Big Chonky Glitter Grinning Ornament

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PSA: Do Not Use Services That Hate The Internet

Don't make me tap the sign: app-only interfaces are not a part of the World Wide Web. As you look around for a new social media platform, I implore you, only use one that is a part of the World Wide Web.

tl;dr avoid Hive and Post.

If posts in a social media app do not have URLs that can be linked to and viewed in an unauthenticated browser, or if there is no way to make a new post from a browser, then that program is not a part of the World Wide Web in any meaningful way.

Consign that app to oblivion.

Most social media services want to lock you in. They love their walled gardens and they think that so long as they tightly control their users and make it hard for them to escape, they will rule the world forever.

This was the business model of Compuserve. And AOL. And then a little thing called The Internet got popular for a minute in the mid 1990s, and that plan suddenly didn't work out so well for those captains of industry.

The thing that makes the Internet useful is interoperability. These companies hate that. The thing that makes the Internet become more useful is the open source notion that there will always be more smart people who don't work for your company than that do, and some of those people will find ways to expand on your work in ways you never anticipated. These companies hate that, too. They'd rather you have nothing than that you have something they don't own.

Instagram started this trend: they didn't even have a web site until 2012. It was phone-app-only. They were dragged kicking and screaming onto the World Wide Web by, ironically, Facebook, who bought them to eliminate them as competition.

Hive Social is exactly this app-only experience. Do not use Hive. Anyone letting that app -- or anything like it -- get its hooks into them is making a familiar and terrible mistake. We've been here before. Don't let it happen again.

John Ripley:

So many people, who should know better, blogging about their switch to Hive on the basis of user experience or some other vacuous crap, and not fundamentals like, "Is this monetized, and if not yet, when how and who?" or "who runs this?" or "is it sane to choose another set of castle walls to live as a peasant within?"

Post Dot News also seems absolutely vile.

First of all, Marc Andreessen is an investor, and there is no redder red flag than that. "How much more red? None. None more red", as Spinal Tap would say. He's a right wing reactionary whose idea of "free speech" is in line with Musk, Trump, Thiel and the rest of the Klept.

Second, it appears to be focused on "micropayments", which these days means "cryptocurrency Ponzi schemes", another of marca's favorite grifts.

They call themselves "a platform for real people, civil conversations". So, Real Names Policy and tone policing by rich white dudes is how I translate that. But hey, at least their TOS says they won't discriminate against billionaires:

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of their gender, religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, net worth, or beliefs.

Mastodon is kind of a mess right now, and maybe it will not turn out to be what you or I are looking for. But to its credit, interoperability is at its core, rather than being something that the VCs will just take away when it no longer serves their growth or onboarding projections.

There is a long history of these data silos (and very specifically Facebook, Google and Twitter) being interoperable, federating, providing APIs and allowing others to build alternate interfaces -- until they don't. They keep up that charade while they are small and growing, and drop it as soon as they think they can get away with it, locking you inside.

Incidentally, and tangentially relatedly, Signal is not a messaging program but rather is a sketchy-as-fuck growth-at-any-cost social network. Fuck Signal too.


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Current Music: Whale -- Eye 842 ♬

"But Doctor..."

Bogswallop:

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Mastodon stampede

"Federation" now apparently means "DDoS yourself."

Every time I do a new blog post, within a second I have over a thousand simultaneous hits of that URL on my web server from unique IPs. Load goes over 100, and mariadb stops responding.

The server is basically unusable for 30 to 60 seconds until the stampede of Mastodons slows down.

Presumably each of those IPs is an instance, none of which share any caching infrastructure with each other, and this problem is going to scale with my number of followers (followers' instances).

This system is not a good system.


Update: Blocking the Mastodon user agent is a workaround for the DDoS. "(Mastodon|http\.rb)/". The side effect is that people on Mastodon who see links to my posts no longer get link previews, just the URL.

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Ghislaine Maxwell asked Elon Musk to destroy the internet

As it turns out, their meeting was slightly more than a photo bomb.

According to a Vanity Fair staff member at the time who stood next to Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Musk and shared contemporaneous notes with The Times, the pair chatted. Ms. Maxwell asked Mr. Musk if there were a way to remove oneself from the internet and encouraged Mr. Musk to destroy the internet; Mr. Musk demurred.

Ms. Maxwell then asked Mr. Musk why aliens hadn't yet made contact with humanity, to which Mr. Musk replied that all civilizations eventually end -- including Maxwell's hypothetical alien one -- and raised the possibility that humans are living in a simulation.

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Dali Clock for PalmOS, back from the dead and ready to party

Find it in the Internet Archive PalmOS Collection.

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"Comedy is legal on twitter"

samalcarez:

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jwz mixtape 237

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 237.

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Current Music: as noted

DNA Lounge: Wherein it's our birthday

Happy 37th birthday to DNA Lounge! The club opened on November 22, 1985.

We got an early birthday present: on Sunday morning, someone broke into the club and stole a whole entire ATM. They were interrupted by the arrival of our janitorial staff, but in the meantime they managed to fairly quickly trash the floor, angle-grinder away some bolts, and load it out.

As far as we can tell, they picked the lock on the door (maybe with a pick-gun or bump-key), since the door and lock were undamaged, but the cylinder was turning freely. Which is frustrating, because that's hard to defend against by just bolting some more steel plate to the door.

However, lest you get the wrong idea, this guy was no Moriarty. We've got lots of video of his face, and can clearly hear him talking on the phone to his getaway driver, Kayla, who was waiting out front in a black Mercedes. If you recognize this guy, both we and SFPD (case 220800244) would sure like to know:

Adding insult to injury, that particular ATM had been broken (and empty) for about a month. We only just got it repaired like three days before.

They also tried to break in to the scooter shop across the street, before paying us a visit.

Maybe now is a good time to remind you that we have a Patreon and a one-time donation page?

Also, today is the anniversary of the Max Headroom Broadcast Signal Intrusion Event, so here's wishing a happy Max Headroom Day to all who celebrate.

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Killer robots to be permitted under SFPD draft policy

A policy proposal that is heading for Board of Supervisors' approval next week would explicitly authorize San Francisco police to kill suspects using robots.

Peskin initially attempted to limit SFPD's authority over the existing robots by inserting the sentence, "Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person."

The following week, the department struck out his suggestion with a thick red line. [...]

The SFPD has 17 robots in its arsenal, 12 of which are described as fully functional. According to police spokesperson Officer Robert Rueca, they have never been used to attack anyone. The robots are typically used for investigating and defusing potential bombs, and for surveillance in areas too awkward or dangerous for officers to access. [...]

The law mandates that every police force in California must annually report its stock of all military-style weapons, their cost, how they can be used, and how they were used in the prior year. [...]

SFPD omitted all of its 608 semi-automatic assault rifles, 64 machine guns, and 15 submachine guns from the new use-of-force policy. [...] The rationale given for the removal of these assault rifles from the policy: the Chief of Police defines them as "standard issue service weapons." [...]

"The law defines 'military weapons,' not the chief of police," wrote civil rights lawyer Moyer over email. "San Francisco is not the only department to attempt to redefine 'military weapons' so as to justify hiding their use, costs, and upkeep from the public."

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