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submitted 10 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago) by ResidualBit@beehaw.org to c/technology@beehaw.org

Regarding Beehaw defederating from lemmy.world and sh.itjust.works, this post goes into detail on the why and the philosophy behind that decision. Additionally, there is an update specific to sh.itjust.works here.

For now, let's talk about what federation is and what defederation means for members of Beehaw or the above two communities interacting with each other, as well as the broader fediverse.

Federation is not something new on the internet. Most users use federated services every day (for instance, the url used to access instances uses a federated service known as DNS, and email is another system that functions through federation.) Just like those services, you elect to use a service provider that allows you to communicate with the rest of the world. That service provider is your window to work with others.

When you federate, you mutually agree to share your content. This means that posting something to a site can be seen by another and all comments are shared. Even users from other sites can post to your site.

Now when you defederate, this results in content to be no longer shared. It didn't reverse any previous sharing or posts, it just stops the information from flowing with the selected instance. This only impacts the site's that are called out.

What this means to you is when a user within one instance (e.g. Beehaw) that's chosen to defederate with another (e.g. lemmy.world), they can no longer interact with content on another instance, and vice versa. Other instances can still see the content of both servers as though nothing has happened.

  • A user is not limited to how many instances they can join (technically at least - some instance have more stringent requirements for joining than others do)
  • A user can interact with Lemmy content without being a user of any Lemmy instance - e.g. Mastodon (UI for doing so is limited, but it is still possible.)

Considering the above, it is important to understand just how much autonomy we, as users have. For example, as the larger instances are flooded with users and their respective admins and mods try to keep up, many, smaller instances not only thrive, but emerge, regularly (and even single user instances - I have one for just myself!) The act of defederation does not serve to lock individual users out of anything as there are multiple avenues to constantly maintain access to, if you want it, the entirety of the unfiltered fediverse.

On that last point, another consideration at the individual level is - what do you want out of Lemmy? Do you want to find and connect with like-minded people, share information, and connect at a social and community level? Do you want to casually browse content and not really interact with anyone? These questions and the questions that they lead to are critical. There is no direct benefit to being on the biggest instance. In fact, as we all deal with this mass influx, figure out what that means for our own instances and interactions with others, I would argue that a smaller instance is actually much better suited for those who just want to casually browse everything.

Lastly, and tangential, another concern I have seen related to this conversation is people feeling afraid of being locked out of the content and conversation from the "main" communities around big topics starting to form across the Lemmiverse (think memes, gaming, tech, politics, news, etc.) Over time, certain communities will certainly become a default for some people just given the community size (there will always be a biggest or most active - it's just a numbers game.) This, again though, all comes down to personal preference and what each individual is looking to get from their Lemmy experience. While there may, eventually, be a “main” sub for (again, by the numbers), there will also always be quite a few other options for targeted discussions on , within different communities, on different instances, each with their own culture and vibe. This can certainly feel overwhelming and daunting (and at the moment, honestly it is.) Reddit and other non-federated platforms provided the illusion of choice, but this is what actual choice looks and feels like.

[edit: grammar and spelling]

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submitted 10 months ago* (last edited 10 months ago) by RedPander@lemmy.rogers-net.com to c/technology@beehaw.org

Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place, but I see Reddit developments as Tech news right now.

Wanted to share a website that is tracking Subreddits that have/will be going dark. It even has a sound notification for when they change their status.

Edit: Adding the stream https://www.twitch.tv/reddark_247

Double Edit: Data visualization https://blackout.photon-reddit.com/

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submitted 47 minutes ago by ElCanut@jlai.lu to c/technology@beehaw.org
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'Privacy. That's Apple,’ the slogan proclaims. New research from Aalto University in Finland begs to differ.

The researchers studied eight default apps, the ones that are pretty much unavoidable on a new device, be it a computer, tablet or mobile phone: Safari, Siri, Family Sharing, iMessage, FaceTime, Location Services, Find My and Touch ID. They collected all publicly available privacy-related information on these apps, from technical documentation to privacy policies and user manuals.

'Due to the way the user interface is designed, users don’t know what is going on. For example, the user is given the option to enable or not enable Siri, Apple's virtual assistant. But enabling only refers to whether you use Siri's voice control. Siri collects data in the background from other apps you use, regardless of your choice, unless you understand how to go into the settings and specifically change that,’ says Associate Professor Janne Lindqvist, head of the computer science department at Aalto.

'The online instructions for restricting data access are very complex and confusing, and the steps required are scattered in different places. There’s no clear direction on whether to go to the app settings, the central settings – or even both,’ says Amel Bourdoucen, a doctoral researcher at Aalto.

In addition, the instructions didn’t list all the necessary steps or explain how collected data is processed.

The researchers also demonstrated these problems experimentally. They interviewed users and asked them to try changing the settings.

‘It turned out that the participants weren’t able to prevent any of the apps from sharing their data with other applications or the service provider,’ Bourdoucen says.

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submitted 9 hours ago* (last edited 9 hours ago) by fer0n@lemm.ee to c/technology@beehaw.org
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follow-up Mastodon thread from the author: https://hackers.town/@lori/112255132348604770

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Almost 90 per cent of the global supply for polysilicon, a common raw material in electronic devices and solar panels, comes from China, and about half of that comes from Xinjiang, the north-western province that is home to the Uyghurs, says Grace Forrest, founder of Walk Free, a charity dedicating to fight forced labour.

The organization has exposed modern slavery, forced and child labour throughout the renewable energy supply chain, with evidence of state-imposed forced labour of Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim majority groups in China in the making and supply of solar panels and other renewable technologies.

It has also shone a light on the slave-like conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where cobalt is mined by workers for its use in rechargeable batteries for laptop computers and mobile phones.

"We have an opportunity to build an economy that isn’t coming from colonial lines and yet, right now, a green economy absolutely will be built on forced and child labour," Forrest says.

“So the message really is, you cannot harm people in the name of saving the planet.”

Walk Free's latest Global Slavery Index estimated that 50 million people were living in modern slavery – either in forced labour or forced marriage – on any given day in 2021.

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A video about the Minuteman ICBM's guidance computer by Alexander the ok.

He even made a simulator for it, in case you want to try out what it would have been like to program an ICBM's guidance computer in the 60's 😁

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submitted 1 day ago by ayla@beehaw.org to c/technology@beehaw.org
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submitted 2 days ago by hedge@beehaw.org to c/technology@beehaw.org

Needs archive.is link!

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Cross posted from: https://beehaw.org/post/13091735

In November 2019, the US government’s National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), an influential body chaired by former Google CEO and executive chairman Eric Schmidt, warned that China was using artificial intelligence to “advance an autocratic agenda.”

Just two months earlier, Schmidt was also seeking potential personal connections to China’s AI industry on a visit to Beijing, newly disclosed emails reveal. Separately, tax filings show that a nonprofit private foundation overseen by Schmidt and his wife contributed to a fund that feeds into a private equity firm that has made investments in numerous Chinese tech firms, including those in AI.

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submitted 3 days ago by ElCanut@jlai.lu to c/technology@beehaw.org
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submitted 2 days ago by n7gifmdn@lemmy.ca to c/technology@beehaw.org
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submitted 4 days ago* (last edited 4 days ago) by noodlejetski@lemm.ee to c/technology@beehaw.org

Automattic purchases Beeper in $125 million deal; CEO to join

https://blog.beeper.com/2024/04/09/beeper-is-joining-automattic/

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A prototype is available, though it's Chrome-only and English-only at the moment. How this'll work is you select some text and then click on the extension, which will try to "return the relevant quote and inference for the user, along with links to article and quality signals".

How this works is it uses ChatGPT to generate a search query, utilizes WP's search API to search for relevant article text, and then uses ChatGPT to extract the relevant part.

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submitted 5 days ago by hedge@beehaw.org to c/technology@beehaw.org
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submitted 6 days ago* (last edited 6 days ago) by mozz@mbin.grits.dev to c/technology@beehaw.org
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These keyboards rely on magnets and springs and activate by sensing changes in the magnetic field. Popularized by Dutch keyboard startup Wooting, these switches rely on the Hall Effect and have actually been around since the 1960s.

You can change how far you need to press down to register the keystroke, as well as for the release point.

The one thing you can’t change, though, is the switch’s resistance. Despite all the talk of magnets, that’s still handled by the spring inside the switch, after all (for the moment, until the xyz is released).

But interestingly, this also means with temperature differences, you may also have to "calibrate" your keyboard. The price point for the Akko MOD007B PC Santorini keyboard at around US$110 to $150 is certainly not more expensive than many mechanical keyboards.

See https://techcrunch.com/2024/04/07/magnets-are-switching-up-the-keyboard-game/

#technology #keyboards

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Traditionally, one would have to periodically check the status of the dust filtering on a PC case, but that's not the case (pun intended!) with the Asus ProArt PA602. This chassis has a fancy infrared (IR) sensor behind the front-facing dust filter. Should this detect a set layer of dust covering the filter material, a small LED will illuminate on the side of the case. It's tastefully done. No alert on an LCD screen, no obnoxious sound. With this activated, you will know to clean the filter (and give the inside a quick air blast) next time the system has been shut down.

Quite a thoughtful case, apart from having the dust filter warning, it also has wheels to move it more easily.

But it does show also, is that even cases can innovate as well. I'd like to see more of these and maybe have the sensors also on the other dust filters (my case has one underneath as well), as IR sensors themselves are not very expensive to incorporate.

See https://www.xda-developers.com/this-asus-pc-case-monitors-your-dust-filter/

#technology #cases #dust

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Today, a different form of efficient design is eliminating “eyes on the street” — by replacing them with technological ones. The proliferation of neighborhood surveillance technologies such as Ring cameras and digital neighborhood-watch platforms and apps such as Nextdoor and Citizen have freed us from the constraints of having to be physically present to monitor our homes and streets.

When debates arise over the threat such technologies might pose to privacy, of both their users and the broader public, critics often focus on the power of large technology corporations to control our personal data.

But surveillance clearly provides benefits — and means of abuse — to far more people than Big Tech titans and law enforcement. These are wildly popular technologies among private citizens. We like to look at ourselves and to monitor others, and there are an increasing number of new technologies encouraging us to do just that.

This prompts some slightly different questions about the benefits and dangers of surveillance technologies: What kind of people are being formed in a world of everyday surveillance? What assumptions do they make about their neighbors and communities? What expectations do they have for privacy and visibility in their own homes and in their interactions with family members? How can they build relationships of trust without the reassurance surveillance offers of the behavior of others?

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A CCTV company owned by the municipality of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, had sued the Slovenian Data Protection Authority (DPA) in order to block the release of municipal CCTV system data. But the ruling of an administrative court made it clear that making the CCTV system data available is in the public’s interest, not just because the system was paid for with public funds but also because the citizen have the right to know where and how the municipality is surveilling them.

During the hearings of this case, the municipally-owned company used several bad faith arguments to block the release of the data under the local FOIA law. First, they tried to shift the responsibility to the municipality, which previously named the company as the relevant actor. The company then claimed that the data set is too big to compile. Other ineffectual arguments used were: the release of the data will have negative consequences for crime prevention and that the data was not in the public interest.

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Technology

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Rumors, happenings, and innovations in the technology sphere. If it's technological news or discussion of technology, it probably belongs here.

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