Some links

That’s why I like The Guardian – they’re not afraid to clearly state a good opinion. Plus they name things as they are:

The Guardian view on Vladimir Putin’s war: terror without purpose
As the toxic legacy of opencast mining in Wales shows, operators get the profits, and the public get the costs

Another commentary well worth reading – this time from a different publication – is this one:

Commentary: Cory Doctorow: The Swivel-Eyed Loons Have a Point

Found that latter one through Russell Coker’s Links for May 2023 – thanks man! And yes, some post things like these to their personal chirp or toot sites – but in my case, that’s a blog… thanks for reading, like always.

Really? Thanks, but no thanks…

Seen a request from one of the Debian developers today in Planet Debian:

“As usual, if you use Bitcoin and want to show your support of my activities, please send Bitcoin donations to my address …” (won’t put the address here)

Another Debian developer – one I’ve met several times already; he’s a nice guy – has this in his signature in an internal email:

“A single bitcoin transaction alone consumes 621 KWh, or half a million times
more energy consumption than a credit card payment. The bitcoin network annually
wastes 78 TWh (terrawatt hours) annually or the energy consumption of several
million US households.

So thanks for your good work, dear DD #1, but as DD #2 suggested, I won’t use Bitcoin. Never ever.

In German / auf Deutsch: Links zur Batterietechnik der Zukunft

Heise hat immer sehr interessante Artikel und Interviews wenn es um die Batterien der Zukunft geht, selbst die Leserkommentare sind oft interessant (und gute manchmal an der Bewertung erkennbar). Hier also einige Links zum Thema:

Wußte gar nicht daß Chemie so interessant und spannend sein kann. Aber Zuleikha schreibt gerade ihre dritte und letzte Abi-Klausur in dem Fach, und Frau Dr. Mai Thi würde da sicher auch widersprechen 😉

Wie immer: danke für’s Lesen.

A good one

Lots of my former colleagues preferred Google’s Chrome browser to alternatives due to its speed. And while on Android its more free siblings like Vanadium and Mulch (both based on the non-Google-“optimised” and open source Chromium browser) are also some of the most secure browsers (if set up accordingly), on desktops it’s different.

And what I found – to explain it to those who don’t know yet – is a web-based comic in pdf form about it, called “Contra Chrome”, by Leah Elliot. It’s a lot of pages, but worth your time in my opinion. Also available in German or other languages one page up, here

Found it via the browsers page of DivestOS Mobile, found that one via my friend William Beebe’s blog post.

Thanks to everyone involved in creating and sharing this, thanks to you for reading.

Rest in peace, brother, on this last of Ramadan 2023

Today would be my brother Willi’s 65th birthday, hadn’t he passed away some three months or 13 weeks ago – so from now on this April 20th will be some sad day to remember. Rest in peace my brother, we all miss you.

Today is also the last day of Ramadan for this year 2023, so in our area it will be over in less than 10 hours from now, at least according to the islamic calendar. This is different elsewhere where people go strictly for sightings of the new moon, so we don’t know whether it’s over already in the East, or when it will be in the West. But anyway, we wish Eid Mubarak, or Id al-Fitr, or Hary Raya Idulfitri, or whatever it may be called in your part of the world.

And like always, thanks for reading.

Microsoft = Suicide Squad?

Read this. Or that. Or some users’ reactions here.

I’m not really using Windows since 20+ years now, and can do well without. But I swear, the moment *I* see these ads, it’ll get kicked off of my SSD for good.

Loved the design of Win11, so keep those guys – but fire your decision makers is my advice.

In German / auf Deutsch: Langfristig / Gründe / Kehrseite(n)

Meine Schwester plant den Kauf eines neuen Autos. Die Gründe wie auch bei uns: die Kosten für Instandhaltung des Alten übersteigen irgendwann den Restwert des Fahrzeugs, sprich weiterhin Geld für den Alten auszugeben ist ab einem gewissen Punkt einfach nicht mehr wirtschaftlich.

Mein Rat, langfristig (also in Bezug auf rein elektrisch bewegte Fahrzeuge): schaut nach China, aus Gründen die in einem Artikel in Heise Autos sehr schön dargelegt werden. Und für alle die es noch nicht wußten: ja, der Volvo ist ein chinesisches Fahrzeug.

Die Chinesen sind längst Marktführer vor allem bei Batterien, siehe hier. Und die genannte Natriumzelle wird mit Sicherheit ein nicht nur finanzieller Erfolg.

Ohne China geht es nicht; wir haben uns jahrzehntelang selbst in diese Situation hinein maneuvriert. Leider hat das Geschäftemachen mit China aber auch deutliche Schattenseiten wie zum Beispiel Zwangsarbeit. Und das nehmen nicht nur chinesische Firmen in Kauf sondern auch wir, und nicht nur in Bezug auf Autos. Im letzten meiner Links werden zum Beispiel folgende Firmen genannt:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Acer, Adidas, Alstom, Amazon, Apple, ASUS, BAIC Motor, Bestway, BMW, Bombardier, Bosch, BYD, Calvin Klein, Candy, Carter’s, Cerruti 1881, Changan Automobile, Cisco, CRRC, Dell, Electrolux, Fila, Founder Group, GAC Group (automobiles), Gap, Geely Auto, General Motors, Google, Goertek, H&M, Haier, Hart Schaffner Marx, Hisense, Hitachi, HP, HTC, Huawei, iFlyTek, Jack & Jones, Jaguar, Japan Display Inc., L.L.Bean, Lacoste, Land Rover, Lenovo, LG, Li-Ning, Mayor, Meizu, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Mitsumi, Nike, Nintendo, Nokia, Oculus, Oppo, Panasonic, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, SAIC Motor, Samsung, SGMW, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, Sony, TDK, Tommy Hilfiger, Toshiba, Tsinghua Tongfang, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, Volkswagen, Xiaomi, Zara, Zegna, ZTE

Heißt also: wer wie wir Mainboards oder ein Notebook von Asus oder Lenovo, ein Mobiltelefon von Google, Apple oder Samsung, aber auch einen Mercedes oder VW oder Wäsche von Victoria’s Secret oder Schuhe von Adidas oder Puma kauft nimmt dies alles in Kauf. Und wer meint sein (oder unser) Toyota wäre besser: Toyota hat ein Joint Venture mit BYD, dem Batteriehersteller. Und Teile von Bosch sind in so gut wie *jedem* Fahrzeug. Tja…

Fahrräder “Made in Germany” (mit hier hergestelltem Stahl) wären vielleicht ein Ausweg, vor allem für Städter?

Recommended reading for today (March 16th, 2023)

I’ve found some interesting and thought-provoking articles, which is usually the case if you read interesting media and follow some of the links. Here’s the first one:

The Future Smartphone: More Folds, Less Phone, a Whole Lot of AI, in Wired

What I found particularly interesting in that one was the insight of the last questioned person, Kyle Wiens, co-founder and CEO of iFixit, who in turn brought me to Google’s (and Motorola’s) Project Ara:

This comes from a saved copy of Google’s ad of 2016, short before they buried the project – which would have been the phone-sized equivalent of the modularity of a PC, the best idea for smartphones until now in my humble opinion. Except of course, that it would have been the end of smartphone sales, except for parts… anyhow, shouldn’t we all get this instead of an upcoming Pixel 8 (or 9, 10, …)?

Next topic.

Whenever I hear the news, and listen to all the excitement about “artificial” “intelligence”, I am shaking my head. Now James Bridle has written a truly great article about it, called:

The stupidity of AI, in The Guardian

That’s a must read in my opinion, to set some perspectives right – and to learn that “It’s hard to think of anything more utterly stupid than artificial intelligence, as it is practised in the current era” (citation from the above article).

We’re just discussing these topics in Wikiloops for instance, as first members already came up with computer-generated lyrics. And even the basic questions about copyright issues aren’t that easy to understand, as I’d found in an article in Forbes a few days ago. But James’ article in The Guardian goes way deeper as you will find when reading it.

As I mentioned in this post’s headline, I consider these recommended reading. Thanks for your interest.