Salamander
  • 65 Posts
  • 101 Comments
Joined 1Y ago
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Cake day: Dec 19, 2021

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Exactly this. You can configure nginx/apache this way, that specific pages, like an admin interface, are only reachable from a specific IP range. If it comes from another one, you can return whatever you want.

Aah, that’s very smart. Thanks for explaining!


The main purpose is to lock admin pages to a fix IP to increase security.

What does that mean? Do you mean that you do this to have a static IP pointing to an admin page? Why does that increase security? Please forgive my ignorance 😅

At least, you run your entire Internet traffic over it. And with these prices, you can almost lease a small VPS, install OpenVPN and browse through it.

I spun an OpenVPN server today using the Nyr OpenVPN install script and it took less than 5 minutes. It is very easy to do! Now I am trying to decide whether it is worth keeping it.


Given that most of my traffic goes through HTTPS, unencrypted traffic is not much of an issue. What they can do is keep a list of all of the websites a person has visited. VPN providers promise not to do this, but it is likely that they do.

So, what I am gathering is:

A VPN provider gives you more flexibility with geofencing and a faster network speed, but there is a chance that they are logging the websites that you visit. They are less likely to get you in trouble if you torrent because to forward an abuse claim they would need to admit that they log activity, and they will try to avoid that.

A VPS provider is unlikely to log your traffic because this information is less valuable to them. A VPS is more expensive than a VPN provider, but it is possible to use the server for other purposes, and it is possible to delete it when not in use. A VPS is not suitable for illegal network activity because the abuse reports get routed to you.


I do find it convenient to have the ability to change my location quickly, but I am willing to give up on some of this flexibility. I am trying to understand the tradeoffs.


I am talking about torrenting because I figured it was one of the main use-cases. But I don’t personally torrent, I use the VPN as a general privacy strategy. Thinking about this, I think that I have framed this question the wrong way by giving an illegal usecase. So I am interested in the logic for legal use.

If I am not breaking the law, then one purpose of the VPN is to keep my activity private. If I connect through an ISP, my ISP has my personal information and can log my activity. If I connect through a VPN provider, the VPN provider has my personal information and they can associate it with my activity. If I use my own VPN, then my VPS provider can in theory log my activity by monitoring the connections that my server makes. But it is less likely that the VPS provider would invest the effort in logging this type of information because different servers are pinging the web all the time for many different reasons, so it is of no value to them to try to gather this type data.

So I am now thinking about it along the following lines:

The VPS is better for privacy because even though they can see their servers communicating with other networks, and they know that you own the server, they don’t have enough information to determine why those connections are being made (is it a website? a vpn? a web crawler? or some other junk…), so collecting this data is worthless to them.

On the other hand, the network that goes through a VPN provider’s server knows that it is you using the server to browse the web, so this is a well-defined a valuable dataset, and the value of this data incentives them to collect it.


It makes sense. I am asking because I ran into a few videos (such as this one) advocating self-hosting of VPNs, but I am thinking that it is not such a good idea.

I just watched this video by Linus Tech Tips on the topic and I think that he gives a good explanation.

It appears that there are some specific cases in which having a VPN server is useful, but these cases are different than the cases for which a VPN provider is useful. Do you think that it fair to say that if one wants a ‘DIY’ solution it is better to stick with TOR and/or P2P?


Using a VPN provider vs self-hosting a VPN
I have seen the following argument (summarized here as I understand it): *Despite the promises that VPN providers make, it is known that they will often monitor your traffic, collect logs, might share your information, and will collaborate with law enforcement. Renting a VPS and running an OpenVPN server on it and using that as your VPN, is better - because you have full control over the logs. Let's assume we trust the VPS provider to adhere to their TOS and privacy policy.* To talk about a concrete typical usecase, I am thinking about how this applies to downloading illegal torrents. In my current view, the only scenario in which the self-hosted option makes sense is if you pay for hosting using crypto and reveal no personal information during the process. Otherwise using a VPS would be virtually the same as downloading it through your ISP - and in some cases even worse - because the VPS provider might be more easily pushed to throwing you under the bus if abuse is reported since this might be a TOS violation. On the other hand, a VPN provider has a much larger motivation to protect users against this because the way that users perceive these protections is fundamental to their business model. So, is there a reason to self-host a VPN instead of using a VPN provider? If so, should the VPS be acquired anonymously, or are there ways to protect yourself while using a provider that you gave your personal information to?

which could help people manufacture the drug for scientific study



Transient sensations of impending loss of consciousness: the "blip" syndrome
I have experienced these 'blips' in the past and was deeply troubled by them, as I thought that they could indicate something serious going on. While I don't suggest anyone to disregard any symptom that they consider to be potentially serious (read as: consult your doctor if you suspect something could be wrong), I have noticed throughout my life many different types of 'glitches' such as this one that turn out to be benign and common. To me, learning about these effects is a form of applied psychology in the sense that understanding that these feelings are normal and usually benign can help prevent health anxiety.

My immediate suspicion when reading the title was that this would be a temporary effect, with the fungi providing a buffer by storing the mercury but eventually releasing the more toxic organic forms. But it turns out that they do transform the organic mercury form (at least methyl mercury) into the less toxic and volatile elemental mercury!

I had not learned about the mercury demethylation pathways before, and as far as I can tell (2021 review) the research on it is still relatively new, with many unknowns. Very cool stuff, thanks for sharing.


So, you experienced it during the first videos you watched but developed a tolerance as you kept watching them?


Interesting! Flakey pastry sounds do nothing for me, but they are indeed very characteristic.


I sleep like a baby during thunderstorms, they are very relaxing.


Interesting! Can you do that on purpose, or it happens when you contract the muscles in just the right way by accident?


Have you experienced ASMR?
'[ASMR](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASMR)' - or 'Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response' exploded in popularity a few years ago as the ASMR youtube channels emerged. The YouTube videos do not trigger ASMR for me, unfortunately. However, it did bring the term to my attention, and when I read the wikipedia page something clicked - I finally had a term for a very strange sensation that I was never able to explain to others. For me, this ASMR response is not something that I can reproduce on purpose. But the times that it happens it usually occurs when someone else asks me something. For example, during middleschool I remember that sometimes a friend would stand next to me and ask me for a pencil. As I would retrieve the pencil, I would get into this dissociated-like state that was very peaceful and tingly, and I would not want it to stop. I would be very slow in retrieving the pencil and pretending I was still looking for it - and then I would ask some question to try to make the interaction longer because it felt so interesting. It still happens some times but is rare, and it occurs when I am busy in the office or the lab and someone comes and asks me something or for something while I am paying attention to something else. It is a very pleasurable state that is also very fragile - as if someone managed to scratch the perfect itchy spot in my brain for a moment. It is odd, and I think it fits the definition of ASMR perfectly. The only other way that I feel a similar effect but not as strong effect is when am getting a haircut the hairdraisser is cutting the hair in the back of my neck with the tiny trimmer. I am curious about other people's experience with this phenomenon, because I have not found many people that can relate to my experience. Have you felt this? Do you know what your triggers are? Do the YouTube videos do it for you?

Very cool. I understand part of it, but I will have to do some work to really get it.

Nature Communications has a transparent peer review process, and there was a nice discussion between authors and reviewers while trying to get this published - which is worth looking at if you are interested in the divided opinion during the peer-review process that the article mentions.

Paper (open access): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-33667-1

Peer-review file: https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41467-022-33667-1/MediaObjects/41467_2022_33667_MOESM2_ESM.pdf


No. Many users never interact after approval, even if I approve right away.

I had issues while trying to setup the e-mail notifications and never got back to it, so new users won’t get notified when I do approve them. It is possible that some of them never return to check - that is one of my guesses. Is your instance configured to send the e-mail notification?


Sex chromosomes are essentially supergenes run amok

I like that observation.

I was superficially familiar with the concept of a ‘selfish gene’, but I did not know of any specific examples. The segregation distortion (SD) gene in Drosophila is very interesting.


That’s tragic. In the case of Zhan at least it seems like the company is being transparent and accepting that this likely ocurred due to a malfunction. Let’s see what that means in terms of actually taking some responsibility for it.

As for the second case, it says:

The Tesla center in Nanjing said that the maximum speed reached 150 kilometers per hour during the accident, and the electric switch was stepped on with no brakes, while Jing stressed that he had been stepping on the brakes

I don’t know what the electric switch is. Is this the accelerator?

It is kind of scary that the tools used to determine whether the user or the manufacturer are responsible for an accident like this one are installed and analyzed by the manufacturer. Or is there a trusted third party mediating this?


I am thinking about those explanatory videos where they ask you to pause the video and try to find the answer yourself before continuing. I always pause and try - it is fun. But sometimes after several unsuccessful attempts I get frustrated and I just skip to the answer so that I can move on. It would be great to have this option with other things in life… I enjoy the process of learning via trial and error, but having an AGI next to me so that I can cheat a little bit from time to time would be great.


Just read some of the discussion over why this project was stopped.

the concerns of its usage by trolls has been far greater amongst the community.

It pains me, because at some level, I think it’s a useful and missing function, however it’s antithetical the values of the fediverse.

I am probably being dull, but I don’t get it. Why is having a search engine to search over the fediverse a bad thing? Why does that help trolls? And how is this antithetical to the values of the fediverse?





A critical well-sourced discussion about several of the statements presented in a book about sleep and health.



How have you optimized your Pi-hole?
A few months ago I set up a Pi-hole at home. I tried to create a decent blacklist by first adding some regexes I found online and then doing some manual optimization by finding ads and blocking the ad requester through the queries page. But in the end it did not work so well. I still get a lot of YouTube ads, for example. So I still rely on uBlock for my ad-blocking. I just read that Chrome is planning to start weakening ad blocker plugins. I use Firefox, but it is still worrying that the space could potentially keep moving in this direction over time. So I am now more invested in learning how to have more control over my ad-blocking. Has any of you managed to optimize your Pi-hole to the point that it is possible to browse the internet without an ad-blocker? If so, how did you do it? Are there other good ad-blocking alternatives?

I have been making an effort to actually identify the contaminants that grow in my petri dishes. In this case the contaminants are those dark green spore islands. Looking at them under the microscope reveals that the spores of this species are produced at the tip of these finger-like structures. These spore-producing structures are called "[conidiophores](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conidium)". The presence of these structures is a characteristic of the phylum Ascomycota, within the fungi kingdom. ![](https://mander.xyz/pictrs/image/af69f6b5-47b6-490b-b5ff-46cd3ee6b4b3.jpeg) ![](https://mander.xyz/pictrs/image/be1f50ea-e39a-4031-af20-e964adcc8cb9.jpeg) Different groups of ascomycetes produce conidia with different morphologies. Looking through microscopic pictures I can see that this morphology of conidia is characteristic of the Penicillium genus. I am having trouble narrowing it down to the species level. Maybe P. digitatum or P. roqueforti, based on the macroscopic morphology and how common they are. But there are too many other options, so it is difficult for me to know for sure. If anyone around here is good with identification, please let me know.

From: https://www.taylormaggiacomo.com/spider-webs Around this time of the year in the northern hemisphere it is a very good time to find spider webs outside. You can use this guide to help you identify the kind of spiders you find.

It is also possible to do this using store-bought tempeh, which is often easier to find that the tempeh starter!


I recently discovered the AntsCanada YouTube channel. This guy makes amazing terrariums for growing ant colonies (and sometimes other species), and has some very informative videos with high quality macro videography. I have learned a lot about ants watching his videos these past few days. This particular video might be valuable to people into mycology too. Several animal species are known to farm fungi, but this is the only instance I know of this process being documented in video in such detail.

Usually Shaggy Mane mushrooms are prepared fresh, before they "deliquesce" into a black goo. However, the black goo is edible, and I thought that this recipe was very cool as it shows the black goo being used as an interesting ingredient.




Another related news article: https://phys.org/news/2022-07-high-carrier-mobility-cubic-boron.html

The paper is already a few years old, but I have just read it and it provides some very valuable insight about the redox reactions that happen inside our cells, and explains why NADP is so prominent in this redox chemistry.