Qotd, from Bill Beebe

He wrote it yesterday according to his blog post entry date, but I’ve found it today. And because it’s just four lines in my browser, instead of citing him here, I’ll give you Bill’s link to what I consider the quote of the day for today…

Beautiful. Thanks Bill.

Some security and privacy related links

A musician friend recently mentioned the German-speaking site of Mike Kuketz, and indeed that is a good one, if you speak German you could have a look at/into his “Empfehlungsecke“, which I really recommend.

And a photographer friend recently mentioned that he had switched his old mobile phone to DivestOS, and they also have a great list of applications and services which they recommend. In fact, Mike Kuketz also recommended DivestOS, although with the slight caveat that this is a one-man show. And that man (from DivestOS) recommends for new phones to get GrapheneOS if it can be installed on them (currently only available for Google Pixel devices).

And like GrapheneOS is the most secure operating system for mobile phones at the moment, Qubes OS is the one for desktop PCs.

But who am I, don’t believe just me – go and visit Privacy Guides, and have a look around. Their overviews of Android, Linux, and Qubes should tell you more, and their recommendations for Android or Linux are also worth a look, same as the ones for all kinds of programs/applications. Even if I prefer Debian and they prefer Arch, we still both agree to the fact that the latter is probably not the best for beginners (but better than its derivates, even if these are way easier to install).

Anyway, here you’ve got some links with very good info, so go and read – and I hope that these will be helpful. Like always, thanks for reading.

There is that word again…

When scanning the news, I stumbled upon an article in Wired with the title “The Reddit Blackout Is Breaking Reddit“, itself being based upon another article in EFF titled “What Reddit Got Wrong“. And both of these articles cite (but link to different places in the web) a third article by Cory Doctorov titled “Tiktok’s enshittification“.

And there is it, that word. Enshittification. To cite Cory a bit more, just with his TL;DR “executive summary”, he explains it as follows:

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

Cory Doctorov, on his own Pluralistic.Net website

Well it didn’t start with TikTok of course, and not with Twitter, nor will it end with Reddit. But what all these sites don’t seem to understand is that no one gave them the “right” to live and prosper by content which was created by others – namely, their users, moderators, and third-party programmers. And the fact that this is happening before Reddit even “went public” (meaning to the stock market with probably millions or billions of investment) shows what was also described quite nicely with the following analogy from EFF’s Rory Mir:

“You can’t inflate the balloon forever. It will pop at some point.”

Rory Mir of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

That describes capitalism as good as it gets imho. The EFF has btw a very nice tool to check which infos your browsers are leaking, see their “Cover Your Tracks” page and tool.

And to see Cory Doctorov’s famous article cited again and again reminds me to check out his books again on his Craphound page, some of which you can download and read for free, some even in German or other translations. In case you don’t know Cory and haven’t read any of his books yet, for starters I’d recommend his “Little Brother“. Then “Homeland“.

And like always, thanks for reading.

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. https://twitter.com/smdiehl/status/1350869944888664064

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.