Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read

Date Published: Mon, 1 Feb 2021 11:12:32 +0200

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us,” Kafka wrote to his childhood friend just as he was setting out on a life of making and honing axes of words. I have always been struck by his metaphor — by both the exquisite truth of its tenor and the awful violence of its vehicle. A good book is indeed a profound transformation and, yes, there can be a violence to how it awakens us from the trance of near-life, but it is often a transformation of great subtlety and tenderness — an act of healing, a self-salvation, a self-creation. “Books and stories are medicine, plaster casts for broken lives and hearts, slings for weakened spirits,” Anne Lamott wrote in her lovely letter to children a century after Kafka. As a child, Jane Goodall read herself into her unexampled life. As a girl cusping on adulthood, Helen Fagin read herself alive through the Holocaust.

I always find reading a powerful experience, and way more so than watching a movie or TV program. A book is far richer and more vivid than a movie because our minds are more powerful than a video editing suite. I'm always a bit sad when I get to the end of a book. Books enrich human beings and getting into the habit of reading daily is never time lost.

See Mass, Energy, and How Literature Transforms the Dead Weight of Being: Jeanette Winterson on Why We Read

#reading #books

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“Books read us back to ourselves… The escape into another story reminds us that we too are another story. Not caught, not confined, not predestined.”

Is an open secure instant messaging protocol not what is needed to allow any messaging app to communicate with any other, and to break the monopoly of Big Tech?

Date Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2021 14:41:44 +0200

The reason why we as consumers get held to ransom by Big Tech is because they are the one's who create walled gardens of their apps to ensure it is very difficult to leave their service and to maintain any communication with your friends or family who stay behind. They count on that sticky network effect to hold you in place.

The world was not always like this, as we see with e-mail where any app can e-mail any other app. Neither was messaging as it was also once open.

So what we need is a protocol to be broadly supported that will connect anyone to any other app supporting that open protocol, but which allows end-to-end encryption. We need apps to support it, just like Hubzilla which built in a number of plugins to allow it to communicate with Diaspora, XMPP, Fediverse, etc all from one place.

What do we do about Big Tech like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft? Well either they must be mandated by law to build in this protocol support, or we as consumers must start voting with our choices and not make use of services that are walled gardens. Our future lies in an open interoperable Internet offering privacy. The future cannot be walled gardens separating us all.

From the link below the key columns are the License (how open is it for anyone to use without cost?) and End-To-End Encryption (can I use it privately?). From these requirements we can see that the following protocols could be suitable to consider:
* Bitmessage (Desktop P2)
* Briar (P2) but Android only
* Echo
* Jami (Desktop and Mobile P2P)
* Matrix (Desktop and Mobile Federated Client-Server)
* Ricochet (Desktop P2P)
* Signal (Centralised Desktop and Mobile)
* SIMPLE (more phones with SIP?)
* Tox (Desktop and Mobile P2P)
* XMPP (Desktop and Mobile Decentralized Client-Server)

See Comparison of instant messaging protocols - Wikipedia

#technology #instantmessengers #interoprability #bigtech #privacy

The following is a comparison of instant messaging protocols. It contains basic general information about the protocols. Note 1: In ~usr@a.b.com, the a.b.com part is known as the "hostmask" and can either be the server being connected from or a "cloak" granted by the server administrator; a more realistic example is ~myname@myisp.example.com. The...

A Practical Guide To Grub Repair On Ubuntu (And Probably Linux Mint)

Date Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2021 13:11:32 +0200

I must say I have messed up my Grub twice on Manjaro Linux and have learnt to just take a deep breath, go grab some coffee, and get on with figuring out the repair. I've never lost any data and both times it was my own stupidity, and usually related to writing a Grub change to /dev/sda where actually my boot drive is /dev/sdb and that is where my Grub is supposed to write to.

So if you still panic (or have never had a Grub issue and don't know what panic is) then this is a good guide to read through and keep for that future event.

See Ubuntu: Grub repair [Guide]

#technology #linux #tips #opensource #grub

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Do you have a Ubuntu Linux PC that you can't boot because of the Grub bootloader's problems? We can help! Follow along with this guide as we go over how

How To Enable Hardware Accelerated Video Decode In Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi And Opera Browsers On Debian, Ubuntu Or Linux Mint

Date Published: Sat, 30 Jan 2021 22:26:14 +0200

Google Chrome 88 (and newer) has made hardware accelerated video decoding available on Linux, but it's not enabled by default. Google Chrome is not the only Chromium-based web browser to support hardware acceleration on Linux though. This article explains how to enable hardware-accelerated video decoding in Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi and Opera web browsers running on Debian, Ubuntu, Pop!_OS or Linux Mint (Xorg only).

Using hardware-accelerated video decode in your web browser should result in using less CPU usage (and thus, less battery draining) when playing online videos.

See How To Enable Hardware Accelerated Video Decode In Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi And Opera Browsers On Debian, Ubuntu Or Linux Mint

#technology #linux #browsers #tips

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This article explains how to enable hardware-accelerated video decoding in Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi and Opera running on Debian, Ubuntu / Mint.

Hushboard For Linux Mutes Your Microphone While Typing

Date Published: Sat, 30 Jan 2021 12:46:53 +0200

The PyGTK3 application sits in the tray, waiting for you to type, and as soon as you start typing it mutes your microphone. The Hushboard microphone icon displayed as a tray/appindicator changes depending on your microphone state: enabled or muted. The tray also allows you to pause Hushboard and quit the application.

I'm going to try this out as my mechanical keyboard is especially loud when typing. It's working fine on Manjaro Linux for me and I see there is a Snap install too.

See Hushboard Mutes Your Microphone While Typing

#technology #linux #opensource #audio #mute

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Hushboard is a new Linux program to automatically mute the microphone while typing (and unmute it when typing stops).

Machine learning made easy with Python - Solve real-world machine learning problems with Naïve Bayes classifiers

Date Published: Fri, 29 Jan 2021 12:50:17 +0200

Naïve Bayes is a classification technique that serves as the basis for implementing several classifier modeling algorithms. Naïve Bayes-based classifiers are considered some of the simplest, fastest, and easiest-to-use machine learning techniques, yet are still effective for real-world applications.

Naïve Bayes is based on Bayes' theorem, formulated by 18th-century statistician Thomas Bayes. This theorem assesses the probability that an event will occur based on conditions related to the event. For example, an individual with Parkinson's disease typically has voice variations; hence such symptoms are considered related to the prediction of a Parkinson's diagnosis. The original Bayes' theorem provides a method to determine the probability of a target event, and the Naïve variant extends and simplifies this method.

This code and project will be of interest to any Python (or even other) programmers wanting to go to the next level in terms of building machine learning predictability into their applications.

See Machine learning made easy with Python

#technology #machinelearning #python #programming #predictions

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Naïve Bayes is a classification technique that serves as the basis for implementing several classifier modeling algorithms. Naïve Bayes-based classifiers are considered some of the simplest, fastest, and easiest-to-use machine learning techniques, yet are still effective for real-world applications.

10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers including one for Bash scripts

Date Published: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 21:55:53 +0200

Debuggers are essential for locating bugs in programs. There is a plethora of robust Linux debuggers that make it easy to find weak points in your applications. MakeTechEasier outlines some of these applications in the link below. Try some of these tools to get a feel of how debugging works in Linux.

BASH Debugger or bashdb is a simple, but useful, Linux debugger. You can use it for analyzing your bash scripts during execution and can be pretty useful if you start to do more complex bash scripts.

See 10 of the Best Linux Debuggers for Software Engineers - Make Tech Easier

#technology #linux #programming #debugging

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There is a wide range of powerful Linux debuggers which will make it very easy to locate weak points or bugs in your applications. Check them out here

The Famous Linksys WRT54G Router Hackers Actually Loved - It Achieved Legendary Status Through A Sloppy Oversight With Linux Licensing

Date Published: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 16:41:09 +0200

I still have my router although its resting now in a cupboard. As Lifehacker put it way back in 2006, it was the perfect way to turn your $60 router into a $600 router, which likely meant it was potentially costing Cisco money to have a device this good on the market.

The article below delves a lot into what happened with the outsourcing of code (3rd part sources are often a contentious issue for later resharing code as open source) and how especially in the early years proprietary companies thought they could just use anything and then lock it down and sell it. Some sloppy outsourcing work resulted in a treasure chest being opened. So true though that with the Tomato OS that I loaded on mine it was giving me $600 performance back then. I always felt crippled when I moved to newer routers and was really missing a lot of the functionality from Tomato OS.

See The Famous Router Hackers Actually Loved

#technology #hardware #opensource #Linux

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How Linksys’ most famous router, the WRT54G, tripped into legendary status because of an undocumented feature that slipped through during a merger.

'Death of diesel looms' as car makers accelerate to electric future as world's biggest diesel engine factory in Tremery, eastern France, is switching to making electric motors

Date Published: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:39:07 +0200

From less than 10% of output in 2020, electric motor production at Tremery will double to about 180,000 in 2021, and is planned to reach 900,000 a year - or more than half the plant's peak pre-pandemic output - by 2025.

The shift is testament to a car industry in flux. Demand for diesel cars has slumped since a 2015 pollution scandal, while tough new EU regulations, which fine carmakers for exceeding emissions limits, are pushing them to make more electric models.

See 'Death of diesel looms' as car makers accelerate to electric future

#environment #EV #france #diesel

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The world's biggest diesel engine factory in Tremery, eastern France, is undergoing a radical overhaul - it's switching to make electric motors

Iran blocks Signal messaging app after WhatsApp exodus... BUT many wonder why WhatsApp and Instagram are not blocked

Date Published: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:13:16 +0200

This is pretty puzzling as we know Signal is reputed to be secure (apart from having to provide a phone number to register) and although Telegram's default settings allow access to metadata and even message content ultimately, both have been banned because they have been proven before not to release any user data.

But why was WhatsApp not banned in Iran, and neither in Russia previously either? This is what is really puzzling many people? It would be pure unfounded conjecture to speculate whether WhatsApp provides metadata about who contacts whom, locations, etc to authorities as we've not seen evidence of this yet as far as I know. We do not know this but all the same, the question does need to be asked.

If you are in Iran I'd recommend though that you install XMPP, or P2P apps such as ManyVerse or similar anyway as centralised apps are just too easy to monitor or disable.

See Iran blocks Signal messaging app after WhatsApp exodus

#technology #privacy #rights #instantmessengers #Iran

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With Signal shut down, WhatsApp and Instagram remain the only two unblocked major social media platforms.

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