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Comment Independent music (Score 2) 47

I'm glad streaming services are really taking off, it is lowering the bar of entry into the "industry" (ugh, I hate calling music an industry). Many more artists are able to get themselves heard without having to have a record contract. However, most streaming services rape artists just like record companies by giving them such a low percentage of profits. Sure this has something to do with streaming services having to pay royalties to the Big 4, but it still doesn't make it right. Artists deserve to be compensated more fairly for their work. Something that might encourage people to pay artists, not because they *have* to via music streaming revenue, but because they know that the majority of their payment will actually (gasp!) go to the artist, would definitely be something I'd take part in. Otherwise, I look at streaming services with the same goggles as I do if I were purchasing a CD in a brick and mortar store - by knowing full well that the artist who created the music in the first place will probably see 1-5% of my money. Fuck that.

Comment Re: over suspected "hacking" that helped Donald Tr (Score 0) 312

A small handful of e-mails (in comparison to the bulk sent from that server). I would personally attribute that to her being stupid and not remembering which account she was sending from.

You know how many high ranking federal officials use Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail accounts?? Guess how many of them send CLASSIFIED info through them? Guess how many of them are pwned by Russian hackers?

My primary beef with Trump is that HE HAS NO EXPERIENCE. Just as you wouldn't hire a lead programmer for a multimillion dollar software project that hasn't done, "Hello, world!" before, Trump is in way over his head. It shows through his actions, his cabinet choices, their actions, and generally his lack of a personality fit for being a president. No wonder he's bankrupted so many businesses. No wonder he's golfing every weekend. I'm surprised he hasn't had a heart attack yet.

Listen, the government is fucked up and corrupt. Probably always will be. That doesn't mean you intentionally try to destroy it by hiring a n00b that already hates everything about the job he's about to take.

Comment Re:Nobody knows... (Score 1) 467

Getting involved with an open source project will help swing the pendulum back away from money being the sole factor in getting involved with technology. There is money in making open source software, maybe not as much as being a commercial startup billionaire, but that's akin to starting a band for the sheer love of playing music instead of becoming a "rock star". What's more worth it in the end?

Comment Good read (Score 1) 467

As I sit here next to my Commodore 64 and Double Dragon arcade cabinet, remembering the days of being a teenager calling local BBSes to chat with friends, dreading the next school day where I'd be away from my computer for a good 8 hours, having to deal with real-life social situations like avoiding jocks wanting to push me in the hallway.

At least we have Linux, it seems that the golden age of computing has all but turned into commercialism and dominant players squashing the little guys who actually care about the technology first, and money second.

Comment I'm past the hate, I just ignore Canonical (Score 1) 374

I was heavy into LTSP back in the Hardy days. Ubuntu was seemingly 100% behind making the project thrive. And then one day, they simply went on to something else. They left our community out in the cold, trying to scavenge for any kind of real long-term support for LTSP networks. It became a real mess. I went (back) to Debian. What a relief that was.

Seems like that's what they're doing the same thing with Unity now. They've lost interest, so they're simply looking at the next new shiny thing. I admittedly know very little about Mir, but I'm not surprised at some of the hate people in the community have for it. Personally it seems like Canonical likes to announce huge projects, push at them for a while, then simply turn around and go push something else.

Also, I don't like how he tries to classify an entire software ecosystem as a monolithic thing. Canonical might be a monolith, but it's one monolith in a billion monoliths in the lith-o-garden. Yep. I just said that.

Comment Re:My favourite thing about this (Score 1) 245

I've thought a few times that some kind of disconnected RPi / Wi-Fi BBS solution would be cool. Like at a coffee shop, a standardized SSID ("BBS" ?) that people would connect to whose only purpose would be to serve the BBS. It would purposefully not have Internet access, but would be a local-only social platform for brick-and-mortar places that may even help draw patrons in.

Comment Concepts of BBSes are still missing from the web (Score 5, Insightful) 245

I wrote this circa 2012, on the relevance and missing community aspect of BBSes these days..

Over the past months I have thought a lot about how social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook (and the newer Google+) always seem to have their “golden age” of popularity – and then steadily decline.

I’ve thought about when I switched from Myspace to Facebook. There just seemed to be a specific point where it would have been more productive to invest my time in my (newly created) Facebook profile – and a majority of my flock of friends and family I had connected with had migrated as well.

And then I’ve thought about my transition from Friendster to Myspace. Friendster was one of the very first generalized social networking websites. It was great in its own regard, though it was primitive compared to what Facebook and Google+ are today. At its core, though, it was a beautiful creation and a great idea to bring casual conversation to a worldwide audience.

Going back further, I reminisce about the rise of the Internet and the subsequent decline of dial-up Bulletin Board Systems. Anyone who knows me personally from the mid-90’s and earlier knows how nostalgiac I am about BBSes even today. There has always been something about them that Internet-based social networking websites today can’t seem to hold a candle to – something I could never put my finger on.

Just the other night I was reading a paper called “The Temporary Autonomous Zone”, which describes communities of past and present – all different types from 18th century pirate utopias to the (then) modern computerized communities of Bulletin Board Systems. It described the social aspects of these communities and their decentralized (some would say anarchy-based) nature. Though most of them hold no place in history books, their ideals were always the cornerstone of their purpose. Many of them were actually meant to be temporary; the lifespan of the community was inherent to its validity.

Myspace, Facebook and Google+ all have the same idea – connecting and socializing with people you know in real life. What seems to be the common decline with these sites in general is quite simply that once your userbase reaches a certain threshold, the communal foundation itself starts to wobble and eventually comes tumbling down on top of itself. More specifically, once your “friends” list becomes more than you can handle, you start to question the validity and value of the people you have connected with as well as the community as a whole.

For me, it started with a “friend sweep” – going through my list and removing the friends who I didn’t find completely necessary to communicate with. My first sweep list consisted people I knew in school and past jobs, but never really conversed with anyway. Then came the ones who I did genuinely care about, but just couldn’t stand to see one more post about their political stance/life story/band/business happenings. After many months and multiple sweeps, however, the stale smell of wasted time still hung in the air for me. This resulted in me leaving the site for a time, declaring my independence and recaptured freedom and liberty. (Dramatic, aren’t I?) Of course, I have come back and left a few times, repeating the same shenanigans. The desire to communicate with those I care about draws me back. The feeling of distance, the feeling that people are screaming through a bullhorn at a ginormous crowd (i.e. their friends list) makes me leave because I feel like I have no real connection with them.

With all of this back and forth came a realization to me that old-school dialup Bulletin Board Systems rarely encountered these kinds of issues. For the most part, BBSes always seemed to hold a small, passionate community that kept themselves on target with what they were trying to accomplish (which was the same goal as modern social networks – informal human to human communication). “How,” I would ask myself, “could a seemingly ancient technology hold the true key to social networking when modern equivalents seem to keep getting it wrong?”

And it suddenly came to me – It’s the community, stupid!

A small, strongly connected group of individuals who share a common trait(s) or interest will always genuinely care about the community they are involved in. They will work hard, without any more reward than keeping the community valid and prosperous. This is apparent in many independently run web-based message forums (which are probably the closest Internet-based equivelant to a BBS). But as soon as you start trying to cater to those outside of this specific group, the essence of the commuinity itself devalues. People will lose faith in the direction of the community. They will start looking elsewhere, somewhere that caters more to their specific motivations for human to human communication.

Dial-up BBSes always had the inherent quality of being location-based. Back in the days before the Internet and free, unlimited nationwide calling, BBSers were restricted to calling boards in their own geographical area to avoid long-distance charges. When you fired up your terminal emulation program, you usually had a list of commonly called boards, most of which would reside in your own area code. These were your communities. They were all their own separate islands in the respect that they were each governed by their own “SysOps” (system operators). SysOps were simply people (like myself when I operated one in Sonoma County) that ran BBS software on their computers which were hooked up to a dedicated phone line. Each BBS would have its own message section, private e-mail system, file repository, and online game section. Each BBS would have its own set of users, or members. With the exception of BBS message “nets” such as Fidonet and Metronet (both of which still exist today), no cross-board communications were possible.

Because the size of a BBS userbase was restricted to those in the same geographical area, their communities always had their natural ‘cap’. With this, BBSes never experienced the problems world-wide Internet social networking sites currently have. The biggest thing SysOps ever had to worry about were flamewars from a heated discussion gone awry.

So what can modern social networking giants learn from all of this? One thing I can say is that Google had it right when they first launched GMail and Google+ in that both platforms were initially on an invite-only basis. This created a huge curiosity and demand for being a part of the “exclusivity” of it all. Quite possibly creating an artificial limit to your network will help it thrive – be it restricted to family members, friends from school, specific workplaces you get the idea. The key is to harness the power of the quality of your community and not the quantity.

Comment When people are dumb enough to rely on the cloud.. (Score 4, Insightful) 122

I had a client a few years back that accidentally deleted 10 years worth of personal photos because they thought they were only deleting them from iCloud, not knowing it would delete it from their computer as well.

I say, if people are fucking stupid enough to entrust a third party with their data and not back it up independently, they get what they deserve.

Back up your shit, and back it up to YOUR OWN MEDIA.

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