cover photo

Christopher M. Rasch

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:19:42 +0200  
Go, sci-hub!  Soon, the onionland will be the place to go for drugs, sex workers, and science.  

!Green libertarians

"Frustrated by Sci-Hub’s resilience, ACS recently went back to court asking for an amended injunction. The publisher requested the authority to seize any and all Sci-Hub domain names, also those that will be registered in the future.
Soon after the request was submitted, US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema agreed to the amended language.

The amended injunction now requires search engines, hosting companies, domain registrars, and other service or software providers, to cease facilitating access to Sci-Hub.
Several service providers are not receptive to US Court orders. One example is Iceland’s domain registry ISNIC and indeed, at the time of writing, is still widely available.

Seizing .onion domain names, which are used on the Tor network, may also prove to be a challenge. After all, there is no central registration organization involved.

For now, Sci-Hub founder and operator Alexandra Elbakyan appears determined to keep the site online, whatever it takes. While it may be a hassle for users to find the latest working domain names, the new court order is not the end of the “whac-a-mole” just yet."


Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
You Can Now Download The Handwriting of Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, John Lennon, and Leonard Cohen as Fonts


Digitally capturing the nuances of each artist. Designers Nicolas Damiens and Julien Sens have taken on the tedious task of converting Kurt Cobain‘s, David Bowie‘s, John Lennon‘s, and Leonard Cohen…
h.ear.t | tobias

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
"WHEN LIFELONG CIVIL rights attorney Larry Krasner was elected in a landslide this past November to become the new district attorney of Philadelphia, to say that his fans and supporters had high hopes would be an understatement. Anything less than a complete revolution that tore down the bigoted and patently unfair systems of mass incarceration would be a severe disappointment.

Across the country, talking the talk of criminal justice reform has gotten many people elected as DA. Once in office, their reforms have often been painfully slow and disappointing. Krasner was the first candidate elected who publicly committed not just to intermittent changes, but a radical overhaul.

So far, having been in office less than three months, he has exceeded expectations. He’s doing something I’ve never quite seen before in present-day politics: Larry Krasner’s keeping his word — and it’s a sight to behold.

In his first week on the job, he fired 31 prosecutors from the DA’s office because they weren’t committed to the changes he intended to make. “Change is never easy, but DA Krasner was given a clear mandate from the voters for transformational change,” his spokesperson said at the time. “Today’s actions are necessary to achieve that agenda.”

Next, Krasner obeyed a court order to release a list of 29 officers from the Philadelphia Police Department that were on a “do-not-call list” — meaning that they were so tainted that they would be considered unreliable as witnesses. The police officers on the list had either been charged with crimes or found responsible for misconduct in internal police probes conducted by the department’s Board of Inquiry. Among the offenses, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the police officers had lied to their fellow investigators, filed false reports, used excessive force, driven drunk, and burgled."
Marshall Sutherland

I am disappointed that there was no mention of civil asset forfeiture, though. Maybe that will be coming soon.

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
!Green libertarians


"PORTAGE — Dr. Timothy Ames had a traditional primary care practice for a quarter of a century, starting in 1987. He grew increasingly incensed by the bureaucratic obstacles being put in the way of doctors caring for patients.

So he went nontraditional.

At his new practice, he doesn’t accept insurance of any kind. He charges patients a monthly subscription fee for unlimited visits. He is available by phone, by text, after hours.

He explained the difference between the two approaches:

“Physicians have become accustomed to a system that leads to harsh and impersonal care.”

“In fee-for-service medicine, paid by insurance companies, there is a lot of emphasis on recordkeeping and billing codes. If all the bookkeeping is not done precisely right, insurance companies can deny or delay payment. That really just distorts the physician-patient relationship.

“In fee-for-service medicine, paid by insurance companies, there is a lot of emphasis on recordkeeping and billing codes. If all the bookkeeping is not done precisely right, insurance companies can deny or delay payment. That really just distorts the physician-patient relationship.

“In this practice, if it does good to talk to a patient for an hour, I will. If the very best thing is to see them today, I have the flexibility to do that. If a telephone call is helpful, I don’t have to worry about how to bill and code for a telephone call. It really allows me to think creatively about how I deliver care to my patients without worrying about how to document my appointments to meet the requirements of the insurance companies.”
Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Fri, 06 Apr 2018 19:10:50 +0200  
!Hubzilla Support Forum

Ben Friedland, one of the members of the Facebook group "LEDS ARE AWESOME" recently advocated that the group switch to Reddit:

Like many of you, I'm about to ditch FB. I propose those of us who would like to keep in touch subscribe to the subreddit which we formed around this same group:

Admins/mods here, please feel free to PM me and I'll make you a mod. Not trying to steal a community, just trying to make sure I still have this awesome resource after leaving FB.

In response, I pitched the idea of moving to Hubzilla instead:

Thanks for creating an alternative!  Unfortunately, I don't think Reddit is much better, IMHO.  They just axed a bunch of subreddits without warning, affecting tens of thousands of users.  They're in the process of rolling out UI changes that will make Reddit look more like Facebook (and, coincidentally, open up more space for ads).  

You'll still be at the mercy of an giant, uncaring corporation that censors you, spies on you, and basically doesn't give a crap about you except to the extent that it can sell your eyeballs to advertisers.  Only it will be Condé Nast instead of Facebook.  

Consider joining the Hubzilla Federation instead.  I've created a channel for LEDS ARE AWESOME here:

My personal channel is here (feel free to add me):

...and cloned here:


* Easily port your channels from one hub to another.  Don't like your current hub?  Clone your account  to a new hub in a few minutes.   Both clones can easily be synced with each other.  Neither your identity, your contacts, or your content are trapped.  

* Very fine grained control over access/privacy.  Hubzilla makes it easy to create different persona's for different audience.  

* No ads, no tracking, no spying.  

* Completely open source.   If you're technically inclined, you can host your own hub.  


* UI can takes some getting used to

* Hubs can be a little flakey (most are self-hosted labors of love)

Intrigued?  Consider checking out Sean Tilley's detail review of Hubzilla to learn more about what Hubzilla has to offer.
Christopher M. Rasch
@Robbie, I think @Waitman Gobble  ( is the proprietor of  He hosts a newbie forum, and has open registration, so I assumed he would be okay with at least some new accounts.   I'm tagging him in this post to confirm.
Christopher M. Rasch
@Einer, I think some of them care, but like most people, I don't think most of them care about privacy very much.
Waitman Gobble
Sure, no problem. the service here is gratis. You can also run your own hub if you like, the code is actively developed at redmatrix/hubzilla


hubzilla - build community websites that can interact with one another

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:39:50 +0200  
Thai Chicken Curry is one of my favorite dishes.   This recipe looks good for someone who isn't somewhere that "exotic" ingredients like coconut milk are available.  

Peanut Curry Chicken - How to Make Chicken with Peanut Curry Sauce
by Food Wishes on YouTube

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Fri, 06 Apr 2018 01:49:24 +0200  
!Hubzilla Development is a social bookmarking site, similar to Delicious.  It's an unusual company, as internet companies go.  First, it's run by a single individual, Maciej Cegłowski.   Second, it accepts no ads,  and no third party tracking.  Third, Ceglowski directly charges users money for the service.   Initially, the fee was a one-time fee based on the formula (number of users * $0.001)--about $5.00/year.  Currently, it's about $11/year for a regular account,  and $25/year for an archival service which stores a copy of the bookmarked page and enables full text search.   The site began in 2009, and currently makes about $259,000/year in revenue.

Is anyone doing paid Hubzilla hosting yet?  If not--given Ceglowski's experience with Pinbooad--it seems like it might be a workable business model that's consistent with the ethos of Hubzilla's community.  

See screenshot:


Christopher M. Rasch
@Andrew, FWIW, there are VPS providers outside the U.S. who allow anonymous registration and payment with Monero (anonymous cryptocurrency).
Start Administrator
That's kind of like hoping you don't have to pay taxes as long as you store the money in off-shore accounts that they can't trace back to you. It might work technically speaking, but for me, I'm too much of a rule follower.
Waitman Gobble
I could host sites, but I'm not sure it's a value winning proposition. I've hosted thousands of sites since the 1990's. There's all kinds of cheapy hosting plans out there, i've never gone that route. Charging less than 25 bucks a month isn't really worth the trouble financially for a small hosting company. Really you have to upsell on updates and maintenance. try to get another 50/mo out of them.

I have a godaddy account with one domain, i totally dislike godaddy but i support a couple of people who use godaddy so i have to be an expert at it. or at least log into my account and tinker with things to find the answer to a question. That costs me about 35 bucks a month.

A ballpark idea would be a server that runs about 250 a month, and maybe you could put 10 to 15 hubzilla sites on it? the money isn't there. I haven't tested that and maybe i could load more hubzilla sites on that machine, but that's my guess.

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 18:27:57 +0200  
!Hubzilla Support Forum

On the profile page, what's the recommended delimiter for tags?   Should tags be comma-separated?  Should multiple word tags be in quotes?  Something else?

 UI  hubzilla

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 19:45:11 +0200  
I wish I lived closer to this place:

How All of America's Lost Luggage Ends Up at One Alabama Thrift Store (And Why You Really Need to Go There)


Unclaimed Baggage might be the world's best thrift store. Here's the inside scoop on how to shop there and what you might find.

#unclaimed_baggage #travel

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 06:06:22 +0200  
Via @Mike Macgirvin

Look, you're going to die. Death is the ultimate democracy. ... You don't have anything to say about when you die, where you die, how you die. The only thing you can say is what is it you give your life for. And you have to give your life for something every day so that when you die, people will know that you were living for others and you were living out God's plan.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.


Christopher M. Rasch
  last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 00:35:23 +0200  

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 22:04:25 +0200  

"German seamstress Agnes Richter (1844–1918) was a patient at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic during the 1890s. While held at the asylum she would densely embroider her standard issue straitjacket, stitching the object with words, phrases, and diaristic entries in deutsche schrift, an old German script. The layers of language make it difficult to distinguish a beginning or end to the writing, and only fragmented phrases have been deciphered from the jacket such as “I am not big,” “I wish to read,” and “I plunge headlong into disaster.”

The object is a part of the Prinzhorn Collection at the University of Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, named after collector and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn. The collection contains over 5,000 paintings, wooden sculptures, sketches, and other art-based ephemera from patients at the hospital, collected by the psychiatrist during the early 20th-century. This vast collection of work made by psychiatric patients has had a major influence on a modern understanding of “outsider art,” or the artwork created by self-taught artists who have had little to no contact with the mainstream art world.

Over a century later, the jacket remains a powerful item, a lasting object that showcases how one woman transformed a sterile and impersonal garment into a rich record of her life’s journey. (via #WOMENSART)"

Christopher M. Rasch
@Mike Macgirvin  Hear, hear!
  last edited: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 12:12:45 +0200  
May i say that light bulbs with time settings is not the smarter idea I've ever heard?
Marshall Sutherland
  last edited: Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:53:54 +0200  
Here, in Florida, they are trying to get their own timezones. It would be the fixed all year. Part of the year, we would match Atlantic Time and part Eastern Time (or Eastern and Central for the panhandle). I'm all for not changing, but to do it unilaterally as a state and in such a way as to use a time zone not used by any other state in the country? Ugh!

Edit: To put it another way, the bulk of Florida would be on Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) and the end of the panhandle on Central Daylight Time (UTC-5) all year long. The plan to put the entire state on UTC-4 got squashed.

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
!Hubzilla Support Forum

The EFF Privacy Badger plugin breaks the profile images on the directory page (and perhaps elsewhere).  See screenshot.  If I turn off the plugin for, or disable the plugin altogether, then reload, the images come back.  

Michael MD
just tried it here in Firefox

yes on the first load the images were missing and I saw a "permission denied" message,
but when I clicked on the Privacy Badget icon I saw a switch there for a hubzilla domain
.. when i switched that to green and refreshed the page it worked fine..

Yes Hubzilla's use case is benevolent, but Privacy Badger has to also deal with other kinds of third party scenarios out there in the world that are not so nice. How would it know?

Privacy Badger shows switches for each domain.. I can set the hubzilla sites to green and refresh and it loads fine.

Interestingly - when I loaded the directory page again later the page loaded fine without any problems
There were now three switches showing in Privacy Badger, all Hubzilla sites, all already set to green
I guess it somehow saw those as similar to what I had switched to green before (possibly because the requests it saw were similar?)
and it had preselected green for the other hubzilla domains.

so guessing its probably not a big problem as long as the user is aware of the switches in Privacy Badger.

DNT is a bit of a mystery to me (not the header itself, but what websites would do when they see it),
from what I read it looked like it would need a website the user might not trust to keep track of a setting for a user to say that they don't want to be tracked .. doesn't make sense somehow, - or have I misunderstood?  

somehow I still think the browser itself would a better place for those settings.
(eg if a user could set it for individual domains)
Christopher M. Rasch
How is the user going to know that Privacy Badger is causing Hubzilla images to break?  I initially thought that the site was broken, until I happened to look at it on a browser that didn't have any plugins installed, and saw that the images were there.  Maybe the documentation should have a troubleshooting section to explain how Privacy Badger could be causing problems like this.
Mike Macgirvin
I just did some poking and it seems that our dnt-policy.txt document is missing and I don't know when this occurred. I haven't looked at privacy badger in probably 5 years. You're welcome to revive this and see if it improves the situation. It didn't when we first implemented it.
Andrew Manning
Normally the cover photo is supposed to scroll away and disappear, so that the navbar becomes the vertical limit for the content. When I try to reproduce this problem, clicking on the content region causes the cover photo to hide.
Mario Vavti
That looks like a bootstrap issue to me. Either the menu should not drop up if it is covered by the navbar or it should be above the navbar.

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto last edited: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:11:41 +0200  
!Hubzilla Support Forum

If you're running a hub of your own, and you care to participate, what are the specs for your hub?

Disk usage:
Users (total):
Users (active, defined to be number who have posted something in the last week):

I'm trying to get a sense of the practical requirements to run a hub.
h.ear.t | tobias
Hi Christopher. I self-host. My personal instance runs just fine on a Raspberry Pi 3B. I have ran it in the past on it's predecessors. That generally required some patience. Now, viewing my "Activity" tab requires about 8 seconds to load (I had the feeling it was quicker, but the timepiece doesn't lie), viewing my channel about 4. Which I find very acceptable. Overall I find the experience quite smooth. I use the Pi as a mediaserver also.

Ram: 1GB
CPU(s): Quad Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
Disk usage: webroot: 440MB (from SD Card) / MySQL DB: 890MB (from External USB Disk)
Users (total): 1 user with 4 channels
Christopher M. Rasch
Thanks @Marshall Sutherland, @h.ear.t | tobias, and @Roelofpieter!

Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
"The town of Lalibela is worthy of far more international attention than it gets—it deserves to top our bucket lists and grace our travel magazine covers. Yet part of its charm lies in its mystifying lack of foreign visitors. Because it is not just a niche heritage site; it is as majestic and awe-inspiring as the Machu Picchus of the world."

#ethiopia #lalibela



Christopher M. Rasch
 East Palo Alto 
!Hubzilla Support Forum

How many Hubzilla users can I expect a small VPS to support?  One with say, 2 GB of Ram, 1 CPU, and 16 GB of hard drive space?  I realize this depends on a variety of factors--just looking for a ballpark.
h.ear.t | tobias
Christopher M. Rasch
  last edited: Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:43:07 +0200  
Thanks for the response, tobias!   Yeah, there's a whole host of variables that will affect how many resources a hub uses.  Your answer is helpful in that it appears that a 1 GB RAM, 1 CPU machine can handle at least 6 or so low-volume user accounts.