Mastodon shows, social data-portability the way it should be

https://mas.to/@cubicgarden/104231400255269868

I recently moved from Mastodon.cloud to Mas.to. My main reason was for some (political?) reason mastodon.cloud was no longer accepted as part of the crossposter accepted domains.

I looked into hosting my own crossposter but decided there might be a reason why mastodon.cloud isn’t supported anymore? I had a look around the fediverse and read quite a few of the terms for each instance/domain. Mas.to looked good.

The actual moving was easily done as per the instructions here.

So easy and quick, if only it was always like this…?

Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing api

I tooted a while ago about the update and setup the blog entry but forgot to post it. So here it is… short and sweet.

Here is the only API details in Android

Android Covi19 API

Of course without an app its not active… Manchester Futurists talked about this on the latest podcast btw.

Complicated and complexity

The most recent Team Human is full of thoughtful conversation. One thing which made me think is what Douglas said about roundabouts/traffic circles. and recognizing complex things vs true complexity (google live transcribed, so not perfect)

…another key great insight from the book is, the way you explain the difference between, complicated things and true complexity the way that I’ve always talked to people about it, is  in the in the West in America, we have traffic lights, and it’s very complicated all our traffic lights turning red and green and all the electricity and switching systems.

And a traffic circle is actually complex, you know, it requires just a little bit of coordination and cooperation between people but then you’ve got everybody going around this circle and getting exactly where they need to so much better and more fluid. .

The complication of the American traffic system blew my mind when I traveled around the states. Lots of start stop and lots of trying to beat the lights. Its clear roundabouts are safer, more efficient but they do require coordination and collaboration. They are complicated but not complex.

Where I watched the end of Lost 10 years ago?

Today I reminded that its 10 years since the end of Lost.

I was a fan and watched every single episode trying to work out the theory 0f what was gong on. But I don’t know if I ever shared how I watched the last 2 episodes of Lost.

Having been in hospital 10 years ago during #mybrushwithdeath, I had moved from Salford hope ICU to a standard stroke ward. In the standard stroke ward I could use my laptop again and my ex brought in my laptop with the last 2 or maybe 3 episodes on it.

My memory of Lost was lying in bed trying to get comfortable watching Lost from 11pm – 2am with headphones. I was blown away by what I was seeing and hearing. It was unreal and to be fair I never could watch it again as I would ruin what I experienced the first time around. I loved it and seeing it a few weeks after experiencing a life and death situation of my own was just too much for me. I did finish it but the emotion hit me hard.

For me the end of lost was a momentous moment which I won’t forget. (Well thats a lie, 10 years later I forgot…).

Don’t worry in July I watched Inception for the first time and lost was pretty much forgotten by then.

There is something about Upload which feels like the good place?

 Upload (2020)

Not sure what it is about Amazon’s Upload but it feels like the Good Place? (maybe the early days of the good place?)

Just like the good place, it full of comedy and silliness but there is something deeper underneath the jokes and smiles. Yes the subject matter is similar, the afterlife? But there is also something emotional interesting about the show and its good to hear there will be a another season.

I did think there is plenty which can be taken from Black mirror’s San junipero and it seems Amazon got right in there with this. Originally I thought it would be awful but  I expect to run for another few seasons.

Time to talk about Covid 19 and ethnic minorities…

A Face protection

There has been a quite a bit said about the fact ethnic minorities are more likely to catch and die of Covid19. The UK office of national statistics recently released a study which was quite shocking and hard to read.  Its a harsh reminder this virus was never a equalizer and as BBC newsnight said, shows the widening divisions.

t discovered that after taking into account age, measures of self-reported health and disability and other socio-demographic characteristics, black people were still almost twice as likely as white people to die a Covid-19-related death.

Bangladeshi and Pakistani males were 1.8 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than white males, after other pre-existing factors had been accounted for, and females from those ethnic groups were 1.6 times more likely to die from the virus than their white counterparts.

Personally I am taking a lot of sustainable steps to stay safe. I say sustainable because unlike some people who think we are going to revert back to the old normal, I know this isn’t going to happen. Without going into too much depth about PPE, contact tracing and an actual vaccine. If you want that, its worth listening to the Manchester futurists podcast which is going up in the next few days.

I’m washing my hands with liquid soap pretty much all the times, not touching my face (I know its really really hard but not impossible and I have managed it but don’t have long hair and have a deep routed thing about dirty hands) and I’m disinfecting everything I have touched and brought back into the house including my headphones, smartphone, pebble watch, keys, etc… However I am not using alcohol hand sanitizer, unless essential because it makes my hands so bloody dry I hate it!

Even before the recent theories about Vitamin D, I have been taking Vit D as its generally good practice for darker skinned people living in northern hemispheres.

I’m very conscious I am at higher risk being a black male, having a survived a bleed on the brain, asthmatic and all with high blood pressure. But I am however very fortunate to have a career which means I can work from home while living in a city centre where I can go out and get exercise and food. I’m not socio-economic disadvantaged thats something which I have going for myself. I have been getting Tesco delivery again (maybe once every 4-6 weeks again). Been avoiding the large supermarkets and going to local high street shops, Booths and M&S food market (This is certainly not true of a lot of people!). I do pop into Aldi but am always aware people are much less likely to social distance unfortunately. Especially around the fruit and veg isle.

There was a decision made not to wear a mask, when the one I ordered for the holiday to South Korea and Japan never came (according to Amazon its still on its way – 4 months later). Me and my partner decided we didn’t want to be the westerners not wearing a mask, when we still felt we could go. But for me personally I decided there was more risk in having a mask than not when out and about in Manchester. I expect there will be places in the future where I will have to wear face protection/mask to enter, and thats fine (maybe my mask might actually arrive) but till then taking the mask on and off is just much more risk than not touching my face at all. I’m also very conscious about not coughing, sneezing, etc in and around people.

Whats happening is no joke and clearly points to the horrible inequality. I’m very fortunate to be born in a country which (at least currently) has a national health care system.

But there are clear problems/differences and the people with the power to change the fate of millions are doing little about it! Some would say it could be to the benefit to certain governments even?

This is so much darker in the age of #metoo

Trigger warning… topics of a sexual nature in comedy in the video

Elaine’s date takes ‘it’ out before saying good-night. Elaine then explains the date to Jerry and Kramer.

Like watching a lot of 90’s TV (or older TV), there is a certain amount of cringe and headshaking. But generally Seinfeld gets away with it all for its progressive stance.

However I noticed this Seinfeld clip which seems so much darker in the age of . It was obviously bad then but the laughter adds a certain amount of extra pain to the whole clip.

 

Bezos’s possible trillionaire status is the worst of capitalism and inequality

There is a lot wrong with the world especially our western capitalistic society. The very thought/notion of one person being personally worth one trillion (in less than 10 years) is just unthinkable with all the problems in the world.

Bill Maher sums it up nicely in new rules. Although not a fan of relying on these rich white men to share the wealth, Jack Dorsey recent pledge did take me by surprise. Especially how transparent he is with it all.

The whole Bezos issue reminds me of the talks and books by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, especially the spirit level. (I still haven’t read the inner level yet)

In their influential 2009 book The Spirit Level, the epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett demonstrated conclusively the pernicious effects of economic inequality. In more unequal countries, outcomes are worse for almost everyone in areas such as public health, education, obesity and social mobility.

Demostration of inquality in action
From Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s the spirit level book, this cartoon is just perfect.

 

Louis Theroux shows the geeks have won, for how long?

Louis Theroux: Selling Sex

I saw this piece from the independent and thought it was fun to read. Mainly because I thought throughout is the geeks have won.

But what is it that makes him quite so alluring? After all, Louis is not someone who immediately screams “heartthrob”. He’s a slowburner. A man of the pulled pork variety. A lamb tagine. A put-it-on-at-80-degrees-and-leave-it-to-simmer. But if you’re patient enough you will see beyond his slightly gawky posture to a man with a jawline so square you could dice vegetables on it.

He reminds me of those slightly confusing crushes that develop so slowly you don’t even notice them. Like that nerdy guy you sat next to in history class. The one you initially disliked because he says “that’s an ad hominem argument” so often. And then he goes to university and gets a nice pair of glasses and you kick yourself when you see his girlfriend walk around the corner and she’s Suffolk’s answer to Natalie Portman.

Theroux is proof that humans often want what they’re not supposed to. Not all heroes wear capes; not all hunks wear six-packs.

Ok seriously now, I find this Interesting…

However although while talking to my partner about this, I remembered this kind of talk previously in the 90’s. Who remembers the new man? Which brought rise to Lad culture. Who could forget magazines like Loaded. Ironically I was listening to the independent post while I walked past the office of Lads bible.

There is a ton of paths to head beyond this (although I’m so keen on the language used), but I wonder if the time of the new man is actually now? During the last throws of toxic masculinity, the thankful rise of feminism and the realization we all need to evolve together.

The whole notion of gender is so broken and maybe unlike in the 90’s when we couldn’t even utter words or thoughts like transgender or transsexual. Now has to be the time, you only have to look at what Grayson Perry has been up to over the last decade.

Immediate Action Required! Your SpiderOak One account will be canceled?

Spideroak logo

I received an email the other day. It looked like a classic phishing attack, except there was no link to fix the problem…

Your account is in violation of our terms of service

Hello. This is ************* from SpiderOak’s support team. I’m writing to inform you that your account is in violation of our Terms of Service immediate action is needed on your part.

Because of the amount of data stored in your account or the type of data you are storing, your account is negatively affecting the accounts of other SpiderOak users. Because of this it will be necessary to close your current account.

We realize this is sudden and we want to do what we can to help you.
We have two options to offer to help you move forward:

1. A 5 TB account at the same price as your existing account. If you choose this option a member of our support team will help you set up a new account, transfer your billing information, and place the new account on a 5 TB plan at the correct price.

2. Cancellation and a full refund of your most recent payment. If you choose this option our support team will set up a refund as soon as we hear from you.

If we don’t hear from you by the end of this week we will lock your account while retaining your data for a grace period of 14 days. At the end of the grace period if we still have not heard back from you your account will be canceled.

You can contact us by replying to this email, or by writing to support@spideroak.com. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you move to one of the options I mentioned.

Thanks,
**************
Customer Success

The first thing I did was check my account directly and then replied with this…

Hello ************* and support

To check this isn’t a phishing attack can you tell me the name of the device and how much data is currently stored?

I’m keen to resolve this but it strikes as a phishing attack.

It felt like a phishing attack and since I have seen a bunch of new data dumps, you could hardly blame me.

But once I could verify everything I suggested removing some of my older computer backups after seeing this. This fell on deaf ears.

Unfortunately that isn’t an option. Your account has been using excessive resources, which has caused issues for a number of other users on the same server cluster as you. Because of the No Knowledge nature of our product we can’t tell you exactly what is causing the issue. I’m sorry that I don’t have more details for you.

The two options I can offer you are moving to a new 5 TB account (at your current payment price, normally it is a $320 / year plan) or cancellation and a refund. You won’t be able to keep your current account.

Spideroak account

Note in option 1,  if I pay more money I could still upload the same files to Spideroak!!! Something is fishy here. Either theres a problem with my files or not. I get the zero-knowledge issue but something doesn’t add up.

Frankly I’m pretty peed off about this all. I’m not the only one either, a few searches later I found others who have had similar emails.

Spideroak a while ago stopped their unlimited option and it feels like this the nail in the coffin by removing all the unlimited users?!

I guess its been a good but I have been thinking about switching since Spideroak is American based, the change to the warranty canary and finally something which has always bugged me – No two factor auth!

Suggestions for places to store my backup data which is also zero-knowledge or I could client side encrypt it before uploading if needed.

Spotify exclusive ignites closed vs open RSS flames again

Spotify logo

So Joe Rogan, comedian and host of one of the standout hits in the podcasting world, is getting in to bed with Spotify. Making it a Spotify exclusive,

When I first heard this news I felt something had changed as I knew the time of the platform exclusives was on its way. Opening the debate about open ecosystems like RSS vs closed ones systems.

James Cridland is always on the ball and covered this much better than I could. He makes some very good points

  • The show will be free to Spotify users (both Premium and Free users).

This is Spotify’s platform play, exclusive free access but only if you use our player.

  • It will be available in video on Spotify as well as audio. Spotify tested video (May 7) but were tight-lipped as to why.

I was aware Spotify have been testing a few things for their player including video as James pointed out. Canvas their tool for creating interesting music videos went quiet a while ago.  I wonder what else they have added and are keeping quiet about. This is the big advantage of your own proprietary player/platform, do what suits you and make the rest come to you.  I keep wondering if perceptive podcasting needs to get ahead of this now before we are all buried in proprietary closed systems.

  • His full show won’t be on YouTube any more, though he will post clips. Possibly not that coincidentally, YouTube is readying a full launch of YouTube Music, a Spotify competitor.

I hadn’t really clocked that of course Youtube music is coming out almost exactly at the same time. The date makes a lot of sense now

  • His full library, going back 11 years, is to switch to Spotify from September 1; exclusivity comes later in 2020.

Moving all those archives to Spotify is a interesting but potentially bad news for future plans. Especially if things go wrong.

Sounds, Spotify and Luminary

I also found these reactions very apt as it doesn’t take much to see the important discussion over podcasts vs audio shows instantly flare up again.

  • “Fuck Spotify, and fuck any ”podcast” that’s only playable in one app”, tweeted Overcast’s Marco Arment, adding that “moving an existing, open, free show behind a proprietary wall results in massive audience loss. I hope he at least leaves his public feed up so he can return to it when his Spotify exclusivity fails.”
  • Spotify’s new strategy is to kill podcasts (Simon Cohen, Digital Trends)

James made clear podnews stance on this all.

A “podcast” is something that is delivered via an RSS feed to multiple podcast apps. Podnews refer to things available exclusively on Spotify, BBC Sounds or Luminary as “shows”. Accordingly, from late 2020, we’ll no longer refer to The Joe Rogan Experience as a podcast.

Harsh? I think not, he’s right this isn’t podcasting…

The mayday lockdown night dance

Rave

Taking some hints from my previous live mix, I decided to make some changes and do another mix. This time not live, so its at the perfect volume now. Enjoy the mix which is up to 135bpm with lots of hands in the air trance for your listening pleasure… enjoy!

  1. Gouryella (From the heavens mix) – Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella
  2. Arise – Victor Ruiz & D Nox
  3. Follow me (Jerome Isma-Ae Extended remix) – Jam Spoon
  4. Call the galaxy taxi (Martin Roth Nu Style remix) – Plastic Angel
  5. Stellar – Driftwood
  6. Floyd (extended mix) – Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor
  7. Borealis – Dj Eco
  8. Breathe (Blake Jarrell remix) – Anna Nalick
  9. Freedom (extended mix) – ARTY vs Muvy
  10. Grotesque – RAM & Alex M.O.R.P.H
  11. Soundbar (extended mix) – Giuseppe Ottaviani
  12. Numb the pain – Will Atkinson
  13. Everythings been written – 8 Wonders
  14. Tears (protoculture remix) – Dakota
  15. Hello (Jerome Isma-Ae remix) – Above & Beyond
  16. The Legacy 2.0 (Alphazone remix) – Funabashi pres. Saltwater
  17. Valhalla (tonerush remix) – OneBeat

Films and TV for the lockdown or films you may have missed in late 2019/early 2020

Uncorked

Someone recently said to me, there can’t be that much films since all the film studios are shut due to Covid19? There will be a delay but people forget how much media is made everyday (no idea where the hours of youtube videos per hour is now).

Anyhow there’s a lot of media to watch and here’s a few noteworthy ones

Films

The assistant

Empathy, Inc

Quite indie sci-fi shot in black and white, its a interesting  pretense which plays out to a surprising  ending. Well worth seeking out.

Vanilla

Romantic comedy as such but with a edge, quite fun and charming.

The half of it

Another romantic drama/comedy which although not as edgy as Vanilla, still has something different to bring to your mind. The end church scene is some divine intervention.

The Rhythm Section

I quite like these films like Anna, La Femme Nikita, etc and this one is well told and executed well.

She never died

Never really a horror fan but I like this indie horror/thriller which has a great feel to it. The film feels like Black Mirror’s Metalhead crossed with Jessica Jones.

Official secrets

My friend recommended this one to me and its quite something. Always love these court room battles but know this is very true is just insane. No wonder there was such a worry about the UK – American relation.

Just mercy

Like official secrets, court room battles around real cases is always compelling. Just mercy touches so many emotional levels and does it without actually tugging on them.

The assistant

Slow and calculated film timed perfectly around the movement. What I find interesting is to see the everyday attempts by women to stop harassment knocked back in subtitle ways.  This won’t be a surprise for most women and any minority of course.

The platform

Most people have heard of this one and its actually quite a interesting take on the nature of human and kindness. Well worth watching a couple of times once you get over the shock value it provides.

Uncorked

I liked this one because of the relationship with the father. It could have easily been a whole film about prejudice but its so much more.

Dark waters

This one dropped under the radar but it very apt as we all discuss the importance of human values in our capitalist society. Is the money worth peoples lives?

The good liar

Such a smart and compelling story. I can’t say anything more about it than just find it and watch it. You won’t be disappointed if you like thriller dramas.

The coldest game

Good fun drama around around a chess game during the cold war. The tension and cinematography are great  and well worth your attention.

TV series

Gangs of London

Devs

I mentioned here already. Fantastic TV series by Alex Garland (the creator of Annihilation, Ex Machina and other great films. Stunning to watch and lots of deep routed theories.

Gangs of London

I was tipped off to this currently running TV series by a friend. I usually find some of the UK production lack the levels of realistic violence (sounds weird saying that) but I’m impressed with this TV series as it has the right balance of standout moments, character development and narrative.

The last dance

A documentary about Air Jordon? You got me! Annoying ESPN have spun it out over 10 episodes.

Watchmen

If you haven’t seen the Watchmen TV series, I highly recommend this to all, especially those who are fans of the original comic and film. I won’t spoil this TV series but its as deep and meaningful as the film and comic book.