corner on the label. you may just give up and use your own scissors to cut the label and deal with the wasted bits after you're done making labels.
  • it's just a bunch of effort when you could just get some stickers and write on them by hand.
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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (putting it back together) 

and yeah, once you've gotten it apart, putting it back together just involves lining up the bits and snapping them together. the most obnoxious part is making sure the label compartment cover is held in place while you snap stuff together, as it otherwise will just fall off if the hinge isn't connected when the rest of it is pushed together.

then, just screw the two bottom bits back together and your label maker is good as new! just three screws, a bunch of plastic bits, and whatever goop they put inside to keep it turning all over your hands.

last step is to wash your hands. which you should be doing anyway, but you know, always be plugging.

hope you enjoyed learning how this works as much as I did :)

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (the clicky bit) 

so, this is incredibly cool, as the trigger connects to a gear which ratchets a fixed distance whenever you click the wheel. as you can imagine, this labeller can only do monospace fonts, but again, that's not that big of a deal.

this is also why you might need to pull on the label a bit occasionally, as it's incredibly important that the ratcheting actually moves the label that amount.

the ratcheting not only turns two gears that pull the label through the feed, but it also pushes this piece of plastic up that squeezes the character wheel together to make the character or cut the label. when using the label maker, you want to make sure you give it a full squeeze, as a less-than-full squeeze might not fully press in the character, or worse, not cut the label with the blade.

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (the character wheel) 

so, the character wheel is actually two plastic bits that the label goes between. you can see that the top half contains the characters printed on top and holes in the shape of the characters. the bottom contains an embossed version of those holes. the label goes between the two halves and gets pressed between the two parts to make the embossed character.

the top of the device has a special window which lines up to show what character will be actually pressed in, with plastic guides that help the characters snap into place.

because of the loose nature of the way these parts go together, the letters never exactly like up, but I think it's part of its charm.

another nice feature of this is that because the only part of the device that determines the characters is the wheel itself, it could theoretically be replaced to change the font or offer different characters without replacing the rest of the device.

in practice, though, you'll probably just have multiple devices for multiple fonts/characters, because it is a bit too much work to switch out the wheel whenever you need another character, and you really can't take a half-made label and easily feed it into another machine to put the new characters in the same label.

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (taking apart the device) 

first off, the entire label maker is not glued together at all, held entirely together with plastic pegs and three screws. it's clearly cheaply manufactured but not cheaply engineered. the first thing to do is unscrew two screws underneath the character wheel that essentially keep the two halves of the device in place.

then, pretty much the entire device can be pulled apart as it's held together with friction. if you open up the label compartment you can get pretty much all of the parts out except the character wheel itself, which is held together with the third screw for reasons that will be clearer in another picture.

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (refilling the labels) 

the label maker is super easy to change out the labels, and unlike the digital counterparts, there's no weird cartridge needed, just a roll of the labels held into the feed by friction. the ones it came with have this fancy plastic housing to help them fit into it better but I think it would probably work fine without it, as long as the labels were the right width.

this back part is very loosely held in, and you can just squeeze and pull it to open up the compartment with the labels. just stick in the labels and put them in the feed, then press once so they get pulled into the feed properly.

depending on how things turn out, you may have to click a few times to get the label outside to where you can reach it, then pull it a bit to ensure proper tension. unlike digital label makers which often have two tapes that must line up, all you need is the label to be in the feed to work, and the worst that happens when you pull it is you waste a bit of the label roll.

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker (how you use it) 

so first thing, I should probably explain how you use one of these things.

they have this plastic dial which you turn to select what character you want to print, or a scissors icon to cut off the label. there's also a deceptively marked underscore which prints nothing but also doesn't cut it, effectively acting as a space.

once you've chosen what to do, you press this satisfyingly clicky trigger and it presses the letter into the label, or cuts it.

the way the label is designed, the stretching of the film on the label makes it effectively transparent, and you see the white (or black) background which lets the text shine through.

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taking apart mechanical devices: embossing label maker 

I tried to take out my digital label maker and realised that it's six AAA batteries had died and despite being rechargeable cells, did not charge.

honestly, considering how ugly these newer-style labels look (they don't even bother to use a nice font; it's just Arial) I decided to look for a more retro-style unpowered label maker, which just came in today.

I figure that if I'm going to label stuff, I should either go old-school and use an older labeller or new-school and properly print out labels. the middle-aged-school way of using one of the ultra-cheap digital labellers is kind of not the way to go IMHO.

either way, I was messing around with the new-old label maker and it got a bit jammed, so I decided to take it apart. since my hands are already coated in whatever plastic goop lubricant they used, I figured I'd take some pictures to show off how cool this thing is.

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