Resources & Recommendations
This is a list of things I like. Don’t look too deeply into what is/isn’t included here, it’s just a list of things I like and think are cool, with a slight bias toward things I think should be more popular than they are. Presented in no particular order.
Guides/Educational - Blogs - Video Content - Podcasts - Web Apps/Services - Software - Books/Authors
Privacy Guides: Probably the best overall guide to digital privacy. Includes an excellent list of recommendations for privacy-friendly software and services.
The New Oil: Nice additional digital privacy resource. Includes lots of good guides, a blog, and video content as well. Strikes a nice balance between technicality and accessibility.
3ds.hacks.guide: The definitive guide for installing custom firmware on your Nintendo 3DS system. Includes a ton of great resources and is actively maintained and kept up to date.
NH Switch Guide: Basically the same, but for the Nintendo Switch.
Astral Codex 10: Thoughtful and well-written blog posts on a wide array of subjects. Posts are always well researched and well thought out. I often come away with new perspectives after reading.
Krebs on Security: Mostly a news blog highlighting current cybersecurity happenings. Also has some more in-depth reporting as well as some good guides and advice.
Drew Devault’s Blog: He has recently taken a step back from blogging, but there is a great archive here of posts on various FOSS-related topics. Some are a bit technical and over my head, while others are very accessible and relevant to everyone.
Dhole Moments (Soatok’s Blog): Soatok has a talent for taking complex cryptography concepts and explaining them relatively simply. Includes furry content and general software security content as well.
Techlore: Probably the best YouTube channel focusing on digital privacy. Entertaining videos and solid information.
Side of Burritos: Josh’s videos aren’t very flashy, but they’re well-researched and interesting. Focus is generally on digital security, often GrapheneOS and Android specifically.
Defunctland: Defunctland focuses on the history of defunct theme park attractions and TV shows. All of his videos are good, but his Fastpass documnetary in particular is nothing short of incredible.
Jenny Nicholson: Jenny makes videos on various fandom-related topics, often with hours-long deep dives. Her videos always funny or fascinating, and usually both.
Surveillance Report: Great weekly roundup of cybersecurity and digital privacy news from Henry of Techlore and Nathan of The New Oil.
Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons: Switches off between cybersecurity news and interviews. Can be a bit lengthy, but lots of really great content.
Darknet Diaries: “True stories from the dark side of the internet.” It’s good, give it a listen.
Wolf 359: Excellent serialized sc-fi fiction podcast that concluded a little while back. It has amazing writing and an excellent cast.
Pretty much all of the below are FOSS and self-hostable.
Vikunja: Excellent task management and productivity tool.
Mastodon: Federated microblogging social media service. I wrote a whole post about Mastodon and the Fediverse as a whole and why it’s all so great.
Jellyfin: A way to host your own streaming media server. Definitely some room for improvement, but a really impressive and useful piece of software.
Tiny Tiny RSS: It’s an RSS reader. Not too complex, but does its job well. Also has a great Android app in addition to the browser interface.
Bitwarden: I’m not sure how people get by in the modern world without a password manager. While not perfect, Bitwarden is one of the best and has a very generous free plan.
AnonAddy: Email aliasing/forwarding service. SimpleLogin is also quite good, but AnonAddy has a much better pricing structure.
Standard Notes: End-to-end encrypted note-taking app. Simple, but works well and has a good free option.
Libreddit: Frontend for Reddit. Pretty good UI, much less bloated than the official Reddit interface, and no account or app required to browse, even on mobile.
Atmosphere: Custom firmware for the Nintendo Switch. The developer’s knowledge of reverse-engineering video game console firmware is very impressive and Atmosphere is a very cool piece of software.
Luma3DS: Custom firmware for the Nintendo 3DS. Not quite as seamless as Atmosphere, but still very cool and impressive.
GrapheneOS: Custom Android OS for Google Pixel phones. It improves security and privacy substantially over stock Android, with Google Play services being entirely optional. I write more in-depth about it in this post.
Restic: Encrypted backup software for Windows, Linux/BSD, and Mac. Compatible with local storage and a variety of cloud storage services.
NewPipe: Watch Youtube on Android with no ads and no Google account. You can create a list of subscribed channels to locally generate a subscriptions feed as well.
FreeTube: Very similar to NewPipe, but for desktop.
Aegis: TOTP 2FA app for Android. Nothing fancy, but works very well.
Signal: End-to-end encrypted messnger. Probably strikes the best balance between security, privacy, features, and polish of any secure messenger.
Syncthing: A simple and elegant solution to a ubiquitous problem: how to easily and securely sync data between devices. No server required.
Brandon Sanderson: Probably the best fanstasy author writing today. If you at all enjoy fantasy novels, you owe it to yourself to read his books.
Naomi Novick: Another excellent contemporary fantasy author. Definitely worth a look.
The Righteous Mind: An exploration of the moral underpinnings of various political outlooks (mostly U.S.-focused). A good read if you want to try and understand why seemingly good people can have such different religious and poltiical views.
The Checklist Manifesto: Excellent overview of a simple, yet powerful tool: the checklist. Possibly the most interesting book I’ve ever read if mesaured against how boring the book’s title sounded.
Being Mortal: By the same author, a thoughtful work on end-of-life medical issues. A somewhat morbid read, but also a really important one.
Superintelligence: A very persuasive argument on the dangers of superintelligent AI.
The Emperor of All Maladies: A fascinating and somewhat terrifying look at the history of cancer.
Worm: A very long online serialized work of fiction. Excellent world building and was one of the earlier “dark” superhero narratives. No official e-book is available, but there is a fan-made ebook scraper tool you can use.
The Expanse: My favorite contemporary science fiction series. Excellent plot, deep characters, and a novel take on humanity reaching beyond Earth.