Author Archives: bhyde


I’m considering switching to a new Internet Service Provider (aka an ISP). Their service is cheap and fast. But it is optimized to lower their support costs. So they do not do lots of things. I don’t get an IP.v4 address, only an IP.v6 address, and no port forwarding. I.e. they don’t expect the buyers to run services.

Currently, I have a handful of services. These are all private. A little web server, my collection of ebooks, a gateway that lets my Android phone use Apple’s Messages, a time machine server, etc.

I was pleased to realize that’s not a big deal. I have tailscale setup, so I can just let it dig a way out. That said, it doesn’t quite work if I want to occasionally let somebody outside the household access one of these services. And then there is always the worse case situations for which I prefer to have ssh access.

So here is work around. Cloudflare free tunnels.

If you install their software agent which MacOS is easy:

brew install cloudflare/cloudflare/cloudflared

You can then reveal any service by doing:

cloudflared tunnel --url http://localhost:8765

The log that emits will show you a random URL to reach (say and if open that the tunnel will show you what ever the service listening on port 8765 of the localhost offers it.

FYI – you can quickly establish a service to test this with using python’s http.server module. For example, here we stand up a service that will reveal our /tmp directory on port 8765.

python3 -m http.server --directory /tmp 8765

That should get you started


Notice that at no point did you set up an account at Cloudflare.  To build more persistent tunnels you need to do that, but it will remain free.  To get tunnels that use your own domain names you will need to use their free DNS.  Their doc is ok, as are the tutorials out there.

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Robert Francis Krebs, who spent most of his adult life behind bars, told investigators he robbed the $221 million Pyramid Federal Credit Union in Tucson, Ariz., in January 2018 because he was unable to adjust to life on the outside and wanted to go back to prison.

On Tuesday, the 84-year-old career criminal convicted of armed bank robbery by a jury in March 2020 was finally granted his wish.” – Credit Union Times

The penal system doesn’t contribute to Social Security.

“I feel some hope finally”

There is some buzz about an alternative approach to COVID-19 testing.

Let me take a stab at explaining this:

You have a hundred dollars to spend on testing and two options; which do you pick?

Option A: buy one test.
Option B: by a hundred test kits.

Option A: Results in 1-10 days.
Option B: Results in 30 minutes.

Option A: Detects infection with 24 hours of infection.
Option B: Detects infection with 30 hours of infection.

How may tests per day could the entire nation do?
Option A: A third of Million.
Option B: Unlimited?

How often can I test my entire school, office, factory?
Option A: monthly, maybe weekly
Option B: daily

Who should self quarantine for 14 days?

Option A: Anybody how might have had contact.
Option B: Anybody with a positive test.

On the podcast where I learned about his the gentleman explaining this new approach suggests that this could drive the reproduction rate below one nearly instantly. It is easy for people to self-quarantine in a timely manner.

One of the experts: “I am blown away, I feel some hope finally.”


We’ve all been advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary contact with other. Concerns about a COVID-19.

Google maps has a useful feature, i.e. a little chart showing how crowded a store is. For example right now the nears Costco is half as crowded as usual.

Costco looks to be empty right now.

Yesterday and early this morning it was running about double the usual crowd. People rushing to stockpile supplies. Maybe the rush is over, maybe people know or think the store has been stripped clean.

I’ve noticed, over the last few days, the big ethnic grocery stores are generally much calmer. Some actually look like people are avoiding them.

$13 thousand dollars, thanks Republicans

It’s a shame that journalists are allergic to arithmetic.

For example the 50 Billion dollars that Apple won’t pay in taxes thanks to the Republican 2017 Tax bill divided by 125 Million households in the US is $1,200 dollars/household.

Apple was estimated to own 88 Billion before and their PR cheerfully trumpets that they will be paying 38.

Here’s another example.  $2.8 Trillion (total US firms have stashed overseas) times.  Apple’s share of that: $252.3 Billion.  I.e. 9%.     So if all those firms take advantage of the tax cut it’s $1,200/9 * 100.

$13,333  dollars per household.

Regulatory Stories

It would be fun to accumulate a book of stories about regulation.  My book would be about what a messy complex necessary business this is.

For example, the story of a friend who’s contractor disappeared halfway thru the remodelling job.   When he got another guy to take over the building inspector insisted they remove the dry wall.  The wiring had not been inspected.

Today’s example:  A number of cities started using dry ice to kill rats in their burrows.  It was very cheap and very effective.  Soon, the media reported that the EPA had stepped in to say, “Ah guys?  That’s not an approved pesticide.”  So they stopped.   The media accounts all had this just the facts quality about ’em, but I sensed the underlying narrative was “Yo reader, ain’t regulation lame!”

I noticed story since I use dry-ice when I catch a squirrel trying to eat my house.  It is the recommended technique.

A few days ago New York city started again.  The cities pushed to get the technique approved.  But the story I read had a telling detail.  Apparently what was approved was not dry ice, but rather a product called “Rat Ice” made by some Bell Labs.

Which raises the question in my mind.  Who complained to the regulators?  In New York their original trial run was a park where the poured the dry ice into 60 burrows; so maybe the park’s users complained that the entire park was smoking.

A cynical observer would quickly guess that the rat poison vendors complained.

The Bell Labs is not the famous research laboratory in New Jersey.  Nah, it’s a firm that sells classic rat poisons, baits, and traps all over the planet.  They even have a registered trademark tag line: “The World Leader in Rodent Control Technology®”.  They haven’t gotten around to marketing Rat Ice on their web site.

To me the proof of this is this bit from an article from USA Today that appeared back when the flurry of media reports about how the EPA was telling the cities to stop using dry ice:

Ruth Kerzee, executive director of the Midwest Pesticide Action Center, said her organization raised concerns with regional EPA officials and the city of Chicago about the new rat-killing method.

Kerzee, whose organization promotes minimizing the use of pesticides, said while dry ice is less toxic than some conventional pesticides it remains unclear what, if any, guidelines cities created to ensure the product is being safely handled by personnel.

“We think it could be a sea changer, a great thing to be able to use, but it does need to be vetted and go through the process, so that we don’t end up in a situation where we throw the baby out with the bathwater,” Kerzee said.

The National Pest Management Association, a trade group representing private pest control companies, also inquired with EPA and the Illinois Department of Public Health about the use of dry ice after Chicago launched its pilot and was told it could not be legally used as rodenticide, said Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the association. The group published a message to members in its newsletter last month that “any use of CO2/dry ice to control rodents would be a violation of federal law.”

Fredericks said the industry association is not calling for the EPA to permit dry ice as a rodenticide. “It’s not one of our priorities right now,” he said.

There is a joke to be made here about inventing the better mousetrap and “It would be a shame if some innovation where to upset that nice business you have there.”