@aardrian@toot.cafe It would be totally awesome if the keyword stuffing thing would die in a fire. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people recommending automatic alt-filling from SEO (WordPress, it’s always WordPress) plugins as an accessibility remedy, and for that reason alone I’d like to kill this off personally. Obviously I’m not saying keywords used for SEO are never relevant to what the alt attribute is for, but in my experience more often than not the two have nothing to do with each other.

These thoughts are in no particular order.

I agree that tarring an entire group with the same brush is not OK. I also understand the frustrations of everyone who’s been posting using the hashtag #AbledsAreWeird. I read stories every single day from blind people and other people with disabilities, (deaf people, people who are on the autism spectrum, ETC.), expressing frustration and anger at the way they have been treated and are still being treated by people who don’t appear to be disabled in any way, and I think jumping to condemn them for expressing that frustration which is something I see quite often, is also the wrong take. So far I’ve only seen one objector to the #AbledsAreWeird hashtag offer something that would communicate the same message without tarring an entire group with the same brush, and I think that’s telling.

I found out about the #AbledsareWeird hashtag due to the corresponding reactionary outrage on the part of those opposed, and I’m wondering at the irony of the outrage against the outrage.

Several of the people I’ve seen reacting with outrage/disgust/objection to the hashtag and accusing participants of bigotry against abled people are also more than willing to tar, say, undocumented immigrants with the same kind of brush, and I’m thinking that they should take their own advice when it comes to what is essentially tone policing of anyone participating in the AbledsAreWeird hashtag.

Alienating abled people is I think the least convincing of the arguments against the hashtag. By that logic, we shouldn’t fight for web or physical accessibility, because it might piss people off.

More broadly, I think there has to be a balance between offense/outrage and just letting live, but the people who bitch about everyone being offended all the time are just as trigger-happy and contribute to the whole thing. In other words, everybody’s offended all the time, even the people bitching about social justice warriors or whatever, but the grievances depend on who’s speaking. There is, after all, nothing new under the sun.

Screenshot of my Facebook feed with a sponsored post
Well hi there, the Facebook! Thanks for noticing that I posted something about how your efforts to become the central authentication service for everything is not a good thing, and showing your appreciation by showing me an ad for, you guessed it, an ad for passwordless secure authentication. I’ve attached a screenshot for the light slaves, but for the blinks, the relevant text is this:

Suggested Post
Passwordless is possible with modern adaptive authentication defense layers. Download this guide to learn how eliminate passwords while improving security and user experience.
Remove Reliance on Passwords
Learn More
LikeReactCommentShareLike PageFull StoryMoreSponsored

Yet another advantage to owning my own data: I can share the text of screenshots as text. 🙂

I know that for you Facebook-having people, this is no big deal. You have resigned yourself to the idea of Facebook owning your data.


No, we haven’t all resigned ourselves to Facebook owning our data. But too many people have, or don’t understand why owning their data is important. So for the Facebook crowd, one more reason to own your data. Facebook wants to be the “one authentication service to rule them all”, and this is not a good thing because it means that should you choose not to have a Facebook account, you’ll lose access to other completely unrelated services. I’m picking on Facebook, but this would be just as bad if anyone else tried to do it. This is an example of social networks overstepping their bounds, and they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t know they have millions of users who will gladly log into whatever with their Facebook account because it’s perceived to be quick and convenient, turning over all their data, (including personal information), to a for-profit company that will gladly sell it to the highest bidder.

Probably time to just say to hell with it and keep a separate Firefox window open with all the Slack and IRC windows in their own tabs and use that Greasemonkey script by the NVDA guys floating around. I will, however, need to figure out how to get Firefox to allow me to log into the same service multiple times without saving the session cookie from the last login, thus keeping me logged in as the other account. Or buy a computer with sixteen GB of RAM and eight cores. This is something I’m going to do, but not just to handle Instantbird and its stupidity.

Still trying to nail down why WordPress isn’t receiving webmentions from Bridgy. I’ve double-checked all configuration options, and according to both the WordPress-specific documentation for Bridgy and the official documentation for Bridgy, everything appears to be set correctly. I’ve tried both hiding and showing syndication links to see if that was the issue, but no dice. I’ve had my default post kind set to note using what is essentially the official post kinds plugin for WordPress for a while, but am switching it back to article and using WordPress’s native status post format to see if this makes a difference. Based on when webmentions from Bridgy apparently stopped coming in, I think the change of the default post kind from article to note may have something to do with the break. We’ll see.

BTW if you’re reading this on Facebook, click the link at the bottom of the status message to visit the original so you can see all the links.

With the exception of the few electronics, (which I am about to tear down in a minute), everything is packed, all the paperwork is gathered, and I will leave for the airport in about thirty minutes to head to Salt Lake City. This is a part of the country I’ve never visited before, and I’m glad I get to add it to my list. I like to travel, just not all the crap you have to do beforehand, like deal with TSA. I didn’t realize how much of a time difference there is between Augusta and Salt Lake City, and so I’m glad I’m traveling today and not tomorrow as I had originally planned, because there’s a full day of workshops plus the speaker’s dinner on Monday, and my brain needs to be rested. There’s an impromptu Superbowl party tomorrow afternoon at a sports bar whose name I can’t remember right now, and so I will get to have the sportsball along with WordPressers. It doesn’t get much better than that

I am still awake because (a) I am finishing up some last minute packing for #loopconf and (b) I can never sleep before flying and (c) that whole “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” thing (otherwise known as imposter syndrome) has kicked in. I will be OK. And I am also excited for this conference, because hanging out with WordPressers, and talking code, and getting out of Disgusta for pretty much a whole week, but also, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Blind people on the Facebook posting pro-DeVoss crap and I am done. I suppose you think it’s OK to have a secretary of education who has indicated that she is not willing to enforce IDEA, which is the federal law that guaranteed all of you the right to a public education with the resources you needed to succeed. If you needed resources in braille or other alternative formats, you got them because of IDEA. If you needed a notetaker, (human or tech), you got it because of IDEA. If you needed a mobility instructor to work with so you could learn your way around the school before you started classes, you got that because of IDEA. But hell, we already made it through the system, and we got what we wanted, so who cares, right? Screw future generations of kids with disabilities. We already got ours. Screw accessibility professionals who have kids with disabilities, because the only thing that matters is that we get stuff that works with our screen readers, and who cares if they and their kids have to suffer and do tons of extra advocacy. As long as they keep fighting for our rights, we don’t give a damn if they get thrown under the bus. Dropping out of snark mode, those accessibility professionals who have kids with disabilities work day in and day out to champion a civil right, an undisputed civil right to an education without being segregated away from your non-disabled peers, that you are apparently perfectly willing to deny to others. They do it without complaint, and often without so much as a thank-you. And, (assuming DeVoss is confirmed), they will continue to do it after they and their kids are thrown under the bus, with your help apparently. So yeah, if you’re pro-DeVoss, I do not ever want to see a complaint about how you can’t get an accessible book, or about how some app or website is inaccessible, or how some kid with disabilities in Texas is being denied an education again. Ever, ever again. Because I do not give a fuck about how shitty your life is as an adult with disabilities if you are willing to risk visiting that same shitwizardry on the lives of kids with disabilities and their parents.

Dear the Facebook. I hate your algorithum so much right now. I’m trying to find something I commented on, so I can add a further comment, and you are disappearing it on me and failing and just put the news feed back the way it originally was. Nobody cares about your ability to curate stuff for us. You suck at this. Nobody cares about what you want to promote. You suck at this too. It is literally the fault of algorithums like this that fake news, (and I mean actual fake news, not news one side or the other doesn’t like), is a problem. So knock it off already.

That time you ask yourself why the hell the screen reader is so loud, and then you remember that you have the headphones plugged into the big speakers that you migrated to the desk, and the volume is still turned all the way up because you were listening to music earlier.

Last night, the president announced his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. I won’t post the entire fact sheet, but you can download the Neil Gorsuch fact sheet, (pdf) and read for yourself. Below is the section on students with disabilities, including references to cases and opinions. Granted, the left isn’t exactly a paragon of disability rights. However, depriving students with disabilities of their rights under either IDEA or the ADA is just screwed up, and makes a Gorsuch appointment just about as bad as appointing Betsy DeVoss, except that Gorsuch will stay on the Supreme Court for decades. From the fact sheet:

Gorsuch would not protect the rights of disabled students

Contrary to an earlier decision by an impartial hearing officer, Judge Gorsuch held that a
student with autism did not have a right under the federal Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) to an education that would provide a chance to achieve intellectual
and social skills outside the classroom. This, even though Congress made clear that
?prepar[ing] [students] to lead productive and independent adult lives, to the maximum
extent possible” is a major goal of the IDEA. See Thompson R2-J Sch. Dist. v. Luke P., ex
rel. Jeff P., 540 F.3d 1143 (10th Cir. 2008).

Over a vigorous dissent, Judge Gorsuch authored the majority opinion in A.F. ex rel
Christine B. v. Española Pub. Sch., 801 F.3d 1245 (10th Cir. 2015), which held that a student
cannot, for technical reasons, assert a claim for violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act if she had earlier settled with a school district for violations of the IDEA even though, as
Congress made clear, students have distinct rights under both laws.
Judge Gorsuch authored the majority opinion in Garcia v. Board of Education of
Albuquerque Public Schools, 520 F.3d 1116 (10th Cir. 2008), holding that even when a
school violates a student’s rights under the IDEA, the student may still be entitled to no
remedy for an IDEA violation if the student leaves the school out of frustration with the
school‘s continuous failure to follow the IDEA.

Supreme Court justices are confirmed by the senate. So, if you care about the rights of people with disabilities, (especially students), then if you’re not already ringing your congresscriters’ phones off the hook over some of these other nominees, now would be a good time to start.

That time you’re extremely happy with yourself because you’ve managed to completely move into your new phone, and then you remember that you are subscribed to a ton of podcasts using Downcast, and you check to make sure everything ported over correctly, and it did. Smooth iPhone migration for the win.

I am totally cool with friends who want to unfollow because they want to read different posts other than politics. I get it. I have friends whose tweets I don’t pay attention to for various other reasons for example, and I don’t take it personally when they don’t want to pay attention to mine. But “I don’t wanna get political” is how we got into this mess in the first place, and that applies no matter which side of the political divide you’re on. Elected officials need to be held accountable, and everything going on will have an impact on your life, whether you know about it or not. “Not getting political” won’t stop that, and you can’t make an informed decision when it’s time to vote if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on, before and after the campaigning. That also applies regardless of how you vote. None of us, (liberal or conservative), can afford to be single-issue or uninformed voters. My posts have gotten more political of late because I believe that what’s going on now is bad for all of us, not just liberals. Our president is doing everything the wait-and-see crowd reassured us he wouldn’t do, with a vengeance. And everybody who’s cheering this on is going to get a very rude awakening when their grocery bills get more expensive, because terriffs. So no, I’m not a fan of moving the country backward. But “I don’t wanna get political” is a form of sticking your head in the sand, and is the quickest way to not get what you want from your elected officials. And none of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand just because we want things to be positive or pleasant or whatever other means we use to avoid conflict and argument.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President Elect of the United States:

@realDonaldTrump I think, I’ll keep it . . . so I’ve got 46 million people right now — that’s a lot, that’s really a lot — but 46 million — including Facebook, Twitter and ya know, Instagram, so when you think that you’re 46 million there, I’d rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it’s working — and the tweeting, I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press — so dishonestly — that I can put out Twitter — and it’s not 140, it’s now 280 — I can go bing bing bing . . . and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out — this morning on television, Fox — ‘Donald Trump, we have breaking news’.

I’m going with: Whatever he tweets on either account will get posted on the other. Sheesh.

The Great Trumkin is right. It will change. Because there’s nothing like watching a total douche bag fascist masquerading as a republican get elected to the highest office in the land to unite the country. Obstruct, obstruct, obstruct, at every single level. I hope you like the presidency Trump, because you and your lackies, (inside and outside of the government), are going to work for it. There’s a time to put down the pitchforks. This time isn’t it. And I’m confident that, once all those people who voted for you thinking you’d make their lives better realize that you don’t give two shits about them, they’ll join up. So good luck with the next four years Mr. President Elect, because they’re going to be a very long four years.

The Great Trumpkin has nominated Rudy Giuliani to handle our nation’s cyber security affairs. He owns and operates a full-service security, investigative and crisis management consulting firm whose website has the following outstanding cyber security related issues:

  • Expired SSL (certificate)
  • Doesn’t force https, (I suppose when you have an expired certificate that’s just icing on the cake),
  • Exposed CMS login information, both database username and password as well as weblogin username and password, (You’re a God damn moron if you do that, and you’re even worse if you’re selling full cybersecurity services and you’re doing that, and oh, did I mention the info is exposed in plain text files that live on the server and are browsable?)
  • Uses Flash (which has become so prone to vulnerabilities that modern browsers don’t support it, and Adobe, (its creator), recommends that you use HTML 5 instead
  • Using EOL’d (end-of-life, meaning it’s not even getting security updates), PHP version
  • SSL Lab grade of F
  • Using Joomla 3.1.1 (released in April, 2013 – current is 3.6.5)
  • SSH exposed to public access, (why don’t you just post your root password somewhere and get it over with)
  • FreeBSD 6 (released in 2008)
  • Open ports, so many open ports…

If Giuliani is confirmed, we are completely and totally fucked on the cybersecurity front. Terrorists aren’t going to need to fly planes into buildings, or run over people with trucks. They’ll just have to sick a bunch of toasters on the government and take it all down. All this talk about defeating ISIS, and with a Giuliani confirmation, they’ll be handed the tool they’re literally most effective at using, and winning with. Good job guys, good fucking job!

Today the high was 60F, (15.6C), and there will be snow showers, at least according to the current weather forecast:

Snow during the morning will give way to lingering snow showers during the afternoon. Some sleet may mix in. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. Winds N at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snowfall around one inch.
Saturday Night
A mostly clear sky. Low near 25F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.

If there’s enough snow/sleet, (in other words, more than just sprinking), I’ll be sure to provide some audio to contrast with Monday’s torrential downpour. We’re only supposed to get an inch, (which isn’t really a big deal), and it’ll stick around long enough to freeze and become icy slush over Saturday night. Also there will be raids on the stores tomorrow. Yay southern living!

David Shanske has added location support to his site, complete with an open street map and the location name as a link. I’m eager to try it out and his releasing this reminds me to finish my own location support. I have the fields created, but I’d still like to get WordPress to automatically pull in the location associated with the browser, so that when I post from my phone I can effectively replace checking into Facebook or Foursquare. Foursquare’s cute for the points but that’s about it. I’ve copied this site over to staging so I can make code changes and tweak until I’m happy, or at least until I have something I can live with, until I decide to tweak again. The curse of being a developer, I suppose.

I’m starting a new book challenge for this year. I think they’re a nice diversion and they allow for a little friendly competition. This year I’ve set it to fifty-two books so I average about one book a week. I’d also like to write more reviews, except I likely won’t do it on Goodreads. I’d like to have the book covers as the featured image (thumbnail) for each book so that when I syndicate things to Twitter and Facebook there are pictures to go with the content. I’ll do this manually for now until I find out how much of a nightmare Goodreads API permissions are. You apparently can’t scrape their feeds, although they exist. I was highly disappointed when I found this out, because it would have been the easiest way to retrieve data. Oh well.

Update: You can, apparently, scrape the feed, but only sort of, because you don’t get complete control of the data that comes across.

I have determined that the best way for me to get work done at this stage in my life is to listen to ambient music, rather than my normal lists on Spotify. It helps keep my brain from racing. For right now I’m using the soundscapes provided by Ambient Mix, which leaves my phone free to do, well, phone things. There’s a list of ambient playlists on Spotify that my friend Tom McFarlin published sometime back, and once I find that link again, and then do the searching for those lists from the app on my phone, I’ll probably switch back to using Spotify for work things. I need to spend some more time with Spotify on the PC anyway so I can become more familiar with how the UI works.

I finished lighting for the second night of Hanukah, and then looked at Twitter, only to find that 2016 has seriously trolled us by taking George Michael from us … On Christmas. Really 2016? Are you serious? I mean, I wasn’t a superfan or anything, but damn. It’s like, since Carrie Fisher looked 2016 in the eye and 2016 blinked, it needed to make up for it or something. So I’m currently listening to a George Michael’s Greatest Hits playlist on Spotify, (and yeah, there’s a ton on here, including a lot of non-radio excellent stuff), while I drink a beer and plan for the week ahead.

So I’m reading the 13th Scott Harvath book, and I’ve gotten to a point where Scott Harvath is able to tell whether or not the terrorists are logging into Facebook, and what their visiting on Facebook. Come on! Facebook even when this book was written was using SSL. The entire point of SSL is to protect data while it’s in transit. That includes usernames and passwords, and it also includes what URLs (or pages in Facebook’s case), people are visiting. There’s absolutely no way this character would be able to tell whether or not some terrorists were visiting Facebook and even if you could there’s no way for him to be able to tell what Pages they are visiting, and what they’re doing on Facebook. Christ on crutches, I know research is hard and everything but this is pretty simple to find out. Google is amaze! It can help with all kinds of things! Including researching how technology works and how Facebook works. Not that Facebook is terribly awesome about privacy, but even they don’t screw up this badly.

I think it may be time to wander back out of the Indieweb rabbit hole and climb into bed. This has been a lot of fun, and tomorrow will definitely be RTFM Friday, (actually, no it won’t, because I have some emails to respond to and work to do), because I’m missing something. I’ve gotten set up with Bridgy, but still need to figure out how to merge accounts, because I have two of them. I will re-automate social sharing when I’m more awake. I need to switch plugins because it appears that Social has finally quit working as of WordPress 4.7. I’m not complaining. Hell, I got eight years out of the thing, across I don’t know how many WordPress versions. I also need to play around with changing the webmentions endpoint for this site so that Bridgy can handle them. There are extra meta boxes and I’m pretty sure I need to change it there but will do some more digging later. Oh, and I need to find out the extent of microformats in Genesis so I can add what’s not already there to this child theme and the one on customerservant.com. I also need to fix the typo in that post. Anyway, good night WordPress, and good night Indieweb, and good night IDE.
Enjoying a steak and some beers.
Enjoying some beers and a steak.

In attempt to make life easier for myself, I’ve copied the audio lectures I have onto my PacMate, for listening away from the computer.
(Actually, I did this Tuesday before I left work, so I’m not sure if it counts as part of today’s progress report, but anyway).
I plan to edit the files down to smaller size pieces, separating them into sections for easier consumption.
This morning, I listened to the first and second files again, and I also plan to retype the notes from those two files in a better attempt to glean what’s important from them.
Up until now, I’ve been focusing on typing the files verbatum, which has slowed me down.
I also plan to get in touch with Belinda to see about getting together this weekend to compare organization techniques, study together, ETC., since she’s been at this longer than I have.
My goal is to have all of this done by Tuesday of next week.
My files are in complete disarray right now, so among the tasks I’ve set for myself to have completed by Tuesday is imposing organization on them and their contents, which I feel will be accomplished by everything I’ve outlined above.