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Archive for November, 2023

The Story Behind SoylentNews

THE situation at SoylentNews (SN) is not as bad as I was led to believe. As someone explained to me recently, it seems to boil down to ego and “bad communication”.

We (Techrights mostly) had similar issues with the host. I say host, as the core team was communicating OK. Let the SN situation be a cautionary tale. While I’m not sure much can be said about SN publicly to make up for the initial and perhaps a bit speculative assertion about bad faith inside or among SN folks (this assertion turned out to be correct), I do wish to put it on the record without any names:

“I’m willing to go into full details as much as I see it. I’m just one viewpoint but I’ve had the pleasure of lengthy conversations with everyone involved and it’s just my hot take. I’ve talked with NCommander more than anyone else by far. The staff just completely cut off for him. We spoke for hours a day at length for months during that time. Everyone’s right and everyone’s wrong at the same time. It’s quite amusing how it got here but everyone felt like they were doing the right thing or protecting something. A bunch of false starts, ego, bad communication, and bad faith from all parties.”

Thanks and deep gratitude go to this person for illuminating this for us. There’s a lot to be learned from that gruelling ordeal and one can hope that SN will indeed go on for decades to come.

Sadly I find myself targeted more and more by harassers who resort to criminal activities, trying to seed discord and hostilities.

4+ Years After COVID-19 Started England and Wales Mortality Up From 9,674 (5-Year Average) to 10,445 in Week 43 This Year

I‘VE just checked this morning’s new batch of data from Open the latest file in this page, then compare to 2019, which they make difficult to find.

We’re talking about 7% or so more deaths. It’s also this bad (or worse) in other rich countries and Finland’s government (health authority) reports that about 20% of hospital patients are there for COVID-19.

What have we solved really?

International Excess Deaths Remain High

In the news today:

  • Covid and flu patient numbers in hospitals grow

    The spread of Covid-19 is seasonally increasing in Latvia, with more and more patients also ending up in hospitals. Similarly, circulation of type A influenza virus has started and the intensity of flu spread is slightly increasing, according to last week’s monitoring data of the Disease Prevention and Control Center (SPKC).

2 weeks ago:

Description in case they take down the video (as they often do):

Our world in data

Excess mortality is a term used in epidemiology and public health that refers to the number of deaths from all causes during a crisis above and beyond what we would have expected to see under ‘normal’ conditions

Excess deaths =
Reported deaths – Expected deaths

The Human Mortality Database is maintained by a team of researchers based at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.

UK Excess Deaths: Still About 10% More Deaths Than Before COVID-19

IN the year 2019, especially towards the end of that year, COVID-19 was already spreading around the world (and out of China). By this point 4 years ago many people had already been infected. Looking back at what what ONS released yesterday morning, I can see that England and Wales weekly death data for week 42 are now 10.4k or more. Pre-COVID-19 the average was 9.6k, thus an almost 10% increase.

Over time, as medicine improves and treatments become better, we expect the numbers not to go up per capita, so population increases alone might play a role in any substantial increases in mortality. Did the British population explode by 10% in less than a decade? No.

So what is going on?

Ester McVey, British MP, on Lack of Debate About Safety and Efficacy

Techrights ( Turns 17 Tomorrow

Waterfall in highland

I started this site in 2001 or in 2002. The domain was registered in 2004 because the site had grown large enough to merit an independent server.

But years later I became busy with other sites and activities, even predating social control media like

In more recent years the sites moved to their very own system, or a static site generator that is simple and flexible enough to extend without an upstream project (always racing to break stuff and impose bloat you neither asked for nor needed).

In summer of 2022 we migrated a site founded in 2004, based on Drupal, to a new perl-based static site generator. The project was a success and the site is growing by about 50 pages per day. The site is

This past September, just over a year later, we did the same to, a site that turns 17 tomorrow. ran Drupal, WordPress, and MediaWiki.

Not only was the migration successful; it resulted in page delivery times about 10 times faster and we’re able to produce more a lot faster. Details about the perl-based static site generator were presented in a conference this past summer.

Both sites are composed and edited by an international team. A lot of the editing is managed via ssh with UNIX-style permissions/access control. The scale of the perl code is a few thousands of lines of code, plus bash wrappers and aliases to simplify usage.

The code is AGPLv3-licensed and available via Git or Gemini Protocol.

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Original styles created by Ian Main (all acknowledgements) • PHP scripts and styles later modified by Roy Schestowitz • Help yourself to a GPL'd copy
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