Announcements relating to the site itself.


I’d like to announce my new project,, where I will be reading and reviewing papers from the academic literature mostly (but not exclusively) about information security. I made a false start at this near the end of 2013 (it is the same site that’s been linked under readings in the top bar since then) but now I have a posting queue and a rhythm going. Expect three to five reviews a week. It’s not going to be syndicated to Planet Mozilla, but I may mention it here when I post something I think is of particular interest to that audience.

Longtime readers of this blog will notice that it has been redesigned and matches readings. That process is not 100% complete, but it’s close enough that I feel comfortable inviting people to kick the tires. Feedback is welcome, particularly regarding readability and organization; but unfortunately you’re going to have to email it to me, because the new CMS has no comment system. (The old comments have been preserved.) I’d also welcome recommendations of comment systems which are self-hosted, open-source, database-free, and don’t involve me manually copying comments out of my email. There will probably be a technical postmortem on the new CMS eventually.

(I know about the pages that are still using the old style sheet.)

Crashing should be fixed now

This site should no longer be causing certain versions of Firefox (particularly on Mac) to crash. If it still crashes for you, please flush your browser cache and try again. If it still crashes, please let me know about it.

As an unfortunate side effect of the changes required, there is no longer an owl at the bottom of each page. I’d appreciate advice on how to put it back. The trouble is persuading it to be at the bottom of the rightmost sidebar, but only if there is enough space below the actual content—formerly this was dealt with by replicating the background color on the <body> into the content elements for the sidebar, but now it’s all background images and there are visible seams if I do it that way. Note that body::after is already in use for something else, html::after can’t AFAIK be given the desired horizontal alignment, and (again AFAIK) media queries cannot measure the height of the page, only the window; so that excludes any number of more obvious techniques.

(If you mention Flexbox I will make the sad face at you.)

In case those were real questions rather than spam vehicles,

my answers may be found on the Contact page, under Answers to Frequent Rhetorical Questions.

What goes on Planet Mozilla: a survey

Attention conservation notice: probably not of interest to anyone who doesn’t read this blog via Planet Mozilla.

I currently syndicate everything on this blog to Planet Mozilla. Given the ongoing discussion of what does and does not belong there, I would like to poll the audience: How do you feel about any of the following topics appearing on Planet?

  • Details of my recent trip to $COUNTRY
  • Offers to give away unwanted items prior to moving
  • Musings about pottery
  • Musings about video game design
  • Small programs that were a pain to write and might be useful to someone else maybe someday
  • Various Internet-security-related topics which may or may not have anything to do with The Web
  • incredibly hypothetical ideas, zany schemes, and related philosophizing
  • detailed reports on my academic research
  • explanations for a lay audience of how to use the Internet safely
  • summaries of the research presented at $CONFERENCE

This is a sincere question, which I am asking in order to decide whether I, personally, should start filtering what gets syndicated to Planet from here.

PSA: like buttons

Because I hit empty spam just a little too fast, erasing the question about this: There are no Facebook like buttons on this site because I myself barely ever use Facebook and don’t really see the point; same same digg, reddit, etc. If you like something you read here enough to want to promote it, please consider mentioning it somewhere you can put in a few words to explain why people should click through (twitter, Facebook wall, sort of thing). Or write a full-sized response article and link back.

Another site redesign

This site is now running on Wordpress rather than the creaky combination of Ikiwiki and comment software of my own invention. Things generally look nicer, in my opinion, and should also be more reliable.

I apologize in advance if this causes the RSS feed to spew old posts all over Planet Mozilla or your feed reader. I hope it won’t, but you never know with RSS.

Switching comment systems

I’m switching Owl’s Portfolio over to a new comment system of my own invention, which will allow me to turn comments back on without (I hope) immediately being inundated with spam. For the next few hours, though, all of the comments made with the old system will temporarily vanish.

The management hopes this is not a horrible inconvenience for the two or three people still reading this site.