post-1622647512

"Over a month ago, I came to the realization that my smartphone was having several negative impacts on my mental health... In a desperate attempt to regain some control, I ditched the smartphone."

gemini://tobykurien.com/articles/2021-05-23-digital-declutter.gmi

Digital de-clutter
https://tobykurien.com/digital-declutter/

Wed 02 June 2021

post-1622645776

TIL: there's Android ransomware that works not by encrypting your files, but rather by showing a system modal window that cannot be dismissed by the user until the ransom is paid. Latest variants use machine learning: "TinyML model is useful for making sure [the ransom note] would appear less contrived and more believable" #android #malware #ransomware

Mobile randsomware
https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2020/10/08/sophisticated-new-android-malware-marks-the-latest-evolution-of-mobile-ransomware/

Wed 02 June 2021

post-1621786017

A great talk arguing that software is in fact getting worse, because of more complexity. (via alex.flounder.online)

Jonathan Blow - Preventing the Collapse of Civilization
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW-SOdj4Kkk

Sun 23 May 2021

Digital de-clutter

digital-declutter


My on-going journey to digital minimalism

Sun 23 May 2021

post-1621669924

Photos from a recent trip down to Port Edward, KZN South Coast. A really beautiful and relaxing place for a holiday. #photo #kzn

Sat 22 May 2021

post-1621362863

And here's a gorgeous screenshot of khal in action, if you're still on the fence about #cli PIM tools. #commandline #pimutils #khal

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1621358358

Instead of installing and configuring a heavy GUI app for my calendar and todos, I've discovered the command-line based pimutils. Once vdirsyncer is configured, I can use khal and todoman. Very simple, powerful, portable, and lightweight. #opensource #commandline

pimutils
https://github.com/pimutils

Tue 18 May 2021

post-1619633215

Book recommendation: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Talk about discovering the right book at the right time! After ditching my smartphone, I needed answers: why was it bad? what do I do with my time? This book answers that and more.

Digital Minimalism
https://www.calnewport.com/books/digital-minimalism/

Wed 28 April 2021

post-1619195244

By a truly unbelievable coincidence [...] I saw a small package fall off a truck ahead of me. 😂

Turns out the software used to extract data from your phone when seized, has security vulnerabilities 😁 #signal #cellebrite

Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite...
https://signal.org/blog/cellebrite-vulnerabilities/

Fri 23 April 2021

post-1618908395

I made a music player using the awesome Pimoroni Pirate Audio HAT for #RaspberryPi. It plays any format including OGG and even videos, remembers where it left off, buttons work exactly how I like it because I wrote the code, and it has outstanding audio quality (24-bit DAC + headphone amp). The UI needs work tho! #maker #diy #audio

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618906775

Birds on a wire. They congregrate at this exact spot every morning just before sunrise, and disperse as soon as the sun rises. #birding

Tue 20 April 2021

post-1618742136

I let out some of my frustrations in a ranty response to a Github feature request for my app. I love that a user was invested enough in my app to write a long and frustrated feature request.

Quote:

I sense your frustration in that the app is close to what you want and how you use it, but not quite there. Unfortunately the bad news is that I will probably stop supporting this app this year, despite this app being a labour of love and one I'm proud of. The above-mentioned sandbox leaks, combined with browser fingerprinting, supercookies, FLoC, and other hostile abuses of Web technology, have made me come to the conclusion that the Web is a lost cause for private browsing. Yes, WebApps offers only limited protection, and that protection will probably decrease every year. Something like Gemini (https://gemini.circumlunar.space/docs/faq.gmi) is probably the way forward for privacy minded geeks, and I for one am moving as much of my content creation/consumption there as possible.

Another factor is that Android is also increasingly hostile to the developer (you need at least 16Gb RAM to compile a 3Mb APK, every year devs are forced onto new APIs, Gradle builds break often, Google now wants your developer signing key, the tooling I had used is now deprecated, etc, etc, etc). Couple that with the spyware preloaded onto phones and the increasing difficulty of getting control over your device (e.g. my phone kills VLC after 30 mins and there's nothing I can do about it), and I'm ready to ditch Android and go back to good 'ol desktop computing (https://tobykurien.com/post-1618319359/).

WebApps …

Sun 18 April 2021

post-1618319359

Giving up the smartphone (currently in airplane mode in the drawer) for a dumb phone. I want my attention span back. I want control over my computer. I want to eschew mobile computing for good old fashioned desktop computing.

Nokia 105 Smartphone in airplane mode

Tue 13 April 2021

post-1617996201

TIL: trackers/spyware can bypass even third-party blocking and same-origin-policy by using CNAME cloaking. There's almost no hope of having privacy on the web, other than to resort to other protocols like Gemini.

Characterizing CNAME cloaking-based tracking
https://blog.apnic.net/2020/08/04/characterizing-cname-cloaking-based-tracking/

Fri 09 April 2021

post-1617689702

Not really about 5G, the article mentions ways that SAPS could get hold of your data. FYI My phone was confiscated and searched at OR Tambo without any warrant. #surveillance #privacy

5G opens the gates for surveillance on steroids
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-04-06-5g-opens-the-gates-for-surveillance-on-steroids/

Tue 06 April 2021

post-1617629938

Great video with a LOT of information for privacy-aware smartphone users. Sadly, even us hackers have lost control of our tech. #privacy #smartphone

Spyware-Free Phones in 2021: We're being Squeezed!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPrugkYJpO8

Mon 05 April 2021

post-1617548651

Photos from a recent #hike near Hartebeespoort dam

Sun 04 April 2021

post-1617548413

I was recently treated to a visit from an African Grey Hornbill. Right on my doorstep!

#birding

Sun 04 April 2021

Gemini and e-paper are a great combination

gemini-epaper


Browsing gemini content on a Kindle is a pleasant, distraction-free experience

Tue 30 March 2021

post-1615442746

A #loadshedding solution I've been playing with: Blue Nova 280Wh LFP battery + 300W inverter. Runs my laptop for over 6 hours, charges with standard car battery charger, over 10 years of cycle life, weighs less than 3kg, costs under R3000.

Thu 11 March 2021