Author: Ollie

Safari web extensions compatible with the rest of the world

About time! Apple announced in Safari 14, Web Extensions will be compatible with those used by Chromium and Firefox. They’ve bravely added a tool to XCode to help people convert their old Safari extensions to the what they call the new format. Most people probably won’t find that useful, having converted their Chromium extensions to work on Safari in the… Read more →

getDisplayMedia vs. getUserMedia

I’ve been messing around with the browser API navigator.mediaDevices.getDisplayMedia(). The question I hoped to answer: can I capture the content in some computer display surface and push it through the same sorts of process that I use with .getUserMedia()? I tested on Google Chrome 84. Answer: yes. It has some quirks. It doesn’t need, and indeed rejects, elaborate constraints.  {… Read more →

Flood Maps Miss Risk Factors

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) national flood insurance program has a non-governmental competitor. Here’s a Times piece about a Brooklyn-based non-governmental outfit called First Street Foundation. They’ve put together an online address lookup scheme called Flood Factor that returns a risk of flood at a property. They claim that FEMA’s rating system, based on Flood Insurance Rate Maps… Read more →

New Microsoft Edge rolls out to everybody this month

About time! the new Chromium-based Edge browser will show up on Windows 10 machines in this month’s update. For the cancelled Internet Explorer and Legacy Edge project people, I would have more sympathy if their work products hadn’t baffled software developers for a quarter-century. IE and old Edge were in the uncanny valley of compatibility. They worked well enough that… Read more →

Massachusetts town-by-town COVID-19 cases

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health started publishing, on April 14, 2020, epidemiological data for each of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns. The results come out once a week each Wednesday. They publish them in .pdf and .docx format. And, they don’t keep previous weeks’ data on their web site. Here is a .csv file containing  all the data… Read more →

Electronic Health Records considered harmful

Wow. Authorities finally figured what doctors have been saying for years. EHRs suck time and attention. The primary-care doctor who sees me works for a gigantic health-care conglomerate. He uses his own money to hire young people to sit and type mandatory gibberish into EPIC while he examines patients like me.  Everybody knows the purpose of EPIC is CYA: to… Read more →

The Field Epidemiology Manual: Communications

The US Centers for Disease Control publishes a Field Epidemiology Manual with lots of great material on how to handle epidemics. There’s a great chapter on communications during an epidemic here.  (Infosec incident response planners would be wise to read this material; lots of it applies to communicating about data breaches. Back to the topic at hand.) Communication starts with… Read more →