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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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?

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

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain—these things are huge, right? Still unsure if you should invest your time or money? Don’t know the difference between a Satoshi and a gigahash? Well, stock photography is here to help give us a sense of the inner workings, background, and the dos and don’ts of the bitcoin ecosystem.

Bitcoins are not for consumption!

Bitcoins are not for consumption!

Source: Bitcoin: A Stock Photo Cryptocurrency Primer – The Atlantic

Some really uplifting reading; the Bandcamp 2016 year in review.

…every aspect of Bandcamp’s business was up in 2016. Digital album sales grew 20%, tracks 23%, and merch 34%. Growth in physical sales was led by vinyl, which was up 48%, and further boosted by CDs (up 14%) and cassettes (up 58%).

Unfortunately, times are not so great for the artists overall with the rise of streaming services.

As more people subscribe to music rental services, the already paltry rates paid to artists are going down (and no, artists don’t necessarily make it up in volume).

Buy your music directly from independent artists, and don’t let the record companies decide what is available to you!

Source: Everything is Terrific: The Bandcamp 2016 Year in Review « Bandcamp Daily