Brit living in Belgium and earning an income from building interfaces. Interestes include science, science fiction, technology, and European news and politics
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Choosing Windows for your organization should get you fired

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In the wake of yet another ransomware attack—this time named NotPetya—I have a special message specifically for those of you working in organizations that continue to run Microsoft Windows as the operating system on either your servers or your desktops:

You are doing a terrible job and should probably be fired. 

I know. That’s harsh. 

But it’s true. If you haven’t yet replaced Windows, across the board, you absolutely stink at your job. 

For years, we’ve had one trojan, worm and virus after another. And almost every single one is specifically targeting Microsoft Windows. Not MacOS. Not Linux. Not DOS. Not Unix. Windows. 

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expatpaul
4 hours ago
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Belgium
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FSFE provides Git hosting for its supporters

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FSFE provides Git hosting for its supporters

Sharing one's knowledge is a core principle in the Free Software society, collaboration is another. From today, the FSFE provides its supporters and registered volunteers a platform to create and manage Git repositories with a comfortable user interface: git.fsfe.org.

Git is not only a tool to store files but the most popular version control system, similar to SVN. While Git is a command line server and client, there are several graphical implementations. The FSFE is using Gitea as a web interface.

Features

With git.fsfe.org, the FSFE allows its supporters to share and collaborate on a platform while fully respecting their freedoms. Using the graphical web interface, people can open issue reports for bugs or feature requests. This way, users are able to:

host code they are using for their FSFE activities (and of course other purposes) share minutes and other documents of FSFE group meetings collaborate on flyers, presentations or business cards leave feedback on and help improving existing software by other users of git.fsfe.org ...and many more!

The FSFE also strives to migrate as much code and relevant files as possible to this new platform, for example future website developments, promotion material, and helpful scripts for the organisation's day-to-day work.

About Gitea

Gitea is a performant and user-friendly Git service that is published under a Free Software license. Unlike other services there is no proprietary enterprise version ("open-core"), but has a strong focus on community development, and already contains almost all features people know from other Git services without any non-free dependencies. There are already efforts taking place to interconnect Gitea installations to enable federation of Git repositories.

We would like to welcome you to log in with your FSFE Fellowship credentials, test and use the service, and leave some feedback. You can also push this new service by improving and adding usage guides for Git beginners on our dedicated wiki pages – help us helping! Also, consider contributing to the Gitea project.

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

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expatpaul
8 days ago
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That's handy
Belgium
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Alex Jones cries foul ahead of interview with 'Medusa' NBC host Megyn Kelly

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Trump-supporting conspiracy theorist claims to have been lured with flattery while NBC rides Sandy Hook protests and urges viewers to ‘tune in Sunday’

Controversy over NBC host Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones is intensifying before its Sunday night broadcast, with the far-right conspiracy theorist – and supporter of Donald Trump – claiming to have secretly recorded his entire interaction with the former Fox News host and threatening to “leak” the results.

Related: The Virginia shooting fallout was predictably partisan. Can this ever be fixed?

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expatpaul
10 days ago
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"He then promoted a line of organic toiletries, sales of which help fund his operations"

I have to admit that this line made me laugh.
Belgium
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Celebrating identi.ca

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I'm not sure when I first logged onto identi.ca. I'm pretty sure it was after my friend Greg Grossmeier signed on that I created my account "snapl@identi.ca". I started following people that I knew in the FLOSS (Free / Libre Open Source Software) community. But I also started following other folks on there as well. The public stream moved at a ticker-tape crawl (not like the Twitter public stream which moved faster than you could read). But it was exciting to be part of something new.

Identi.ca is a federated social network created by Evan Prodromou. What that means is each node of the network operates independently. So I could start my own instance at decafbad.net and build my own community of users. You could join any of the other instances out there and interact with the folks on that community of users. The federated part is that each of the users on these systems can then follow each other. So if Bob is at the example.com instance I can follow bob@example.com.

Also Statusnet, the software that powered Identi.ca and the other instances was released under the GPL license. That meant that anyone could hack on it and spin up their own version of the software.

At the time this was unheard of. Twitter was just hitting critical mass and having some growing pains trying to figure out their next move. And, as Twitter is wont to do they made some controversial decisions.

The first explosion of identi.ca accounts came like a wave. Many folks hopped onto identi.ca for a variety of reasons. Some were looking for the next big thing, some looking for what Twitter wasn't giving them. Some were just following Robert Scoble and Leo Laporte. Whatever the reason they were populating the instance and conversations blossomed.

Over time folks faded back to Twitter. Identi.ca tended to get these waves of people who checked out the service, but then realized they had different conversations on identi.ca than they did on Twitter.

I remember Steve Gilmor co-organized a conference about identi.ca and the future of social media. I remember watching the live-stream of the proceedings. Steve seemed more interested in ensuring that these services had "the firehose" like Twitter had. The firehose was the entire public stream of Twitter. Identi.ca had it, but each instance had its own public stream. So in order to get all of the traffic out there you'd have to poll each of the instances for their public feed.

It was a strange conference to look at, with multiple people having their own ideas of how social media would work. Steve seemed interested as a journalist for having a stream to research and investigate. Others were looking for how to monetize this technology.

I think we're still trying to wrestle with those questions.

But over time the instances grew quiet for various reasons. Folks migrated back to Twitter, and admins realized that administrating communities of people is hard work.

Identi.ca went through a re-write to use a new protocol. Previously it used a protocol that is now known as OStatus. The new protocol is ActivityPub. ActivityPub was a better protocol than OStatus, but sadly it hasn't caught on.

Eventually Evan moved on to other endeavors and identi.ca / pump.io was no longer his focus. There have been several attempts to keep the service running but as of this writing identi.ca is down.

But what's great about the GPL is others can take the software and use it to build their own platforms. There are currently two major forks of the identi.ca code / protocols. GNUSocial is closely related to the old StatusNet software. The other is Mastodon, which is a complete re-write of the code in Ruby.

Right now I'm seeing a migration of users from Twitter over to Mastodon. They all have their own reasons. For some the bullying on Twitter is unbearable. For others the racism. Whatever the reasons they're searching for alternatives.

It's like identi.ca all over again. Maybe they'll stay and set up roots. Maybe they'll just pass through like the others.

Whatever the reasons I'm glad that identi.ca still lives on.

(If you would like to take a peek at Mastodon check out joinmastodon.org for more information. And follow me @craigmaloney@octodon.social.)

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expatpaul
12 days ago
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I joined way back in 2008 and have stayed with it (and StatusNet, then GnuSocial ever since). There have been several waves of people joining the fediverse and, after each wave, many drift back to proprietary platforms but a few stay and the open web gets a bit bigger. I suspect the same will happen with Mastodon.
Belgium
greggrossmeier
13 days ago
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SF, US
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The Lib Dems' failures can't be blamed on Tim Farron alone

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In electoral terms, his leadership was torpedoed by factors outside of his control.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron during a press conference to announce his resignation.

It's goodnight from Tim. The Liberal Democrat leader has quit in the wake of a disappointing election campaign, admitting he has found it impossible to reconcile his Christian faith with the job.

 His abrupt resignation came after Brian Paddick, the party's home affairs spokesman, quit the party's frontbench citing concerns over his leader's "views on various issues". Sources close to Farron deny that he was victim of a coup. 

Farron was by no means universally rated within his party, but it is fair to say that few expected things to end quite so inauspiciously. Ultimately, however, the numbers speak for themselves.

Though the Lib Dems are up four seats on 2015, they drastically underperformed expectations. Farron had pledged to double the size of the party's parliamentary cohort but of the nine seats they held when parliament was dissolved, they lost five. Gains in Scotland were the only thing that saved them from a terrible night.

In Manchester Gorton, where Farron had been quietly talking up the chance of a victory as recently as April, the Lib Dems were beaten by George Galloway. Most damningly, the 7.4 per cent of the vote they polled was lower than Nick Clegg's post-coalition share in 2015.

That is the saddest indictment on Farron, a left-wing cleanskin whose entire leadership was predicated on his ability to cleanse an electoral palate stained by the sins of coalition. Focus groups by Edelman for the Huffington Post during the campaign showed voters still preferred Clegg to his successor. Accounts of the Brexit election of 2017 will remember the party of Remain not for dogged pro-Europeanism but tortured theological arguments about homosexuality.

They will take no pleasure from it now, but grandees like Paddy Ashdown - who warned way back in 2015 that Farron lacked judgement - may well be feeling quietly vindicated.

Easy though it is to blame Farron, in electoral terms his leadership was torpedoed by factors outside of his control. The Corbyn surge lost him exactly the sort of voters that the Lib Dems needed - young metropoles and anti-system voters - and deprived him of the ability to outflank Labour to the left. And as misguided as the party's hard Remain strategy looks now, it had few other options at the time. 

So who next? It is easy to forget among all this that Farron had announced an election for the party's deputy leadership just hours before he quit. Sources close to him indicated at the time that there would be no real contest - just a coronation for Jo Swinson, the former women and equalities minister who retook her East Dunbartonshire seat last week. Her name was in the frame for a top job well before the election and she is now the early frontrunner.

But if Farron's tenure proves anything, it's that the party ought to be wary of the unproven. Some believe Swinson - and the party - would be better served by a period as deputy to an old hand like Vince Cable, who is himself likely to run.

Whatever happens, Farron deserves some gratitude. But the missed opportunities of 2017 mean his party now has even further to go before it gets out of the wilderness.

Getty Images.
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expatpaul
13 days ago
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Belgium
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The cost of Theresa May’s deal with the DUP

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Theresa May’s deal with the DUP has been delayed as the government deals with the Grenfell Tower blaze. Even without the…

See the full story of The cost of Theresa May’s deal with the DUP on Coffee House.





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expatpaul
14 days ago
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Theresa May: Strong, stable and still screwing up.
Belgium
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