Coming home at a quarter to nine, the sun has set but it’s still bright outside, the familiar smell of the apartment, take a few steps, and then – a fantastic sweetness, of hidden flowers after the desert, a memory of happiness, and then it hits you, a desire to bury your head in the hair of a woman you love, a desire to see her, to hear her voice – a heart squeezing. Yes, the Sanseveria is blooming again and I am sitting here like a fool, dreaming. That smell. Oh, that smell.
My Butlerian Jihad is ongoing. My Gopher and Gemini server logs show that I have about 8000 requests in the last 24h, of which about 6000 (!) are blocked. That is to say, at least ¾ of all Gopher and Gemini requests are stupid bots – because humans and well designed bots would stop making these requests. The response tells the bot how many seconds to wait. But they don't. And their human operators don't check, either. What callous disregard.
https://alexschroeder.ch/wiki/2020-12-25_Defending_against_crawlers (see comments at the end)
Hmmm. Son has built in an issue tracker to this Minecraft map heh.
ok somehow it's my birthday AGAIN so I'm doing what I did last time this happened: if you're one of the first five people to send me a receipt for at least $300 donated to one of the orgs listed below I'll send you one of these weird handmade mechanical keyboards I build
new blog post!
# Software From Another World
> We undermine not only unions, but every aspect of the worker's life: AirBnB spikes rents, Uber disenfranchises drivers, a thousand streaming services reinvent cable, Amazon fucks everybody, and so on. Despite any niche expertise, these are companies made possible by software, by the lending of software labor to capitalist ends. We can choose to deny them, if we stand together.
I have written two feed aggregators. Here's how they pick what to display:
Moku pona produces one line per feed it watches; when it works without bugs, that means it links to each feed exactly once, simply reordering them when updates come in.
Jupiter takes the four latest entries of every feed, sorts them all by date, and keeps the 100 most recent ones. Again, nobody can really overwhelm the feed.
A while ago, @solderpunk reorganized CAPCOM. “Each month, CAPCOM randomly selects 100 distinct URLs from its list of known feeds, and includes their content in its output. This makes it a nice way to discover new content in Geminispace.”
At the time I liked the idea. But of the 64 links visible right now, 20 are links to my blog. This doesn't feel right.
Space flight, climate collapse
“I found this piece of information … to set these flight into perspective. Such a flight produces the equivalent of roughly 400 to 600 commercial transatlantic flights in CO2 emission.”
German article referenced:
Individual action is never going to be enough. Do what you can, but then also vote the right people into power.
Göktuğ's #FediTips No. 004 (Toot privacy)
(Sorry for the long toots without content warnings, I am not using them because these toots are meant to be discoverable to newcomers. I'll make sure that these are once a week things and not a constant harassment of your timelines.)
The plan for this Sunday is to post this weeks fedi tip, brew me a nice cup of coffee, and do some reading for my studies, so let me get going with the plan.
The topic this week is related to the last week's topic which concerned blocks and reports. We will be talking about another way of making (almost) sure who sees your toots are who you intend them to see.
Besides blocks, the main tool for adjusting the audience of your presence here on a toot-by-toot basis is the four-or-five levels of toot privacy you can set, the number varying depending on the instance you're on (we'll talk about it in detail in a bit).
First of all, how do you set toot privacy? Well, on the Mastodon web application, it's the third button from left below the compose box, and it's alt text is "adjust toot privacy". Probably as a homage to horrible design, the icon of this button is un-annotated, and varies depending on the setting, which sucks but you will get used to it. The icon will be one of: a globe, an unlocked padlock, a locked padlock, or an envelope. Luckily, each level is annotated in the menu that opens once you click. On apps, it totally depends on the app, but it's often a similar looking icon.
The broadest level of toot privacy is "public". This means two things: your toot is available to public timelines, and it's also visible in the RSS feed of your account. What are public timelines? It is what you see when you check out the "federated" timeline, i.e., the toot is readily visible to any instance that your instance hasn't defederated from. The RSS feed means that these defederations are circumventable: any RSS reader can see these toots, so you should consider them to be essentially fully public. Even if the RSS feeds didn't include them, the public website would, which is fully public, which reinforces the same conclusion: public toots are public, in every sense of the world. Do not rely on deferedations or instance/user blocks for their privacy.
The next stricter level is "unlisted". An unlisted toot is public, but it's excluded from the RSS feeds, and invisible in public timelines. Your followers will still see it, and can boost it, so it is essentially a public toot but a bit more silent. Instead of using it for privacy, I suggest you use unlisted toots when you want something to be seen by your followers primarily, but not necessarily want it to be followers-only either. Exclusion from RSS readers is a nice benefit, but do not forget that public webpages can be scraped fairly trivially.
The actual level with any real privacy is "followers only". Only your followers will be able to see a followers-only toot, and only they can interact with it. It won't be on the RSS feed, not in the public timelines. It's practically not available to be boosted as well. There is a major caveat tho, which we will talk about in a bit.
The strictest level is "Direct". Direct toots will only be visible to people who are explicitly mentioned in the toot itself by their fediverse handles, e.g. @ cadadr @ toot.cat (without the spaces, of course). This is similar to a DM on Twitter and IIUC some other platforms, and this is when you want to talk to a fedizen, or a few, directly.
Now, the caveat. What is the caveat? The caveat is that neither followers-only nor direct toots are stored in such a way to disallow the instance moderators from seeing them. It's a bit cumbersome as they don't have an Admin UI for it, but they can see messages if they choose to query the database directly. What this means is, at some level, you have to trust your admins to not peek in your messages and be nasty with them. More concretely, what this means is, use either of these privacy settings very carefully, and if you really want or need a conversation to be truly private, move the communication outside fediverse. I will be talking about etiquette on fediverse later, but make sure that you read your interlocutor(s)' profile(s) before either sending them a direct toot to see if they have set any boundary about DMs, and make sure you are very clear with your intent if you're asking to move the conversation to a different medium, especially if you haven't had a decent amount of interactions with them already here. Failing these might result in the interaction coming off as very creepy, and might result in a report or block.
It's not unlike real life, you wouldn't just go up to a new acquaintance or a stranger and offer them to have a private chat in the bathroom or in the back alley, no? Same thing here.
Another etiquette thing I'll mention briefly but talk more about in a later "etiquette" toot in this thread is that, changing the privacy level of a thread. This means, e.g. replying to an unlisted thread with a reply whose privacy is set to public, or vice versa, or similar. It is generally advisable to make sure that the privacy level of your reply is the same as the toot you are replying to (tho there are exceptions), and to never reply with a toot whose privacy is less strict than the toot you are replying to. Most likely that will be taken to be hostile.
Now, on top of these four levels of privacy, instances that use the Glitch-soc and Hometown forks of Mastodon have an extra level of privacy available to them, that's somewhere between unlisted and followers only: local-only posting. A local only post is visible only to your peers at your instance. In order to set this level, if you are on one of these forks, you will have to click the three dots icon below the compose box, whose title is "advanced options", and check the "local-only" checkbox.
Before concluding this, I wish to mention one idea that's been brought up by several users in my circles, and is truly a sad omission from mastodon: mutual-only toots, i.e. toots that are only visible to people that are both in your followers and in your follows. Presumably these are your fediverse besties, especially if yours is a "locked" account, and having this as a level of privacy could be very useful. I can remember several instances where I really wanted to be able to use this, and several toots that I avoided posting because this was not available. A truly unfortunate omission in a network that's supposed to avoid the bad sides of the likes of Twitter and instead provide its users with safe spaces to express themselves.
Last thing I'll touch upon is toot auto-deleters/purgers. I don't know much about these tools myself, but when browsing profiles, you'll encounter ones that say things like "my toots expire" or "toots expire in X days" or "my toots are automatically deleted", etc. These users are using services that go through their history, and delete toots that are older than a certain age, or when the number of their public toots exceed a quota determined by them. I don't know any of these tools well enough to make a suggestion, so if you want to use them, you'll need to find one, or maybe ask one of the users you encounter that say they use them.
So this is it for this weekend. This one was particularly long, but if I feel like any briefer would be too brief, and there wasn't a logical point to break the topic into two, so, yeah. Sorry about that.
Next week, we'll talk about how to post accessible toots.
fuck it, I'm releasing my databending drum machine TONIGHT
make drum loops with percussive samples procedurally generated from opus codec glitches!~ 🥁💥💻
Macroglossum stellatarum. The Macroglossum doesn’t take frost so most of them arrive from the Mediterranean in spring and spread north for three or four generations, apparently. They spend winter as adults so if the area is frost free you can find them all year around. That’s what this German page says, in any case. https://www.nabu.de/tiere-und-pflanzen/insekten-und-spinnen/schmetterlinge/nachtfalter/05175.html
Xylocopa violacea is also benefiting from the climate meltdown. https://thueringen.nabu.de/tiere-und-pflanzen/bienen/blaue-holzbiene/
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