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Hackers, Freedonians and Everyone Else...

You may not know me but I produce and edit a Free Software podcast called Libre Lounge. I want to take the podcast in some new directions, either LL itself, or a new podcast with a similar aim, but to do that, I'm going to need some help- production and editing especially. If you have those kinds of skills and can help, please send me a direct message or email me at!

Effective programmers should memorize how long computers take to perform certain key operations.

For example it takes...

* 1 ns to access L1 cache
* 100 ns to access RAM
* 16,000 ns to access the SSD
* 150,000,000 ns to ping from America to Europe

But knowing them isn’t everything. It’s important to know how long other things take in tech, too.

For example it takes...

* 90 seconds to reboot your 2018 Macbook Pro because the Touchbar froze again.

When we realize that all things labeled "smart" are devices of surveillance, our first reaction is to either take the route of digital asceticism or cultivate indifference. This is a defeatist attitude that disempowers us.

The more proactive approach is using and promoting freedom-respecting tools and services.

Changing to a lifestyle of digital minimalism can also be a good thing overall.

#Surveillance #freeSoftware #DigitalMinimalism

Another Brandon Nolet blogpost:

This one encouraging people not to jump in evangalising free software when someone complains about a proprietary program. That won't do anyone any good.

Here's a nice blogpost about how harmful it can be to be receiving news so rapidly:

Quite similar to that talk I mentioned earlier.

"Data can be an interface" is a pretty good and very underrated insight, I think.

Note that it's not just 'compilers' as an example of extremely complicated systems that achieve interoperability and componentisation by fully specifying and exposing data: *the Internet* does this too. At multiple layers: physical, data-link, TCP/IP, HTTP, REST.

It's almost like data is actually the best interface.

"The One Rule of Content Moderation That Every Platform Follows" by Will Oremus

"The underlying problem of our platforms is not that they’re too conservative or too liberal, too dogmatic or too malleable. It’s that giant, for-profit tech companies, as currently constructed, are simply not suited to the task of deciding unilaterally what speech is acceptable and what isn’t."

This was a great talk:

tl;dr Beware of tl;dr's and hot takes. Though there's plenty else to it.

Hey NZ gov't - here's a very solid, well considered, evidence-based approach you could vastly improve NZ's commercial export capabilities & competitiveness, improve social equity, legitimately claim to be leading the D9 Charter signatories, and increase gov't employee job satisfaction. All while saving the taxpayer a $billion or more each year.

Server log analysis question 

This seems like a good initiative at CERN! It's important to highlight that cost is by no means the only driver of "taking back control" from Microsoft:

shop talk 

Anybody who wants influence on the internet these days is competing with people who want the same thing, but also have money. If you're not trying to sell a book or even show ads on your blog, it's hard to make a case for why you should try to compete with political campaigns, celebrities, and corporations with huge budgets.

I'll have to bookmark to recommend to people looking for ReCAPTCHA alternatives:

Great overview of the topic! And the sheer volume of links he had for hated that service is was amusing.

@alexbuzzbee The problem with software is constraining its freedom in sensible and understandable ways. There are definitely good ideas around: Rust's borrow checker for example. Also see

My father taught me to program.

He had Opinions, which is why I first learned a bit of Logo and then later, Pascal.

Basic was forbidden in our house, my impressionable young mind was not to be corrupted with line numbers, GOTOs and similar heresy.

Sadly, he lost control of the unruly teenager.

First I abused the C preprocessor in unspeakable ways. Then I put inline assembly in my Pascal programs. And then... the Internet, ircII and for years, Perl. 😱

If not for Python, I'd still be Lost.

In 2010 I left Facebook and set out to build a decentralised alternative. What I found out along the way is that it wasn't just Facebook I was replacing. What we created was a privacy-respecting overlay network on top of the internet so we could replace the entire surveillance state with a system where you controlled access to your thoughts and ideas and shared it on a single sign-in decentralised network. In fact we built that, and it works great, but most people rejected it because they don't understand what that has to do with Facebook. Everything and nothing amigo. We've been living in this privacy respecting overlay internet for nearly a decade now and refuse to go back to the old ways. We've always hoped the internet itself would catch on and evolve to meet us halfway, but it seems to be devolving, so in retrospect the architectural design (as an overlay network) turned out to be the correct one.

So I am a long time developer and I have always used PHP for my backends when working on web based projects. I even use it for my job everyday.

Recently I have been branching out with Vala and even playing with some Python. I am wondering is there anything better out there than PHP? I really like PHP (I know most don't), but would like to try something else out. I am thinking Ruby or Elixir at the moment.

#development #webdev #php #elixir #ruby

The economics of open source.

Fantastic talk. We all should learn a thing or two from it.
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For people who care about, support, or build Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS).