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Why your choice of operating systems doesn’t matter

Operating systems. The best and the worst invention of mankind. Everyone has one on their computer, their server, their watch, their phone and even on their fridge. They are everywhere and so important.

We all know that, your gaming PC runs Windows, your phone runs iOS or Android and your workstation and server runs on Linux. But why does all of this not matter?

Because you are the user and have to decide what’s good for you. If you think Windows is your cup of tea, go for it; if you think Linux or even macOS is your cup of tea, go for it. There is no limit, but you will eventually get to the problem where one operating system doesn’t serve all purposes. What will you do then? Change the operating system and start from scratch?

Even if you just have to compile something firing up a Docker container is as easy as a breeze and most end-users don’t even care what’s on their machines as long as they can get their daily work done.

The bigger problem is that especially Microsoft dominated the desktop operating system market since decades and we see user count slowly declining. Why is that?

Microsoft can’t simply keep up with the ever-changing IT industry. It will take years, even decades for them to clean up all the legacy code and make Windows great again. The same for every other company which embraces proprietary technology. Free software can keep up with the speed of change since everyone can just use it how they want and make changes as they see fit. In Microsoft-land you can’t just patch in some code and make it work, you have to be an employee at Microsoft and hopefully get your idea through the company until it reaches testing. Most good ideas at Microsoft died this way. If they kept their promises they made in their Longhorn concept ad in 2003 we would have an operating system that would be decades ahead of any other operating system in the world.

I don’t know why everyone is butthurt in their own weird way. Maybe it’s good or bad, but we have to break ties with big tech. Not because it’s just bad, but because they haven’t been innovative for years and not the OEMs are the reasons why the desktop market is shrinking, it’s Microsoft who can’t simply keep up with the latest trends to this day.

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The next chapter of Nordcast: Nordcast 2

tl;dr Nordcast 2 will introduce video podcasts which will change the way you perceive podcasting.

Video podcasts have been around for long enough, but there has been no great experience to get them good-looking, secure and without the fuzz other podcast apps bring in. Often there are the questions: When do podcasts suck less? Where’s the solution that works across all my devices without compromising security or privacy? What do people expect from a podcast app?

I mean look at it this way: For example Netflix (like any other streaming service) is having their own set of series you can watch and if you wanted to have THIS one series you have to pay another streaming service that offers it if Netflix doesn’t provide it to you. This has to do with licensing. Netflix usually licenses their series from contractors or even produces their own series. This might be sufficient enough, but there is no way to get independent creators onto the platform. On the podcast-side it looks brighter, because all podcasts are usually free to listen. So Nordcast offers all of this and I don’t want to talk about Netflix’s rising prices and heavy DRM and privacy issues. If you want to have your own show ready to go, just pick any podcast hoster that supports video podcasts and upload your own! Then if you submitted the show to iTunes you can watch your episode after around 20 minutes it has been submitted. If you don’t want to submit your show to iTunes you can also contact the koyu.space support team and get your show as an exclusive thing on the Nordcast home screen. Note that video podcasts only work in Nordcast if the RSS feed follows the actual standards. Any RSS feed might not work here and is not supported.

After all these things I have been also thinking about porting Nordcast to the TV with Amazon Fire TV so you can enjoy your favourite shows on the TV. The current flow is to use Firefox on the Fire TV and use the web version of Nordcast. This is kinda unhandy and you will also miss a lot of the native Fire TV features that come with an Android app (Yes, Amazon Fire TV is a Google-free Android distribution in the core).

I think Nordcast 2 will give me a lot to think on and hopefully you can watch your favourite Nordcast shows on your TV.

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Rambling about the fundamental problems of IT

I’m kinda sceptical towards Tutanota, but it’s the best thing I have so far. I think e-mails will never be secure, even if you have the best encryption, because e-mails aren’t made for that kinda thing. Still I trust them with my data. If you want to communicate then use a messaging service like Riot as this one is doing everything right so far. For me XMPP never worked out, either the servers won’t accept my server and completely mess up communication and also XMPP itself is kinda ripping itself apart with PEPs. If we want secure communication it should be built from the ground up, everybody knows what Windows 10 is. I think stacking up piles upon piles of legacy won’t solve the existential crisis the computer industry has.

Speaking of centralization I haven’t found a better alternative to Cloudflare. Sorry, but I won’t fiddle around with the crappy DNS panel my registrar offers me and I have no time and energy to build my own DNS server. If someone comes up with a better idea I’ll take it. And yes, I use all of Cloudflare’s stuff they offer me, because they offer a lot to their users.

The bigger problem is that the free software movement brought us a lot of good things, but most of them can’t be real replacements to enterprise-level software. I’m not even trying to say “Linux is cancer duh”, it’s just more or less a problem we should solve.

I just want to reference Everything is broken at this point. The author describes the whole problem itself in a humorable manner.

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The internet is bad and you should know it

Imagine that…

  • …using the internet was as simple as sending an e-mail
  • …not being dependant on local infrastructure administration or internet service providers
  • …just having control over your data for the sake of sanity

The world would be better this way. Sadly there is almost no way to change this.

Let’s have hope, little passenger and have our internet guilds interconnecting to form a new decentralized internet. Make sure internet giants like Google, Facebook or Amazon can’t control what we read, say or even think. It would be better. For all of us.

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In the beginning koyu created the blog and the social network

2010: I made a blog (jeainstueck) where I post random thoughts to

2011: My blog had the first posts containing media and I learned how to do HTML, CSS and JS

March 2012: The blog was split up in the blog itself and another blog containing more real-life blog posts (jHome)

August 2012: I closed down my blog and switched over the real-life one and also began making my own podcast (PixelCast)

2013: My first social network launched (called jWork at the time) that came bundled with jHome (which was the “koyu.space” at the time) and I also closed down my podcast

2014: My social network eventually began as it’s own little site and jHome broke up into a GitHub-hosted personal page

2015: The first prototype of koyu.space named “Koyuston” was created and jWork was eventually deleted

2016: The koyu.space domain name was registered and contained my personal website that I hosted on GitHub at that time

2017: Koyuston was broken up into “koyu.space Social” and was eventually renamed to “koyu.space” becoming the core service

2018: I began hosting more than a Mastodon instance and copied over all my GitHub projects onto my own server when Microsoft bought GitHub and began hosting a Matrix instance which I scrapped later on. I also got full IPv6 support working across all servers.

2019: I re-introduced my Matrix instance and also opened up a Minecraft server and also introduced the first few things that come bundled with koyu.space (Nordcast and the merch store respectively) and eventually opened up Nordcast to support more than just koyu.space

2020: Stay tuned, I’m currently thinking about making a messaging app utilizing the fediverse which actually should’ve become a pull-request for Mastodon (but we know Eugen already) and/or fixing up some bugs with my MikeOS distribution BreezeOS that is basically everything that I found frustrating about MikeOS as a seperate project because if you can’t work on it then fork it

Thanks for reading and see ya in the next decade

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What happens if Twitter implemented ActivityPub or “It’s actually a good thing if Twitter implemented ActivityPub”

Wednesday, April 15 2020

It’s my 21st birthday and I’m waking up like usual and go to work. Once I come back home everyone I like is standing in my room and we had a big birthday party. But something is odd. I go to my computer, turn it on and wait a minute for it to boot up, open up a browser and open up koyu.space. My whole timeline is freaking out, everyone is talking about that Twitter implemented ActivityPub and therefore everyone on Twitter was suddendly able to communicate with my users on koyu.space. I shouted “Fuck, Twitter implemented ActivityPub” and the music stopped. Everyone around me was quiet for a couple of seconds until the music turned back on and everyone was cheering that Twitter finally did one thing right then what will happen next is actually a good thing which I will explain below.

Thursday, April 16 2020

With the hangover from yesterday’s birthday party I woke up and went to my computer to check my notifications. Everyone was freaking out and I got a bunch of warnings how bad Twitter could be and everything so I just sat down, opened up the moderation queue: empty, I went to the accounts tab and filtered by domain “twitter.com”: everything looked clean. My mouth moved silently with the words “What the fuck?” and I just waited for some more days for my server to seed all accounts from Twitter.

Monday, April 20 2020

I woke up, went to work like usual and came back home and opened up koyu.space in my browser between a news article about that Twitter implemented ActivityPub and some Rule34 for me to post. So I went through all the work to find and eliminate bad behaving Twitter users or other controversial figures like Donald Trump. I didn’t ban the controversial figures though, I just muted them, because sometimes it’s just useful if you want to see what they did wrong today. I couldn’t activate authorized_fetch_mode, because that would break a lot of compatibility with Keybase and especially Twitter. So I just continue to filter out all the bad guys on Twitter until I got a clean enough view of what’s really happening. I thought “This method is far better than anything else people did, because I would essentially keep the important people from Twitter and ban all the bad guys and it wouldn’t cost me that much work, because Mastodon was designed not to federate with everyone when a new server emerges except if you would activate relays.”

Tuesday, May 12 2020

I saw a couple of people joining koyu.space all of the sudden. Someone on Twitter screwed up again, but since no one really needs Twitter to still communicate with the people over there people were just going to the next Mastodon instances around them. Since I am listed on joinmastodon.org everyone could see me instantly and join my server. I filtered out all the bad guys and spam for a couple of days and then everything was still fine. Since Twitter introduced ActivityPub into their software it benefited everyone and actually made a lot of people switch to Mastodon. Twitter even went so far and actually started an advertisement campaign on Twitter to make people have a look at all the other softwares implementing ActivityPub, especially Pleroma and Mastodon. It was like the kickstart into a new world, a new internet with new faces.

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A brief review of Madeon’s new “Good Faith” album

Yesterday evening I just opened up my Spotify and got notified about Madeon’s new album “Good Faith”, so eager I was waiting I grabbed a listen and found it great. I must say it’s a whole lot different what Madeon is usually doing like what we saw in Adventure.

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A new app called Nordcast

I made a new app called Nordcast. With this one you can listen to podcasts, follow them and much more. It even remembers where you left off so you can resume an episode any time.

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Statement on current moderation policies at koyu.space

I have two moderators that are on my instance though it’s a relatively small one. This is at least better than having to deal with this alone and manually going to the admin panel and block these servers out. In the end I’m responsible for my server and have the last word. I think signing off a server block is easier for now until major mobile apps like Tusky implement the Moderation API that came some days ago

Creating whitelists accidentally defederates your server and is creating a new counter.social. I think the federation part is important for mastodon and blocklists you could easily import into your postgresql database are the way to go for now until there’s a UI for it. People just have to work on it. Sadly i only have too little experience on how the Mastodon codebase works.

Discussion at https://koyu.space/web/statuses/102322265194664716

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A quick introduction to the Fediverse

The Fediverse. A great place to be with people. But what exactly is this place?

The Fediverse is a word consisting of “federation” and “universe” and is a place on the internet where a lot of people are communicating. It’s a social media platform, but can be more than this. It’s weird and exciting and I love that.

While you heard of Twitter and Facebook, you propably didn’t heard about Mastodon, Pleroma, GNU Social and PeerTube, right? These other things are social media platforms like the big brothers, but with a twist. Instead of relying on one big server, everything is being spread out. The data, moderation, costs and so on are all in the hands of it’s users.

The Fediverse kinda works like E-Mail. You don’t have to be on one server to communicate with people from another server and if one server goes down the rest of the network keeps running. This also means you can have a couple of different accounts on other servers with the same e-mail address as well (these are called “alts”).

So if I am on koyu.space and you are on e.g. mastodon.social then I could just go and interact with you like we were on the same site. Digging deeper you find out that even my blog is on the fediverse. It doesn’t have to be Mastodon you’re going with.

https://docs.joinmastodon.org/decentralization.png
Left to right: Centralized, Federated, Distributed (source: joinmastodon.org)

And this is where it gets spicy: Imagine you could comment a video on YouTube with your Facebook account without having to register for YouTube. This already works for the fediverse: If you’re posting a comment with Pleroma on a PeerTube video it magically appears on the PeerTube video.

Imagine you could comment a video on YouTube with your Facebook account without having to register for YouTube. This already works for the fediverse […]

And that’s not all: Every software implementing the protocols used for federation (usually ActivityPub) can be in the fediverse, even my blog! Most of this software also has features that set it apart from the usual big social network.

So now you’re thinking I am selling you the big fairy-tale, right? Think again. While the userbase of the fediverse is relatively small it’s a good alternative to currently well-established social networks. You will find people there in all shapes and sizes and maybe you will find people you can sympathize with. Who knows?