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It's time!

- ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น geek in his mid-thirties, based in ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

- ๐ŸŽ“ M.Sc in computer engineering.

- My current job is about fixing and automating global supply chains, one line of code at the time, but I have worked in a wide range of industries over the past (nearly) two decades.

- My hobbies often involve automating everything around me.

- :linux: user since 2001. My experience as a Linux admin started back in a time when I used run my IRC and Apache servers on a repurposed Pentium 1 under my bed, and it still took about 10 ๐Ÿ’พ to install a full Slackware system.

- :arch: Linux and rolling release enthusiast.

- ๐Ÿ›  Creator and main developer of (platypush.tech), an open-source (mainly :python: and :vue:), general-purpose platform/framework to automate everything - from smart devices, to cloud services, to robots, to DevOps operations, to everything in between. With hundreds of available integrations, you can think of it as IFTTT+Tasker+SmartThings on steroids, scriptable, and runnable on almost any device. Or maybe like HomeAssistant's lighter brother.

- Admin of social.platypush.tech, a Mastodon instance where I may talk a lot about Platypush, automation, programming, electronics and maths. I tend to write a lot, so if you're looking for an instance with a 10,000 characters per toot limit...

- Looking for relays with instances dedicated to similar topics. My dream would be to build an experience, when it comes to , that is akin to curated lists, where admins can create curated federated experiences for the users on their platforms, rather than the open-to-everything overwhelming stream of toots on the federated timeline that most of the relays provide nowadays.

- ๐Ÿค– Machine-learning enthusiast. I have published a book on it link.springer.com/book/10.1007, with simple computer vision exercises that can be run on a , and I did some academic research back in time where neural networks were still a green field fabiomanganiello.com/#research, and I never stop learning new stuff.

- ๐Ÿงช๏ธ Physics, chemistry, biology, maths and astronomy enthusiast.

- ๐ŸŽต Music addict, ๐ŸŽธand ๐ŸŽน player, and occasional composer/producer You can find some of my music here open.spotify.com/artist/5H6BJf and here soundcloud.com/blacklight01

- I may often write about random politics/economics/philosophy. I may sometimes be very passionate on topics such as open-source, open data, open protocols, tolerance and social inequalities. I mostly belong to the progressive/social-democratic field. You are welcome to try and change my mind, as long as you do it in a civilized and data-driven way.

- ๐Ÿ„ and ๐Ÿ›น๏ธ rider. And, as a good Dutch resident, ๐Ÿšฒ enthusiast.

- ๐Ÿ‘ช Full-time father.

"Currently, Microsoft is actively blocking email addresses from registering a Microsoft Teams account. This severe anti-competitive practice forces our customers to register a second email address โ€“ possibly one from Microsoft themselves โ€“ to create a Teams account.

When asked to change the current situation, a spokesperson for Microsoft simply said it would not be possible for them to allow people to register a Teams account with a Tutanota email address. Period. We repeatedly tried to solve the issue with Microsoft, but unfortunately our request was ignored."

tutanota.com/blog/posts/micros

That neighborhood in Gaza was allegedly hosting a terrorist. So Israel decided to throw a bunch of missiles on it, destroy houses and kill 32 people, included 5 kids.

After seeing those images, I'm wondering how people would have reacted if something like that had happened in my neighborhood, in wealthy Western Europe.

Suppose that a mafia boss or a terrorist is allegedly staying in a house next to mine in the center of Amsterdam. And the government decided to solve the problem not by sending the army or the police, but by throwing a rocket on my neighborhood. They kill tens of people, leave the others homeless, provide no remuneration nor support to the impacted families, and even go as far as labeling whoever condemns their brutal actions as a supporter of terrorists.

And imagine that other countries stayed silent on the issue as well. Ready to condemn the indiscriminate destruction of private property when it happens in Ukraine, shy when those events happen somewhere else.

If the State had bombed your house like this and killed your relatives, didn't bother to apologize and no Western government even bothered to say a word of support, how would you react?

My reaction would be to do anything in my powers to blow up the government responsible for a crime against humanity that left me homeless and orphan for no reason.

And that's, ladies and gentlemen, how a terrorist State like Israel turned Palestinians into terrorists: isolate a population long enough, give them no access to citizenship, no way of going out of their land, no access to education nor the job market, seize or bomb their houses without apologizing, and even the most peaceful man on earth at some point would feel the urge to murder you. And, when that happens, you can always say "you see? you see? they are the evil ones!"

Israel deserves to be punished in the harshest way for its crimes, yet its unlikely to get any punishment in this life

twitter.com/SamarDJarrah/statu

is apparently considering a U-turn (or maybe not?) after the expected community backlash: theregister.com/2022/08/05/git

1. If something as stupid as a data retention plan for open-source projects linked to free accounts comes to your mind, and you don't think in advance that the community is going to be extremely angry at you, then you should change your job, period.

2. I personally don't give a damn about their U-turn. Their announcement already outlined their vision, and they only reverted their plan after a lot of people started taking their projects off. This kind of companies don't deserve trust.

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will delete repositories on free accounts that haven't recorded any activities for a year.

I still sporadically receive emails and support requests for SnortAI_Preproc, a machine learning pre-processor for Snort that I built more than 12 years ago for my M.Sc thesis. Even though the repo itself hasn't seen any activities for >10 years, it keeps getting stars and followers. Under Gitlab's new policy, I would have had to push a stupid commit every year for the past 10 years just to keep it alive.

And my project isn't even an outlier. These patterns are especially common in academic software, where a researcher or a graduate student may bump into your projects months or years after its latest commit.

And this is not to mention preservation: some software may have been actively developed and used in the past, lost momentum at some point for any variety of reasons, and deleting would prevent any later developer from resurrecting it, or from preserving it for historical purposes.

Being a large host of open-source software and planning to delete software that hasn't been updated in a while is like being in charge of a museum and destroying the items that visitors haven't shown interest in the past few months.

If Gitlab has decided to prioritize profit margins over their responsibility to reliably host our free contributions to the world, then they no longer deserve to host anything.

I'm very happy I successfully completed my migration to a self-hosted instance just a few weeks ago, and I don't have to cope anymore with shitty companies that still think that other people's open-source software must be something to exploit for their own profit.

theregister.com/2022/08/04/git

Btw all the *.platypush.tech domains also live on some Linode servers, but luckily they are in the Frankfurt data center. So while login may be broken, at least the servers are still up.

It's definitely been a wise choice not to put all the eggs in one basket. It'd be probably be even wiser to host all the services on at least two nodes in two different data centers, and have some failover mechanism in case one goes down, but I hope that Linode outages won't be so common to push me to implement such an expensive solution...

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has been reporting major issues in their London data center: status.linode.com/incidents/b0

Since Keycloak is proxied through a Linode running in that DC, login may be currently broken on git.platypush.tech and social.platypush.tech, and matrix.platypush.tech is currently down because startup fails if the OIDC provider is down.

๐Ÿคž and hoping that the staff at @linode@twitter.com fixes the outage ASAP, because my personal VPN is also down in the meantime, and all of my personal cloud is down with it ๐Ÿ˜ž

every wikipedia article on famous computer scientists contains the sentence "<name> became so frustrated with the inability of the <old system> that they built <software still used 50 years later> in their spare time"

This is legitimately cool: a website that shows you how far you can get in a 5h train ride for more or less all of western and central Europe: chronotrains-eu.vercel.app/

For $100 or more, you can now write your name and a custom message on Ukrainian grenades whose goal is to send the invading Russian scum back to the hell it belongs to.

I've just made my donation and submitted my message. I can't wait to receive a video that shows my grenade turning a Russian soldier into a shapeless lump of bleeding meat.

ladbible.com/news/latest-ukrai

Both the optimist and the pessimist distort reality with their biases.

What really matters is not your view on reality as being intrinsically good or bad. What really matters is to find the best solution to problems.

technologyreview.com/2021/07/1

"We will exploit it, we will extract it, we will sell it, we will commercialise it".

The Congolese government is surely not shy about how little it cares about . And Congo isn't an isolated case either: developing countries are climbing the ladder by burning their cocktails of dinosaurs and Carboniferous forests. To them, growth today is way more important than a sustainable environment tomorrow. They'd pick today's chicken over tomorrow's egg without thinking twice.

It won't be of much use for us to halt our emissions if an increasingly overpopulated Sub-Saharan Africa (and maybe also India and South-East Asia) keep fueling their growth with fossil fuels.

We have a responsibility towards them, because if we hadn't colonized those countries and exploited them for decades or centuries they wouldn't be as poor as they are today. We *must* ensure that they move to more sustainable energy sources, we have to do it right now, and we have to pay for it.
economist.com/middle-east-and-

CEO and founder Frank Karlitschek was approached by a lawyer earlier this year to make a deal.

In the meeting, the Microsoft correspondent offered benefits in the form of collaboration and marketing to Nextcloud. For example, they wanted to promote the Nextcloud logo in Microsoft marketing material โ€“ if Nextcloud would consider dropping its anti-trust complaint.

Microsoft used to be a company of jerks, liars and cheaters 40 years ago, it remains a company of jerks, liars and cheaters today.

nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-i

has been trying this for the past three decades. UEFI didn't manage to lock alternative operating systems out of the hardware originally designed for Windows like they intended, so they need to come up with something new. That's the whole purpose of Microsoft .

All the talk about increased security is just marketing bullshit intended to gaslight users. It's quite uncommon for malware nowadays to overwrite the MBR, and hypervisor-like isolation of user-space code can also be achieved in the OS layer without locking up the hardware. The simple truth is that Microsoft wants its monopoly back and it wants to do it by kicking any potential competitors out of hardware designed for Windows, whatever it takes.

Microsoft deserves to burn in a ball of fire and leave no traces behind. I'm sick of their continuous arrogant attempts of establishing an absolute monopoly out of market share weight, not out of merit. Weren't they supposed to focus on that stinky pile of crap that is Azure, and finally leave non-cloud users in peace?

This is yet one more argument in support of open hardware, and in support of hardware manufacturers that don't ship solutions with Windows pre-installed.

gabrielsieben.tech/2022/07/25/

The ongoing forge federation effort is a simple proposition: online software forges must be able to communicate. It must be possible for developers to work together on the same software project regardless of the user interface they use. Just as it is possible for someone to send an email using their preferred client knowing the person receiving it will be able to read it and reply even if they are in a completely different environment. This will help developers to move away from software forges they are forbidden to change and regain control of their tools.

forgefriends.org/blog/2022/06/

The list of web services under my " cloud" bookmarks folder has grown quite a bit since I started my diaspora away from big clouds.

It definitely took some effort, but I feel like the products that I use today are on par (if not better in some cases) with what is provided by most of the commercial or surveillance-based solutions out there. With the difference that everything runs in my closet or on a VPS.

Do you use or recommend any alternatives to the products in this list?

๐Ÿ“– migration, from my account to my local cloud, completed โœ…

It took me a while to do the jump. I had a library on my Kindle with a few hundreds books. I invested a few hundreds bucks over more than a decade to buy ebooks and create my digital library.

I felt very uncomfortable whenever I thought of those precious resources being lost in somebody else's cloud, while the money I paid only granted me the permission to _view_ the content provided by Amazon's servers, _only_ on the devices compatible with Kindle resources, _only_ using the software built by Amazon, and _only_ using Amazon's closed formats. Anything outside of that clearly defined perimeter is illegal. A suspension of my account would be sufficient to lock me out of my library. And I probably have no easy way of passing those books to my kid, like parents used to do with their kids before surveillance capitalism came over. I just couldn't accept all of this. But, on the other hand, Kindle provided a very comfortable ecosystem, and that motivated my reluctance.

Now I've finally made the jump though, and I couldn't be happier.

- I used to convert all of my Kindle books to .epub. However, the DeDRM plugin (github.com/apprenticeharper/De) didn't work out of the box - Amazon has probably come up with some other twists on their KNX compression+encryption to make our lives harder. What worked though was to download the purchased books one by one through the "Download to device over USB" option at amazon.com/mycd - a lengthy process, but at least I got the ebooks in the AZW* format that Calibre and DeDRM could digest.

- I moved all the .epub files on a path shared through - hopefully when the ebook reader apps for NextCloud get fixed my NC interface could also become a place to read my books.

- I installed (github.com/linuxserver/docker-) on my local server, and enabled the feed. Make the server accessible over my VPN, set up an nginx reverse proxy with HTTPS, and that's all you need. Big kudos to the development team for building a Java app that manages somehow to be lightweight!

- After trying many apps (most of the ebook reader apps on F-Droid have a UI that feels so 2000s), I settled for , which comes with a decent UI and good support for OPDS feeds out of the box. The only downside is that bookmark synchronization only works over Google Drive, and it requires the version hosted on the Play Store to work. It'd be nice to support NextCloud, or (even better) any virtual storage exposed by Android.

Except for the synchronization still working over Google Drive, I'm happy for finally making the jump - now I feel like my kid will have something to read even if dad's Amazon account gets suspended, or if Amazon at some point in the future goes out of business.

I'll probably still have to buy some books from the Kindle store (especially when it comes to recent books), but I'll always make sure to convert them to .epub and add them to my open library as soon as I get them on my devices.

I have set up a new automation flow that registers the tracks the user listens to (through , , or by fetching the scrobbles) on a local database, retrieves similar tracks through the last.fm API, and periodically creates a new discovery playlist that contains the top suggested tracks that haven't been listened/suggested yet.

The "top suggested" tracks are calculated through a simple score that takes into account both the match score between the suggested and the listened tracks, and for how many listened tracks a certain track has been reported as a suggestion.

It's a self-hosted and backend-agnostic alternative (with a transparent algorithm) to Spotify's discovery features. I have been using it for several weeks to generate my "Discovery weekly" playlists, and I've been surprised by how many new tracks I discovered - way more than through Spotify's suggestions, that were quite all over the place lately.

I may write a blog article on it, but before that I wanted to check the community's favourite ways of consuming music, so I can provide playlist generation examples that are relevant for that service.

I have been a user for more than a decade, until they recently f*cked up their developer experience for good by killing libspotify (technically they already deprecated it years ago, but in all these years they refused to provide official alternatives as well). I have moved to since then, so my code now generates new discovery playlists through the Tidal ("unofficial"/reverse engineered) web API.

Do you folks have a favourite (preferably web-based, or with a web API) alternative service that you use to discover and stream music? Fully local options also apply, but then I need to write about how to automatically search and download audio files from cloud services - and even though I have found some ways of doing it, it's obviously illegal to publish those methods :) options like may also apply, but only a small subset of the tracks that are found on last.fm are available on Bandcamp.

In other words, do you folks have any suggestions for an online music streaming service comparable to Spotify or Tidal when it comes to content availability, but with a good search, playlist management and streaming API (unlike Spotify and Tidal)?

The only reason why I'm using Tidal is that I needed an alternative to Spotify with comparable content availability, and that Tidal is (allegedly) a bit fairer to artists when it comes to remuneration. But I don't like to rely on a web API that has basically been reverse engineered, and on a music service that doesn't even provide an official Linux client.

After a couple of months spent working with streams in my main job, I'm wondering why on earth anybody would use this sh*t over a /#Mosquitto broker.

If you choose Kinesis, you get:

- Bad documentation

- Limited support when it comes to languages/SDKs

- Bad latency (Kinesis isn't really an asynchronous broker, it's an inefficient polling beast disguised as an asynchronous stream)

- Limited throughput (a shard can ingest a maximum of 1 MB/s)

- A heavily limited quota (you can get a maximum of 10 MB or 10,000 records per read, and you can only do a maximum of 5 reads per seconds, or retrieve 10,000 items every 5 seconds). Any quota extension requires an expensive product upgrade through an annoying "contact our customer support" process

- You can create a maximum of 50 data streams - any extension requires, again, the "contact Amazon support" bullsh*t

- An environment that is hard to replicate and test locally - you need to use their closed localstack Docker image, which breaks very frequently

- Additional configuration required to connect to the correct cloud service (region, environment, default topics that should be available etc.)

- Pay Amazon to provide you this shit

If you choose Kafka installed on your premises, you get:

- Top-level documentation and community support

- Support for virtually any programming language and tons of SDKs and libraries

- A true asynchronous broker, with a latency that is as good as the latency of your infrastructure

- A throughput as good as the throughput of your infrastructure/server

- No quota or restrictions whatsoever, unless you want to set them explicitly in your configuration

- You can create as many topics as you like. You don't need to spend time on phone with Amazon's customer service if you want to have more than 50 topics

- An environment that can be easily tested and replicated locally. Just pull and run a Kafka image, and you're good to go. No configuration about regions, clusters, shards and default topics is required, unless you need it or want it

- You don't have to pay anybody for anything, except the costs of running your own broker on your own servers. Everything is free and open-source

My company has realized the mistake it made by relying on some severely limited enterprise shit instead of readily available open-source solutions, and it's now in the process of migrating its data stream infrastructure to Kafka.

A lot of time has been wasted both by the infra and development teams in the meantime. A lot of business value has been held behind by a bad data stream product. A lot of developers got frustrated by all these unneeded constraints. A lot of time will be required to migrate the whole codebase to a new data infrastructure - we're talking of several months. All because the management was like "let's use this off-the-shelf AWS solution instead of running our data stream infrastructure using 'amateur' open-source products".

Amazon is literally producing copycats of open-source products that are stable and free for anyone to use. But those copycats are much worse, much more limited, and you have to pay money for them. Why on earth would anybody pay for this crap?

Are senior managers so dumb that if you sprinkle a bit of marketing and enterprise powder on top of some crap they're ready to pay for it (and even pay A LOT) rather than use something that is better and free?

Even the "it scales better" argument makes no sense. Amazon provides you the worst of the two worlds: you have to think of your whole application as working in an opaque cloud even when you're just running on your local machine, but real throughput is severely limited, the strict quotas mean that you won't be able to easily go from 100K to 10M records per day (let alone per hour) within a day, and every infrastructure upgrade to ensure that it can handle more traffic requires a human contacting another human at Amazon and requesting an upgrade.

This is the kind of shit that is holding back technological innovation today.

May I introduce you to the #MuskPeak (according to the-federation.info/ Monthly Active Users)

Also note the general higher usage level in July. So some new users disappeared again, but some stayed on the #fediverse.

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