Re: [Tails-project] Blog post: "Celebrating 10 years of Tail…

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Author: sajolida
To: Public mailing list about the Tails project
Subject: Re: [Tails-project] Blog post: "Celebrating 10 years of Tails!"

I'll answer to anonym but thanks Ulrike and DrWhax for the comments.

> I love it! Great job!
> Here are my remarks/suggestions/~corrections:

Thanks for the invaluable input. You have an historical perspective like
nobody else here :)

>> +Since then we released 98 versions of Tails, which were used more than
> We just released Tails 4.1, so this number might need to be incremented.

I took this into account preemptively :)

>> + [...] Incognito [...]> + was the first live operating system to include a full set of
>> + applications preconfigured to go through Tor: web browser, email
>> + application, IRC client, etc.
> I'm not sure how much we want to brag about old Incognito's features, but it also could run from both CD and USB, and offered persistent /home from USB, could host hidden services. I was always slightly impressed how easily one could achieve this (despite the terrible UX that follows from the "easily" part :D).

Done in 800a49d630.

>> + Its original author, *Pat Double*, resigned in 2007 [...]
> I just pinged him and got a response! (And I asked if he even wanted to be mentioned in this post, which he was ok with!)
> Pat Double:
>> Wow, that's some history considering the state of things the last I
>> remember. I have no problem keeping my name in there. Thanks for asking! I
>> will have to check out Tails.
>> It was a fun and useful experience, too bad I didn't have the time to keep
>> it up.
> Nice! :D

Wow, you're still in touch AND he never tried Tails!

> Back to the review:
>> + Some weeks later, *amnesia* would be renamed *T(A)ILS*, *The Amnesic
>> + Incognito Live System*, to act the fusion between *amnesia* and
>> + *Incognito*.
> I note that we don't mention the subsequent renaming to just "Tails". :)
> Is there any way we can be really clever and funny about the "(A)" part? :D Any way, I think we should (humorously) mention that we quickly realized how confusing it was for users to include parentheses in a project name. There is something hilarious to say about this, I can feel it!

Done in a87df109e3.

>> +To support this intense development and the increased responsibility on
>> +our shoulders, we accepted our first grant, from the *National
>> +Democratic Institute* in 2013 and started paying for some of the
>> +development work. Yes, during its first 4 years of existence, Tails was
>> +a pure labor of love.
> Well, there is the period when I (selfishly, in retrospect... :/) applied and got the SIDA grant and worked on Tails in 2012 (technically I started in late 2011, and stopped in early 2013).

Indeed! I forgot it happened before. I'll change NDI to SIDA then.

According to our final report to SIDA it's actually the biggest grant we
ever raised. Funny in retrospect :)

>> +In June 2013, Edward Snowden would reveal thousands of classified
>> +documents on the surveillance programs of the NSA. Tails got mentioned
>> +by famous technologists [Bruce
>> +Schneier](
>> +and [Micah
>> +Lee](
>> +as one of the tools that protect from the NSA surveillance.
> I think we should make it clearer in/after the first sentence that Tails was involved in the leaks, i.e. Snowden instructed the journalists to use it when communicating with him and handling the leaks (or wasn't this known by then?) which is mentioned later. Without something like that the first sentence looks a bit disconnected unless you know what role Tails played in the 2013 leaks. I found this confusing, at least.

The thing is that we didn't know until April 2014 and the crowdfunding
campaign by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. That's how I tried to
put it in the chronology:

- In 2013, Tails is mentioned as one of the tools that can protect from
the NSA surveillance revealed by Snowden.
- In 2014 only, we learned that is was a critical tool for them.

> And IMHO we should link to page 25 of which is the best endorsement we've ever gotten! :D (I just noticed we lack this on our press page, and took the liberty of pushing 8c89b0c). Admittedly those slides weren't published until Dev 28 2014, so that would screw up the chronology.

Done in e079bd6480.

> Actually, I remember yet another leaked slide-show which had a dedicated page about Tails and described it as some synonym of "painful", which is just pure gold! Does any one remember? Know where to find it?
>> +XXX: Video of the test suite running
> I have a candidate (or at least an example) here:
> http://onionshare:woven-surging@56wtx2eelmkqu6tusmkfbwlq367i4dzdo66ljnrtgq3wrappdbxyjmyd.onion
> It's not very exciting, but it will probably look less bording after some editing to remove segments where nothing happens. What do you think?

I converted it to be 3 times faster and it looks great.

> Perhaps it's too much, but what about a section with funny random things from our history (similarly to have we reported poinit-by-point summaries of sprints in a more informal way, years ago)? Here goes some of mine:
> * Failed Anarchist coup d'État (perhaps this is too much of an insider joke or signal ~political affiliation in an unwanted way?):
> * That time when some Lovecraftian cosmic horror (or something, perhaps just a mischievous gamma ray) interfered with our release process:
> * We could publish summit-2017:recipes/mafe.mdwn recipe, referring to the 2017 summit when we had the pleaseure of having it served to us.
> * We had an amazing disco powered by Tor Browser + youtube + proper discoball at the 2017 summit, so why not publish a partial playlist of songs we can remember. I remember these:
> -
> - (but we sang "The onion makes us strong!")
> -
> -
> - other songs (semi-)relevant to privacy or surveilance or the Tor ecosystem or Tails in some way?
> I at least had fun reminiscing over these memories, so even if we discard this idea it wasn't wasted time for me! :)

Done in 0300f95e71. I used:, which is more punchy, which is an intrigeri and
BitingBird favorite

I skipped the bit flip, which is maybe too geeky, could cause alarm, and
didn't fit in the narrative that I found for this section.

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