Don't Buy From Sonos

To postpone the eventual strip mining and destruction of Earth, we have to stop buying shit we don’t need. Or at least we should buy said crap second hand in an attempt to at least delay the inevitable extermination of the human race.

One company that manufacture and sell junk you desire (but, and we’ve been over this a few times already, don’t really need) is Sonos. The American consumer electronics company is well-known for their high-end speakers, both smart and dumb.

Sonos’ ridiculously expensive speakers are arguably of high quality, which makes them popular on the second hand market. If you bought a brand new Sonos speaker, you can sell it on the second hand market with minimal loss of value. That’s great for your wallet, great for the environment, and great for whoever saves a bit of money by purchasing it from you.

It’s a win for everybody. Except for Sonos. They don’t want anyone to buy their speakers used. There’s no money in that for them. Instead, Sonos want everybody to purchase their speakers brand new. So what did these evil, conscienceless fuckers do?

They introduced Recycle Mode.

2019 in Music

In December last year, I posted my usual torrent of entries summarizing the year. A Book A Month 2019, A Picture A Day 2019, and of course the year in bullet points, 2019, are all posts that have become December traditions on this site. But one familiar face was missing from the crowd: The 2019 music recap!

Have no fear, though. My 2019 in music has not been forgotten. The reason for the delay is that I’ve been waiting for Last.fm to crunch their 2019 numbers. This year, it took a bit longer than usual, but now my annual listening report is complete, and it’s time to bother you with the results.

First off, letโ€™s see what the Last.fm general listening summary says about 2019.

It’s a new record, everybody! Or is it? The annul report from Last.fm says it is, but that’s a blatant lie. It’s a new record only if you compare it to the annual report from 2018. But it’s not the most music I’ve listened to in a year since I registered my Last.fm account all the way back in 2004. Far from it, actually. My peak year was 2013, when I listened to a whopping 22,433 tracks.

In 2019, however, I listened to 13,555 tracks, which is 17% more tracks than in 2018. The reason why it’s so much more is that I usually listen to music at work, and in 2018 I was away from the office for three months in parental leave.

Two Point Hospital

One of the first games I ever bought with my hard earned allowance was Theme Park. I spent countless hours playing the theme park simulation game by legendary Bullfrog Productions. Riding on the roller-coaster of success that Theme Park turned out to be, Bullfrog released another “Theme”-game three years later, Theme Hospital.

Like the name implies, Theme Hospital was a hospital simulation game. With it’s quirky, tongue-in-cheek humor, ingenious medical conditions and accompanying treatments, Theme Hospital immediately got me hooked. It became yet another Bullfrog title responsible for me spending many hours of my childhood in front of a computer.

But not long after the release of Theme Hospital, some of the key Bullfrog employees left the company. This put Bullfrog’s intellectual property (IP) in the hands of their publisher, Electronic Arts, a company that turns every great IP they get their hands on into garbage. Exhibit A: Maxis and SimCity. In 2001, Bullfrog was merged into EA UK and ceased to exist as a separate entity.

But the Bullfrog spirit didn’t die, it just went into hibernation. Now it has finally awoken in the form of Two Point Hospital.

How To Use KeePassXC with Firefox

After having installed KeePassXC on Windows 10, and followed the convenient user guide to store our first password, it’s now time to learn how to use KeePassXC with Firefox.

Even though you can safely store all kinds of accounts, passwords and notes in KeePassXC, it’s likely that the majority of what you will store are usernames and passwords for various internet accounts. And most of those accounts will be accessed through a browser. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a handy way to automatically fill out online login forms with the account information stored in KeePassXC?

Well, you’re in luck, because there is.

With a handy browser extension installed, your browser can automatically discover that you’re trying to log in to an online account which username and password is stored in KeePassXC. The extension will pull the information it needs from the password manager, and you can log in with a simple click of the mouse.

I’ll cover how to use KeePassXC with Firefox in this guide. Why Firefox? Because it’s a fast and reliable, open-source browser with built-in privacy features, and that’s just the way I like my browsers. There’s a good chance you’re using Chrome, which is quite the opposite; a secretive, proprietary, closed-source browser controlled by Google, a company that earns its living by violating your privacy. You should dump Chrome. And while you’re at it, you should also dump Google.

But I digress. Let’s see how we can use KeePassXC with Firefox before it happens again.

How To Install Pi-hole on a Headless Raspberry Pi

It might come as a surprise, but I don’t really mind internet ads.

What I do mind, though, is how internet ads work today. To present you with relevant ads, the advertisement companies will track your every move on the internet. You might think that the sites you visit are isolated from each other, but ad trackers keep following you around everywhere you click.

That’s why I use EFF‘s Privacy Badger, a browser extension that blocks tracking cookies. By blocking this horrendous cookies, you fall off the advertiser’s radar. Because of this, I see very few ads on the internet. So Privacy Badger solves the problem for me.

But there are more people in our household that use the internet. Installing the browser extension on every device isn’t really feasible, and there is a lot of trackers that Privacy Badger won’t block. Mobile app advertisements is a good example. The ads shown in the apps my oldest kid plays on their tablet also track their every move.

So it’s better to attack the problem at its core.

This is where Pi-hole comes in. Pi-hole enables network-wide ad blocking. Configured as a DNS service, it will check every internet address that is accessed through the local network against a set of blacklists of known trackers. If the address is on one of the lists, the DNS request is blocked, and the tracker will receive no information.

With Pi-hole, everyone who is using our Wi-Fi access point are protected from pesky ad trackers.