Introduction About Site Map

XML
RSS 2 Feed RSS 2 Feed
Navigation

Main Page | Blog Index

Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Three Quarter of a Million Tweets

750k tweets

MY decade at Twitter was last year. I joined it after I had posted a bunch of stuff in identi.ca, then decided to post copies in Twitter. 750k tweets later identi.ca is almost defunct and I primarily post in Pleroma and JoinDiaspora. Does that mean that I completely ignore Twitter? Not just yet. I check replies I receive there about once a day.

Twitter isn’t a good site, but sadly that’s where many people still are…

2 Decades Without Windows

“Windows 98 should have been released for free on Jan. 1, 1996 and titled Windows 95.1. If this were Hollywood, then Windows 98 would be the equivalent of ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Godzilla’ rolled into one. A huge, overhyped, bloated, embarrassment.”

Jesse Berst, ZDNet editor

MY GENERATION (I’m 37) grew up on DOS. Not necessarily Microsoft DOS, either. Just DOS. As a kid I used to work from the command line. We, as kids, taught one another new tricks; sometimes an adult would visit to teach us things and copy some programs for us (floppy disks with compressed archives). Various utilities like RAR were useful. Sometimes an infection (malicious program) needed to be removed. That was before the days of Windows 3.x — the days we used ncurses-type interfaces to type documents and send these to printers. Later on I did some programming with batch files and at around age 15 I started with Pascal (quite popular at the time owing to simplicity and relative elegance).

I mostly missed the BBS generation (some friends of mine used it; they’d copy for us files they got from there). When bulletin board systems were still popular many computers did not even have modems (few of my classmates had them, usually because of lack of a technical parent, and only one of them was a GNU/Linux user in the mid/late nineties). I think I got my first modem when I was 14 and IRC was probably the first thing I used “on-line”. After Windows 95, which many people used at that time, I bought my last Windows laptop. Actually, my father bought it. He used it and then passed it to me. It had only 32 MB of RAM and Windows 98. I carried it around and used it in university as an undergraduate student (at the faculty I used GNU/Linux at the time). It retired years later and I’ve not bothered with Windows since then. I wrote a great deal about it in USENET at the time. Memories from these days are mostly gone by now; I barely ever touch Windows and when I do it’s over Remote Desktop, typically to access a client’s network, e.g. to run PuTTY from a remote system. That happens about once a month (patching Debian GNU/Linux servers).

Was Windows 98 a decent operating system? No, it was unreliable, but at least it ran on modest hardware without much RAM. I ran Firefox on it, with a total system capacity of something from the mid-nineties (~400MegaHertZ CPU, 32 MB of RAM). That was before Microsoft added back doors to Windows (this was reportedly done in 1999), before the bloat of NT and before DRM (Vista).

With 3 weeks left before the end of this year (and this decade) I remember not so fondly the 90s, back when I used Windows. In 2000 I moved to GNU/Linux, helped by a Finnish friend, an exchange student at the university. In a sense, next year I become a 20-year GNU/Linux user.

Twitter is Dead to Me

Old Twitter

REMEMBER the minimalism of early/earlier Twitter? Here it is in 2009; Notice how in 2014 it’s already bloated; nowadays it takes up gigabytes of RAM — all this to read SMS-sized blurbs and replies to them. I have to restart my browser just to read notifications. I’ve had enough!

Twitter, the Saudi-owned (partly at least) social control media company (i.e. censorship, a filter of communications whose owners determine what people or speech are permissible), is finished. It’s dying anyway.

Weeks ago it banned, with neither warning nor notice (let alone an explanation), the account that supports Julian Assange. It was terminated despite being professional and polite. It was associated with some very high-profile people, including Julian Assange’s family. Weeks later the account was reinstated (after huge backlash), but other accounts associated with this one remain banned. Everything they’ve ever published got deleted for — possibly at least — being ‘inconvenient’ to the site’s owners, i.e. shareholders who subsidise this company’s losses.

In order to reduce these losses or turn up some temporary profits (for the first time ever!) a year ago Twitter cut off third-party applications. It killed APIs in an effort to impose its surveillance malware (‘app’) on all users and each page was greeted with a pop-up pushing this malicious ‘app’.

Moments ago the site started imposing its utterly disgusting mobile UI on all visitors, even those who do not use a mobile device. This, to me, was the final straw.

I will still have stuff copied onto Twitter (through Diaspora), I will occasionally check replies (perhaps once a day), but for all practical purposes my presence in Twitter will remain mostly a phantom. Later this week I will have posted my 666,666th tweet (special number), but before I get to it I sort of ‘quit’ Twitter. Knowing that many people have no account other than in Twitter I will keep sending copies of my dents/diaspora posts/Pleroma posts/toots into it.

Twitter as a company deserves to collapse. Like Facebook, it has artificially inflated the number of users; it lies to advertisers and gives a false impression/perception of scale. I predict that Twitter won’t last more than a decade (from now). It had lost billions before it began ‘squeezing the goose’ and now the goose is in its deathbed. RIP, Twitter. I won’t miss you when you’re gone.

The Linux Foundation Killed Linux.com After Two Decades of News Service

Linux.com

Remember NewsForge? Or Geeknet? Yes, once upon a time Linux.com was a site for geeks; under the Linux Foundation’s ownership it gradually became a site for large corporations, where they could buy puff pieces and interviews (agreed upon in advance, as covered in Techrights). But among those puff pieces and ads one could at least find some journalism.

I’m sad to see, 2 months down the line, that Linux.com is practically dead. Nothing new is being added to it. It’s now a fossil. Eternally? The Foundation has said not a single word about it. So much for openness and transparency, eh?

Tux Machines 15th Year Party

Tux Machines birthday

PLANNED for next Friday is a little local party to celebrate the Tux Machines birthday, which is a special one because it’s fifteenth. It’s hard to believe the site started its 16th year earlier this month.

The party will mostly involve some local/personal friends of ours, but if you live near Manchester and wish to join, send me an E-mail.

Gab is Not a Site That Tolerates Nazis. It is a Nazi Site That Bans People Who Object to Nazism. It’s a Censorship Site With a Dangerous Agenda.

Protecting Nazis from opposing points of views

SEVERAL months ago Gab banned my account which posted GNU/Linux news. It had many followers and said nothing provocative. No explanation was ever given for the ban. Nothing. Not even when asked. Repeatedly. They just zapped the account without warning. Then they pretended nothing happened, hoping nobody would notice that Gab is in fact a censorship platform.

Recently the site was offline for a week after a terror attack. The terrorist maintained a Gab account. Gab kept telling the media that it’s really just standing up for “free speech”, but that’s obviously a lie. It’s a fat lie. Torba is a liar and he knows he’s a liar. He’s just trying to profit from hate.

The site came back online just over a day ago and within a day my personal account got banned. I had many followers (about a thousand) and tens of thousands of gabs (mostly left-leaning and technical stuff). Did I post something obscene or offensive? No. Just some left-leaning news.

One therefore must conclude that the site isn’t just an echo chamber for radicals and sometimes terrorists. It’s a site that actively protects radicals (and sometimes terrorists) from opposing views. And that’s dangerous. Very dangerous. Gab is quickly becoming another Daily Stormer and at one point I received almost a dozen death threats and death wishes in just one day.

Since Gab has proven itself to be a censorship site (even twice in my case alone), it does not have the right to bemoan censorship. If the site is shut down forcibly and permanently, so be it. They cannot complain (calling it “censorship”) because gross censorship is exactly what these people do and we know in whose favour: violent, racist radicals. If you’re not one of them, then that might upset them and sooner or later you might get banned. Permanently.

Gab Isn’t “Free Speech” But a “Safe Space” for Bigots That Censors Innocent Accounts Without Warning and Without Explanation for the Censorship

I used to complain that Twitter was shadowbanning and suppressing my account. As an act of protest, even though I wasn’t leaning towards the political worldview of most Gab users, I then opened an account there. I later opened another account, one for TuxMachines, in order to separate my GNU/Linux postings from more political ones (some people just want the technical news, not opinions).

The TuxMachines account has been in Gab for a long time, well over a year, and earned hundreds of followers (almost 500 people last I checked). I didn’t post anything controversial and didn’t do anything abusive.

More than half a day ago the account was terminated along with its 10,000+ posts! No prior warning was given and no reason is being given for this. They’re stonewalling. Even some followers of the accounts have enquired about it, but Gab isn’t answering. Curiously enough, as soon as I spoke out about it other people came out stating that they too had been banned by Gab, citing some truly ridiculous reasons.

Make no mistake; Gab isn’t some politically-correct hyper-sensitive site. The site has many accounts of literal Nazis, people who even call for genocides. For some reason, Gab appears to have no issue with such accounts. They cite “free speech”, but as the above comes to show that’s just a facade for tolerating extremely intolerant views, bordering glorification of violence (e.g. lynching black people) and condoning genocide.

Gab cannot really use the “free speech” card (or excuse) to rationalise having that cesspool among its userbase. They use terms like “free speech”, but they don’t actually believe in free speech. It’s a site for “snowflakes” who can’t stand leftist views and ‘gang up’ on those who express such views. Nazis? OK. GNU/Linux news? Get out!

Retrieval statistics: 21 queries taking a total of 0.214 seconds • Please report low bandwidth using the feedback form
Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
|— Proudly powered by W o r d P r e s s — based on a heavily-hacked version 1.2.1 (Mingus) installation —|