Microblog

post-1621362863

And here's a gorgeous screenshot of khal in action, if you're still on the fence about #cli PIM tools. #commandline #pimutils #khal

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1621358358

Instead of installing and configuring a heavy GUI app for my calendar and todos, I've discovered the command-line based pimutils. Once vdirsyncer is configured, I can use khal and todoman. Very simple, powerful, portable, and lightweight. #opensource #commandline

pimutils
https://github.com/pimutils

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1619633215

Book recommendation: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Talk about discovering the right book at the right time! After ditching my smartphone, I needed answers: why was it bad? what do I do with my time? This book answers that and more.

Digital Minimalism
https://www.calnewport.com/books/digital-minimalism/

Wed 28 April 2021

post-1619195244

By a truly unbelievable coincidence [...] I saw a small package fall off a truck ahead of me. 😂

Turns out the software used to extract data from your phone when seized, has security vulnerabilities 😁 #signal #cellebrite

Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite...
https://signal.org/blog/cellebrite-vulnerabilities/

Fri 23 April 2021

post-1618908395

I made a music player using the awesome Pimoroni Pirate Audio HAT for #RaspberryPi. It plays any format including OGG and even videos, remembers where it left off, buttons work exactly how I like it because I wrote the code, and it has outstanding audio quality (24-bit DAC + headphone amp). The UI needs work tho! #maker #diy #audio

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618906775

Birds on a wire. They congregrate at this exact spot every morning just before sunrise, and disperse as soon as the sun rises. #birding

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618742136

I let out some of my frustrations in a ranty response to a Github feature request for my app. I love that a user was invested enough in my app to write a long and frustrated feature request.

Quote:

I sense your frustration in that the app is close to what you want and how you use it, but not quite there. Unfortunately the bad news is that I will probably stop supporting this app this year, despite this app being a labour of love and one I'm proud of. The above-mentioned sandbox leaks, combined with browser fingerprinting, supercookies, FLoC, and other hostile abuses of Web technology, have made me come to the conclusion that the Web is a lost cause for private browsing. Yes, WebApps offers only limited protection, and that protection will probably decrease every year. Something like Gemini (https://gemini.circumlunar.space/docs/faq.gmi) is probably the way forward for privacy minded geeks, and I for one am moving as much of my content creation/consumption there as possible.

Another factor is that Android is also increasingly hostile to the developer (you need at least 16Gb RAM to compile a 3Mb APK, every year devs are forced onto new APIs, Gradle builds break often, Google now wants your developer signing key, the tooling I had used is now deprecated, etc, etc, etc). Couple that with the spyware preloaded onto phones and the increasing difficulty of getting control over your device (e.g. my phone kills VLC after 30 mins and there's nothing I can do about it), and I'm ready to ditch Android and go back to good 'ol desktop computing (https://tobykurien.com/post-1618319359/).

WebApps …

Sun 18 April 2021

post-1618319359

Giving up the smartphone (currently in airplane mode in the drawer) for a dumb phone. I want my attention span back. I want control over my computer. I want to eschew mobile computing for good old fashioned desktop computing.

Nokia 105 Smartphone in airplane mode

Tue 13 April 2021

post-1617996201

TIL: trackers/spyware can bypass even third-party blocking and same-origin-policy by using CNAME cloaking. There's almost no hope of having privacy on the web, other than to resort to other protocols like Gemini.

Characterizing CNAME cloaking-based tracking
https://blog.apnic.net/2020/08/04/characterizing-cname-cloaking-based-tracking/

Fri 09 April 2021

post-1617689702

Not really about 5G, the article mentions ways that SAPS could get hold of your data. FYI My phone was confiscated and searched at OR Tambo without any warrant. #surveillance #privacy

5G opens the gates for surveillance on steroids
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-04-06-5g-opens-the-gates-for-surveillance-on-steroids/

Tue 06 April 2021

post-1617629938

Great video with a LOT of information for privacy-aware smartphone users. Sadly, even us hackers have lost control of our tech. #privacy #smartphone

Spyware-Free Phones in 2021: We're being Squeezed!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPrugkYJpO8

Mon 05 April 2021

post-1617548651

Photos from a recent #hike near Hartebeespoort dam

Sun 04 April 2021

post-1617548413

I was recently treated to a visit from an African Grey Hornbill. Right on my doorstep!

#birding

Sun 04 April 2021

post-1615442746

A #loadshedding solution I've been playing with: Blue Nova 280Wh LFP battery + 300W inverter. Runs my laptop for over 6 hours, charges with standard car battery charger, over 10 years of cycle life, weighs less than 3kg, costs under R3000.

Thu 11 March 2021

post-1615292906

WebApps is my #OpenSource #Android app I am most proud of. Many years in the making, it allows you to save websites as apps, with privacy-enhancing features similar to uMatrix.

WebApps sandboxed browser https://github.com/tobykurien/webapps

Tue 09 March 2021

post-1615013573

Analysis of how Google's FLoC can hurt users.

"FLoC is meant to be a new way to make your browser do the profiling that third-party trackers used to do themselves"

Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/03/googles-floc-terrible-idea

Sat 06 March 2021

post-1614871435

Not super proud of this, but when it's a choice between tossing out an old tablet because of a broken USB charging port, or an ugly fix to save it, I'll do the ugly fix.

#MakersGonnaFix #diy

Thu 04 March 2021

post-1614673444

This article explains why a few kilobytes of macOS updates ends up as gigabytes of downloads and 45 minutes of updating.

Users are losing out against Big Sur’s sealed System
https://eclecticlight.co/2021/02/28/last-week-on-my-mac-users-are-losing-out-against-big-surs-sealed-system/

Tue 02 March 2021

post-1614500979

'People often ask: “What’s the next Covid?” An attack on our digital infrastructure is a leading candidate.' and other interesting insights in this great read.

Yuval Noah Harari: Lessons from a year of Covid
https://www.ft.com/content/f1b30f2c-84aa-4595-84f2-7816796d6841

Sun 28 February 2021

post-1613485275

I have added a section to my #gemini capsule

gemini://tobykurien.com

for aggregating what people are saying about Gemini, e.g. tweets, toots, and now also the Gemini mailing list, where most of the announcements and spec discussions take place. You can now browse this on Gemini itself!

Gemini mailing list archive on Gemini
gemini://tobykurien.com/cgi-bin/mailing_list.py

Tue 16 February 2021