I use lambda calculus to understand natural language meaning and language change.
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Pacman in 512 bytes

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Pillman is Oscar "Nanochess" Toledo's reimplementation of Pacman ("a game about a yellow man eating pills") in 512 bytes -- small enough to fit in a boot sector -- written in 8088 assembler. (via Four Short Links)

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beslayed
104 days ago
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NewPipe represents the best of FOSS

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NewPipe is a free and open-source Android application for browsing & watching YouTube. In my opinion, NewPipe is a perfect case-study in why free & open source software is great and how our values differ from proprietary software in important ways. There’s one simple reason: it’s better than the proprietary YouTube app, in every conceivable way, for free.

NewPipe is better because it’s user-centric software. It exists to make its users lives better, not to enrich its overseers. Because of this, NewPipe has many features which are deliberately omitted from the proprietary app, such as:

  • No advertisements1
  • Playing any video in the background
  • Downloading videos (or their audio tracks alone) to play offline
  • Playing videos in a pop-up player
  • Subscribing to channels without a YouTube account
  • Importing and exporting subscriptions
  • Showing subscriptions in chronological order
  • It supports streaming services other than YouTube!2

YouTube supports some of these… for $12/month. Isn’t that a bit excessive? Other features it doesn’t support at all. On top of that, YouTube is constantly gathering data about you and making decisions which put their interests ahead of yours, whereas NewPipe never phones home and consistently adds new features that put users first. The proprietary app is exploitative of users, and NewPipe is empowering users.

There are a lot of political and philosophical reasons to use & support free and open source software. Sometimes it’s hard to get people on board with FOSS by pitching them these first. NewPipe is a great model because it’s straight up better, and better for reasons that make these philosophical points obvious and poignant. The NewPipe project was started by Christian Schabesberger, is co-maintained by a team of 6, and has been contributed to by over 300 people. You can donate here. NewPipe represents the best of our community. Thanks!

  1. Support your content creators with tools like Liberapay and Patreon! 

  2. At least in theory… basic SoundCloud support is working and more services are coming soon. 

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beslayed
203 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Psyops

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Also cats love you with an undying loyalty but don't know how to express it.


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beslayed
242 days ago
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Unfinished Business

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Tiny apartment. Working for other people all the time. Often cold and malicious. My God... this is where genies come from.


Today's News:
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beslayed
243 days ago
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Bird Scooter tried to censor my Boing Boing post with a legal threat that's so stupid, it's a whole new kind of wrong

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Last month, I published a post discussing the mountains of abandoned Bird Scooters piling up in city impound lots, and the rise of $30 Chinese conversion kits that let you buy a scooter at auction, swap out the motherboard, and turn it into a personal scooter, untethered from the Bird company.

In response, Bird sent us a legal threat of such absurdity that we are publishing it in full, along with a scorching response from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as a kind of celebration of truly world-class legal foolishness.

In Bird's legal threat, they imply that by linking to a forum in which the existence of conversion kits was under discussion, I had violated the anti-trafficking clauses of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 law that limits the dissemination of "circumvention tools" that bypass access controls for copyrighted works -- for example, tools that let you extract the video from an encrypted DVD.

First of all, talking about a place where people are talking about circumvention isn't circumvention or illegal “trafficking” in circumvention technology. The US Copyright Office -- which oversees the DMCA -- publishes a report every three years in which they extensively discuss the existence of circumvention methods. It's just not illegal to talk about circumvention technology.

But the hits keep on coming: the conversion kits that I wrote about aren't even circumvention devices. The DMCA prohibits bypassing technological measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works, and prohibits trafficking in those technologies or technologies that bypass technological measures that prevent infringement. The conversion kits don't bypass a locked bootloader to access or alter the firmware on a Bird Scooter. You get the kit, remove some screws, and put in the new logic board. If motherboard swaps were circumvention, then selling someone a screwdriver could be an offense punishable by a five year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine. Obviously, it’s not.

We've been doing this for decades, and every year, the number of baseless legal threats from corporations that don't like being criticized goes up. Thin-skinned corporations have always been with us, but the media has never been more vulnerable: cash strapped, underinsured, and easy to frighten.

We don't back down. We aren't rich and we aren't powerful, but we know our rights (attentive readers will know that I've pledged myself to killing Section 1201 of the DMCA -- you'd be hard pressed to find someone harder to bullshit about DMCA 1201). We've got good friends: the Electronic Frontier Foundation has our back.

Did you get a nastygram like this from Bird? Tell us about it. There's strength in numbers.

(Images: Grendelkhan, Вячеслав Евдокимов, CC-BY-SA)

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beslayed
283 days ago
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Election Day

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Today, I plead with you: go vote as much as you can. Not for Republicans.

Go vote. Go fucking vote right now.

 

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beslayed
347 days ago
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