from Gerrit Niezen

So even though I managed to get libmtp compiled under Windows, I can't get it to work with Node.js. I've decided to take the same approach as what I did with ffmpeg's libavutil library, and cross-compile it under Linux instead.

To do this, I needed mingw64 on my Linux machine:

sudo apt-get install mingw-w64
sudo apt-get install mingw-w64-tools

It doesn't look like libusb has been pre-compiled for mingw64 on Linux, so I had to do the following:

git clone https://github.com/libusb/libusb.git
 git checkout v1.0.23
./autogen.sh
./configure --host=x86_64-w64-mingw32
make
DESTDIR=$HOME/Code/mingw64/ make install

This installs the libusb library (compiled for Windows) under $HOME/Code/mingw64/. Then I had to configure libmtp to use our Windows libusb build:

PKG_CONFIG_PATH_PREFIX=$HOME/Code/mingw64/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig  ./configure --host=x86_64-w64-mingw32
make

Again I had to fix unicode.c to get it working. I should submit this work as a PR to libmtp.

Next step: Try to get this working in as a native Node.js addon.

For reference: http://www.tinc-vpn.org/examples/cross-compiling-64-bit-windows-binary/


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

#100DaysToOffload #day33 #libmtp

 
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from Brandon's Journal

I have a love and nostalgia for video stores that runs deeper than probably any other form of nostalgia. My first job was at a video store and I feel like I spent the majority of my weekends in my youth hanging out in video stores. It was just my favorite place to be and sadly a place of the past.

Growing up movie collecting was important to me. My father didn't believe in buying movies, because he would never watch a film more than once. I, on the other hand, loved to re-watch movies and I loved having a little piece of the video store in my own bedroom.

The first big title on VHS that I owned was 1989's Batman. I got this for Christmas and it was arguably the video I watched the most.

As I grew older, I began taking my birthday money and Christmas money and buying movies that I liked. My Dad would help out occasionally, but usually it was up to me to build my collection. Not all of my tapes were commercial releases, since I also had a massive collection of blank tapes that I used to archive TV shows, wrestling, and even rented movies in SLP.

By the time I became a teenager and working at Blockbuster, my VHS collection had grown into the hundreds. Flea markets and yard sales had been good to me over the years and I had a little bit of everything. I proudly displayed my movie collection and I kept it until sometime around 2007 when I finally boxed up my tapes and got rid of them.

I won't go as far as to say I regret that, but some titles I wish I would have held onto. About three years ago, I stumbled upon a small collection of VHS tapes my parents had of mine, but these were movies I cared so little for I left them when I moved out. I brought them home with me, but ultimately decided to discard them as well.

Last year, my fiancée bought me a sealed VHS copy of Scream that I intended on taking to a horror convention and getting signed. Some problems arouse that prevented me from making that trip, but I held onto the tape since Scream has slowly become one of my favorite franchises and it looked good on my shelf.

A few weeks ago, my buddy Michael started collecting VHS tapes again. His purchases excited me and I thought about how much I would love to do the same, but I've dabbled in collecting them in the past and I always struggled with it. It's not that I don't enjoy trying to hunt VHS tapes down or watching them, I just have this thing about space and living lightly and VHS tapes are bulky.

Also, in the past when I've bought some VHS tapes, I've bought just random titles I stumbled upon. I didn't intentionally collect. I didn't go after those titles I really wanted or the boxes that I had nostalgia for and that was a mistake. I'd look at the tapes and feel like they were useless clutter and get rid of them.

A week ago, I was chatting with Michael about laser discs when I decided to browse some titles on eBay. One search led to another and the next thing I know I had stumbled upon an auction containing the entire Scream trilogy including the widescreen version and director's commentary. Also included were the first two I Know What You Did Last Summer films and House of Wax. It was an instant collection of films that I liked and I decided to buy it.

When I got the box Tuesday evening, I opened it up and found the seller had included a couple of bonus films: Wrong Turn and Believe. I had never heard of Believe before and the idea of there being a late 90's horror film that I didn't know and owned on VHS excited me to no end. I had to watch it and so yesterday I stopped off at a local Goodwill and I got lucky. For $8.99 I found a great Sony VCR that was in excellent condition. It even had the plastic wrap still on the clock display screen.

I had no way of fully testing the unit, but I did plug it in and made sure it rewound and seemed to play the tape that was found inside of it. The Goodwills around me don't typically sell VHS tapes, so thankfully someone had left their recording of the revival of V in the unit.

I got the VCR home and I sanitized it. Luckily my fiancée had some RCA cables to hook it up. I hit play once the TV was turned on and I had a perfect picture and everything worked great. I was back watching TV like I grew up watching.

I really enjoyed watching my VHS tapes yesterday and I look forward to collecting some more. I think it may be time to rebuild my movie collection.

#100DaysToOffload

 
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from Muse & Reason

In 1941, during his inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated:

The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history. It is human history. It permeated the ancient life of early peoples. It blazed anew in the Middle Ages. It was written in Magna Charta.

Stirring oratory to be sure, but Manga Carta is perhaps better understood, to paraphrase Simon Schama, as the death certificate of despotism rather than the birth certificate of freedom. Yet even if stripped of its mythological status as the beating heart of democracy in the English speaking world, it remains important as it paved the way for the common law of England.

Fast forward eight hundred years and we are in as much need of access to the commons as did the peons of old. This is because the notion of a commons forms the most fundamental and ancient elements of a constitutional democracy. In the digital age, Jon Evans built on this notion when he observed:

Privacy is like voting. An individual’s privacy, like an individual’s vote, is usually largely irrelevant to anyone but themselves … but the accumulation of individual privacy or lack thereof, like the accumulation of individual votes, is enormously consequential.

In this context, the absence of privacy is like the absence of voting and has a devastating effect on individual thought and the capacity to dissent. Much as our forebears strove for the democratic aspiration to vote, the surveillance state and the mortgaging of our data for access to services require us to strive for the new democratic aspiration: the aspiration to privacy.


This post is day 026 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

Posted in #100DaysToOffload #thoughts #privacy

 
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from zymotux

I guess it started at some point in the late '80s (or maybe early '90s) with painstakingly typing in lines of BASIC on a ZX Spectrum +3, for the dubious reward of a simple Pong style game. I was a curious child, always wanting to know things. Typing all that code didn't lead me to a lifetime at the command line or a shadowy teenage life as a hacker but it was my first experience of looking beyond the standard Graphic User Interface (GUI) kindly presented to the world by mainstream computing.

Next came BBC Micros in school. The Amstrad PCWs that my Dad used and my brothers and I did our homework on. Windows when I got to my #undergrad in the late '90s. With all these I was content to use the GUI, until a second year course required more. Once again, the command line didn't grab me beyond using it for the programming task at hand but what did was the UNIX workstation. This was different from the lines of Windows PCs set-up in the different computer labs around the university. I liked the feeling of being one-step out of rhythm from the masses but I quickly left it behind when I graduated.

Fast-forward again to my #postdoc years. My research led me into producing data where the only convenient way of analysing it was with some command line driven code written by other scientists. First on a Mac but eventually #Linux. I gloried in a multi-boot set-up with orange-tinged Ubuntu and green tinged Linux Mint (I really liked their application menu!) alongside Windows.

As well as getting work done, I also encountered my first experiences with the frustration of linux. It required more work and more choices! The extra effort did not always lead to extra reward. The hours spent fiddling to set-up the perfect looking desktop, find the right programme, work around the Linux-Windows divide sometimes felt wasted, leaving me with a sense of disquiet. Economists would call this opportunity cost. Or a trade-off. Or even, “the price of doing business”.

Work took me to a life in the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 years but moved me away from needing Linux. I bought a MacBook and had fun with it for awhile instead. As you might imagine, being that close to Silicon Valley there were a lot of Macs being used in coffee shops everywhere I went!

Fast forward once more to the last year or so. For some reason, my thoughts brought me back to Linux. I started checking out what was happening with different distros again, made some bootable USBs and played around a bit. Finally, #lockdown came along and proved the catalyst I needed to install one. I remembered the time spent fiddling with Linux and thought it could be a way to occupy my mind. I also wanted a separate computing space to express myself that wasn't the Windows on my work laptop, or even the Windows on my wife's personal laptop that has now largely become our household device. After turning that laptop into a dual-boot with Kubuntu for a bit, I bought a dedicated Linux laptop (more on that in a later blog) and here I am.

So, with no further fanfare, that's my history with Linux! Right now I'm enjoying it, and the extra freedom it gives me to define my own unique computing space. Which flavour of Linux do I want? How should I configure my desktop? What do I want to do with it? All of these questions take time to answer but are also triggering questions about myself and it is this process of self-reflection that I find rewarding, frustrating and occasionally disquieting in a way that the comparatively painless ease of using Windows or MacOS is not.


Entry 3 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

#100DaysToOffload #Linux #technology #TradeOffs #self #childhood #undergrad #postdoc #BayArea #lockdown

 
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from Life with Fuschia

God, today started out pretty rough because of Windows. As I mentioned in A Day in the Life, I use a VPN to connect to my work network and then use a remote desktop connection to access the work machine. Well, apparently there's a bug in Windows 10 with VPNs.

When I started up my desktop, none of my normal programs that connect to the internet were working, which was odd. Trying to pull up websites on my browser was hit or miss. I could get Google, but not Microsoft, for example. My e-mail client was not able to load any new e-mails. At first, I was able to connect to the VPN and remoted into the work machine. It had no issues reaching any websites. Eventually, the connection died out and couldn't do anything.

I did some research and there is a bug in windows where regardless of your connection to a VPN, some internet functions just might not work at all. I tried switching my laptop over to Windows as well, but it ended up having the same issue.

Moving back to the desktop, I uninstalled my VPN apps altogether, rebooted, and that cleared the issue. I've since been able to reinstall the apps and haven't had connection issues, but it was a massive headache trying to figure it out. Just searching “Windows 10 no internet” is too vague, and I originally ruled out my VPNs since the issue was apparent regardless of if I was connected or not, or if the service was running or not.

I'll stick with Linux for a while.

#100daystooffload #dayseventeen #work

 
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from Roscoe's Notebook

Happy Humpday!

A few hours ago, about Noon-ish, she and I went to one of our favorite quiet little restaurants for lunch. We went inside, were seated at a table, ordered from the menu, and were served by a waiter who has served us many times before. It felt SO DAMNED GOOD to be out in the world living normally for the first time in months!

On the way home we stopped at the neighborhood HEB store for some groceries. I've been hitting the grocery store about once a week since this whole plandemic lockdown nonsense started. Yes, I wore a face mask there, (but I didn't need one inside the restaurant, of course). And the shelves and bins at the store are now filled and well-stocked so shopping is so much easier than it was when the lockdown first hit.

And on the way home we noticed the price of gasoline has gone up. But that's to be expected. There's a whole lot more Texans driving around now, burning up gas. And that whole supply and demand thing comes into play: the greater the demand for a product (gasoline), the higher the price for the supply will be.

GOD, I'm glad Texas is opening back up for business.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 27 May 2020, this is my number 24/100/365 post of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving

 
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from Gerrit Niezen

In preparation for the Stay-at-home TH/NG Jam next Friday, I thought I'd at least check if I can get the basic tech, including Web NFC, working.

Web NFC is an open specification, but so far it is only supported on Chrome for Android behind a feature flag, meaning you'll have to enable experimental web platform features in chrome://flags. It has also been available as an origin trial since Chrome v81.

First, we need a basic index.html file:

<html>
  <head>
    <title>Smart Paper Maps</title>
    <script src="main.js"></script>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="main.css">
  </head>
  <body>
    <button id="scan" class="buttons">Scan</button>
    <p id="p1" class="text"></p>
  </body>
</html>

All we're doing is linking to our main.js and main.css files, and setting up a button and a <p> section that we can use to display text. Our main.css just makes the button and text a bit bigger to make it easier to tap and read:

.buttons{
    height:200px;
    width:200px;
    font-size: xx-large;
}

.text{
  font-size: xx-large;
}

And finally, the actual code that reads the NFC tags:

document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', event => {
  const scanButton = document.getElementById('scan');
  const reader = new NDEFReader();
  
  scanButton.addEventListener('click', async () => {
    try {
      console.log('Scanning..');
      await reader.scan();
    } catch(e) {
      console.error("Error: ", e);
    }
  });
  
  reader.onreading = event => {
    console.log('Event:', event);
    document.getElementById("p1").innerHTML = event.serialNumber;
  };
});

We wait for the page to finish loading, initialise the NFC tag reader module NDEFReader(), and wait for the “Scan” button to be clicked. When we click the button, the browser will prompt for permission the first time. Once permission is granted, it will start scanning for NFC tags, and display the serial number when a tag gets read.

Because Web NFC requires an HTTPS Server, you'll have to set up a basic one to get this working. I'm using Node.js 12, and saved the following as simple-http-server.js:

const https = require('https');
const fs = require('fs');
const express = require('express');

const options = {
  key: fs.readFileSync('newkey.key'),
  cert: fs.readFileSync('newkey.crt')
};
const app = express();
app.use(express.static(__dirname));

https.createServer(options, app).listen(8080);

Do an npm install to install the Express server module, and set up the SSL keys using:

openssl req -x509 -sha256 -nodes -days 365 -newkey rsa:2048 -keyout newkey.key -out newkey.crt

Then run it with node simple-http-server.js. If you don't see any errors, you did it right. Go to <your computer's IP address>:8080 to access the page. You'll see some security warnings that you'll have to acknowledge, since we created our own self-signed keys.

I want to be able to view and debug my phone on my computer. Luckily, Chrom(ium) and Android makes this really easy. First, enable developer options on your Android phone and plug in your device via USB. To enable remote debugging, go to chrome://inspect/#devices in Chrom(ium) on your computer. You should be able to see your phone under Remote Target, and can then click on Inspect under the right browser tab to view your phone screen and the Chrome developer tools.

Hopefully, if everything is working, you'll see the following when you press the scan button and move over an NFC tag:


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

#100DaysToOffload #day32

 
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from Luke

Lyndon Loaf

#100DaysToOffload – Day 27

If you've been paying attention you'll have noticed I like making bread. Generally I like easy and fuss free bread. When chatting with my step-dad he mentioned a method of making a loaf his nephew sent him so I tried it. The nephew's name is Lyndon so I call it the Lyndon Loaf though he didn't invent it.

Follow a standard white loaf recipe like this one. Mix it and knead it then after the first rise give it a 5 minute knead and put it in a lidded metal casserole dish (what Americans call a Dutch oven I believe). Put it in a cold oven with the lid on then turn the oven to 240c. After 35 minutes remove the lid and leave in for a further 10 minutes. Viola! An amazing loaf. Here's the one I made:

homemade loaf

*I am taking in the 100 Days to Offload blogging challenge set by Kev Quirk. *

 
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from zymotux

For drinking between “normal” beers on a long session. For a week-night. For the Designated Driver. For cutting down. For starting early after the third #lockdown Zoom meeting of the day. For getting through pregnancy and breastfeeding. For all these reasons and more, the recent explosion in choice and quality of zero and <0.5% abv beers has been a boon and I love them!

Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of well-poised Imperial Barrel Aged Beasts, the occasional Triple IPA (harder to find in the UK than the SF Bay Area but not impossible!), even a 3.7% Young's Ordinary, 4% Crafty Devil Mikey Rayer All Dayer, or 3.5% Brains Dark (Mild)! However, as I've embraced my early forties, these low abv beers have found their way firmly into my regular drinking week.

It started as a bit of a challenge for me after my first encounter with a really drinkable <0.5% beer. I think it was a Big Drop Pale Ale or Stout. Soon I was sourcing them direct, enjoying the thrill of “will it be drinkable or will it taste like wort?”. Accepting the variable hit rate until I settled on a stable of options that I now vary between.

Here, dear reader, are my current favourites and a few honourable mentions:

Firm favourites

  • Thornbridge Zero Five <0.5% – This is one of my go-tos. I like drinking it direct from the bottle, feeling the cool taste of the beverage with its sharp, almost metallic, hoppy tang. It might be too light in body for some or have too much of a malty/worty edge for others but for me, it's just right (and really reasonable to buy direct from the brewery!)
  • Infinite Session IPA <0.5% – Another go-to. Love the name and the simple branding. Comes conveniently in cans and you can also sometimes find it in supermarkets/M&S. Note – the Pale Ale is a good choice for when you you need a break from the IPA's assault of Amarillo and Cascade dry hops.
  • Big Drop Galactic Milk Stout and Off Piste Hazelnut Porter <0.5% – These folk really set the bar high when it comes to low abv dark stuff, especially if you like milk stouts as the addition of lactose (as well as multiple grains) is a great trick for building mouthfeel and complexity. Their collaboration with Tiny Rebel for the latter brewery's 7th anniversary resulted in arguably the most glorious <0.5% beer yet – the sumptuous Imperial Mocha Vanilla Shot Stout. Brew it again please! For some adventurous fun, check out their World Collab Series where they team up with friends to push-the-envelope further with saisons, goses and who knows what next!
  • Mikkeller Henry and his Science 0.3% – This is one quirky beer, right from it's label of the eponymous Henry making the beer in his lab, through the brewing using a specially selected yeast strain, to the taste – refreshing, tart and great for summer! Hunt it down through UK vendors such as drydrinker.com or lightdrinks.co.uk
  • Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropica NA <0.5% – Great option if you want a modern, tropical, craft IPA but need a break from the alcohol! However, the link takes you to their “Keep the Party Going” pack, which illustrates the #SpacerBeer concept perfectly!

Honourable mentions

  • Brewdog and their every expanding range. Starting with Nanny State (too worty for me but the first <0.5% beer I had on draught), now encompassing Punk AF, Hazy AF, and Wake Up Call Coffee Mik Stout. They even have a completely “alcohol-free” bar in London! Bold stunt? Sign-of-the-times? Oxymoron? You decide!
  • Adnams brew a <0.5% version of their Ghost Ship if you're after something maltier (you can also find an M&S branded “Southwold Pale Ale 0.5%”!).
  • Thornbridge Little-by-Little Stout < 0.5% – Another milk stout, not as rich as Big Drop's offerings but certainly not-to-be-sniffed-at. Pick some up while you're getting their Pale Ale!
  • Big Drop Paradiso Citra IPA and Pine Trail Pale Ale <0.5% – For me, these beers don't reach the height of their dark beers but are well worth sending past your personal palate.
  • Nirvana brewery – various low-to-zero abv offerings. I like their story and what they are trying to achieve more than I like their beers but that is personal taste and I suggest you check them out yourself!

That took longer to write than I anticipated but hopefully it'll inspire one or two of you to take another look at these options – if only as an occasional break from the harder stuff!

All links are correct as of 27 May 2020 but may not be when you come to read them! Hunt the internet for these beers and their friends and enjoy!


Entry 2 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

#100DaysToOffload #beer #SpacerBeer #lockdown

 
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from Muse & Reason

In France during the first part of the seventeenth century, Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis – better known as Cardinal Richelieu – held enormous power as the king's 'Chief Minister.' In addition to his many titles, Richelieu also had the sobriquet 'Red Eminence' [Éminence rouge]. Though often regarded as the power behind the throne, behind him stood another. A 'Grey Eminence' [Éminence grise].

François Leclerc du Tremblay painted in 1873 by Jean-Léon Gérôme.

François Leclerc du Tremblay was the right-hand man of Cardinal Richelieu and gained his own sobriquet for the beige, termed grey in that period, robes he wore. du Tremblay was styled Eminence, though only a friar, because of the sway he held over Cardinal Richelieu.

Every age has had it's grey eminence, and there have always been concerns about the power behind the throne. In democratic times, calls for these individuals to be brought forth into the public gaze are always to be heard. The reason frequently cited is that unless the advice and advisors are known, power cannot be properly held to account.

The challenge in the modern media cycle is that it becomes hard to define the notion of 'account.' For proponents of a plan, 'account' is acceptance for the course of action. For opponents, 'account' is when the plan is stopped or, at the least, modified in their favour. What adds a further level of complexity is the court of 'public' opinion has shifted from those with responsibility for public office to mean every man Jack and every woman Jill who has a social media account. A process which seldom makes for relevant, let alone rational discourse.

Sadly, for our attempts to hold power to account, the 'what' is lost to the political 'how.' In that whether specific advice or an advisor is known ceases to be at issue, instead, which side wins becomes the benchmark for 'account.' As a result, be it red or grey, the eminence disappears into the shadows to hold sway for another day.


This post is day 025 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

Posted in #100DaysToOffload #thoughts

 
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from Mike Stone

Day 32 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I read something somewhere about “port knocking”. I thought to myself, that's going to be something that's just everywhere in a few years. Turns out I was wrong about that, but I really wish I wasn't just because it's such a cool idea.

Stealing from Wikipedia:

Port knocking is a method of externally opening ports on a firewall by generating a connection attempt on a set of prespecified closed ports. Once a correct sequence of connection attempts is received, the firewall rules are dynamically modified to allow the host which sent the connection attempts to connect over specific port(s).

So, what this means for the end user is when you look at a server, it may have no visible ports open on the network. That network can be the local intranet or the Internet at large.

Like a secret knock, you send some kind of information to a specific set of ports in a specific order. Those ports are closed, so you're not going to see anything visibly regarding whether you're right or wrong about a sequence.

A sequence can be any length, and for automated connection attempts, you could use an obscenely long sequence of ports and reduce the possibility of an accidental or brute force connection.

Once the sequence is correctly entered (remember, by hitting certain ports in a certain order), then a port opens up for a specific protocol to the IP that's been knocking.

What this means is, even if you correctly enter the sequence, all the traditional means of access control are still there. You still need a username and you still need a password.

There's so much cool here I just can't imagine that this didn't take off. You can have any number of sequences configure. Hit one sequence of ports, and you can open port 22 to establish an SSH session. A different sequence of ports might open up 443 for a secure web connection.

The possibilities aren't literally endless, but close enough we could make that claim with a straight face.

Sadly, I've never seen a service require port knocking, and most people don't seem to know what it is. I really thought that this would be commonplace long ago. Unfortunately that's just not the case. Maybe it'll still happen but I doubt it at this time.

 
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from Life with Fuschia

So I got a kitten about 8 months ago, and I couldn't be happier as a cat mom. She's kind of a brat a lot of the time, but I think she'll grow out of it. Lately she's become a bit more mellow and likes napping and cuddling up with me which is like, exactly what I like in cats. But she's still got a lot of spunk and energy to burn off, which keeps me up at night sometimes.

I love to buy her different toys to play with, but she still just loves to climb up the door frame instead. She likes watching TV with me, but likes to interact with the screen as well. For every cute thing she does, she knows how to push my buttons.

But I love her a ton and I know she loves me. When I get home she is cuddly. If I leave rooms, she will follow me and just be around me. She'd rather spend time around me than exploring a lot of the time, and that just means the world to me.

#100daystooffload #daysixteen #personal #cat

 
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from Eli(sha)

As far as I know, this is the only music CD in my immediate possession. Having shifted to Spotify, then just recently to YT Music for all my audio listening needs, I no longer own any physical copies of music, but this one's pretty special – aside from the fact that the album itself isn't on both services. I would never part with it for anything in the world! It's the official soundtrack for one of my favorite movies of all time – MNL 143.

Here's the trailer for the movie (with English subtitles!), but in a nutshell, MNL 143 follows Ramil, an FX/minivan driver, on his last drive around the city. The movie itself is made up of little tidbits of stories of the passengers who get on and off his vehicle, but overall it ties neatly into the theme of despair and hope in trying to find a lost love from years ago.

When the movie initially came out, it was through small private viewings across the city. I don't think they ever went big and showed it in cinemas as it was an indie film, so you can totally tell I was giddy with excitement when the film organization in my university held a screening – a limited seating one at that. I had heard of the movie months before but never had the opportunity to watch it live! They also invited the movie's director for a short Q&A after, so I shelled out all the money I had from that week's allowance to buy myself a ticket.

Now I'm no expert critic, but I fell in love with this movie from start to finish. The story was amazing, the small character stories well fleshed out even if they only lasted 5-10 minutes in the whole movie, and the music! A huge reason why, out of all the merchandise that they were selling after the show, I picked the CD was that I couldn't stop thinking about the songs – they had so much passion and emotion into it, they really carried the scene. Literally, they were stuck in my head for weeks.

I watched the movie again around two years back, when, for a brief time, the studio decided to put it up on Vimeo for paid viewing. Besides all the other reasons why I initially fell in love with it, looking at the locations was a wave of nostalgia. I had ridden through the same route, on a similar minivan. I had walked those streets and heard the same sounds. Maybe I was homesick, but at that point in time, I thought This really feels like a love letter.

MNL 143. Manila, I love you.

Yes, I do.

20/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

 
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from Erik I

Filed under #life and #100DaysToOffload

I've been quiet here for a few days.

A good friend of mine died a couple of weeks ago. He was old. It was no surprise.

He was a good man, I think almost everyone loved him, especially those who knew him well.

I became 40 earlier this year, and it strikes me that I am one of the grown ups now. I'm the one who's responsible for making life better for those around me now, in the same way generations before us have done.

It is mostly small things: hiking in the weekends, inviting people over (when allowed), fixing bikes, driving kids around to meet friends and for soccer (again, when allowed).

It feels like a huge responsibility, but it also makes my life interesting.

 
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from zymotux

Pick your favourite saying. Perhaps it's a variation on a theme of the Chinese proverb attributed to Lao Tzu:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Or maybe it's Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music, singing in your head:

Let's start at the very beginning A very good place to start!

The point is the same. Sometimes you need to stop thinking and just do something!

For me, it's this blog. After however many days in #lockdown during this global #pandemic, I feel the need to express myself again. Do something creative. Put my thoughts out into the world, even if they only reach a few people.

The urge has been building in me for a couple of weeks. After some time spent researching blogging platforms, and more time spent procrastinating, I'm finally here. Almost seven years after my last blog post from a personal beer blog consisting of ten posts in one year.

To keep me going, I'm signing-up to the “100 Days to Offload” challenge. Take a look at the website to find out more and read the work of other participants – I'm hoping their example will inspire me as I get started.


Entry 1 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

#100DaysToOffload #lockdown #pandemic

 
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from Brandon's Journal

My parents weren't around much when I was a kid. Divorce, alcoholism, and running around kept them from being present in my life a good portion of those formative years. I've been known to say (and they'll agree) television and books raised me. I learned right and wrong from the entertainment I consumed and not my actual parents. Which probably wasn't the best but it seemingly worked out for me.

Luckily, I grew up in the 80's and 90's, and television was a bit more balanced at the time. A good portion of entertainment produced during this time frame came with morals and simplified messages of right and wrong embedded and I picked up on that. I took inspiration from superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spiderman to guide me on what was morally correct and how to handle myself. I was taught messages of peace, self-sacrifice, doing what is right no matter who notices, and to intentionally be a good person.

These, along with The Golden Rule, are messages we try to embed in all children. Sadly, these messages meet a lot of resistance once we grow older.

The black and white world I thought existed, does not in fact exist. And judging from what I've learned, I don't think it ever truly existed. All that really exists are various shades of gray and that can hurt someone like me, who grew up only knowing the black and white.

I knew the things my parents did was black. I knew the things that Superman did were white. I knew that I didn't want to be like my parents, but I did want to be like Superman, so I modified my behavior accordingly. I grew up a bit of a prude, because I didn't drink, smoke, or party. I concerned myself with principles and ethics at a young age, which is sad. I robbed myself of years that I should have been naïve, but instead I was studying the truth about life and how to navigate it.

Recently, I've had some flareups with my mental health. I try not to spend a lot of time talking about it, because everyone seems to have a mental health problem and no one will shut up about it anymore. It was once taboo and shameful and now people flash it around like a badge of honor. I'm not saying either way's correct, but my mental health is my issue and something I have to deal with, its not something to flaunt for internet sympathy.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to figure out what is causing this my drop in my mood. No doubt, the state of the world is playing a huge part. I'm upset about the ravaging effects of the coronavirus and my concern for my job and my fiancées job in the upcoming months. I'm upset about the way people are treating other people and the seething hate that seems to boiling up everywhere. I'm angry with my job for taking advantage of me and treating me poorly for several months. I was hoping to change jobs this spring but obviously that didn't work out with the massive layoffs happening.

I'm mad at the media, the politicians, and the rude people at the grocery store. I'm mad at my family for self-destructing over the past six months, after finally offering me a little bit of peace and stability over the past couple of years.

I'm angry, disappointed, and frustrated at the world around me. I've been struggling to find a little hope in these bleak times and I realize my ideal world is crashing with the real world and that is what is causing me such suffering. The world does not look like the world that the entertainment that raised me told me it was, and now I'm suffering because I'm struggling to accept that.

The solution is easy. I must reframe my expectations. I remember reading a long time ago the simple solution for happiness:

Reality – Expectations = Happiness

While I think its difficult to encompass everything that goes into being happy or content, I do think that formula is a good place to start. Buddhism teaches you something similar in that the world is full of suffering because we are attached to the ideas and expectations we have of it.

Life would be so much easier if everything was black and white, but its not. I guess, I'll just continue to learn how to adapt in these shades of grey.

#Reflection #100DaysToOffload

 
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from Gerrit Niezen

A week ago I saw this post on Instagram:

I attended and presented a workshop at Thingscon in Berlin in 2014, and it was one of the best conference experiences I've had. I haven't had a chance to attend it since, but have been keeping an eye on their Instagram feed for interesting events.

I really like the idea of this Stay-at-Home TH/NGS Jam:

Physical connection in time of virtual gathering

With most of my family and friends living overseas, I've been wanting to introduce more physicality into virtual connections for a long time. This seems like a great opportunity to both work on some ideas to make it happen, and to learn from others doing the same thing.

One idea would be to draw a map of a someone's home, and stick NFC tags on each room. You can then build a form of virtual “hide-and-seek”, where the remote person can state that they're in a specific room by linking to one of the tags, and you use a mobile phone to scan these tags and find out which “room” they're in. While too basic for adults, I think this could be fun for a toddler and their grandparents.

The same concept can be used for a company that works from home, where the video conferencing software may indicate which people are in each video chat, by linking these video chats to specific tags. To find out who is busy, or maybe hanging around the virtual water cooler, you scan a paper map of the virtual office.

One option would be to use Web NFC, a new technology available in Chrome on Android (in an origin trial since v81) that allows for the reading and writing of NDEF data from NFC tags. That simplifies the programming of this project to building a website.

I've already ordered some NFC tags from eBay to play with, and may even integrate my Espruino Pixl.js, a Bluetooth-enabled smart LCD that is NFC-capable.


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

#100DaysToOffload #day31

 
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from Muse & Reason

I once read a statistic, that more content is produced each year than was created in the previous five thousand years. At first blush this seems like an improbable feat, but delving into some of the available statistics about the internet and it doesn't seem impossible. Take YouTube for example, I understand 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute. That is 9,460,800,000 hours of video every year. Content is indeed king, but for all the volume, does quality suffer?

The answer to this is to be found in how one defines quality. Certainly the technical quality isn't suffering... much. As hardware and software improves, the capacity to produce content of a high technical quality comes into the grasp of anyone with a device and internet connection. When I first started producing content online, video codecs were problematic – to say the least. Programming had to be done by hand and there were no plug-ins which could enable e-commerce or anything else you could wish for with the click of a button.

But for all the gloss, I do wonder about the underlying content. A classic case in point is movie making. Even 'low budget' films today have a technical quality which evaded even the best films in the days or yore. But the ease with which technical quality can be achieved, is creating a certain laziness. Plot needs to do less of the work in captivating an audience as CGI will invariably make up the difference.

This is perhaps what draws me more and more to the written word. Though a visual man at heart, I have grown tired of the flickering images of social media where unlimited filters and effects cannot cover the dearth of thought.

Some might argue that #100DaysToOffload is only adding fuel to this bonfire of quality because 'posting this much content... dilutes the pool of topics and results in slightly lower quality content.' As a general rule I would agree because as a researcher I know how many days I can spend in the archives just to yield a single paragraph. In such a context I know the daily automatic writing style of near continuous blogging doesn't permit for such detailed analysis.

Yet where I would disagree is because this type of writing seeks to fully engage what Daniel Kahneman termed 'System 1' in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. A mode of thinking which is 'fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious.' At its best, a lifetime of experience and thinking is compressed into a seemingly immediate response. In the case of blogging, the decades I have spent in research are pulled together into a moment of ecstasy – or as mystical writers of the seventeenth century would term it: 'a state of rapture that stupefied the body while the soul contemplated divine things.'


This post is day 024 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

Posted in #100DaysToOffload #thoughts

 
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from Luke

Tilde

#100DaysToOffload – Day 26

Oops, I forgot to post yesterday. Wasn't a “can't think of anything to post” moment of lack of motivation. Just straight up forgot. Probably related to the hangover I had after the drunken 4 and half hour Zoom chat with friends on Saturday night!

I've been an SDF user on and off for years and had a couple of accounts (mainly because I forgot the password to one and couldn't be bothered to try and retrieve it so made another). When the SDF/SDFEU split happened it pretty much ended my usage as SDFEU is like a ghost town. I'd go through spells of making a conscious decision to be very active and regularly post on bboard and their internal newsgroups but at most I might get 1 or 2 replies so would get disheartened. As an aside when I first got on the internet in 1994 it was newsgroups and IRC that really got my interest. Being able to interact with people from all over seemed amazing! Before that I was very into zines and zine culture so the internet seemed like a logical extension of that; people making content and sharing it. When the first tilde servers started getting popular back in 2014/2015 my first thought was “wow I've been using the internet so long that shell accounts are now retro”. I continued tinkering on SDF and never got involved. Things like neocities pages caught my eye but I always feel like I've not got any content worth sharing so had never gone down that route. However a few years ago I saw the Circumlunar.space tilde server mentioned on the fediverse and requested an account. Solderpunk kindly obliged and I enjoyed it a lot. There was a nice community there with a small federated message board and active gopher users. However a change of jobs meant regrettably I had a lot less time for engaging with it so decided to quit after a while rather than become one of those ghost accounts that just lingers untouched for ages.

Recently though there has been a bit of chatter about the new Gemini protocol being set up on some of the tildes. It is a bit like a modern version of gopher and has been implemented on several tilde servers. Of course being the curious type I wanted to try it out and was able to get an account on Tilde.pink. Early days so far and still trying to work out what content goes where (social media, this blog, my old blog, gopher, gemini, etc etc). Here's my gemini space:

gemini://tilde.pink/~luke

Don't expect much though. Now back to the joys of the working week.

:(

 
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from Eli(sha)

I had started to write an entry for today regarding how life was slowly going to change into the “new normal” for me and the family, but my head had blanked out. There really is some fatigue that's involved in attempting any challenge – and maybe I've never mentioned it but in the past, I have never really completed a 100, let alone a 30-day one before. The culprits used to be time and energy, but now that I have more than enough of those to spare, it seems as though creativity (and words) is slipping through my fingers! It's absolutely odd.

But I'll try to persist for a little while longer – like everyone who's started (and ended) this challenge, they've earned little nuggets of wisdom from it. I do see that there's value in trying to attempt to write consistently, I might just be trying a little too hard? That might be the case. But believe me, the habit is starting to stick – I was still slightly itching to write something, anything, last night even if I had already done so in the morning.

So, to experiment and to do things differently, this week I'll be attempting to pick seven random objects in my room and describe how they've come to my possession and why they're important to me. I know, very different.

So for today, here's a bottle of the perfume I use – Vince Camuto's Fiori

When I was younger, I was never the girl who was obsessed with how I smelled. Of course, I'd put on my deodorant before heading out the door, but besides that, I never really put any lotions, creams or perfumes on my person. It even came to the point where I would joke about how I wasn't female and human because I didn't smell like a flower garden, like everyone else who I passed by did. I was part envious, but I was so low maintenance, I couldn't exactly care while walking under what probably felt like 100F weather.

On the other hand, my first boyfriend was more high maintenance than I ever was. His family would frequently see the dermatologist and get facials and creams to help maintain even skin texture. If I didn't have the annoying habit of ruffling up his hair, he would've used hair gel on his head every single day. Now I'm not saying I was a total slob, but it took years for me to realize that besides basic hygiene, some effort was needed. And so, one day he gave me a small bottle of perfume (right) that he got as a free sample from a purchase of his own cologne.

I didn't really use it right away, nor did I really like the scent of it. The whole concept was so foreign to me, I only probably used it once or twice in the months after I received it. As a memento, I brought it with me when I moved countries, and somehow, the memory of it evolved to a scent of something familiar. Little by little, I started putting it on my wrists and on the sides of my neck (as is recommended). I put it on as a lucky charm on my first ever job interview. On days that I felt bad about life in general, I'd open the bottle a tiny bit to get a whiff, and sometimes, it worked to calm me down.

As a feminine take, I was also starting to become obsessed with the idea of having a signature scent. You know, the kind where you'll know it's your friend or your mom right away when they walk inside a room. Maybe it wasn't about smelling like a flower field, drenched with the same scent from head to toe, but I was gradually changing from basic to more-than basic, and that upgrade included finding my favorite pair of earrings (pearls) and one go-to wristwatch (a classic Rose Quartz Swatch). As a side note, did you know that if you take your watch to the Swatch shop for some yearly basic maintenance, they can take a look at it, tune, and polish it for free forever? I really dig that aspect of it.

The tiny bottle lasted for three years before I had to purchase the bigger bottle late last year. I've since moved on from the feelings of that relationship, now happy with someone new, but it's become such a huge part of who I am now that I don't think a morning's routine would be complete without dabbing a few spritzes on my wrist. Sometimes it's still a lucky charm, but more often than not, it's more of a reminder that I've changed, hopefully for the better.

19/100


I'm currently doing a challenge called “100 Days to Offload” – you can join in the fun too by visiting https://100daystooffload.com

If you'd like, drop me a message here – I would be absolutely thrilled to hear from you!

#100DaysToOffload #Journal

 
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from Mike Stone

Day 31 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

I'm going to guess that most of the people reading this know that I'm one of the admins of the Fosstodon Mastodon instance. If you don't know me explicitly from there, I still feel like I talk about it enough that most people have figured it out by now. I want to talk about one of my complaints with Mastodon.

Mastodon is what you'd get if Twitter and email had a baby. It's a distributed micro-blogging platform that spans thousands of servers with millions upon millions of users. No single person is in charge of the whole environment.

Mastodon improves on the offerings of Twitter and other social networks because it's not ad driven, and because of that, there's no reason for instances to be tracking you. We don't have algorithms that prioritize one post over another, and software doesn't decide what you see. It's all there in chronological order.

We also take pride in the fact that Mastodon is more privacy aware because of the fact that we're not trying to sell you anything. This is where my complaint comes in.

Direct messages. Many people get the impression that a direct message is a private message, and that's not the case. It doesn't show up the timeline, that's true. Only the people that are mentioned in the message can see the message.

And the admins.

That's right, we can read your direct messages. They're in plain text in the database, and if we so chose, we could go out and read them.

I want to clarify at this point that, at least on Fosstodon, we absolutely don't do that. I have no desire to read your direct messages, and neither does Kev.

It annoys me that there's really no alternative for this other than you taking my word. If you want to use Mastodon, you need to choose an instance where the admins are trustworthy. If you don't trust them, then you can never be sure tha they're not reading the things you'd rather they not read.

That's why I was super excited today when I read this.

I don't know when(or even if) this feature is going to be available on an instance near you, but it super exiting to me that this is even being worked on. It looks like this is going to be here soon.

I could totally be reading this wrong, and forgive me if I am, but I'm really looking forward to the standard being where you don't need to take what your admin says on faith when they say they're not reading your direct messages, even if that admin is me.

Fingers crossed that this is in the next release.

 
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from Simbly Me

Day 19

After a week of reading up on VPNs and why I don't need one, I decided to set up Algo. I know right? Not a good time to go out and sit in coffee shops. Least of all to connect to a public WiFi. Being home most of the time and having unfettered access to content that I barely consume doesn't give any reason to go looking for a VPN but curiosity proved irresistible .

So last night before going to bed, I fired up the laptop, followed the instructions for Algo and... woke up an hour later with the laptop on standby. Did not bother to check how the set up went at night and shifted my arse from the couch to the bed and when I tried today morning, it wasn't connecting to anything. Felt quite dumb for a while for messing up simple instructions. You see, in my stupor last night, I spun up a droplet and ran the set up on the first droplet resulting in a second Algo droplet. Genius 🤦‍♂️️. The first instruction literally asked to run the setup locally. Of course, the realization came quite late. So this afternoon after scrapping up everything and doing the setup all over again, it thankfully worked. I have tried Mullvad and Nord VPN in the past but they were always sluggish. Pretty happy with how snappy Algo is.

Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

 
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from Life with Fuschia

I LOVE puzzles. As I mentioned last night, I got a Megaminx cube as a gift for my birthday. I have multiple Rubik's cubes (2x2, 3x3, mirror cube, void cube, 4x4). But this is my first not-cube cube.

My freshman year in high school, a teammate on my track team taught me how to solve a standard 3x3. I got to the point where I could do the beginner method and solve in just under a minute. Into college, I dated someone that had a 4x4 and a 5x5. I learned that even cross cubes are more difficult to solve since you have to build the center, and that can cause 'parity': a weird combination where one or two pieces are in the correct space, but oriented incorrectly. Parity is not fun. However, the 5x5 was a blast. Having multiple layers to turn just upped the enjoyment without the headache of parity.

The Megaminx is a dodecahedron (12 sides) rather than a cube. Funnily enough, it solves almost identically to a standard Rubik's cube. You solve one layer (1 side), then another layer (5 sides), then most of another layer (5 sides), then the last layer (1 side). I did need the help of a guide to get the overall 'order,' but the formulas could be solved with what's used on the 3x3.

Last night, my original clear time was four hours with breaks, and today I managed to get it done in one (could have been less, but I was trying an intermediate method from the 3x3). All in all, I love this gift.

#100daystooffload #dayfifteen #personal

 
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from Gerrit Niezen

I've mentioned previously that I started doing yoga using the Peloton app at the beginning of April. Note that I've never done any form of yoga before in my life. I found joining a yoga class too intimidating, so being able to learn the basics from the comfort of my living room is great. I've now done nine workouts, which averages to about once a week. Today I did my first 30 minute session, and I found it just as enjoyable as the 20 minute sessions I've done previously.

I'm using my wife's yoga mat, and bought some yoga blocks off eBay. All that's needed for most sessions is a mat, blocks and a blanket. Any blanket or throw will do. I've seen some sessions that require a yoga strap, but I've not needed it yet.

If I do it first thing in the morning, it really sets the tone for the day and helps me to calm my mind. I'm also learning how to stretch my body, which I've usually just considered as something to move my head from place to place. I hope I can keep this going – so far it's been intrinsically motivating, as in I haven't had to force myself to do it.


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.

#100DaysToOffload #day30

 
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from Brandon's Journal

Back in the 90's, finding websites wasn't all that easy. Most of the time you utilized link pages or webrings to find other sites of similar interest. There wasn't much to internet marketing and I loved the whole word of mouth approach to recommending websites.

Recently, I've been enjoying my time on the internet more after finding some likeminded users who have great blogrolls and lists of links that have guided me to some of my new favorite sites. I also spent some time digging through the directory of Neocities looking for more “personal sites” that create the type of content I like to consume online.

One of the sites I ran across on Neocities is called Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience. At first look, I thought it was an old website that someone had just re-uploaded on Neocities, but it turns out this is a website that is still active and updated.

Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience is a list of stories about author Jack Spratt's time in Vietnam. These aren't the gruesome war stories one might expect, but more or less a series of memories of lighter moments and just mundane daily experienced while in Vietnam.

Mr. Spratt has a photo gallery on his site that shows you what life was like on a swiftboat and he also sprinkles in photos on occasion throughout his stories. The stories are told in a casual remembrance type of way and it's exactly the way I love to read personal recollections.

I spent this morning reading through all of the stories and I really enjoyed myself. Jack Spratt's Vietnam Experience is an excellent look into the life of a sailor during the Vietnam War and I look forward to any new stories he may add.

#100DaysToOffload #SiteSpotlights

 
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from Muse & Reason

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. – Isaac Newton's letter to Robert Hooke

Newton knew a thing or two about sight, in his book Opticks he was the first to use a diagram of a prism as a beam expander. But for all his original ideas, his letter to Hooke is important as it underscores the reality of creative endeavours and original research: that each new work builds on that which went before. A theme on which the FOSS community relies heavily. Take my operating system of choice, Pop OS. It stands on the shoulders of Ubuntu, Debian and GNU. This is a heritage of which I am proud to take part (view the source code of this page to see the design inspiration).

In the main, scholars, developers and researchers cite, and even pay homage to, those who have gone before, without whose work their own product would be much reduced. The late great Stephen Hawking proudly observed as much when he stated:

Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein.

Sadly, at times some individuals fail to remember, or perhaps better to say acknowledge, their heritage. At such times, I am reminded of one of the earliest uses of the metaphor.

Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature. – John of Salisbury's Metalogicon

In this telling, those on the shoulders of giants don't have keener vision just more help. And those who fail to acknowledge this help are people of little intellectual stature for they don't build upon earlier works but instead try and pass off the work as products of their own thinking. Or to put it in plain English, they plagiarise.

The speed at which search engines can return results, and the daily need to attract attention, can facilitate a negative feedback loop in which less scrupulous individuals routinely repost the work of others without attribution or further development. Far from standing on the shoulders of giants, such acts are a pretence and undermine discourse, development and research. The very antithesis of great thinking.


This post is day 023 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

Posted in #100DaysToOffload #thoughts

 
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from Mike Stone

Day 30 of the #100DaysToOffload Series:

The first time I laid eyes on the Internet, the WWW was barely a thing. Other services ruled. Things like gopher, nntp, and IRC. Now the many people don't even know there's a difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web. It might be time to go back to the good old days.

Before we even begin, I realize that we can't go back to what was. I remember sitting in computer labs where you sat down and just started using a computer. You didn't need a username or password because all the computers were logged in as Admin automatically.

We've learned a lot since then, a lot of it the hard way by being oblivious to what could be done if protections weren't put in place. We can't just throw all that away and go back to doing things the way we were before.

Still, there are some things that I'd like to go back to.

World Wide Web

The web was simpler then. Some may say uglier, and they wouldn't be wrong. Still, there was something to be said about a web where content was King because every web site was pretty much gray background, black text, and blue underlined links. It was the late 90s before I even saw something move on the Internet, and it was a horrible animated gif.

Each site was equal. There wasn't a central place to go to, and more often than not you found out about web sites through word of mouth or via blogrolls. It was a truly distributed Web.

Now, there's so much advertising and javascript and this that and the next thing that content can barely be recognized. Is your site worth reading if I can't tell what is content and what is advertising? You find sites through search engines, that tell you what sites are the best ones for you to read, and if Google or Bing doesn't have it on the first page, you're not going to see it.

NNTP

Network News Transfer Protocol. It was mainly used for transporting Usenet news articles between news servers. It was distributed, and the Usenet stuff was pretty much plain text. Things got a little fancier later on and it was a huge source of pirate software, movies, and music.

I'm not an advocate of pirating content from artists, but I think software should be free. I'm not suggesting stealing it, I'm suggesting using FOSS, but I'm sure you all got that anyway.

But I'm getting away from my subject here.

NNTP and Usenet was a distributed news source that wasn't weighed down with advertising and ego. I miss those days.

Gopher

Back then, Gopher was a lot like the web. Maybe a little harder to access and navigate, but functionally it was very similar. It was a distributed series of servers for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents.

Gopher was a simple protocol, and even though a lot of people aren't aware of it, there is still a loyal following to this day. Many people write their own gopher servers, though there are FOSS options available.

IRC

Internet Relay Chat. I can't even begin to tell you how much time I spent on IRC when I was in college. I met life long friends there and even ended up marrying one of them. It was a series of servers that all communicated. You could chat live with people who weren't even on the same server as you.

Distributed

You might have noticed a word coming up again and again in my descriptions. Distributed. Back then, pretty much everything was distributed. There were servers and they talked to each other with the same protocol to make distributed services.

Today, services have become centralized and controlled. We have Google and Bing for search, we have Amazon for shopping. There are Facebook and Twitter for social networks. All these services are tied back to single companies that control the material that shows up on your screen.

I think it's time we went back to the way we did it before. Back to the Internet when it was Distributed.

 
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from Life with Fuschia

Was good. Spent time with family. Got a few nice gifts including a Megaminx cube. Sleepy now. Longer post tomorrow.

#100daystooffload #dayfourteen #personal

 
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