An Experiment

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Oct 262018

To all zero of my readers,

Actually writing things seems to be something I can’t muster up the will to do.

So I hacked up an rss plugin for wordpress last year to repost excepts from my tt-rss shared feed, but have left the posts it generates private. Since it’s OK if not ideal, I’m just gonna set the plugin to post publicly for now to see if it works out, and maybe as motivation to hurry up and finish tweaking the format, or writing a fresh plugin from scratch that only does what I need.

For now it will post every time I update my shared feed from tt-rss; I am leaning toward modifying it so that it collects all posts and makes a single daily entry, but I’ll see how this works first.

Sep 212023

This September 20, 2023 press release from New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office touting her signature on several bills regarding the people’s voting rights certainly is rich.
In 2020, the New York legislature and Governor passed legislation that tripled the number of signatures (15,000 to 45,000) for minor party statewide candidates to qualify for the General Election ballot without increasing the six week period allowed for gathering the signatures. Additionally, if candidates can actually now make the ballot, the legislation more than doubled the number of votes necessary to remain on the ballot and changed that vote test so that it applied to Governor and President every two years, instead of only Governor every four years.
If the…

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 2023-09-21  No Responses »
Sep 202023

10 years ago, the Internet Archive made an announcement: It was possible for anyone with a reasonably powerful computer running a modern browser to have software emulated, running as it did back when it was fresh and new, with a single click. Now, a decade later, we have surpassed 250,000 pieces of software running at the Archive and it might be a great time to reflect on how different the landscape has become since then. Anyone can come up with an idea, and the idea of taking the then-quite-mature Javascript language, universally inside all major browsers and having it run complicated programs was not new. With the rise of a cross-compiler named Emscripten, the idea…

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 2023-09-20  No Responses »
Sep 202023

The gaming world experienced a bit of a resurgence in 2020 that is still seen in the present day. Even putting aside the effects from the pandemic, the affordability and accessibility has arguably never been better. Building a gaming PC can have its downsides, though, and a challenging issue to troubleshoot is input lag or input latency. This is something that’s best measured with standalone hardware, and if this is an issue on your setup you may want to take a look at this latency meter.
Unlike other measurement devices that use the time between a mouse button input and the monitor’s display of a bullet or shooting event, this one looks at mouse movement and the…

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 2023-09-20  No Responses »
Sep 202023
Online child safety law blocked after Calif. argued face scans not that invasive Enlarge (credit: Click&Boo | Moment)

A California law requiring a wide range of platforms to estimate ages of users and protect minors from accessing harmful content appears to be just as unconstitutional as a recently blocked law in Texas requiring age verification to access adult content.

Yesterday, US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered a preliminary injunction stopping California Attorney General Rob Bonta from enforcing the state’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA), finding that the law likely violates the First Amendment.

“The Court finds that although the stated purpose of the Act—protecting children when they are online—clearly is important,” Freeman wrote, “the CAADCA likely violates the First Amendment.”

Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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 2023-09-20  No Responses »
Aug 302023

Having been involved in open source for thirty years, I have seen many open source distribution methods, packaging systems, licensing options, and business models. In the early days there were only two
classes of licenses — public domain-style licenses like BSD and
MIT, and the GNU licenses. Though the GNU licenses had confusion around applications linking
to static GNU libraries, the general goals of the two licenses were well understood. The Postgres license is similar to public domain-style licenses, and is
accepted as an OSI-certified license.

As open source took over the enterprise IT infrastructure, companies formed around open source, and diverse licenses started to
proliferate. Rather than align with the previous two popular open styles, they created new licenses that were…

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 2023-08-30  No Responses »
Aug 272023

We are used to seeing Linux running on almost everything, but we were a bit taken aback to see [semu-c64] running Linux on a Commodore 64. But between the checked-out user name and the caveat that: “it runs extremely slowly and it needs a RAM Expansion Unit”, one can already start piecing together what’s happening here.
The machine running Linux is really a RISC-V32. It just so happens that the CPU is virtual, with the C64 pretending it is a bigger machine. The boot-up appears to take hours, so this is in no way practical, even though the comment is that optimization might be able to get a 10X speed up. It would still be about as…

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 2023-08-27  No Responses »
Aug 242023

On August 14th, DNA biometrics testing identified a body that was found on pilings in a Washington river a year ago, according to a release from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. It was too decomposed to conduct facial recognition or take fingerprints, the Tri-City Herald reports. Investigators partnered with Othram, a forensic genetic genealogy lab in Texas, which was able to identify the brother of the unidentified body. The brother confirmed the deceased man was 55-year old Bryan M. Heinrich Sr. based on a tattoo. While there was no foul play in this instance, the case raises questions about privacy concerns with the use of DNA databases in criminal investigations. By using a privacy loophole…

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 2023-08-24  No Responses »
Aug 222023

Do you remember who suggested New Order’s “Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction Remix)” for the Blood Rave? Nothing we had for the blood club worked, every track was too tuneful and distracting. Almost as a joke I tried some monstrously repetitive industrial tracks and discovered that was exactly the oppressive vibe that was needed. I scoured the library for candidates and the Pump Panel remix stood out as the gold cut. I did a complex music edit to give the track the progressive structure you hear in the movie (builds and builds to a climax) and from that point on the whole scene was built to the track and the tracks surrounding it, which is why everything…

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 2023-08-22  No Responses »
Aug 162023

Readers have been pointing us to HashiCorp’s announcement
that it is moving to its own “Business Source License” for some of its
(formerly) open-source products. Like other companies (example) that have taken this path, HashiCorp
is removing the freedom to use its products commercially in ways that it
sees as competitive. This is, in a real sense, an old and tiresome story.

The lessons to be drawn from this change are old as well. One is to beware
of depending on any platform, free or proprietary, that is controlled by a
single company. It is a rare company that will not try to take advantage
of that control at some point.

The other is to beware of contributor license agreements. HashiCorp’s
agreement used
to read that it…

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 2023-08-16  No Responses »
Aug 152023

Late Friday, some of the world’s largest record labels, including Sony and Universal Music Group, filed a lawsuit against the Internet Archive and others for the Great 78 Project, a community effort for the preservation, research and discovery of 78 rpm records that are 70 to 120 years old. As a non-profit library, we take this matter seriously and are currently reviewing the lawsuit with our legal counsel.
A 78 rpm player in the foyer of the Internet Archive. Of note, the Great 78 Project has been in operation since 2006 to bring free public access to a largely forgotten but culturally important medium. Through the efforts of dedicated librarians, archivists and sound engineers, we have…

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 2023-08-15  No Responses »
Aug 152023

Enlarge (credit: NicoElNino)
On Friday, the US Department of Energy announced that it chose the first two sites to host facilities that will pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and permanently store it underground. The sites in Louisiana and Texas will be funded by money set aside in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed early in President Biden’s term in office. They represent a major step for the US, as they’re not linked to a specific source of carbon emissions, and the CO2 they capture won’t be used for extracting fossil fuels.
They also represent a major step globally, as each facility is expected to have 250 times the capacity of the…

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 2023-08-15  No Responses »
Aug 152023

*CNET Deletes Thousands of Old Articles
to Game Google Search.*

This is an atrocity to records of the past. It is bad for secondary reasons
too, as the article says, but the harm to society is the principal issue.
I hope these pages are all saved in

Google ought to provide instructions for new sites about how how they
can obtain, in some other way that deletes nothing, whatever SEO
benefit (albeit small) they might have obtained by deleting anything.

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 2023-08-15  No Responses »
Aug 152023

Legal strategies are being formed to prevent U.S. states from imposing new restrictions, including age-verification policies, on online publishers of adult content. Publishers don’t want more restrictions on their product, of course, but others say blocking content violates the nation’s constitutional right to create and consume information without undue government intervention. Others feel governments and other organizations will collect, keep and use identification data without consent or adequate security. Utah’s new law requiring adult sites to prove their visitors are not minors easily withstood its first court challenge this month when a lawsuit opposing the regulation was dismissed. The U.S. District Court judge ruled narrowly against advocates like Free Speech Coalition, an association promoting the…

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 2023-08-15  No Responses »
Aug 142023

In 2020, publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, John Wiley and Penguin Random House sued the Internet Archive (IA) for copyright infringement, equating its ‘Open Library’ to a pirate site.
IA’s library is a non-profit organization that scans physical books, which can then be lent out to patrons in an ebook format. Patrons can also borrow books that are scanned and digitized in-house, with technical restrictions that prevent copying.
Staying true to the centuries-old library concept, only one patron at a time can rent a digital copy of a physical book. These restrictions were temporarily loosened at the height of the Covid epidemic when IA launched the National Emergency Library.
Mass Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?
Patrons happily use the library but not…

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 2023-08-14  No Responses »
Aug 072023

$ grep kermit /etc/services
kermit 1649/tcp

What is this mysterious protocol? Who uses it and what is its story?
This story is a winding one, beginning in 1981. Kermit is, to the best of my knowledge, the oldest actively-maintained software package with an original developer still participating. It is also a scripting language, an Internet server, a (scriptable!) SSH client, and a file transfer protocol.
And my first use of it was talking to my HP-48GX calculator over a 9600bps serial link. Yes, that calculator had a Kermit server built in.
But let’s back up and talk about serial ports and Modems.
Serial Ports and Modems
In my piece The PC & Internet Revolution in Rural America, I recently talked about getting a…

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 2023-08-07  Comments Off on Planet Debian – John Goerzen: Try the Last Internet Kermit Server
Aug 062023

This is just collection of alternatives to EPub for electronic
books and similar stuff.

Why to have alternative to EPub: The publishing industry has
a problem, and EPUB is not the solution ? … the author (Jani
Patokallio) has a bit of problem confusing EPub with DRM, but
otherwise his point that ZIP archive of HTMLs would do at
least as well as EPub is a valid one. Except of course there is
absolutely no reader for such animal.
Portable Documents for the Open Web (Part 1) (part 2 and
part 3) how this is seen by the publishing industry (by the
chairman of IDPF).
Forest of evergreen notes … personal storage of knowledge,
quite related to the concept of public Zettelkasten by Andy
Matuschak. Right, Zettelkasten. There I…

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 2023-08-06  Comments Off on Fedora People – Matěj Cepl: Ebook formats