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    1. A progress update on LinkLonk - a trust based news aggregator

      Hey everyone, I launched my little project LinkLonk here on Tildes back in December and wanted to tell you how it has been going and get your feedback/suggestions. New changes since the launch:...

      Hey everyone,

      I launched my little project LinkLonk here on Tildes back in December and wanted to tell you how it has been going and get your feedback/suggestions.

      New changes since the launch:

      • The temporary accounts now automatically get deleted after 30 days of inactivity. I didn't have the deletion logic at the time of the launch, but had it implemented about 30 days after launch. Automatic account deletion is quite destructive - removes the account from the database (thank goodness for foreign keys and cascade deletes) and from Firebase Authentication. I'm happy that there were nobugs when I ran it the first time.
      • In addition to submitting external links you can now create text posts. The posts are Markdown-formatted (similar to Tildes). One novel thing is that you can post "anonymously". The database has a record of who the author is so the author can delete/edit their post, it's just the name is not show next to the post.
      • Comments - each item has a comment section. The comments are ranked based on how much you trust the people who upvoted each comment (as opposed to being pure popularity). This is the same ranking system that is used to rank the "For you" page, but now applied to comments.
        • Unlike Tildes, the comments have a downvote button. The downvote does not bury the comment for everyone else. Instead, it makes your trust in upvotes of people who upvoted that comment go lower. So the downvote button effects what you see, not what others see. It is much harder to abuse that button that way. For that reason I feel much more comfortable putting it there. However, there is a second order effect. If you downvote a comment that someone else already downvoted - then you will trust the downvotes of that person. When they downvote some other comment - then it will rank lower for you. In a sense they earn your trust to moderate content for you by identifying comments you don't want to see.

      In terms of users, there have been 260 user records created (some from my shameless plug comments on HackerNews). Of those, ~45 rated something - excluding those that were temporary accounts and were deleted. And I think we have 2 regularly active users (excluding myself). In my mind I had 10 as the number of active users that I was hoping to get by the end of 2021. At this rate we may reach it.

      I was pleasantly surprised that there have been no misbehaving users. I didn't need to remove any content even once. This lead me to constantly postpone the implementation of a content reporting system. I hope it stays this way for a long time.

      The whole idea of a trust based recommendation system is based on having someone to trust. Right now it is the RSS feeds that are generating most of the content recommendations for the active users. But ideally it would be mostly users recommending content to users. I have two priorities for the near future:

      • Make the "single-player" experience better so the active users find value already. As an example, I added full-text search through items you liked
      • Find more users to improve the "multi-player" experience. One option is to submit a "Show HN:" post on HackerNews. But you can only do it once and I'm not sure I'm ready to use that shot yet.

      What do you think I should do next on these two fronts?

      If you would like to give LinkLonk a try register with code "tildes" at https://linklonk.com/register. Feel free to comment on this post: https://linklonk.com/item/6347369602224750592

      17 votes
    2. What, precisely, is a co-maintainer and do you believe I could use one?

      My frustration level has been significantly lowered thanks to a private exchange with @Adys. They are the one that suggested a co-maintainer for me with AskBibleScholars.com. I'm not, exactly,...

      My frustration level has been significantly lowered thanks to a private exchange with @Adys. They are the one that suggested a co-maintainer for me with AskBibleScholars.com.

      I'm not, exactly, sure what a co-maintainer is or if I need one. What do you think? Bonus question: how would I go about finding one?

      5 votes
    3. I am becoming increasingly frustrated and beating my self up over this damn website. Let's start with something simple.

      I need to stew about the real issue for a few more days...processing my emotions around this is tough right now. However, to help break the ice and possibly get me out of my mental funk, I have a...

      I need to stew about the real issue for a few more days...processing my emotions around this is tough right now.

      However, to help break the ice and possibly get me out of my mental funk, I have a question.

      Is there, really, any need to have a 'robots.txt' file in this day and age? I just have this gnawing feeling that search engines just don't give a shit.

      What do you think?

      8 votes
    4. Ubuntu sends http requests to Google cloud, here’s a fix

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default: network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to...

      Ubuntu has this package installed by default:
      network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu

      It's only purpose is to provide settings for NetworkManager to send requests to connectivity-check.ubuntu.com , and based on the result (AFAIK) detect redirection by captive portals and open an ISP's page (think public WiFi, or hotel rooms, where you need to authorize to access the net).

      Well, connectivity-check.ubuntu.com is hosted on Google cloud (you can check that by running:

      dig connectivity-check.ubuntu.com
      whois [the IP from previous query]
      

      ), so by default Ubuntu sends requests to a Google cloud page.
      I don't say Google counts daily active Ubuntu users (because many of those have the same IP), or that Google actively logs and analyzes that data. But some of you guys may not like that behavior.

      So what's the fix?

      Purge the package

      sudo apt purge network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu
      

      If you do need a captive portal detection, create your own config file to query some HTTP (not HTTPS) page of your choice, in the example below I have a Debian page used for the same purpose. Use your favorite text editor to create and edit /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/90-connectivity-custom.conf :

      [connectivity]
      uri=http://network-test.debian.org/nm
      

      Restart NetworkManager

      sudo systemctl restart NetworkManager
      

      If you run an Ubuntu derivative, please report if you have network-manager-config-connectivity-ubuntu installed in the comments.

      11 votes
    5. How could I deal with bad actors on my web site?

      To be clear, let's say there's a particular person who keeps coming back to the site and registering other accounts after I've deleted their first account. I guess this would be similar to how...

      To be clear, let's say there's a particular person who keeps coming back to the site and registering other accounts after I've deleted their first account. I guess this would be similar to how (which I have no clue about the specifics) Reddit deals with ban evasions.

      My site has a Django administrative back end but I'm not seeing anything there that could deal with this sort of problem.

      Are there any tools out there that I could implement?

      14 votes