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protocols posts

Bluesky and the AT Protocol

A new social media platform called Bluesky just launched. It has the look and feel of Twitter, but there’s something unique about it. It uses the AT Protocol. This is different from Mastodon, which is an open source Ruby on Rails app that provides some “instance to instance federation features”. How Mastodon federation works, and why AT is different Anyone who wants to make a Mastodon instance just needs to check out a copy of the code and then deploy it with their own URL.

Wildcard TLS Certificates for Your LAN

for the impatient, skip to the how-to This article explains how to get a TLS Certificate for your LAN so you can use https:// and not have to ignore these “⚠️ Your connection is not secure” errors: The reason that the browser throws this error is that TLS (and SSL before it) were designed to perform two functions: Authenticate the website to the user (prove it is really that site, and not a MITM) and Secure the contents of the data that flows between the user and the website When you ignore this https error you are forgoing function #1, authentication, but you still get #2.

PDFs and the Permanent Web

I remember reading this article Deurbanising the web from January 2021. It argued that the web had gotten so bad that they wanted to do something drastic, so they converted the web pages on their site to PDF. The badness they were complaining about was familiar, too many ads, too much surveillance. Link rot, infinite scrolls, paywalls, GDPR cookie consent buttons, etc. The reason they chose PDFs? Reasons why Lab6 argued PDFs were a good format for web pages it’s a file standard format still has media and links easy to copy and backup (avoids link rot and lost pages) freedom At first I was skeptical.

ENS, DNS and the future of internet names

Today a DAO just distributed 1.5 billion dollars worth of ENS tokens. They were distributed to owners of .eth domains. DAO is short for “Decentralized Autonomous Organization”. What is a DAO? A DAO is sort of like a corporation, but it’s stored on the Ethereum blockchain. Wyoming passed a DAO law that links on-chain DAOs to real corporations. The corporation that currently manages the Domain Name Service (DNS) is ICANN.

History of Domain Names

In trying to understand DNS better, I stumbled upon this little bit of history in RFC 1034: RFC 1034 Domain Concepts and Facilities November 1987 2.1. The history of domain names The impetus for the development of the domain system was growth in the Internet: Host name to address mappings were maintained by the Network Information Center (NIC) in a single file (HOSTS.TXT) which was FTPed by all hosts [RFC-952, RFC-953].