Weekly update, July 8, 2020
Howdy internet friend and welcome back to my blog! In this weekly update, I want to share with you some of the stuff I did last week. Also, as I mentioned in the last weekly update post, it is important to not be silent in the face of ongoing systematic racism, so I will spend a little time also talking about Black Lives Matter and how important anti-racist action is! As usual, everything will be broken up by headers so feel free to skip what you don’t find interesting.
Black Lives Matter!
I shared a bit about this last week, but I wanted to follow up again to say that in no uncertain terms that:
- Black Lives Matter!
- Systematic racism is a huge problem and something we all should resist.
- Like Barndt said, we can all have a moral obligation to dismantle racism.
To start with the third point first, there was an American Lutheran pastor and anti-racism advocate named Joseph Barndt, and in 1991 he wrote a book called, “Dismantling Racism: The Continuing Challenge to White America” and it is an excellent resource! In it, he famously wrote that brick by brick, wall by wall, we all have a moral obligation to fight and dismantle racism. As a white person, I understand that there are unique challenges that other BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) have to deal with that I don’t. My interactions with police are not a life-and-death matter as they are for BIPOC, which is just a function of the privilege I experience because of my lack of melanin. I encourage everyone reading this to invest some time in reading a book on racial and social justice. I would highly recommend Audre Lorde or bell hooks as two excellent starting points, if you don’t want to read the book by Barndt. There is more to be said on this subject, to be certain, but I will leave that for next week and just encourage everyone to speak up! Use your power for good, and try to do your best to lift up others. These are difficult times, and it is important that we all find a way to come together. Together we are stronger than we are alone!
Last week I got the opportunity to expand my experience in web application penetration testing. I’m starting to understand some of the frustration around this type of testing, as Burp Suite Pro isn’t what I would call my favorite chunk of software (or even software that I enjoy using). However, I do appreciate learning and it’s always great to expand my skills! I’m also getting the opportunity to do some threat modeling and I really like it! I have been thinking about investing more professional growth in this area, as I think it works well with my skills. However, I’ve got more thinking to do on the subject.
On the programming front, last week was also pretty good. I decided that I am going to put a temporary pause on working on my subdomain enumeration tool for the time being. I am finally at a place where I can understand “Black Hat Go” so I’m going to spend some time over the coming weeks and months working through that book. My new goal is to take the tools I write from the book, modify them as much as I can, then make them available as free and open source software. This code is already available in a public Github, but I’m hoping I can make some changes and improvements to the code. Only time will tell whether this is fruitful or not, but check back on this space in the future for more information. I’ve also been debating a “zero to Go hero” post, but I’m going to also put that on the backburner until I am more comfortable with Go and I’ve released a few tools.
I also managed to make progress on the MUD architecture design document. As with the other project, I’m going to wait until I’ve finished more “Black Hat Go” because I’m feeling like I lack some fundamentals to make the MUD work properly. So once I’m more comfortable with Go I will revisit this project. I will continue working on the architecture document though, so when I do feel comfortable with my coding skills I’ll have the outline ready to roll!
Finally, I’ve been thinking lately about future non-weekly-update-posts. One that I really want to do is on ethics in tech. If you’ve read the “about” page, you’ll see that I have a BA in Philosophy - a degree I enjoyed earning but rarely have the occasion to use outside daily life. I’ve started building an outline for an essay on ethics and tech, so check back on this space for future posts. I think it’s really important that folx who work in tech think about the work we are doing. It isn’t neutral and it’s important to keep that in mind. Howard Zinn (a historian who was tremendously influential on my academic work) famously said, “you can’t be neutral on a moving train” and I think it’s important that we all keep that in mind. Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and Clearview AI are just three examples of what happens when you forget to consider the ethics of what you are doing. If you find this concept interesting then you will probably dig the ethics in tech article!
Last week was pretty good for me, personally. We made some progress on a huge life thing that I’ll share more about once finalized. Unfortunately, I am a doofus who forgot to start my car for the last two weeks, so the battery is dead. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “crap, it’s been at least a week since I started my car.” Stop what you are doing - stop reading this post - and go outside and start your car! Throw on a mask, drive that thing for a good 10-15 minutes to charge the battery, and be glad you aren’t stuck in my situation with a dead battery! It’s really not that big a deal, because I’ll just need to give it a jump and my wife’s car is parked right next to mine. But the point is, learn from my mistake! Start your car!
This week in animal crossing, I finally learned my lesson! I spent about 200k bells on turnips and I sold them for 448 bells/turnip on Thursday! This time, unlike last time, I sold them all and never checked the price again for the rest of the week! I made 4.5x my investment, or nearly a million bells back on roughly 200k. So it turns out I actually learned the lesson of the last few weeks! It is possible! Also, the boy finally upgraded the store on his island, so we have three different locations to check the turnip prices each day, so hopefully we’ll be able to continue making money from the Stalk Market.
People to follow
Here are some tech and non-tech people you might consider following.
Martin Luther King III - The son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bernice King - The daughter of Dr. King
@cetolyne - great friend, awesome programmer, super helpful!
@blenster - cool maker, very positive, well worth a follow!
@GWeessies - very smart person doing interesting research!
Marley - first place champ! Marley is one of the best on Twitter!
Null Coder - another awesome person to keep an eye on!
That’s it for this week! I hope you found some value from this post. If you didn’t, check out some of the others and maybe you’ll find value there? If not, I understand. This page isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t really dig it, that’s fine! Either way, I hope you have a very nice day and an excellent week!