Administration.

Nothing much has happened. Here. I have added the Orthosphere back to the blogroll. Some of the places on the blogroll seem to go down all the time… because we have enemies. Over to Adam:

Oh, it will come crashing down again very soon. My attackers are driven by sheer rage at the epic truth telling!

I should link to the Western Rifle shooters, because they do link to me.

Locally, we have had a fair amount of public angst in the Pravda — all the mainstream media in New Zealand is bought and paid for by the government, and that includes a fair number of the blogsites — about misinformation. Netsafe is a government agency designed to keep us away from hackers, which they fail to do on a routine basis.

Deliberately spreading fake news should be a crime, according to two out of three New Zealanders surveyed – while three quarters think it should be illegal to create a fake profile online.
And 60 per cent think there should be a nationwide filter keeping illegal content out of New Zealand, while 66 per cent think resources for fighting cyber crime should be doubled.
New research from Netsafe found a crackdown on poor online behaviour is backed by a majority of Kiwis, and most of us think the internet is getting more dangerous.
But we’re still confused about what is and isn’t legal online.
Did you know it’s illegal to "out" someone’s sexuality online without their permission? Or to download an app on your partner’s phone without their knowledge in order to track them?
Neither did a majority of those surveyed, despite those actions being made offences under the Harmful Digital Communications Act which was passed six years ago.
A surprising 16 per cent of people think it’s already illegal to deliberately post fake news just to see who falls for it, while 29 per cent think it’s illegal to create a fake online profile. Both are legal.
The survey of 808 people was carried out by Colmar Brunton, with the results released to mark the first Netsafety Week.
Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said he was "totally surprised" that people thought sharing fake news or creating fake accounts were illegal – given how much harmful fake news is already swirling around online with no consequences for the poster.

Well, given the government’s frankly mendacious propaganda at the moment, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act.

I should add that Google will go through your files and flag misinformation.

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Mistrust all cloud systems. Which is one reason more private, secure systems are needed.

Vivaldi.

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I never really used all in one browsers, all the way back to Netscape Navigator. I have always used standalone tools. Perhaps it is because I’m a geek. Vivaldi is trying to bring them back.

Vivaldi, one of the boutique browsers that fight for scraps left on the floor by Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge, has turned to a strategy reminiscent of Netscape Navigator, the world’s first dominant web browser.
Vivaldi 4.0, which launched earlier this month, added an email client, calendar, and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader to the already-available browser, creating the 21st century version of Netscape Communicator, an all-in-one kitchen sink released in 1997. That collection ranged from the browser and email client (Netscape Messenger) to calendar and an HTML editor (Netscape Composer).
The successor to Netscape Communicator was, for those with long memories, the Mozilla Suite (later called the Mozilla Application Suite), which began with the former’s code base.

I played with Vivaldi a bit. It’s based on the same engine as Chrome: it does the job OK, but it was a bit too noisy and directive for my liking.

If you want to set up a mail system and you like all in one, vivaldi webmail can be made secure and it’s far better than google.

The Didact uses pretty much the same set of tools as I do, and he recommends it for the neurotypical in your life. No one said I was neurotypical. Ever. I agree about Outlook being pants and yes I have to use it, but when it comes to coding — go old school. Go Emacs. I will have to experiment with emacs plus markdown for fun fairly soon.

Currently, if you look for free, open-source, anti-Big Tech solutions, you have to choose from a wide variety of solutions. If you use Linux, especially, you have tremendous amounts of choice. And that’s great. I love that about Linux. You can download and use Brave browser as your primary browsing tool, and you can use Thunderbird as your fully integrated mail and calendar client. In a lot of ways, Thunderbird honestly works better than Microsoft’s latest version of Outlook. I have to use that for work, and… I HATE it.
The major thing that Outlook does better than Thunderbird – by quite some distance, actually – lies in integrating tasks and keeping the views and layout that you want. Thunderbird still has some annoying bugs in it, whereby if you setup your Tasks view in a certain way, the moment you reboot it, that view disappears.
However, if you want an RSS feed syndicator as well, you’re currently mostly stuck with browser-based solutions like Feedly, or desktop solutions that you have to go hunting around for and which aren’t always very easy to use.
And if you want an HTML editor, well, you have to figure out how to do that in some kind of IDE like Geany or something similar.
None of these things are hard to find or use, especially for experienced Linux users like me. But, as you may have surmised by now, I’m KIND OF A MASSIVE NERD. (You don’t spend all day long staring at SQL code until you get a headache, like I’ve been doing for weeks, unless there is something rather badly borked in your brain – or unless you’re a massive nerd.)
For those who just want something simple that basically bloody WORKS, and doesn’t end up sending vast amounts of data to MIcrosoft, Google, and others, then this is an interesting and powerful potential alternative.

It’s not as much about the gear as the person behind it.

This is a painful lesson for someone who likes shiny and bright things. When I was young and fit kept my gear until my legs hurt or wearing it risked indecent exposure. They I started buying stuff and being unfit. Adam has this right: if you are fit (I’m not at the moment: taking megadoses of Vitamin C to get rid of the winter crud that took out all my workmates before hammering me) then you don’t need all that freaking gear.

A lot of people think good gear beats skill. It does not.

The same thing applies to writing, to blogging, and to life.

In my early twenties I became a professional rafting guide, and I did that job on a full time basis for over fifteen years on four continents. I worked with a number of hard core professionals, the best in the world at what they did. And there was one trait that was almost ubiquitous to all of the very best of the best:
We didn’t give a crap about having the latest gear.
The only thing that mattered to us regarding gear was that it both worked and was almost indestructible. A group of the top riverguides in the world at the time I worked would have born a passing resemblance to a 17th century pirate crew, minus the shooting implements, (we did have knives). Tattoos were abundant. Hair ranged from shaved domes to waist-long dreadlocks. Physiques were universally impressive and most guides sported deep tans. Arnett were the sunglasses of choice, board-shorts hung just above the knees, and Hawaiian shirts were often the order of the day when not on the river.
The majority of a professional guide’s equipment, whether he worked in a tropical or cold water environment, was in a condition that could be charitably described as beat up. A more accurate description would be vagabond. We wore river gear until it literally fell apart, and even then we might continue to use it well after its use-by date.

The average Joe procures his sense of self worth from the latest material items for which he has put himself in hock. A man who is outside of the system does not fall into this trap. Instead, he deliberately surrounds himself with antiquated items that do the job just as well but usually better.
I have taken this attitude from my professional rafting days into my subsequent life. For example, I do not hanker after a new car. The multitude of gadgets on these new contraptions are obnoxious, self-defeating and cumbersome. My car is ten years’ old and it does just fine. The only improvement that a brand new car would provide me would be to my perceived status in the world, and of that I have no interest. I know what I am able to do, and I rest easy with what I have already done.

When I have to replace gear I mourn. Then I spent enough dollars to get something that will last a decade that I can — abuse. Cheap in this case is good.

If you need last year’s processor to do the work, your software stack needs refinement. Or you are using Windows 11. Friends don’t let friends use WIndows 11. Or any kind of EV or hybrid. You don’t know how long it will take for the battery to explode, or what the engine management is based upon.

Quotage because

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Dell is in Texas. God bless Texas. Via Gab.

Computer manufacturer Dell will no longer be shipping high-end Alienware gaming PCS to liberal-controlled states such as California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to new restrictions on “energy efficiency” implemented in July 2021. California will begin banning “computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates” in December.
Prospective buyers perusing the selection of Dell PCs on the Alienware website were greeted with the following stipulation attached to higher-end listings: “This product cannot be shipped to the states of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont or Washington due to power consumption regulations adopted by those states. Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled.”

Do not install Windows 11. If you have to, get a real copy — scammers are selling fake .isos which install malware. Yes, I know Windows 11 is not available until 2022. But you should not install it then, anyway. Wait at least a year, or use Linux.

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Amy
Amy
2 months ago

Gunner – My apologies as a Californian. Last thing I want anyone else to have to put up with is Sacramento. They don’t pay any mind to my preferences… or votes… and the (bleep) in charge of textbooks are appointees. But still, apologies. -sighs heavily-

Gunner Q
2 months ago

How can they legally stop us from buying the computer we want and having it shipped into the state?”

That’s not the point. California is about 25% of the American national economy just by itself. When California does something such as, for example, mandating Critical Race Theory in school textbooks, textbook makers everywhere in the country must choose between accommodating Sacramento, voluntarily losing 25% of their potential market or making duplicate products for different markets. They usually accommodate, the cheapest option, which means the textbooks available to rural Montana now have California-mandated CRT in them.

Dell is now choosing to write off huge swaths of its potential market, not because it’s taking a principled stand, but because California & friends pushed the envelope of “comply if you want market access” beyond the breaking point. It’s no longer possible to appease the crazies.

Given that my employer cannot get enough components to meet the goals mandated by the government, we can benefit from their stupidity

Heresolong
2 months ago

I use Thunderbird and like it. Biggest problem seems to be Android app. Wasn’t available at all and now it is only available as an XAPK which, to be honest, is an annoying pain to install apps. I did it once so have the APKPure on my phone but that was a year ago and now I have to figure out how to do it again. Hopefully be able to have my email synced across platforms once again. Might also be nice to switch to T-bird calendar, which I have never used.

I live in WA. Good thing I wasn’t planning on buying a high end desktop but I guess next time I start thinking about any sort of electronics I’ll have to make sure I don’t need to make a run to Idaho in order to get the good one.

I wonder now about class action lawsuits. How can they legally stop us from buying the computer we want and having it shipped into the state? I know they do this with gun parts so maybe it falls under the same legal principle.

Last edited 2 months ago by Heresolong
Amy
Amy
2 months ago

Maybe that explains the high prices to replace DH’s video card. He very carefully cleaned and rehabbed it after looking at the prices. We have solar panels for why, now? Sigh.