Mike Linksvayer mlinksva@identi.ca

pre-epoch parasite, post-epoch scavenger

  • 2018-12-26T17:34:49Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    I'm not sure I can give you a polite answer that wouldn't otherwise get me in trouble with the inspector general. Please remember that unlike the rest of the civil service as well as the military, IRS employees are subject in certain respects to summary dismissal that cannot be challenged in court in any respect. We're not uniformed yet in certain respects face harsher discipline than the military.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2018-12-26T19:21:55Z

  • 2018-11-12T20:27:02Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    The most interesting job posting I've seen in a long time https://puri.sm/job/enterprise-sales/
  • 2018-10-30T03:09:31Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers


    I either didn't know or had forgotten Jitsi (the development team/company anyway) had been acquired by Atlassian in the first place. Now they have been acquired by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8x8 which I hadn't heard of either. Glad to see they continue on in any case.

    João Patrício, clacke@libranet.de ❌ likes this.

  • 2018-10-15T05:27:31Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers


    I'm going to have to increase my support for the author on that patron website with an e.

    Tangentially related: the main reason I'm not on a Mastodon instance is that I don't really want more reasons to be online. Identi.ca being a ghost town these days has serious benefits. The other reason is that I don't want to run my own instance, and I'm not particularly confident in any, or haven't put effort into looking. I don't mean that I dislike any or all instances moderation policies (I don't really care), but I don't want to attach my identity to any one, or create a bunch of separate ones, and they each seem to be at a BBS level of governance, sustainability, something like that.

    Karl Fogel, Tyng-Ruey Chuang, clacke@libranet.de ❌ likes this.

    What's this mean for MediaGoblin then?

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2018-10-16T00:11:14Z

    Answered in https://medium.com/we-distribute/faces-of-the-federation-christopher-allan-webber-on-mediagoblin-and...

    So what happens with MediaGoblin? That’s a conversation I have to have with the MediaGoblin community. I’d be happy for this [Spritely] *to be* the future of MediaGoblin, but given that it’s a language rewrite I’m not sure if some people will be unhappy and will want to continue the existing codebase… which they’d be welcome to do.

    Mike Linksvayer at 2018-10-16T06:10:34Z

    If you look at the http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/mediagoblin.git repo, you'll see that Chris hasn't made a release for three years, and that other people are advancing the master branch. Moving from focusing on ActivityPub to focusing on Spritely isn't actually going to change things a lot in that regard.

    Spritely may or may not evolve to replace MediaGoblin in some fashion in the future, but the goals of the projects are pretty different, and MediaGoblin has a community to take care of it. In the short term, Spritely is nothing like MediaGoblin.

    clacke@libranet.de ❌ at 2018-10-16T08:34:46Z

    » clacke@libranet.de ❌:

    “If you look at the http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/mediagoblin.git repo, you'll see that Chris hasn't made a release for three years, and that other people are advancing the master branch. Moving from focusing on ActivityPub to focusing on Spritely isn't actually going to change things a lot in that regard.

    Spritely may or may not evolve to replace MediaGoblin in some fashion in the future, but the goals of the projects are pretty different, and MediaGoblin has a community to take care of it. In the short term, Spritely is nothing like MediaGoblin.”

    With the major crash of YouTube tonight...NOW would be a great time to be marketing MediaGoblin as being usable...

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2018-10-17T02:44:27Z

  • 2018-09-10T05:04:06Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Finally watched https://debconf18.debconf.org/talks/112-civilization-runs-on-debian/ mentioned at https://identi.ca/trc/note/Tg0rbXXqRj2GOcBtd66o1w

    It's about https://www.cip-project.org/ which aims to support "civilian infrastructure" deployments (e.g. power plants) with a lifetime of 10-100 years (various upper and lower bounds are given, those seem to be the min and max).

    The plan for accomplishing this is with a "Super Long Term Support" kernel and small core set of packages, and collaboration with Debian and some other communities such as OpenEmbedded (about which there was another DebConf talk). Or this is the start, because maintaining even a SLTS kernel for over 10-20 years doesn't seem feasible.

    This seems like an excellent initiative, and I'm glad that they chose to work with Debian.

    The talk didn't cover how computer systems in civilian infrastructure have been maintained over the past 50+ years. I'd love to know about that, and what CIP is taking from that history, if anything.

    The talk didn't cover how computer systems in civilian infrastructure have been maintained over the past 50+ years. ...

    I asked myself the same question. My (uneducated) guess is that up to now these infrastructure-type computer systems have been maintained in house; this may be increasingly unsustainable. The CIP project aims to pool resources so that common components can be jointly maintained for a longer term and at a less cost. A very admirable initiative!

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang at 2018-09-10T08:37:20Z

    Have you heard about the ancient IBM mainframe at my employer that replaced the Sperry Univac? We run DB/2 now barely. The actual databases date back to the late 1960s and are still in operation.

    The employer has been thinking about porting the whole mess to Java and even got a couple patents for porting techniques. The efficacy of a US Government bureau patenting its own work made on official time is a discussion for another day. We keep being told we'll retire the mainframe "some day". Congress keeps giving us money to retire it but it never seems to be enough.

    There is a reason it is called The Martinsburg Monster. Why the current-day backups still sit in Memphis and Detroit seem to be things that elude me as to organizational thinking. You'd think we would plan better in situating CIKR.

    Stephen Michael Kellat at 2018-09-11T03:34:53Z

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  • 2018-09-04T05:16:57Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Kinda interesting approach, and GPLv3...


    My name is Lucas Castro, I am an undergraduate student at Unicamp - Campinas/SP - Brasil. I am developing an undergraduate project involving RISC-V, named ReonV, under supervision of professor Rodolfo Azevedo ( https://www.ic.unicamp.br/~rodolfo/ ) financed by Fapesp ( http://www.fapesp.br/ ) and I would like to announce it here.

    Our ideia was to propose a way of avoiding compatibility problems when developing Hardware (processors, in this case) reusing well consolidated Open or Free Hardware. For example, every time a new RISC-V processor project begins, it has to develop the processor, build it's own support to every board it is meant to run, use strictly the tools used to develop it and create support to every peripheral. Trying to expand the support is not trivial. 

    We took a different approach with ReonV. We used a well consolidated processor, Leon3 provided as part of the GRLIB IP Library on GPL license by Cobham Gaisler AB which has SPARC ISA, with support to many boards, synthesis tools, peripherals and entirely customizable and only changed it's ISA to RISC-V. This way we gain a RISC-V processor with all the previous support Leon3 already had without having to rebuild it to our own project. 

    We currently have a RV32I processor with no special and fence instructions capable of running some test programs. We are currently working on making a console available and running benchmarks.

    The project repository has been just opened, it is released under GPL and can be found here: https://github.com/lcbcFoo/ReonV

    There are a lot of things to be done, issues related to tools developed for SPARC and being used to RISC-V with workarounds and boards to test (unfortunately we only have nexys4ddr e zedboard to test the project). We really would appreciate suggestions, commentaries, opinions or anything you can offer related to ReonV =)

    Alexandre Oliva likes this.

  • 2018-08-28T01:36:14Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers


    I found this presentation pretty interesting. Lots that I've barely heard of before. Not strictly comparable, but by contrast things like Nix/Guix are extremely familiar.

    Near the end of the presentation the presenter says something about eBPF and GPL potentially being a "game changer" for some applications, though I'm not sure I followed. Anyone know what they were trying to say, or implying?

    David "Judah's Shadow" Blue likes this.

    He was making a sweeping statement that anything triggered via eBPF can be proprietary, which is surely not correct. But, the "game changer" that he was talking about was getting proprietary code running inside the kernel using this method..

    Jason Self at 2018-08-29T03:21:42Z

    Mike Linksvayer likes this.

  • 2018-08-28T01:21:42Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Pretty cool 1 year gig, applications due September 9; I'm sure free software oriented person could make a good impact:

    Above article is a good overview, but the program itself is at https://www.techcongress.io

    clacke@libranet.de ❌ likes this.

  • 2018-07-09T21:10:10Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_theism seems to hold free will as in not preordained...based on adherents' interpretations of the bible, which are therefore true.

    Also "theism" seems a bit of a land grab: "open evangelical christianity" might be more fitting.

    a.k.a. Free/Libre theism =)

    JanKusanagi at 2018-07-09T21:54:41Z

  • 2018-06-24T00:24:19Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Going through an elderly relative's stack of newspapers, I saw an ad for a "WOW! Computer", supposedly easy for seniors to use. The ad was in Parade, a Sunday newspaper insert. Much slimmed down, but same content as I recall as a kid: about as lowbrow as one could get in a newspaper without subscribing to a separate newspaper dedicated to famous people and highly questionable advice, paid and otherwise. Apparently the computer in question is also advertised in AARP publications.

    Anyway, I was mildly curious as I still don't understand how most people manage to keep their computers in a non-broken state. It seems versions of WOW! have been sold for several years, sometimes under the Telekin brand. They apparently run a very limited and proprietary UI on Tiny Core Linux. (Since 2010 according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telikin.)

    The Telikin computer also contains other software libraries and programs covered under various other licenses. These licenses and copyrights are available on the Telikin in the license agreement presented to the user the first time the Telikin is turned on, as well as on the system information screen. The source code for all GPL and LGPL covered software distributed on the Telikin, including the Linux kernel, as well as all modifications made for proper operation on the Telikin are available here:
    Hopefully they distribute or offer the source in some other way, because the link above is non-responsive.

    I wonder if anyone has tried to fund (crowd or otherwise) an (for lack of better description) ethical computer for vulnerable people with barely any ability to use a computer, let alone maintain one? Or phone ... I see from ads that simple phones for seniors must be a big market.

    By the way, a little longer ago I observed another elderly relative make a Chromebook practically unusable. It seems they kept getting confused about how to log in and created a bunch of Google accounts, which they didn't understand how were paired with passwords (or even understand passwords at all: at one point they tried to tell someone over the phone their password, because they wanted that person to email them), and they seemed to increase the font and other display sizes beyond a point that had been tested for, because lots of navigation was barely usable. Of course they had no idea how to reset the system.

    Ideally, an ethical computer for vulnerable people would protect such users from these and many other pitfalls (eg if AI were any good, surely it could protect people from scams), not to mention run free software.
    DebConf18 is coming up. This talk on July 29 may be of interest (presumably streamed live):

    "Debian Desktop, for the elderly"

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang at 2018-07-24T10:38:58Z

    Mike Linksvayer likes this.

  • 2018-05-28T02:25:34Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers


    Strikes me as sound and needed. Not least because mandatory backdoors don't strike me as easy to reconcile with software freedom.
  • 2018-05-21T21:26:18Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    http://radicaloa.co.uk/conferences/roa2/ looks like a worthwhile event. Where is radical FLOSS?

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  • 2018-03-19T20:20:07Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Some people reading this qualify (don't doubt it) and might be interested in the Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship ($50k, due March 24) more at basselkhartabil.org -- it's written broadly and perhaps a bit vaguely but I bet e.g., working on bringing decentralization to the people by writing free software would be a good fit.

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang, clacke@libranet.de ❌, Craig Maloney likes this.

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  • 2018-02-25T20:01:00Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Sounds great. I haven't read/watched beyond titles, but I guess Endless is doing something similar Debian-based?

    I wonder if any of the handful of Linux laptop vendors will switch from Ubuntu to Fedora (or whatever their derived thing is or would be) at some point?

    Charles Stanhope likes this.

  • 2018-02-21T21:03:37Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Ian Kelling, Tyng-Ruey Chuang likes this.

    Meh... as long as it's a centralized thing...

    JanKusanagi at 2018-02-21T21:44:42Z

  • 2018-01-24T01:23:07Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go — there's no need to rely on a single third party. What's more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner's choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

    Adeona is designed to use the Open Source OpenDHT distributed storage service to store location updates sent by a small software client installed on an owner's laptop. The client continually monitors the current location of the laptop, gathering information (such as IP addresses and local network topology) that can be used to identify its current location. The client then uses strong cryptographic mechanisms to not only encrypt the location data, but also ensure that the ciphertexts stored within OpenDHT are anonymous and unlinkable. At the same time, it is easy for an owner to retrieve location information.

    Anyone know of a descendant (direct or inspired) of this?

    clacke@libranet.de ❌, Karl Fogel likes this.

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    Isn't Prey Project also open source?

    Stephen Judge at 2018-01-25T01:47:50Z

    I think only the client is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prey_(software) also links to a minimal free software server, presumably independently implemented, not updated since 2013. In any case, it relies on a server. One of the interesting things about Adeona was its use of a distributed hash table.

    Mike Linksvayer at 2018-01-25T02:10:14Z

    it would be pretty trivial to get a twister client script running on the laptop to post the location of the laptop, if you can script the finding out of the location.  it wouldn't post the location to the DHT, just to a torrent it would then distribute to followers that would find it through the DHT, so it's no worse.  you could even make it post it as a DM to yourself, so nobody else would get info about your whereabouts until the laptop is lost, because DMs are encrypted

    Alexandre Oliva at 2018-01-30T19:01:50Z

    I did not realize when I asked a year ago, but I guess that one reason there hasn't been follow up is that Google introduced a (presumably proprietary) service in 2013 called Android Device Manager and renamed Find My Device in 2017 that is available on most Android phones in the wild (ie with the Google bits) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)#Technical_security_features

    Mike Linksvayer at 2019-04-24T01:01:05Z

  • 2018-01-21T20:20:24Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    Nice recommendation of F-Droid https://www.wired.com/story/android-users-to-avoid-malware-ditch-googles-app-store/ by Yale Privacy Lab researchers closing with:
    Installing F-Droid isn’t a silver bullet, but it’s the first step in protecting yourself from malware. With this small change, you’ll even have bragging rights with your friends with iPhones, who are limited to Apple’s App Store unless they jailbreak their phones.

    But why debate iPhone vs. Android, Apple vs. Google, anyway? Your privacy and security are massively more important than brand allegiance. Let’s debate digital freedom and servitude, free and unfree, private and spied-upon.

    Probably related https://f-droid.org/en/2017/12/14/new-collaborations-on-exposing-tracking.html found at https://privacylab.yale.edu/press ... note recommendation of fediverse in the sidebar!

  • 2018-01-13T03:08:15Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/public-money-public-code (Barcelona migration to Linux desktop plans)

    Now there's a useful independence move.

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  • 2018-01-06T21:10:52Z via Identi.ca Web To: Public CC: Followers

    AGPLv3 enforcement in Israel, software: CKAN, against government agency with new and incompletely implemented open source policy. No litigation, but threat of litigation.

    Interesting. Also have to wonder how things would have gone (1) with litigation, eg were any CKAN copyright holders involved? (2) without anyone noticing, eg would CKAN modifications have been released eventually as part of agency's open source strategy?

    Tyng-Ruey Chuang likes this.