Loving Xubuntu, Docker, Traefik and LetsEncrypt!

I run about 20 websites on my basement Xubuntu server. Several years ago I migrated all my sites into various Docker containers and set them up behind the Traefik reverse proxy with automated LetsEncrypt SSL certificate creation using the Acme V1 protocol.

Proposal for Congressional Security Clearances

Tl;dr: In order to be considered for Congress, a person must first obtain a DoD “Secret” security clearance. To be considered for President, “Top Secret”. Security clearances are not currently required by Senators and Represenatives to read classified information.

"Economic Impact Payment"

Due to governmental mismanagement of funds, our family received an "Economic Impact Payment" from the IRS, despite the fact that neither I nor my wife have lost our jobs. While my son's first suggestion was to send it back, we quickly realized that that would simply contribute to more mismanagement, so we chose three charities (a local food bank, an environmental group fighting the climate crisis, and a local group supporting mental health issues exacerbated by COVID) and have contributed the money from "President Donald J. Trump" to those.

Privacy Awareness Week

It's Privacy Awareness Week. The following Security Tips are worth a scan:

'Digital privacy does not really exist'

Good Q&A in Politico on (the lack) of online privacy.  I agree that 'Digital privacy does not really exist' though I also believe there's a better chance for it online then there is in person. Back in 1998 David Brin's The Transparent Society foresaw the erosion of privacy partly due to low cost surveillance - what we now call IoT. With camera and microphones everywhere - including the phones in our pockets - it's difficult to escape our every action being recorded.

Stop data violence and give users control over their information

The big boys are starting to say that people should own their own data. This is great to see; we've been talking about an Identity Commons for some time now...

The MIT Intelligence Quest

As digital transformation revolves around data, managing - making sense of - that data is increasingly the realm of Artificial Intelligence. AI is what Google uses to determine what ads to show you, it's what Amazon uses to get you to buy new things, and it's what Facebook uses to make sure you keep clicking. All of these things increase the revenue of these companies but perhaps at great cost to democracy as they segment society.

GMOs and Kashi Boycott

I'd like to think Ms. Carson would be an advocate against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) creeping into our food supply. There's great debate about whether Monsanto's GMO corn is unsustainable and there are reports that GMO foods can "can significantly impact the viability of human cells".

Rachel Carson and the Silent Spring

I work at CivicActions where we provide online consulting and services for non-profits and progressive organizations. We host websites on a variety of machines (servers) each given a different name so that we can refer to them easily. Civicactions.com resides on a server named 'carson', named after Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and credited with helping to advance the environmental movement.

More Silliness: Plastic Disposable Razors

We are now aware - or should be aware - that anything that is "plastic and disposable" should be avoided whenever possible. Plastic is a petroleum product and isn't bio-degradable, as horrifically evidenced by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

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