Decode hundreds of file formats and convert or extract content #

Deark is a portable command-line utility that can decode certain types of files, and either convert them to a more-modern or more-readable format, or extract embedded files from them. It also has an option (-d) to display detailed information about a file’s contents and metadata. It’s free and open source.

The demo digs through Inception-like layers in fbm-1.2.tgz to identify and convert a Sun raster image to PNG.

~250 ancient and modern formats are supported:

/nix | Oct 22, 2021

"I have never lied." #

/misc | Oct 21, 2021

When facts are the enemy #

Researchers say Hawaii Health Department officials have refused to share COVID-19 data

Emphases addded:

Local epidemiologists and researchers say the Hawaii Department of Health has continually rebuffed their requests for data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that the department's latest decision to scale back the information it has been releasing to the public daily on COVID-19 deaths is just the latest example of the department's lack of openness.

"All I can tell you is how absolutely frustrated we are," said DeWolfe Miller, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor at the University of Hawaii.


For instance, researchers were hoping to get data on the number of people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 broken down by vaccination status and age, which could help to better calculate the efficacy of the vaccines on different age groups, said Sumner La Croix, a research fellow at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization and economics professor at UH Manoa. But he said state health officials have declined to provide it.

"What is really clear to me is that DOH doesn't really want any independent investigators actually looking at the data," said La Croix. "They really don't want anyone second guessing their decisions."

Department of Health officials didn't respond to a request for comment about the criticism, which reached a new height this weekend when the department announced that it would no longer be sending out the detailed information it had been providing for months about COVID-related deaths. A department spokesman, in an email to the media on Sunday, cited the "volume of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 related deaths" as the reason for no longer sending out the information, even though case counts have declined markedly over the past four weeks.

The daily emails included the age range of the person who died, the county where they died, hospitalization status, gender and whether they had underlying conditions.

Hawaii adopts most extreme open records limits amid pandemic

Hawaii has the lowest COVID-19 infection rate of any state in the nation. It's also a pandemic standout for a more dubious reason: instituting the most extreme restrictions on the public's access to official records.

In March 2020, Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation suspending the state's three-decades-old open records law, which aims to protect the public interest by exposing government to scrutiny.

The suspension came just as people were thirsty for information about what the government was doing to respond to the public health crisis, said Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.

/misc | Oct 07, 2021

"Seriously, y'all. Trust the science." #

posted to the docs section.

/misc | Oct 04, 2021

"First, they ignore you. Then, they abuse you. Then, they heap you with honors." #

Attributed to Jean Cocteau

  1. Ignored
  2. Abused
  3. Honored


/misc | Oct 03, 2021

Dispatches from Dostoyevsky, Shaw, & Twain to the remnant #

I believe I am not interested to know whether Vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't. To know that the results are profitable to the race would not remove my hostility to it. The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity towards it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.

—Mark Twain, The Pains of Lowly Life (originally written as a letter to the London Anti-Vivisection Society, May 26, 1899)

Presently the scientist comes along and says to him: "My friend, by a diabolically cruel process I have procured a revoltingly filthy substance. Allow me to inject this under your skin, and you can never get hydrophobia, or enteric fever, or diphtheria, &c. I have even a very choice preparation, of unmentionable nastiness, which will enable you, if not to live for ever (though I think that quite possible), at least to renew in your old age the excesses of your youth."

—George Bernard Shaw, The Conflict Between Science and Common Sense

Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature...and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?

—Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov (Part II, Book V. Pro And Contra, Chapter IV. Rebellion

UPDATE: Cannot forget dear Gandhi:

Vaccination is a barbarous practice, and it is one of the most fatal of all the delusions current in our time, not to be found even among the so-called savage races of the world. Its supporters are not content with its adoption by those who have no objection to it, but seek to impose it with the aid of penal laws and rigorous punishments on all people alike. ... I cannot also help feeling that vaccination is a violation of the dictates of religion and morality.

—Mahatma Gandhi, A Guide to Health (Part II: Some Simple Treatments, Chap. VI. Contagious Diseases: Smallpox)

/misc | Sep 27, 2021

Goodbye, iMessage #


/misc | Sep 07, 2021

Batch download HN comments you've upvoted #

While this post describes how to bulk download comments you've upvoted on Hacker News, the process is virtually identical for upvoted submissions - the URL format is just slightly different, e.g., (though there are apparently better ways of downloading upvoted submissions - see Related section below.)

1. Get cURL (complete with cookie) from web browser

  1. Log in to Hacker News and open your profile page

  2. Open the network tab in your web browser's dev tools (e.g., Safari: Develop → Show Web Inspector → Network ⓐ)

  3. Click the "comments (private)" link on your profile page1

  4. In the network tab, right click "upvoted" ⓑ then click "Copy as cURL" ⓒ:
    Safari Network tab

2. Download upvoted comments

Paste cURL command from clipboard into a for loop2 like the one below, making sure to:

  1. specify the desired range of comment pages to download (e.g., 7 to 11)
  2. add --compressed3 to the curl command (if HTTP compression is specified, as below4)
  3. change the single quotes to double quotes around the URL
  4. append &p=${i} to the URL
  5. append -o ${i}.htm to the last line of the cURL command
for i in {7..11}; do
curl --compressed "${i}" \
-X 'GET' \
-H 'Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8' \
-H 'Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br' \
-H 'Host:' \
-H 'User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/14.1.2 Safari/605.1.15' \
-H 'Accept-Language: en-us' \
-H 'Referer:' \
-H 'Connection: keep-alive' -o ${i}.htm
; sleep 5; done


  1. The URL for the first page of upvoted comments looks like, while subsequent pages have &p=# appended, e.g.,

  2. HN rate limits requests, so throttling is necessary (otherwise, you will receive a "Sorry, we're not able to serve your requests this quickly." response and ultimately your IP address may be banned). While wget offers a --wait=seconds option, the closest curl comes is --limit-rate <speed>, which sadly did not prevent the warning from occurring when sequencing, even at rates as slow as 1000 bytes per second, hence the for loop with delay. See Implement wget's --wait, --random-wait #5406.

  3. Otherwise, files are saved as compressed, necessitating something along the lines of gzip -d -f -S "" * to decompress. [1, 2, 3, 4]

  4. Without -H 'Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate, br' \, 5-6 times the bandwidth is used to download uncompressed HTML.



/nix | Sep 05, 2021

When did ivermectin go from "wonder drug" to "horse dewormer"? #

October 2015 - July 2021:

August 2021:



/misc | Aug 28, 2021

Apple has surpassed Facebook and Google in violating user trust. #

In one fell swoop, Apple destroyed its reputation for privacy and security, surpassing even Facebook and Google in violating user trust:

and then had the temerity to not only blame critics for their "misunderstanding", but also to call the scheme an "advancement" in privacy!

Apple has promised to refuse government demands to expand the surveillance, but their record is not exactly reassuring:

not to mention that the technology itself is fundamentally broken:

inexorably leading to such outcomes as:

As Ars explains:

[T]he system's current design doesn't prevent it from being redesigned and used for other purposes in the future. The new photo-scanning technology itself is a major change for a company that has used privacy as a selling point for years and calls privacy a "fundamental human right."

NebajX pierces to the very heart of the matter:

Do we allow police a daily search of our homes because we have nothing to hide?

It’s now crystal clear why Apple tried to exclude dozens of its own processes from network monitoring last year; to pave the way for total (and leaky and dangerous) control over our digital lives.


Topping it all off, the system as currently sold is simply farcical on the face of it:


/mac | Aug 26, 2021

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