1. 3

    I’m surprised there aren’t more of these self-hosted Bitcoin payment processor web apps. The last one I remember hearing about was Baron, which looks not-so-active now. Admittedly I haven’t been following this area closely. What other popular ones are out there?

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      What are the advantages to making it federated over the current setup?

      1. 7

        In terms of content and moderation, each instance would be kind of like a “view” over the aggregate data. If you want stricter moderation you could sign up for one instance over another. Each instance could also cater to a different crowd with different focuses, e.g. Linux vs. BSD vs. business-friendly non-technical vs. memes vs. …. Stories not fitting an instance could be blocked by the instance owner. Of course you could also get the catch-all instance where you see every type of story; it might feel like HN.

        The current Lobsters has a very specific focus and culture, and also locked into a specific moderation style. Federating it would allow a system closer to Reddit and its subreddit system where each instance has more autonomy, yet the content from the federated instances would all be aggregated.

        So of course such a system wouldn’t be a one-to-one replacement for Lobsters but a superset. Ideally an individual instance could be managed and moderated such that it would feel like the Lobsters of today.

        1. 18

          The current Lobsters has a very specific focus and culture, and also locked into a specific moderation style. Federating it would allow a system closer to Reddit and its subreddit system where each instance has more autonomy, yet the content from the federated instances would all be aggregated.

          If federation results in a reddit-like site, I’d much rather that lobste.rs doesn’t federate. It’s a tech-news aggregator with comments, there’s no real benefit in splitting it up, especially at it’s current scale.

          1. 6

            I get what you’re saying. I think OP framed the idea wrong. People come to Lobsters because they like Lobsters. The question is whom would the federated Lobsters benefit – it would mostly benefit people who aren’t already Lobsters users.

            It’s just that the Lobsters code base is open source and actively developed, and much simpler than Reddit’s old open source code. So it’s not unreasonable to want to build a federated version on top of Lobsters’ code rather than start somewhere else.

            1. 3

              it would mostly benefit people who aren’t already Lobsters users.

              Well that was my point. Any spammer or shiller can create and recreate reddit and hacker-news accounts, thereby decreasing the quality and the standard of the platform, and making moderation more difficult. This is exactly what the invite tree-concept prevents, which is quite the opposite of (free) federation.

              1. 8

                We do have one persistent fellow who created himself ~20 accounts to submit and upvote his SEO spam. He’s still nosing around trying to re-establish himself on Lobsters. I’m very glad not to be in an arms race with him trying to prevent him from abusing open signups.

                1. 1
          2. 2

            Based on my experience in community management, including here on Lobsters, I do not believe it’s possible for an individual instance in a system like you describe to have a coherent culture which is different from the top-level culture in substantial ways, unless you’re okay with participants feeling constantly under siege. The top-level culture always propagates downward, and overriding it takes an enormous amount of resources and constant effort.

            1. 1

              Have you used Mastodon at all? If that’s used as a model, it seems each instance can have a distinct personality, as Mastodon instances do today. Contrast with traditional forums, and Reddit to some extent, which do more-or-less have a tree structure and where your concern definitely applies. With federation there doesn’t necessarily need to exist a top-down structure, even if that might be the easiest to architect (although I don’t know if it is the easiest).

              1. 1

                I have used Mastodon, but not enough to have a strong opinion on it. It’s been a challenge for me to pay enough attention to it to keep up with what’s happening; it’s kind of an all-or-nothing thing, and right now Twitter is still taking the attention that I would have to give to Mastodon.

          3. 7

            Biggest argument in favor is probably for people that want to leech off of the quality submissions/culture here but who don’t want to actively participate in the community or follow its norms. That and the general meme today of “federated and decentralized is obviously better than the alternative”.

            Everybody wants the fruit of tilled gardens, but most people don’t want to put in the effort to actually do the work required to keep them running.

            The funny thing is that we’d probably just end up with a handful (N < 4) of lobster peers (after the novelty wears off), probably split along roughly ideological lines:

            • Lobsters for people that want a more “open” community (signups, etc.) and with heavier bias towards news and nerdbait
            • Lobsters for social-justice and progressive people
            • Lobsters for edgelords and people who complain about “social injustice”
            • Lobsters Classic, this site

            And sure, that’d scratch some itches, but it’d probably just result in fracturing the community unnecessarily and creating the requirement for careful monitoring of what gets shared between sites. As a staunch supporter of Lobsters Classic, though, I’m of course biased.

            1. 3

              So “federation” is what the cool kids are calling “forking” nowadays? Good to know ;)

            2. 2

              I’d be quite interested to see lobsters publish as ActivityPub/OStatus (so I could, for instance, use a mastodon account to follow users / tags / all stories). I don’t see any reason to import off-site activity; one of the key advantages of lobsters is that growth is managed carefully.

              1. 1

                Lobsters actually already does this with Twitter, so that seems both entirely straightforward to add and in line with existing functionality.

                (Note that I don’t use Twitter, so I can’t speak to how well that feed actually works.)

                1. 1

                  The feeds already exist, just have to WebSub enable them…

                2. 1

                  It won’t go away entirely if the one, special person who happens to own this system decides to make it go away for whatever reason of their own. It won’t die off if this specific instance gets sold or given to someone who can’t handle it and who runs it into the ground.

                1. 4

                  Finally, ES Modules enabled by default in a production release!

                  1. 5

                    Overview of ES Modules for the uninitiated: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2018/03/es-modules-a-cartoon-deep-dive/

                  1. 5

                    TLDR:

                    Since then, the other partner Chris AlJoudi (who owns uBlock) has made some questionable decisions.

                    Long story short, use uBlock Origin, NOT uBlock. uBlock Origin has no association with uBlock.org.

                    1. 8

                      Except that the article is mainly talking about AdBlock and Adblock Plus, not uBlock. It mentions the uBlock shenanigans only in passing. So not a TLDR.

                      1. 2

                        I figured the AdBlock (Plus) shenanigans are very old news and fairly well known. shrug

                    1. 4

                      I don’t have an answer for you, but it’s probably intentionally tough to find public up to date information about it. After all, if China knows exactly what people know, it knows what to change. And if sizable businesses are built to overcome the firewall, they can’t risk publicizing their knowledge/techniques and having the rug swept out from under their entire business by the Chinese government.

                      1. 2

                        Meta: to provide more info up front instead of the opaque title, I’d have worded my Lobsters submission title along the lines of “wasm-pack builds WebAssembly crates and enables publishing to NPM”

                        1. 2

                          Probably usable on Linux too. Ubuntu has mpd and a port of sndiod.

                          1. 25

                            I fail to see how this is not entirely Netflix’s fault. Every website should be verifying users email addresses. My email server has a catch all account so any email username is valid. Netflix doesn’t need insider info on my server it just needs to stop people signing up using my email addresses by verifying them.

                            1. 0

                              TFA already includes a rebuttal to this:

                              Some would say it’s Netflix’s fault; that Netflix should verify the email address on sign up. But using someone else’s address on signup only cedes control of the account to that person. Others would say that Netflix should disallow the registration of james.hfisher@gmail.com, but this would force Netflix and every other website to have insider knowledge of Gmail’s canonicalization algorithm.

                              1. 8

                                That’s hardly a rebuttal, it’s poor justification for the bad design. In this case it was a dot, but if I actually make a typo, does that mean some random stranger should have access to my account? Should a website just send spam to any e-mail given? There’s a reason why e-mail verification are a standard. I understand Netflix wants to provide a clean and fast experience, and that’s fine, but they should still wait for verification before sending any sensitive data to the provided e-mail.

                                If you think of it, the security breach had very little to do with Gmail. It was Netflix that was about to steal his credit card information, not Gmail.

                                1. 1

                                  The point is that the credit card scam is still present regardless of initial email verification.

                                  If some average, non-security-conscious Netflix user would fall for the credit card scam by not noticing the last 4 digits of the card, it’s not hard to assume the same user would click through any subsequent validation emails from Netflix. The user might even think it was sent out for extra security, and probably not notice the dot at all.

                                  If people are adamant on putting the blame on Netflix, the problem wouldn’t be the lack of initial email verification, but rather the ability to change your email at will, after the initial signup. But people would obviously find UX flaws with that restriction.

                                  In this case it was a dot, but if I actually make a typo, does that mean some random stranger should have access to my account? Should a website just send spam to any e-mail given?

                                  This argument doesn’t make sense. If you typo your email, and happen to put a scammer’s address, that scammer would happily click “verify” in the verification email that was sent to them. So verification email wouldn’t help you there. Anyway this argument is unrelated to the credit card scam discussed in TFA.

                            1. 3

                              Wonder if Lobsters is now getting pounded by an army of fresh BBbots trying to get in to a fresh forum?

                              1. 2

                                Yep there have been 3 confirmed spam bots so far if you look at the Moderation Log

                                Methinks @pushcx should delete the accounts of people who signed up through phpBB and got auto-invited, since they circumvented the usual Lobsters invitation system.

                                1. 9

                                  We were never actually running phpBB, it was phpBB’s old markup on the Rails app with some custom code for view counts + “who’s online” box and an awful kludge to put .php in the URLs. Reusing the phpBB signup form was enough for the bots.

                                  I deliberately opened registration because it seemed like a fun idea when I was wiring up the registration form and, after reflection, I was curious to see how the experiment would go. I hope the 22 new non-bot users harmoniously join the community. But the experience mostly reinforced how unlikely I am to have open registration; I think we’d see a lot more than 12% of new registrations be spambots or people registering alts/throwaways for sockpuppets and other bad behavior.

                              1. 5

                                It says it’s written in C++, but the repo is 99% Haxe..?

                                1. 2

                                  I can’t find any references to Wren in that repository. Maybe it’s old code?

                                  1. 5

                                    Yep, apparently between Luxe’s “alpha” and not-yet-released “preview” versions it has changed considerably.

                                    On https://luxeengine.com/alpha/ it says:

                                    All the details of this transition are being expanded in the development logs!
                                    In short: The alpha code base was temporary and is going away.

                                    1. 3

                                      if it was a deliberate strategy to use haxe to develop the alpha quickly and experiment with strategies, and then port to c++ once the code had crystallised, i would love to read a blog post about it.

                                1. 6

                                  For a comparison with what it used to be, see https://github.com/tokio-rs/tokio/pull/141/files?w=1 and look for src/lib.rs. The module docs have example code.

                                  The end-user code no longer requires choosing and starting a thread pool implementation, since Tokio picks a default for you.

                                  tokio::run spawns the future onto an executor (thread pool by default) and then blocks the current thread until the threads in the pool have shut down. The socket listener calls tokio::spawn and no longer needs to know if it’s posting to a thread pool or some other kind of executor.

                                  This line in the blog post confused me:

                                  1. Blocks the thread until the runtime becomes idle. The runtime becomes idle once all spawned futures have completed and all I/O resources bound to the reactor are dropped.

                                  It seems that a server with thread pool would continue polling indefinitely. There’s Runtime::shutdown_on_idle to shut down the runtime. I guess if using Tokio on the client side, that’d be where you’d want tokio::run to return ASAP, and you’d modify your future accordingly. Is my understanding correct?

                                  1. 7

                                    I like keybase a lot, but I have mixed feelings about all this. Mainly, I doubt that we’re stopping climate change by switching to Stellar. 🙄

                                    1. 2

                                      Proof-of-work incentivizes people to go full throttle on electricity consumption, especially in regimes where electricity is free/subsidized. And of course fossil fuels are still the cheapest and most accessible source of electricity in most of the world.

                                      It’s not a huge leap in logic. It’s simple: proof-of-stake = less electricity usage = less electricity generation = hurting environment less.

                                      Disclaimer: I don’t own any proof-of-stake cryptocurrency (yet?).

                                      1. 3

                                        Stellar is not a proof-of-work cryptocurrency, but it is neither a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency.

                                        1. 3

                                          Thank you for the correction; that was a naive assumption for me to make.

                                          For posterity: the Stellar Consensus Protocol implements a variation of Byzantine agreement, aka the classic systems problem of Byzantine fault tolerance, where nodes in a system try to establish quorum in making decisions.

                                          However, they differentiate themselves from classic Byzantine agreement, where the nodes are already known. A downside of the competing Ripple cryptocurrency, according to Stellar authors, is that it requires an initial set of trusted nodes provided by a central authority. In contrast, SCP does not require an initial set of trusted nodes or a trusted authority; they call this “Federated Byzantine agreement.”

                                          As for proof-of-stake, Stellar’s authors say that that approach has problems with “nothing at stake” attacks. Proof-of-stake works by putting up collateral in exchange for having a say in the network. Bad actors could theoretically behave well initially, up until the point where they cash out, and then maliciously rewrite history starting from when the network thought they still had a stake.

                                          Stellar’s blog post from 2015 has a high-level Q&A about the consensus protocol.

                                          Another blog post describes the protocol in a bit more detail, going into the federated voting approach that happens between nodes.

                                          Finally there’s the detailed whitepaper.

                                    1. [Comment removed by author]

                                      1. 10

                                        I think it’s usually because “that’s what work is buying me”.

                                        1. 10

                                          Can anyone show me a laptop that doesn’t lose to a macbook in any of these categories?

                                          • performance
                                          • price
                                          • form factor
                                          • fit and finish
                                          1. 5

                                            I really like Lenovo X1 Carbon.

                                            1. 2

                                              Very happy with 5th gen x1c. If only I could get 16:10 though…

                                            2. 5

                                              Personally I like the Dell XPS 13 and 15. The 4K screens are really amazing to see in person. You can configure with an i7 processor, optional fingerprint reader, fast SSDs up to 1TB, up to 32GB RAM, touch/non-touch display options, up to 97Wh battery in the ~4.5lb model or 56Wh in the 4lb if you want to go lighter (benchmarks). For ports, it has an SD card slot, 2 USB-A 3.0 with PowerShare, 1 HDMI, and a Thunderbolt 3 (including power in/out).

                                              I feel they compete in several of the categories and are worth checking out in person somewhere (Frys, etc) if you’re in the market. Just earlier today someone posted a link to this guy’s experience spending a year away from MacOS and he winds up with an XPS 15, which he mostly likes.

                                              1. 8

                                                Too many QA issues to compete with a MacBook. Just check /r/dell.

                                                1. 8

                                                  Not a chancee, my favooritee part is the firmwware feature that douboles up my keypressese!

                                              2. 2

                                                I went from a 2011 macbook pro 15” to a thinkpad 460p running kubuntu, its not as flush as the macbook but it beats performance & price for me. Form factor, I should’ve got a 15” again but thats my choice. Fit & finish on the macbook is better but then I can easily remove my battery and get to all the internals of the laptop, so I prefer the thinkpad.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I can try, though I am not sure what “fit and finish” means or how to measure it.

                                                  Ignoring that, I would offer up both the Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo X1 Carbon.
                                                  There are reasons to pick one over the other, but for me it was the X1 Carbon for having matte screen.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Fit and finish covers build quality and aesthetics. According to this page it’s an automotive term.

                                                  2. 1

                                                    The new Huawei Matebook X?

                                                    1. 1

                                                      How about the ASUS ZenBook Pro? I don’t have experience with it, but superficially it’s got very similar form factor and design to a MacBook. Aluminum uni-body and all. And being not-Apple, you obviously get better performance for the price.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Thinkpad P71. Well, except for the form factor (I’d rather get stronger arms than have to compromise on other factors), it beats the Macbook Pro on all fronts.

                                                      2. 5

                                                        I’ve run Linux on a Macbook because my employer wouldn’t give me anything else. Reason was: effort of IT team vs my effort of running Linux.

                                                        But pretty sure my effort was extensive compared to what their effort would have been :)

                                                        1. [Comment removed by author]

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Yeah, but then you’re stuck with the clunky old macOS rather than a nice modern UI like StumpWM, dwm or i3.

                                                        2. 4

                                                          16:10 screen, wide-gamut display, correct ppi (X1C is too low, and the high-res Dells too high).

                                                          The last ThinkPad (of which I have many) to have a 16:10 screen was T410, which is now 8 years old.

                                                          Personally, there’s no other modern laptop I’d rather use, regardless of operating system. To me nothing is more important than a good and proper screen.

                                                          If anybody comes up with a laptop that has a 4:3 screen, I’ll reconsider.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            Doesn’t the pixelbook have a nice tall aspect ratio? Ignoring linux compatibility and the fact that it’s a chromebook, I feel like you’d like the hardware.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              It does, but tragically it’s ruined by a glossy finish on the screen. I bought one for the aspect ratio and brightness but almost threw it out the window several times in frustration before giving it away.

                                                          2. 2

                                                            I don’t think many people buy new Apple hardware with the intention of immediately wiping it and installing Linux.

                                                            My MBP, for example, is running OSX because I need it (or Windows) to use Capture One photo software. When I upgrade to a new machine I’m going to put Linux on the old one and use it for everything else. I did the same thing with my iMac years ago.

                                                            I personally still think the build quality of Apple laptops are better than the alternatives. The trackpad in my old MBP, for example, still feels better than the trackpads I’ve used on newer machines from other brands. The performance and specs are less important to me as long as it’s “fast enough” and the build is solid.

                                                            All that said, I’m not buying any more Apple products because their software quality has completely gone down the toilet the last few years.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              In this case I didn’t really have a choice. I had tried asking for a PC before I started this job; but they tried to get me in really fast and provisioned a Mac without even asking me. My boss made up some bullshit about how you have to have them for developers laptops as the PCs the company bought didn’t have the specs (16GB of ram and such). I’m really glad I got Linux booting on it and not have to use it in VMWare (which does limit your max ram to 12GB and doesn’t give you access to the logical HT cores).

                                                              But yea if it was my personal laptop, I wouldn’t even bother buying a mac to being with. My recent HP had everything supported on it with the latest Ubuntu or on Gentoo with a stock kernel tree right out of the box.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I got given a macbook so I had no choice what laptop to use so I installed linux on it and it works well enough.

                                                              1. 4

                                                                Meta: Should be tagged rant. Users with 10 karma can hit “suggest” under the story and add tags.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Meta: Suggest tag finance

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Meta: Should be tagged rant. Users with 10 karma can hit “suggest” under the story and add tags.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Programming Rust is really, really good. Well worth the $15.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Totally agree, I basically bought the bundle as it was the cheapest way of obtaining the Programming Rust book.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Reading Programming Rust which I picked up from https://www.humblebundle.com/books/functional-programming-books ($15 USD). It is highly illuminating, and even reading the early chapters will probably teach you a lot, if you’re not already in the top few % of Rust experts. I’m 1/6 of the way through now, and have already learned/unlearned a ton of Rust tricks/mistakes. Amazing book!

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          Finishing the signing of Android APKs in Go.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            To be clear, it’s the signing that happens in Go, and the APKs are just regular APKs, right?

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              Yep

                                                                          1. 7

                                                                            Meta: Would this not be considered a rant? Although the tone of the article is lighthearted and not incendiary, the author is definitely ranting about how complex webdev is today, and not attempting to educate or inform the user on a technical solution.

                                                                            I think it’s important to tag rants as such, because that tag has a hotness demod, and this kind of story is easily upvoted because people generally can agree on common complaints.

                                                                            Edit: Since this comment is getting a few upvotes – if you agree with my comment, please use the “suggest” link beneath the story to suggest tags as you see appropriate.