The first images coming from the recently activated James Webb Space Telescope are absolutely stunning!

This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.

“Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula

“Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula

Source: First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope

Well, this was a pleasant surprise among all the horrible things going on in the world these days: A new Monkey Island game is coming this year! I just really hope this is not some very elaborate April Fools  joke… 😀

Announcing Return to Monkey Island, the long-awaited follow-up to the legendary Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge by Ron Gilbert’s Terrible Toybox in collaboration with Devolver Digital and Lucasfilm Games, coming 2022.

Source: Return to Monkey Island | Coming 2022

Hey Hey 16K – A tribute to the ZX Spectrum and the trials and tribulations of using the home microcomputers of the 80s. Originally a Flash music video, published on the B3TA web site on 4 May 2004. Now lovingly emulated and finally pixel-perfect by the magic of the Ruffle SWF emulator.

Hey Hey, 16K
What does that get you today?
You need more than that for a letter
Old Skool Ram Paks are much better.

Hey Hey 16K

Source: Hey Hey 16K : M.J. Hibbett and Rob Manuel : Internet Archive

A new major version 5.0 of my favourite browser Vivaldi is out today, with new features like shareable themes – here’s one I made –  a translate panel (neat for quickly translating text), and as always a ton of improvements and bug fixes.

Kick customization up a notch in the latest version of Vivaldi for desktop and notebooks. Build browser themes with a brand new editor, share them with the world and install themes from the community in a click. On the productivity front, a new Translate Panel allows instant translations of highlighted text.

Vivaldi 5.0 - Shine Bright
Source: Vivaldi Browser 5.0: Launches shareable Themes & Translate Panel

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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