Threads for 4d1xq8

  1. 9

    As an alternative to the Google search engine, I suggest Startpage. They use Google’s search as their backend, but send none of your data to Google. It’s super convenient, and provides much better results than DDG.

    As for email, I’ve been very happy with ProtonMail. Been a user since their early invite-only beta and have had a great experience so far. They take privacy very seriously and they’re open source too!

    I can’t say much about web analytics, I don’t use any and I frankly don’t care. I don’t see why it should matter, unless you’re building a product to turn a profit.

    Lastly, a question. What about mobile? I’ve found it nearly impossible to go Google-free on mobile. As an Android user, the entire ecosystem is so tied in to Google Play Store and Services that apps nowadays just refuse to work without Play Services. It’s absurd. I have tried solutions like Micro-G, but they’re hacky at best and tend to break every other day.

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      I can’t say much about web analytics, I don’t use any and I frankly don’t care. I don’t see why it should matter, unless you’re building a product to turn a profit.

      Even if you are selling a product, I have never seen the need to do more than analyze server logs.

      As for email, I’ve been very happy with ProtonMail.

      I host my own e-mail. I have been running my own mail server since around 1998. It used to be easy but it is getting harder and harder, purely because of spam. Frankly, it is now such a pain that I would love to out-source it but it is prohibitively expensive to do so. I have multiple mailboxes - at least one for each member of my family, and a few friends too - spread across multiple domains, which is ridiculously expensive at $5/month each. All of them are currently hosted by a single VPS at $5/month for the lot.

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        I’ve given a shot at hosting my own mail server as well, and honestly, it isn’t worth the effort. For similar reasons as yours, the spam and too much sysadmin work for me to bother with. But yeah, outsourcing at your scale is probably not going to be cheap. What’s your setup like, are you running something like Mail-in-a-Box? Or Dovecot with Postfix?

        I have been running my own mail server since around 1998

        Your server is a year older than I am. :)

        1. 3

          What’s your setup like …?

          I use OpenSMTPd and Dovecot. Both are excellent. Neither cause any sysadmin work beyond the initial setup.

          I have used all sorts of things for spam filtering. Greylisting with OpenBSD’s spamd was very effective - i.e. blocked a lot of spam - but resulted in too many false positives and unacceptable delays. Whitelisting using SPF records helps a bit but only after the fact (and constantly updating it is a pain).

          Some spam still gets through so I need SpamAssassin as well anyway. SA is pretty good but its spamd (not to be confused with the other spamd) fell over a few times for me. This led to mail outages.

          I’ve looked at dspam and rspamd but neither appeared to offer anything more than SpamAssassin for my use case. Since I have a small number of users, Bayesian filtering has never been very effective. I found the distributed checksum services - razor, pyzor and DCC - much more useful and SA supports them all.

        2. 3

          which is ridiculously expensive at $5/month each

          I haven’t started paying (yet) but I believe Zoho are $1/user/mth, which seems quite reasonable.

          1. 1

            That’s a good price. I wonder how good they are at spam filtering?

            1. 2

              Not quite as good as gmail - mostly they’re a bit over-eager. It has gotten better with time as I’ve marked things as ‘not spam’. It’s maybe one or two false positives a month now (after 6 months or so of use).

              I forgot to mention earlier that they have a free plan, which works perfectly well so long as you’re happy to use their apps (it doesn’t support POP/IMAP). They do let you use your own domain but the functionality is somewhat limited (no catch-all, only one domain etc). I could happily get along on the free plan, but am going to start paying anyway.

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                IMAP is a hard requirement for me. But their pricing is very good anyway so that’s not a problem. Their spam filtering sounds OK but not great. I might give them a try sometime - thanks for mentioning them.

          2. 1

            They take privacy very seriously and they’re open source too!

            They are not open source. I would still be skeptical even if they are open source

          3. 4

            I must say I’ve had the opposite experience on Android. I’ve been using Lineage with no GAPPS for 18 months now and it’s been fine.

            The only micro-g element I use is unifiednlp for location, so I can get a good GPS signal. Not had any trouble with that since installing it.

            For me, apps that don’t work aren’t worth my time. 99% of what I use is from F-Droid, the rest is Whatsapp (which works fine on its own) and the occasional game from the Humble Bundle app.

            1. 4

              I’ve been without Google Play on my phone for about the same time.

              Started with CopperheadOS until that blew up then switched to Rattlesnake stack to build AOSP. It uses terraform to deploy a build environment to AWS for you. Don’t much like relying on AWS, either, but I used to build Copperhead myself and really struggled to find enough space for it. AOSP is a huge mess. I think it took a week to do the initial checkout and would take me 3 days to build it. AWS can build it in a few hours and costs me less than $1.50 a month.

              I haven’t needed Google Play or even mico-g. F-Droid has a replacement for every app I had on stock Android.

              1. 1

                Now I feel like a noob flashing lineage zips lol

            2. 3

              I used to use startpage, and found it to be incredibly slow to respond to my search requests. I stuck with it, because I liked it. My main impetus for switching was that Google returned shorter summaries in Firefox than in Chrome – probably something to do with my choice in font sizes, and startpage didn’t have that problem. Plus at the time I felt it gave better search results than DDG.

              I’ve since switched to DDG – DDG results for me in the last 6 months have been better than what I typically get on startpage. On my phone I feel DDG gives better results than Google, too (on Google I get lots and lots of the same results on every page, and Google can’t seem to decide whether to give me 10 results per page or infinite scroll – it’s different every time). But IMO the main advantage of DDG over startpage is that it’s already available as an optional search engine on most devices, without having to install or configure anything extra.

              I still occasionally fall back to startpage with !s, but I admit I’m guilty of relying too much on !g when I don’t find what I want.

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                Same here pretty much. I just switched back to DDG because startpage was ‘too busy’ or ‘unavailable’ one too many times.

              2. 1

                What about mobile?

                Is iOS off the table?

              1. 4

                I don’t think anything about Free Software is socialist. Socialism isn’t a synonym for “sharing”. In fact, I like Stallman’s formulation of the situation:

                Isn’t it ironic that the proprietary software developers call us communists? We are the ones who have provided for a free market, where they allow only monopoly. … if the users chooses this proprietary software package, he then falls into this monopoly for support … the only way to escape from monopoly is to escape from proprietary software, and that is what the free software movement is all about. We want you to escape and our work is to help you escape. We hope you will escape to the free world.

                Even being a democratic socialist, Stallman himself doesn’t see Free Software as some kind of socialist idea. I think it’s pretty anarchist, if you ask me.

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                  Socialism and anarchism are totally compatible!

                  1. 0

                    They are not. Communism and Anarchism are compatible.

                    1. 4

                      Socialism and communism are practical synonyms (despite what many Americans seem to believe, socialism is not when the government does stuff), while socialism/communism and anarchism are two rather distinct strains of the radical workers’ movement. Communism largely grew out of critiquing utopian socialists and anarchists, both for their idealism.

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                    Open source as formulated by Stallman is a great tool for evading anti-trust law and for exploiting cheap labor.

                  1. 20

                    Appreciated the write up, including the mention of git’s request pull option

                    However I found the underlying tone of GitHub being an ensnaring agent of malicious intent a little distracting.

                    More words spent on the bazaar model and furthering git’s proper use in support of that model (clone, add remote, fetch?) will always be appreciated.

                    1. 3

                      Github is a capitalist entity and ofc it doesn’t care about anything else but profits

                    1. 3
                      • coloring
                      • watch movie with friends
                      • read a paper
                      • listen to a lecture
                      • watch and learn from coding train
                      • send 2 PRs to free software
                      • watch a course, take notes, read previous notes
                      • attend a meetup (hopefully)
                      • apply for jobs
                      • spend time with friends

                      That’s a good chunk of my weekend I have planned

                      1. 2

                        Scuttlebutt ( is another example of peer to peer network with offline first support

                        1. 4

                          As somebody on scuttlebutt observed the other day, this document appears to be the result of an independent reinvention of offline-first philosophy by folks unaware of SSB.

                          I suspect that a lot of SSB’s more elaborate mechanisms for guaranteeing consistency in the face of potentially-long update delays (like signature chains unique to individual nodes, the heavy use of large hashes for addressing, blocks & self-identification as messages, store-and-forward with a hop limit for message traversal, and design around potentially asymmetrical message visibility) will be required in local-first designs, & that complicates expectations around the operation of some of the applications they mention here.

                          For instance: google docs’ collaborative editing mechanism simply fails to handle simultaneous editing if delays get too long, and intermediate delays cause unexpected behavior because there’s the expectation that every edit is with respect to a global ‘current’ state that the user of a slow machine might not be able to see; a local-first or offline-first collaborative editing system would not only need tree versioning & various kinds of merge support for that, but would need to expose the details of tree versioning to users much moreso than (say) vim does. (Presumably, signature chains would be used to handle the version tree – something that XU92 did or was planned to do, way back in the mid-80s.)

                          Not all applications are even compatible with an offline-first attitude. A few weeks ago, I struggled to explain to somebody that cryptocurrency integration with SSB is a hard problem because we need to handle arbitrarily long delays in message delivery (in other words, if I sent somebody a payment a year ago they could recieve it tomorrow, if the three or four hops between us happen to prioritize the message wrong or be mostly offline, or never, if we never have less than five hops, and being able to handle such a delayed delivery or non-delivery is fundamental to an offline-first attitude). A single distributed ledger can’t handle such delays reliably and still be expected to be consistent enough to use for money: we can’t have payments be legitimate and then delegitimatize them based on delays in delivery that would be acceptable for the whole rest of the system, particularly if the user’s wallet takes the ‘offline first’ attitude that payments sent represent money that can’t be reused. One can drop out-of-band and use a normal cryptocurrency, but that’s in no wise real integration, since such payments don’t obey the rules of the rest of the system – it’s just a bag on the side of a scuttlebutt client.