Meanwhile, back at the ranch.
While the rest of the great American retail world is trying to get past Halloween because it makes them look satanic; Straight past Thanksgiving because news agencies and commercials have mocked and psychologically broken the average American family; And just fast forward right to Christmas to force-feed good cheer down everyone’s throat under the pretense to try to get multiple black Fridays to keep the machine alive and oiled. We at S-Config have kept our middle fingers very healthy this month and are slowly escalating that middle finger to have the same strength one would expect out of Kung-Fu movies. One finger death punch here we come!
This is just a quick update to let everyone out there know that after 11 years of being online. We’re still shouting at the clouds! Read on for more random-assed diatribes!
You don’t believe me? check this out:
I’m sure there are people in the world going:
Oh come on S. Your just exaggerating the situation.
Okay, fair enough. allow me to take you into one of the local hardware chain stores in the great Midwest. We understand this is probably a first-world problem kind of thing. But it illustrates the mental desperation of brick-and-mortar capitalism and how eager they are to erase traditions that just aren’t well… Profitable.
This particular chain hardware store isn’t the first to do this with putting all of their Christmas gear front and center Macy’s was one of the first stores to start putting up trees back in September. To which fuck them as well.
But I know what you’re thinking. Surely they must have Halloween Gear. Right?
There it is! Four glorious shelves of Halloween. Mixed in with general flashlights. And light bulbs. and not even completing an entire aisle as the rest of the aisle is Gardening equipment. Smiling candy corn is fucking spooky right? right.
Get your lights to throw middle fingers at everyone else celebrating Halloween!
Christmas has not only one aisle but two before ending abruptly with cleaning supplies at the end. A little cathartic but still way too much Christmas.
We’re sure we’ll probably be called a ‘scrooge’ for ragging on Christmas. But think if the situation was reversed. Where July 1st and you walk into a store to see 2 isles of Halloween gear. You bet everyone would be calling that store unpatriotic and throwing a fit on how they’d never shop there again.
These upper management types in retail need to understand that holidays need to stay in their fucking lane. You’ll get good cheer only when you earn it .
We loved Halloween. As children, it was great because you got to dress up and run around the neighborhood to get free candy. And as adults, you give kids candy while ALSO giving adults ominous brown bags filled with shooters (for those outside of the states, shooters are these 2oz plastic bottles of hard liquor you get at the store for $1-3). So, in a sense, now EVERYONE is getting candy in one form or another and having a good time doing so. It’s a great way of getting to know the people in your community.
This is also the time of the year when goth clubs are at their peak. As one of the song titles from Ministry states:
Everyday is Halloween.
Fuck YouTube, go to Ministry’s Bandcamp and support the artist.
So naturally, the goth clubs have to show the rest of the world how it’s done!
Of course, staying in the vein of trick-or-treat one guy in my city decided to give a little of both, and bought out all of the broasted chickens from the local supermarket and handed them to kids. It’s funny! Gave those kids the Castlevania treatment! And probably infinitely healthier than anything they got in their bag this year. Except for the Nuns, if you trick or treat a Nun they’d give you an Apple or Orange. This was our experience as children as we heard some of our friends just got chased off of the property by other nuns. SO! Your mileage may vary!
Covid also really fucked up a lot of traditions of Halloween. If someone closed off their house you’d throw Eggs or Toilet Paper. In the past years, those two items turned to gold in the stupidest way possible.
We also appreciate Halloween BECAUSE retail avoids it. The only people that make money during Halloween are the candy companies in whose markup is so low that the major supermarkets don’t give a damn about it. Perhaps it is mental backlash from working in the retail/tech industry that it’s one of those Holidays that no one fights you on. No one (unless you work for Halloween Express) mandates you to work on that day.
So, to Lowe’s and Macy’s which has gone out of its way to skip the best holiday of my human life. Fuck you guys. Seriously. You could’ve gotten creative with selling darker products within the makeup line(s) that you have. But you took the easy way out.
Onions and YouTube.
Interesting segway right? hold on!
We’re strong advocates of alternative networking. Go check out our black mirrors to know more. But there is a bit of a crossover between the YouTube scene and Onion/Tor.
YouTube’s relationship with this topic is nothing short of sensationalism. Type in “dark web exploration” and to them every day Halloween. The super-spooky dank-web! Albeit not nearly as much Busey as pictured above. We just don’t feel like giving certain people there the time of day much less the linksauce to justify their existence. Trying to find those “Red Rooms” and underground illegal sites which are mostly copies of things you find on Reddit. Or the “Hitman for hire” sites which shout to the undercover FBI running those onion addresses! We see you and thank you for reading BTW.
Now, what’s neat for us bloggers is typing in our own .onion address into YouTube and seeing what pulls up.
Back in my State of the Blog 2020, we mentioned the YouTube channel SomeOrdinaryGamers. This one we didn’t find out with a .onion address but instead everyone in their mom flooding my discord because this guy has a fairly good audience (in the millions subscribed). Now, I’ve already talked about this one in a previous blog entry. But had to mention it since we’re talking about YouTube and the dark web. Long story short despite it starting off with rotting meat; Mutahar was an absolute gentleman when it came to reviewing our site. Nothing but love.
I like the fact that YouTube’s auto-generated chapter system lists my site as “Game Mods.” No sense in correcting the great and mighty algorithm now.;)
However, the all-mighty YouTube algorithm is not kind to people starting their own channel. Especially when you have some YouTubers on episode 200 of the same topic while this is their very first one! “Jo” is certainly a channel YouTube buried! We didn’t find out about this one until August of 2023 when we were bored and typed in our .onion address for the lulz. Unlike Mutahar the YouTuber simply named “Jo” and his massive army of 113 subscribers also did a review about our site. Again, they were very nice about a lot of things. We understand your reluctance to Furry. We sometimes think about it as well. However, at the end of the day, it turns into a Buckaroo Bonzai moment of “No matter where you go, there you are.”
For a starting YouTube channel. Jo is solid. He brought in a co-host to not risk having dead air. He legit visited the sites and shared his viewpoints. He even got “WHY” we are on the dark web. Just like Mutahar, they were super kind about the review and it’s much appreciated. We even dig into the fact that Jo is self-aware by putting the word “Clickbait” into the image for Red Rooms. He tried and the algorithm banished him to the darkest corners of the web. Lucky us. We like the dark.
There’s a good and a bad way of exploring the Deep-Dank-Dark web for video content. The examples above are two of the best ways. You go to the site. React if you must, state your opinions of it and finally move on to another website. There’s one YouTube video that shows my site for a minute, The dude goes right over to Cellar Door and clicks off to another dark-web site not really saying anything as to what he is doing. I guess he is ‘exploring’ the dark web but if all you doing is clicking around endless search engines and link trees are you really showing/saying anything besides.
Yup! Tor’s working! – YouTuber.
I don’t really have an opinion of that kind of video because the creator himself never really shares an opinion. So it turns into a giant “shrug” fest.
Getting whitepapered bro!
A whitepaper for those who don’t know is a technical document showing a company’s findings. It’s just a fancy-pants version of a blog without having to really accept any comments about it or deal with a CMS as they just push out their findings and opinions in a PDF. Which is fine by us we’ll comment about it right now.
A person that we’ll keep anonymous unless they want to be named throws a message into our Contact Us area about this website by the name Aleph. Aleph is apparently a cybersecurity company out of France that has commercial interests in protecting the reputations and identities of individuals, companies, and government entities. As you dive into their site the level of corpo-speak is real. We highly doubt we’ll end up in their newsroom anytime soon as we’re just bloggers. After all what the hell do we know?
We should probably feel honored they mentioned us. But the feelings man. They’re mixed!
Aleph talks a lot about having their own dark web search engine which apparently is paywalled off from the rest of the world so no one can really measure the quality of their services to anyone else to determine themselves if what they are doing is correct in any manner. Unless of course, you want to sign up for a demo so you too can be cataloged by these guys. Since we’re talking about a French site we get to use some colorful words without apologizing. They blow a lot of news-speak fluff up everyone’s ass. Then, throw some graphic arts polish onto their website and white papers and call it a day.
But you know, we at S-Config are out to help everyone. Even a security giant probably needs a new layout designer. That and their own .onion address to establish legitimacy in what they’re talking about would also help too.
You can click on the image for full resolution. But woo-boy are there some problems.
When you get to a chapter. Why didn’t you just slam the OpenOffice equivalent of ctrl+enter to justify chapter 5.1 to another page? Then! Chapter 5.2 starts at the top of the next page. Wow!
Our site is mentioned on page 22 as “An American Artist’s Blog” Which okay! Fair enough!
However, the column paragraph is already talking about the next site. Look, we didn’t graduate from a fancy-pants graphic design school. But as a blogger. Consistency is king here. You had something to say about the screenshot using TorPress, and then, you jumped right to the forums. You put my site there. But say really nothing about it. Super odd.
Does my site not fit the narrative that the “Dark-Web” is a spooky place that seems to be the reoccurring theme throughout your whitepaper? You know, you could’ve just asked me to comment on why we (and many other bloggers) exist on the dark web.
Although every blogger would have their own reasons. You posted my website in your whitepaper. So! Allow me to break the fourth wall and append this for you:
Bloggers would often have mirrors in the “Dark-Web” because the audience and space are so much smaller than the clear web as documented on page 7. As an example: Type in the word ‘Blog’ on a Clearnet search engine. The odds of finding any of these personal blogs on the clear-net is non-existent as most will only index the first thousand and discard the rest. With millions of domains it’s easy for sites to not even show up. The Dark Net offers a space (and a chance) to be found and to be heard. – S
Wow, that wasn’t hard at all.
Or! If we somehow pissed you off by critiquing your white paper. You could just delete our website picture which fixes it too! Even less work!
Let’s see how that would look.
Okay, this is edited in like. 3 minutes. But it’s starting to make sense. You have a column talking about something. The picture is right next to the thing you are talking about. The Gods are in their chairs. All is right with the world.
We understand it’s a cheap shot to go after their design and structure when an English professor would probably rip us to shreds. But the difference is this. Aleph is a business trying to make money on customers who are paranoid about their reputation. We’re just keyboard cowboys. To go after the entire protocol of Tor and I2P and say it’s used for evil is a little screwed up. There are bad sites on Onion and I2P just as there are MILLIONS of sketchy sites on the Clear-Net.
Onion at the end of 2021.
We remember this time very fondly during COVID when we were getting e-mails almost every hour that the Tor network was down around the marker of ending support for v2. The network was getting DDOS’ed hard at the time. Since a lot of people on Tor are running a website off of a home network they may have assumed the volatility of the network means the end of the protocol as a whole and simply unplugged. The graph itself was influenced by that major dip.
Afterwards, a rebound occurred and sites slowly started to come back online. As for ‘before’ the announcement of v2 shutting down. It’s kind of a captain-obvious statement. Why would anyone generate a v3 address before the transition? When we joined Tor. We generated both a V2 and V3 address in 2018/2019. Why not? There were website link engines back then that ONLY accepted V2 addresses. Some people were crying that it was harder (no duh because of higher encryption) to generate a custom onion address. So when team Tor sent off that warning shot. Of course, everyone transitioned.
WebP fear factory!
Cybersecurity threats are certainly an “IN” thing this Halloween. Apparently, the WebP project got slammed for saying that any version of libwebp older the version 1.3.2 is susceptible to executing code on someone’s PC. This actually affects clients who accept WebP from the public. Such as browsers, Telegram, and more.
Would that mean my site is effectively hijacked? No.
Because with the way WebP’s work here. They are converted from older formats such as PNG and JPG files. We have a whole script that talks about that. But just in case! I recompiled by the library to the latest version with the patch and re-ran every single image on this site through that program. The only way our website would become a carrier is if we manually upload a WebP from some sketchy fuck from Discord or Telegram and didn’t bother to scrub it with any of the scripts we have running.
As for the question “Do you trust my site?” well no. You shouldn’t trust any site. If you feel WebP is a threat you can turn off the format entirely in most browsers. It’s okay because my site will probably give you an avif or a classic file instead. Not really the end of the world here.
When it comes to Aleph. We don’t know anything about their technologies. Just a ton of PR spin. So talking about their engine could be complete snake oil. We’ve seen plenty of that from other start-ups. You have to understand our reluctance on this because if we can’t see it. It doesn’t exist. Or to phase a rule about selling a product on the internet:
You are shit until proven otherwise.
If it’s one thing we learned about the onion and I2P world. Is that it doesn’t like to be indexed by robots. Because within a free and anonymous environment. You can send robots to do things to other robots and there isn’t a dammed thing you can do about it. It’s automation that is the problem as to why there were so many dark web mirrors that led people to shit sites. It’s automation that has condemned new YouTubers from ever being discovered. It’s automation that will continue to mitigate the web until it turns into grey fucking goo. All of the scare tactics in the world aren’t going to keep people from checking out alternative networks like Tor and I2P because it isn’t dominated by a single search engine with every other site sucking on the tits of Google’s crawlers without ever cross-checking that data.
This isn’t to say a web-ring or a human-editable links page can’t fall into the same trap as automation. It just takes a little more social engineering to do. If Aleph really wants to do a public service perhaps they should teach people how to protect themselves on the net. Actually, BE something positive. Show us you can do better (like Ahmia. Except not have my listed for CP because of a bunch of fucked up mirror sites.)
Do you know what search service we’d like to see Aleph? A video search engine that actually honors the sitemap-video.xml system. Because the world is bigger than YouTube and Vimeo and frankly none of the search engines bother to be responsible for tracking it despite being the ones that wanted the XML standard in the first place.
Anyhow, happy Halloween out there. Break out the sewing machine. Make some cool costumes and mess with people in ways which if it was any other day of the year would get you arrested in most countries.
Server protect you.
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