Thoughts: time warp to 2022

Scott Morrison is not keen on ABC interviews

Scott Morrison surprised the fine folks over at the national broadcaster recently, by turning down their invitation for a pre-election debate with Anthony Albanese, instead choosing to have all three of his televised debates take place on commercial channels.

I have also made the casual observation, over the last three years, that Morrison makes few appearances on Aunty in general, compared with the commercial alternatives, particularly Sky News (which I personally have never watched directly, and have no plans to, but I've seen plenty of clips of Morrison on Sky repeated on the ABC and elsewhere).

This led me to do some research, to find out: how often has Morrison taken part in ABC interviews, during his tenure so far as Prime Minister, compared with his predecessors? I compiled my findings, and this is what they show:

Morrison's ABC interview frequency compared to his forebears
Morrison's ABC interview frequency compared to his forebears

It's official: Morrison has, on average, taken part in fewer ABC TV and Radio interviews, than any other Prime Minister in recent Australian history.

Is Australia supporting atrocities in West Papua?

A wee lil' fact check style analysis of The Juice Media's 2018 video Honest Government Ad: Visit West Papua. Not that I don't love TJM's videos (that would be un-Australien!). Just that a number of the claims in that particular piece took me by surprise.

Nobody (except Indonesia!) is disputing that an awful lot of bad stuff has happened in Indonesian Papua over the last half-century or so, and that the vast majority of the blood is on the Indonesian government's hands. However, is it true that the Australian government is not only silent on, but also complicit in, said bad stuff?

On the Proof of Humanity project

Proof of Humanity (PoH) is a project that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. Its aim is to create a registry of every living human on the planet. So far, it's up to about 15,000 out of 7 billion.

Just for fun, I registered myself, so I'm now part of that tiny minority who, according to PoH, are verified humans! (Sorry, I guess the rest of you are just an illusion).

Actual bona fide humans
Actual bona fide humans

This is a brief musing on the PoH project: its background story, the people behind it, the technology powering it, the socio-economic philosophy behind it, the challenges it's facing, whether it stacks up, and what I think lies ahead.

Introducing: Hack Your Bradfield Vote

I built a tiny site, that I humbly hope makes a tiny difference in my home electorate of Bradfield, this 2022 federal election. Check out Hack Your Bradfield Vote.

How
How "Hack Your Bradfield Vote" looks on desktop and mobile

I'm not overly optimistic, here in what is one of the safest Liberal seats in Australia. But you never know, this may finally be the year when the winds of change rustle the verdant treescape of Sydney's leafy North Shore.

I don't need a VPS anymore

💬 8

I've paid for either a "shared hosting" subscription, or a VPS subscription, for my own use, for the last two decades. Mainly for serving web traffic, but also for backups, for Git repos, and for other bits and pieces.

But, as of now, it's with bittersweet-ness that I declare, that that era in my life has come to a close. No more (personal) server that I wholly or partially manage. No more SSH'ing in. No more updating Linux kernel / packages. No more Apache / Nginx setup. No more MySQL / PostgreSQL administration. No more SSL certificates to renew. No more CPU / RAM usage to monitor.

No more defending against evil villains!
No more defending against evil villains!
Image source: Meme Generator

In its place, I've taken the plunge and fully embraced SaaS. In particular, I've converted most of my personal web sites, and most of the other web sites under my purview, to be statically generated, and to be hosted on Netlify. I've also moved various backups to S3 buckets, and I've moved various Git repos to GitHub.

And so, you may lament that I'm yet one more netizen who has Less Power™ and less control. Yet another lost soul, entrusting these important things to the corporate overlords. And you have a point. But the case against SaaS is one that's getting harder to justify with each passing year. My new setup is (almost entirely) free (as in beer). And it's highly available, and lightning-fast, and secure out-of-the-box. And sysadmin is now Somebody Else's Problem. And the amount of ownership and control that I retain, is good enough for me.

Email-based comment moderation with Netlify Functions

💬 2

The most noteworthy feature of the recently-launched GreenAsh v5, programming-wise, is its comment submission system. I enjoyed the luxury of the robust batteries-included comment engines of Drupal and Django, back in the day; but dynamic functionality like that isn't as straight-forward in the brave new world of SSG's. I promised that I'd provide a detailed run-down of what I built, so here goes.

Some of GreenAsh's oldest published comments, looking mighty fine in v5.
Some of GreenAsh's oldest published comments, looking mighty fine in v5.

Introducing GreenAsh 5

After a solid run of twelve years, I've put GreenAsh v4 out to pasture, and I've launched v5 to fill its plush shoes.

Sporting a simple, readable, mobile-friendly design.
Sporting a simple, readable, mobile-friendly design.

GreenAsh v5 marks the culmination of my continuing mission, to convert over all of my personal sites, and all of the other sites that I still host slash maintain, to use a Static Site Generator (SSG). As with some other sites of mine, GreenAsh is now powered by Eleventy, and is now hosted on Netlify.

As was the case with v4, this new version isn't a complete redesign, it's a realign. First and foremost, the new design's aim is for the thought-reading experience to be a delightful one, with improved text legibility and better formatting of in-article elements. The new design is also (long overdue for GreenAsh!) fully responsive from the ground up, catering for mobile display just as much as desktop.