02.25.21

Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

Posted in Videos at 9:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)

02.24.21

Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

Posted in Site News, Videos at 12:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it’s worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity

THERE is wide a range of products that can let one host, manage and serve videos. The GNU Project has one of its own. Many bits of software, however, are over-complicated and some simply urge the users to outsource hosting to some other company/ies. Social control media-like video hosting (e.g. YouTube) is part of the problem, not the solution, and it’s not cost-free; the cost is free speech or the freedom to control one’s channel, platform etc. Google’s currency has long been control. So don’t send videos Google’s way…

“A lot of people are ever so proud to be leaving YouTube, only to end up at the mercy of another company (LBRY and others in its orbit are notable among GNU/Linux folks); that’s neither self-hosting nor independence.”Today we ‘discovered’ the “poster” attribute (we heard about it before, but didn’t properly look into it), which lets one enhance the presentation of self-hosted videos. We’ve thus incorporated the changes for every future video. Many people do not truly understand the advantages or underestimate the possibilities of self-hosted videos. Uploading to YouTube is enticing as it seems “easy” and “cheap”… until things go wrong, well outside one’s own control. Google isn’t in this as a public service and some channels/videos are seen as unhelpful to advertisers, Google’s real clients/customers. The same is true for Twitter and Facebook, where some people still place videos that they’ve really worked hard on. Sooner or later many of those get removed and many such sites don’t last more than a decade anyway.

A lot of people are ever so proud to be leaving YouTube, only to end up at the mercy of another company (LBRY and others in its orbit are notable among GNU/Linux folks); that’s neither self-hosting nor independence. That’s just swapping one master for another. For a self-hosted PeerTube instance much more can be said that’s positive, provided there are many peers (I’ve tested it; for videos with a small audience there’s a lot of buffering, which can be painful).

Gemini videoOne aspect often overlooked by so many is that all those “apps” and “(dis)services” (P2P or GAFAM-hosted) aren’t compatible with classic or standalone media players. When self-hosting media files it’s possible to also serve the files from Gemini browsers, for instance, as shown on the right. A media player of one’s choice will open a video when its link is pressed on (this example uses Amfora, which is command-line based). So in a sense this whole approach improves cross-protocol, not just cross-platform, support.

02.06.21

Quickly Producing Decent-Quality Videos With Webcamoid and Simple (Low-Cost) Webcams

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

WebcamoidSummary: Introducing Webcamoid, previously covered here in passing, as Free/libre software for producing videos on one’s desktop or laptop, including screencasting (no need for video editing or post-production hassle)

BACK in December I enthusiastically described or spoke about how I had discovered Webcamoid. Back then I did not (yet) know all the features of it. The more I explore, the more I love it. The above video explains how more than a month down the line I still use Webcamoid and why it’s easier to do with multiple screens. One screen deals with recording and another deals with whatever becomes visible in the webcast/screencast. No editing is necessary, so it speeds up the ‘production pipeline’. Another screen can also be used for notes (shall that ever become necessary).

“The above video explains how more than a month down the line I still use Webcamoid and why it’s easier to do with multiple screens.”The video format options are seemingly endless, the built-in filters are very impressive, and even sound (audio) options are sufficient for most people’s needs (unless they have very specialised hardware). I cannot recommend it enough, but sadly it still uses GitHub for code hosting. Nothing’s perfect!

01.17.21

Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

Posted in Site News, Videos at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We’ll remain focused on the underlying technology and policy issues, not political party tribalism

Biden Harris 'Fixed It': Change again?

Summary: Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we’re just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation

THE site is increasingly being served over IPFS. We also have the capacity to self-host very large files, then deliver them at high speeds (without a CDN like ClownFlare). It makes the site a lot more difficult to censor (Google/YouTube rapidly becomes notorious for it [1, 2]) or to digitally attack. Since moving to the new server about 18 days ago we’ve had no issue staving off attackers (in the DDOS sense). Readers can probably sense that pages are now loading a lot faster, too. We also did a lot of coding at several levels, both for operations and monitoring. There are always some projects floating about, waiting for time to become available. IRC tooling, Raspberry Pi tooling, IPFS and so on. For those who are curious about that level of depth, all the details will always be available in IRC logs. For secure and anonymous document drops we’ll have to complete the migration to Alpine containers and then add SSL on top of it all. It’s still work in progress, which requires scheduling and prior planning. We don’t want to risk any downtime (or worse).

“Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.”I have, by now, become more accustomed to and familiar with Free software tools that produce video (strictly with Free/libre software). The main weakness, I think, is the equipment used (low-cost and built into a laptop). There are lock-downs here and I do not shop online, so there’s no reprieve for at least another month. In the meantime, a clarification is in order. We do not intend to replace text with video; not ever or any time soon…

As a side note, we’ve promised ourselves (as Tim and I did when we published episodes of TechBytes) that there will be no preparation, no outlining, or even editing of what we record. It reduces complexity and makes production far less cumbersome. Spontaneity is possible as long as we have a set of URLs or Web pages with potential topics in them — topics which shall be dealt with in turn (sometimes reordering them helps a bit as it tidies up the mind). Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.

Videos are actually a lot faster to make than text; the workflow is largely the same for video and upload speeds are the bottleneck (especially this month because of severe issues with the ISP). Some particular aspects of publications are easier and safer to do in video, e.g. when dealing with leaked material. At the moment we’re a little light on news (not much happening in GNU/Linux or anything else for that matter) but not light on material because there’s plenty to be said about software freedom and patents in the analytical sense.

“In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!”One advantage we have is that we rarely need outside help to maintain and run the site (even beyond the level of editing, e.g. provisioning, backups, upgrades). This greatly lowers the costs associated with keeping the site online and active 24/7. A lot of other sites don’t have that luxury because they’re not run by sufficiently technical people and any time they need help with something they need to shell out a lot money (which they don’t have unless their site is trying to sell something, in turn corrupting its independence and integrity). In terms of site traffic, Apachetop (site monitoring tool) says that over the past 10 days the site averaged 7MB/second in requests, largely owing to videos. Last week the demand for videos grew 50% compared to the prior week, so there seems to be no reason to abandon videos, at least as a side feature. In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!

12.30.20

How We Record Videos With Very Low-Budget Gear and Only Free (Libre) Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Some readers (or viewers) have asked us to explain how we record videos; today, for the first time, we seem to be doing that more properly and here’s an explanation of what we’ve tried and what we use currently (as of today)

A decade or so ago (slightly more) we started doing shows in audio form and occasionally experimented with video as well. That was known as TechBytes. It never really ended, but we’ve put a pause on that because my co-host Tim was between jobs and looking after 2 young children is a lot of work. I recently fired up GTK-RecordMyDesktop because I was trying to record a Downfall joke that I had subtitled (without realising it was not possible to then download the resultant video). Seeing that GTK-RecordMyDesktop was still working (it has not been updated at all for about a decade), I decided to experiment a bit with video and for webcam I went with something very simple; Cheese is widely used on GNU/Linux systems and it’s best suited for GNOME users, it’s in the Debian repositories and so on…

So I started with Cheese. Not a great choice. It seems to be better suited for taking selfies with some effects. It doesn’t do much more than that.

After a few lousy videos I started experimenting with a combination of GTK-RecordMyDesktop and Cheese (e.g. browser with Cheese on top of it, set to “always on top”/”Above Others” and a borderless window). But clearly enough there was a better way to do this, somewhere out there…

That’s when I discovered Webcamoid, which is unfortunately hosted by GitHub (Microsoft). Webcamoid is very impressive in its own right. It has even called itself “The ultimate webcam suite!” (In the page title)

Being the sort of person who sticks to old habits and what’s already rather familiar, the past couple of weeks were still spent recording everything using GTK-RecordMyDesktop, basically a graphical front end for RecordMyDesktop. I used it to make GNU tutorials almost a decade ago. It generally works, but it’s a screen grabber that has deficiencies such as major lag, low frame rate capture and so on.

It was only this afternoon that I finally found time to properly study Webcamoid, which based on information I found online is widely regarded as one of the better if not the best thing for this task. As it turns out, Webcamoid makes recording video very easy, so there’s no need for RecordMyDesktop (or GTK-RecordMyDesktop) anymore. This will certainly make life a lot easier and it also seems to enhance quality, not just simplify the whole workflow (working with several applications in tandem).

For those who asked how the videos are made, well… all I can say is, don’t be reluctant to try new things. New Free/libre software projects emerge (or get submerged) all the time and some of them are rich in features and are also mature/stable. Webcamoid has its share of bugs (I found no major bugs in RecordMyDesktop), but nothing is perfect and it costs nothing. It more importantly respects your freedom!

The video above is my first recording produced directly in Webcamoid. It’s not scripted or anything, it’s mostly a ramble, but it explains my journey (about a fortnight so far) in the world of video recording when Free (as in Freedom) is a strict requirement.

Next week when we start releasing some new leaks (not just EPO) I wish to be able to explain them not only in textual form, which lacks nuance. Obviously we’re not like some fancy newsroom or recording studio; it’s just some tiny home office at a corner of a room. But we do our best, every day, given those limited means. We don’t wish to be judged by or compared to people who do those sorts of things for a living. We have neither the experience nor the equipment/budget.

12.29.20

When it Comes to Bill Gates and Vaccination, Critics Need to Focus on Monopoly and Profits at Taxpayers’ Expense

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Videos at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: This video does not deal with whether or not COVID-19 vaccines (Russia and the US promote some) are effective and/or safe; instead, it focuses on who stands to benefit from them financially (the elephant in the room is the co-founder of Microsoft, who is wrongly portrayed as an expert)

THE mass hysteria over Bill Gates isn’t entirely unfounded, but it’s often misdirected and misguided. It attributes to Mr. Gates things he did not actually do and does not intend to do, either. We’ve often wondered aloud if this is intentional — that is, whether there’s an attempt to make a caricature out of critics of Bill Gates.

“The media cites as an authority on the matter people with no real (technical) understanding of vaccination — people like Gates who are in effect vaccine profiteers rather than vaccination gurus.”This subject is hardly new to us. For over a decade we’ve warned that Gates was aligning himself to make a lot of money out of vaccination — to the point where he was hijacking decision-making bodies all around the world (some insiders from those bodies openly complained about Gates and his intervention). India is a good example of it, but Africa doesn’t lack examples as well.

india-gates-foundationAt the moment many people are urged to adopt mass vaccination shouldered by national budget (i.e. taxpayers) and little attention is being paid to monopoly aspects. The media cites as an authority on the matter people with no real (technical) understanding of vaccination — people like Gates who are in effect vaccine profiteers rather than vaccination gurus. The media itself often turns out to have been paid by Gates, leading to yet another issue and raising perfectly legitimate questions because the press and TV channels ought not reduced themselves to pure marketing; their job ought to be informing the public and doing so responsibly.

Links for/from the video (more recent first):

  1. Donald Trump Helped Bill Gates Increase His Wealth by More Than 50%, Especially During the Pandemic
  2. Conspiracy Theories Have Successfully Distracted From Perfectly Legitimate and Real Scandals of Bill Gates in India, the Fertile Ground for Unethical Mass Experimentation on Humans
  3. Latest Tim Schwab Investigative Report on Bill Gates Explores His Latest Vaccine Profiteering Drive (important video of Bill Gates at the bottom)
  4. While the Poor Get Sick, Bill Gates Just Gets Richer
  5. Bill Gates, King of Piracy and Serial Vandal, is a Terrible Public Face for Vaccination Efforts/COVID-19 Response Drive
  6. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called ‘Charity’ to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

12.27.20

Video: How Microsoft Killed Nokia and Harmed an Entire Country

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Videos at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Response to revisionists who blame the demise of Nokia on anything but Microsoft’s cult tactics and infiltration

The comment [1] sent to us for assessment deals with topics we’ve covered here for many years [2][3], so equipped with credible reports — including from high-level insiders — we’re responding to overt revisionism regarding Microsoft, Elop, and Nokia.

Towards the end we also mention how many choose to forget what Microsoft has done to the likes of Nokia, Novell and many others (even Yahoo! this past decade) and instead treat Microsoft like it’s not a danger anymore. Two people recently pointed out to me a new FSF article (year’s end message) that hardly mentions Microsoft at all. “That’s the article with 12 mentions of Apple and one sheepish mention of Microsoft,” told us one person in IRC this morning. “Still the same,” he said. “FSF is basically Microsoft PR. They will bash everyone but Microsoft. Same situation with EFF. And Linux Foundation” (sponsored by Microsoft for nearly half a decade now).

Links from the video:

  1. The comments in question
  2. MOSAID
  3. Nokia
  4. Ex-Nokia exec Tomi Ahonen explains the Microsoft Nokia mess
  5. The Full Story of Nokia and Microsoft – How we got here, and why Microsoft will fail with Nokia handsets just like it did with Kin
  6. As Microsoft kills off the remnants of Nokia, it signs off on its own eventual demise
  7. 15 Ways Nokia’s N900 Is Better Than Apple’s iPhone (and 5 ways it’s not)
  8. Nokia N900 official, uses Linux to ‘kill’ iPhone
  9. When No means No? What part of No do Nokia and Microsoft not understand? US Consumers Reject Lumia at 96% Rate says Latest Survey (Corrected)
  10. Now We Know Why – Nokia’s Elop had a $25M personal bonus clause from the Nokia Board if he was able to sell the handset unit to Microsoft

12.26.20

Video: The Usual Unified Patent Court (UPC) Hilarity Ensues as Same Old Lies Are Recycled by ‘IP’ Federation, Then Amplified by Team UPC on Boxing Day

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents, Videos at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Only a few days after the constitutional complaints became widely publicised/known about and moping by Team UPC commenced [1, 2]

Summary: Kluwer Patent Blog continues to facilitate UPC propaganda (as early as today in the morning, still a holiday); it’s as if nobody needs to bother with and worry about constitutions being ripped to pieces and simple facts don’t matter, either

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