Tell me if I'm missing something here... Are system snapshots and backups worth anything? They don't work for backing up my files, because any problem that could affect those could affect the backup as well, so I need to make copies on a remote machine or external drive or whatever.

They could be helpful for getting the system itself back up from a disaster, but I honestly don't mind reinstalling an OS, it always gives me a refreshing feeling.

Privacy is having the power to not have others know you're planning a surprise party for a loved one.
Privacy is having the power to tell only those you trust about your plans until the time you use that same power to reveal the party to everyone.

Privacy is not secrecy, and secrecy is not always bad.
We all have secrets, and things we want to keep private, at least for a while.
Privacy allows us to reveal those secrets to those we trust.
Privacy allows us to reveal our secrets when and how we feel comfortable.
A lack of privacy is to be vulnerable.
To take away privacy (surveillance) is to disempower and make people vulnerable.
Privacy is too valuable to throw away without a second thought.

"Oh, but it's okay if [gov agency] does it, it's for national security!" - Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit about terrorism? You have a 100,000x greater chance of dying to a dozen other things than a terrorist. Plus, nobody from "the west" would want to live in China or Orwell's 1984, yet they provide the state with exactly the right data needed to train exactly the right tools to gain the kind of power needed to replicate these regimes.

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Better yet, the same people who spew this nonsense DO in fact have something to hide! They hide tons of things from people around them, they would throw a fit if someone browsed through their mail, and so on. Even if you don't have a super strong reason to do so, wanting to keep things hidden and secret is normal for humans.

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People who dismiss privacy with "I don't have anything to hide" are so frustrating. They implicitly equate caring about privacy with having something to hide, with doing something illegal or bad. It's like saying a man cannot care about abortion rights, and that any woman who does care about them does so because she wants to have an abortion.

I want to write some articles (ideally in the 1500-3000 word range) that explain various "computer things" to people who may use computers day to day but who have no idea about what goes on under the hood.

So far I've written about how digital audio works and what the deep web is (you can read 'em on the website linked in my profile), and I've almost finished writing about digital images and virtual machines.

I want to ask you all, what topics do you think would be nice to cover?

What is this?
How do you update a removal?
What are you doing, Windows?

Is the admission of piracy in itself an illegal act? If you're not caught pirating things, but you're caught saying that you pirate things, is it illegal?

I've been reading through Richard Feynman's "What Do You Care What Other People Think", where he talks about his experience in the Challenger Disaster commission. I really like his attitude where, if he wanted to know something, he'd listen to the engineers, the actual workers, not the executives' presentations, which turned out to be inaccurate time and time again.

Makes me wonder how many problems with common software (like bloated web) is due to bad management instead of bad programmers.

Does anyone (particularly from Eastern Europe) remember ever buying or hearing about disks full of GNU GPL licensed games?

I just remembered my parents buying one of those for me maybe 13 years ago off a local auction site. Most of them were games only in name, the gameplay was crap, but to my knowledge that was my first ever encounter with any open-source software, even if I didn't know what that was.

It's true tho, they don't even know how to navigate filesystems, what a URL is, how to install shit or what Windows version they have
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What decent e-mail clients do you all use and recommend? It's surprisingly hard to find any info on it, everyone just talks about the providers. The few articles I was able to find recommend stuff like MS Outlook...

I only know of Thunderbird and Claws, but the former has some bad privacy policy, while the latter is giving me trouble in setting it up.

Another aspect of cooperative, decentralised technology...

I may be speaking crap because I don't really know the technicalities, but would it be possible to go around domain distributors like GoDaddy and NameCheap and their fees?

Would it be possible to create a federated index of domains, that one could install on their device, sort of like a DNS before the "proper" DNS services?

@be The idea I came up with is as follows:
1. Funding coming predominantly from users, to avoid big corpo screwing things up.
2. Sticking to FOSS standards in software instead of pointlessly inventing new stuff.
3. Flexibility in usage, for example allowing the use of JavaScript-less third-party clients.
4. Implementing good privacy and security, as well as GDPR-compliant access and ability to remove user data.

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I asked @be a question, and they suggested to take the discussion public, so here goes:

Considering the ideas of Cooperative Technology (cooperativetechnology.codeberg), how could server-run software be controlled by the users, and how does open-source help in that?

If I have an e-mail account on a hidden service, is it safe (anonymous) to access it with an e-mail client, if I'm gonna run the client on Whonix? Or should I just stick to the web interface?

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Fosstodon

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.