Architechnosecurigeek. Tinkerer. General trouble maker.
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The Native American roots of Texas Mexican food serve up tacos, feminism and cultural resistance

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A native of San Antonio, TX, and a non-traditional student at Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in San Antonio, Adán Medrano needed a name for the food he grew up eating, a name that was NOT Tex-Mex.

Adán Medrano has a history of big projects. — Read the rest

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petrilli
8 days ago
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Adán Medrano's book is amazing, and well worth searching out. I grew up in Texas, and learned so much about what I was never taught/learned as a white man in the state.
Arlington, VA
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Wealthy Tech Workers Are Paying Huge Sums to Become 3 Inches Taller

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(Photo: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash)
US surgeons have begun performing a procedure that allows patients to add three inches to their total height, and interestingly enough, most of these patients are men who work in the tech industry.

The procedure is excruciatingly painful and, as you might have already guessed, very expensive. It begins with the surgeon breaking both of the patient’s femurs with “a razor-sharp chisel,” then reconnecting the broken bone with a large titanium rod. Over the next three months, the rods are extended one millimeter per day using a magnetic remote control. This forces the tissue to create a longer bone as it heals. Once the patient has gained three inches, the surgeon can remove the rods.

That three-month period is chock-full of mobility restrictions and prescription painkillers. Bone tissue creates a soft callus as it heals, and that callus isn’t nearly as stable as healthy bone. Improper support or movement could break or deform the callus and throw off the rest of the healing process. Patients are told to use crutches to get around in the months following the procedure, lest they ruin their bones’ healing and end up back in the surgical suite. They’re also given prescription painkillers to deal with the pain, which causes some patients to worry about potential addiction.

An “anonymous male patient” who went from 5’9″ to 6″. (Photo: LimbplastX Institute)

The entire procedure costs anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000, with the rod removal costing about $20,000 alone. Because the surgery is a cosmetic procedure with no medical necessity, patients must foot the bill without the help of insurance.

That said, the price tag isn’t typically a problem for the type of patient electing to undergo this procedure. Dr. Kevin Debiparshad, one of the few doctors in the US willing to perform “height-enhancing” surgery, recently told GQ that many of his patients bankrolled the procedure using software engineering paychecks from Google, PayPal, Facebook, and Microsoft. Many of them are cisgender men looking for a little extra self-esteem, especially when it comes to romantic pursuits and landing their next promotion. A few are transgender men seeking an affirming physical appearance. Very few of Dr. Debiparshad’s patients are women (though he did tell GQ he’s done a few leg-shortening operations on trans women).

This isn’t the first time in history people have sought out height-enhancing surgery. Back in the 1950s, people with legs of different lengths could undergo the “Ilizarov procedure,” a far more medieval-looking version of Dr. Debiparshad’s routine in which the patient’s legs were broken, then scaffolded with metal braces that were attached to the bone. But this is likely the first time height-enhancing surgeries have been so accessible. Because today’s procedure is considered elective, just about anyone can seek it out—given that they have tens of thousands of dollars to spare, of course.

Now Read:

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petrilli
9 days ago
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men are not ok
Arlington, VA
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Making heads or tails of open source

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Open source is in Tailscale’s bones. After our seed round, when we were only five people making our initial open source plans, we each already had decades of experience writing and using community software. Personally, I’m a Unix programmer only because of a Slackware CD I picked up in Hong Kong in 1995. I owe my livelihood and a big part of my identity to open source. So it was natural to me that we would open source anything where the trouble involved in doing so was worth the value of releasing the code.

Beyond our instincts to build open source software, we also couldn’t have built Tailscale without it. Tailscale is heavily dependent on open source: WireGuard®, a tunneling protocol for establishing encrypted connections between peers, is at the core of Tailscale. And, like every other company these days, the vast majority of the code we use wasn’t written by us — we have dependencies on code written by thousands of other developers, and we want to give back.

How we came to open source our client software

Avery, Carney, and I started developing Tailscale in a closed source repository, because a private place to hack is vital in those early, fragile moments of a new project’s life. But we never discussed whether we would open source our work — we already knew we would. When Brad and Dave joined the team, they announced their first project would be open sourcing the client. We didn’t debate it, they just did it. Communication around deciding to do it was probably just a thumbs-up emoji in Slack.

As time has gone on, the value of open sourcing our client code has become more clear. Tailscale is a security- and privacy-focused product. As a company, as individuals, and as users of Tailscale ourselves, we care about providing a product that doesn’t use any more of your data than it needs to. By making the Tailscale clients open, you can see that we don’t collect your private keys. And by making Tailscale’s DERP servers open, you can see that we can’t capture your encrypted traffic. We don’t see your data and we don’t want to. We hope that keeping this code open increases trust and transparency in Tailscale because anyone can review the code and see that Tailscale really works the way we claim.

After releasing the Linux client as open source, we also considered open sourcing the Windows, macOS, and iOS GUIs. The main reason we decided against it is because everything about those UIs is a huge pain. The additional effort associated with open sourcing them is too much, especially for a team our size: The thought that someone might file an issue one day asking for help setting up a paid Apple Developer account… still makes me shudder. Fixing my own setup was frustrating enough, never mind fixing someone else’s. So we skipped open sourcing the client GUIs.

Later, we formalized this policy. At Tailscale, we release open source clients for open source operating systems. (I do not want anything closed source on my Linux and BSD machines.) Our Linux and Android clients are completely open source, including the GUI for the Android client. Clients for proprietary operating systems require more work to open source successfully, and right now we are not interested in taking the time to contribute open code to a closed system. So, for closed source operating systems like Windows, macOS, or iOS, the GUI wrappers are also closed.

Why our coordination server is closed source

We also discussed open sourcing the coordination server. This one took a little more thought. It was a natural progression, but what are the consequences? Would doing so hurt the business we were hoping to build, and the product we sold, whatever that ended up being? At the time, we concluded that it wouldn’t. Yet, one of the explicit reasons we built Tailscale is to give teams a safe network so they wouldn’t have to run complex services. (A lot of us used to, and no longer, work on Kubernetes.) Complex infrastructure, especially public-facing services are — if treated with proper scrutiny — monstrous efforts to secure and maintain. The coordination server is the thinnest public service we could conceive to allow private end-to-end encrypted tailnets, but it is still a lot of work to maintain.

Just because you shouldn’t need to run an infrastructure service doesn’t mean you don’t want to. We get that. Which is why we decided that open sourcing a small coordination server for homelabs, for people who insist on running everything themselves, was reasonable. I sympathize with the desire to DIY everything — for example, I ran my own mail server for many years, and many employees at Tailscale have extensive homelabs and self-host their own services.  It’s a great way to learn how computers or complex infrastructure really works. From a business perspective, we wanted to open source a coordination server for the purpose of trust and knowledge dissemination. We wanted, and still want, to be in the business of running the coordination server for Tailscale, as people shouldn’t have to run it themselves (it is much harder than it looks).

Around the same time we open sourced the clients, we investigated how we could carve out and open source a simple, easy-to-run part of our coordination server — and we were confronted by what to a critical eye might be called a mess. The coordination server has required a great deal of experimentation. Nothing quite like Tailscale existed before we made it, and we did not know beforehand exactly how it should work. The codebase was littered with forgotten experiments, feature flags, and many other intricate pieces of code for dealing with things that homelabs would never face (like certain unnamed buggy OIDC providers).

Getting the coordination server ready for open sourcing was going to be a lot of work for a small team of ~5 also working on tasks like “make DERP work” and “stop crashing on iOS”. So it went on the very long TODO list for now.

The open source coordination server

But, before we could get around to open sourcing the Tailscale coordination server, Headscale was created!

Headscale is an open source alternative to the Tailscale coordination server and can be self-hosted for a single tailnet. Headscale is a re-implemented version of the Tailscale coordination server, developed independently and completely separate from Tailscale. It’s a great way to learn about the innards of Tailscale and experiment in a homelab. We love that our open source client documentation is readable enough to make a clean-room coordination server a fun project for the community to build.

We’ve been moving quickly at Tailscale over the past few months, growing our wonderful team as we continue our work toward our vision of building a better Internet, and two weeks ago we welcomed Kristoffer Dalby as the newest Member of our Technical Staff. Kristoffer is one of the principal maintainers of Headscale.

Although Kristoffer is joining Tailscale, we don’t plan to change how Tailscale works with Headscale. We’ll continue to support Headscale as a complementary project to Tailscale — with its own community of users and developers. We’ve already enabled Android users to use Tailscale clients with Headscale, and we give the project a heads-up (or a tails-up?) if there are upcoming changes to Tailscale APIs.

A key part of Kristoffer’s work at Tailscale will be interacting with the community surrounding Headscale, though generally we don’t require or prohibit Tailscalars from contributing to Headscale. The Headscale community has built a great project that works for situations complementary to Tailscale, and we hope they continue to develop it. I am personally very thankful to the Headscale team for crossing something off our TODO list. It is the best present you can give a programmer.

We know that someone could take the Headscale code and try to compete directly with Tailscale, but we hope they won’t. Instead, we hope that by being transparent about our security practices and helping ensure that Headscale remains compatible with Tailscale, you will either use Tailscale, or host Headscale for your own personal needs.

How Tailscale supports open source today

The beauty of open source is that you can get back more than you put in. We recognize that Tailscale doesn’t just build open source, but also builds on open source. We believe that open source is the past, present and future of software development.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the ways Tailscale actively supports open source development:

To see the more exhaustive version, and learn more about Tailscale’s open source efforts, see our open source page.

Finally, we develop out in the open because we do want your input and contributions. If you’re interested in contributing, be sure to follow Headscale’s contribution guidelines, along with Tailscale’s contribution guidelines and code of conduct.

We really do appreciate it.

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petrilli
11 days ago
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Arlington, VA
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STD epidemic in US is "out of control," say public health experts

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In the United States, there was a 26% rise of syphilis infections and 16% increase in HIV cases reported last year. According to David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, the sexually-transmitted disease epidemic in the US is "out of control." — Read the rest

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petrilli
11 days ago
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this is what you get with the absolute insanity of abstinence education combined with the growing anti-science bent.
Arlington, VA
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Hacker News

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Here’s some new JavaScript on this website. It’s the only JavaScript on most pages, which are otherwise pretty minimal.

try {
  if (document.referrer) {
    const ref = new URL(document.referrer);
    if (ref.host === 'news.ycombinator.com') {
      window.location.href = 'https://google.com/';
    }
  }
} catch (e) { }

That snippet redirects people who arrive at macwright.com from Hacker News.


If you’re lucky, you end up being good at a few things. If you’re really lucky, those are also the things you like doing. I’m good at writing articles that get upvoted and discussed on Hacker News, or news.ycombinator.com. But I don’t like it.

Writing on the internet can be a two-way thing, a learning experience guided by iteration and feedback. I’ve learned some bad habits from Hacker News. I added Caveats sections to articles to make sure that nobody would take my points too broadly. I edited away asides and comments that were fun but would make articles less focused. I came to expect pedantic, judgmental feedback on everything I wrote, regardless of what it was.

Writing for the Hacker News audience makes my writing worse.

I don’t like what Hacker News has become – or a lot of the web, for that matter. But I’m part of the discourse. I’ve written critical articles, mean tweets, silly comments, the whole lot of it. It’s impossible to separate one thing from another and neatly place blame. But it’s simple to notice a thing you want less of and turn it off.

So I can flex the freedom of an independent blog by embracing what seems good and pushing away what I don’t like. Redirecting Hacker News links away from this website makes sense to me. Traffic to this website doesn’t pay my bills. Disengaged readers just looking for a hot take don’t return to my site, or recognize me when I write something else, or write blog posts of their own and bring new creativity to the indie web.

Maybe posts will be less viral (I can hear, as I write that, someone writing “you haven’t written a hit in years, Tom!”), but writing viral posts or maximizing hits wasn’t my goal when I set out and it isn’t now.

Anyway, the RSS feed works great. The HTML site works pretty well. I tweet most new articles I write. Business as usual, just less of the orange site.

Brooklyn Skyline from Gowanus

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petrilli
12 days ago
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brilliant
Arlington, VA
rosskarchner
14 days ago
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DC-ish
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71-year old grandma Doña Angela outpaces famous chefs on YouTube

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Latinometrics recently posted some statistics on their Facebook page about how many people are watching YouTube videos made by various chefs, including Martha Stewart and Gordon Ramsey. Turns out Doña Angela, a 71-year-old grandmother living in rural Michoacán whose cooking demonstrations are filmed with a cell phone camera by her daughter, is far outperforming many much more famous chefs. — Read the rest

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petrilli
18 days ago
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Good! Doña Angela's videos are wonderful even with my rudimentary Spanish.
Arlington, VA
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