@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar



dad. musician.
software engineer.


The Internet is a dumpster fire.


On Cherokee land.

Opinions expressed here are solely my own and may not necessarily reflect the views or stances of my employer.

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

cstross, to random
@cstross@wandering.shop avatar

I swear, in the long term the most useful part of my tech education—which includes a master's degree in computer science from 1990—has turned out to be reading comp.risks religiously since the late 80s and watching every new grift and scam and dark design pattern and type of malware on the internet emerge in realtime.

I hate that in this century everyone needs the paranoia and skill set of a 90s network security administrator.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


A related thought I have regularly: it's wild to me how often I need to open my browser's dev tools while using the web as a civilian (not as a web dev) in order to discern exactly how these websites are spectacularly breaking, read error messages that aren't exposed to the user, etc.

The amount of uncaught errors and sloppy console logs present on major websites is gross.

RickiTarr, to random
@RickiTarr@beige.party avatar

Rooting for Positive Chaos in 2024!!!

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


"Dallas Man Changes His Name to 'Literally Anyone Else,' Announces Presidential Campaign"


BrianJopek, to random
@BrianJopek@mastodon.world avatar

Another take on Elon Musk’s brilliant solution to the Key bridge disaster in Baltimore.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


"And how, pray tell, will we retrieve that steel?"

Musk: "Well, I've built this submarine, see . . ." twirls mustache

dgar, to random
@dgar@aus.social avatar

It’s that time again!
Show me some memes!!

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar
thomasfuchs, to random
@thomasfuchs@hachyderm.io avatar

The enshittification will continue until morale has six fingers and three elbows

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


"Put a ✨ on it" is the "Put a bird on it" for the C-suite.


ethanjstark, to random
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

WOW hat tip to @yhancik (boosted by @mcc ) for turning me onto "One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age", a Tumblr + Research project digging through the torrent of The Entirety of .

An early gem I found: a collection of "before[x]",

e.g. pictures are "before_instagram" and "before_twitter"

A Geocities site with large text: "cheese is the best thing I have ever eaten wow"

ethanjstark, to random
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

Dear @matdevdug ,

I sent your IAM Is The Worst article to my eng manager, and it showed this delightful image as its preview.

I searched under the hood on your site, and had to learn about Unfurling + meta tags to figure out how this image was being selected for preview, while not being visible on the page.


Thanks for writing good stuff. I also really enjoyed "Tech and the end of Democracy" https://matduggan.com/tech-and-the-end-of-democracy/

I hope this mention does not find you.

ethanjstark, to ukteachers
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

US Remote: Senior Data Engineer role $100k - $140k

:1up: Boost for reach! 📈 Come work with me at Nearpod (EdTech), a genuinely great spot to work. Certified via Fortune + Great Place To Work as one of the Best Workplaces for Women. Staff Eng, a :trans_flag: woman on my team shared it's the workplace where they feel the most comfortable being themselves.

Hit me up with any questions! Happy to refer you.


fasterthanlime, to random
@fasterthanlime@hachyderm.io avatar

☕️ POV: I'm on my third coffee and you just asked me how the internet works

(new video!)


@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

@fasterthanlime So good! Thanks! Liked and subscribed, as they say.

tzimmer_history, to random
@tzimmer_history@mastodon.social avatar

What “Project 2025” Would Do to America

Re-posting this in light of tonight’s State of the Union, in which Biden is apparently going to draw attention to “Project 2025.” Good! Because in a very real sense, this is what’s on the ballot in November:



@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


Thank you, Thomas. Really great articles. Inspired me to subscribe to your newsletter + podcast.

NanoRaptor, to random
@NanoRaptor@bitbang.social avatar

Microsoft Excel

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


:pusheenbounce: This is beautiful.

For folk not in the know, the text present in cell A1 is a reference to a 2002 music video in which Kelly Rowland appears to text Nelly . . . using a spreadsheet on her smartphone.


RickiTarr, to random
@RickiTarr@beige.party avatar


This is your reminder that people who really love you, treat you well every day, not just on special occasions.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar
ethanjstark, to Starwars
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

My kid’s out here creating a Jawa sandcrawler from first principles. He’s 4, and hasn’t had any exposure to anything Star Wars. Feeling proud.

molly0xfff, to web3
@molly0xfff@hachyderm.io avatar

chris dixon's new #web3 book is off to a strong start

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

@molly0xfff I was chuckling at what Dixon was saying on Hard Fork, particularly this exchange:



lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

By the way, the one time in my career that I've ever pressed "The big red button that shall never be pressed!" was at RAND.

It is standard for computer room facilities to have a way to kill all power to the equipment quickly in cases of emergency. Traditionally this is a very large red button that can be pressed for this purpose, often just inside an entry door. Typically it's under some sort of plastic shield or such to avoid it being pressed accidentally.

This button is never to be used in the course of normal events. Because it abruptly terminates all power to associated equipment, the risk of data loss and even equipment damage is very significant.

So one day, I walk down the stairs to my basement computer room at RAND where the PDP-11s and ARPANET interfaces lived. I open the door ... and there's nothing there but a wall of white.

When faced with something like that, it takes a couple of seconds to figure out what the hell is going on -- it's not in your brain's expected scenarios for opening that door.

The room was full of white smoke.

Within a few seconds I reached up under the shield just inside the door and slammed down the "never to be pressed" red button.

Instantly power was cut to the UNIX PDP-11s, the ARPANET equipment, a bunch of peripherals, and even a number of disk drives that were in an adjacent room that serviced the big IBM mainframe on the ground floor above.

As it turned out, the Halon fire suppression system was within a few seconds of firing when I killed the power -- management was pretty happy about that since recharging the Halon was expensive.

I got a DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) CE (Customer Engineer) out to RAND within a couple of hours. He quickly found the source of the problem.

A PDP-11/70 power supply had dramatically failed. It was partly molten slag. Very impressive. I tried to get the RAND photographer down to take a photo of it (this was long before cell phone cameras or even cell phones), but the CE grabbed the power supply, hid it under his coat, and ran out to his car with it.

Apparently he wasn't thrilled with the prospect of photographic evidence of the failure.

Interesting day.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar
anderseknert, to random
@anderseknert@hachyderm.io avatar

I’ve seen a lot of wrong takes on test driven development, or #TDD, lately. Surprising, given that it’s just 3 simple steps to remember:

  1. Write a unit test before writing code
  2. Write the code to be tested
  3. Tell everyone you’re doing TDD. Tell your friends, your family and your colleagues. Most importantly, tell the internet. Everyone must know you’re doing TDD. This is the most important step, and in fact, you can probably skip the first two steps and go straight to this one.
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

@anderseknert Heck yeah.

Here's a fun spin, TDD meets Pair programming: Ping-Pong Programming.

  1. Person A: writes a simple test
  2. Person B: writes only enough implementation to get that test to pass.
  3. Person A revises test or writes a new failing test to cover whatever edge case person B uncovered
    GOTO 2


@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar



ethanjstark, to random
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

"More than $100b has been set on fire chasing the robotaxi dream, and the result is most charitably described as a technological curiosity, requiring 1.5 high-waged remote technicians to replace each low-waged driver."

Just a banger of a sentence from @pluralistic 's latest Plura List newsletter 😆

Love love love that in 2019, #Uber was aiming for flying urban taxis by 2023.

music swells as passenger looks down at the poor proles stuck in traffic


luna, to random
@luna@pony.social avatar

I wrote some code. It hurts to look at.


@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

@luna Thanks for building and sharing this, I hate it 😉

A related horror: "Wealth, shown to scale"

Our brains were not built to comprehend 1 billion, but we can try . . .

rbreich, to random
@rbreich@masto.ai avatar

How we beat back the corporate takeover of America:

  1. Break up corporate monopolies

  2. Continue building union power

  3. End Citizens United and get big money out of politics

Let’s keep working to unrig the system.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


I'm really curious to hear your (or anyone's) thoughts on how anyone can make progress on 3, .

My understanding is that if both parties are diving into pools of gold as a result of the status quo (No repeal, 💰 == 🗣️), there won't be any change 🤷🏻‍♂️

gutenberg_org, to books
@gutenberg_org@mastodon.social avatar

Let´s celebrate, today is Public Doman Day!

Plenty of new titles are available now and volunteers at @DProofreaders will have plenty of work ahead.

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie
The Giant Horse of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Money for Nothing by P.G. Wodehouse
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Hunting for Hidden Gold by Franklin W. Dixon


@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

@gutenberg_org @DProofreaders

> The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

was the precursor to Panic! at the Disco

ethanjstark, to random
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

> Meanwhile, tech bros will tell you that the reason you keep using their products despite professing a deep loathing for them is that they are dopamine-hacking evil sorcerers, a claim that doubles as a salespitch to credulous advertisers who love the idea that they can rent time on a mind-control ray and use it to trick you into buying their garbage.”

Spot on, @pluralistic


ethanjstark, to random
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

👋 @pluralistic In your bio, you write, "I post long threads. If you don't like these in your timeline but want to read them, I suggest unfollowing me here and subscribing to my RSS, or my newsletter, or any of my various long-form feeds. Links at https://pluralistic.net "

I just learned that "it’s considered polite to use a public visibility setting for the first post but an unlisted visibility setting for the replies in the thread"

Wonder if you'd consider doing so?


ethanjstark, to twitter
@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar

Hi @caseynewton , you're the 47th most-followed account on Mastodon--cool!


Also wanted to thank you for your recent newsletter, gathering insights from brilliant minds on how to replace (bottom link)

Non-Casey readers of this post, you should consider subscribing.


thomasfuchs, to random
@thomasfuchs@hachyderm.io avatar

Q: If they know who an “authentic user” is, why don’t they simply not show ads to them?

A: They knowingly show ads to users who aren’t “authentic” thereby willfully defrauding the advertisers.

@ethanjstark@hachyderm.io avatar


Here's 38 straight minutes of CEO Linda squirming, explaining how 2 + 2 = 5, and ad and user numbers are just great, thank you very much, and feeling uncomfortable about the surprise guest right before her, Yoel Roth, former Head of Trust and Safety at Twitter.



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