Newsletter #154: The Great Verified Hacks

Hello Recompilers,

I can’t be the only one who feels like time has lost a lot of meaning. So much happens in a week, yet nothing seems to change.

If you haven’t yet, check out Recompiler’s Reasons and Strategies for Avoiding Obsolete Terms, which lays out exactly why and how to replace “master/slave” in programming with “primary/replica,” written by Erin Grace. It’s an excerpt from the book The Responsible Communication Style Guide Supplement on Python.


The big tech news of the week is of course the hacking of numerous high-profile accounts, which were used to solicit bitcoin. (See the header image.) The hackers have made at least $100,000 as a result. The fallout, though, has been fascinating. Twitter wound up disabling all verified accounts from tweeting for awhile, which of course had interesting social ramifications. And Senator Ron Wydon is back to pushing Twitter to use end-to-end encryption for its direct messages, which considering the current fight to ban end-to-end, is hopeful.

Unfortunately, the more important news from a US point of view is that the white house is ordering hospitals to make Covid data unavailable to the public. It seems hard to overstate how big of a problem this is, since Trump has said multiple times that he wants the reported numbers of cases to be lower so that he looks better.

Every week for the past four years there’s been something in the US that you can point to and say “this is a sign of fascism,” but this week was particularly dire from that point of view. Federal police in Portland, Oregon have been attacking protestors, and in at least one instance, unmarked federal police kidnapped a man to question him without giving him any indication as to whether or not what happened was a legal arrest.


Behind the Police: Slavery, Mass Murder and the Birth of American Policing
I prefer to listen to podcasts that aren’t just two men talking, but occasionally there is content important and engaging enough that I make an exception. This whole series, Behind the Police, is a spinoff of journalist Robert Evans’ Behind the Bastards podcast, and in this episode he talks with hip hop artist Propaganda about the origin of American policing, including their unbroken connection to slave patrols in the South.

Conference Talk of the Week:

This talk is part of our “Favorite Talks” YouTube Playlist. Check it out and subscribe! 

Inclusiveness – It’s In Your Hands

Adel Smee talks at the RubyConf AU 2020 about why diverse teams are effective teams.


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This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.

Image by TheVerge, by way of Wikipedia Commons (Public Domain)