Joshua Ginsberg, aka jag

Calendar-like views in Django admin

In my coding work for SeekHealing, we make extensive use of the Django Admin for our program management database. For a one-person coding team, Django has been invaluable for maintaining a functional, accessible system that evolves with the program’s needs despite the limited number of hours I have to devote to the work. We manage our calendar of program events in Django, with a model appropriately called CalendarEvent, which has a start-time and an end-time - and we’ve got data in this database going back to 2018.

Twitter ditches SMS as 2FA for non-paying users

Effective next month, Twitter will disable SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) for users who have not paid Musk’s $8 fee for Twitter Blue. Source: Twitter Musk claims that Twitter is spending $60M on fraudulent SMS challenges from a longstanding practice known as Toll Fraud, where bad-acting telcos who charge high rates for delivering SMS messages surreptitiously use bots to force generation such SMS verification messages to inflate their bills. While Toll Fraud is undoubtedly a real thing that I have no doubt Twitter wastes a lot of money on, I won’t take the $60M figure at face value because the fact remains that most 2FA challenges are probably malicious because that’s 2FA working as designed.

AI needs to be designed with dignity

Several years ago, I was visiting my brother and his family in their San Francisco home. My eldest niece was three or four years old at the time, and I was fortunate when my work included regular transcontinental business trips to be able to visit them once or twice a year. Like many of us, they owned an Amazon Echo, which my niece was allowed to request to play music. The living room was frequently filled with endless loops of the Thomas & Friends theme song as well as selections from the Frozen soundtrack.

On Desire

Desire once seemed to like a simple thing to grasp and connect with. The longer I live, the more I discover how unfathomably complex desire and our relationship to it is. I’ll give you an example: dating websites. Over a decade ago, I worked for a large dating website as a systems and network administrator. It exists no longer, but at its peak it had hundreds of thousands of daily active users.

On Housing

Asheville, North Carolina, epitomizes the dysfunction of the market for housing in America, accelerated and exacerbated by mass early retirement and shifts to telecommuting that emerged from the COVID pandemic. Through the two years of America’s response to the pandemic, knowledge workers in more expensive locales - New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. - took advantage of the newfound ability to work remotely, leaning on their cost-of-living-adjusted wages and accrued home equity, to move to smaller, lower cost-of-living, higher quality-of-life cities.