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Almost 300 Blog Posts in 28 Days

Posted in Site News at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

My desk this weekend

A portrait setup

Summary: This month’s experiment doing about 10 posts per day, on average, resulted in 294 from June 1st to 28th (so far today); this more productive workflow benefits greatly from leaving Twitter 'behind'


[Humour] Litigation Industry-Run Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (“BMJV”)

Posted in Site News at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: Reminder to German Readers: Please Lodge Polite Complaints Against the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (“BMJV”) Trying to Undermine the Constitution

The four panel: BMJV, FCC, Trolls' lawyers, German law, Team UPC and constitution

Summary: The astounding revelation that the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (“BMJV”) seems not to care about justice, let alone about consumers; it does not care about the law, the truth and the constitution, either


Sources of Journalism Drying Up

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

The median links per source

Summary: We have begun an investigation (the above is more like a teaser) of the rise and fall — mostly the fall — of sites or blogs that cover technology

EARLY this morning we published some charts based on preliminary and simple data (not yet processed as much as we planned and intended). The hypothesis we have here is that journalism is on the demise and this demise is very rapid (on an historical scale).

“The more interesting bits are yet to come.”With a 9-slot sliding window ({=MEDIAN(C2:C10)/MEDIAN(B2:B10)}) we have replotted the data, which now shows more clearly how, over time, we rely on fewer and fewer sites for Daily Links; the dataset is large, spanning 12 years with almost 600,000 links with summaries/excerpts. I spent each and every day, even whilst on holiday, compiling these. Right now, in 2020, each domain will on average have about 2 links to it per day. To put it in very simple terms, think of a Daily Links roundup with 100 unique domains and 200 links (picks) in total.

Statistics is a discipline I spent a lot of time on. I also receive help from my associate who extracted, collated, and processed this data. We are still thinking how to best present the data and what code is needed to achieve this. The more interesting bits are yet to come. We may need to split apart technology and politics.


Daily Links: Density and Source Diversity Statistics

Posted in Site News at 11:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In Soviet Russia, news write site!

Moon Over Moscow

Summary: Some fancy charts based on over 563,000 news picks posted in Techrights since 2008

After posting about 3,500 daily batches of links (News Roundups or Daily Links as we call them) we’ve decided to carry out an analysis and produce some statistics based on these. The code is in Perl, the data is extracted using SQL, the charts are produced using LibreOffice (with OpenDocument Format, imported from CSV files). What the chart below shows is the number of links posted each day, over time, alongside the number of unique sites; the ratio between those two things is shown separately in the second chart.

As more sites perish, especially more trustworthy ones, we’re generally left with fewer unique publishers to link to.

Number of links and number of unique sites, per day, plotted over (as a function of) time:

Techrights links and sources

The ratio between links and unique sites, shown over time:

Links per source
Out-of-range outliers left out of shown boundaries

In future parts we’ll take a deep dive into pertinent sites (or domains) to see how things change over time. The total number of links in this assessment is ~563,000, an average of ~46,900 per year.

Techrights is Growing and the Goal is Still Accuracy

Posted in Site News at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Handful of Dirt

Summary: Accuracy in reporting remains our prime goal (we focus only on subjects that we understand well); expect an average of around 10 stories/posts per day for the foreseeable future

AS part of my daily routine running Tux Machines with my wife Rianne I must read loads and loads of GNU/Linux news (I also read a lot about politics and matters pertaining to patents, but that’s separate). There’s no question about it: journalism is dying. Not drying up. Dying. There’s almost none of it left. The click-bait junk doesn’t count. We’re currently doing an assessment of our 12-year Daily Links archive in an effort to show this graphically (with charts). “Coming soon” as they say…

“There’s no question about it: journalism is dying. Not drying up. Dying. There’s almost none of it left.”Since the middle of this week, if not a little earlier than that, people searching for the latest news about GNU/Linux would likely be presented with loads of results about Windows and Microsoft’s ‘containment’ of this ‘problem’. And sure, there are clueless sites out there that gleefully reject that idea that this is a classic modus operandi of Microsoft, whereby it hijacks the competition, makes it its own, then tosses it away. Remember Novell? Nokia? Yahoo! isn’t so old an example, either…

Thankfully, judging by the growth in the number of readers in recent months (RSS feeds requested about a quarter million times per week), many people agree with us on this. Many raise a brow when some so-called ‘journalist’ tells us that “Microsoft loves Linux…” (obviously a lie).

“Many raise a brow when some so-called ‘journalist’ tells us that “Microsoft loves Linux…” (obviously a lie).”About 10 days ago I made an attempt to write a lot more in Techrights. The attempt has meant a little less sleep, far less social control media, and a great deal of focus, determination and of course coffee. If the media is dying and there’s too much noise/misinformation in what’s left of it, then the best we can do is fill the gap. Our IRC channels have been more busy than usual in recent days and it’s probably the best way to interact with us (in real time even). IRC may seem old fashioned (some have urged us to adopt Matrix), but it gets the job done. It keeps us chugging along.


Daily Links Could Use Readers’ Help

Posted in Site News at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

News Roundup
“News Roundup” in 2008 (even the fish image has not changed since)

Summary: Our tradition of collating “Daily Links” (also known as “News Roundup”) is an old, very old tradition with 4,669 batches to date; the “Daily Links” have broad circulation and are open to contribution

THE “Daily Links” as we call them have gone on for about 12 years, non-stop, ranging from technology issues to human rights and sometimes politics. We’re aware of people who use the Daily Links as an all-in-one gazette by which to keep abreast of technology news and world affairs. In the very early days (2008) those picks were limited to GNU/Linux and Free software; we later expanded somewhat and the links are nowadays curated by multiple people. At one point, a very long time ago, those were also edited by several parties and by multiple people. We spend an extraordinary amount of time putting these together. It’s not automated and organising the lot takes great care. Readers who wish to participate in the effort can do so over IRC; batches are published at least once a day, sometimes twice per day (very rarely thrice). Links do not imply endorsement (of articles or sites), they’re meant to highlight stories of significance rather than gossip and trolls. Sadly, a lot of the ‘news’ nowadays (mainstream and local media) is stuffed with noise and clickbait rather than concise information people actually need. This is why we’ve made this alternative and it’s also why “Open Source” news was worth dumping (far too much noise and spam to be found in these; firms that spread FUD to sell their services and large corporations that push an openwashing agenda).

“Readers can recommend to us sites that contain accurate reports and have very high s/n ratio. Those aren’t easy to find as many good journalism sources perished in recent years.”For those who want to know more about the EPO and USPTO affairs, there’s a section at the bottom called “Patents”; we shelve there stuff which isn’t sufficiently interesting/important for us to cover in blog posts. We recently added a bunch of reasonably trustworthy sources; we’re still assessing them for quality or accuracy, knowing that some sites can go astray after a while (or become entirely inactive like TruthDig). Readers can recommend to us sites that contain accurate reports and have very high s/n ratio. Those aren’t easy to find as many good journalism sources perished in recent years.


Achievement Unlocked: 70 Posts in 7 Days

Posted in Site News at 2:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking Techrights to the next level or old levels (peak times/years); maintaining this rhythm is the next challenge


Summary: In an effort to get back to 2010 levels of publication (about 10 posts per day) we’re removing some less important activities; it’s even easier with the lock-downs (less ousting, no sports, fewer distractions)


Status Update: DDoS, Traffic, Interns

Posted in Site News at 9:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The liberty statue

Summary: Times are difficult for liberty/freedom; but we’re trying to stay on top of it all in spite of attempts to derail us

THIS past month we’ve managed to produce more stories, short posts, memes and feature articles than usual. Our goal is to return to the dozen or so per day (as we did a decade ago).

“DDoS attacks of various forms have been attempted for 2-3 weeks, on and off…”Over at Tux Machines, which over the past week saw an all-time traffic record for the second week in a row, DDoS attacks have spread (it started about 5 days ago), causing the site to be unavailable or unbearably slow at times. Here in Techrights attacks were attempted as recently as less than 24 hours ago. DDoS attacks of various forms have been attempted for 2-3 weeks, on and off…

We’re aware that some people are sometimes not able — or barely able — to access Techrights. We’re improving our defenses over time. We’re ready to file complaints and reports if those attacks persist and intensify; it usually takes far more time than it’s worth.

We’ve meanwhile been training someone from South Africa to help with Tux Machines. The situation there is grim (access to basic resources, especially at times of crises like this terrible pandemic), so it has taken up a lot of time with little to show for it. Internships can be extremely time-consuming with no guarantee of any output whatsoever.

We’ve meanwhile been looking deeper and deeper into the events some dubbed “Free software 9/11″; the European Patent Office (EPO) still interests us, but not much is happening there and the USPTO we’ve mostly relegated to Daily Links (with focus on 35 U.S.C. § 101 cases). So we write more about GNU/Linux…

“Internships can be extremely time-consuming with no guarantee of any output whatsoever.”There are all sorts of ways people can help Techrights. Any help can lead to improved productivity, hence more articles. The best way to communicate about ways to help is our IRC channels. We pick E-mail less regularly and we don’t do “social control media” (it’s more of a noise machine, designed to provoke and reward for emotional impact rather than accuracy or quality; “likes” don’t represent objective value but sometimes just sheer anger or a measure like “celebrity status”).

We love hearing from readers and it motivates us to carry on. Our workflow is improving over time, even if it can be a tad slow (e.g. overhead in picking up mail). Our accuracy is still of utmost interest and memes are for entertainment value, albeit they’re based on underlying facts (presented with some humour).

“Our accuracy is still of utmost interest and memes are for entertainment value, albeit they’re based on underlying facts (presented with some humour).”The riots in the US are manifesting or replicating themselves as protests in the UK (I’ve seen no concrete evidence of violence, sabotage or arson; the state media calls it “UK anti-racism protests” and celebrities get involved). The economy isn’t really recovering; people being forced to go back to work (despite health risk) is merely evidence of systemic failure, putting financial interests ahead of basic safety. The American oligarchs earned an additional 60 billion dollars (or something in that region) since the riots began, so you know who stands to gain and who stands to lose…

As a ‘remote’ worker (I don’t consider home to be “remote” per se) I’m still hanging in there, managing to pay the bills. That limits the amount of time I can spend on Techrights, but at least it keeps Techrights going.

Stay safe, stay home if possible (the oligarchs want you back at work, working for them) and don’t forget the value of solidarity, as well as the power of reconciliation. Vandalism helps make a point; but it creates nothing.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is a permanent attitude.” –Martin Luther King Jr.

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