Threads for malvarma

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    Atari st was my first computer. As far as specs go, i think the amiga had it beat in most categories. I believe it became the de facto home recording pc solely due to its built in midi port, which led to a lot of sequencing software (like c lab and cubase) being written for it.

    A while ago, i read an article where someone recreated a typical late 80s / early 90s home recording setup, with the atari st at the center. I hope i didn’t lose it. But if i find it again, I’ll post it here. Very neat to put yourself in the mind of a musician back then, and approach recording in a totally different way than we do now.

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      i am guilty of this - i’m even doing it right now! the big social media sites are our outgroup, right?

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        I was never taught this FizzBuzz game in school. Is it common? I think I’ve seen more references to it as a programming interview question than as a game.

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          I’m confused, did anyone call it a game? But FWIW, in my home country, we do have something similar that’s played as a drinking game.

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            Not in this article, no. But I’ve heard FizzBuzz described as a game before. The first time I ever heard of it was in some beginners programming tutorial, years back, and it said something to the effect of “Let’s teach the computer to play the children’s game FizzBuzz”, and I had never heard of it.

            A drinking game, huh? Interesting

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              A drinking game, huh? Interesting

              Basically you have substitution rules like multiple of 3 == Fizz, multiple of 5 == Buzz. Then each person says a number, going in a circle clockwise. If you mess up and don’t appropriately say Fizz or Buzz, you have to take a shot.

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          i think this article gets one thing wrong: it presumes that a less centralized internet means everyone has to run their own servers. back in the dial-up era, this wasn’t a problem, because many of the things you’d want to self-host were offered by your ISP. paying for dial up internet often meant getting a free email address, free web hosting, shell access, etc. you didn’t have to be a computer expert or keep a server in your garage to have your own web presence, independent of large companies. and you weren’t locked in because there was real competition with ISPs. the rural area i grew up in had at least 3 local providers back in the day, all small businesses.

          of course, im sure there were places where AOL was the only game in town. YMMV. and today, the broadband companies have monopolies / duopolies, so it can’t be replicated.

          still, i bet a lot of people would be served by a shared / community hosting scheme in the spirit of old ISPs. tildes are kind of like that, though its heavily focused on computing enthusiasts. i wish non-experts had something like that too. sometimes, i try to envision what that would be like.

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            a while ago, i set newpipe on my phone to default to 240p. i figure, if all i use it for is playing lectures and documentaries while i do the dishes, then i don’t really need it to be in HD. plus, newpipe seems to buffer more than the regular youtube app, so problem solved.

            i wish we had precise numbers for “whats the carbon footprint of online advertising.”

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              there are new episodes! woohoo

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                not sure if i’m a retro computing person (my computer is way out of date, but not old enough to be retro), but i do love reading about old technology. the history is fascinating.

                it’s hard to be interested in new computing stuff, since most of it is just reinventing old computing stuff, but worse. like how am i supposed to be excited by slack when IRC is almost as old as I am? isn’t reddit just usenet with links and pictures? incremental improvements to old ideas are a welcome occurrence, but they aren’t much fun to read about.

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                  I had a similar idea a while ago. I’ve got it setup on

                  This is a much nicer implementation though.

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                    I do like this one too!

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                      NFTs are non fungible, whereas CSVs are delimited.

                      That actually made me laugh out loud. Nice work.

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                      i laughed so hard when i saw the razor 1911 NFO. is that who’s really behind this? amazing. i remember downloading some pirated thing way back in the day and seeing their logo on the keygen, complete with old school chiptune music. i think they go back to the mid 80s, when piracy happened on BBSes.

                      (this was back when i was a kid, and pretty foolish of me. no more piracy for me. i just use FOSS and give back with liberapay.)

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                        I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be

                        I’m too young to truly remember what the web was like a decade ago, I wish I was around for it. Seeing the simplicity of everything back then (from old websites/blog posts etc. such as this one) really emphasises how much companies like Facebook and Google control the web nowadays.

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                          funny enough, i do remember the web 10 years ago, as well as the older web that the author pines for, and i don’t remember it being how he describes. for instance: it’s true that a lot more sites used RSS, but i don’t know how many people were aware of it, and the average user wasn’t using it. ditto for technorati: it sounds neat, but i didn’t know anyone who used it. i assume the author was an early adopter of some technology that was ahead of its time.

                          the one thing we definitely lost was choice. you could opt out of dealing with any company on the web, and get along fine. i can’t think of any company back then with as much stranglehold on the internet as facebook and google have today. yahoo was big, but there were other search engines that worked as well, and nobody would look at you funny for not having a yahoo account. perhaps AOL was the closest comparison, since they had a a lot of content you could only access from within their walled garden. but it was never enough to threaten the the open-web.

                          it wasn’t all good; there was a lot of junk back then too. i remember search engine results were full of SEO spam (whereas now they are full of ads). some web design trends back then were atrocious. html / css were missing a lot of useful features that we take for granted now. and browsers didn’t respect web standards (even less than they do now!). still, it was a better place, if only because power on the web was less concentrated.

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                            See all these fields were all AJAX & Web 2.0! ;) It was another set of companies trying to control things, Flash & if you were really unfortunate, ActiveX. I’m not sure how much Microsoft practices have set the human race back but the IE 6 monoculture of a dead browser that was no longer maintained that lacked new features was a pain that collectively web developers suffered in maintaining support for (Opera was the leader there in supporting web technologies). Etsy & Flickr were exemplar companies with the rise of automation & system administration. Yahoo acquisition of Flickr really took the wind out of their sail.

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                            Last month I was working on a constructed language, and needed to read up on some linguistics concepts. The results I got from DuckDuckGo were hardly relevant, and the ones from Google even less so. A few years ago, I remember doing similar searches, and the results weren’t that bad. But now, everything I pulled up barely scratches the surface of what I am researching, and a lot of it sounds like it was written by a robot. Occasionally, I’ll see a linguistics research paper in the results, but it will be behind a paywall.

                            I had a similar experience when doing a Bible study, with even worse results. You won’t find any academic or historical info on page one, because it’s dominated by junk like “Answers in Genesis”.

                            I have to give credit to Wikipedia. In both cases, Wikipedia gave me somewhat relevant information. But if you want to go further than the Wikipedia article, search engines are of little use.

                            I find it alarming that some people think libraries are obsolete, or that for so many people, “research” means “Google it.” Googling means wading through ads, spam, and clever SEO by people with an agenda.

                            We need to support libraries. We need to expand our own personal repertoire of research methods. And developing more curated alternatives to search engines wouldn’t hurt, either.

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                              If you think about it, the signs of the “Internet of Trash”, as you can call it, were there back in the web 1.0 days.

                              Many people had personal web sites, usually published on GeoCities, where exploring the web was a fun adventure that was not [fueled] by algorithms.

                              There are still many people with personal web sites, I and many others in this community have their own.

                              Could these sites have formed the “gateway” for published works on the web to go from self-administered (personal or organizational) servers, to rather massive “community” based hosted services, to the also massive Service as a Software Substitute platforms with nearly every [known/current] monetization and tracking methods?

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                                ~dwh argues that the problems were inherent from the original design of the Web:

                                The web was never decentralized and the for-profit centralization and surveillance of the web started almost immediately after it was created because it was baked into the design.

                                AOL did all of the same things back in the 1990s that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do today.

                                [The] decentralized feel came from the fact that it was originally a centralized system that only seemed decentralized because it was inefficient.

                                Staltz analyzes the changes as a more recent shift:

                                […] The underlying dynamics of power on the Web have drastically changed, and those three companies [GOOG, FB, AMZN] are at the center of a fundamental transformation of the Web. […] After 2014, we started losing the benefits of the internet’s infrastructural and economical diversity.

                                but also attributes the situation to physical and virtual bias in the Internet infrastructure:

                                The Web only got to this current situation because of fundamental flaws in the Internet’s architecture which rigged the system.

                                This well organized hierarchy [of undersea cables] is the only way the wired Internet can be feasible.

                                The technical flaw [of scarcity of IPv4 addresses resulting in dependency on NAT] that favored intermediate computers prefigured a world where middlemen business models thrive.

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                                  the dwz article is useful in understanding how the web become this way. but saying the web was “never decentralized” is only true if you rely on dwz’s own idiosyncratic definition of decentralization (which he elaborates in a linked article), and isn’t a fair characterization, in my view.

                                  the web was an open platform. companies used the web to build services the web didn’t originally offer, and those services were made centralized because the companies wanted to collect tolls.

                                  i don’t know how useful it is to say something like that “was never decentralized” when the problem is inherent an extendible platform like the web, and has to do with things built on top of the web, rather than the web itself. furthermore, no design of the web could potentially anticipate all the things we’d want to do with it, so there would always be potential for capture.

                                  though its true, a non-extendible web could have resisted centralization longer. it would have to omit javascript, form fields, and anything that could be used to build other services on. it would probably look like gemini. and it wouldn’t have lasted as long or gained as much traction as the web did. furthermore, all it would take is for someone to create a browser-specific extension, and then you’d have the whole embrace-extend-extinguish problem once again.

                                  (side note: its important to build decentralized alternatives to the big 3, and promote them. we should not stop doing that. but i think transformative change will require governments breaking up tech monopolies and requiring the tech industry to adopt open standards and protocols. either that, or we wait and hope something new comes along that changes everything, hopefully for the better)

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                                thank you for this. i love podcasts that tell long in-depth stories about stuff i’m interested in. but it’s so hard to find good ones.

                                anyone know of other podcasts like this? i kind of like Darknet Diaries. that one’s fun.

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                                  this site sucks. definitely should have built it in lisp. /s

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                                    i’ve noticed a couple of tildes in the tildeverse make use of the finger protocol. going to fill out my .project and .plan files on tildetown soon.

                                    wikipedia’s entry on Finger has a big [citation needed] by the section “Security Concerns.” it says the finger protocol made social engineering easy by giving access to employee names and phone numbers. with most companies having a presence on linkedin now, isn’t this point moot? are there other security concerns to be aware of?