Configuring DNS-over-TLS on macOS

Until yesterday I hadn’t thought too much about DNS metadata leakage. Here’s how it works: your computer sends out a request to resolve a DNS hostname, let’s say “topsecretwebsite.example,” and your DNS server responds back with its IP address in a way that’s easy to eavesdrop on. It’s wild that the Internet works like this by default.

What happened yesterday is a company called CloudFlare (a popular and free content delivery network) announced a new DNS service at the IP address 1.1.1.1. (Yes it launched on April 1, no it’s not a joke.) The service supports a couple of interesting privacy protecting options: DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS. Those technologies don’t guarantee your DNS lookups are accurate (check out DNSSEC for that), or that the DNS provider won’t someday betray you, they just make it’s harder to collect metadata by listening in on DNS’s cleartext port 53.

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287(g) public hearing

Tonight my first radio segment for Hudson Mohawk Magazine aired on WOOC 105.3 FM in Troy, NY. To provide some context on the public hearing, maybe I’ll just post the lead in script I provided for the hosts.

At Wednesday night’s Public Forum at the County Legislature, Troy residents Nora McDowell and Alexander Ferrer (FER-ERR) spoke out against the proposed 287(g) funding application that Sheriff Patrick Russo has sought from the Department of Homeland Security. Under the arrangement, Rensselaer County would be the first in New York State to collaborate with federal ICE agents. After the forum, WOOC reporter Dan Phiffer (FIE-FUR) spoke to County Legislator Peter Grimm.

You can also read more on no287g.com, a small website I created for the (cancelled) protest.

MP3 download

RIP Joe Frank

One of the great radio voices is gone. This is from Time- Old from a collection of Hearing Voices on PRX.

If billions of years preceded our existence on Earth, billions of years will surely follow after our existence as well. So that our life here is like one flash of a strobe light. The wink of an eye. And if your life is merely a microscopic blip in the vast dimension of time, is its importance to you just an illusion?

Also worth a listen: Dreamers on Unfictional

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Last days of Mapzen

Mapzen Exit Interview

I gave an “exit interview” to the Civicist blog, talking about the Mapzen shutdown.

The code and data were always designed to outlive the company … basically we were always working on open geo primarily, and a lot of that work feels more durable than any particular company.

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Introducing smol-slowtv

This year for xmas I made Raspberry Pi video players for everyone in my family, so they could share my love for BergensBanen minutt for minutt HD:

When the Pi boots up, it updates its time using ntpdate, pulls down any updates from this git repo, then plays back starting from a specific timestamp based on the current UTC time. This allows for a communal slow TV viewing experience.

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Without Net Neutrality, Is It Time To Build Your Own Internet?

I was happy to provide comments for an article by Eileen Guo about Net Neutrality and mesh networking. It was was helpful in formulating my thoughts on the FCC’s recent decision to rescind Net Neutrality rules (see also: my last email newsletter).

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Another big Twitter day

You may have heard that today the FCC voted against Net Neutrality rules. During the deliberations Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said:

Clearly there are cases today, and many more that will develop in time, in which the option of a paid prioritization offering would be a necessity based on either technology or needs of consumer welfare. I for one see great value in the prioritization of telemedicine and autonomous car technology over cat videos. (1:43:20 into the C-Span archive)

My response on Twitter seems to have struck a chord:

I liked how An Xiao Mina responded in her quote tweet:

This is now more popular than my previous big day on Twitter and sadly they’re both about things breaking on the Internet.

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Learning from Alabama

I called into this morning’s Brian Lehrer show. I am “Dan from up in Troy” and I have a cold, so I probably sounded terrible. My question was inspired by this Twitter thread describing tactics the Mobile County NAACP (and other groups) used in the AL Senate special election. I think there’s a lot to learn here for turning out votes in the 2018 Midterm Elections.

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Pancakes recipe

This recipe makes 15 pancakes

I made pancakes this morning, based on an Oatmeal Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes recipe Ellie suggested from the NYTimes. It uses yogurt instead of buttermilk, since that’s what we had around. At some point I should resolve this with my Dad’s pancakes recipe.

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup regular milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup fruit and walnuts (I used a pear, next time I’ll chop it into larger chunks)

Combine the milk, yogurt, and rolled oats in a bowl, and set aside.

Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in another bowl.

In a third larger bowl, whisk the eggs. Then whisk in the vanilla extract and the oil.

Mix everything into the larger bowl and quickly whisk together. Do not overbeat; a few lumps are okay.

We ate them with butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, and some homemade cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving.