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my intro toot is sincere but i sure do sound like a big eager dork lol

When you receive a magazine in the mail -- especially if it's for a very niche interest -- do you wonder what the mail carrier could have thought of you, if they happened to see it?

Anyway that's the series of emotions that flooded my brain upon seeing this silly image.

Is it just me, or did using a computer feel a lot more insular before 24/7 internet? You could read Encarta articles or play skifree or try out shareware from the dollar store and that was about it. But at least you felt alone.

Ironic since the PC was probably in the living room, too, in front of the whole family. But now when I hop on the computer, everything is in a browser and it feels like walking out in public. There's no going back.

the X-Wing tabletop miniatures game looks like a whole lot of fun, but the idea of playing and trying to win a game as the Space Nazis is, idk, awkwardly uncomfortable to me? so is the prospect of playing a game with somebody who has fun collecting the spaceships belonging to the faction of Space Nazis.

Am I alone in this/overthinking this/whatever?

thomas boosted

every now and again. there's a way to solve this like men, with 6 shooters

thomas boosted

I'm looking for anyone who'd be willing to be interviewed or have a chat about their experiences of using technology in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s as part of a #DigiPres project to document the growth and change in that time.

Please drop me a reply or DM if you're interested.

Who am I looking for? Software people, gamers, enthusiasts, fellow nerds... anyone who used and/or loved technology around the start of the PC boom and birth of the WWW around the world.

thomas boosted

So I was recently asked why I prefer to use free and open source software over more conventional and popular proprietary software and services.

A few years ago I was an avid Google user. I was deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem and used their products everywhere. I used Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts for PIM, YouTube for entertainment, Google Newsstand for news, Android for mobile, and Chrome as my web browser.

I would upload all of my family photos to Google Photos and all of my personal documents to Google Drive (which were all in Google Docs format). I used Google Domains to register my domain names for websites where I would keep track of my users using Google Analytics and monetize them using Google AdSense.

I used Google Hangouts (one of Google’s previous messaging plays) to communicate with friends and family and Google Wallet (with debit card) to buy things online and in-store.

My home is covered with Google Homes (1 in my office, 1 in my bedroom, 1 in the main living area) which I would use to play music on my Google Play Music subscription and podcasts from Google Podcasts.

I have easily invested thousands of dollars into my Google account to buy movies, TV shows, apps, and Google hardware devices. This was truly the Google life.

Then one day, I received an email from Google that changed everything.

“Your account has been suspended”

Just the thing you want to wake up to in the morning. An email from Google saying that your account has been suspended due to a perceived Terms of Use violation. No prior warning. No appeals process. No number to call. Trying to sign in to your Google account yields an error and all of your connected devices are signed out. All of your Google data, your photos, emails, contacts, calendars, purchased movies and TV shows. All gone.

I nearly had a heart attack, until I saw that the Google account that had been suspended was in fact not my main personal Google account, but a throwaway Gmail account that I created years prior for a project. I hadn’t touched the other account since creation and forgot it existed. Apparently my personal Gmail was listed as the recovery address for the throwaway account and that’s why I received the termination email.

Although I was able to breathe a sigh of relief this time, the email was wake up call. I was forced to critically reevaluate my dependence on a single company for all the tech products and services in my life.

I found myself to be a frog in a heating pot of water and I made the decision that I was going to jump out.

Leaving Google

Today there are plenty of lists on the internet providing alternatives to Google services such as this and this. Although the “DeGoogle” movement was still in its infancy when I was making the move.

The first Google service I decided to drop was Gmail, the heart of my online identity. I migrated to Fastmail with my own domain in case I needed to move again (hint: glad I did, now I self host my email). Fastmail also provided calendar and contacts solutions so that took care of leaving Google Calendar and Contacts.

Here are some other alternatives that I moved to:

Gmail → Fastmail → Self-hosted (via Cloudron)
Google Contacts → FastmailNextcloud Contacts
Google Calendar → FastmailNextcloud Calendar
Google Search → BingDuckDuckGo
Google Maps → Bing MapsOpenStreetMaps and OsmAnd
Google Analytics → Matomo Analytics
Google Drive → Nextcloud Files
Google Photos → Nextcloud Files/Gallery
Google Docs → Collabora Office (Nextcloud integration) and LibreOffice
Google Play Music → Spotify / PlexSpotify / Jellyfin
Google Play Movies/TV → PlexJellyfin
Google Play Audiobooks/Books → Audible/Kindle
Google Play Store (apps) → F-Droid / Aurora Store
Google Android → Lineage OSUbuntu Touch on PinePhone (coming soon?)
Google’s Android Apps → Simple Mobile Tools
Google Chrome → Mozilla Firefox
Google Domains → Hover
Google Hangouts → Matrix and Nextcloud Talk
Google Allo → Signal
Google Podcasts → PocketCastsAntennaPod
Google Newsstand → RSS
Google Wallet → PayPal and Cash App
Google Voice →Ting Mobile

Migrating away from Google was not a fast or easy process. It took years to get where I am now and there are still several Google services that I depend on: YouTube and Google Home.

Eventually, my Google Home’s will grow old and become unsupported at which point hopefully the Mycroft devices have matured and become available for purchase. YouTube may never be replaced (although I do hope for projects like PeerTube to succeed) but I find the compromise of using only one or two Google services to be acceptable.

At this point losing my Google account due to a mistake in their machine learning would largely be inconsequential and my focus has shifted to leaving Amazon which I use for most of my shopping and cloud services.

The reason that I moved to mostly FOSS applications is that it seems to be the only software ecosystem where everything works seamlessly together and I don’t have to cede control to any single company. Alternatively I could have simply split my service usage up evenly across Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple but I don’t feel that they would have worked as nicely together.

Overall I’m very happy with the open source ecosystem. I use Ubuntu with KDE on all of my computers and Android (no GApps) on my mobile phone. I’ve ordered the PinePhone “Brave Heart” and hope to one day be able to use it or one of its successors as a daily driver with Ubuntu Touch or Plasma Mobile.

I don’t want to give the impression that I exclusively use open source software either, I do use a number of proprietary apps including: Sublime Text, Typora, and Cloudron.

https://www.kylepiira.com/2020/01/09/why-i-quit-google/

doesn't the existence of for-profit arms manufacturers naturally and inexorably lead to a state of endless war?

thomas boosted

"I'm [ethnicity]. So as you can imagine, food is especially important to us." -literally everyone

thomas boosted

s4e2, "Family": Oh my god Worf's parents are adorable. I hope the next 43 minutes are just them bumbling around the Enterprise making nice with each of the crew.

Plus, Chief O'Brien is clearly that friend you have who can convince your folks you've fallen in with a good crowd

i wish corporate media would realize that we're beyond "fact-checking." Efforts like this just look cutesy. Pompeo and others routinely go in front of cameras and lie their asses off, knowingly. That doesn't call for fact-checking, that should be called out if they're ever allowed on television at all

politifact.com/truth-o-meter/s

s3e25, "Transfigurations": What surprises me the most upon watching Star Trek for the first time is how frequently they come into contact with beings who are effectively gods. For being the marquee sci-fi rational utopian future show, there's a ton of mYsTiCiSm in Trek.

thomas boosted

Tired: Gonzo journalism

Wired: Statler & Waldorf journalism

Hired: Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem journalism

thomas boosted

Iran, update 

thomas boosted

uspol 

if anyone still believed that the US government represents the will of its people i hope they take a real long hard look at themselves tonight

like americans as a whole are terrible but nobody wants this

any case of the Mondays I would ordinarily have is entirely erased by the relief I'm feeling being back in my normal routine

People toss around the term "gaslighting" a lot when they really just mean "lying." So it's really refreshing to see Picard deliver the most baldly textbook example of what gaslighting is

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Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.