ER

Good news: control your data

Dear Reader,

Diablog is a bit silent right now. The head honcho is still very busy, and so am I. But the following good – or rather excellent – news need sharing.

Let me start with the tl;dr (too long, didn’t read):

The FreedomBox is ready for productive use.

In case you forgot, here now the longer part.

Since 2011 I am advocating for more privacy and for us to take back control over our data. And I am very much against censorship.

Yet, the last five to six years we have seen governments and companies going exactly the other way. The USA, UK, France, Switzerland and even Germany increased mass spying, instead of reducing it. F*c*book, Google, Microsoft and other internet biggies are taking and selling more of your data than ever.

Already in 2011 some very smart people wanted to reverse this mis-development. They started the FreedomBox. And diablog donated to make it happen. In 2012 I wrote this little post explaining it a bit.

Like many software projects it took a while. And since the hardware changed quite dramatically in the meantime, FreedomBox had to adjust. In 2014 I almost lost patience, as you can read here.

Now the developers – thank you debian – announced at debconf17, that the software bundle for a FreedomBox is what is called “stable”. It is ready for productive use.

During the next few weeks I will get one ready and keep you posted.

To quote Craig Ferguson, an American late night talker originally from the UK:

“It is a good day for America”.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

Have another coffee

Dear Reader,

Finally, I was able to talk to the head honcho of diablog, Mr. Glynsky himself, Guess my surprise, when I found out, I am not on one of his many block lists. His army of beautiful, yet utterly useless, secretaries and assistants passed my call on to him. And what did he say?

“I’m in the middle of something, let me call you back.”

Yeah, we’ve all heard that before.

But, he did. He called, after many hours. And I am at liberty to reveal, the reason for his extended silence is … work.

Really, that’s what he claims. He is swamped or drowned in work. I hear you gasp. As in real work. Paid work. I cannot believe the gentleman has lowered his life style that much, but that’s what he claims. So, the gentleman is out to increase is already vast fortune.

While I am here, drinking coffee. My love for coffee is well documented here on diablog. And now there is an even better reason for coffee:

“Coffee drinking was associated with reduced risk for death from various causes.”

Yep, coffee drinkers live longer. There you have it. And this does not come just from me, this comes from a proper scientific study. The European Commission had it done, and the correlation between coffee consumption and a longer life is proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Now, it could be, that coffee drinkers are healthier people in general. I don’t care.

More tea for the English, please. Since you dislike coffee and the EU so much. I’ll continue to enjoy plenty of espressi, and watch them die younger. And here is the song to go with it:

Sting – Englishman in New York

Cheers,

Engine Room

 

 

ER

Hanging around

Dear Reader,

Smiles

and Philippa

both complained in the comments about my last song. And they were wondering, where I have been. I shall let The Stranglers answer that:

Hanging around.

And where is Glynsky? No idea. He is MIA, missing in action, or something.

Now, pleasing Smiles and Philippa with one song is difficult. Maybe the following does the trick:

Whenever I think of Smailes, Sharp dressed man by ZZ Top comes to mind. And maybe Philippa likes ZZ Top?

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

Good times

Dear Reader,

We are living in good times, and very interesting times.

While the wannabe president of the US is de-constructing himself more than the government every day, last week Chelsea Manning was released. Pardoning her was one of the things, President Obama got right. Late, but nevertheless he got it.

And in somewhat related news, the Swedish government stopped the investigation against Julian Assange. They didn’t end the prosecution, but at least will revoke the arrest warrant. Now the ball is in the British field. They still have an arrest warrant for Assange, because he skipped bail. Will the British government do the right thing now? I am not holding my breath.

How did I celebrate the good news? With a bottle of Los Vascos, mentioned on diablog earlier. This time I sampled the 2013, it is lovely. A case is ordered.

No light without shadow. In what seems to be a race to the bottom the British prime minister, Mrs. Mayhem, announced, that the UK will get its own, fully government controlled and regulated internet.

Wait, what?

Obviously, Mrs. Mayhem takes her policies from China and North Korea. The two countries I can think of, that want to block unwanted content completely. Freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? A healthy debate? For Mrs. Mayhem these seem to be totally overrated. Human rights? Freedom of the press? Naa, Mrs. Mayhem feels a lot better without. And so should you, according to her. Equally, you should feel better with the government having all your passwords. Or get charged as a terrorist. What lovely people you Brits elected there.

On a side note, not even China can filter everything successfully. How Mrs. Mayhem wants to accomplish that technically, is beyond me. Because as John Gilmore said:

The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

And the Brexiteers thought, getting out of the European Court of Human Rights would be good. No additional money for the NHS, no more free speech, job losses, increased inflation, how is that Brexit thing going for you so far? I constantly have to think of the man, who jumped from a skyscraper and while falling screamed: so far so good.

It will be interesting to see in June, whether you Brits are sheep. Vote Tory and get fleeced. Or maybe you’ll get it right this time? Again, not holding my breath, but setting a bottle aside to celebrate.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

 

 

ER

Congrats, Marianne

Dear Reader,

Occasionally I have made fun of the French,

Today I want to say thank you:

  • for remaining reasonable
  • for showing the world, that one can be angry without being stupid
  • for sticking the enlightenment and sticking to it
  • for saying ‘Non’ to nationalism, fascism, and racism

Since I ran out of my favorite Armagnac – a faux pas, I know – I’ll toast with a calvados.

Merci beaucoup et bon chance,

Engine Room