Pinned toot

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Pinned toot

All it costs to fulfill the average person's needs for digital services is a $5 per month VPS instance. It's even cheaper if you buy a single board computer and host your services at home.

We've been letting companies steal our personal data and sell it to the highest bidder and destroying democracy in the process all to save what? A coffee a month?

This is one of the worst deals in history.

Review from the weekend: "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou, the definitive book about the Theranos saga by the investigative journalist who broke it.

At its peak, Theranos was valued at $10B. If the company had not been stopped, their flaky tests might have killed people--we may never know the true extent of the damage they did do to people's lives. At the heart of the story are self-delusion, blind ambition, paranoia, infatuation.

Full review here:

Am I the only one who childishly refuses to click "read more" on news articles in news sites? :blobthinking:

I mean if I explicably followed a link into a news article then that means I want to read it, and clicking "read more" seems like an odd extra step. :blobthinkingeyes:

Seems like surveillance powers are going to be reviewed by the NZ government. This would excellent time for a public education campaign to remind people that a) privacy is normal, b) encryption is the digital equivalent to drawing your blinds at night to protect your privacy, and c) breaking encryption so cops and spooks can intercept messages from potential terrorists effectively breaks it for any other purpose too.

"Fake videos can now be created using a technique called a generative adversarial network, or GAN.

Although the machine learning breakthroughs in computer graphics are impressive, researchers should be more cognizant of the ramifications of what they’re creating. “It is not clear that the positive implications outweigh the negative.”

“Deep fakes are amplifying the liar’s dividend. When nothing is true, the dishonest person will thrive by saying what’s true is fake.”

Indoor farming with LEDs Show more

Fired: software sucks; devs need to try harder
Tired: the development community is insufficiently diverse in identities and ideas to produce good software; devs need to be more diverse
Wired: #software companies have bad incentives which lead them to not care about producing good software; #FOSS needs to get better
Inspired: all software #development involves encoding our society's ideas about a problem domain; we cannot produce good software until we produce a good society

Happy anniversary to linux-libre-firmware (a repository that contains free firmware for use with GNU Linux-libre). The first commit was 1 year ago today.

Simple. Web companies don't exist to give you content; they exist to send you ads. Any other idea is merely a delusion.

Sometime we were fooled with the idea of FREE CONTENT, and flew to it like flies to honey. Instead, they caught us in a trap of adverts and cookies and trackers. Before we knew it, power shifted from service providers to advertisers.

WE put them in power. WE sold our souls to them, WE clicked on "agree". It was us who ruined the web.

Is this the new normal? #writefreely

tl;dr: AGPL, but with an LLC and copyright assignment alongside it.

I don't want to blow up the issue, but I do want to understand if there is any way this could be considered reasonable.

Recently I’ve noticed that more images here on mastodon seem to have descriptions for the vision impaired. Thanks very much to everyone who is doing this, it’s making my social media experience a heck of a lot better.

There’s a lot of camera covers & stickers out there.
They all miss an important detail.
Here’s a design proposal:

@aral My all-time favorites:

* Nobody cares about privacy
* Nobody will pay for privacy
* "I've got nothing to hide"
* Only criminals need encryption
* "There are checks and balances in place" (for privacy invading legislation)
IPFS: Let's build a high-performance, non-censurable web, and let's add a cash incentive on the side for hosting content. Comes from Silicon Valley-adjacent VC-funded hackers.

DAT: Let's build something that is usable for your average scientist, specifically for sharing scientific datasets, so that that information can be accessible without going through scientific journals or someone's private stash. Comes from EU-grant-funded Danish hackers. Happens to be usable for a distributed web as well.

Despite what the US Supreme Court has said, corporations are _not_ people, so you do not need to be nice to them

How to run "disruptive" "unicorn" in the digital age

- create free and addictive stuff
- acquire millions of real or fake users
- burn investor money
- make no profits
- forget about why you wanted to start a company and "pivot"
- make sure you're a monopoly in your sector

and most importantly

- ensure your venture capitalists have a 100x or 1000x RoI at any cost to people, society or environment


Inspired from "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus" by Douglas

Y’know, I don’t say this enough (heck, I don’t think I’ve ever said it) but thank you to those of you lovely, caring, and wonderful people on the fediverse for being there and for being you. It’s an inexplicable joy just to watch you folks being kind to each other, taking care of each other, and sharing your everyday experiences with empathy and love.

You know who you are.

Keep being awesome!

And thank you!


The older I get the more I am convinced that all forms of progress are only possible when we have free time. That is, when we are able to spend effort on things not essential to our immediate survival. We need to have spare resources to be able to risk spending them on something uncertain.

The main indicator of this to me is how the more pressure people are under to work just to survive, the less able they are to devote their energies to social or personal improvement.

thinking about how the Starbucks mermaid is slowly, but surely, getting closer, and we cannot stop her

I fed over 8,000 CNN Business headlines to a neural net to see which new headlines it would predict.
For some reason, it predicted companies behaving rather badly.

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Hero image credit: Sean O'Brien (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)