Posts categorised ‘Technology’

Link: “The time SUSE, the German Linux company, banned mentioning Jewish holidays.” by Brian Lunduke

Original post found at: https://lunduke.substack.com/p/the-time-suse-the-german-linux-company

To me this is a genuinely shocking story of anti-Semitism, mostly because it’s all so petty. Like, telling the social media guy to keep up the posts wishing everyone a happy every-other-religion’s-holiday but delete the Jewish ones? And immediately firing anyone who points out how dodgy this is? Then purposely scheduling your annual conference during the High Holy Days when there were other days that would’ve worked better anyway? Like, FUCKIN’ WHY? It’s so bizarre. My sympathies go out to any Jewish person who had to work in that environment (not that I expect any of them to read this, but just in case, hah).

Link: “The EU Commission is planning automatic CSAM scanning of your private communication – or total surveillance in the name of child protection.”

Original post found at: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/eu-surveillance-csam/

Once a law forces communication providers to implement client-side scanning, the tool that does it could theoretically search for anything and everything.

So the list can be expanded on demand. In the beginning, the laws will say that providers must scan for child pornography - this is what politicians always claim when they need the broadest possible consensus for new surveillance capabilities. But in the next step, the authorities will also look for other things: terrorists, human traffickers, drug dealers, gang criminals.

And in some countries also after opposition members or journalists.

So Apple discontinued the iPod! A while back, I published a wiki page with my nostalgia-tinged thoughts on the iPod’s rise and fall, and I just updated it now. I still have my second-gen iPod Nano, as well as a 2014 iPod Classic, somewhere. They were great in their time 😌

Link: “Search histories, location data, text messages: How personal data could be used to enforce anti-abortion laws”

Original post found at: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/05/05/tech/abortion-laws-phone-privacy/index.html

Scary shit. At a bare minimum, everyone should have uBlock Origin(external link) installed in their browsers, and use a privacy-respecting search engine that doesn’t log all your searches and link them back to you (I like DuckDuckGo). But of course that’s not really sufficient in the face of an oppressive state, like the ones here wishing to criminalise people seeking or assisting with abortions, so things like secure VPNs, end-to-end encrypted messaging (like Signal), and the use of private browsing windows (or even Tor!) to look up sensitive information are all important too.

Link: ““Elephant in the room”: Clean energy’s need for unsustainable minerals”

Original post found at: https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/05/elephant-in-the-room-clean-energys-need-for-unsustainable-minerals/

Important piece. While moving to renewable energy is critical, we can’t forget that renewable energy generation requires the use of specific valuable minerals, the mining of which has its own environmental and social issues. Recycling is good, but still not perfect (recycling plants can leak toxins into their surrounding areas). To reduce the need for mining and recycling, we need to use less energy. Not on an individual, “turn off the light when you leave the room!!” level, either, but on a society-wide level.

Link: “Interoperability Should Be Simple” by Greg Morris

Original post found at: https://gregmorris.co.uk/blog/interoperability-should-be-simple/

Interoperability and big tech giants are not the real target, your privacy is, and they want the right to snoop on you. Sure, messaging should work like email, but the governments of your country made a world that requires your messages to be encrypted and are now breaking it with something ‘simple’.

To repost a comment I already made on Micro.blog(external link): It’s something we’ve seen countless times in Australia already – the government passes some privacy-destroying law with the excuse of terrorists and pedophiles, and every time the law is actually deployed against whistleblowers and the journalists who work with them 😔

Link: “Inside the Fight to Save Video Game History”

Original post found at: https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/21/22988902/nintendo-wiiu-3ds-eshop-closure-dmca-section-1201

Great piece on the conflict between archivists and video game publishers to preserve the old games they don’t feel like selling any more. The issue’s particularly relevant now because Nintendo is shutting down their Wii U and 3DS stores. If the corporations get their way (and so far they’re seeming to), a lot of gaming history will be lost.

Link: “Freedom Isn’t Free” by Wendy Liu

Original post found at: https://logicmag.io/failure/freedom-isnt-free/

If contributors are unable to sell their code, how can they make a living? The solution isn’t to sweep this under the rug by assuming contributors will have other sources of income—that’ll only produce a contributor ecosystem that amplifies the demographic biases of the wider economy. A more compelling vision, grounded in a materialist analysis of the conditions of production, would be a world where no one needs to get paid for these contributions because their material needs are taken care of through other means.

Now, this isn’t exactly a small project—it would require a complete reimagining of the relations of production. The only way to set information “free” is to restructure the economy such that information production can be free, with contributors no longer needing to get paid for their work because crucial goods like housing, transport and food are available as free public services. In other words, truly decommodifying information will require decommodifying the things we need to survive in order to produce that information.

From an article about how we could move to an all-FOSS tech ecosystem. Of course, the same is true for how can we have people making other kinds of contributions to society that people don’t pay you for, like creative and care work.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.