07.31.21

Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

Posted in Site News at 7:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)

THE most exciting development on the Internet, at least from our possibly ‘narrow’ perspective, is Gemini protocol. Sure, we may be biased, especially as we’re a participant in the migration to Web alternatives (as in, substitutes that can replace the bloated World Wide Web to some degree, at least some of the time).

Our July statistics for Gemini were published around midnight (0:00) of the last day of the month. By at the actual end of the month we’ve served over 160k page requests in gemini:// (in one month, a new all-time record); we can’t help but wonder which capsules get the most traffic as it’s not impossible that among them it is in fact gemini.techrights.org, which remains the largest one, according to these August 1st statistics.

Techrights at Gemini space and 1500 capsules
Techrights at the top of this list for about 4 months in a row now…

We recently added our wiki to the archive of all posts. It can be found at gemini://gemini.techrights.org/wiki/ (still alpha).

Gemini seems to be growing in general. Recent developments in Gemini space can be tracked here (signal/noise ratio improved by mild moderation).

The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode’s Own Fault

Posted in Site News at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e32cc13838b6ede478cf3943fdf8b6bc

Summary: Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole

Freenode on netsplit.deAS we noted in an article last night, the size of Freenode had become invisible some days ago due to new restrictions. But using some heuristics it’s possible to see that the channels lost about 25% of their users in the past few days alone. The #techrights channel decreased from about 50-55 online users to just over 40. Channel occupancy in Freenode as a whole went down from 86k to 64k, so the ratio sort of matches. That’s down from 311,686 at the end of March, so a reduction by about 80% in just 4 months!

“3 days ago when the network’s access requirements became a lot steeper it likely symbolised the beginning of the end of Freenode.”As explained in the video above, this harms longtime communities in Freenode and there seems to be no turnaround; all those additional restrictions and the database of users/channels being flushed away without prior warning* would only reduce the incentive to retain (existing users/channels). They won’t attract new users this way, either. The imaginary target audience just isn’t there. They create more problems than solutions. They make IRC even harder.

“Freenode has done this to itself with a string of awful, self-harming decisions.”3 days ago when the network’s access requirements became a lot steeper it likely symbolised the beginning of the end of Freenode. It’s not reliable anymore (from a purely technical standpoint, never mind the oddball 'politics'). On the upside, the running costs of Freenode will decrease significantly as a function of users moving away and the spam/abuse issue will go away on its own (no users, no abuse). Freenode has done this to itself with a string of awful, self-harming decisions.

Freenode: Delete channels; Mass bans; Destroy database; Require account

____
* This was a severe security issue. Anyone could, at least temporarily, just register as myself (same username) and then show up a logged in user with my name, exploiting such impersonation to gain access to systems through social engineering (people who think this is me and cannot prove otherwise). Moreover, it enabled existing channels to be hijacked by hostile parties. How could they not foresee this? It’s totally reckless; they’re careless about decades-long communities that thrived in the network until this year.

07.30.21

[Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

Posted in Site News at 8:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Firefox clones, Chrome clones, Gemini://

Summary: A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://

Techrights in gemini://

07.26.21

Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

Posted in Site News at 7:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

3 days ago: The Next One Thousand Blog Posts and the 15th Anniversary of Techrights

They eat our cake, then ask us to report bugs
Want to become an unpaid volunteer of IBM? Then join Fedora in 2021. And create a Microsoft GitHub account.

Summary: After 31,000 blog posts it’s time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities

THIS blog post of ours is technically the 31,000th (unpublished drafts included), but a pointless self-congratulatory post would not accomplish anything. Instead, let’s discuss priorities. Thinking ahead, the EPO conflict will certainly escalate as dialogue with António Campinos broke down this year (first SUEPO at the start of the year, then increasingly the staff representatives too) and recent rulings about the Benoît Battistelli-led Vichyite strike regulations led to this call for reparations (see all the comments here).

“Team UPC will continue to spread false predictions in the media. As always!”A decade ago the EPO typically referred to European software patents as “CII” but now it’s “AI” (Hey Hi!) and a bunch of other fluff. We need to keep abreast of those sementic games as they occasionally spread to other continents, threatening to undo 35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and even the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Judging by what President Biden has done so far, we don’t expect Coons et al to thwart 35 U.S.C. § 101 and therefore we won’t be focusing on the US patent system, except habitually in Daily Links (as we last did this morning; Chris Coons, the corrupted lobbyist/mole of the litigation fanatics/profiteers, is being groomed by Joff Wild and IAM).

Litigation companies insisting they want 'innovation'Remember that from Day 1 (2006) we’ve been fighting against software patents. That’s nothing new.

Team UPC will continue to spread false predictions in the media. As always! We can safely respond to that in Daily Links without devoting long articles to the subject.

So what does that leave us with? Mostly Free (as in freedom) software and EPO.

But our plan is to add more focus to simplicity and UNIX philosophy (the roots of GNU). Something ought to be done about complicated, monopolised, privatised, and centralised so-called ‘tech’. We need to change that current trajectory because people are being farmed, not served. Complexity needs to be replaced by simplicity and front groups like Linux Foundation replaced by communities. Google has not helped anybody embrace (software) Freedom, IBM does not embrace real communities (it calls its own employees “communities”), and Microsoft is openwashing everything so as to push proprietary software whereas Amazon mostly kills off lots of small webhosts and shops.

The way things are generally going, we won’t win back freedom (or control over our computing), even if "Linux" spreads further over time.

Corporate 'community' and grassroots community
Grassroots communities aren’t for-profits with shareholders

Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

Posted in Site News, Videos at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 9e18d73723ad24a0c372077fc8517d30

Summary: We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)

THE addition of aggregated logs yesterday morning has meant that even without an IRC client or a Web browser it is possible to track all our channels, either from thew command line, a text editor, or something else, as shown in the video above.

“We plan to publish more articles instead of messing about with logistics.”There was already a file for #techrights (updated every 5 minutes in http://techrights.org/irc and in gemini://gemini.techrights.org/chat/index.gmi), but its scope was limited to one single channel.

The community of Techrights is still as strong as ever. We’ve managed to endure and survive the semi-exit from Freenode (merely a fallback now), which means we’re also moving in the direction we explored/entertained a year ago (IRC de-centralisation).

In the background of the video one can see blinking lights, which indicate IPFS status. I wrote a program for it. It works reasonably well after all these months.

Techrghts post number 30,999It has now been 3 days since the BT kerfuffle (and two weeks since having to replace my keyboard and learn this wholly different one), so we’ve managed to become a lot more productive and a lot more focused again. We plan to publish more articles instead of messing about with logistics. This will be post number 30,999 (see screenshot on the right).

07.25.21

Following Techrights IRC Channels From the Command Line (or the Web and Gemini)

Posted in Site News at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 3b228ff45c983c528681a60f3506e3ca

Summary: The (almost) real-time logs for #techrights have been available in http://techrights.org/irc and in gemini://gemini.techrights.org/chat/index.gmi for over a month; today we extend that to cover all channels (aggregated into one)

THE past few months were spent dealing with IRC disruption like we’ve never experienced in over 13 years. We took the opportunity to make several improvements. This morning at around 2 AM we carefully checked the output (txt and html files) for #techpol, whose logging was finally automated yesterday, then tested thoroughly.

“Access and read IRC in (almost) real-time right from the command line.”Later in the moning we improved the tooling with some simple command line programs and pipelines. I’ve decided to (re)check and ensure it’s all consistent with Konversation (KDE) as shown on the screen (GUI), lessening interactions with bloated applications and reducing the need for notifications of any kind. In the process we’ve managed to create a sort of tool everyone can take advantage of. Access and read IRC in (almost) real-time right from the command line.

For all channels in one place (aggregated):

watch -n 5 "wget -qO- http://techrights.org/irc-archives/irc-status.txt | tail -20"

watch-all-channelsAll channels watched

For #techrights alone (different format, different source/node):

watch -n 5 "wget -qO- http://techrights.org/irc | tail -20"

#techrights channel watched#techrights channel watched

The 2 screenshots show what it looks like on my system. Watch and Wget are quite universal. On some systems they may need adding. To change refresh intervals to something other than 5 seconds alter the number after -n accordingly. The same is true for number of lines shown (tail -20)

From the Web (as shown in the video above, with a screenshot added below) it looks the same as before. We hope more people will take advantage of these interfaces (for which we run jobs/processes 24/7).

IRC tail
Latest updates from all IRC channels

07.23.21

Improving the Signal-to-Noise Ratio in IRC

Posted in Site News at 3:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Improving our efficiency. From Konversation (minutes ago):

IRC channels in the new network
There are new additions (the count above does not include users in other networks, e.g. over 80 users at #techrights in Freenode and — against our will — in LC)

Summary: The IRC channels in the new network include #TechPol — another addition that helps keep the main channel focused on our principal priorities

SINCE moving to our shiny (new) IRC network, which we self-host, we’ve had people create some additional channels. This wasn’t our intention, but that’s just the nature of IRC and how it works. To avoid depending on proprietary software (GitHub), ranging from proprietary platform to proprietary JavaScript, we’ve made a local (plain text) version of the IRC manuals. We currently use ergo, which is written in Go and has thus far been very reliable.

One new channel that we’ve adopted as semi-official is #TechPol (for politics) — a channel whose purpose is to sort of offload more political or less tech-focused discussions, removing them from the main channel, which is #TechRights. We hope this can help enhance and improve the signal/noise (s/n) ratio in the main channel. Some of the other channels are used to document relevant communications and links that later go into Daily Links. TuxMachines uses the Techrights IRC server as a sort of safe haven, seeing that Freenode cannot be relied on anymore (even just for technical reasons).

The Next One Thousand Blog Posts and the 15th Anniversary of Techrights

Posted in Site News at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 57738c4d9e1921ce26eeaa585a7f2269

Summary: A quick video about our future focus as a Web site that seeks to illuminate suppressed subjects — a timely issue to bring up as we very soon complete and surpass our 31,000th blog post (some time next week) and some topics are becoming obsolete by their very nature

THE history of this site is not a secret and unlike many other sites we don’t engage in revisionism about it. Everything started in 2006 as “Boycott Novell” — an action rooted in Novell’s patent collusion with Microsoft. The subject remains unaddressed because even though Novell is no longer around Microsoft’s strategy carries on, albeit in some evolved form like infiltrating other companies and the Linux Foundation.

“Everything started in 2006 as “Boycott Novell” — an action rooted in Novell’s patent collusion with Microsoft.”We must do more to highlight the severity of this situation because Microsoft sinks a lot of money into revisionism, distortion, and perception management (not just in sites it controls directly but also rags such as ZDNet).

There’s a similar problem at the EPO; Benoît Battistelli sank million of euros into abuse of the media (legal bullying and bribery) — a tradition that most certainly continues under António Campinos. It was the subject of the media file (video) we made this morning. We must confront false narratives!

“We must confront false narratives!”This unscripted rambling (above) mentions the common phenomenon about people running out of video topics to cover (we have over 1,000 videos in this site, about 500 of them since we started making many of our own back in December) and explains the unique nature of things we plan to cover because we don’t like merely parroting what’s already well covered (or poorly covered) elsewhere.

In the video I’ve mentioned along the way that media coverage regarding software patents in the US and in Europe mostly vanished. It happened years ago. The EFF also put its sword down and stopped fighting, even though TechDirt occasionally brings that up again. We definitely intend to continue covering this very important topic. A key person who dealt with it died 12 days ago, just like Pieter Hintjens.

“We moreover need to re-engineer or change the topology of things in order to lessen collective reliance on social control media (misinformation, censorship), centralisation (monopoly), and all sorts of artificial barriers put in place and cemented by patents.”When people stop confronting a falsehood (a surrender to lies, due to fatigue) we quit having access to the simple truth and, accordingly, lies become ‘normalised’. Such as the lie that the EPO runs smoothly under Team Campinos, Microsoft is a reformed company that “loves Linux”, and GitHub is good for “Open Source” (heck, even “Open Source” itself turns out to have been a lie, spun off as a marketing ploy by openwashing of everything proprietary).

Recently the community jumped from one disaster to the next (gradual death of Freenode, attacks on the FSF/GPL, demise of the so-called ‘Open Web’) and so we need more lifeboats and contingencies. We moreover need to re-engineer or change the topology of things in order to lessen collective reliance on social control media (misinformation, censorship), centralisation (monopoly), and all sorts of artificial barriers put in place and cemented by patents.

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