Author Archives: pappp

Washing machine chime scandal shows how absurd YouTube copyright abuse can get

Source: Hacker News

Article note: We really _really_ need some symmetry of consequences for bogus copyright claims. Shame everything has turned into a racket, and the incumbent interests (and smaller parasites who benefit from it) will spend an unreasonable amount of resources maintaining their racket.
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Amazon execs may be personally liable for tricking users into Prime sign-ups

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Oooh, (at least potentially) holding executives responsible for constructive fraud that they created the conditions to make inevitable. Let's do a _whole lot_ of this.
Amazon execs may be personally liable for tricking users into Prime sign-ups

Enlarge (credit: 400tmax | iStock Unreleased)

Yesterday, Amazon failed to convince a US district court to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission's lawsuit targeting the tech giant's alleged history of tricking people into signing up for Prime.

The FTC has alleged that Amazon "tricked, coerced, and manipulated consumers into subscribing to Amazon Prime," a court order said, failing to get informed consent by designing a murky sign-up process. And to keep subscriptions high, Amazon also "did not provide simple mechanisms for these subscribers to cancel their Prime memberships," the FTC alleged. Instead, Amazon forced "consumers intending to cancel to navigate a four-page, six-click, fifteen-option cancellation process."

In their motion to dismiss, Amazon outright disputed these characterizations of its business, insisting its enrollment process was clear, its cancellation process was simple, and none of its executives could be held responsible for failing to fix these processes when "accidental" sign-ups became widespread. Amazon defended its current practices, arguing that some of its Prime disclosures "align with practices that the FTC encourages in its guidance documents."

Read 23 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Printing a Replacement Case for the ThinkPad 701c

Source: Hack a Day

Article note: That's _super_ neat. In the same vein as those MacEffects cases.

Even among ThinkPads, which are nearly universally loved by hardware hackers and Linux tinkerers alike, the 701c is a particularly rare and desirable machine. Best known for it’s “butterfly” slide out keyboard, the IBM-designed subnotebook from the mid-1990s has gained a following all its own, with active efforts to repair and restore any surviving specimens still out in the wild.

[polymatt] has already taken on a number of 701c restoration projects, but the recent release of a 3D printable case for the vintage laptop is arguably the most impressive to date. After spending an untold number of hours with an original case and a pair of calipers, the final design has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license — in other words, you’re free to print one to spruce up your 701c, but don’t run off a stack of them and start trying to move them on Etsy.

Originally, [polymatt] just wanted to 3D print a replacement for the laptop’s display bezel. But as often happens with these sort of projects, things just sort of started rolling and pretty soon the whole case was modeled. As you might imagine, the printed case has some slight differences between the original. For example, the printed version is designed to use heat set inserts. There’s also certain components, such as the hinges, which need to be sourced from an original case.

The most obvious use of these files is to perform repairs — if a piece of your 701c case has broken, you might be able to use one of these files to create a replacement. But it also offers some fascinating possibilities for future modifications. If you were planning on replacing the internals of the 701c with something more modern, these files would make an excellent starting point to create a customized case to better fit more modern components.

Whatever you end up doing with these files, don’t be shy — let us know.

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Refurb Weekend: Canon Cat

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Cats are such an interesting machine, especially because you can actually read the coherent philosophy behind them in Raskin's The Humane Interface. As much as it'd be fun to have one, they're rare and eyewateringly expensive, and the MAME core is pretty good, it's an interesting experience just to play with the software. They are very much an artifact from an alternate timeline, and it's good for your brain to experience one of those every now and then.
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After Learning Her TA Would Be Paid More Than She Was, This Lecturer Quit

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Hey, it's me for the last 5 years, designing and running classes while getting paid (effectively once tuition waiver and benefits are factored) less than the TAs. With me the excuse has been "Finishing PhD in another department" we'll see if it actually changes. No one has been stabbed, yet.
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ICQ will stop working from June 26

Source: Hacker News

Article note: I had no idea there were original-network ICQ servers still running.
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“Unacceptable”: Spotify bricking Car Thing devices in Dec. without refunds

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Gross. They were still in production in 2022. Sounds like someone has managed to hack the bootloader so at least a few of them will be hacker toys instead of ewaste.
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Cortile: auto-tiling manager that runs on top of your current window manager for X11

Source: OSNews

Article note: That's neat. There have been a few tiling assistants (mostly for X, occasionally for other major OSes) over the years, they never seem to quite persist. This one is charmingly generic because it relies on things that work in X that have intentionally been abdicated in Wayland, even though Wayland is largely by the people responsible for things like EWMH and ICCM and basic support for programmatic window control that make this kind of portable software possible.

Linux auto tiling manager with hot corner support for Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, Xfwm, KWin, Marco, Muffin, Mutter and other EWMH compliant window managers using the X11 window system. Therefore, this project provides dynamic tiling for XFCE, LXDE, LXQt, KDE and GNOME (Mate, Deepin, Cinnamon, Budgie) based desktop environments.

Simply keep your current window manager and install cortile on top of it. Once enabled, the tiling manager will handle resizing and positioning of existing and new windows.

↫ Cortile GitHub page

I’ve always been mildly interested in trying out a proper tiling window manager – of which are millions – but installing and setting up an entirely new environment always felt a bit like overkill for something I’m just curious about instead of actually intending to use it permanently. This seems like a great solution to this issue.

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Microsoft Recall takes constant screenshots of everything you do

Source: OSNews

Article note: Holy shit, this is the worst idea.

About a month ago we talked about the rumours, but now the feature’s officially announced: Microsoft is going to keep track of everything you do on your Windows machine by taking a constant stream of screenshots, and then making said screenshots searchable by using things like text and image recognition. As you might expect, this is a privacy nightmare, and the details and fine print accompanying this new feature do not exactly instill confidence.

First, the feature is a lot dumber than you might expect, as it doesn’t perform any “content moderation”, as Microsoft calls it.

Note that Recall does not perform content moderation. It will not hide information such as passwords or financial account numbers. That data may be in snapshots that are stored on your device, especially when sites do not follow standard internet protocols like cloaking password entry.

↫ Privacy and control over your Recall experience

Well, Microsoft says Recall doesn’t do any content moderation, but that’s actually a flat-out lie. Recall will not show any content with DRM that happens to be on your screen, and private browsing sessions in Chromium-based browsers won’t be shown either. You can also exclude specific applications and websites – filtering websites, however, is only available in Edge. In other words, managing this privacy nightmare is entirely left up to the user… Except for DRM content, of course. The mouse must be pleased, after all.

It also seems Microsoft is enabling this feature by default for at least some business users, as machines managed with Microsoft Intune will have Recall enabled by default, and administrators will need to use Group Policy to disable it. There is no way in hell any company serious about data security will want Recall enabled, so I guess this can be added to the pile of headaches administrators already have to deal with.

My biggest worry is the usual slippery slope this feature represents. How long before governments will legally require a feature like this on all our computers? The more Microsoft and other companies brag about how easy and low-power stuff like this is, the more governments – already on the warpath when it comes to things like encrypted messaging – will want their hands on this.

This is such a bad idea.

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CADmium: A Local-First CAD Program Built for the Browser

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Ooh, the CAD package _might_ turn out, the fact that it is built on Truck - a project which approaching a usable open source general-purpose boundary representation kernel which is not OpenCASCADE - makes it more of an interesting thing than most such projects. I had to do a design 3 times last week in FreeCAD because I made bad ordering/reference decisions, but I can never tell if it's because I'm dumb or because it's dumb.
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