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    I used to read e-books on my mobile phone, but notifications diverts attention, and there was too easy getting distracted by internet.

    But after getting a dedicated E-Ink e-book reader, I have noticed my focus on reading improving dramatically. But I still need to put the phone and laptop somewhere else to keep from getting distracted by notifications.

    Mayhaps more an issue of keeping self discipline up, but hey whatever works and small steps and so…

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      Still miss MyTracks on my phones. Haven’t found any as easy to use and actually useful way of recording hikes, where the GPS data as easily can be used with Gmaps.

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        Wow that’s a remarkable amount of progress in one year.

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          Déjà vu with that guy who made the closed source SkyOS in late 90s early 00s, the remarkable progress made in very short time.

          Many interensting OS projects going on back then. AtheOS/Syllable, MenuetOS, SkyOS, OpenBeOS/Haiku…

          1. 3

            Back then, computers took forever to boot, apps were a pain to install, things kept getting slower, etc. All on hardware with a fraction of today’s resources. The SkyOS demo showed a fast boot, installing apps was right-click install, the system was snappy, and the author(s) redid everything including audio/video. I was hoping it made it or went out open source.

            Most links are gone with only a few vids in Youtube. Although initially confused, I remembered that the demo vids were mpg’s on the web site. Archive has tons of scrapes. I picked a random one later in development. Here’s the About, Tour, some screenshots, and the last vid on Youtube from “Mom Tries…” channel.

            Wonder what author is doing now. Might be worth trying another run at getting him to open-source it, dual-license it, or sell it for a reasonable fee to then open-source. For historical reasons and/or use on older boxes.

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              Heh, a lot of the quotes in that youtube video are from the old Wikipedia SkyOS article I wrote. As a teenager I was obsessed with alternative operating systems and I was particularly active in the SkyOS community.

              Szeleney is making mobile games now under a company he founded called Djinnworks. I would love to see the source released, and I’d love to have an archive of skyos.org, which had a decade of great blog content and a vibrant forum community.

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                Well, your quotes are about all the made it to a video. So, thanks!

                Djinnworks, eh? I’ll keep it bookmarked in case I see a chance to talk to him about it later.

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          GNU Emacs, Slickrun, Xplorer2, Keepass, Firefox, Poppeeper, Switcheroo, Everything

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            I haven’t tried a BSD in many years. I went just now to look for some OpenBSD packages (ports) for software that I often use. As expected, there are ports for the super-popular things like Firefox, Chromium, Thunderbird. I regularly work with audio, video and graphics/images. There are ports for kdenlive and audacity, and that’s nice, but notably absent are ardour and GIMP, and that’s pretty much showstopping for me.

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              GIMP is there…

              $ pkg_info -Q gimp
              gimp-2.8.22p3
              gimp-deskew-plugin-0.0.20141025p2
              gimp-lqr-plugin-0.7.1p2
              grokking-the-gimp-1.0p1
              
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                That’s a release from 2017.

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                  Mostly due to the fact it doesn’t have a maintainer.

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                  Is it available in the ports tree to build from source, though? Or is that implied? I’m a BSD noob, so I wouldn’t know.

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                    Yes, binary packages are just builds of ports.

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                  Ardour might indeed be something missing but might not be too hard to package or port over.

                  GIMP is packaged, stable and regularly updated on OpenBSD, I use it often :)

                  Having said that I am not entirely sure how workable Ardour would be or how well can OpenBSD perform in the low-latency/realtime needs music/sound editing has. But I also don’t have active knowledge on this dept so might be wrong.

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                    To be fair, the current port is gimp-2.8.22, which is over two years old by now (May 2017). Current stable GIMP is 2.10.12.

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                      huh… you are right… might have been confused with another Graphic suit package or seen a dept update and not realize it wasn’t the base package as well. 2.8 has been very workable and stable for me, now I am wondering why 2.10 ain’t there… might either be orphaned or there might be a blocker 🤔

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                  With Google tying Android closer and closer, I am starting to wonder if it’s not better going with Apple phones. Even though on paper less free, it feels my data is not part of the price I pay. Have been using Android phones since Samsung S2.

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                    Going from Google to Apple does not solve the problem of having some overlord deciding what you can and can not do on ‘their’ device. The trust some people proclaim in Apple’s good intentions is flabbergasting as Apple is a decidedly profit-centred company which is only a change in management or plan away from using the data they’ve been harvesting for years.

                    The solution is the same as the one that worked to break free from Microsoft-dependency, i.e. free software on open hardware. The more open the hardware, the easier it will be to get something like Sailfish, the project formerly known as FirefoxOS or just plain Debian with some mobile bits running on it. In other words, open hardware specifications will help us get there.

                    While you’re waiting for something like this to grow - or while helping to build it - you can get Google off your Android device and use it in any way you please. I’ve used Google-free Android from the moment I started using Android (about 8 years ago) and can vouch for the fact that this works just fine. Combine it with your own server running mail, web. VPN and kitchen-sink and you’re set for the near future.

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                      Going from Google to Apple does not solve the problem of having some overlord deciding what you can and can not do on ‘their’ device.

                      That’s true. But it is overlord vs. overlord + steals all your data.

                      the data they’ve been harvesting for years.

                      What data have they been harvesting? Most data processing is on-device.

                      I’ve used Google-free Android from the moment I started using Android (about 8 years ago) and can vouch for the fact that this works just fine.

                      YMMV, I used open source Android builds for a while (in the Cyanogenmod days) and there were a lot of random bugs that affected basic phone functionality (from spontaneous reboots, from not being able to call). Upgrades fixed one set of problems, but introduced a new set of problems. It was a very frustrating experience.

                      I agree that an open platform with open hardware is the answer. However, sometimes people have to pick their fights, and if you need a phone that just works all the time, iOS is the far better option from a privacy and security perspective at this moment in time than (Google) Android.

                      Another aspect of it is that running a completely open source build gives a certain amount of isolation. A lot of friends/family use messages that don’t work without Google Play services or whatever Apple push notification system is called. You are excluded from contactless payments, which are becoming more prevalent in many countries. Etc.

                      I can understand the choice to forgo all of that, but you also have to be realistic: it is not for everyone.

                      1. 1

                        it is overlord vs. overlord + steals all your data. / the data they’ve been harvesting for years.

                        Both harvest data, Google is in the business of actively (ab)using that data. Apple also uses it and has been accused of selling data alt. allowing data to be sold w.r.t. music choice [1]. Apple collects location data, it gave special permissions to the likes of Facebook to collect data over the range of their applications (Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook etc). [2 et al]

                        …It was a very frustrating experience.

                        The level of usability varies greatly between devices and builds, users of some devices will have the frustrating experience you mentioned while those on other devices will wonder what the former are complaining about as their Google-free experience is way better than the Google-encumbered one - better performance, lower power consumption, far less network traffic and the (potentially false) feeling of not being tracked and milked at every opportunity. When planning to embark on this journey it is worth choosing a device with a larger developer community.

                        running a completely open source build gives a certain amount of isolation

                        Well, the OS is free software, the applications come from F-Droid and as such are free software with as few obnoxious blobs as possible (preferably none). Google Push Notification is not part of this but it isn’t needed either as can be seen by e.g. Telegram working just fine on Google-free Android. It might be that Whatsapp doesn’t work (I never tried as I don’t want to feed that monster either) but… you’re not using that anyway as it is part of Facebook, right? If your friends and family insist on you using FB/Whatsapp/etc. you can either try to get them to see the light, suck it up and install the apps or … (there is no real solution here other than patience and perseverance).

                        If you have your own server you can install XMPP (Prosody, Ejabberd or something similar) and use Conversations [3] and try to get - at least some of - your family and friends to use it. Another alternative is Delta Chat [4] which should work with your existing mail server and IMAP daemon (it does work with Exim and Dovecot) for an instant-messaging interface to SMTP and IMAP.

                        To conclude I can only confirm that it does take some effort to rid yourself of the shackles the likes of Google and Facebook and, yes, Apple want to put on your private life. Freedom has it costs, no matter whether it is political freedom or freedom from privacy-leeching parasites. In the political realm wars are fought to gain freedom, seen in that light the costs of digital freedom are minor I’d say.

                        [1] https://9to5mac.com/2019/05/25/apple-itunes-lawsuit/

                        [2] https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/01/apples-hypocritical-defense-data-privacy/581680/

                        [3] https://conversations.im/

                        [4] https://delta.chat/

                        1. 1

                          The level of usability varies greatly between devices and builds, users of some devices will have the frustrating experience you mentioned while those on other devices will wonder what the former are complaining about

                          Well, I had a Nexus 4, which was as mainstream as one could get at the time for alternative OSes.

                          If your friends and family insist on you using FB/Whatsapp/etc. you can either try to get them to see the light, suck it up and install the apps or …

                          There is more than friends and family. My daughter goes to primary school, there is a parents chat group, which is more or less mandatory if you do not want to miss out on social activities and all kinds of arrangements. Most people at work use Skype for video conferencing, I am definitely not able to convert them one by one, since they in turn communicate with gazillions of others who also use Skype. This was my point about isolation. Sure, it is possible to completely abstain from these services (outside work), but you will miss out on a lot of social activity. I don’t think it is a good situation, but it is also a balancing act. If one already makes other lifestyle choices with impact (e.g. being a vegetarian, using Linux in a Mac environment, etc.), you will pick your fights, you cannot be the outsider in everything or a nuisance to everybody (not saying that you are, it depends on your social/tech environments).

                          If an OS outside Google Android and iOS is not possible, I am convinced that iOS is by far the best choice privacy and security-wise.

                          1. 1

                            If an OS outside Google Android and iOS is not possible, I am convinced that iOS is by far the best choice privacy and security-wise.

                            No, in that case the best choice would be an AOSP-derived Google-free Android distribution running on a well-supported platform. It has several advantages over iOS:

                            • it is possible to run a minimum install by only enabling the services you need - no such thing on iOS
                            • it is possible to run a full firewall from boot, no such thing on iOS
                            • it is possible to run only free software (apart from the ubiquitous radio blob), not possible on iOS

                            All this only goes for those who have the technical acumen to get the device in the desired state or have access to someone they trust who can do so. It could work for a company or a family with a resident hacker but it is hard for an individual without (access to) the required knowledge.

                      2. 1

                        Cross posting my reponse from similar HN thread a couple of days ago.

                        How much I like the idea of a truly open phone platform there are some obstacles:

                        • Decent hardware available at competitive price

                          • While I could make do with some degraded performance for a truly open phone concept, most people would not, especially if price point is similar to, or higher, than established closed platform brands
                        • Must have apps available - needed for wide acceptance

                          • My personal examples of must have apps:
                            • BankID (Swedish e-id, needed for banks, taxes, government sites, payments)
                            • Swish - Swedish app for personal micro transactions
                            • Public transportation apps (buying tickets/timetable)
                            • Bank application
                            • Signal

                        Without these apps, a open platform phone would be next to useless to me. And I am a big proponent of open platforms.

                        And looking at how reluctant BankID were to even support older version android phones, I am not optimistic to them adding a completely new platform to support.

                        I know people who were forced to upgrade from “old” phones because BankID no longer supported their Android version, and phones would not get newer Android version.

                        1. 1

                          You really cannot blame BankID to requiring new and updated software. It’s an extraordinarily sensitive application and reducing the potential attack area has to be paramount.

                          1. 1

                            No, not really. That is more an observation on the issue of having to replace a perfectly working device just because a required app no longer is compatible.

                            But still it is a major hurdle for anyone wanting to use an open platform, if these “required” apps are not available. I am not really prepared to own a second device just for running these apps.

                            In that light an iOS device might be the lesser of two evils, even if I like Android and it’s ecosystem better.

                          2. 1

                            Stuff linke BankID, Swish and the public transport apps could be handled by an Android VM running on-demand on the platform. The likelihood of BankID becoming available on a free platform is small, it used to run under Linux for a while but that branch has been discontinued as far as I know. Swish is very similar to BankID in this respect, banking apps are different but they tend to limit themselves to the big 2 (Android and iOS at the moment). Signal should not be a problem as it is free software.

                            The Android VM can run on-demand and ONLY on-demand so that Swish and Västtrafik and whatever can’t track you through their apps.

                            (I live in Sweden so I’m used to the conundrums around BankID, I had to get a new device when they stopped supporting Android 4.4)

                        2. 2

                          With Google tying Android closer and closer

                          If you want a proper device LineageOS seems like the way forward. I’m currently using https://gerda.tech/ w/ a Nokia 8110 for a phone-only and no distractions kinda situation.

                          1. 2

                            The problem with Lineage is still Play Services - if you go with microG as an alternative, IME many things (particularly location based apps like Uber) just don’t work. If you use Play Services on Lineage it’s not clear to me that you’re in a better position that using stock Android.

                            1. 1

                              Yes, LinageOS might be a way forward, but still missing some must have apps that are only available for devices with Android+ GoogleServices or iOS atm. Se my reply to Yetanfou above.

                              1. 1

                                Also on Gerda on a 8110, and while I have loaded a 32gb card with music. I am still looking for a better podcast solution to syncing to the sd card.

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                              It took until I reached the end of the article for me to realize that the title wasn’t sarcastic. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it but it’s a reminder that this feature is simultaneously fantastic and horrifying.

                              1. 5

                                I didn’t even realize until I read your comment. I skimmed it, saw the screenshot of Takeout, and was like “ah yes, another guide for moving off of Google services…” and closed the tab.

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                                  Not sure why are you calling this as horrifying. Is it because google have access to all your data? In Btwn I’m the author of this blog.

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                                    Is it because google have access to all your data

                                    Yes but in particular the location history is an extremely detailed log of your activity. You could imagine a dishonest corporation or government misusing this data to suppress dissidents or manipulate individuals.

                                    1. 4

                                      Mobile phone companies had that data for a decade longer than Google. Don’t think that if we got Google to stop collecting it somehow the problem of tracking has been solved.

                                      1. 2

                                        Regarding the detailed log of your activity, have a look at this video from Forbrukerrådet Norge:

                                        “Google manipulates users into constant tracking” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIq17DeAc1M

                                      2. 3

                                        A more accurate title would have been “Thank you Google for sharing some of my data with me.” It’s horrifying because it gives a glimpse of how much power they hold over their users, and how easily this power can be abused.

                                    1. 3

                                      As a hobbyist photograper I wish they had more real world examples. Wonder how it would compare with ordinary sharpening techniques?

                                      1. 3

                                        Check out the ESRGAN paper for some examples. The baboon whiskers are really well reconstructed :)

                                        1. 1

                                          Thanks, it looks really good! High detail, and from the examples it looks like it is not creating too much sharpening artifacts.

                                      1. 2

                                        Wonder if this still works, or if your email will get stuck in spam filters for recipients using big providers like Outlook/O365, Gmail, Fastmail?

                                        1. 5

                                          If you want to use your own mail server, the best thing I have done is basically setup postfix, but then send all email via AWS SES service, it gives you your own mail server and will cost you less than $1 a month, probably something in the region of $0.10 for a normal user. You get all the benefits of using your own mail server, but you mails don’t get caught in all the spam folders (trust me, they will).

                                          1. 1

                                            Great idea, thanks!

                                            1. 1

                                              Just had my bill through from last month, $0.11 for 905 recipients, probably about 23,000 emails.

                                              1. 1

                                                For your setup, do you need to set up your domain with AWS SES, with SPF, DKIM etc? Or is it just used as a some kind of outgoing relay?

                                                1. 2

                                                  You need to setup 1 txt record for AWS SES that’s it (there may be something else, but looking at my DNS I can’t find anything). One point to note is all mails from your server must have be from your domain, e.g. user@yourdomain.com you can’t send messages from fakeuser@notmydomain.com.

                                          2. 2

                                            Depending on which IAP you’re using you might be able to use their mail server as a ‘smart host’. This way your mail will be sent by way of your IAP’s domain and be filtered as such by the likes of Google and Microsoft. If your IAP has a reasonable reputation this will make your mail sail through without problems. You might need to dicker a bit with their customer services to open up their mail server for your domain, try to get hold of one of the hands-on people to explain what it is you want.

                                          1. 1

                                            Currently using my own domain with an old Google Apps account that has been around since the time wehn they gave them away for free. It is still free, but I have been looking into other providers, because I don’t really like some of Google´s practices and you never know when they will retract the old, free accounts.

                                            So I have been looking for a provider that has both shared calendars and some kind of “family account” option. I think Fastmail had this at one point, but they retired it? Anyway, does anyone know a provider that have family accounts for at least 5 - 10 users for at most $10 / month?

                                            1. 3

                                              One of the good things with GDPR is that it puts a light on the issue. Before, unless you run Ghostery or something similar you wouldn’t even know how many trackers you were subjected to by visiting a site.

                                              1. 2

                                                Something I’ve been wondering about (and this is probably the wrong forum to ask about) is whether or not doing this would result in employees or executives having issues if they go to Europe?

                                                1. 0

                                                  What do you mean?

                                                  I’m doing GDPR consulting at the moment.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    I think the question is something along the lines of “could a company be prosecuted for violations of the GDPR if its employees visit or work in Europe”.

                                                    I assume the answer is “no”, as long as they’re not actually doing business in Europe. (Which would be the primary reason to have employees there, but with the increased prevalence of remote work, it’s not necessarily the case.)

                                                    1. 2

                                                      I am fairly certain you could even go to EU and work in an office on data for non-EU customers and still not be subject to GDPR. As long as you are not dealing with any EU entities, your physical location should not matter.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        “It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.”

                                                        https://www.eugdpr.org/gdpr-faqs.html

                                                        So if you are working in the EU, your company would probably need to comply with GDPR, as they likely has personal information on you in their systems. I guess it comes down to how lawyers would interpret “residence”. Enforcable? Idk.

                                                    2. 1

                                                      Suppose I work for a company in Canada and that company flagrantly violate’s the GDPR. I later leave the company and move to Europe.

                                                      Is it possible for Europe to come after me personally, instead of (or as well as) the company?

                                                      What if I’m the CTO? CEO? Owner? Just an employee but directly responsible for the GDPR violations?

                                                      What if I don’t leave the company and just go to Europe on a vacation?

                                                      1. 4

                                                        Is it possible for Europe to come after me personally, instead of (or as well as) the company?

                                                        This is the entire point of the legal fiction of a “corporate person”. If a corporation is doing bad things, you go after the corporation. It’s very rare that anyone within the company directly is charged with a crime unless they’re knowingly and intentionally violating something. GDPR is fairly lenient with remediation and other things.

                                                        What if I don’t leave the company and just go to Europe on a vacation?

                                                        They’d more or less have to issue a warrant for you, and you would know.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Maybe if it were egregious enough.

                                                          The US has been known to go after employees of money launderers and copyright violators in other companies, so it’s not without an international precedent, but I’d need more information to give better advice.