petrichor's recent activity

  1. Comment on Who's on the fediverse? in ~talk

    petrichor
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    For those on the Fediverse, how did you populate your "feed" with an initial layer of content? When I last tried it out I didn't quite know what to do - I can't follow the famous people people I...

    For those on the Fediverse, how did you populate your "feed" with an initial layer of content? When I last tried it out I didn't quite know what to do - I can't follow the famous people people I respect from Twitter, no?

    Having to define myself behind an instance right off the bat also felt like a big barrier to entry for me, and I found myself wanting for more small, general-purpose instances. Maybe microblogging's just not my thing.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Discord bans the r/WallStreetBets server in ~tech

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    What wild timing. From what I heard, they were being brigaded so fast that AutoModerator started skipping over posts.

    What wild timing. From what I heard, they were being brigaded so fast that AutoModerator started skipping over posts.

    15 votes
  3. Comment on The battle inside Signal - The fast-growing encrypted messaging app is developing features that would make it more vulnerable to abuse. Current and former employees are sounding the alarm. in ~tech

    petrichor
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I disagree. A messaging app is a messaging app whether it facilitates one-on-one conversations or group communication. If you can't see or extrapolate user content, you shouldn't need a content...

    The concern these employees have, as I read it, is that Signal is expanding beyond that original "just an extremely secure messaging app" goal, but retaining their original "technology is apolitical and we don't have to take a stand about anything" mindset.

    I disagree. A messaging app is a messaging app whether it facilitates one-on-one conversations or group communication. If you can't see or extrapolate user content, you shouldn't need a content policy.

    Usernames implemented in this way will need to be publicly viewable and not end-to-end encrypted. Say Alice Smith is a journalist, and wants people to be able to message her using @AliceSmith instead of needing a phone number. She goes to register... and finds the name is already taken.

    I didn't touch on it above to be succinct, but all the talk of "usernames" within the article is baseless speculation. Signal has not made any indications of going this route and it's very unlikely that they will.

    A phone number currently serves two purposes in Signal:

    1. to act as a semi-unique identifier, which when coupled with a passphrase, forms your Signal Profile (which is private and encrypted),
    2. and as a form of identity to initially connect to others.

    Whatever replacement system Signal implements with is unlikely to depend on the former to solve the latter. A common solution is to require you to verify a friend's identity through other means of communication or by a QR code, like how Element / Matrix currently cross-signs devices.

    Similarly, am I allowed to register "HeilHitler1488" as my username and go around spamming "HeilHitler1488 would like to message you" requests to everyone I can?

    Sure. You'll find you can already do that by setting your display name, if you so choose. But "everyone you can" is limited - it's not like there's some public directory of Signal Profiles.

    Edit: To elaborate on this, you currently supply a phone number to Signal like you're going to text somebody. Signal grabs this, hashes it, finds the account associated with the hash, and starts up a conversation. The only way for, say, a Tildes member to contact me is through a mutual contact or by asking me for my number.

    The entire history of trolling on the internet shows that any system that can be abused by trolls will be abused by trolls. I don't think it's responsible to say "we're building this system, and we'll put it out there and then see if it gets any abuse before we think about how we want to deal with the abuse".

    I think that's a perfectly responsible approach. What kind of abuse are you expecting?

    5 votes
  4. Comment on What games have you played the "wrong" way? in ~games

    petrichor
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    I very infrequently catch Pokémon I don't plan to use on my team. There's just something about catching a Pokémon and leaving it in a box for the whole game that makes me feel bad.

    I very infrequently catch Pokémon I don't plan to use on my team.

    There's just something about catching a Pokémon and leaving it in a box for the whole game that makes me feel bad.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on The battle inside Signal - The fast-growing encrypted messaging app is developing features that would make it more vulnerable to abuse. Current and former employees are sounding the alarm. in ~tech

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    "Content policy" plays into this if Signal can identify what content is spread on their networks, at which point it becomes no different than, say, Instagram. They've generally been unable to...

    "Content policy" plays into this if Signal can identify what content is spread on their networks, at which point it becomes no different than, say, Instagram.

    They've generally been unable to identify this in the past due to end-to-end encryption working and metadata about who's connecting to who being kept to the absolute minimum[a]. But if they logged more, like who's connecting to who, the general content within the messages could be extrapolated without the actual messages themselves being leaked. That's where a "content policy" would come in.

    The article argues that this could be used to boot off Nazis. More likely than not, this would be used to boot off journalists, or identify whistleblowers.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on The battle inside Signal - The fast-growing encrypted messaging app is developing features that would make it more vulnerable to abuse. Current and former employees are sounding the alarm. in ~tech

    petrichor
    Link
    I don't think this article has much merit. An application built around encrypted messaging can not and should not have "enforcement mechanisms to identify and remove bad actors", because those...
    • Exemplary

    I don't think this article has much merit.

    An application built around encrypted messaging can not and should not have "enforcement mechanisms to identify and remove bad actors", because those will always be used to quash political dissent, full stop.

    It's a pretty straightforward tradeoff. The recent deluge of hit pieces against Signal, Telegram, and end-to-end encryption as a whole worries me; I've read three of them in the past week.

    15 votes
  7. Comment on Twitter announces Birdwatch, a community-based approach to misinformation in ~tech

    petrichor
    Link
    This might compete with Reddit's "Predictions" as the worst idea recent idea a social media site's had. Seems akin to be a repeat of what happened with Gab's Dissenter addon.

    This might compete with Reddit's "Predictions" as the worst idea recent idea a social media site's had.

    Seems akin to be a repeat of what happened with Gab's Dissenter addon.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on Putin's palace. History of world's largest bribe. [Eng sub] in ~misc

    petrichor
    Link
    Does this not show up in YouTube's search results for anyone else? I went looking for this earlier, but could only find the subtitle-less DW News version. Strange and worth scrutiny, unless...

    Does this not show up in YouTube's search results for anyone else? I went looking for this earlier, but could only find the subtitle-less DW News version. Strange and worth scrutiny, unless YouTube does some serious location-based partitioning.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on GameStop's stock has surged 1,500% in nine months after activist investors take board seats along with a massive short squeeze in ~finance

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    I do wonder how much control the moderators have over the subreddit. I don't understand that place. Gambling is addictive, I guess.

    I do wonder how much control the moderators have over the subreddit.

    I don't understand that place. Gambling is addictive, I guess.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on Rethinking votes in ~tildes

    petrichor
    Link
    This is how I feel. Seeing votes on my comments gives me an understanding of the level of conversation Tildes is looking for. The "dopamine hit" also makes me put more effort into my comments....

    I know that voting provides value to Tildes as a social platform; it acts almost like a social currency; you know that if you have a lot of votes, people appreciate what you have to say. That provides incentive for people to write more comments and participate with the community.

    This is how I feel. Seeing votes on my comments gives me an understanding of the level of conversation Tildes is looking for. The "dopamine hit" also makes me put more effort into my comments.

    Voting is addictive. I'm sure most of us are familiar with the process of clicking on our usernames to see how many votes our last few comments have gathered. We do this because it's a dopamine hit; they act like tiny digital love letters telling us how awesome we are.

    This is true. I'm not so sure if it's a negative effect, though.

    Voting is a measurement of popularity. Those love letters aren't actually how good you are, they measure how popular your ideas are. In other words, votes encourage group-think and creates an echo chamber that will prevent you from taking competing ideas seriously.

    I disagree with this. It is true to some degree - without anything else considered, a comment on a popular idea is going to get more votes than a comment of the same caliber spouting an unpopular idea. But from what I've seen on Tildes, vote score correlates far more strongly with the quality and depth of the comment.

    Because of number 2, we alienate people with other ideas and reduce the richness and quality of discussion on this platform. Also as a result of number 2, the information that gets put into those popular threads becomes the de facto truth - whether or not it's actually true. This can prevent us from seeing the "bigger picture" or from understanding problems others might have with how we think. The end result...

    I agree. This is probably the strongest argument against public vote scores.

    With that being said, I would like to hear back from everyone what they think we should do about voting. Should we go back to hiding vote totals again? Should we get rid of them entirely? Or maybe you think things are good as they are? Please let us know your reasoning.

    I'd be strongly against getting rid of votes as a whole. A label-based system isn't a replacement either. My suggestion would be the following, in order:

    • Wait half a year until the dust from 2020 settles down.
    • Try hiding vote scores publicly, again.
    • Randomize comment order on threads and hide public vote scores.
    4 votes
  11. Comment on Podcast: The rise and fall of Roe v. Wade in ~health

    petrichor
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Sounds like you're blocking part of their CDN, probably d3js.org.

    Sounds like you're blocking part of their CDN, probably d3js.org.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on TrackBiden: The first 100 days in ~news

    petrichor
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    He appears to be doing well so far, although a couple of those "Day One" goals haven't been enacted yet.

    President Biden has made concrete promises for his first 100 days. Here, we will track the fulfillment of those promises, and update it daily during the initial 100 days period.

    He appears to be doing well so far, although a couple of those "Day One" goals haven't been enacted yet.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Brave adds IPFS support in ~tech

    petrichor
    Link
    Fantastic. I hope this inspires the big two to seriously consider adding other protocols. The recommended IPFS Companion + go-ipfs setup does work well, though.

    Fantastic. I hope this inspires the big two to seriously consider adding other protocols.

    The recommended IPFS Companion + go-ipfs setup does work well, though.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What Parler saw during the attack on the Capitol: Curated videos, arranged on a timeline in ~news

    petrichor
    Link
    This is very good and reminds me of some of Forensic Architecture's analyses.

    This is very good and reminds me of some of Forensic Architecture's analyses.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Anti-science and alternate reality in the USA in ~talk

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    This hasn't gone away, by the way - it's just had to vie for attention with the latest "news" of vaccines causing autism and/or being a government mind-control plot (less so during the pandemic)...

    and a lot of people were worried about fluorinated water

    This hasn't gone away, by the way - it's just had to vie for attention with the latest "news" of vaccines causing autism and/or being a government mind-control plot (less so during the pandemic) and homeopathic remedies / anti-viral MLM essential oils (more so during the pandemic).

    5 votes
  16. Comment on 400,000: The invisible deaths of Covid-19 in ~health.coronavirus

    petrichor
    Link
    One month and three days ago, NPR posted the following article: How Do We Grieve 300,000 Lives Lost?

    One month and three days ago, NPR posted the following article: How Do We Grieve 300,000 Lives Lost?

    More than 300,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States.

    It is the latest sign of a generational tragedy — one still unfolding in every corner of the country — that leaves in its wake an expanse of grief that cannot be captured in a string of statistics.

    "[The death toll] should be absolutely stunning," Spencer says. "At what point do we wake up and say, this can't be normalized?"

    And yet the most deadly days of the pandemic are still to come.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Biden indicates plans to cancel Keystone XL pipeline permit on first day in office, sources confirm in ~enviro

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    That's not a contradiction at all. Single issue groups often draw those who know little about a topic to them.

    While I happily support the environment, I find I often don't support environmentalists. It's a strange contradiction.

    That's not a contradiction at all. Single issue groups often draw those who know little about a topic to them.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Alexei Navalny: Poisoned Russian opposition leader held after flying home in ~news

    petrichor
    Link
    The recent trend of illegal arrests and under-the-radar disappearances of big-name individuals in the East (and West, with Assange) is terrifying to me, especially when paired with what's been...

    The recent trend of illegal arrests and under-the-radar disappearances of big-name individuals in the East (and West, with Assange) is terrifying to me, especially when paired with what's been happening to free speech, abhorrent as it can be, by major Western media corporations. I fear that Russia / China and similar dictatorships are and are going to use the current political disarray of the US as justification for becoming even more authoritarian.

    Navalny's comments on US affairs a few days ago, and the contrast with what's happening in Russia right now, has been stuck in my head for a while.

    “I think that the ban of Donald Trump on Twitter is an unacceptable act of censorship,” Navalny said. “Of course, during his time in the office, Trump has been writing and saying very irresponsible things. And paid for it by not getting re-elected for a second term.”

    “The election is a straightforward and competitive process. You can participate in it, you can appeal against the results, they’re being monitored by millions of people. The ban on Twitter is a decision of people we don’t know in accordance with a procedure we don’t know,” he continued.

    But maybe I'm overreacting.

    8 votes
  19. Comment on What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use? in ~comp

    petrichor
    Link Parent
    Linux distributions don't have a lot of exclusive pieces of software. For example, the entire Elementary OS application and desktop suite is available in the Arch Linux repositories. If I...

    Linux distributions don't have a lot of exclusive pieces of software. For example, the entire Elementary OS application and desktop suite is available in the Arch Linux repositories. If I installed those and copied over some default settings (which are almost always in ~/.config/), I would have a functionally identical setup to Elementary OS. Same goes for Debian.

    What does vary and are typically exclusive are the more fundamental pieces of a full operating system - mostly the package manager (mentioned above) and the process manager (mentioned elsewhere; systemd, openrc, runit). Neither of these affect day-to-day usage - the former only ever needs to be interacted with when installing new software or updating your system, and the latter is designed to operate entirely autonomously in the background.

    7 votes