09.19.21

Maintenance and Development Updates

Posted in Site News at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum c233dd0a979fd83c8688258ee12ec4b6

Summary: We’ve been doing a lot of work on the back end (or operations) of Techrights, more so this past month, and we’re almost ready to resume the normal publication pace

OVER this past weekend (and last weekend as well) we focused a lot on site-building and maintenance of Gemini, Git etc. We did something similar two years ago. It was a long process and a worthwhile investment of time/effort.

“We did something similar two years ago.”Today’s posts (and videos) will resume our focus on the EPO and we hope more people will join us over at Gemini space (gemini://) as it is growing in popularity and general viability. In the video above I discuss some of the topics we would have written about had we enjoyed more time. We’re preparing for some high-impact publications instead.

09.16.21

If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

Posted in Site News at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gemini Man MM3: Keep it simple, Stupid
Git and Gemini: An overlooked symbiotic relationship?

Summary: In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://

Over the past year or so we’ve studied the internals or rather the requirements associated with Gitea, Gitlab, and some other Web-based interfaces for Git. Those turned out to be almost as bloated as Web browsers, hence overkill and potential pain to maintain. Of course outsourcing to SourceHut/Codeberg or GitHub is even worse as it’s not self-hosted and thus you’re at the mercy of someone else’s business model and personal objectives/politics. For what it’s worth, we did a similar assessment of video hosting platforms as well as self-hosted software; all of these were frustrating and inadequate, so we rolled out our own.

Git exampleA week ago we started working towards exposing our code, for the time being in read-only mode, as is typically the case (much of this stuff is Techrights-specific and we don’t anticipate much participation by outsiders). This may change to allow direct access over git:// (or rather ssh://), but for the time being we limit that to the “Keep it simple, stupid” (KISS) approach, which is gemini:// rather than anything “http” (a standards we increasingly abhor; as for https, it’s cementing monopolies and centralisation).

“We’re not sure if we’re first to be doing Git over Gemini, but it’s perfectly possible.”Gemini isn’t good at everything (its handling of very large files, for instance, is rather poor), but the requirements for a Git front end are quite barebone/minimal (in Git everything is just text; yes, just like in E-mail). We’re not sure if we’re first to be doing Git over Gemini, but it’s perfectly possible. There’s this project which is a “Git remote helper to do basic cloning of repos from a Gemini server.” But that’s not the same. Either way, several people already explore these territories. And as it turns out, based on this live thread, mailing lists too can be done over Gemini (there are several examples [1, 2] and implementations already).

We certainly hope that in the coming years gemini:// will be used for a lot more things, GNU/Linux distros will package Gemini clients (it’s easier when everything is in repositories), and mainstream media too will give gemini:// addresses. At the moment the protocol enjoys explosive growth, not only among computer geeks.

09.14.21

Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

Posted in Site News at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In a matter of days there's another talk, but meanwhile the GNU Project released this video from the University of Genova (Italy)

Video download link

Summary: This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)

Date: July 17, 2021
Language: English
Duration: 57 minutes
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)

How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

Posted in Site News at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Seaside construction
Our ongoing work will yield results

Summary: Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we’re stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) ‘construction’; here’s a status update

AS we noted earlier today, there’s lots of ‘construction’ going on at the back end, hence not many new articles over the past 3-4 days.

Such ‘construction’ work will be easier to track from now on, using the Git front end that limits some things for privacy purposes and security purposes. The front end is in gemini://, but it can be accessed with an embedded web proxy, as below (or directly with a Gemini client).

Today we made it possible to see recent changes or a concise summary of all changes. The stats page now shows popular Gemini pages (for the previous day alone). As per the latest numbers from Lupa, there are now over 1,600 known and publicly-accessible Gemini capsules (the complete number is higher; those are just the ones known to Lupa) and Techrights is, at least at this moment, listed on top:

The gemini:// stats
That’s us at the first slot (the real number of pages in our capsule is over 37,000, but Lupa stops at 10,000 in this current configuration)

“As we explained before, it’s a form of SLAPP protection or censorship circumvention because of all the proxies.”There are many upsides to Gemini, which is still quite young. As we explained before, it’s a form of SLAPP protection or censorship circumvention because of all the proxies. It’s not the principal purpose but a side perk. EPO dictators [1, 2] have long attempted to prevent access to information. We move the goalposts a bit by changing protocols (IPFS is also used).

Recent Focus on Git, Gemini, and Upcoming Series About EPO Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents, Site News at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum d1f73f3954d55b025c98f5b7807b6195

Summary: Some updates about this past weekend’s (and Monday’s) work, which improves transparency and resilience ahead of the next ‘blockbusters’

THESE past few days we’ve not been publishing much. But lately we’ve been doing a great deal at the back end and this video explains the details, showing some of the code and ways to access that code (AGPLv3).

“Bear with us as we finalise some further changes and progressively enhance safeguards against censorship.”Some time later this month (or next month at the latest) there will be another hard-hitting series about the EPO. We’re regrouping and improving our infrastructure in the mean time. gemini:// is of growing importance to us; in the first 13 days of this month we’ve served over 200,000 pages over gemini:// and we have a total of ~37,500 pages in our Gemini capsule, which is one of the largest in the world.

Bear with us as we finalise some further changes and progressively enhance safeguards against censorship. It’s a long-term investment.

09.12.21

Git Over Gemini Protocol (and Experimental/Preliminary Publication of Some Techrights Code)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Site News at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 401663d55a789d994a981fa3004ba9e6

Summary: Today we launch a sort of ‘alpha’ (or proof of concept) of Git over Gemini; it’s not yet in the front page of the Web site (only the Gemini capsule or the menu at the top), but we’re working on it and we’ll try to make the pragmatic case for Git’s simplicity over Gemini’s simplicity (more advanced in some respects than the command line, not as bloated and unsafe as Web browsers)

GIT isn’t new to us. I’ve used Git for over a decade and here in Techrights we’ve been using it for years, mainly for collaboration. Over a year ago we started self-hosting Git and over time we added more of our codebase/scripts to it. Today we finally publish most of these, however reluctantly (because a lot of it is still crude, the intended userbase being a handful of people at most).

“We emphasise that this is very rudimentary at this point and some tools aren’t of much use outside Techrights itself.”At the very least, we’re hoping to demonstrate a sort of use case for Gemini. I think we might be the first in the world to do such a thing because I spent hours researching what others had done (to avoid duplication of effort). This is just an experimental iteration akin to an alpha release. We emphasise that this is very rudimentary at this point and some tools aren’t of much use outside Techrights itself. This can hopefully be changed over time and presentation be significantly improved (remaining bugs ironed out and better/high-quality code that’s made generalised).

“Everything starts small and crude. Today is just a start.”Gemini has many advantages in this context, including speed, memory footprint, ease of management, and access through any web proxy (better availability). It’s hosted from home (Gemini) and our server (Git), with replication set up over Git and a 24-hour (daily cycle) cron job to keep everything updated or synchronised and up to date. We’ll probably say more in weeks or months to come. We already have some code that can help convert WordPress blogs and MediaWiki to Gemini, even though it makes certain assumptions about a consistent style and structure.

Everything starts small and crude. Today is just a start.

09.10.21

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 09, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs, Site News at 2:04 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now


IPFS Mirrors

CID Description Object type
 QmcLJzAhrgmyjZz1yoHJFL1oyrZN7Y6tec5a9hhzyG38NU IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmPcBiWEJGd3sHnoWuJynXqceTRc2Powjc6s2iWKDGZ6ws IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmWnjK3TNZpHoikxfsCpYXf2LshGGJ9FdMxYPunBWHLa2S IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmXDeNCPoKgqUQEMXM6iwy7oise46JGbBDbzvJTdPv4Hr5 IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmPABDbzhQ1jjiUECPPVUg6g9Kjs1o5RhNKhk42foCXbTG IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmX8VubGFjzWTc9ZGE7D4ahzUZQBB7oof8biygAAaDNbhZ IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs
 QmRykMocs5jvcisWuaknXWbagbdkFLwEBsKF9A934LVMEs IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)
HTML5 logs
 QmPuydiP6UXyCcgnVwdkK7xfXNhbKJYRJeoUa1w5qieE7J IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
text logs

IPFS logo

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmcMxMu1mpdqgj3DsyKreqYUhQWgSSuXM2hkpD8u5qhFQx

09.08.21

An Introduction to Techrights IRC

Posted in Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A gentle introduction to what network we use and how to use it (we’re including a full manual)

As we’ve just noted, Techrights uses a self-hosted IRC network, managed only by us (and for us). We already thought about implementing it last year; the chaos at Freenode sealed the deal.

irc.techrights.org (a self-hosted IRC network) is now our only official network. No Freenode. It needs no explaining, we suppose, given what happened to Freenode (it’s not even called Freenode anymore). For those are are new to IRC, a full IRC manual can be found here. But there are some network-specific ‘cheatsheets’, and it’s worth reproducing them here, based on the message of the day (MOTD). The network recently turned 3 months in agr (compared to 13.5 years that we had been on Freenode). This is the self-hosted IRC network of Techrights, which prioritises free speech and privacy. We cloak IP addresses. Key channels in this network are: #techrights #techpol #techbytes #tuxmachines #boycottnovell and #boycottnovell-social

“We don’t have a Code of Conduct; we trust people to be civil and the debates to be constructive.”There are, at the moment, 17 channels in total and users should feel free to add new channels (but kindly refrain from unnecessary duplication). Days ago we had 62 simultaneous users online.

We don’t have a Code of Conduct; we trust people to be civil and the debates to be constructive. People should try to keep on topic to reduce prospects of unnecessary conflict. For non-tech topics we typically use (for over a decade now) the channel #boycottnovell-social and for purely tech (GNU/Linux and Free software) we use the channel #tuxmachines (yes, for a different but connected site).

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