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In there really is no way to have box select (dragging a rectangle to select objects) behave such that a partial intersection of the selection rectangle with the object('s vertices) includes it in the selection, is that right?

(Background: I always struggle with inkscape's box select behavior, but for years thought there is probably a toggle somewhere and I will look it up someday when I'm not lazy, and now someday has come and it's beginning to dawn on me that maybe there really is only the default box select behavior /o\)

China-focused dutch documentary filmmaker Ruben Terlou has released his fourth series "The World of the Chinese" in which he travels places where large communities of chinese reside abroad to make a living e.g. in huge chinese infrastructure projects sold to foreign countries. Super interesting and tells a lot about global development through very personal and touching stories.

It's presently available to stream on ARTE in french ( and german (, and possibly elsewhere that I don't know of. :) Warmly recommended!

I'm never quite sure whether the fact that I'm writing brute force algorithms to solve logical puzzles is a sign of me being smart or just a testament to cognitive stagnation and lazyness in me. xD

Somehow it always feels like me being impatient and reaching for crude measures instead of actually studying and learning something that helps me solve the problem in another domain?

idk ... ┐( ̄ヮ ̄)┌

(the one solved here is the eight queens puzzle btw.)

Simon Repp boosted

This DuckDuckGo audit by @purism is a sobering read:

Remember that DuckDuckGo is venture capital-funded which means that they must exit—either become a publicly-traded multi-billion-dollar company (sell to the public) or sell to one of the incumbents.

(What we need is a publicly-funded but independently run search engine. The EU could create such a thing… if they didn’t have they heads firmly entrenched up Silicon Valley’s bumhole.)

HT @koherecoWatchdog

Lately I find myself forced to dig deeper and deeper into the fabric of technical standardization (especially the awe-inspiring beast that is text - unicode). The weight of the complexity and implications one can find is nothing short of crushing and numbing. (+_+)

Our globalized software architecture is auto-pilot driving, overspeed, on a highway that is not even built yet, each passenger browsing through their own comicbook that paints possible destinations. Hardly anyone knows how they landed in their seat in the first place, some just woke up there and don't know life any other way, but in the end, that's how it is, that's where we are now, that's where we're going.

If there's even any meaningful conclusion to all of this, then I think for me it is a reinforced determination and conviction to as much as possible reject - or at least compartmentalize - complexity, to always ask "(why) do we need this?", "who benefits from this?" and to just generally advocate for the growing niche of small technology, even in the knowledge that in the global information architecture, "small" can only ever be a way of being and a direction, not an actual condition, because we're long past that point now.

Ethical & libre voice recognition tech question, very vague: Are there applications/libraries out there that fit the description "beginner-friendly, approachable, hackable"? Quality can be subpar! :D

I spent some 3 hours on research and my findings so far are that there are capable FOSS projects out there which address ML scientists (i.e. not me), and then there is which looks like a naive dystopic fantasy fulfillment with a pseudo-ethical facade (but I would love to be proven wrong about that).

TIL: "(Database) sharding" as a term was coined, or at least influenced, by Ultima Online's game lore.

"(...) Garriott's production team attempted to mitigate this [game balance] issue by separating the global player base into separate sessions, and rewriting part of Ultima Online's fictional connection to the end of Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, where the defeat of its antagonist Mondain also led to the creation of multiverse "shards"." (Wikipedia)

And a 7min video article where Garriott recounts it in detail:

Also there's now a --theming-widget cli option which injects a small overlay widget into all pages and with which one can interactively explore different color configurations for the visual theme - the configuration options are automatically generated as text and can be copied into the config file. (sorry for the weird video compression, wasn't meant to be an encoding glitch art video :D)

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Random faircamp progress excerpt: Added decoding (and thus waveform generation) for FLAC and WAV, experimented a bit with "waveform thumbnails" for the tracks of releases (might remain an experiment only), today added font customization (supplying custom files, default and custom system font stack options, etc.). I might make the system font stack the default, because environment, page load speed, non-latin scripts, etc., but let's see, in general I'm rather fond of bespoke typo choices and would rather eliminate other optional bytes on the page :)

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TIL: Take uncompressed audio with a sample peak not below -1.0 and not above 1.0, send it through an mp3 encoding/decoding round-trip, and it might come out with a sample peak below -1.0 and above 1.0 (!). This is (depending on encoding parameters) by design, and encoders expect decoders (or its consumers) to clamp/clip these peak overshoots themselves. Reality never ceases to surprise me with new intricacies where I didn't expect them. :)

Threw some other albums at my waveform computation logic, and I must say I'm beginning to like this idea a lot more °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖° The juxtaposed waveforms really add quite a unique graphical signature to the albums (even, or especially, with everything else removed), and somehow just seeing some of the curious waveforms totally triggers my curiosity to hear what's going on in those tracks. :D

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Been looking a bit into the topic of waveform representation in faircamp. I like the idea of integrating something that adds a varying graphical quality to all releases and tracks without forcing the artist to provide artwork, i.e. having the system generate something graphical from the audio itself, which also has functional value ... Delicate matter anyhow, not yet sure if there will be waveforms in the end. :)

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Skin cancer prevention now commodified as an app with subscription model, development and research naturally supported and co-financed by the state, hospitals, universities & patients' data - market you can take over for the profits now. Also tough luck if you're a little too un-white, sorry, no training data! Subscribe now and "be one step ahead in the race to beat skin cancer!" This is fine!

TIL: Unsplash is rotten to the core

In a bizarre blog post [1] from December 2019, the Unsplash executives/founders present their new ad strategy "Unsplash for Brands": Devoid of any sense of ethics, they neatly lay out how advertising on unsplash itself would be ineffective and annoying - after all these ads would be identifiable as such - so old school! Instead they present their "win-win-win" idea: Instead of providing unsplash users with a mostly unbiased photo selection from independent creators, they'll give them a biased selection (paid by megacorps) of photos from non-independent creators (made by megacorps) - all the same beautiful bland hipster photography unsplash is famous for, but now filled to the brim with BRAND PRODUCTS and BRAND VALUES.

Apparently without any sense of irony, without any self-awareness at all, they present a GIF that displays a full reversal of Apple's famous 1984 ad [2] to bluntly explain their vision: From here on out, all major news outlets on this planet will stop using diverse imagery to depict (e.g.) a laptop - for now they will, in complete uniformity, show that same brand image, portray those same brand values, and best of all, no one will be annoyed, no one will even realize, that the world has been eaten by ads.


Update on the announced self-hostable alternative: Got tons of work done on the foundation over the last days (architecture, reading, transcoding, caching, syncing, configuration, cli arguments, ...). Today was the first time I did some design exporation (first glimpses attached - these are already in-browser screenshots of the functional interface, not mockups :)). I'm developing out in the open at °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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On a quiet square just a few blocks from where I live there is a 24/7 museum - in a telephone booth. Even more curious is the subject on display: Bad weather! Behold, Vienna's "Schlechtwettermuseum", where it rains all day, all night. :) What a quaint and beautiful place.

Development Teaser: I'm working on a self-hostable alternative - implemented as a static site generator written in

As a small tech tradeoff and an experiment I'm integrating a soft paycurtain: Albums can display a price tag, (including a user interaction for setting a price for "name your price" albums), payment directions are given (Liberapay, SEPA, etc. as configured), but the payment itself is not technically enforced, i.e. the listener is asked to affirm by themselves - by clicking a button - that they have paid for what they want, and only then given the download link. I'm open to experiment further with this when I've released faircamp (current codename) to the public. I could also imagine an option for integrating a hard paywall based on entering a token that could e.g. be made exclusively available to your backers on an external platform (ghost, patreon, steady, paypal, ...).

Been fleshing out the first prototype all day today, and having a blast! ✌️

Research text investigating Bandcamp and Soundcloud as specifically "producer-oriented" audio platforms:

Bandcamp keeps surprising me: Founded by two guys out of Silicon Valley who sold their previous company to Yahoo, huge turnover, not open source, took in Venture Capital in the past, yet everything looks pretty dandy as far as I can see: Small (and judging by their team photo pretty diverse) team, no nonsense tech and business model, no trendchasing, no hype, no scandals, no nothing. To aptly quote their blog: "Maybe the future isn’t a dumpster fire after all."

Second finished piano adaptation is a bit of an oddity: The "Invincibility" theme from Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island [a.k.a. Sonic 3D Blast in the US], which was the first game I played on Sega Saturn (the only console I ever owned, maybe due to the disappointment that it got totally overshadowed by the PlayStation then).

The soundtrack of the game is by Richard Jacques and features a colorful mix of carribean beats, 90s techno, casino jazz, christmas tunes, orchestral disaster movie music ... I don't remember why I adapted this particular track, but I guess I was just lazy, it's a really short thing, and turned out more as an etude, as it's neither fun to play nor super appealing sonically speaking haha. On to the next piece! :D

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