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Hey, I'm Tao. I'm a software engineer interested in using technology for social good. I'm into computer security, decentralized systems, and philosophy.

Find me on GitLab and Pinboard.



2020-06-06 - Reasons not to use Telegram

A short list of reasons why I don’t recommend Telegram.

2020-06-01 - Feel-good security in ProtonMail

ProtonMail is one of the most popular security-focused email providers. Because email is not a particularly secure protocol, things like end-to-end encryption have to be bolted on top. To ensure interoperatiblity, an email provider must be able to send unencrypted messages to recipients who haven’t dived into the painful world of PGP.

2020-05-28 - Sometimes-on security: on mixing plaintext and encrypted messages

Several security-focused messaging apps give users the ability to choose between two modes: unencrypted chats, or end-to-end encrypted ones that might lack certain features. This is an anti-pattern when it comes to usable security, and it brings some risks that are rarely discussed.

2020-04-20 - Running ElasticSearch in podman on Fedora 32

Surprisingly painful.

2019-12-31 - Books I enjoyed in 2019

I’m not one of those people who constantly has their head buried in a book – one of those at heightened risk of falling down a manhole because they are reading while walking instead of looking in front of them. A part of the reason is that I tend to gravitate towards books of a certain density – the type of book that feels Important, and that might prompt impressed nods when I bring it up to my philosopher friends. This is a bad habit. It means that I just end up doing something else that isn’t reading. One of my resolutions for the new year is to read for enjoyment rather than for some imagined book CV. In that spirit, I wanted to write up a list of some of the reads I enjoyed the most this year.