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Disappearing content makes me depressed

Recently I've noticed that all sorts of ephemeral content (that is gaining traction in the current world, sadly) - be it Instagram Stories (especially videos since they can't be just screenshoot), Snapchat messages (it's its selling point) or some weird stuff like MTS's "Доступ" ("Access") exhibit and its ads (about content with limited access that may disappear or something) littering the infospace and my VKontakte feed (the only service besides Instagram I still access directly rather than via my reader) clutters up my mind with anxiety. I like content. I like good content. But I'm anxious …

My "favorite" is when YouTube videos disappear. When Basho went out of business, they deleted their channel with all the conference talk recordings on it. I found my favorite talk on my hard drive, but I didn't archive anything else. Another example is #RightsRun the 24 hour Sonic 06 Twitch stream, of which only clips remain it seems :(

Now I youtube-dl whole channels.

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Blockchain is heartbreaking.

As a computer scientist, I love it. It’s a fundamental breakthrough: the first open participation distributed consensus algorithm ever. That’s a big deal.

As an engineer, I can’t responsibly recommend it to anyone for anything. It’s slow, unreliable, immature, hard to use, and functionality impoverished. It’s a database that hates you.

Truly heartbreaking.

But blockchain is not (just) about open participation. It's about trustlessness ("well actually" there are "permissioned blockchains" but that's just a glorified/terrible variant of Git pretty much). And society is built on trust. As Nicholas Weaver puts it, blockchains (trustlessness) is good for one thing only: censorship resistance, i.e. evading the law. It's just the only option for thing like ransomware. For everything else, systems with trust are many many orders of magnitude more efficient.

And I'd say systems without trustlessness can be "open participation". Dename was a pretty cool idea.

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So, now if you reply to my posts, the discussion will be easier to follow, since the post I'm replying to is shown above my reply. Isn't it awesome?

Note that reply contexts are archived. If you change your reply, there's no way for me to know that you changed it and update the reply context automatically!

heh, I have posts denormalized in my database (so, always referenced by URL) — after receiving an update webmention for a post, the updated version shows up in all reply contexts.

(at the cost of some complex and not-very-fast PL/pgSQL procedures :D)

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I'm going dark on social media for the rest of 2018.

For a host of reasons, I've decided to go dark on social media for the remainder of 2018. If my experiment is successful beyond that time, I'll just keep it going.

Originally, I'd intended to do this just for the month of December, but as I sat around the Thanksgiving dinner table yesteryday, surrounded by family and friends, I asked myself: "why not now?"

So, now is the time.

There are two reasons:

The first is that, ordinarily, if a company was found to be furthering an anti-semitic smear in order to protect itself from accusations …

This indieweb thing here also has similar concepts (replies etc.), why doesn't it count as social media? :)

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Gab and the decentralized web

As a proponent of the decentralized web, I've been thinking a lot about the aftermath of the domestic terrorism that was committed in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue over the weekend, and how it specifically relates to the right-wing social network Gab.

In America, we're unfortunately used to mass shootings from right-wing extremists, who have committed more domestic acts of terror than any other group. We're also overfamiliar with ethnonationalists and racist isolationists, who feel particularly emboldened by the current President. Lest we forget, when fascists marched in the streets yelling "the Jews will …

It's hard to imagine a centralized way of banning websites online.

Seems like the fediverse/Mastodon world is moving towards shared instance block lists, i.e. pick some people you trust and import their block list. For now it doesn't seem to be a proper automated feature, just random github repos like the (awesomely named) BLOCKchain.

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I'm 30 minutes into using Ubuntu 18.10, having upgraded from 10.04, and I am pretty smitten so far. Seemingly gone are the days of hours and hours of repairing all kinds of driver issues and configuration settings after upgrade! :knocks wood:

10.04?? You were actually using an 8 year old version? o_0

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Many folks share screenshots of their phone home screens. These are often intriguing to look at, but what I'm really interested in knowing is what you set as your browser homepage? Here's mine!

It's been about:blank for a few years now :) used to use some service (start… .io?) back in the day

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XRay, the library that I use to parse URLs to show comments, now supports parsing direct Microformats JSON, ActivityStreams 2.0, as well as finding a rel=alternate link and parsing data from that instead!

This means I now get great results when parsing Mastodon or other ActivityPub links, and this is also the first step in what I hope will result in fixing the Microformats situation for WordPress, since a WordPress plugin will be able to generate Microformats JSON and advertise that in a rel=alternate link.

Next up is updating Aperture to take advantage of these …

Encouraging mf2json in an alternate? woah, what happened to the anti-sidefile fight, the html-as-one-true-source idea?