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HEY What's matrix? How do I set up an account? What is going on? How did you get in my house? Some of these questions answered in this very basic tutorial! Longpost. 

Matrix is a web platform that allows people to set up secure chat channels which are end-to-end encrypted. In this tutorial you will see "matrix" and "element" referred to. "Matrix" is the web chat protocol, while "Element" is the client that lets you interface with that protocol. Just like "gmail" is a client that lets you access the "email" protocol.

{CREATING AN ACCOUNT}

To get started using the web interface for Element, which is one of the available Matrix chat clients, go to app.element.io

You'll be faced with a welcome screen that says "sign in" "create account" and "explore rooms"

Click on "Create Account" and you'll proceed to the account creation screen.

the next screen prompts you to create a matrix account.

If you already know what matrix server you would like your matrix account to be hosted on, for example, if you or one of your friends have already set up a matrix server, you would want to click "advanced/other" on this screen. Then, you would put in the full matrix URL for the server you would like to join.

If you don't know what any of that means, that's alright. Matrix hosts their own chat servers for free. Just click "Free/matrix.org" to set up a user account through the standard free server.

Next, you'll be prompted to choose a username, password, and email.

The username is how other people will connect with you on matrix. If you set up the username "Smith" on the free matrix server, then your full username that other people would need to find you would be "smith:matrix.org"

Enter your password in the "password" and "confirm" fields.

Now enter in your email. This email is usually only used to recover your account if you lose your password. Some servers don't allow email recovery. The matrix.org server does, so if you lose your password, you can have a password recovery email sent to the address you provide.

Next, complete a captcha, and read the terms and conditions. After you've read them (advised because it's a good idea to know what rules you are bound to when you use a service). The terms and conditions also explain more about how the service works, which is important to understanding how to use it. click the check box and and then "accept"

Next, you will be sent an email to validate your email address and activate your account.

When you click on this verification link, you will once again be asked to accept the terms and conditions. Once you do, you will be prompted to log in.

Now you will be prompted to create a security key and/or a security phrase. With these, you will be able to recover your encrypted messages if you need to recover your account.
If you do not create a security key or security phrase, all your messages will be lost when you recover your account, and you will need to re-verify your shared keys with other users.
If you select to create a security phrase, you will be invited to make up your own phrase. It's best if this is several words long, and uses uncommon words, or special characters.
After creating a security phrase, or if you only select to create a security key, you will be presented with a string of 48 characters. This is your security key, and if you created a security phrase, both this key and the security phrase you made will need to be entered to recover your encrypted data should you need to recover your account.

Once you have created your account, you will be invited to verify your identity by entering in your security phrase or key. Enter this in now. This might take a few moments to process, and for the identity verification window to go away.

Next you will be invited to turn on desktop notifications, and send anonymous usage data. I keep both of these options off. You can turn them on if you like.

{STARTING A SECURE CHAT WITH ANOTHER USER}

You should now be on the Element interface home page. The interface for the desktop client is roughly the same. There are some differences in the mobile client, but the functionality is also largely the same.

To start a secure chat with another user, you do not want to use the "search" bar in the top left. Tricky, right? Instead, you'll want to go just below that to the "people" tab and click the plus (+) sign just to the right of the "people" tab. This will ask you to enter in the other user's chat handle. If the person you want to talk to set up the user "Vance" on the server "noodles.gov" then their chat handle would be "@vance:noodles.gov"

A new session in the "People" tab should appear with the name of the user you started the chat with. It may or may not have encryption already enabled.
If it does not have encryption enabled already, go to the gear icon in the top left.
This controls the settings for the specific room currently in focus. This is not the general application settings tab.
From here, go to "security and privacy" and make sure that "encrypted" is turned on. When encryption is on, this slider should be to the right

Now, you'll want to verify the integrity of the chat session. This ensures that the data is not being tampered with between the two end-points.
To do this, click on the silhouette of a person in the top right corner. This will bring up the "members" tab on the right side of the window. If there are multiple people in the same channel, this tab will list all the people in the channel.
Click on the name of the user you wish to verify.
In a channel with multiple users, if everyone wants to guarantee chat integrity, then this will need to be performed between every person in the channel.

Once you've clicked on the name of the user you wish to verify credentials with, look at the top of the information panel, just below the avatar. There should be a "security" section. If encryption is enabled, it will say here "Messages in this room are end-to-end encrypted" and below that "Verify"
If this says "Messages in this room are not end-to-end encrypted" then you will need to go to the room settings and enable end-to-end encryption.

Once you click "verify," the information panel will be replaced with an expanded security panel. To continue with the verification, click "start verification"
Once you do this, you must wait for the other user to accept the verification.
This step must be performed with both users online. If both you and the other user who you want to verify keys with are not online, the verification screen will time out. You can attempt this again without a delay, but if the other user is not online or is having connection problems, you will be unable to continue verification.

Once the other user accepts the chat, and accepts the verification attempt, you will be prompted to "verify by emoji." Click this button.

A list of 7 emojis will pop up on your screen, and on the other user's screen. Compare between yourselves whether these emojis match. It is best to confirm that they match on a service outside of Matrix. For example, over a video chat or over the phone. Any trusted service would work, but in-person is best.
The reason it's not a good idea to verify the encryption integrity by comparing the emoji through Matrix itself, is because if the encryption is compromised, then whoever compromised it would be able to modify what the users at each end see, to make them think erroneously that the encryption is secure when it isn't.

Once encryption has been verified between you and the other user, the dark grey shield next to the other user's name will turn green with a check-mark on it. This indicates that the encryption has been verified.

In some cases, it is possible that verification will be made, but the dark grey shield won't turn green with a check mark inside it. It is possible that not all devices have been verified. Have both users check to make sure that they have verified on all devices they use. It may be necessary to repeat the emoji verification step multiple times, to ensure encryption integrity on all devices.
For example, when I was making this tutorial, I set up the encryption between my main desktop user, and an Element web browser client connected to my test user. On the test user account and on my main desktop user account, encryption shows as verified with a green shield and a checkmark, but on my phone, a green shield and checkmark aren't shown. In my case, when I go to the user page on my phone, it does not give me the option to verify again. This may be a bug.

Pinned toot

Voting isn't "radical action"

Voting isn't going to get us out of the quagmire we find ourselves in.

The government and police refuse to be held accountable to the people.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that votes have made things the way they are.

A massive system of exploitation and abuse did that. And it's not going to go away because some lawyer in a suit with a petition list asked nicely.

Now is the time to demand what is rightfully ours. The respect of our humanity.

Asking nicely hadn't worked. Voting hasn't worked. From where we are, the next step isn't to maybe try those things again because they might work this time.

Pinned toot

The fediverse is a public forum.

Your posts are only as secure as the admins of every instance that your home server federates with, in terms of private and followers-only messages.

If you're going to talk about sensitive information, keep it to Signal or other secure 1-on-1 channels.

Assume that everything you post to the fediverse, is being scooped up by multiple gov agencies around the world.

The Milan scrape was only notable because they made their findings public.

If a university scraping feeds did it, it's safe to assume other, bigger organizations have been doing it for much longer.

Pinned toot

Here's a pepper spray relief solution you can make at home!

I've personally witnessed the efficacy of this solution against OC (pepper) spray. The person sprayed their arm purposely with it, let it sit, and then treated the affected area with solution. Relief was almost immediate. It's made from Liquid Sunflower Lecithin, Tearless baby shampoo, water, and magnesium hydroxide. None of these are controlled or overly difficult to obtain, and it is safe for use on pepper sprayed eyes. This solution should remain stable for a few days to a few weeks.

Here's a link where more information, including an in-depth development paper, can be found: itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/up

Pinned toot

If you're stopped by a cop:

I went to a seminar put on by the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. If police stop you outside a car, this is what you should do:

ask: "Am I free to go?" Persist until you get a yes or no
-if yes, leave ASAP
-If no, say this:
"I'd like to speak to a lawyer"
"I don't consent to a search"
"I am exercising my right to remain silent"

Simply being silent doesn't invoke that right. You have to invoke the right to remain silent directly. Being more precise can only help, but it is not necessary. "I'm invoking my right to remain silent" is also valid.

You must request a lawyer clearly and directly. It may be true that a cop could claim ignorance of what someone means when they say "I want a lawyer" or "I'd like to talk to a lawyer," but the meaning in the context of an interaction with police should be obvious and claimed ignorance would not hold up in any court that isn't rigged, like small town courts.

The lawyers that hosted the seminar relayed the story of someone who was in the process of being arrested and said "I want a lawyer, dawg." The police and state successfully argued to the court that the meaning of what the person said was unclear, and they thought he was requesting a "lawyer dog." Be concise and precise in your wording.

Even if police hassle you about not consenting to a search, and even if they proceed with a search anyway, directly stating you don't consent to a search ensures that if they search you and find anything, that evidence could be dismissed as invalid due to being unlawfully obtained.

I called my city 311 for information about trash pickup and the phone bot referred to the 311 information service as "customer service"

Fucker, i live here. I'm not a customer buying time in your city, I'm a fucking citizen.

I fucking live here.

Right now, though, I need to help get groceries for one of my partners. They're house-locked because of the plague.

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Next project: repair dresser.

install debian on my shit-ass laptop.

Get this desk to stop wobbling. I'll probably bracket it to the wall.

make acoustic panels for my house.

build a 5kWh battery bank.

Desk saga 

I was worried that the would be a noticeable gap at the seam but it's actually really tight together. Super nice

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Thus ends the saga of the desk.

There's a few spots where i missed with the paint, and the seam isnt perfect but I'm happy with it.

I could even up the seam with sandpaper and touch up the paint but i don't think i will.

Ph- weeg ment 

Right arm mostly unusable.. Trying to use it meets with lots of pain. If pain persists tomorrow, i will treat with weed.

I wish i knew where my cbd oil went.

ph 

The pain has mostly subsided.

It spiked because I got up too quick and my arm didn't like that.

Funny that, of all the work on my desk I've done over the past 3 or 4 days, the most strenuous part was just painting the fucking thing.

Oh well. Tomorrow I'll have help getting it into place.

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I'm in a lot of pain.

I may have over-exerted myself.

A skunk has passed by my house.

This is reminiscent of the general state of things.

“A man cannot but suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment, though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality.”

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These porn showers are fucking useless.

  1. The shower temperature on the auxiliary shower can only be set to full cold water or full hot water.
  2. I'm pretty sure the floor drains don't work.

My house came with an old-person shower chair in the porn shower. It's time to use it

Desk saga 

Holy shit I'm sore all over.

Tomorrow, the task of getting the desk into place.

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Desk saga 

Painting must wait. Someone who cares about me pointed out that even with a fan blowing air out of the basement, there's not enough ventilation.

But what about a fan blowing air into the basement? Hmmm :thonking:

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Desk saga 

Finished routering the final edge, and found a spot where the desk surface is delaminating. It's on the back side that will be facing the wall, but I'm going to be safe and glue it down.

Right now it's clamped and I'm waiting for it to dry.

Even though i had a fan running and an n95 mask, my lungs are still complaining. I'm going to sit outside while i wait and drink a nice cup of water.

When the glue sets, first i tape up the edge where the two halves meet that i want to make sure doesn't get painted, then I paint. Have to make sure all the dust is out of the air before i paint.

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hackers.town

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.