Trackers: The Sound of 16-Bit – a wonderfully nostalgic (for me) dive into the history of music trackers by Stuart Brown.

While I never made any music myself with trackers on the Amiga, I used them a lot for listening to music in MOD files. I loved to toggle playback on the different channels and “live remix” the tracks while playing, and it was a lot of fun to experiment with the different samples.

One of my favourite MOD tracks ever is “Variations” by Jogeir Liljedahl – a great example of the music capabilities of the Amiga. Another brilliant track is the classic “Stardust Memories” by Jester.

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, on the 25th anniversary of this essential institution dedicated to preserving our common history on the internet: Reflections as the Internet Archive turns 25.

As a young man, I wanted to help make a new medium that would be a step forward from Gutenberg’s invention. By building a Library of Everything in the digital age, I thought the opportunity was not just to make it available to everybody in the world, but to make it better– smarter than paper. By using computers, we could make the Library not just searchable, but organizable; make it so that you could navigate your way through millions, and maybe eventually billions of web pages.

Internet Archive servers

Source: Reflections as the Internet Archive turns 25 – Internet Archive Blogs

Vivaldi’s founder Jon von Tetzchner on the urgent need to put an end to surveillance-based advertising on the web once and for all: It’s time to ban surveillance-based advertising.

Big Tech’s toxic business model based on surveillance-based advertising is undermining democracy. They have had more than enough chances to clean up their act. Now it’s time for them to be regulated.

Surveillance-based advertising

Source: It’s time to ban surveillance-based advertising | Vivaldi Browser

Terms & Conditions Apply – a fun (but also very frustrating) game about how web developers often intentionally use Dark Patterns to trick unwary users into accepting privacy-invading cookies, allowing notifications, signing up for their site and other shady practices.

A fun mini-game about pop-ups and the deviousness of websites and apps

Terms and Conditions Apply

Related article from The Guardian: Can you solve it? Are you smart enough to opt out of cookies?

Source: Terms & Conditions Apply – A fun mini-game about pop-ups and the deviousness of websites and apps

The Vivaldi browser takes a stand against Google’s new advertising tracking tech called “Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC)“:

At Vivaldi, we stand up for the privacy rights of our users. We do not approve of Google’s new FLoC technology. It creates privacy risks for users on the web.

Vivaldi says no to FLoC

 

The EFF does not mince its words either: Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea.

Other privacy-oriented browser companies are already taking the same stand. Unfortunately, with Chrome’s browser market share of nearly 70% I really don’t know how much it will matter, as the vast majority of Chrome users are most likely blissfully unaware of the dangerous implications of this new and hidden tracking technology.

Source: No, Google! Vivaldi users will not get FloC’ed. | Vivaldi Browser

Gallery Logo

Gallery Project logo

A small update after a long time: After my web host SDF.org changed the HTTP server from good old Apache to Nginx last year, the Gallery has been broken, mostly due to lack of support for user-specified Apache .htaccess and mod_rewrite rules in Nginx. Fortunately I’ve now gotten it sorted out with a little assistance from the SDF admins and the very helpful people at the Gallery3 mailing group. Some server configuration for PHP had to be changed, and it was actually just a pretty small fix.

The Gallery Project has been around since 2001, when I first installed it. Unfortunately the project’s been in hibernation since 2014, but lately there’s been an attempt to make it work on newer PHP versions and fix some bugs, called Gallery Revival, and the code is available on GitHub.

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One of the music compilation series I’ve enjoyed the most over the last years has been Stylin’ by Australian DJ and radio presenter Ennio Styles. The series consists of an eclectic selection of tracks from his radio program on Melbourne’s wonderful community radio station 3RRR.

It’s a great series, with a fantastic selection of tracks from a wide range of genres – soulful grooves, house, electronic, world, jazz and more. And it’s completely free or pay what you want;  the donation will be passed onto 3RRR! Below is a playlist of the latest release:

 

This person does not exist – a random gallery of computer-generated faces, created with machine-learning algorithms called GANs. The technology to create these is very impressive, considering how realistic a lot of these look — and at the same kind of scary.

Computer-generated face

Computer-generated face

Of course scammers and other internet lowlifes have been using stolen or stock-image faces for a long time to add authenticity to fake social media profiles, this basically means that now they can just create random faces that will be very convincing, at least in most cases.

There are, at least for now, various ways to recognize fake AI-generated images by subtle hints, but the algorithms can only get better at this over time. Maybe recognizing these faces will be a necessary skill to have in times to come?

Related: Which face is real?

I’ve been a fan of Nina Paley’s animations for a long time, and her Sita Sings The Blues is one of my all-time favorite films. Her newest feature Seder-Masochism has now been released to the public domain, and is available for free streaming on Vimeo, as well as for full HD download on the Internet Archive.

Seder-Masochism, an animated musical, loosely follows the Passover Seder story, with events from the Book of Exodus retold by Moses, Aharon, the Angel of Death, Jesus and the director’s father. The film puts a twist on the traditional Biblical story by including a female deity perspective – the Goddess in a tragic struggle against the forces of patriarchy.

Sadly, the experience of browsing the web in 2018 has become very much like this. Sometimes make me nostalgic of the days of basic HTML and frames, the awesome animated GIFs, and where you only needed to care about “cookies” if you actually wanted to log in or buy something.

Example of bloated website in 2018

Related: The modern internet sucks: Bring back GeocitiesThe teenage girl’s internet of the early 2000sGifCities.

Source: Websites in 2018