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    1. What should a lay user know about Linux app packaging?

      I’m enough of a Linux lay user that I’m not even sure if I’m using the right terminology in the question (feel free to tweak it if needed!). Here’s what I mean: I’m running Pop!_OS currently, and...

      I’m enough of a Linux lay user that I’m not even sure if I’m using the right terminology in the question (feel free to tweak it if needed!). Here’s what I mean:

      I’m running Pop!_OS currently, and I have at least one app installed via each of the following methods:

      • Deb app from the distro repositories
      • Deb deb downloaded from program website
      • Flatpak app downloaded from Flathub
      • AppImage app downloaded from program website
      • Snap app downloaded from the Snap store

      As someone who doesn’t really know or necessarily even care to know what’s going on under the hood, these all pretty much work identically for me (with the exception of AppImage which doesn’t integrate into my regular programs menu, and the standalone Deb, which requires manual updating). In fact, for most of the programs on my computer I couldn’t tell you which one they’re sourced from. They all just run like they should.

      I’ve looked up differences between all of the options and usually end up finding conversations that go well above my head and get deep into technical details. My question here is basically aimed at cutting through a lot of that depth: what is the important, need-to-know information about these different methods of installing apps? Is there anything I should be aware of if all I’m really going to be doing is running them as a standard, non-power user? Also, if an app is available via multiple methods — is there one that is preferred/better/safer/superior/etc.?

      14 votes
    2. Do I need a new computer?

      Long time lurker, first time poster. I have a 7 year old lenovo y-40 running Ubuntu which has served me well, but I am starting to get concerned that it may be time to put it out to pasture....

      Long time lurker, first time poster. I have a 7 year old lenovo y-40 running Ubuntu which has served me well, but I am starting to get concerned that it may be time to put it out to pasture. Nothing has broken, but I know it's getting a little old.

      The way I see it, my options are to stick with this computer and upgrade the ram (currently 8gb, space for up to 16) and perhaps replace the hard drive (although replacing things makes me a little nervous, I have only replaced the battery thus far), or buy a new computer.

      I kinda hate buying things but will throw down for a decent piece of gear if I need it. I have a budget of ~1000 (but if it can be cheaper that's better), want to run linux and use my computer mostly for programming and internet-stuff. I am also unsure if I need to stick with a laptop-I almost never take my computer anywhere and have it hooked up to a monitor anyway. I mostly have been looking at getting a T14 or something from System76 but they all seem a little pricey. Thoughts?

      16 votes
    3. [SOLVED] Tech Support Request: Finding the biggest files of a specific type

      Hey Tildes! I need some help with a specific tech issue, and I'm sure someone here can help me do it way quicker than I would be able to on my own. General Request I'd like to be able to scan a...

      Hey Tildes!

      I need some help with a specific tech issue, and I'm sure someone here can help me do it way quicker than I would be able to on my own.

      General Request

      I'd like to be able to scan a directory and find all of the largest files of a specific type (e.g. the largest .jpg files). I'm running Pop!_OS and I'm assuming there's some way to do this in the terminal, or alternately some utility I could use.

      More Specific Details

      I'm cleaning up my digital music library, and I realized in setting it up I made some errors by saving some very high res cover art. Many of my Bandcamp purchases come with a cover.jpg or cover.png file that is several megabytes large. I made the mistake of writing these into the files (adding, for some albums, an extra, say, 100 MB across all tracks). They also take a lot longer to load when I pull them up in my cloud music player. I'd like to be able to identify the albums with the largest cover.* files so that I can go in and replace the album art with a lower res version and gain back all that wasted space lost to unnecessary duplication.

      I could go folder by folder and take a look at the sizes of each, but I figure there's an easier way to surface the ones that need my attention. Everything I've looked at online so far has helped me figure out how to identify the biggest files in general, but all that will do is surface the actual audio files, when it's the cover art that needs the specific attention.

      Also, in case it's necessary information, the directory structure is Music/[artist]/[album]/cover.*

      Any help will be very appreciated!

      12 votes
    4. 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
    5. What do I need to know switching phones from Blackberry 10 to Android?

      Inspired by a similar thread @kfwyre posted a while ago. I've been given an Android phone for a work contract and I don't want to carry two devices, so I will likely migrate from my Blackberry Z10...

      Inspired by a similar thread @kfwyre posted a while ago.

      I've been given an Android phone for a work contract and I don't want to carry two devices, so I will likely migrate from my Blackberry Z10 soon. The BB10 OS (not to be confused with BBOS, which ran the Bolds, etc. of BB's heyday) was intuitive, useful, and wayyyyy better than most people who never used it would have expected, only being doomed by the app gap. I'd have considered buying another Blackberry this year if I hadn't been given this other phone. I have long been wary of Android due to both privacy concerns and UI/UX gripes. Having tooled around for a couple days already, I'm struck by how many simple things I apparently can't do out of the box, and the fact that there are so. many. ads. Even in the apps! I know I will root and de-Google the device as much as I can once I get a hang of the OS.

      So, I'm mainly looking for app recommendations, but general advice is appreciated as well. My use case is very functional - email, scheduling, messaging, browsing, navigation, weather, and calls. Preference given to FOSS and/or ad-free apps, but I'll pay up if it's really worth it. So far I've uninstalled a bunch of bloatware, installed Firefox, found SwiftKey to be the only half-decent replacement for Blackberry's terrific keyboard software, and the best free no-ad weather app looks to be a Norwegian one called Yr.

      9 votes
    6. How accurate are whois records?

      I attempted to purchase a domain this week without first using whois. The registrar's search function got stuck in an infinite load animation. I then checked the whois to find the domain was...

      I attempted to purchase a domain this week without first using whois. The registrar's search function got stuck in an infinite load animation. I then checked the whois to find the domain was registered about 4 hours prior by a different registrar. Bad luck I guess but I can't help feeling paranoid that this was a domain front run.

      My question is how much leeway is there for a registrar reporting the registration time?

      9 votes
    7. Switching from Mac to PC?

      I've always used Ubuntu. It has better privacy setting and I can have total control over the OS. However, due to my work, I use many programs that don't run in Ubuntu and if there's an...

      I've always used Ubuntu. It has better privacy setting and I can have total control over the OS. However, due to my work, I use many programs that don't run in Ubuntu and if there's an alternative, the cost of switching is too high. So in the end, I ended up using a mac more often than not.

      Mac is not the perfect alternative, but I have to say that I'm more productive with it. It runs smoothly. And of course, when it comes to laptops, macbooks are usually built to last.

      BUT, I'm tired of Apple's BS. There are so many things that bother me, but one of the things that really bothers me is the fact that I can't use an AMD graphics card because they no longer support openCL. I just don't want to be hooked up to their products. So I'm highly considering (1) selling my mac and buying a Razer (?) laptop, and (2) try Windows again.

      I'd love to know your thoughts:

      1. How bad is windows really? (Please let's be as objective as possible)

      2. Is there a way to run Windows "privately"? (I've heard about windows "Flavours", but I'm concerned about their security)

      3. Any laptop recommendations? I don't mind if it's expensive, but I want it to last. Ideally, I want it to be as powerful as a desktop. (Upgradeable up to 64gb RAM, 8 or 16gb GPU and a powerful processor.)

      Please let me know your thoughts, and share any information you think it's useful.

      14 votes
    8. How to deal with a stupid email situation?

      My spouse and I own a condo. The property management company that the home owners' association hired is generally mediocre (which is a huge step up from the usual scenario where most are actively...

      My spouse and I own a condo. The property management company that the home owners' association hired is generally mediocre (which is a huge step up from the usual scenario where most are actively awful). They do a reasonably good job of keeping us informed, but they way they do it is hilariously bad. Every email they send is sent as a .jpg and a .docx file with no actual text in the message. My email client renders it and I can read it, but it makes all of their emails unsearchable, and it makes filtering beyond the basic "emails containing address x" impossible.

      I've asked them personally several times both electronically and in writing to please stop sending such correspondence and just send a regular email. (I honestly don't care whether it's plain text or HTML, just so long as it's searchable and filterable.) But it's so far been to no avail. I brought it up at the last HOA meeting and they agreed to also include their messages as text in the body of the email, but they don't. If I'm really lucky they'll have one or two sentences in text, but the rest is a .jpg and a .docx (or .pdf) of the actual body of the message. I've tried to explain that this is bad for people with disabilities and may even run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they didn't seem to care.

      It's not clear to me how one ends up sending emails in this form. I don't use any Microsoft products, which they probably can't comprehend, but I suspect this is some sort of Windows thing. Does anyone know how this happens and why? And more importantly, does anyone have suggestions for getting them to stop?

      14 votes
    9. What’s the right way to fix a squeaky controller trigger?

      My beloved Duke controller has developed an extremely squeaky right trigger. It sounds like a mouse or bird is in distress every time I play something. My dog is getting concerned. When I search...

      My beloved Duke controller has developed an extremely squeaky right trigger. It sounds like a mouse or bird is in distress every time I play something. My dog is getting concerned.

      When I search the issue online, seemingly everywhere says to spray WD-40 on it, with people immediately saying “don’t do that” without offering any real alternatives. Given WD-40’s toxicity, I’m not comfortable using that for something that’s going to be in my hands for a long period of time anyway (plus it’s even more potentially toxic to my dog).

      What’s the right, preferably non-toxic way to fix this issue?

      8 votes
    10. How do you manage data backups?

      Hi Tildes. Hopefully this thread will be both a good discussion and helpful to some of you, and hopefully me. As I'm guessing most of you know, data backups are quite important and it is best to...

      Hi Tildes. Hopefully this thread will be both a good discussion and helpful to some of you, and hopefully me.

      As I'm guessing most of you know, data backups are quite important and it is best to have at least one copy locally and another copy somewhere else. At the moment, I store photos on an external hard drive and Google Drive, photos from my phone on Google Photos with copies of important original quality files saved locally, and everything else on drives in my PC and a network drive on my Raspberry Pi. It's far from ideal, I've only got one copy of some files and three or four of some others so I've been looking for something better to keep everything organised, safe and in one place.

      I've tried the free trial of Backblaze, which seemed the obvious choice, but it had a few problems. I couldn't backup my Pi's network share, and in general it's a bit clunky and difficult to use. It is marketed as an easy solution to backing up data, but in doing this it just makes everything more difficult, at least for me - I know what I want backed up, and I would prefer to select it manually, but by opting in everything for backup by default you have to spend ages excluding the folders you don't want saved, one-by-one, in a UI that is difficult to use and often unclear. Sometimes the exclusions list just doesn't work - the Program Files folders are meant to be excluded by default and they were listed under exclusions but were backing up anyway. For me it found over 200,000 files, and because they were all so small it barely managed to backup 100MB in three hours. (Not that I know where the files come from because they aren't listed in the Windows app in any vaguely comprehensible way.)

      So I need to find something else, and I was hoping someone here would have some recommendations. Personally I need it to:

      • Be affordable and easy to setup and use
      • Backup external and network drives to the cloud (physically keeping another drive somewhere else isn't an option for me)
      • Be trustworthy and have strong commitments to security and privacy
      • Work well for my use case: preferably automatic from Windows

      Looking forward to any comments or recommendations. Thanks!

      23 votes
    11. Homeserver, hosted server, domains and stuff. What do you do, what should I do?

      I'm having a "server" (very cheap, very old office pc) in my house I use together with dynamic dns. But it's not really stable, (needs regular restarts and dyndns is not really gold either) and as...

      I'm having a "server" (very cheap, very old office pc) in my house I use together with dynamic dns. But it's not really stable, (needs regular restarts and dyndns is not really gold either) and as I want to offer family acces to nextcloud and myabe plex? any other ideas? and all the other nice stuff the free software world has to offer, this is not working well enough to not make them flee back to google + apple and stay there till eternity!

      the other thing is, i got used to ssh and stuff over the last years and want to improve my skills and learn.

      I know these two dont really go well hand in hand :-(

      I actually have a decent up and down speed at my home so an upgrade for my existing system is thinkable but dyndns is just a PITA and i'd like having my own domain. do these work with changing ips? because with the prices they ask here for staric ips I can just rent a server in a center somewhere.

      what do you do to self host, how do you do it and what would be your advise for me?

      19 votes
    12. I'm thinking of getting a password manager. How does it work and any advice on transitioning to one?

      The reason why is to make more accounts for reddit, YouTube (one for entertainment and Portuguese content each) news sites where signing up is an alternative to pass a paywall and other sites with...

      The reason why is to make more accounts for reddit, YouTube (one for entertainment and Portuguese content each) news sites where signing up is an alternative to pass a paywall and other sites with comment sections. Bad euphemism bro. Also some sense of "praxis" in order to gain privacy.

      Edit: And also getting anxious at the idea of remembering all my passwords, and putting them in a note in my old phone, which I am not bringing into my new phone and want to use this to delete.

      According to these two articles, I can save my old passwords I had before and maybe even still make new ones after, and put them in a folder behind one true (master) password, which is the one you will truly care about, and they will be saved in a way in which the managing company won't know your password?

      There's also figuring out which provider to use (and probably a similar post for alt-mail providers.) This is overwhelmingly for mobile (Android). No real space constraints for apps, only price, because I'm not working age.

      27 votes
    13. [SOLVED] A background process using a significant amount of CPU power stops immediately when I open task manager. Is there a way to identify what's doing thing?

      It started a day or two ago. Three threads (I think?) jump from nearly 0% to 100% and go back as soon as I open task manager to try figure out what's causing it. My first thought was a virus or...

      It started a day or two ago. Three threads (I think?) jump from nearly 0% to 100% and go back as soon as I open task manager to try figure out what's causing it. My first thought was a virus or bitcoin mining trying to hide itself (though isn't that done on GPU's?), but Windows' Defender came up empty handed.

      I know certain OS apps, like automatic VIRUS scans behave similarly, stopping when you click or type, but this culprit seems to only react to opening the task manager. It also doesn't start again until task manager has been closed for a while.

      17 votes
    14. What do I need to know about switching from Android to iOS for my phone?

      I've been all in on Android for quite a while, but I'll be making the jump to an iPhone with the next phone I get, which will end up being soon, as my current one is having some hardware issues....

      I've been all in on Android for quite a while, but I'll be making the jump to an iPhone with the next phone I get, which will end up being soon, as my current one is having some hardware issues.

      What do I need to know about crossing over?

      In particular, I would like to leave my Google account behind and NOT have it logged into my new phone. I use Fastmail for my email and contacts -- will I be able to sync my contacts easily to an iOS device from it, or will I have to import them into iCloud?

      I'm also open to app recommendations for basic stuff -- preferably ones that are open-source and privacy-friendly. On Android I run a lot of stuff out of F-Droid, but I know iOS is a lot more locked down, so I'm interested to know what the best options are in their store (I have no interest in jailbreaking mg device).

      Also, are there any huge disadvantages I should be aware of regarding older models? The new line just came out, which means the older ones are cheaper, and I'm a casual enough phone user that I should be fine with older hardware, but I want to know if there are any big tradeoffs.

      Finally, if there are any cool iOS tips or tricks I should know about, let me know!

      16 votes
    15. Is there a video downloader extension/program that still works?

      In the past I used whatever Chrome extension I found, then moved on to youtube-DLG because Google Play store doesn't allow extensions that let you download off of Youtube. Now neither is working,...

      In the past I used whatever Chrome extension I found, then moved on to youtube-DLG because Google Play store doesn't allow extensions that let you download off of Youtube. Now neither is working, on and off Youtube. I'd wager websites are trying to actively fight people downloading videos, even though (I assume) the data is likely identical to what we're viewing in the browser.

      9 votes
    16. Did youtube just make it so you can't watch embedded videos that have an age restriction without logging in?

      I just try to navigate the internet with as little "logging in" as possible. Youtube always had an age restriction that forced you to confirm your age by logging in but it could be bypassed when...

      I just try to navigate the internet with as little "logging in" as possible. Youtube always had an age restriction that forced you to confirm your age by logging in but it could be bypassed when watching the video embedded on another site. I just tried for the Hitman 3 trailer on /r/games and it didn't let me. That's the first time this happened. Could it be just some adblock thingy? Or are they no longer letting you watch restricted content without logging in?

      10 votes
    17. Developer Resume Review

      I am currently a junior in college and in search of summer internship for next year. I am not seeing much response and starting to wonder if it is an issue with my resume. Is there any chance one...

      I am currently a junior in college and in search of summer internship for next year. I am not seeing much response and starting to wonder if it is an issue with my resume. Is there any chance one of you would be willing to take a look at it? Open to any and all feedback.

      Thank you for your time.

      Resume

      12 votes
    18. [SOLVED] US websites no longer work, at all, in EU (?)

      So, I had an issue with the radionouspace.net website, referenced here. Since then, I've started hitting the exact same issue on a few other sites ... webpage never resolves, the browser just...

      So, I had an issue with the radionouspace.net website, referenced here. Since then, I've started hitting the exact same issue on a few other sites ... webpage never resolves, the browser just spins its wheels until it times out.

      I went thru and systematically shut down all of my add-ons, no joy. Tried other browsers, does not work anywhere ... except, oddly, sometimes, in TOR. On a hunch, I fired up my VPN service and tried to connect thru a US-based VPN server ... and there it is.

      I have now confirmed, multiple websites (I'm assuming these are all US-based -- have not checked) no longer resolve for me, here in Hungary. Can anyone, anywhere else in the EU, confirm this?

      I'm guessing this is the US response to the latest GDPR ruling against data-sharing across the Pond, but I'm on a "news fast" and haven't been keeping up-to-date ... anyone care to fill me in -- the "in a nutshell" version?


      Update: Definitely something local-ish, probably specific to my ISP. VPN thru Hungary works, non-VPN thru Hungary does not.

      10 votes
    19. How could I tailor my Reddit experience better?

      I've been using Reddit for about 4 years. I'm mostly using it for academic subs that I've founded, moderate, and interact with. In all this time I never took the time to figure out how to tailor...

      I've been using Reddit for about 4 years. I'm mostly using it for academic subs that I've founded, moderate, and interact with.

      In all this time I never took the time to figure out how to tailor Reddit the way in which I'd like to use it.

      Basically, I just want to have a feed that shows me the posts/activity in the subs that I'm active in as explained above.

      What are your recommendations for setting this up?

      16 votes
    20. How can I reproduce my somewhat complicated Linux keymappings on Windows 10?

      I am stuck on Windows 10 for the time being, and I wish to make it function similarly to the arrangement I have on Linux, using xcape and xmodmap. This is what I need: Caps sends Escape on tap and...

      I am stuck on Windows 10 for the time being, and I wish to make it function similarly to the arrangement I have on Linux, using xcape and xmodmap. This is what I need:

      1. Caps sends Escape on tap and Control on hold
      2. Tab sends Tab on tap and Alt/Meta on hold
      3. Escape sends Caps (I rarely use this one).

      I find this setup extremely comfortable. Is there a way to achieve this on Windows (that a layman like myself could do?).

      7 votes
    21. Tele-health privacy concerns are a barrier to therapy

      Here in the States, you hear about your insurance company waiving co-pays for tele-health therapy visits in these “uncertain times,” but searching for providers confronts you with even more...

      Here in the States, you hear about your insurance company waiving co-pays for tele-health therapy visits in these “uncertain times,” but searching for providers confronts you with even more uncertainty. How do you evaluate their practices for safety and privacy? Every other practitioner subscribes to a different platform. Some, to my horror, use Zoom. Others have adopted a software suite to manage their entire practice. These therapists rely on the same company for scheduling appointment reminders, recording session notes, billing insurance, and running a video chat. When I have requested to connect via Signal, they express a preference for their platform, usually citing HIPAA compliance. One recommended a finding a provider who uses paper records as the only avenue open to me. But wasn’t there a time before companies like Spruce, SimplePractice, and TheraNest, where sensitive session notes were somehow distinct, less “networked” than today? How are therapists determining the privacy and security protections of their platform? How do I? Does anyone have experience with these companies?

      13 votes
    22. To the three people on Tildes using LineageOS: is it worth it?

      I've been considering trying to get LineageOS onto my Samsung A40 for a while now, mainly because I'm a sucker for anything FOSS and I don't like Google that much. The main reason I haven't gone...

      I've been considering trying to get LineageOS onto my Samsung A40 for a while now, mainly because I'm a sucker for anything FOSS and I don't like Google that much.

      The main reason I haven't gone through with that yet is because, well, I actually use my phone. I can't deal with it suddenly bricking itself and me having to go without for a couple of weeks. I don't really want to have to deal with warranty voiding either (although, it is actually almost out of warranty now). I also like being able to install the same apps from the play store that my friends do.

      So, is it possible to mitigate these qualms? And is the benefit that Lineage brings worth the trouble?

      26 votes
    23. Is high-fidelity audio a genuine product or unnecessary overkill?

      Note: if this topic is better served in ~music than ~tech feel free to move it! If I wanted to buy Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns, I have the following options: From Amazon 256 kbps VBR MP3...

      Note: if this topic is better served in ~music than ~tech feel free to move it!

      If I wanted to buy Linkin Park's A Thousand Suns, I have the following options:

      From Amazon

      • 256 kbps VBR MP3 ($11.49)

      From 7digital

      • 320 kbps MP3 + 256 kbps MP3 ($12.99) (I'm assuming it's 320 CBR/256 VBR)
      • 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC ($16.49)

      From HDTracks

      • 24-bit/48kHz FLAC ($19.98)

      From Qobuz, which appears to be a different mastering of the album:

      • "CD Quality" FLAC ($14.49)
      • 24-bit/48kHz FLAC ($16.49)
      • 24-bit/48kHz FLAC ($10.99 with subscription to their $250/year service)

      Does paying more for the higher fidelity actually matter? I suspect that this is just a form of price discrimination preying on my want to have an "objectively" better product, because I'm assuming there's a ceiling for audio quality that I can actually notice and the lowest encoding available here probably hits that. I also don't have any special listening hardware.

      I understand the value of FLAC as a lossless archival encoding (I used to rip all my CDs to FLAC for this purpose, and I've been downloading my Bandcamp purchases in FLAC all the same), but for albums I can't get through that service it appears that the format has a high premium put on it. Bandcamp lets me pay the same price no matter the format, but every other store seems to stratify out their offerings based on encoding alone. A Thousand Suns costs nearly double on HDTracks what it does on Amazon's MP3 store, for example, despite the fact that I'm getting the exact same music, just compressed in a different way.

      As such, is paying more for FLAC unnecessary? Is high-fidelity FLAC in particular (the 24-bit/48kHz options) snake oil?

      Furthermore, Qobuz seems to offer a different mastering of the album, which seems like it actually could be significant, but it's hard to know. Is this (and the various other "remasters" out there) a valid thing, or is it just a way to try to get me to pay more unnecessarily?

      (Note: I'm using this specific album simply because it was a good example I could find with lots of different stratified options -- I'm not interested in the particulars of this album specifically but more in the general idea of audio compression across all music).

      21 votes
    24. [SOLVED] Archiving a deceased loved one's Twitter timeline, including media

      Recently a loved one of a friend has died and they would like to archive their entire timeline (no retweets), including media they posted. I've looked around a little bit and the Twitter API only...

      Recently a loved one of a friend has died and they would like to archive their entire timeline (no retweets), including media they posted.

      I've looked around a little bit and the Twitter API only allows 3200 tweets to be exported. As this includes RTs, this goes back to about 2018, while the account was made in 2011, so it's missing about 90% of their tweets. Also, getting all the media isn't really possible.

      Do any of you know a way to accomplish this? Or, can anyone direct me to scripts that crawl the page and save every non-RT tweet + potential media? I'm not very tech-oriented but I can at least run python scripts.

      I should mention that I've so far checked out Allmytweets.net (returns RTs) and the Twitter archival project (or whatever it's called), which is a group of people that help in archiving accounts, but they haven't responded yet.

      13 votes
    25. Hackable/moddable electronics?

      I recently came across a cool video on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxj8JwdQ7Lk&feature=youtu.be - The guy added a 4g connector to his rc plane and I think some extra batteries and...

      I recently came across a cool video on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxj8JwdQ7Lk&feature=youtu.be - The guy added a 4g connector to his rc plane and I think some extra batteries and managed to fly to the next island over.

      I love stuff like this. Do you guys know any other current electronics that can be modded like this? Sadly it seems like most new consumer electronics come with their own small walled garden and often enough stuff just stops working once the seller goes bankrupt.

      Other things that come to mind are:
      Raspberry Pi
      Arduino
      ESP
      But do you guys know whole systems that are moddable like this?
      The Ryze Tello is a programmable drone, which is pretty cool as well.
      I also saw some people modding 3d printers to laser cutters

      7 votes
    26. Thinking about opening a web store, looking for advice

      I am mulling over starting a side business that would involve selling physical products. I would like to set up a web store for this, but want to keep the amount of web development I have to do to...

      I am mulling over starting a side business that would involve selling physical products. I would like to set up a web store for this, but want to keep the amount of web development I have to do to a minimum. I would also not like to invade my customers' and potential customers' privacy. Can anyone recommend a way to approach this? I'm a software developer, but don't do much web development and don't really want to do development for this project beyond just getting the site up and running. What options exist for setting up a simple web store?

      I've done a search and see things like Shopify. I've heard of them and get the impression they're reputable, but other items in my search seemed kind of scammy. Are there things I should look out for in this space?

      8 votes
    27. Is there a service where I can rent a Windows or macOS virtual machine?

      Hi, hope this is the right place for this question. I'd like to learn Autodesk Fusion 360, but all of my devices are running either Ubuntu or ChromeOS. I've tried to get F360 running on my ubuntu...

      Hi, hope this is the right place for this question. I'd like to learn Autodesk Fusion 360, but all of my devices are running either Ubuntu or ChromeOS. I've tried to get F360 running on my ubuntu desktop with both Wine and Lutris but I haven't had success. There is also a web application for F360 but it is feature limited.

      It seems like the only way to get this program running is to use a virtual machine, but I don't have much experience in this area. Do I need to buy a windows license and set up my own VM or is there a service where I can rent time on a preconfigured VM somewhere?

      Thanks for reading, hope to hear your suggestions.

      8 votes
    28. What are secure alternatives to slack, and what are your experiences with them?

      First, some context. The latest from the US justice department saying that they will be focusing on finding "ANTIFA leaders" is incredibly troubling for anyone involved in leftist groups. I...

      First, some context. The latest from the US justice department saying that they will be focusing on finding "ANTIFA leaders" is incredibly troubling for anyone involved in leftist groups. I foresee a lot of good activists, regardless of how far left they actually are, arrested on trumped up charges in order to squash opposition.

      Organizing is essential to resist fascism. This is made more difficult by the pandemic, as in person meetings bring a huge, almost unacceptable risk. As such, many orgs have been turning to platforms like Slack instead. Trouble is, Slack logs are not encrypted and I am certain that as a business based in the US Slack will not put up a fight to keep user data safe if the feds come calling.

      I'd like to collect a decent list of alternatives. Important factors include encryption, ownership, open source status, ease of use, federation, scalability, hosting, cross platform, and anything else you can think of.

      23 votes
    29. How do you design a Proof of Concept project for a new dev/test tool?

      Input wanted for an article. Let's say that your company is considering the purchase of an expensive new application to help in the company's software development. The demo looks great, and the...

      Input wanted for an article.

      Let's say that your company is considering the purchase of an expensive new application to help in the company's software development. The demo looks great, and the feature list makes it sound perfect for your needs. So your Management arranges for a proof of concept license to find out if the software is worth the hefty investment. The boss comes to you to ask you to be in charge of the PoC project.

      I'm aiming to write an article to help developers, devops, and testers determine if a given vendor's application meets the company's needs. The only assumption I'm making is that the software is expensive; if it's cheap, the easy answer is, "Buy a copy for a small team and see what they think." And I'm thinking in terms of development software rather than enterprise tools (e.g. cloud-based backup) though I suspect many of the practices are similar.

      Aside: Note that this project is beyond "Decide if we need such a thing." In this scenario, everyone agrees that purchasing a tool is a good idea, and they agree on the baseline requirements. The issue is whether this is the right software for the job.

      So, how do you go about it? I'm sure that it's more than "Get a copy and poke at it randomly." How did (or would) you go about designing a PoC project? If you've been involved in such a project in the past (particularly if the purchase wasn't ideal), what advice could someone have given you to help you make a better choice? I want to create a useful guide that applies to any "enterprise-class" purchase.

      For example: Do you recommend that the PoC period be based on time (N months) or workload (N transactions)? How do you decide who should be on the PoC team? What's involved in putting together a comprehensive list of requirements (e.g. integrates with OurFavoredDatabase, meets performance goals of X), creating a test suite that exercises what the software dev product does, and evaluating the results? ...and what am I not thinking of, that I should?

      7 votes
    30. Questions about graphics card failures

      TL;DR: How long should a graphics card last? What can I do to make them last longer? This is perhaps an odd question to ask, but I've been a console gamer for most of my life and have only been...

      TL;DR: How long should a graphics card last? What can I do to make them last longer?

      This is perhaps an odd question to ask, but I've been a console gamer for most of my life and have only been all-in on PC gaming for maybe 1-2 years and I think I may be missing something.

      So there has been about three times when I have spent money on a half-decent graphics card, and each time they have failed me. The first one was a genuine hardware failure, probably a memory failure judging from the artifacting. The second one failed for reasons I have been unable to figure out. It didn't appear to be overheating, but I was getting driver errors that suggested it were; reinstalling from scratch did nothing to fix it.

      The last, most current one is the one that bugs me the most. I'm getting the same problems; driver crashes just like overheating, except this one has better temperature monitoring and I can see that isn't happening.

      I previously thought that the reason why my graphics cards would always crap out on me was because those were cheaper cards from less reputable manufacturers, but this last one is really bugging me because it's relatively high end and from a reputable manufacturer - it's a Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700, complete with the giant AMD reference cooler. I'm getting it RMAed, but since I didn't keep the receipt I am still going to have to pay to fix it even though it should theoretically be under warranty.

      I've done a ton of searching to find out how I can possibly solve this myself, but I am frankly astounded by how little information the drivers give out on Windows. I'm seeing that the device is being reported as unavailable but nothing whatsoever as to why.

      To make matters worse, it seems like this isn't actually common for other people. Most people seem to be replacing their graphics card because they are obsolete, not because they physically fail.

      So basically what I am asking is, how long is a graphics card actually supposed to last for? Do I just have astonishingly bad luck?

      10 votes
    31. [SOLVED] How to cast internet videos to my Chromecast? (It's not as simple as it seems!)

      Recently, I've been posting here about all sorts of theatre that's available for streaming during the pandemic lockdown. Sounds like fun! But when I actually try to watch some of it... I'm having...

      Recently, I've been posting here about all sorts of theatre that's available for streaming during the pandemic lockdown. Sounds like fun! But when I actually try to watch some of it... I'm having technical problems.

      My Lenovo Yoga tablet won't cast from Chrome. At all. The option just doesn't exist in the Chrome browser on the tablet. The only way to cast anything is to open an app - but the videos I want to watch are on a webpage. In Chrome. Which doesn't have a casting option. Not helpful!

      So I go to my desktop computer. It can cast from Chrome to Chromecast. But the result is video only, because "casting tab audio is not supported on this device." I tried Googling that error message, but I ended up getting flummoxed. The Google Help pages don't even mention this error, and other tech blogs are too complex for me to understand.

      The Chromecast works fine. It accepts input (with sound) from other sources. It's just webpages (like YouTube.com and Vimeo.com) I'm having trouble with. I managed to watch one video last week, but I had to resort to installing the YouTube app to make it work. But not all the videos are on YouTube.

      Any ideas?

      7 votes
    32. Thoughts on the Phillips SHP9500 (and future upgrades)

      This past Black Friday, I purchased the highly acclaimed Phillips SHP9500, and I'm quickly becoming a fan. Open-back headphones are the opposite of in-ears, as you can hear yourself talking...

      This past Black Friday, I purchased the highly acclaimed Phillips SHP9500, and I'm quickly becoming a fan. Open-back headphones are the opposite of in-ears, as you can hear yourself talking clearly, even when there is audio playing. While I don't think the sound quality itself compares to my Audio Technica ATH-M40x's, it's a fair trade-off. I'm looking for possible upgrades to improve my experience, chiefly a microphone for voice chats (many of them due to covid). Please share your thoughts and experiences. I need to make choices soon.

      5 votes
    33. When I press the right trigger on my game controller, my system's audio crashes. Probably the weirdest bug I've seen yet -- anyone feel like helping?

      due to the looming pandemic forcing everyone to stay inside, I've recently decided to get back into video games. I did a fresh install of windows 10 the other day, and tried to play a few games...

      due to the looming pandemic forcing everyone to stay inside, I've recently decided to get back into video games. I did a fresh install of windows 10 the other day, and tried to play a few games with my controller. I found that whenever I press the right trigger on my controller, my computer's audio cuts out system-wide immediately and does not come back on until I restart.

      The controller is a wired Afterglow for Xbox 360 PL-3702.

      Windows 10, version 1903.

      I see two audio devices under Sound, Video and Game Controllers in Device Manager: a AMD High Definition Audio Device and a Realtek Audio device.

      I've tried updating drivers for my controller and audio controllers.

      I've reproduced the issue and collected logs of it following the steps here. If you know how to read these I'd be happy to send you the trace.

      Now, I've tried to look at the trace of this in both Windows Performance Analyzer and Windows Media eXperience Analyzer to try and get a better sense of what's causing this. I see a pretty clear event where a bunch of stuff shows up in the visualizer, but I don't know what any of the stack traces that show up mean. This did not occur on my previous install of Windows on the same computer so I suspect it's related to something with some new Windows "gaming" feature I didn't have before.

      I'm really at a loss as to where to go from here. It's both perfectly clear and completely mystifying. Any ideas?

      11 votes
    34. Changing e-mail and cleaning up my Internet presence

      I'm trying to clean up my internet presence and move away from at least Facebook and Google. I've come a long way with deleting my Facebook and it's now basically an empty shell for messaging....

      I'm trying to clean up my internet presence and move away from at least Facebook and Google. I've come a long way with deleting my Facebook and it's now basically an empty shell for messaging. I've installed Signal and will start the grooming process with my friends and family now. If you have some solid arguments for the change regular ol' folks can understand please share them with me because as we all know "privacy" just isn't enough.

      Next phase is the big one...Google or basically G-mail.

      1. Is there any way to get an complete overview of where you've used your e-mail for a service online?

      2. What e-mail would you recommend?
      2a. I'm OK with paying a bit for overall quality, security and equally important UX!
      2b. I don't use any other relevant Google products like Drive etc. It's just regular e-mail and sign in credentials for other services I basically need

      3. I use a Mac, iPhone and iCloud. Is iCloud a problem? IF this needs to change it HAS to be an "easy" switch and not like setting up a server for myself. Because it won't happen and I'm not skilled enough.

      I would very much appreciate your input :)

      EDIT: Thank you all for your thorough comments!

      22 votes
    35. What are the best practices and platforms for an online study group?

      This is something I tried before with a Discord group for studying Python, but it was a catastrophic failure. Lots of people showed interest, almost no one showed up at the designated time....

      This is something I tried before with a Discord group for studying Python, but it was a catastrophic failure. Lots of people showed interest, almost no one showed up at the designated time. Besides, even the one person hardly interacted.

      After that, I started creating an online book/tutorial for beginners (well, anyone that is more of a beginner than me :P), but it was hard to stay motivated by myself — the whole reason for the study group was precisely to avoid that.

      The topic is not defined yet (I'm thinking logic...), but I'm inclined to try it again. Streaming video and/or audio is a possibility, but not a requirement. I'd rather avoid it if possible.

      Any suggestions on how to make this work?

      6 votes
    36. Anyone have any experience with eSIMs?

      I have ordered a phone with an eSim this week and I have been reading a bit into it. As far as I know so far, you just have to download an app and you can just book some extra data as needed - it...

      I have ordered a phone with an eSim this week and I have been reading a bit into it.
      As far as I know so far, you just have to download an app and you can just book some extra data as needed - it seems especially cool because you can just book a local plan when you're abroad instead of getting a local sim card. Which can be more or less a hassle - 2019 I went to South Africa where it was pretty easy to get a sim card at the airport, 2018 I went to India, where it was a hassle.
      I guess for people in the US this is not a problem? Some of my friends have global contracts, and I had that too when I was there via googles project fi. We don't really have an equivalent in Germany

      I found the following pages in case anyone also wants to look into it
      https://esimdb.com/ - this is an overview page about different esims
      https://www.airalo.com/ - this is one specific offer that seems to be the cheapest for Germany, which is where I would try it, since I live here haha

      6 votes
    37. [SOLVED] Friend's computer is cutting power randomly

      So my friend has a computer she put together, and after replacing what feels like every single part on the rig, multiple trips to the repair shop, and calling a priest wrestling the demons out of...

      So my friend has a computer she put together, and after replacing what feels like every single part on the rig, multiple trips to the repair shop, and calling a priest wrestling the demons out of it, it is randomly cutting power and we think the replacement power supply might be just as busted as the last one. Are there decent odds of that being an issue, or could it be something that we are overlooking?

      EDIT: So, I had a car issue pop up and I won't be able to to take a look at at it tonight. Will download the tools you all mentioned to a jump drive and will keep you posted.

      Was there, stayed up the whole time. Really thinking it might be a bad power switch that stuck, so it would turn off randomly. Thanks for all your help.

      FINAL EDIT: So I narrowed it down to the Graphics Card and/or the Cooling System. Running the Heaven Benchmark on Extreme pretty reliably cleans it's clock, especially turning it off and then turning it on again. This happens on the latest Windows Updates, with latest Nvidia Drivers. (RTX 2080) Pulling the card and running the benchmark anyway causes the same issue, and this time it powered on and then back off in a loop. CPU-Z stress caused it to crash, so I'm assuming it's the cooler. Thanks again.

      11 votes
    38. How do you explain tech topics when your audience doesn't understand the details?

      Hive mind: What advice would you give to someone who has to give a presentation to a non-technical person, and it's important that the listener actually understand the details? How do you go about...

      Hive mind: What advice would you give to someone who has to give a presentation to a non-technical person, and it's important that the listener actually understand the details?

      How do you go about it? Specific tips appreciated. Pretend it's for a friend you care about.

      (This is for an article. Ideally we could refer to you by reference for context and credibility, eg "an IT security pro at a midwest insurance company" or "aerospace engineer" so please give some kind of identification to use).

      12 votes
    39. How can I deal with corrosion from saltpeter (salt from the ocean) on my desktop computer?

      Also called niter. I live near the ocean. Around here we call this "salitre": salt from seawater that becomes airborne, shortening the life span of every electronic. Desktop computers are...

      Also called niter.

      I live near the ocean. Around here we call this "salitre": salt from seawater that becomes airborne, shortening the life span of every electronic. Desktop computers are especially susceptible.

      The only thing I hear in that regard is to just never turn off the computer, since doing so would allow the corrosion to take place at a lower temperature, without circulation, etc.

      But electricity is not cheap, and I put this machine together myself so I don't have to worry about voiding the warranty.

      And keeping the AC on 24/7 is both expensive and unhealthy.

      12 votes
    40. Hitachi Rear Projection TV - No audio on inputs, except Static on Antenna

      So I rescued an old TV from the trash, appears to be a Hitachi Rear Projection TV, no obvious model number available, and when I try to power it on, it will display just fine, but it has no audio...

      So I rescued an old TV from the trash, appears to be a Hitachi Rear Projection TV, no obvious model number available, and when I try to power it on, it will display just fine, but it has no audio coming out UNLESS I turn it over to antenna input, in which case it has bone rattling analog static. This is the US where everyone changed over to digital television, so not super helpful, and while I could do some sound splitting magic, that seems like a waste if there are already good speakers. So I have come to you, honored Tildos, for assistance in pointing me in the right direction on whether or not this television's speakers can be saved.

      6 votes
    41. Is it possible to reprogram a coffee maker?

      Our new coffee maker moves the water too fast through the coffee grounds making the coffee weaker than we would like, and if we use a finer grain, overflows the basket. Is there a way to reprogram...

      Our new coffee maker moves the water too fast through the coffee grounds making the coffee weaker than we would like, and if we use a finer grain, overflows the basket. Is there a way to reprogram the rate of... I don't know, flow? It's a Mr. Coffee if that helps.

      10 votes
    42. Advice for first home server?

      Hello, I have a few questions. I didn't want to wast money so I wanna use what I have in terms of hardware, only the PSU and storage if needed. PC: CPU AMD 5 1600 RAM 16G SSD 125 GB for OS...

      Hello,

      I have a few questions. I didn't want to wast money so I wanna use what I have in terms of hardware, only the PSU and storage if needed.

      PC:

      • CPU AMD 5 1600
      • RAM 16G
      • SSD 125 GB for OS

      Services I think of running:

      • Node Tor middle relay
      • Node Bitcoin
      • Node XMR
      • Gitea or Gitlab
      • Maybe some service to host files or make a share for lan or a could service
      • Maybe a TS Server or Minecraft

      Questions:

      1. Do I have enough power to run all of this or I am being to greedy? I have raspberry(not pi 4) stopped at home doing nothing I could run some of this services on them if the computer can't handle everything.
      2. Should I virtualize? Can you explain me your response on this?
      3. I thinking of buying a good PSU since I am running this 24/7, should I invest in gold platinum or something like that?
      4. Should I have multiple disks if yes can you explain how much and for what.

      This is will be my first server at home so I would like to hear tips if you think I am forgetting something.

      Thanks in advance.
      Edit: visualize > virtualize

      17 votes
    43. Making the switch to Bitwarden, unsure how to go about it

      I have had several accounts taken over, and decided I've had enough. I decided to use a password safe, which I've been wanting to do for years, and finally settled on Bitwarden because it's fully...

      I have had several accounts taken over, and decided I've had enough. I decided to use a password safe, which I've been wanting to do for years, and finally settled on Bitwarden because it's fully open-source.

      The hangup is I'm unsure how to transition to it. I've logged some old email accounts I occasionally need to access, my new Netflix account (just got my own), and tildes, but I haven't changed my email password, for example (my email password is only used for email).

      For anybody who has done this already, is it best to dig up all my accounts and jump over to bitwarden, or to switch them as I see/use them over time?

      11 votes
    44. Need advice for simple speaker setup

      I just moved into a new apartment, and am using a 32" tv in the living room. The TV is already way too small, but I'd rather prioritize spending on the speakers first. I thought I could live with...

      I just moved into a new apartment, and am using a 32" tv in the living room. The TV is already way too small, but I'd rather prioritize spending on the speakers first.

      I thought I could live with the TV speakers, but have quickly realized that they have made watching movies impossible. The dialogue is impossible to hear without cranking up the volume. And then if there is anything other than dialogue, it's way too loud.

      The walls in the apartment are fairly thin, so I'm pretty sure a subwoofer is out of the question. So I was looking at soundbars but keep seeing conflicting advice. There are articles like this that make them sound fine, yet when you go to place like /r/hometheater, everyone despises them.

      So my next step was to look at powered bookshelf speakers. They seemed like a pretty good option, until I went to best buy to listen to them. I'm not sure if they just weren't set up properly or what, but none of them sounded that great. Especially when compared to the tower speakers they had.

      So now I'm at a loss. Should I go with a soundbar, bookshelf, or tower speakers? My budget is under $500.

      10 votes
    45. I believe Google search is restricting what articles I can see in my searches, based on my location. What can I do?

      Whenever I search for information about something - especially about a news event - Google returns me a lot of results from Australian sites. Any foreign sites come further down the list,...

      Whenever I search for information about something - especially about a news event - Google returns me a lot of results from Australian sites. Any foreign sites come further down the list, sometimes even on the second page of results. I've never really paid much attention to this behaviour, beyond some occasional mild frustration at not being able to find local sources.

      However, this came to a head this week when I was searching for a local US-based news article about something I'd read in an Australian news site, so I could post that local US article here on Tildes (I always try to get as close to the source as possible). But, try as I might, I just could not find any good non-Australian articles about this news! It was almost like Google was deliberately blocking my attempts to read non-Australian sites. I mean, it's possible that this news wasn't reported outside Australia, but that's unlikely, seeing as it was Uber's announcement about trialling electric aircraft in Texas and Victoria. That had to get American coverage. But I struggled to find it in my searches.

      I then noticed something I've never noticed before: at the bottom of my Google searches, there's a small line which tells me my current location. It's as specific as my local council area, not just my state or the country.

      Is this location affecting what Google shows me in my searches? If so, how do I remove this restriction?

      For context: I use Chrome, but I only sign in when I'm accessing a Google service (usually the Calendar). After I've finished with the service, I sign out. So Google isn't tracking me as a person, it's just tracking my browser's search activity.

      EDIT: Thank you all. I've already set up DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, and am trying it out.

      16 votes
    46. Light themes or Dark themes?

      Traditionally I've used dark themes for everything I could on all of my devices, as I found it easier on the eyes when I'd usually use my computer (evening - night). Recently, I made the switch...

      Traditionally I've used dark themes for everything I could on all of my devices, as I found it easier on the eyes when I'd usually use my computer (evening - night). Recently, I made the switch back to light stuff as I've been using my computer more for notes and assignments I'd normally hand-write, and I find I get drowsy less and have an easier time using the computer in a bright room than before - I just switched my theme on a whim one morning, so I wasn't expecting that at all!

      So now I'm rethinking all my previous bias about dark themes being 'better' regardless of the situation, and I'm curious if anyone here had any thoughts and/or could point me to some reading on the subject (the subject being the effects of light/dark colours in work or concentration). It's something I realize now might be fairly important, as I'm looking at my screen for most of the day, but never really gave much thought before outside of tracking down the 'Dark' theme switch.

      34 votes
    47. Is it a good idea to use an AWS server as a vpn?

      I have an amazon server that I use to host my email and my simple website. I'm considering setting a vpn up on it, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Would my data be as secure as with 3rd party...

      I have an amazon server that I use to host my email and my simple website. I'm considering setting a vpn up on it, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Would my data be as secure as with 3rd party vpns? Would Amazon see my traffic? It seems like if I go this route, anything that I do could be traced back to me, because the see the ip of my server and than ask amazon who owns it.

      10 votes
    48. What would you want in a Stackoverflow/Quora competitor?

      My friend was rambling about making his own Stackoverflow/quora clone, but with some random specific features. Note that this project would probably compete directly with Quora, but have multiple...

      My friend was rambling about making his own Stackoverflow/quora clone, but with some random specific features.

      Note that this project would probably compete directly with Quora, but have multiple subcomminties like Stackoverflow/Reddit. We think taking programming FAQs from SO is too uphill of a battle to focus on.

      What are some great ideas?

      10 votes
    49. What are the essential dos and don'ts of digital security for the average person?

      Thanks to all of you who gave me guidance in the thread about password managers. It got me thinking I should expand the question to overall best practices regarding security, just in case I have...

      Thanks to all of you who gave me guidance in the thread about password managers. It got me thinking I should expand the question to overall best practices regarding security, just in case I have any other important blind spots.

      What are the essential do's and don'ts of digital security for the average person?

      35 votes