Web

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< &lt;journal "^\d\d\d\d-\d\d-\d\d.*Web"&gt;

stattdessen:

> <journal search tag:web>

Stuff about the world wide web (WWW): Structure, history, weirdness.

2015-01-20 Caching

I’m trying to figure out how to use mod_cache. The following in my VirtualHost section doesn’t seem to make a difference. The wiki is still getting invoked.

    CacheEnable mem /wiki/feed/full/RPG
MCacheSize        100000000
MCacheMaxObjectSize 1000000
✎

(This RSS file is about 99k.)

The wiki is logging these requests to a file and I’m requesting the URL from the command-line using curl. Hm, must investigate later.

Tried adding this:

    CacheEnable mem /wiki/feed/full/
MCacheMaxStreamingBuffer 1000000✎

No effect.

Tried replacing it with:

    CacheEnable disk /wiki/feed/full/RPG✎

No effect.

Giving up. Damn you, mod_cache.

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2014-11-13 Chrome and this Wiki

I’ve been using Chrome for a day now and this wiki doesn’t look as good as it does using Firefox, on Windows.

1. The emoji at the bottom are mostly unsupported.
2. The bold text (“fix typos” and “updates by email”) is fuzzy at the bottom.
3. The anti-aliasing doesn’t look good (c, e, r, etc.) at the default size (Ctrl 0).

Something about the fonts is not making me happy.

Googling… Stackoverflow has something about webfonts, anti-aliasing, and a note that 37 will fix this. I guess I hadn’t used Chrome in a long time. Let’s see whether an update fixes this.

Restarting… I am not impressed.

Adding Symbola to the site and to the CSS.

Fiddling some more. Increased the font size. Getting rid of Arial Narrow or whatever it was for header and footer. Getting rid of bold for the moment and replacing it with small caps. WTF am I doing!?

Unhappy… Noticia Text by JM Solé? Should I use the webfonts from the Google network or serve from my own server? More traces being left behind…

Built sfnt2woff to convert ttf files to woff. The files are significantly smaller, now. Using Noticia Text and Symbola by George Douros (for the smileys). Everything seems to work on Chrome. Now anti-aliasing for the header and footer looks a bit crummy on Firefox (Windows). Wow. Such pain.

At home… Things look pretty good on Firefox (OSX). Oh well. I think this is going to be the new look for a while.

Hop on the time machine!

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Comments on 2014-11-13 Chrome and this Wiki

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Summary: I think I will remove all those emoji from the footer and just install smiles.pl – those should always work! :)

Changed:

< I think I will remove all those emoji from the footer and just install [http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/oddmuse.git/plain/modules/smiles.pl smiles.pl] -- those should always work! :-)

to

> I think I will remove all those emoji from the footer and just install [http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/oddmuse.git/plain/modules/smiles.pl smiles.pl] -- those should always work! :)

Iceweasel on Linux, gotobar looks awful after your recent changes (wrapping):

And I’ve always had this:

AlexDaniel 2014-11-14 14:56 UTC

The gotobar looks OK? Perhaps it was pure chance that it didn’t wrap with the previous font size (and using a narrow font). I wonder why you’re not getting more emojis. I though Symbola had them all covered. Oh well.

– Alex Schroeder 2014-11-14 16:08 UTC

No, it is distracting. If you change the width of the input fields to 8ex then it will not wrap. Alternatively you can make “Search” and “Matching Pages” text smaller. But please, stop this line wrapping thing. Maybe I could live with it if “Matching pages” thing was under “Search”, but having input fields on the left and on the right just bugs me.

AlexDaniel 2014-11-14 22:06 UTC

OK, second attempt: keeping search and matching pages together.

– Alex Schroeder 2014-11-15 07:35 UTC

I don’t like the result on my phone. Argh.

AlexSchroeder 2014-11-15 12:59 UTC

Alright, that’s better!

But maybe you should increase line spacing a little bit? So that search field does not get so much into gotobar buttons. That would be perfect!

AlexDaniel 2014-11-16 01:58 UTC

I’m not sure whether d0cdd4 was supposed to fix smileys, but they are still not showing up.

AlexDaniel 2015-01-19 00:40 UTC

Hm, they are showing up on my system…

You linked to a change of an Oddmuse CSS, but this site uses the same solution, I think. Specifying the Symbola font as the fallback.

– Alex Schroeder 2015-01-19 10:07 UTC

It seems like Symbola font is not being loaded at all. Weird.

AlexDaniel 2015-01-19 12:06 UTC

Hm, but you can access the font via its URL? https://alexschroeder.ch/fonts/Symbola.ttf

– Alex Schroeder 2015-01-19 13:23 UTC

Sure.

Does it work for you in firefox? I mean, can you see Symbola font being loaded in the Network tab in the developer tools? (with ctrl+f5)

AlexDaniel 2015-01-20 02:27 UTC

No, because I have installed it locally. I can see all the characters on my iPhone 4, however. That must mean it manages to download the font, right?

AlexSchroeder 2015-01-20 11:27 UTC

Hm. Deleted the font, used Chrome, and now I see how it no longer works. D’oh! I see, however, that Symbola.woff is being downloaded, with a Status 200. The response header looks OK as well.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:31:14 GMT
Server: Apache
Last-Modified: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:37:03 GMT
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 18608
Cache-Control: max-age=3600
Expires: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:31:14 GMT
Keep-Alive: timeout=5, max=98
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: application/x-font-woff✎

– Alex Schroeder 2015-01-20 11:33 UTC

The font is still not installed locally. Trying Firefox. I see that the font is not downloaded – but the characters display correctly with the sole exception of 🐋. WTF.

AlexSchroeder 2015-01-20 11:35 UTC

In addition to that, Firefox seems not to be using the Noticia Text font. I don’t know what’s going wrong today but something’s wrong.

AlexSchroeder 2015-01-20 11:43 UTC

I think I will remove all those emoji from the footer and just install smiles.pl – those should always work!

– Alex Schroeder 2015-01-20 12:06 UTC

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2014-10-15 fail2ban

My server has fail2ban installed.

“Fail2ban scans log files (e.g. /var/log/apache/error_log) and bans IPs that show the malicious signs – too many password failures, seeking for exploits, etc. Generally Fail2Ban is then used to update firewall rules to reject the IP addresses for a specified amount of time, although any arbitrary other action (e.g. sending an email) could also be configured. Out of the box Fail2Ban comes with filters for various services (apache, courier, ssh, etc).”

Ever since I installed fail2ban, it showed no activity. Until now. Weird!

Is this due to the Shellshock vulnerability? First public disclosure 2014-09-24, activity starting 2014-10-06. It’s weird, though. I thought Shellshock would involve bash scripts as CGI scripts, called via Apache but these failures are ordinary SSH login attempts as seen on /var/log/auth.log:

Oct 13 11:49:38 alexschroeder sshd[6860]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=222.186.56.33  user=root
Oct 13 11:49:40 alexschroeder sshd[6860]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 3462 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:43 alexschroeder sshd[6860]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 3462 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:45 alexschroeder sshd[6860]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 3462 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:45 alexschroeder sshd[6860]: PAM 2 more authentication failures; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=222.186.56.33  user=root
Oct 13 11:49:50 alexschroeder sshd[6864]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failure; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=222.186.56.33  user=root
Oct 13 11:49:51 alexschroeder sshd[6864]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 4067 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:54 alexschroeder sshd[6864]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 4067 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:56 alexschroeder sshd[6864]: Failed password for root from 222.186.56.33 port 4067 ssh2
Oct 13 11:49:56 alexschroeder sshd[6864]: PAM 2 more authentication failures; logname= uid=0 euid=0 tty=ssh ruser= rhost=222.186.56.33  user=root✎

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2014-09-12 Die Wanderungen in Sozialen Medien

Bin wieder am Rumstudieren wegen sozialen Medien. Politisches Zeug und so passiert bei mir vor allem auf Twitter, aber die bringen immer mehr so Facebook Ideen. Grössere Grafiken war ja OK, aber jetzt gibt es immer mehr Werbetweets und neu wollen sie auch beliebte Beiträge von fremden Leuten einblenden, oder gewisse Tweets ausblenden, eben der ganze Scheiss, der hier auf Facebook auch passiert. Und so frage ich mich natürlich: Was gibt es für Alternativen?

Da wäre mal App.net – aber die haben in ihren Terms of Service eine schreckliche Passage drinnen: “You agree to defend, indemnify and hold us harmless from and against any and all costs, damages, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees, costs, penalties, interest and disbursements) we incur in relation to, arising from, or for the purpose of avoiding, any claim or demand from a third party relating to your use of the Service or the use of the Service by any person using your account, including any claim that your use of the Service violates any applicable law or regulation, or the rights of any third party, and/or your violation of these Terms.”

Grauenhaft! Aber eigentlich wäre es cool: Kostet $36/Jahr und hat dafür garantiert keine Werbung und ein vernünftiges Business Modell. Dann meldet sich mein Sinn für freie Software und flüstert: Wenn ich schon wechsel, warum nicht auf GNU Social? Zum Beispiel bei Load Average oder GNU Social Deutschland? Und so bin ich am Pröbelen… Auf alle Fälle muss man sich keine Illusionen machen: Die allermeisten Freunde folgen einem ja nicht zu neuen Medien. Man muss einfach dort neue Freunde finden. Das muss ja eigentlich gehen! Ich bin da optimistisch. Über mein Rollenspielhobby schreibe ich übrigens vor allem auf Google+ – irgendwann sind die Leute von Twitter einfach massenhaft ausgewandert. Das war ein seltsames Phänomen. Wer schon dort ist, sagt Hallo! 😜 Comments on 2014-09-12 Die Wanderungen in Sozialen Medien Last edit No diff available. Add Comment 2014-09-10 Twitter Alternatives Twitter recently updated their Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to allow us to buy merchandise from “some of the most popular names on Twitter”, without leaving “the Twitter experience”. Yay!? In one of my anti-capitalist urges, I decided to take another look at Twitter alternatives. As far as I can tell, there is App.net and GNU Social (formerly Status Net). App.net offers a Twitter-like experience, API access, and no ads but it costs. The free option offers, 500MB of file storage and following up to 40 accounts (plenty to get started). Upgrading costs$36/year, which is an OK price but I pay just \$25/year for my Flickr Pro account… The default client you download, called App.net on my phone, also gives you a totally confusing non-Twitter experience involving Broadcast. I had no idea what this was and switched to Riposte.

Then I discovered the following passage in the App.net Terms of Service:

You agree to defend, indemnify and hold us harmless from and against any and all costs, damages, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees, costs, penalties, interest and disbursements) we incur in relation to, arising from, or for the purpose of avoiding, any claim or demand from a third party relating to your use of the Service or the use of the Service by any person using your account, including any claim that your use of the Service violates any applicable law or regulation, or the rights of any third party, and/or your violation of these Terms.

I don’t think I can use this service! Specially considering this:

These Terms and any action related thereto will be governed by the laws of the State of California without regard to or application of its conflict of law provisions or your state or country of residence. All claims, legal proceedings or litigation arising in connection with the Services will be brought solely in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco County, California, United States, and you consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and waive any objection as to inconvenient forum.

Remember the abominable, cruel and unusual punishment called Three Strikes? No thank you! If I can choose, California is unacceptable.

So what about the alternative? That would be GNU Social. Now I need to decide whether I want to install my own instance or whether to join an existing server. For now, I’m kensanata on Load Average, one of the existing services.

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Summary: GNU Social is also free and distributed – but it uses PHP, which I don't trust. 👻

Added:

> Right now I don't feel like I have a good alternative.

It is weird to see no mention of twister in a post called “Twitter Alternatives”. Unfortunately, the development is slowly beginning to stall 😟

AlexDaniel 2014-09-11 01:47 UTC

I just checked it out and it doesn’t seem to be an alternative for my use case: sitting on the train and staring into my iPhone 4. The download page is full of alpha warnings. iOS clients unavailable… 😟

AlexSchroeder 2014-09-11 06:02 UTC

Yes 😟

But it is fully free and distributed, so it is worth mentioning.

AlexDaniel 2014-09-11 12:33 UTC

GNU Social is also free and distributed – but it uses PHP, which I don’t trust. 👻 Right now I don’t feel like I have a good alternative.

– Alex Schroeder 2014-09-11 20:13 UTC

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2014-08-15 HTTPS

Wohoo, I upgraded the webserver for alexschroeder.ch from HTTP to HTTPS. You should have been redirected automatically. Munin and Monit are still working. Page editing still works. The config file has been updated so that all the links should point to HTTPS, now. 👍

I’m expecting load average to go up. We’ll see how it goes. Perhaps I’ll have to upgrade my virtual host package…

 System Status Load CPU Memory Kallobombus Running [1.46] [1.52] [1.29] 62.7%us, 1.8%sy, 0.0%wa 20.4% [107256 kB]

Update: A day and a half later, it seems that we’re OK.

Graphs by Munin.

Update: Moved Campaign Wiki to HTTPS as well. 🐧

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2014-07-13 Distraction

Recently, I wrote the following on Google+:

Sometimes I feel like the constant chatter of social media is reducing my creative output. While I’m on G+ or Facebook or Twitter or IRC or even reading and answering mail, I’m not producing things. Somehow my education taught me to value so many other things over the talking about things. The creating of things. The reading of books. Hiking. Perhaps this devaluation of talking about things is not a healthy attitude. In addition to that, there’s the lingering doubt about my willingness to do these other things. If I did not have computers to connect me to all the people out there, would I really be doing these other things, or would I just play on my console, or sleep, or eat?

When it comes to role-playing games, for example: I see all those great pictures people are drawing, and great tables people are writing, and I nod my head and scroll down, and read and nod, and—whaaat, game in 2h and no prep!?

It’s totally true that I don’t see myself as a lone creative person. I need discussion, mutual enthusiasm, a little competitive outdoing, sharing, positive feedback and all that for my creative endeavors. Unfortunately for me, social media provides this, as well as backbiting, acerbic commentary, put downs, cynicism, banter, cat pictures, ranting, and more. I haven’t found a way to control this extra information, however. I need some to feel the bonds of humanity, to experience friendship and joy, to build that social net that will help me when I’m down, talk about my feelings such that I don’t bury them deep within me, but it also distracts me, takes away my ability to focus, allows me to procrastinate… So I think I need a structure like The G+ Hour or aggressive filtering, or a change in lifestyle to find a way out. No longer young enough, when my desires exceeded my ability to digest it all, not yet old enough, when hopefully my wisdom will put it all into perspective automatically…

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Summary: This is a good point. I should set goals like "read at least a page from this book every day," for example.

Added:

> ----
> [[gravatar: AlexSchroeder:e33b88db6bc04e1c93db25c702baea28]]
> This is a good point. I should set goals like "read at least a page from this book every day," for example.
> -- AlexSchroeder 2014-07-18 17:21 UTC

Are you sure that the problem is distractions, and not the lack of motivation?

There is one trick I use to improve my productivity. I set goals like “do at least 1 change in project X every day”, and it turns out that it is quite effective. If you get distracted too much, by the end of the day you will remember that you haven’t done anything at all, so you open up your IDE or something just to do one tiny change like 1 character in the code, but then you fall into it completely and code all night. It is important to allow any changes, because the point of this thing is to motivate you to start working, it shouldn’t distract you from important stuff in your life.

That’s very easy to do on github, but if your work is not software-related then just get a calendar 😊

AlexDaniel 2014-07-18 16:55 UTC

This is a good point. I should set goals like “read at least a page from this book every day,” for example.

AlexSchroeder 2014-07-18 17:21 UTC

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2014-07-11 Speaking in Public

There was a huge disturbance in the force, recently. D&D 5 got published and Zak Smith and the RPG Pundit were credited therein. One of the posts summarizing the issue I read was On the D&D5 Credits Controversy by Gary N. Mengle.

As far as this post is concerned, I’m not so much interested in the peculiarities of this affair, I’m more interested in how we could get here. I think the key to understanding the causes of the problem are to be found in this comment by Zak Smith on a private post on Google+:

There are certain things you don’t say in public no matter what someone means . I don’t care what they mean or if they’re a good person I care what’s in the public record and what people might think who see that public record. – Zak Smith

I was reading the comments on a public Google+ post by Rob Donoghue. The question being discussed was how to disengage from a hurtful discussion. Viktor Haag had just provided an example where person A said something, person B contested it and asked for proof and person A decided to disengage. Now A is angry and feels assaulted by B, and B is angry because A simply left the discussion instead of offering a fair discussion of the accusations. Anna Kreider then offered a different example where person A said something ambiguous (“I have mixed feelings about a thing”) and person B then attacks A for saying all sorts of things they felt this implied while A keeps maintaining that they never said any such thing. So now I started wondering. Why do these things happen? Rob Donoghue said: “Causation is complicated and multi-faceted, nuance is critical and perfect information is impossibly rare. Discussing something under those limitations requires trust and good faith. They must be entered with an interest in finding insight, not right answers.” I think that’s a good position to start with, but it doesn’t explain the vitriol that I’ve been seeing. The rest of this post is the comment I left on Rob’s post…

I can’t help thinking that part of “The Internet Problem” of communication spiraling downwards (as has been the case ever since flame wars erupted on USENET) is the inability of ordinary people to perceive the Internet as a very public space. In the old days, it was hard to say something in public. You basically had to find a publisher and print stuff. It could get heated if you stood up in a town hall meeting and said the wrong thing. But these days, anybody with Internet access can speak in public, and they—we, all of us—are unaware that “there be lions.” We are unaware that public speaking has always come with a distinct understanding of our freedoms and the limits thereof, and of the potential consequences. There’s defamation (libel, slander) laws, copyright laws (intellectual property, digital copying and distributing), and these laws are there to offer recourse for the most problematic aspects—but they don’t offer recourse for most of our actual problems. Our actual problems are often much smaller. That’s how I explain what has been happening: Person A tells their friends that they really don’t like what B has said and done (and they use strong language because they have strong feelings and they feel amongst friends) and person B says “you can’t say X on the Internet in public, to damage my reputation for ever and ever!”

Now, if person A feels that their reputation is being attacked in public, it’s only natural that they want to defend themselves. In public, there is no disengaging from such a discussion because person A has the support of the law. It’s the law that says person A can defend their reputation. If person B then feels harassed because they are being contacted by phone or they are receiving letters to their physical address, then they need to understand, that as far as the law is concerned, there is no difference between life “online” and “real” life. The law only cares about defamation.

To provide you with a different example. I run a site and it attracted spam. One of the links posted linked to a Swiss site. I made fun of them and because this other site is ranked highly by Google, my statements were soon the number two hit for the company’s name. I soon got contacted and told to take it down or face charges. Do I feel they are spammers? Yes I do! Did I take it down? Yes I did. There was no way to disengage without going to court or retracting my statements.

Given that speaking in private and speaking in public has such different consequences, and given all the various ways in which we are now able to publish our thoughts, and given our lack of practice, I think these conflicts are unavoidable, every now and then.

Were you taught about copyright, defamation, and all those laws in school? I sure wasn’t! I was taught to type. I was taught to open my mouth and I was not told about the foot I was soon going to put in there…

I don’t know how to resolve this. I think we need to develop cultural norms to handle this, and we aren’t there yet. I want to talk to my friends like I want to. I want to reach out to strangers and make more friends, and talk to them. The Internet makes this possible. I’m always on the verge of forgetting that so many things are in public, in writing, apparently forever. I may make troubling mistakes. The Internet makes this possible, too.

When it comes to publishing on the Internet, we had to develop cultural norms. Does Information want to be free? How will be pay game developers? Journalists? How will we make sure that our computers will do what we want instead of just doing what their vendors want? And we aren’t there, yet. When it comes to speaking on the Internet, same problem. How do we curate our circle of friends? How about the shades of publicness, social media friends, lists, circles, groups, communities? How do we make sure that our statements will not stand forever and ever? How will we read the deep history of people we talk to, hire, befriend, marry? We aren’t there, yet.

What I took away from all those years on the Internet was being more careful about what I said. At first I felt like a coward. Afraid of comments on my own blog, I was. Then I felt like a hypocrite, wanting people to be open, wanting to feel free, but not ranting like I used to. Was I betraying my ideals? These days I take a legalistic approach. I tread lightly because I’m in public. If I can’t stand the heat after nailing my blog posts to the church door, I’m not going to post. Yes, it’s sad. I will still rant and rave amongst my friends. But online, my friends aren’t Google circles and Facebook friends. Even though the audience appears to be limited, there is no intimacy. This communication is not ephemeral. It’s basically in public.

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Changed:

< * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage What happens when you engage]
< * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage-continued What happens when you engage - Continued]
< * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage-act-3 What happens when you engage - Act 3]

to

> * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage What happens when you engage] (Tracy Hurley)
> * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage-continued What happens when you engage - Continued] (Tracy Hurley)
> * [http://www.sarahdarkmagic.com/content/what-happens-when-you-engage-act-3 What happens when you engage - Act 3] (Tracy Hurley)

A lot of what you’re saying here is unspeakably tragic.

as a side note: Does information want to be free? Absolutely! How will we pay game developers and journalists? Those professions aren’t necessary. It’s very desirable to have them around, so if we can figure out a way to fund them: great. If not, well, it’s not worth sacrificing freedom of ideas.

The solution to your main problem is anonymity, or at least pseudonymity. It’s insane to use one’s real name on the internet but it’s fashionable now. (A cancerous trend started by social media networks.)

I can say and do what I like without the stage fright. My words wont follow me forever. I can let ideas, good and bad, offensive and bland, flow freely. Creating a primordial ooze of thought. Evolution can take it’s course: good ones are kept, bad ones die off.

Society has grown very witchhunty. (Maybe it always has been.) It’s gotten to the point that I’m afraid to express non-standard options tied to my real identity. Especially in public. This is horrible for thought itself. And what’s bad for ideas is bad for mankind.

another side note: Anything that interferes with free speech is simply wrong. I oppose both copyright and defamation laws. (And there’s not really any such thing as “intellectual property”. It’s a bullshit propaganda term.)

– Anonymous 2014-07-11 17:48 UTC

Does information want to be free? It’s a ridiculous simplification. [1] [2] Do we want to pay developers and journalists? I do, some of them. I actually pay double for my favorite newspaper because I want to support them. Pseudonomity is not the solution because I also want to maintain stronger relationships. I find that to be essential to being human. I do agree, however, that expressing opinions in public is fraught with danger—and I suspect it has always been. I just need to think of village life in rural areas today. Say the wrong things in public and you’re marked. I disagree with your assessment that anything interfering with free speech being wrong. I think we’re better off prohibiting hate speech, threats, and defamation. As for copyright and patents, I’m not sure whether a complete abolishment would solve our problems. I’d already be super happy if we reduced protection to five years. As for “intellectual property” being a propaganda term: There’s an actual section in the Swiss code of law that says intellectual property. I am in no position to dispute the nomenclature. It is what it is, a diverse collection of property rights for intangible things.

AlexSchroeder 2014-07-11 21:52 UTC

I just saw a blog post entitled How Dungeons and Dragons is endorsing the darkest parts of the RPG community via Courtney Campbell’s public Google+ post and kirin robinson’s public Google+ post. I’m guessing the blog post was written by Tom Hatfield? That’s who is named under the “About” link. The author doesn’t really say much about RPG Pundit and Zak S except that they are “very nasty people”. The things that I find objectionable—phone calls at night, threatening children—happens by anonymous others. The author feels that RPG Pundit and Zak S “refused to admonish their fans when they step over the line.” I have trouble understanding this as an actual offense. Idiots go on crusades somewhere, making phone calls at night and threatening children? Of course this is vile! I’m not sure whether the offenders need “admonishing”. They need the police visiting their homes or something. OK, so perhaps neither RPG Pundit or Zak S spoke up in public against the lunacy that was happening in their name.

What riles me up, however, is the part surrounding this accusation:

They publically attack someone for criticising them, speaking out about sexism and bigotry, or just liking the wrong game. That person then finds themselves under a sustained campaign of harassment from Zak and Pundit’s fans. They pair would then feign innocence despite knowing full well what would happen and doing nothing to discourage it. Even after the initial attacks die down things are not over, they will routinely return to attack targets that angered them years ago. Cross them once, and you are marked for life.

This is where Zak excels. He has in the past posted lists of people who he feels have displeased him in some way, complete with their real names. Those people then lists find themselves subjected to sustained campaigns of harassment. Not mere internet name calling, but phone calls to people’s houses in the middle of the night that say “This is where your children go to school.” To be clear, I am not accusing Zak or Pundit of making these calls, there is no evidence for that. What they do is point out targets and refuse to admonish their fans when they step over the line.

I want you to ignore the “fans”. I already established that I find actual harassment—phone calls at night and threatening children—absolutely despicable. Let’s look at what remains when we ignore the anonymous idiots:

They publically attack someone for criticising them, speaking out about sexism and bigotry, or just liking the wrong game. […] Even after the initial attacks die down things are not over, they will routinely return to attack targets that angered them years ago. Cross them once, and you are marked for life.

This is where Zak excels. He has in the past posted lists of people who he feels have displeased him in some way, complete with their real names.

So, is Zak harassing people? It would seem to me that Zak is defending his reputation. You don’t agree with him in public, fine. That doesn’t mean he has to take it, though. You criticized him in public? That doesn’t mean he has no right to defend himself. In fact, if Zak feels that what you said in public is defamation, then publicly attacking your statements is his right. “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” – Louis Brandeis. What alternatives does Zak have to defend his honor? He could sue, I guess. Before suing, it would seem entirely reasonable to call you during office hours and ask you to either provide proof or retract your statements. Before calling you, it would seem entirely reasonable to send you an email and ask you to either provide proof or retract your statements. Demanding proof, again and again, until such time as you retract your statements or provide proof, in public, and wherever you go, would seem entirely reasonable to me.

This isn’t harassment. It’s how our system works. People try and settle their argument before going to court.

If you don’t like it, then it is your right to not say things in public. You are not freed from the consequences of your speech, and you are not freed from the obligations put upon you by the law. Think before you post. Be ready to provide evidence if you accuse.

– Alex Schroeder 2014-07-31 13:59 UTC

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– Alex Schroeder

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2014-06-29 Welcome to the New Server

Welcome to the new server! I’ve moved from to , an Austrian company that also offers servers in Zurich. Good for me, not so good for people in the US, I guess. Does the site feel sluggish to you? Leave a comment and say Hi. Also, let us know from where you’re connecting.

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Summary: Hello, former hiking buddy Adrian! Thank you for stopping by. :)

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> ----
> [[gravatar: AlexSchroeder:e33b88db6bc04e1c93db25c702baea28]]
> Hello, former hiking buddy Adrian! Thank you for stopping by. :)
> -- AlexSchroeder 2014-07-01 15:53 UTC

Hello from the US Alex It does seem a bit slower for me, but not so much that it would be an issue.

– Adrian 2014-07-01 15:51 UTC

Hello, former hiking buddy Adrian! Thank you for stopping by.

AlexSchroeder 2014-07-01 15:53 UTC

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2014-06-27 New Hosting Sometime Soon

Last year, I wondered about webhosting in Switzerland. Today had another outage and I think I’m going to move my wikis to . This will take a few days, but I’ve already started the process. Moving data. Setting up the system. When the time comes, I’ll be locking all the wikis on the old host, change the DNS entries and as soon as you get the update, the wiki will be editable again because you’ll be connecting to the new system.

Note the outage in the graphic to the right, and the tapering out of requests as the new DNS entries start sending traffic to the new host. I love my Monitoring. 👍

The new host is called Kallobombus.

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