Drop #173 (2023-01-09): 🚂 Locomotive Hodgepodge Edition
whoami Surprise; iTerm AI; Tau
I'm away from the compound for a couple of days, and I pen this edition on the Amtrak Downeaster as it careens down what seem like ancient tracks to one of my least favourite locations on the planet: Boston, Mass.
Being on (at least this leg of) the Downeaster is always a keen reminder of how horrible our modern digital existence is. Far too much of it relies on “the cloud”, and there are still vast stretches of track where there is no internet, and others where this is not an uncommon line in a continuous
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=26 ttl=102 time=6821.752 ms
What makes the situation worse is that virtually no modern mobile application handles this wonky network situation well. Lucky for y'all, I shall forgo the “lazy/incompetent developer rant” and just dive into today's sections.
Did you know that
ssh sends all your public keys to any server it tries to authenticate to? (You are using passphrased ssh keys to connect to all the SSH things, right?).
If you want to get an idea of what that means, do the following at a terminal prompt:
Provided you were using a machine that is the one you use to interact with GitHub (since it seems impossible to avoid using Microsoft's code hub), you likely got a bit of a surprise.
As the message explains, the remote host is just checking your ssh key against all the keys stored in GitHub.
There's a full 'splainer at the repo behind the Golang server you connected to.
If you did not know that your SSH public keys were exposed in this way, you may also want to check out my pubcheck utility, which helps you use keys with recommended safety settings.
AI appears to be eating the planet right now, and it is invading our terminals in many ways. If you're an iTerm (I used to be) and OpenAI user, you can now make the $29 billion valued company even richer by wiring up the latest version of iTerm to OpenAI's API by providing a key.
This new feature allows command generation via a prompt in iTerm's composer. Just enter a good prompt and select
Edit > Engage Artificial Intelligence.
Just remember that anything you enter is sent to and stored by OpenAI. This included credentials, hostnames, IP addresses, etc. (Try not to get yourself or your employer pwnd with your experiments).
If I ever need something from YouTube, I generally just drop a YT URL into
youtube-dl and consume the content when I want to (locally). I'm not a big SoundCloud (et al.) user (I cannot listen to anything but white noise or instrumentals while working), but many of you are.
Unfortunately, all the app and web interfaces to such streaming services are, IMO, terrible. They’re even worse if you don’t have a paid account and refuse to use an ad blocker.
Tau is an “alternative front-end to various streaming sites. The aim of Tau is to free you from the world of ad-ridden streaming sites full of vendor lock-ins and restrictions, by providing you with a minimal interface to enjoy your favorite content from these sites.”
Tau currently supports the following platforms:
The Tau SourceHut site explains everything well and has tons more screenshots.
This could be a fun project to contribute to by adding compatibility for other sites.
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1742
Request timeout, indeed, Amtrak. Request timeout, indeed.