Blaise Alleyne

Toronto, Canada

Technologist, musician, writer, theology student, free culture/software advocate.

  • Reverse Engineering the Intellectual Anti-Patterns of Conspiracy Thinking

    2021-02-22T02:29:56Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    This has been my winter project - searching for dragonglass for the land of always winter...

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  • Mr. Robot is a masterpiece

    2019-12-25T18:05:17Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I have never been so satisfied with a series finale before. What a masterpiece, through every line of code. Now, I listen to Mac Quayle whenever hacking / doing sysadmin work and everything feels much more epic. This show was designed to be rewatched 2-3 times. I'm immediately rewatching. `whoami`

    (Photo I happened to stumble upon, from 2010, just before watching the finale)

    I watched S1 back in the day, and it was quite nice.

    I've been wanting to get back to it, knowing that S4 is the end helps 😅

    JanKusanagi at 2019-12-26T00:27:12Z

    Totally worth it, and do everything within your power to avoid spoilers. S2 and S3 may seem like they're veering off in another direction, but everything comes back together in S4 and the journey is worth it.

    Blaise Alleyne at 2019-12-26T19:31:57Z

    I found the beginning of season three (I think) gross and boring and I stopped watching it. Knowing it ended in season four I watched it.

    I'm not quite sure I understood the series finale (think there are some missing explanations and inconsistencies), but I didn't like it.

    EVAnaRkISTO at 2019-12-27T11:55:53Z

  • Firefox Preview

    2019-07-01T05:25:34Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Installed Firefox Preview in LineageOS, pretty happy with it so far. Was mostly using the AOSP Broswer before, so happy to switch back to Firefox...

  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse

    2019-04-11T13:50:17Z via AndStatus To: Public

    "Since I myself had served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the Church at the time of the public outbreak of the crisis, and during the run-up to it, I had to ask myself - even though, as emeritus, I am no longer directly responsible - what I could contribute to a new beginning."

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  • What mobile web browser are you freedom-loving people using?

    2019-02-17T04:11:16Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I recently had to rebuild my mobile setup on a new S5, as my old one unceremoniously died. (Thanks, N900, old friend, for keeping me company for a couple days.) I'd been using an old version of Firefox Mobile from F-Droid that wasn't being updated on Cyanogenmod 12.1 before... now I'm updated to LineageOS 15.1, but I'm not sure what the best option is for a web browser these days.

    I've got the LineageOS AOSP Browser, and I've got FOSS Browser and IceCatMobile from F-Droid. What's the "mainstream" libre option these days?

    @Blaise Alleyne I'm using Firefox Klar from F-Droid, which seems to work well. Only issue is that it's designed for private browsing, which means it... forgets everything. Good with home screen bookmarks though.

    Ben Sturmfels at 2019-02-17T10:00:56Z

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    I use Fennec F-Droid, and sometimes Tor Browser.
    I use Fennec because I see it's updated regularly and I could install uBlock origin to get rid of all the ads. I didn't explore much other browsers, though.

    This is in my phone with Lineage 14.1.

    Laura Arjona Reina at 2019-02-18T02:00:45Z

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  • N900 for the weekend

    2019-02-14T12:47:48Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Yesterday, my Samsung S5 unceremoniously died in an instant - system board gone. You know what's still working? I'm temporarily back to my 2010 Nokia N900... there was even a 2016 Maemo SSU system update pending...

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    Congrats on the upgrade 😎

    JanKusanagi at 2019-02-14T13:24:19Z

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  • The lyric attempts the impossible — to stop time

    2019-01-02T07:59:24Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Reflections on songwriting and the lyric poem, inspired by thinkers at the University of Toronto.

    McClane likes this.

    If the lyric stops time, the lyric will be unable to "resume time" 😨

    JanKusanagi at 2019-01-02T14:39:06Z

    I think that's what happens with Sylvia Plath or Kurt Cobain... but the objective is to work through the block while time is stopped, so that you can return to the normal progression of time!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2019-01-02T19:35:44Z

  • Once in Royal David's City - Blaise Alleyne

    2018-12-27T09:39:38Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I arranged, recorded and produced this on Boxing Day:

    A near completely free software and free culture production:

    • Original song is in the public domain
    • I've waived all my copyright and related rights with CC0
    • Recorded in Ardour using KXStudio under Debian GNU/Linux
    • Drums powered by Drumgizmo and the DRSKit
    • Video edited and produced using Kdenlive
    • Will make stems available (just haven't put in place a mechanism for publishing them yet)

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    Woohooo!! 🎸 !!!


    JanKusanagi at 2018-12-27T14:40:06Z

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  • Video Editing Tools

    2018-12-23T06:05:50Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Any recommendations for video editors?

    Back in high school, before my free software days, and when camcorders wrote to DV tape instead of SD cards, I used to use Windows Movie Maker. It was remarkable easy to do a lot with that tool.

    I've been using Kdenlive recently. It's... remarkable difficult to do anything but make simple edits to video. Something like adding a title template or creating subtitles is very difficult to do in a way that looks good and that you can replicate consistently or edit and adjust as you go. (Maybe it's just a lack of presets and templates?)

    iMovie and Windows Movie Maker seem to excel at being simple and easy to use. Kdenlive is a powerful tool, but it's not that kind of tool. What is?

    Has anyone tried OpenShot, Shotcut, Pitivi, Flowblade? So many options, not an obvious winner... I feel like I've got a lot of experimenting to do...

    Scorpio, Scorpio, McClane shared this.

    Then... Cinelerra? 🤣

    Upon seeing the title and initial question, I was going to say "Kdenlive" 😅

    So... if that one's too complex... Many years ago I tried Pitivi briefly and I remember it being much simpler (i.e. crappier 😁). No idea about how it has evolved, but it might be suited for your purposes.

    For subtitles you might want to consider a proper subtitling tool like SubtitleComposer.

    EDIT: Also, LiVES?

    JanKusanagi at 2018-12-23T14:24:06Z

    You're right, Kdenlive may actually be the best. I just needed to spend a bit more time with it... and it works really well!

    Blaise Alleyne at 2018-12-27T09:03:53Z

  • 2018-12-23T04:15:43Z via AndStatus To: Public

    I've been playing around with Ardour 5 with MIDI and video monitoring, AVL Drumkits (and Drumgizmo), my camcorder, and KXStudio. Super excited to begin recording again.

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

  • My best laptop sticker placement yet

    2018-11-28T18:22:28Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I pulled out a Macbook today because I had to do some screensharing thing with and needed a proprietary OS for that. Totally forgot I had put this sticker on it. Had a good laugh.

    (I got a Macbook for free a few years back when doing some tech support for a family friend, an old beat up machine with a cracked screen but that still worked. Whereas I'd normally wipe the OS as a first order of business, I've just kept this one around as an OS X testing machine for the odd time that I need access to try something on a Mac, or as a proprietary sandbox that I can occasionally install other proprietary stuff if needed.)

    McClane likes this.

    Couldn't think of a better surface for that 🤣

    JanKusanagi at 2018-11-28T18:45:48Z

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  • 2018-11-14T03:48:19Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I've mostly settled into a 90% free software workflow on everything and come to terms with the few proprietary platforms I need to interact with on a regular basis... but I get pretty annoyed with schools and daycares and all the proprietary stuff that teachers and administrators expect me to install and use as a parent if I want to know what's going on with my kids. Opting out is not easy...

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    The world at large uses all kinds of crap that "everyone uses", and assumes everyone else is perfectly fine using it, because... why not? Everybody's using this!!

    *sigh* 🙄

    JanKusanagi at 2018-11-15T16:46:40Z

  • One (Decentralized) Cloud to Rule Them All

    2018-07-05T16:51:17Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I love Nextcloud. I really love Nextcloud.

    5 years ago, I was running so many different applications that have just been replacing by Nextcloud apps.

    • SOGO (CalDAV/CardDAV) => Nextcloud Calendar/Contacts
    • Snowy (Tomboy notes sync) => Nextcloud Grauphel
    • Tiny Tiny RSS => Nextcloud News
    • Roundcube => Nextcloud RainLoop

    Plus, I've just been playing around with Nextcloud Talk which offers an easy-to-use Hangsouts-like WebRTC video chat.

    I really love Nextcloud.

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  • 2018-05-12T01:21:25Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Cutting out RSS feeds without full text from my life...

  • 2018-01-10T05:17:08Z via AndStatus To: Public

    I have done a thing: I'm taking the Canadian government to court, asking in judicial review that a policy to compel speech attesting support for a variety of social beliefs in order to qualify for unrelated funding be declared unconstitutional. It's not illegal to disagree with the government, and the government of the day should not be able to compel speech or discriminate on the basis of beliefs.
    It's been getting attention in the Canadian media:

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  • Christmas carols

    2017-12-19T04:51:00Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    I'd play these public domain Christmas carols all year long if people wouldn't look at me funny.

    These are old recordings from 2008. Each year, I wish I'd carved out the time to continue on this CC0 project. I have at least three other arrangements to record: We Three Kings (Tool-esque), O Come All Ye Faithful (ringy acoustic guitar), and Angels We Have Heard On High (modern folk finger-picky guitar). One of these years...

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  • Backdrop > Drupal

    2017-09-05T19:00:33Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Okay, so far I'm super happy with Backdrop CMS over Drupal. Over Drupal 7, and especially over Drupal 8. It's like this fork is focused on fixing everything that was wrong with Drupal and preserving everything that was great about it. My only fear is that the fork has enough support to survive in the long-run, that it has a big enough userbase / developer base....

    » Blaise Alleyne:

    “[...] fork is focused on fixing everything that was right with Drupal [...]”

    Fixing everything that was wrong? =)

    JanKusanagi at 2017-09-05T19:09:54Z

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  • Backdrop CMS?

    2017-09-02T04:05:36Z via Pumpa To: Public CC: Followers

    Anyone have any experience with Backdrop CMS? Working with CiviCRM, WordPress has its limitations for more complex sites, and the Drupal 6/7/8 upgrade path is a thing of nightmares. Backdrop CMS (a fork of Drupal 7) seems to be taking all the things I liked from Drupal, but forking it to avoid all the things that are awful. I'm two days into Backdrop and kind of excited so far... the only downside being the level of documentation you'd expect from a newer project. Anyone have any experience working with Backdrop CMS or following it for longer than a week?

  • 2017-08-30T16:28:05Z via Web CC: Public

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  • 2017-08-15T22:23:26Z via AndStatus To: Public

    Just switched from Tiny Tiny RSS to Nextcloud News. Should have done that ages ago. Next up, switching from Snowy to Nextcloud's Grauphel for Tomboy Notes sync. One self-hosted cloud to rule them all...

    Stephen Sekula likes this.

    I'd be interested in hearing more about why you prefer the new one. Installing Nextcloud seems like wrestling 100 pound of infrastructure for 5 pounds of feature (on the RSS reader front). If you're using a lot of Nextcloud's other apps, I'm sure that changes the calculus ... but what about the newsreader in particular is an improvement?

    Nathan Willis at 2017-08-16T08:39:26Z