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Dean boosted

I've found the best way to try to break through doomers' defenses is to first point out that, according to current science, a runaway hot house is very unlikely. That means every little bit of less destruction is better. Every person saved and every extinction prevented is worth all our effort.

After that because doomers are in so many cases men, you can try to appeal to their heroic imagination: saving the planet is generation's big fight. History demands we step up.

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Dean boosted

I 'unpublished' my Patreon creator page in August last year. There's no option to delete it (and the guides to 'how to delete your creator page' mention things that don't exist) so you can just unpublish. I, as expected, haven't had any payments from my supporters since doing that.

Old supporter DMed me.

Her: Hi! Are you still creating?
Me: Oh I've moved to Ko-Fi! (link)
Her: Ah! I guess I can delete my plege then?
Me: Sure, but Patreon shouldn't have been taking anything
Her: Er, they have...

Dean boosted
Dean boosted

The #OpenStreetMap weekend in #Berlin was great to catch up with old friends and get up to speed with what's going on out there! 🎉

I also got the chance to make a tiny bit of progress on my collaborative real-time map prototype; think #Figma but for maps.

#maps #geo #design

Dean boosted

I’ve written an open letter asking organisations that engage online with the blind community to come to Mastodon in light of the significant #accessibility regressions at Twitter.
If you agree, please sign it and share it as widely as you can. This is one occasion where if we can show how many of us care about this issue, it will make it clear that it’s worth companies putting in the effort to be here.
I would also be very grateful for the support of our sighted friends.
Thank you.

Dean boosted
Dean boosted

RT @DontGasAfrica
The #EuropeanGasConference represents a systematic plan to lock Africa into a fossil fuel future. We say NO!
Africa’s resources cannot be decided on behalf of Africa while she is not present. #DontGasAfrica
@gastivists @block_gas @Artivistnet @TheGreenConnect @CtxRebellion

Dean boosted
Dean boosted

Are you an academic concerned that #Elsevier's profiteering publishing practices are extracting money and labor from you and your colleagues for free? Are you terrified that Elsevier's support for #FossilFuels is helping accelerate #ClimateBreakdown?

Don't fret! The #StopElsevier campaign has got you covered, with a wealth of resources to help take power away from them via collective action.

A thread 1/n

#ClimateCrisis #OpenScience #EthicalPublishing

Dean boosted

As part of the response to the earthquake in Turkey, many volunteer mappers joined in mapping buildings and highways in affected areas.

Now that the mapping has been completed - thanks to the quick response from the #OSM community - the Development Seed data team is working on the Türkiye - Gaziantep project validation phase focusing on the priority areas to ensure the quality of the data that was added.

Dean boosted

2/5: BP had pledged to cut carbon emissions by 35-40% by 2030, but has now scaled back to 20-30%. This reneging on promises is unacceptable as we face a climate emergency. #ClimateEmergency #CarbonEmissions #BP

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Dean boosted



After 66 work days on #strike (3 full months; tomorrow would be the 4th month to the day as they went on strike Nov 10th), #HarperCollins and the HarperCollins Union have reached a tentative agreement that includes "increases to minimum salaries across levels" and a $1,500 lump-sum bonus to all union employees.

More details to come!

#Publishing #HCPOnStrike #UnionStrong

Dean boosted

Dear geospatial developers: could you share any aspect of your experience with #OGC standards for building geospatial applications and services? With your permission I would ❤️ to feature it in the new OGC developer website! #ThankYou 🙏 Pls RT

Dean boosted

I've finally gotten around to publishing part 4 of my series on post-collapse computing.

While this is the end of the series it's hopefully only the beginning of a larger resilience initiative within GNOME and free software more broadly. If you're interested in working on this I'd be very happy to hear from you.

Dean boosted

"It is not uncommon to learn about non-Indigenous entities appropriating Indigenous culture but none of them are as large, prestigious, nor well-known as The Apache® Software Foundation is in software circles."

Dean boosted

I've been seeing discourse again about the real/supposed ableism of transit and walkability advocacy, and I am once again frustrated by the incredible car-centricity of it.

I am disabled in ways that can limit access to walking-oriented spaces, but I've also never been a driver. When people talk about the difficulties of managing an invisible disability on public transit, I nod my head hard -- but so often this turns into a subtext/text of "we still need to privilege cars."

That... loses me.

Dean boosted

I recently wrote a post detailing the recent #LastPass breach from a #password cracker's perspective, and for the most part it was well-received and widely boosted. However, a good number of people questioned why I recommend ditching LastPass and expressed concern with me recommending people jump ship simply because they suffered a breach. Even more are questioning why I recommend #Bitwarden and #1Password, what advantages they hold over LastPass, and why would I dare recommend yet another cloud-based password manager (because obviously the problem is the entire #cloud, not a particular company.)

So, here are my responses to all of these concerns!

Let me start by saying I used to support LastPass. I recommended it for years and defended it publicly in the media. If you search Google for "jeremi gosney" + "lastpass" you'll find hundreds of articles where I've defended and/or pimped LastPass (including in Consumer Reports magazine). I defended it even in the face of vulnerabilities and breaches, because it had superior UX and still seemed like the best option for the masses despite its glaring flaws. And it still has a somewhat special place in my heart, being the password manager that actually turned me on to password managers. It set the bar for what I required from a password manager, and for a while it was unrivaled.

But things change, and in recent years I found myself unable to defend LastPass. I can't recall if there was a particular straw that broke the camel's back, but I do know that I stopped recommending it in 2017 and fully migrated away from it in 2019. Below is an unordered list of the reasons why I lost all faith in LastPass:

- LastPass's claim of "zero knowledge" is a bald-faced lie. They have about as much knowledge as a password manager can possibly get away with. Every time you login to a site, an event is generated and sent to LastPass for the sole purpose of tracking what sites you are logging into. You can disable telemetry, except disabling it doesn't do anything - it still phones home to LastPass every time you authenticate somewhere. Moreover, nearly everything in your LastPass vault is unencrypted. I think most people envision their vault as a sort of encrypted database where the entire file is protected, but no -- with LastPass, your vault is a plaintext file and only a few select fields are encrypted. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass uses shit #encryption (or "encraption", as @sc00bz calls it). Padding oracle vulnerabilities, use of ECB mode (leaks information about password length and which passwords in the vault are similar/the same. recently switched to unauthenticated CBC, which isn't much better, plus old entries will still be encrypted with ECB mode), vault key uses AES256 but key is derived from only 128 bits of entropy, encryption key leaked through webui, silent KDF downgrade, KDF hash leaked in log files, they even roll their own version of AES - they essentially commit every "crypto 101" sin. All of these are trivial to identify (and fix!) by anyone with even basic familiarity with cryptography, and it's frankly appalling that an alleged security company whose product hinges on cryptography would have such glaring errors. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has terrible secrets management. Your vault encryption key always resident in memory and never wiped, and not only that, but the entire vault is decrypted once and stored entirely in memory. If that wasn't enough, the vault recovery key and dOTP are stored on each device in plain text and can be read without root/admin access, rendering the master password rather useless. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass's browser extensions are garbage. Just pure, unadulterated garbage. Tavis Ormandy went on a hunting spree a few years back and found just about every possible bug -- including credential theft and RCE -- present in LastPass's browser extensions. They also render your browser's sandbox mostly ineffective. Again, for an alleged security company, the sheer amount of high and critical severity bugs was beyond unconscionable. All easy to identify, all easy to fix. Their presence can only be explained by apathy and negligence. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass's API is also garbage. Server-can-attack-client vulns (server can request encryption key from the client, server can instruct client to inject any javascript it wants on every web page, including code to steal plaintext credentials), JWT issues, HTTP verb confusion, account recovery links can be easily forged, the list goes on. Most of these are possibly low-risk, except in the event that LastPass loses control of its servers. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has suffered 7 major #security breaches (malicious actors active on the internal network) in the last 10 years. I don't know what the threshold of "number of major breaches users should tolerate before they lose all faith in the service" is, but surely it's less than 7. So all those "this is only an issue if LastPass loses control of its servers" vulns are actually pretty damn plausible. The only thing that would be worse is if...

- LastPass has a history of ignoring security researchers and vuln reports, and does not participate in the infosec community nor the password cracking community. Vuln reports go unacknowledged and unresolved for months, if not years, if not ever. For a while, they even had an incorrect contact listed for their security team. Bugcrowd fields vulns for them now, and most if not all vuln reports are handled directly by Bugcrowd and not by LastPass. If you try to report a vulnerability to LastPass support, they will pretend they do not understand and will not escalate your ticket to the security team. Now, Tavis Ormandy has praised LastPass for their rapid response to vuln reports, but I have a feeling this is simply because it's Tavis / Project Zero reporting them as this is not the experience that most researchers have had.

You see, I'm not simply recommending that users bail on LastPass because of this latest breach. I'm recommending you run as far way as possible from LastPass due to its long history of incompetence, apathy, and negligence. It's abundantly clear that they do not care about their own security, and much less about your security.

So, why do I recommend Bitwarden and 1Password? It's quite simple:

- I personally know the people who architect 1Password and I can attest that not only are they extremely competent and very talented, but they also actively engage with the password cracking community and have a deep, *deep* desire to do everything in the most correct manner possible. Do they still get some things wrong? Sure. But they strive for continuous improvement and sincerely care about security.

- Bitwarden is 100% open source. I have not done a thorough code review, but I have taken a fairly long glance at the code and I am mostly pleased with what I've seen. I'm less thrilled about it being written in a garbage collected language and there are some tradeoffs that are made there, but overall Bitwarden is a solid product. I also prefer Bitwarden's UX. I've also considered crowdfunding a formal audit of Bitwarden, much in the way the Open Crypto Audit Project raised the funds to properly audit TrueCrypt. The community would greatly benefit from this.

Is the cloud the problem? No. The vast majority of issues LastPass has had have nothing to do with the fact that it is a cloud-based solution. Further, consider the fact that the threat model for a cloud-based password management solution should *start* with the vault being compromised. In fact, if password management is done correctly, I should be able to host my vault anywhere, even openly downloadable (open S3 bucket, unauthenticated HTTPS, etc.) without concern. I wouldn't do that, of course, but the point is the vault should be just that -- a vault, not a lockbox.

I hope this clarifies things! As always, if you found this useful, please boost for reach and give me a follow for more password insights!

Dean boosted

You may have read about an entity called "The Social Coop Ltd" acquiring several popular Mastodon instances. This entity has no relation whatsoever to Due to the risk of confusion, we have reached out to them to discuss the situation.

We ( are a co-operatively run Mastodon instance that was founded in 2017. Read more about us here:

Dean boosted

After the report about the Girl Scout mom getting booted from Radio City Music Hall, I spent the last two days reporting out the use of facial recognition technology by the Madison Square Garden empire to keep hundreds of lawyers that work for firms that have sued it from attending concerts, sporting events and shows. It is a radical use of the technology by a private company and I am truly shocked by how forthright MSG is about its real-world block list.

Dean boosted

Are folks really pressuring independent artists, authors, etc., not to promote their work here?

Do you also picket your local independent cafe and mom and pop stores? What happens if you succeed in shutting them down? That’s right, you end up with a McDonald’s in their place.

Please learn to separate capitalists from folks trying to survive under capitalism. Independent people trying to pay their rent isn’t advertising, it’s existing. What Coca-Cola does is advertising.

#fediverse ❤️ #indie

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