Fun Lil Hacks

Here are some fun hacks I’ve been working on lately.

Run Python

Published on GitHub.

This little snippet of Python and a macOS Automator workflow allow me to run Python code in almost any text input widget of almost any application on my Mac. (Gmail’s message compose window is not a regular text input, sadly. Everything else works, though, including vim in Terminal.

I’ve bound it to the global hotkey ⌘-\. I just select any text, hit that hotkey, and the selection is replaced with the result of evaluating the text as Python 3 code. I have it run a Python imterpreter that has a lot of extra modules imported so that I have easy access to common functionality.

You take this:

A screen shot of the
text “Hey Bob, what's up. When the nurse said my body temperature was
u.Quantity(98.6, u.degF).to('degC'), I just about frrrreaked out. But it turns
out that's normal.” in a message compose window in Slack.

Select the Python expression, hit ⌘-\, and get this:

A screen shot of the
text “Hey Bob, what's up. When the nurse said my body temperature was
<Quantity(37.0, 'degree_Celsius')>, I just about frrrreaked out. But it turns
out that's normal.”

HTTP Nowhere

Published in the Chrome Web Store and on GitHub.

This browser extension upgrades all HTTP and WS requests to HTTPS and WSS, respectively. It then blocks HTTP and WS. Ideally, with this extension, no plaintext web requests will ever hit the wire. You can (and should) verify this with Wireshark.

HTTP Nowhere cannot turn on DNS-over-HTTPS for you, however, because there is currently no extension API to do that. You’ll have to enable secure DNS manually, in Settings (chrome://settings/security) Definitely turn this on!

This extension might soon be obviated or partially obviated by the coming HTTPS First mode. (HTTPS First is currently available in Chrome Canary behind a flag: chrome://flags/#https-only-mode-setting.)

Uncover UI

Published in the Chrome Web Store and on GitHub.

This browser extension removes unnecessary UI elements that cover up necessary UI elements. For some reason I do not understand, UI designers seem to really like covering up their own UI with other UI.

Uncover UI currently only works in Gmail and Google Docs. I am thinking about extending it to remove all those pop-up screens that news and shopping sites like to use to stop you from reading their content and buying their products.