Hi, I’m Dwayne. I’m a freelance web developer. I spend most of my time writing code, reading random things on the internet, and playing PC games. I created this website to share what I’m working on and reading about. Check out the about me page for info about me, and the tech page for more about the website.
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Just as I started to dive into Rust and start using it on a new project, I hear the entire moderation team (of three people) resigned recently.
From a pull request to the “team” Rust repo:
The entire moderation team resigns, effective immediately. This resignation is done in protest of the Core Team placing themselves unaccountable to anyone but themselves.
As a result of such structural unaccountability, we have been unable to enforce the Rust Code of Conduct to the standards the community expects of us and to the standards we hold ourselves to. To leave under these circumstances deeply pains us, and we apologize to all of those that we have let down. In recognition that we are out of options from the perspective of Rust Governance, we feel as though we have no course remaining to us but to step down and make this statement.
The team declined to actually say what happened though:
In this message, we have avoided airing specific grievances beyond unaccountability. We’ve chosen to maintain discretion and confidentiality. We recommend that the broader Rust community and the future Mod Team exercise extreme skepticism of any statements by the Core Team (or members thereof) claiming to illuminate the situation.
As someone evaluating languages/frameworks for use on new project, it’s a little weird to hear that the core team of one of the options has done something bad enough to cause an entire group of moderators to resign, but there’s no information other than that team shouldn’t be trusted.
I respect not wanting to cause unnecessary drama, but keeping everyone in the dark like this doesn’t really seem like the best way to handle it either.
One of the members of the moderation team (burntsushi) writing on a reddit thread:
TIL about the term “vaguebooking.” Yes, we were vague. But on the flip side, we weren’t as vague as we could have been. Anyone who has read any amount of my writing knows that I’m all about balance. To say too much would be terrible folly. But to say too little would not make effective use of the last tool we had in our disposal: resignation. We resigned because we think some kind of change would be a good idea, and we suggested some ideas to the rest of the Rust Team Members.
It’s obvious why saying something is useful. But why not just let it all out? No. That’s irresponsible. Deeply deeply irresponsible. People who think we should just be completely and 100% transparent about literally everything that comes to us have not given any kind of serious thought to what it means to be a moderator. I’ve talked about moderation in the past, and how people tend to assume things are easier than they are.
There’s further discussion on Hacker News, but not much information on what actually happened. Anyone have any insight?
Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
The coming name change, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to talk about at the company’s annual Connect conference on October 28th, but could unveil sooner, is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail. The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more. A spokesperson for Facebook declined to comment for this story.
This actually makes a lot of sense for them. If you’re gonna be a conglomerate (by buying up or cloning the features of any company that is in any way related to or a threat to you) then at least be clear about it. I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg hopes this might also:
- Allow him to more effectively continue hiding from the consequences of his actions
- Make him a harder target for government investigation/action
- Put some distance between him and the tarnished Facebook name
- Position him as the CEO and leader of the entire “metaverse” he’s trying to build
Vlad Savov from Bloomberg:
The report that Facebook Inc. plans to change its corporate name prompted a flurry of online speculation as industry followers rushed to register their guesses.
“Meta” is another contender put forward by, among others, Samidh Chakrabarti, the company’s former civic integrity chief. The web address meta.com currently redirects to meta.org, the home of a biomedical research discovery tool developed under the stewardship of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is co-founded by the Facebook CEO. That suggests Zuckerberg has a head start on any other contender looking to secure the ultimate name for a metaverse firm.
I’m seeing a lot of people speculate that Meta is the new name. I’ve also seen either Horizon, which is the name of one of their VR projects, or just FB. Either way, I’m hoping this changes nothing and the company ends up being split into parts and the executives made responsible for the damage they’ve caused.
Emily Glazer at The Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Inc. has slowed the rollout of new products in recent days, people familiar with the matter said, amid media reports and congressional hearings related to a trove of internal documents showing harms from its platforms.
Executives at the social-media company have also put a hold on some work on existing products while more than a dozen people are involved in conducting “reputational reviews” to examine how Facebook may be criticized and to ensure products don’t adversely impact children, the people said.
It seems a little late for that, doesn’t it?
Facebook has been tightening the reins on what information is shared internally over the past few weeks, the people said. A team within the company is examining all in-house research that could potentially damage Facebook’s image if made public, some of the people said.
This sounds like the “shredding evidence” phase of their corporate response.
Someone on 4chan posted a 125 GB leak of Twitch’s source code, creator payout information, account info (including encrypted passwords), and code from from Amazon’s unreleased Steam competitor called Vapor. From the post:
We bring to you today an extremely poggers leak:
Twitch is an American video live streaming service that focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.
Their community is also a disgusting toxic cesspool, so to foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space, we have completely pwned them, and in part one, are releasing the source code from almost 6,000 internal Git repositories, including:
> Entirety of twitch.tv, with commit history going back to its early beginnings
> Mobile, desktop and video game console Twitch clients
> Various proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch
> Every other property that Twitch owns including IGDB and CurseForge
> An unreleased Steam competitor from Amazon Game Studios
> Twitch SOC internal red teaming tools (lol)
AND: Creator payout reports from 2019 until now. Find out how much your favorite streamer is really making!
The Twitter user @KnowS0mething posted some screenshots of the list of highest paid streamers earlier today.
Note that the torrent name is “twitch-leaks-part-one” so I’m assuming there’s more to come soon.
More articles about the leak:
Kotaku: Report: Twitch Is Hacked And Its Source Code Is In The Wild
VGC: The entirety of Twitch has reportedly been leaked
The Verge: Twitch source code and creator payouts part of massive leak
TechCrunch: Twitch source code and creator payout data leaks online
IGN: Twitch Reportedly Hit By Huge Leak Including Source Code, Payouts and More
I just came across this blog post about the perils of a .xyz domain. I’ve been using this (dwayne.xyz) domain for a while now and I definitely had some concerns about how often my links will be spam-filtered. Luckily I’m not trying to sell an actual product (besides my web development services) so I figured I would stick with it and see how it works out.
This part of the article stuck out though because I recently had something similar happen to me:
One surprising side effect of having a .xyz domain is that the mere inclusion of .xyz inside of a text message will result in a silent delivery failure for many providers.
The text including the .xyz link is notably absent. Until I realized what was happening, I would sometimes have some very strange text exchanges with people whenever I would mention my company or my email address. Once we switched to spotvirtual.com, this issue went away.
I sent a SMS with one of my .xyz email address to someone recently, and just like in the article, it silently failed to send. Very frustrating and concerning for me considering I use this domain to communicate with my clients.
I have other non-xyz domains as aliases to this server, and every time I read about this kind of thing I’m tempted to make one of them the primary instead of this one…
Since early August, Twitch has been wrestling with an epidemic of harassment against marginalized streamers known as “hate raids.” These attacks spam streamers' chats with hateful and bigoted language, amplified dozens of times a minute by bots. On Thursday, after a month trying and failing to combat the tactic, Twitch resorted to the legal system, suing two alleged hate raiders for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content” in violation of its terms of service.
It’s good to see Twitch taking more action on this.
Michelle Lim on replacing the dev Frontend/Backend axis with Product/Infrastructure:
If there is one tip I could share with my fellow new engineers, it would be… Stop relying on the “Frontend/Backend” axis to understand the engineering you like. The “Frontend/Backend” axis doesn’t map well to engineers' motivations. If you only use that axis, you can end up in projects you don’t like or worse still, give up on engineering prematurely. Instead, try using the “Product/Infrastructure” axis as the first axis to understand your career preference.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Web development continues to get more complicated and specialized, and the simple frontend/backend division in tech career conversations keeps getting a lot harder to stick with.
Product-first engineers map to “Product engineering” – building, launching and maintaining features that solve user problems. They often love being in the same room as designers and product managers to learn about users, and they love finding technical opportunities that can improve the product.
Code-first engineers map to “Infrastructure engineering” – building infrastructure platforms that support applications, be it via building CI/CD pipelines, implementing logging, or supporting high traffic etc. They’re motivated to better the craft of programming and are often obsessed with things like test coverage, using the latest technologies, code architecture, etc.
This doesn’t cover every case of course, but I think it’s a much better place to start the conversation.
Ari Notis from Kotaku on today’s Twitch boycott:
Earlier this month, streamers rallied around the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag on social media, where reports of awful user experiences on the platform proliferated. Many of the posts revolved around how Twitch has offered tepid protections against sustained harassment. In particular, hate raids – in which bad-faith viewers use the platform’s “raid” feature to flood a channel en masse with slurs and vile language – are not only possible, but becoming a daily nightmare for folks using the livestreaming service. And since it’s nearly effortless to create an account on Twitch, trolls are able to sign up for a bunch of accounts. It’s absurdly easy to circumvent any bans, at least until measures like account verification via phone numbers are implemented.
I’ve done some streaming on Twitch before, and was lucky enough to have decent experiences with it. I was “raided” once, but it was a good one, not the hate raids that seem like the thing for racists and trolls to do these days. But while my the streams I hosted went okay (I never had enough viewers to attract a lot of negative attention), I’ve seen just how toxic the platform can be while watching other Black streamers. I hope Twitch ends up doing something meaningful here.
The #ADayOffTwitch campaign – organized by Raven alongside streamers LuciaEverblack and ShineyPen – is scheduled for September 1. Essentially, it’ll be a 24-hour-long total blackout: no streaming, no watching streams, no logging on to chat. Viewers are encouraged to participate, as well.
Matthew Gault from Vice, writing about reddit refusing to address misinformation:
Some of the most popular subreddits are protesting the proliferation of COVID-19 disinformation and conspiracy theories on the platform. Moderators from several high profile subreddits, including r/awww, r/showerthoughts, and r/pics, are now calling on the site to do a better job of curbing the spread of disinformation.
He then goes on to talk about the response from reddit’s CEO, Steve Huffman:
Huffman began by saying the CDC was the best source of up to date information about the pandemic and urged people to get vaccinated. “We appreciate that not everyone agrees with the current approach to getting us all through the pandemic, and some are still wary of vaccinations,” Huffman said. “Dissent is a part of Reddit and the foundation of democracy. Reddit is a place for open and authentic discussion and debate. This includes conversations that question or disagree with popular consensus. This includes conversations that criticize those that disagree with the majority opinion. This includes protests that criticize or object to our decisions on which communities to ban from the platform.”
I don’t understand why these tech company executives think that being in a democracy means they have no responsibility for the things they enable. The concept of freedom of speech does not mean you don’t have to do anything about amplifying and spreading misinformation through the giant platform you’ve created.
Richard Lawler from The Verge reporting on OnlyFans' latest moves:
In an abrupt tweet, video and image sharing site OnlyFans announced a reversal of the shocker announcement that it would ban sexually explicit content. In a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson said “The proposed October 1st, 2021 changes are no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.”
They announced they were banning sexually explicit content on Friday. Here we are a few days later and they’ve already completely reversed the decision. How are any of the people who relied on the service ever going to trust it again after this?
For too long, Apple has evaded public scrutiny. The truth is that for many Apple workers – a reality faced disproportionately by our Black, Indigenous, and other colleagues from minoritized racial, gender, and historically marginalized groups of people – the culture of secrecy creates an opaque, intimidating fortress. When we press for accountability and redress to the persistent injustices we witness or experience in our workplace, we are faced with a pattern of isolation, degradation, and gaslighting.
I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion lately about how badly tech companies are treating (and in many cases straight abusing) their workers. But just like AppleToo says, Apple’s secrecy meant it’s always been more rare to hear those kinds of stories from their employees. It’s only a matter of time before we start hearing a whole lot more about the negative parts of a company culture built on Steve Jobs' brand of abrasive asshole.
So it’s definitely been a while since my last post.
I was pretty heads-down for a while working on my last client project. It took up most of my time and had me stressed for a while, so I wasn’t writing much. Then the project ended and I immediately jumped into a few large projects of my own, which are causing me a much much better type of stress.
First was the self-hosted live streaming experiment; then, when that didn’t work out all that well (video encoding takes a lot more processing power than I want to pay for right now), I started rewriting my entire web chat and chat bot code to be more useful/impressive and work in more places. The new version of the chat bot, which is now integrated into the website app, has become one of the biggest software projects I’ve ever worked on.
Because it’s fully part of the website now, some other changes I made to the website are held up until I deploy this. And because those things are held up, I haven’t been writing anything. I have literally been working on this project any time I’m sitting at my computer for weeks straight.
But I’m finally getting close to deploying so you’ll definitely hear more from me shortly.