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Cake day: Jan 26, 2021

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I wouldn’t be surprised if some audio watermarking is already going on right now. Universal Music Group has done this for a while on their music. In 2008 UMG was using watermarks unique to each distributor, not to each person purchasing or streaming the watermark. I’m not sure if UMG is still doing this, in the update on the first blog post linked, some said it has stopped, some say it hasn’t.

The technology to do it is already there. I’m not surprised if near-inaudible audio watermarking exists now, I’m not an expert on this field. To put an unique ID per subscriber can be done as well on a technical level I assume. I believe whether this is done depends on the streaming service or download store, because it comes at a cost of using more computing power on their servers. I don´t know whether it is allowed by the GDPR and similar laws either.

I don’t know if it is worth it either. If I look around into my social circle, most people have moved towards streaming services. Only a “stubborn” few, such as myself, still—legally or illegally—download music. Based on this, I feel like music piracy isn’t as big as it used to be.


I’m currently using SailfishOS as my daily driver due to the lack of apps on Ubuntu Touch. I have Ubuntu Touch on my PinePhone though. It certainly has its advantages over SailfishOS such as better app isolation, fully open source, a newer Qt version and I really like the idea of convergence.

I’m considering to port one of my Saiflish applications to Ubuntu Touch as well (a Jellyfin client), if I ever find the time for it. :)


I like ElementaryOS as well, but there is one big downside in my opinion that makes it less user friendly and that is that it does not officially support upgrading between major versions (e.g. 5.1 to 6.0). You have to either mess with repositories on the terminal and hope for the best or you have to do a complete reinstall. So if you install Elementary OS, make sure to create a separate /home partition so you can perform a major upgrade without loosing too much data.

Otherwise, I believe that Elementary OS is quite nice. Although I had to help them at first by pointing out where the application menu is and to help them install LibreOffice (they were already used to it on Windows and it apparently did not show up in the App Centre), they mostly seem to be able to use it themselves with the same amount of assistance required as while using WIndows.


I’ve seen Reddit devolve since 2014. Look at /r/all and it almost resembles a Facebook feed.

There are several annoyances that made me switch:

  • More and more people posting low-effort, stupid short jokes that tend to gather lots of upvotes instead of giving an actual answer
  • The upvote system likely causes subreddits to only have one view. If your opinion doesn’t align with that view, it will be downvoted and hidden. Opinions that align with that view will float to the top.
  • The stupid new awards system with coins and all that kind of rubbish. When it just was Reddit Gold, it was fine in my opinion. It was simple, it helped out Reddit, you could buy it for yourself or gift it to someone else and most importantly, it wasn’t hidden behind a virtual currency to make the real cost of awards ambiguous and easier to spend.
  • The enormous focus on growth by making Reddit accessible to people who were thrown off by the old design. I feel like the big influx of new people by this changed the Reddit culture instead of those new people adapting to the Reddit culture that was there.
    • People writing “I have a question” as their post title. Just state your question in your post title.
    • People posting a link to an image and then writing the actual post as a comment. Please just make a self-post and link your image in there if it is necessary.
  • Subreddits starting to require email verification on your account (looking at you, /r/linux).

Combined, these made me search for alternatives. The thing that I liked the most about Lemmy is that it is federated, so that became my main alternative. But I’m afraid that if it gets too big, that it will get the same problem regarding upvotes as Reddit has.

I tried Raddle.me as well for some time, but I lost interest at one point. I don’t know why anymore, perhaps to few users? When I look at the frontpage now, the content on the website doesn’t really appeal to me. It seems too extreme to my tastes.

The side-effects of upvotes (or likes, by extension) are a though problem to solve, I think. You can do without them them, like some image boards. But on some of those, like 4chan, you’ll get people who post not for the upvotes, but for the amount of replies they can get. This simply ends into many flamebaits being posted. Look at /g/, it’s not about technology in half of the threads, but simply about transsexuals in a transphobic way, because people take the bait, get angry or join trolling and end up replying to it. The poster gets their dopamine kick and the janitors (moderators) seem to enjoy it as well. The other half of the post simply are text editor X is better than text editor Y and other similar. And then there are threads baiting with sexually provocative images, again, to get people to reply.


I’m wondering how far the the federation is being planned. Is it just that an user on Gitea instance A can discover projects on instance B? Or can an user on instance A also open issues, pull-requests etc on a project on instance B, assuming the user has the required permissions?

If it is the latter, I believe that would be awesome. Right now, I feel like as a starting project, if you want to be discovered and get contributors you basically need to be on a large, centralised code platform or instance such as codeberg, gitlab.com or github.com. I hope that it will lessen the barrier for people already on another Gitea instance to contribute to a project on another instance.


That’s impressive! In that case, I can imagine using your phone’s storage or MicroSD being very impractical, although for tiny music libraries it certainly is a less complex option than the server-client setup.


You can’t keep many MP3 on your phone internal MicroSD

I disagree, if you’re storing your music in MP3 or any other lossy format, such as AAC or Ogg Vorbis, with a bitrate of 320kbps, a 4 minute pop song will take up 10MB of storage in my experience. 32GB of storage is going to get you storage for 3200 songs.

Maybe that isn’t enough for you, but I’ve been using a 64GB SD card for years now and it still hasn’t filled up completely. I’ve got 1557 songs on there, good for 3 days and 7 hours of music, taking up 27.80 GiB of space. Less than I told before, but I tend to store most of my music as FLAC with average filesizes of 30MB per song because I’m to lazy to re-encode the files.

I wonder what the size of your music library is if it doesn´t fit on a SD card.


It’s Dutch for handle, because this is my online handle. That’s really all there is to it.


Just like a kitchen knife can be used by murderers does not mean that the kitchen knife manufacturer should actively monitor who is buying their knifes and go after the ones with bad intentions in my opinion. In the same way, I don’t think free software should be licensed under such an ethical open source license.

First of all, it’s just very hard to enforce I’d imagine. Would people who do not care about respecting human rights to begin with even care about such a license? You’re not stopping “evil” by making up rules that “evil” people don’t follow almost by definition. At least the license is more clear about what is considered as acceptable and what not unlike the infamous “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil” clause, for which I have to give it some credit.

Everything you can make can be used for wrong things and I suppose you’ll have to accept that you’ll never have full control over that. The only thing that can stop something to be used by people with bad intentions is to never create it in the first place.

Besides, I´d rather have my enemy use open source software instead of closed source software. If they use open source software, it’s easier to get a grasp on what they’re capable of.

For software like Lemmy with federation, I’d just say to block those from federating to your own instances and stop giving those instances attention. As long as the flagship instances that federate with each other keep up a positive attitude, I would just ignore those extremist people’s instances


I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent on using YouTube and I’m in no way a big fan of YouTube, but please do not be too hard on yourself on wishing your time back.

As for me, I’m still using YouTube via NewPipe as well, being subscribed to about 8 channels or so, which upload on average once per week. For me watching these videos is relaxing and as long as you don’t spend too much time using it and as long as it does not get in the way of more important things in your life, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself on having wasted time. Humans simply need some time to relax and you can’t expect yourself to be productive as long as you’re awake.

Nevertheless, I’d wish that the content creators I followed were on other platforms, preferable libre and not controlled by a giant company, such as PeerTube, but sadly there aren’t any monetary or other incentives for them to do so.


A pretty nice website I recently discovered where you can see the progress of the EU on several legislations. I think it's quite a nice website for anyone who's like me and wants a quick overview of what the EU is working on, in which stage it is, a short summary and links to more in depth articles and documents if you want to learn more. It isn't exactly a news article about politics, but hopefully it will be useful for you as well. Especially if you're like me and you dislike reading through a lot of legalese documents as well, so the only way you're discovering what the European Parliament is working on right now is hoping one of your news sources covers it in understandable language.

I basically use cash wherever possible, otherwise by debit card, iDeal (almost all Dutch webshops accept it), SEPA and as a last resort PayPal, even though I despise that company.

I feel bad for everyone who has to use credit cards. While you do get cashback, some form of insurance and possible some rewards for using them, you as a consumer basically have to pay for it due to stores increasing prices due to the high transaction costs (I believe about 3% of the transaction, but It’ll likely be different for everything else).

Compare that to the Netherlands, where as far as I’m aware, stores have for debit cards a flat transaction fee of about €0,15 per transaction and a monthly fee. Although that obviously differs from payment provider to payment providers, a store for which I work has a monthly fee plus one for closing a shift.

Anyways, due to the cheaper costs of accepting debit cards almost every store accepts them, while credit cards mostly aren’t accepted in physical stores. It seems like most Dutch web shops do accept them, but most people here don’t have credit cards at all. I assume they are mainly for people who buy outside of the Netherlands.

This is also the reason why I have PayPal. It sucks, but it sucks less for me than a credit card and is widely accepted.


Screenshot of ncurses-based UI

Let me guess, you “need” a more sophisticated UI toolkit on mobile? ;-p

With Qt Widgets you’ll have to go out of your way to make it work nice with touch devices, since it has been created for desktop usage with mouse and keyboard input in mind, while Qt Quick has been made with mobile user interfaces in mind.

I wonder why you’re worried about the performance of Qt Quick. It has hardware rendering by default and the layout system is designed with applications in mind, unlike HTML, which tries to retrofit a document markup language into an application markup language. Additionally, QML and JavaScript files can be precompile to native code, if the JIT compilation of QML and JavaScript files would be a performance concern.

QML just sits in this sweet spot of being easy to use for developers while not consuming too much ( Electron-levels) of system resources. Of course, if you abuse QML you can most definitely create slow applications in it, but you could say that about every framework.


Well, if there are a few messages every 12 hours, there are at least people active. I would say it’s better than nothing.

But the situation is a bit like the chicken or egg problem: “no one is active, so I won’t be active as well”. It’s not going that’s going to be solved by yet another new chat client or so. Just give it some time and communities will become more active.

And Matrix got bridges to other chat clients, which are pretty nifty if you want to be more active on Matrix. While it somewhat ruins the spirit of decentralisation if you use it with non-decentralised networks, it’s better than nothing ¯_(ツ)_/¯


The minimum age is also what made me delete my account on the spot.

Such an overreaction to be honest. If you think it’s wrong to meet up with people under 16, don’t meet up with them. As for minors, don’t allow them to meet people 3 years older than them if that’s what you’re afraid of, although it’s still an arbitrary limit. I can imagine a 16 year old open to meeting 18 year old people, there’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

Look, I can go outside and meet with 16 years old as an adult. Does not mean I do it and it does not mean I support banning minors from going outside, because they might meet adult people.

Note that I’m from a country where:

  1. The minimum age for sex is 16.. Does this mean I approve of 16 year olds having sex with, for example, 26 year olds? No. Are they allowed to, according to Dutch law? Yes, if both persons are able to consent wilfully. Note that in order to be a prostitute or to act in pornographic film, you still need to be at least 18.
  2. Online communication with a person of 16 or older with the intention of sex is allowed. I’m sure since is something that is of the main thing Alovoa provides, having a minimum age of 16 would be enough. I assume the creator is from Germany and I assume they have similar laws as the Dutch in this regard.
  3. If you’re a dad and you take your own child to the park, without the mother, you aren’t seen as a child predator.

I’d rather have USA users disallowed from this instance rather than yet another service needing to accommodate for the prudish USA. The USA users could have their own isolated instance with their own rules. I assume USA users wouldn’t be matched with European users anyways, due to the large geographical distance.


I hoped the last part of the sentence was enough of an indicator that it was sarcasm. I just don´t get why people are flaming about pronouns. Using male pronouns when the gender of the person in question is not known does not always mean the author thinks males are superior and addressing a person of unknown gender with them instead of (s)he does not lead to the end of the world.


I’m kind of sad they didn’t go with the even more inclusive (s)(t)he(y). That way, no matter if you’d like to be addressed with he/she/they, you can feel represented in the most elegant way ever known to humans.

EDIT: [/sarcasm]


As a Vim user, I really like using the caps lock key as the escape key. I do not get why the caps lock is placed in such a prominent place, while I never have used it on a physical keyboard. Even when I want to type in all caps, I just tend to hold shift while typing out of habit I guess.


There is still an effort going on in the Sailfish OS web browser to separate the UI from the core browser. But they’re still about 18 versions behind the current Firefox version. The README of the project contains some link to useful resources about how it works.

Embedding chromium/webkit is just way easier. I honestly wonder why SailfishOS went that route. Maybe it’s a continuation of some legacy project form Maemo/MeeGo?


I do not have a problem with opt-in telemetry, but know that if you use providers like Google or Yandex, I won´t even think about opting in. It also would be nice if I can choose what information gets included and what not.

Also, the merge request hasn´t even been added in. I hope it won´t make it in, due the use of Google Analytics as provider.


The EU is democratic but I feel like I have no idea what’s going on compared to the democracy in my country.

For the national government I am able to vote for a party and follow all live debates on television and the internet. The (national) news usually reports on important decisions being made and important debates happening. They provide us with a summary on what happened and so on. How our democratic state exactly works is all taught on schools.

But for the European Union? I know I get to vote for a party once in a while, with almost all parties having a similar name and stances on subjects as the parties in the parliament. But what happens next is unclear to me. These national parties seem to join up with the national parties of other countries with similar views? I suppose they debate once in a while in Brussels? And there is this Ursula von Leyen who seems a very important person with the EU, but what here role is? No idea. All I know is that, once every while, the EU creates or updates one of its regulations. These then have to be implemented by each of the member states.

All which our school teaches is that there is an EU, it gives a short overview over its history and they tell us about their goals. But what happens between election and the creation of regulations? I have no idea.

Nevertheless, I usually agree with the decisions the EU makes and I’m in favour of the EU as a power house against the USA and China, for example. The euro, free trade and free travel are all things I take for granted, I could not imagine my life without them. In my opinion, they are worth the taxes and so on. I just whished that some countries, including my own, the Netherlands, could be more relaxed when it comes to having to pay money to poorer countries in the EU. And the EU should definitely be more strict against states that are de jure democracies, but are turning into de facto dictatorships.