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Cake day: uzt. 26, 2020

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cross-posted from: https://szmer.info/post/149799 > > In the latest illustration of our marvelous new decentralized, resilient blockchain future, one single Solana node apparently was able to take down the entire Solana network. Solana outages are nothing new, and tend to end (as this one did) with Solana issuing instructions to the people who run their validators, asking them all to turn them off and on again. > > > > A validator operator reported that "It appears a misconfigured node caused an unrecoverable partition in the network." It's a bit startling that, in a supposedly decentralized network, one single node can bring the entire network offline.
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phew

Good. Lemmy does one thing and does it well, and there’s plenty of wiki software out there already.


How is using GitHub to host stuff “self-hosting”, exactly?


cross-posted from: https://szmer.info/post/138077 > > In the early hours of September 15, Ethereum completed "The Merge – the long-awaited transition from its original proof-of-work consensus mechanism to proof-of-stake. > > > > Later that day, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler pointed to the staking mechanism as a signal that an asset might be a security as determined by the [Howey test](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEC_v._W._J._Howey_Co.). > > 🍿
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Yeah, that didn’t seem to get through.






I ran the worlds largest DDoS-for-Hire empire and CloudFlare helped
> CloudFlare is a fire department that prides itself on putting out fires at any house regardless of the individual that lives there, what they forget to mention is they are actively lighting these fires and making money by putting them out!
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There will always be some kind of authority.

Sure, I never said there isn’t, or that there should not be. I only said that this question is raised.

In an anarchist context this can be community consensus, I guess. In nation state context, this can be a government decision or a court order. And so on.

What I am trying to underscore here is that the fact that a company’s decision to not do business with a particularly toxic customer should not be of such immense consequence. And the only reason it is is because of CloudFlare’s position.

CloudFlare’s position is a bigger problem than CloudFlare’s policies.


Totally. Good riddance.

That said, it does raise questions about who gets to decide (and on what grounds) who stays online. However, the actual problem with this is best exemplified by this little sentence from their previous blogpost (on how they are not going to block KW):

Today, more than 20 percent of the web relies directly on Cloudflare’s services.

That’s the underlying problem. If a website gets dropped by a provider that serves, say ~2% of the Internet, no biggie. If it gets dropped by 50 similar providers, well, clearly nobody wants to do business with you.

But if such decisions are made between a few huge providers, each handling a good 1/5th of global web traffic? Then yes, there is a bit of bad aftertaste. Which only allows the dweebs from KiwiFarms and such of this world to cry “censorship”.


CloudFlare is dropping KiwiFarms
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Desktop apps can have a crap-ton of dependencies and a finicky requirements around specific versions. That’s one of the reasons why “flatsnappimage” stuff got created in the first place — to go around the limitations of Linux distribution package manager dependency management model.

And we do need a better way to deal with this. But the “flatsnappimage” approach is not that, IMVHO, as it’s clearly driven by other considerations (like the “we want to have an app store we control” thing mentioned in the article).

But the thing is, in a server context you have developers, sysadmins, and that’s kinda it. They can make informed decisions on how to manage stuff, and making it easier for the developers to deploy stuff is a reasonably good strategy.

On the desktop you have app developers, OS maintainers, and users. Users often will not be able to make anywhere near as informed decisions as developers and maintainers. Focusing on developer comfort basically leads to ignoring users’ needs (like: “a calculator app should not need a 2.8GiB of stuff just for itself”).


These “package managers” (in quotes, as I find them a bad substitute for an actual package manager, but that’s a sidenote) effectively use the same underlying technology, cgroups etc. as docker containers etc.

The thing is, what makes sense on the server, doesn’t necessarily make sense on the desktop. It makes sense to prioritize developer comfort over disk space use in server context, for example; it makes way less sense to do so in the desktop context.


In theory, a government is democratically-elected, and courts are democratically-controlled, so isn’t a corporation obeying laws and courts exactly what we want here?

It’s more complicated than that. Corporations like CloudFlare wield immense power, and that power needs to be checked. Often it needs to be checked by governments. But not all governments are created equal — regimes exist, and even democratically elected governments do a stupid every now and then (consider Internet filtering laws in the UK).

When a government is pushing a large corporation like CloudFlare to do something reasonable (say, privacy protections forced on Google), they fight tooth and nail. When a government is asking them to do something shady (like, blocking an LGBTQ rights website), they eagerly implement it and happily hide behind “we’re just following orders”. They should not get a free pass on that.

I’m not sure we can expect them to go above and beyond what is legal, no matter how much we might wish them to do so, they simply wouldn’t exist for very long otherwise

We can’t, but they don’t get a free pass for hosting anti-LGBTQ sites; donating the money earned this way to a pro-LGBTQ org (and even bragging-not-bragging about it in this very post!) is pinkwashing.

Especially that (if they are both behind CloudFlare) there is a good chance that the anti-LGBTQ website in question is available globally, and the pro-LGBTQ website is blocked in Russia and a lot of other places. So there is a good argument to be made that CoudFlare, effectively, is complacent in pushing the anti-LGBTQ bullshit globally.

We hated them (and they hated it, too) when they extra-judiciously blocked traffic they didn’t agree with in the past, so surely requiring laws/courts to do so in future is better?

Is this an easy position to be in for CloudFlare? No, of course not. But the thing is, CloudFlare put themselves in that position, and are making money hand over fist. They brag about handling traffic to 20% of all websites! So they don’t get to play the “everybody hates us and it’s unfaaaair” card.

They can very easily choose to stop handling a fifth of all web traffic in the world, and all of this becomes less of a problem immediately.


Yeah, one wonders if that LGBTQ+ rights supporting org is on CloudFlare. And if it is, if CloudFlare helpfully blocks them in Russia, as per:

We will restrict content in geographies where we have received legal orders to do so. For instance, if a court in a country prohibits access to certain content, then, following that court’s order, we generally will restrict access to that content in that country.

Obnoxious white-washing, is what this article is.



Sure. Let’s start here:

  1. The author conflates the terms “free software” and “open source software”. These are similar, but different, and that difference is important. Importantly, there is no such thing as “Free Open Source”.

One can use the term “FLOSS” (“Free/Libre/Open Source Souftware”, the term I personally prefer) or “FOSS” (“Free and Open Source Souftware”), and the author does it every now and then, but it needs to be done thoughtfully.

It’s like using “busses”, “trams”, “bus-trams”, and “public transport” interchangeably. This alone shows that the author has no clue what they’re writing about.

  1. “Most free software is poor or unusable. This is heavily disguised because protagonists like to use the isolated points fallacy to sell the idea FOSS is great.”
  • how did the author measure this?
  • what does “poor quality” even mean, exactly? “I don’t like it”? “It’s hard to use”? “It’s not effective in what it does”? these are different things…
  • if it’s so crap, why is FLOSS the back-bone of everything Big Tech is doing (for better or worse)?

If you doubt that second part, just look at the absolute clusterfsck that Log4shell was, and how it affected every single Big Tech company (proving they use the FLOSS Log4j software package).

  1. “FOSS was Built Out of Corporation and Tax Money”

Plenty of FLOSS projects are supported by donations (in time, and in money). Some are supported by grants. Some are supported by corporate sponsors.

What is the point there? Can FLOSS developers not be allowed to earn a living developing their freely-shared software?

Also, in the previous point the author notes:

if you’re lucky enough to attract such a team you need to keep them together. And for that you need capital and that is exactly where FOSS falls down.

How can you get that “capital” if you don’t accept donations and don’t apply for grants?


There’s plenty of problems with FLOSS (including how toxic corporate sponsorship can be), but this person has no clue what they’re talking about. Low quality hot takes by someone with zero understanding of FLOSS.


What kind of bullshit is this. I don’t even know where to start unpacking this. 🤦‍♀️




cross-posted from: https://community.nicfab.it/post/10748 > France’s data protection watchdog CNIL is investigating a whistleblower’s claims that Twitter made “egregious” misrepresentations to international regulators about its data security measures, according to a [report in POLITICO](https://www.politico.eu/article/twitter-data-security-french-data-regulator-investigates-fraud-allegations/). > > “The CNIL is currently studying the complaint filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice,” the French agency said in a statement Wednesday. “If the accusations are correct, the CNIL could take action leading to legal proceedings or a sanction, if it’s clear there were breaches.”
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There’s a bunch already, for example:
https://szmer.info/post/44727

(just search for “chatcontrol”).

I posted this here because it’s relevant in the context.



Turns out secondary centralization driven by economies of scale is a thing and leads to shitty power dynamics. Who woulda thunk it? 🤔
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HackerNoon's ["Noonie" awards website](https://noonies.tech/) is truly a marvel. First, [the content](https://octodon.social/@jalefkowit/108834489545757953). Categories like ["Hackernoon Contributor of the Year - Elon Musk"](https://octodon.social/@jalefkowit/108834737635199742), pearls of knowledge like ["Innovation is not re-inventing the wheel. It is creating a better wheel."](https://octodon.social/@jalefkowit/108834553042584981). Calling CSS ["Cascading Sheet Styles"](https://octodon.social/@jalefkowit/108834834258754666). And a quote about engineers — from Scott Adams, no less! — [with incorrectly encoded quotation marks and apostrophes](https://octodon.social/@jalefkowit/108834840832817866). But more interestingly, the site [seems to leak e-mail addresses of all people who already voted](https://social.coop/@jonny/108835379495867720) (currently over 120 addresses). All the while pushing "web3" by proudly stating: > Web3 in a nutshell is the advocacy of your digital rights. I'm sure your privacy is very important to them.
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> The web is a mess, bloated with data-gathering trackers, predatory UX, massive resource loads, and it is absorbing everything it touches. The Small Internet is a counter-cultural movement to wrangle things back under control via minimalism, hands-on participation, and good old fashioned conversation. At its heart are technologies like the venerable Gopher protocol or the new Gemini protocol offering a refuge and a place to dream of a better future. > > Join me and be reintroduced to Gopher in 2021 and learn what this old friend has to offer us in a world full of web services and advertising bombardment. We will also explore the new Gemini protocol and how it differs from Gopher and HTTP. > > We will explore the protocols themselves, their history, and what the modern ecosystems are like. I will briefly review the technical details of implementing servers or clients of your own, and how to author content as a user. Discussion will cover limitations, grey-areas, and trade-offs in exchange for speed and simplicity. > > Through these alternative protocols we'll see the small internet in action.
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/346923 > Forge Federation Needs Your Help 🤗 > > 🚀 Join the [forge federation](https://matrix.to/#/#general-forgefed:matrix.batsense.net) matrix chatroom, or the (less active) [gitea federation](https://matrix.to/#/#gitea-federation-chat:matrix.org) room. ----- Just to add to this, I firmly believe that forge federation is the crucial missing piece that would make moving away from repository gatekeepers like Microsoft Github viable for a lot of projects. Good to see work being done on it.
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> The contract also provides, provocatively, “Historical geo tracking data,” though it’s unclear what exactly this data consists of or from where it’s sourced. An email released through the FOIA request shows that Coinbase didn’t require ICE to agree to an End User License Agreement, standard legalese that imposes limits on what a customer can do with software. Amazing. So not just helping with "blockchain analytics", but outright selling out their users' location data to ICE. 🤣
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> The prolonged slump in Bitcoin is making it more difficult for some miners to repay the up to $4 billion in loans they have backed by their equipment, posing a potential risk to major crypto lenders. > > A growing number of loans are now underwater, according to analysts, as many of the mining rigs lenders accepted as collateral have now halved in value along with the price of the world’s largest digital token. Investment funds were giving large crypto-miners loans to by specialized crypto-mining equipment backed by that same specialized crypto-mining equipment, which happens to lose value exactly when cryptocurrencies themselves lose value. 🍿 🍿 🍿
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> The amount of electricity consumed by the largest cryptocurrency networks has decreased by up to 50% as the “crypto winter” continues to eat at the incomes of “miners” and financial contagion spreads further throughout the sector. > > The electricity consumption of the bitcoin network has fallen by a third from its high of 11 June, down to an annualised 131 terawatt-hours a year, according to estimates from the crypto analyst Digiconomist. That still equates to the annual consumption of Argentina, with a single conventional bitcoin transaction using the same amount of electricity that a typical US household would use over 50 days.
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137GiB leak from cryptocurrency-related Telegram groups coming soon?
> dear crypto, > > I want to come clean, and I will likely tear a rift in the entire community while I'm at it and on my way out. > > Over the course of these next few weeks I will be releasing 137.21GB of Telegram group chats and messages, of which I was not a part of. Why? This is all thanks to an exploit in October of 2019 that allowed one to access the group page with recent messages if proper permissions were not set up. (...) > I do not know what it is about Telegram, but the alleged assurance of privacy and security meant that people became relaxed and let them express themselves freely.
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