Late Night Blog

Here to share things I think about late at night.

Just heard another person share the semi recent incognito lawsuit Google settled and I'm going to do some complaining.

In the event you somehow made it to the fediverse or nostr without knowing: an incognito window allows you to browse the internet without saving cookies or history after you close the tab. It also does not use existing cookies saved from previous sessions.

What your browser cannot do, however, is hack into a server or ISP to change how it operates. Anything outside of that like IP logging is unaffected and cookies are still provided to your browser even if they are discarded when the window is closed.

This is was indicated by both the incognito page and in addition to being a fairly simple concept. I get that not everybody is interested in tech but what I'm really worried to see is the fact that Google was liable to the tune of $5bn because people didn't know what they were using.

I half expect to see another lawsuit against Google demanding $5bn because people bought Chromebooks and can't run Windows software.


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The Socials Nostr – Fedi

Gen Z doesn't understand file systems – Futurism

I may be 2 Β½ years late to comment on this #news article but I thought it was worth a share after reading it more recently. It's as the title says, apparently a large number of Gen Z doesn't have a good grasp on aspects of #tech including how file systems work.

You're reading this on Activity Pub so regardless of your age I take it you understand how a file system works. But I didn't post this so we could feel superior or laugh at zoomers. Okay maybe a little bit. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Outside of laughing and smugness it is a sign #technology is getting better. I can't do a complex repair on my car. Older generations could because their cars would break down a lot and they had to fix them. My car can go tens of thousands of miles with nothing but an oil change or three.

With that the article can be viewed in a positive light. Not everybody has the time or capacity to dive deep into technology. If better technology makes the hard stuff easy and the easy stuff effortless then we have gained something as a society.

Still it is probably good to understand the basics. I can also imagine none of us want a future when an entire generation can't do anything beyond install an app like TikTok that's been approved by our duel technocratic overlords Apple and Google.

Even the basics like knowing how to install an Android app outside of Google Play* or editing privacy settings would be a good thing to know. And being on the fediverse I assume that we all want to see it and similar technology grow.

And if people don't know what a file system is I doubt they can wrap their heads around a decentralized protocol with relays and asymmetric encryption.

So know that you've heard my ramblings what are your thoughts on the matter?

  • I am going to refuse to call it side loading. It's not side loading when you install an app outside of the Microsoft Store or your Linux Distro's repos. On Apple sure, but Android's package manager is built to handle multiple stores or manually installed apps so I refuse to cede the idea that it's some secret high tech thing.

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If you are looking for something to read or listen to then I would like to recommend the 1973 book Rendezvous with Rama by the late author Arthur C. Clarke. Set around 100 years in the future it encompasses the discover and exploration of what first appears to be an asteroid, which is later found to be much more.

While it may be considered cheating to book lovers, I listened to an abridged audio book which provided a very interesting two hour listen.

The audio book I listened to was uploaded to YouTube (not by me) here. Consider listening to it here with piped or here with invidious.

Outside of the above Rendezvous with Rama is also available in book, ebook, or unabridged audiobook form in a number of places.


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The Socials Nostr – Fedi

I promised to complain about threads too and I keep my promises.

Threads isn't actually federated right now but is testing allowing developers' accounts to output their posts into the #fediverse. No data is coming in from the fediverse (yet).

In this time they have already begun to block various activity pub platforms.

Though not Nostradamus I see threads blocking a very large swath of the fediverse. In fact I would half expect them to defederate with any small instance that has 1 or more posts that violates threads's tos.

They already said that a chronological view is dangerous to their users.. They don't seem too open or forgiving.

I don't care about much else because I don't care much about using threads. Only interest here is how the #threads #federation goes down.

Original Post: Blocking threads seems pointless, even if Meta is an asshole


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Blocking threads seems pointless, even if Meta is an asshole

In the recent weeks Meta has been testing Threads' integration into the #fediverse and it has been causing quite the stir. Truth be told they have been saying they would do exactly that for a while. Though previously it could have been written off as a buzzword to appease shareholders and put off what appears to be the slow decline of the Meta stock price.

The response of many instances has been to defederate with Threads. I dislike Meta. I also dislike #Threads even more then other #Meta projects. But I personally believe blocking threads is not the right decision.

Blocking threads runs counter to the idea of the fediverse. The intention of it is to interact with other servers of various kinds. Having cliques which determine who is and is not allowed to federate pushes the fediverse to a Musk or Zuckerberg situation with extra steps. It also pushes other projects away from the fediverse who also may have otherwise considered integrating prior to such a hostile response.

There have been three arguments I have heard against federation with Threads which are understandable. First is the fear that Threads will use the embrace and extinguish model to overtake activity pub. It is reasonable to be afraid of this and something all too familiar in other examples of federation like the XMPP chat protocol and Google Chat.

Unlike XMPP where Google Chat had the overwhelmingly larger user base, activity pub is more diverse. Though Threads is the largest they don't have the overwhelmingly large enough numbers to dictate a change and force other platforms to comply or die out. A quick search that I cannot guarantee the accuracy of puts the daily active users of the following activity pub platforms near:

Mastodon: 1.8 Million

Threads: 28 Million

Truth Social 5 Million

Gab: 100 thousand

Threads does have the furthest user base by far. There are other user bases, however, and because of their size and because they have already existed prior to Threads in the event Meta were to try to change the way they implement the protocol it would likely only serve to immediately cut them off from other communities. The gap will likely continue to shrink as other implementations of activity pub crop up and as the fediverse likely continues to grow.

Aside from fears of the size of Threads the second fear I heard is the fear that they will collect data and serve ads. It would be next to impossible to serve ads to people on other servers and there is no indication they will try to do something like that. It is also no harder to collect your data with or without federation.

Last is the fear of the fediverse being flooded with people. Thing is those will be/are normal people. Meta might be a pain, but normal everyday people use Threads and many of them would probably be a fine addition to the fediverse. Besides it wouldn't be a good first impression if your entrance to the fediverse is a bunch of people who dislike you being there for what seems to be no good reason.

For these reasons I believe threads should be federated with now and only defederated later on if they do something to the fediverse that causes them to be a bad digital neighbor. Stay tuned for my likely coming rant on why I dislike Threads as a platform and their federation model.


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Less charitably, I’m going to be the person sharing unprompted #opinions on things on the internet. I wanted to start this here to share my thoughts on whatever I think about late at night.

I’m on tchncs.de’s Writefreely instance and on Nostr. #Writefreely is on the #fediverse and is great for longer form content with formatting and provides the #blog stuff like an RSS feed. #Nostr can work with long form and microblogging but is mostly plain text instead of a more complete blogging platform.

If you want to follow me either would work. Writefreely on ActivityPub @latenightblog@text.tchncs.de or rss will have all my long form content. Nostr at latenightblog@iris.to or npub will have my short form content and unformatted long form content or links to me Writefreely posts.

My goals here are to have an outlet for my thoughts and to help me fully formulate them. It’s a bonus if people enjoy reading them or they spur a discussion.


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