Vegard Skjefstad

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Tag: Politics (page 1 of 11)

Gaming Rig Sustainability – New or Second-Hand?

My gaming rig is 10 years old, and I’m in dire need of a replacement. But how much should I care about gaming rig sustainability?

Every time I buy a new computer, I have to learn everything about hardware and the state of various operating systems all over again. In a series of posts, I’ll got through some of the important things to consider when buying a gaming rig:

  1. Operating system: Windows or Linux?
  2. CPU: Intel or AMD?
  3. Graphics Card: Nvidia or AMD?
  4. Form factor: Laptop or desktop?
  5. Tinkering factor: Parts or pre-assembled?
  6. Sustainability: New or second-hand?
  7. Conclusion: So what’s the ultimate gaming rig setup, then!?

I’ve decided on this specific order of things because decisions taken on the top of the list might limit the available choices later.

This sixth post is about how much I should care about gaming rig sustainability. Should I purchase everything brand new, or is second-hand the way to go?

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Google Bans Gab app

Just as the Gab app hit the trending top spot on the Google Play Store, Google banned it. Will this potentially make life hard for the entire Fediverse?

The far-right social network Gab has now completed its transition to Mastodon. The main motivation was to make a foothold in the mobile app stores. Gab’s previous attempts at distributing a mobile client failed because Apple and Google both removed the it from their respective app stores. The companies cited violation of their policies against hate speech as reason for the removal.

By moving to Mastodon and the ActivityPub protocol, Gab no longer needs to distribute their own mobile client. Instead, their members can, at least in theory, download a generic Mastodon client, and log on to Gab’s Mastodon instance. This prompted some client developers to change the application code so that their client doesn’t work with Gab’s Mastodon instance.

But Mastodon clients are mostly FLOSS. Gab simply copied the source code, removed the blocking code, and compiled their own version of the Mastodon client. This happened to Tusky, and a Gab-branded version of Tusky was available in the Google Play Store.

At least for a short while.

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Not Tonight: One Love

One of 2018’s most politically charged titles gets a far less controversial expansion. Here’s my Not Tonight: One Love review.

When PanicBarn’s dystopian Brexit-simulator Not Tonight was announced last year, the pro-Brexit crowd went nuts. How dared someone portrait their utopian fantasy as anything but!? Because of the outrage, I predicted a classic review bomb on Steam. That’s what happens when you anger the vocal minority of gamers. Just ask Creative Assembly about female generals.

But the review bomb never went off, and Not Tonight is currently enjoying a well-deserved “very positive” review score on Steam. I also appreciated the game, and gave it a respectable score in my own review.

With the new One Love DLC, Not Tonight moves across the channel. One of the characters from the base game, Dave, escaped to France after his British pub was destroyed. While Britain is burning down behind him, Dave gets dragged into a dating app scam that threatens to ruin his life, and his new pub, Lé Rosbif. The only way out is to find true love within a month. Dave sets about to earn the money he needs to woo his potential partners.

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Free Speech & FLOSS vs the Alt-Right

What’s the link between free speech, dental hygiene, and the alt-right? I have no idea. But there’s an clear link between free speech, Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), and the rising alt-right movement.

As I reported back in May, the alt-right echo chamber Gab is adapting ActivityPub. One of the main drivers behind this decisions is to make a beachhead inside mobile app stores. The next version of Gab is a fork of the Mastodon code, and it’s scheduled for launch on July 4. Gab’s impending inroad has caused a slight scare on the left side of the fediverse. As It turns out, leftists, antifas, and the LGBT community really don’t like the alt-right.

But there is no need to panic. Because of its open and distributed nature, the fediverse already has a few Gab-friendly Mastodon instances. Still, you don’t see the fediverse being overrun by the alt-right. Even if ActivityPub enables propagation of Mastodon message through server-to-server federation, administrators can block other instances from federating through their own. Enough blocking, and a particular instance is effectively left as an isolated little island, all alone in the fediverse.

Another interesting discussion that has surfaced recently is how Mastodon client app developers should handle Gab. Their beloved apps will soon be openly used to spread alt-right propaganda. Gab’s imminent adaption of Mastodon has forced many app developers to make a conscious choice in the matter.

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Why Deepfake Technology Must Be Banned

On Friday, Samsung revealed that they are now able to create deepfake videos from a single photo. With that came another good reason why the technology must be banned.

Imagining seeing a politician in a viral video saying something absolutely outrageous. In today’s political landscape that shouldn’t be too hard. But in this case, it’s totally out of character for this particular opposition politician. What they are saying is incriminating, morally reprehensible, and an obvious political suicide. What the hell!? You can’t vote for this person now!

The problem with the viral video is that it isn’t real. Even though it looks authentic, it’s a fake video. It’s created by the current political leader’s campaign office, doctored to quickly spread false rumors about the opposition. And it works. They fall like a rock in the polls. Even if the video is later debunked as fake, the damage is irreversible. The video continues to spread like wildfire across the internet. It’s not only popular on niche political sites, but on main stream social media sites as well. And even if they know the video is fake, the main stream sites refuse to remove it.

If you think that this is a thing of a dystopian alternate future, I’m sorry to report that this is the present.

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