I made some generative op art based on realtime data https://op-art.glitch.me/ 🖌️ I kind of like the idea of having things in my house that give me data but are also beautiful.

In tech, 'smart' refers to any device that stops working when the company that manufactures it goes out of business, regardless of what it does.

Your privacy is *very* important to us.

Not quite as important as us having all your data. But pretty important. On a scale of one to ten, your privacy ranks a solid four.

You can rest assured that - after we've scanned and processed and extracted every last bit of commercial advantage out of your data - the bitter, tarry residue left gumming up the cogs of our machine will be treated in full compliance with the best privacy legislation laundered money can buy.

And that's a promise.

The fediverse is a public forum.

Your posts are only as secure as the admins of every instance that your home server federates with, in terms of private and followers-only messages.

If you're going to talk about sensitive information, keep it to Signal or other secure 1-on-1 channels.

Assume that everything you post to the fediverse, is being scooped up by multiple gov agencies around the world.

The Milan scrape was only notable because they made their findings public.

If a university scraping feeds did it, it's safe to assume other, bigger organizations have been doing it for much longer.

PSA: on Tuesday, Microsoft terminates support for #Windows7. You can still update to #Windows10 for free by using your Windows7 key during the activation process because Microsoft never turned off

you can read the dwarf fortress changelog and it's just full of mastodon award winning shitposts

there's a patch note like this:

Mulling over long-term memories can lead to shifts in intellectual values and personality changes

and then the very next thing on the list is something like:

Stopped dogs from being sad because they can't have a religion

So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

“Your account has been suspended”

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail → Fastmail → Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts → FastmailNextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → FastmailNextcloud Calendar
Google Search → BingDuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing MapsOpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics → Matomo Analytics
Google Drive → Nextcloud Files
Google Photos → Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs → Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music → Spotify / PlexSpotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → PlexJellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OSUbuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Google’s Android Apps → Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome → Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains → Hover
Google Hangouts → Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo → Signal
Google Podcasts → PocketCastsAntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

https://www.kylepiira.com/2020/01/09/why-i-quit-google/

"Log in to continue reading in private mode" is definitely a cool prompt to get on a website

Automation does not seem to have much of an impact: people are rarely forced to change industry, companies are not investing heavily in AI, and productivity growth is slow: https://www.wired.com/2017/08/robots-will-not-take-your-job/

I wrote a of Eclipse Phase second edition . If you love the game as much as I do, you might want to take a deep breath before reading the review, since it's not entirely positive.

jonne.arjoranta.fi/2020/eclips

I like DuckDuckGo but I'd ❤️ them more if they didn't just give Amazon shopping results. With the retail sector struggling, how good would it be if they continued the anti big tech monopoly theme & started supporting independent shops, instead of this: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/19/technology/amazon-sellers.html

me: i wonder what would happen if i trained the neural net gpt-2 on christmas carols?

me: ...

me: oh NO
https://aiweirdness.com/post/189845472982/the-ais-carol

I survived . May all my fallen brothers, sisters and other friends dine forever on Christmas food in Whamhalla.

I need a shirt designed like a crappy pop-up cookie alert that says:

To improve my experience, I am eating cookies.

New York Times has a great article about how women were common in computing, then driven out and now finally making their way back.

nytimes.com/2019/02/13/magazin

I don't really know how to explain this but the canadian internet registration authority has decided to produce a set of stock images https://cira.ca/stock-images

Kaver.it

Closed Finnish instance.