Monday administration and other stuff.

Not much has happened at the blog over the last week. I’ve installed Yoast as a SEO system, which keeps on telling me that I write long sentences. Yes, I do. This is not necessarily an easy read. But getting things down to a Flesch score of 10 hurts. I found out that one WP statistics plugin was making the site sick, so deleted it, replacing it with something more GDPR compliant that does not track people: Statify.

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter — though at least once every day a link takes me there and they ask me to sign in again. They need to go elsewhere. (Which is why there ain’t jetpack and share things here). These places are now publishers, without the accountability. Via Instapundit.

“Journalism, sustained by traditional advertising, is dying,” confirms the respected Washington, D.C.-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC. In the research center’s written testimony to Congress’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, EPIC summarized its findings starkly: “Two companies [Google and Facebook] dominate the market. The privacy of internet users is under assault. The revenue model that sustained journalism is broken. The ad platforms are manipulated by foreign adversaries. Secrecy and complexity are increasing as accountability is diminished.”

Remember, what enabled Google and Facebook to accomplish this – to essentially steal the life-sustaining advertising revenues from WND and other independent online news organizations – is their scandalous practice of invading your privacy and harvesting and monetizing your private, personal information.

But vanishing revenues are just one part of the problem. While Google and Facebook vacuum up 90% of all digital advertising, thereby depriving news sites like ours of their traditional lifeblood, these same mega-companies are simultaneously censoring, “shadow-banning,” suppressing and outright de-platforming independent, right-of-center news and opinion sources. It is now indisputable that the Internet gatekeepers’ leftwing bias is fully baked into their algorithms.

Locally, the government has bailed out the main newspapers and TV and Radio stations (which are owned by two or three companies). The praise for our dear leader, our savior, our Angel is beyond nauseating, and most people can distinguish Pravda from truth.

But don’t support them.

On the hardware front there are a pile of rumours about the new macbook being the bomb. I trust apple as much as I do the peoples republic of china. You can’t rely on them. At present I can’t use some software that were in the writing stack (Endnote, take a bow) because of mac’s move to remove 32 bit libraries: something I can still do on a Linux or BSD box. Apple wants a closed box. I want to hack.

Apple may never complete that journey, but it has already taken steps down that route, with the latest happening during last week’s WWDC. Apple has confirmed that Boot Camp will not be available on Mac ARM machines. When these computers arrive, they will not support Bootcamp. This is the software that allows alternative operating systems to run on the Mac hardware. Instead the only route will be to use virtual machines that run inside MacOS. Tom Warren for The Verge:

“ Apple later confirmed it’s not planning to support Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs in a Daring Fireball podcast. “We’re not direct booting an alternate operating system,” says Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “Purely virtualization is the route. These hypervisors can be very efficient, so the need to direct boot shouldn’t really be the concern.” ”

Boot Camp is a vital tool for many, and Apple’s reassurances of ‘shouldn’t really be the concern’ will be welcome if you are explicitly using your Mac in the way that Apple intended. But that is not everyone. The Mac platform – especially but not limited to those in the ‘Pro’ class – are workhorse machines with specific needs. Apple’s push towards its future could easily push those users away from the platform, just as the move from 32-bit to 64-bit was smooth for most but a business critical mistake for others.

I use Arch based systems which are continually updated. I tend to switch UEFI off: just as well bottoholebricked the booting after a patch. But this is more complicated than you would think.

There seem to be at least three different bugs related to those patches, the arstechnica article mangles all three:

RedHat updated shim at the same time and introduced or uncovered a bug in that package. That resulted in unbootable systems with EFI, but a fix has already been released for RHEL7 and RHEL 8.
That should not affect arch linux.

The problem with BIOS boot reported by Ubuntu users seems to be a problem with calling grub-install automatically when the system was not in a state where that could succeed. Arch Linux doesn’t do that, you’ll have to call grub-install and grub-mkconfig manually.

Debian users reported windows was unbootable in a dual boot setup, but linux worked fine. Debian has added a fix to their grub package. I don’t know if that affects the arch patches as well.

If the manual does not work, then look at the forums.

On the wild web, the Terms of Service you have to agree to if you want to use useful things financial are being shredded by a series of Patreon Suits. And culture matters: you can’t assume discussing job losses will work in the West. Youtube has defunded too many right wing influencers, and Tik Tok can’t rely on the US government allowing their approved virtue signaler corps to keep their dance job.

Which is why you keep your day job.

Let us see what this week holds.