Stop! Using! Duck! Duck! Go!

Y’see? Here we go again… If you want security and privacy on the net, unplug. But if you can’t do that, here’s an alternative.

Thar She Blows!

Ugh gaaaawd, what is it now? Isn’t Duck Duck Go the bestest alternative to Google Search anymore? The safest and most private and secure? See for yourself:

carvalho Indeed there are better alternatives to Duck Duck Go.

Okay, now what to do? Is the corporacrisy already that powerful and evil? Is there no way out? No way to escape their clamping down on us?

Of course there is. As long as at least some politically and technically aware activists are still free and not in jail, there always is a better way than the “official” one. And, hey, who made Google the boss of you, who said they are the standard? With GNU/Linux we’re starting, and succeeding, pushing the mighty Microsoft of its unearned throne, so there must certainly be another search alternative to Google’s censoring fascist shit as well. And indeed there is!

May I suggest you look up…

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Warming Up to Diaspora

Hello readers, fellow technophobes, and social network users! It has been a lonnnnng time since I’ve posted here. Frankly, it’s because I have had very little to write about! Between my ultra-awesome and almost totally trouble-free MX-Linux operating system working so well and with such reliability that it’s actually boring (which is a very good thing!), and my long hours at work, and other real life intrusions this time of year, I haven’t had much to write about that I haven’t already said. But with all the new scary stuff in the news about Big Tech companies spying on their users, data being stolen, and privacy becoming nearly non-existent for almost everyone connected to the Internet even without computers and cellphones (even your “smart” TV and home appliances spy on you now for goodnessakes), I wanted to inform my readers about a free and open source, privacy-respecting alternative to Google-Plus and Facebook that I’ve written about before (just search this blog under the tag, “Diaspora“), but have found some ways to make it work better for me after finding it so disappointing before. It’s those work-arounds that I want to share now, and explain why Diaspora is good alternative after all if you’re willing to give it time to become what you need it to be.

That is the main thing: Diaspora takes time to become what you want it to be. Just like a newly-installed operating system takes time to discover and to customize with the most suitable settings, applications, and tools, so too with the federated social networks. Diaspora is the best of these in my opinion because the interface is more intuitive and customizable.

Diaspora still attracts a lot of anarchists, Leftists, tech nerds, and even some Nazis and creepy deviants. That’s because most of it’s pods are un-moderated, un-censored islands of free speech without the algorithms and agendas of the Big Companies. The price of freedom includes others’ freedom to be leftist, fascist, Nazi, deviant anarchists. But a lot more of us conservative, Christian, family-values type people are also fleeing to Diaspora from Fakebook and Google than ever before as well. A whole lot more! Surprisingly, I’ve found quite a few and added them to my Apects (kinda like “friends” on Facebook), and our numbers continue to grow on Diaspora as we are being systematically excluded from the big centralized online networks. The secret is taking the time to identify them, add (or follow) them, and to filter out the wolves in sheep’s clothing that appear Christian at first but promote antisemitism, racism, anarchy, or some weird heterodoxy. The wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest, y’know.

Start by following tags (hashtags), but then start following people who write good stuff on that subject. If you follow #Christian, #Christianity, #Christ, #bible, and #church, for example, you’ll find some posts from people who hate Christ and write really awful, bitter stuff on those subjects. You’re following those hashtags, so you see it all, both the good and the bad. Now comes the cool part. You can ignore the haters and prevent them from commenting on your own posts using the Ignore button. Don’t stop following the tags, because you’ll want to share with other users who share good stuff. Discovering and Ignoring the haters and mockers is a little painful and might have you thinking of giving up on Diaspora, as I have done twice before. But there’s a baby in that bathwater! And don’t forget why you went looking for an alternative to Fakebook in the first place (privacy, ownership of your own data and intellectual property, etc and etc). There are bullies wherever free speech is permitted. Don’t be a snowflake. Or if you’re going to be one, then stay in your “safe space” and cry me a river. And here, take this special snowflake patch and sew it on your varsity letter sweater.

After some time, you’ll have gathered some people to follow and share with who share your values and appreciate the same things you do. It’s helpful if you can bring some family and friends with you to Diaspora, but they need to know this stuff going in or they will do what I did with my first couple of accounts there: Close them or abandon them, and write Diaspora off as a haven for only those who don’t share your interests and values. It isn’t true, but discovering and sharing with them takes more time than many people are willing to invest. It’s well worth the time it takes to make Diaspora what you need and want it to be. If you get discouraged along the way during the process, remember why you began this journey to begin with! Privacy, respect for your ownership of your own intellectual property, and the same unmitigated freedom that those who don’t share your values enjoy. It’s increasingly harder and harder to find on the big corporate social media providers.

My experience with Xubuntu

Since Mint has discontinued their Xfce variant, if you like Xfce and Mint, your best bet is Xubuntu with the cool Minty tools available from Ralphy’s awesome repository, at https://unlockforus.com!

cf's linux blog

desktop

So far I’m liking Xubuntu over linux mint xfce. In fact recently Mint discontinued Mint Xfce so if i wanted to continue using mint i had to switch to either cinnamon or the kde distro of that. 

One thing i noticed about Xubuntu is it remembers the browser i want as the default. Which for me is google chrome. On mint it would never remember it would just default to firefox. I got really annoyed having firefox open up every time i clicked on a link in hexchat. Firefox is an awful browser.

Xfce doesnt use much memory. I think the most memory intensive thing i have ran on this install so far has been chrome. When i have nothing running except for the desktop i only use about 300mb of memory out of the 4gb i have.htop

Libre office is great for writing my journal and making signs which…

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From Facebook and Google+ to Diaspora

With the demise of Google Plus, a rush of people in search of an alternative is underway. Many of these “Plussers” and “G+ Refugees” have found their way to Diaspora! And a lot of folks are jumping over from Facebook as well, with all the news about censorship, bias, data-mining, and breaches.

I have written about Diaspora before. I complained that FOSS projects like Diaspora seem to attract anticapitalists and politically liberal folks who see all for-profit companies as inherently evil. So finding other like-minded conservatives and Christian folk on Diaspora, historically, was hard to do. Diaspora also attracts people who believe that “even hate speech is free speech, so don’t you dare try to limit my free speech!” So there are Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, etc. I dumped Diaspora eventually because finding others who share my values was so rare and so difficult.

That has completely changed now, because of the vast numbers of folks fleeing the Left-leaning censorship of Facebook and Google. I have found dozens of conservative patriots and evangelical Christians on Diaspora, and a growing number of Diaspora pods are moderated and have terms of service that make better sense than before. When it was learned that some Islamic extremist groups were actually using Diaspora accounts to promote / recruit / radicalize and plan acts of terror, suddenly there was a bit of a backlash against the policy of absolute iron-clad non-censorship and non-moderation. Most podmins (these are the folks who run the Diaspora software on servers and operate their own Diaspora “pods”) cleaned up the mess they had made and erased and banned the terror extremists. They haven’t fully cleaned out the Nazi infestation, but that’s a fringe group that most people simply block and ignore anyway.

When I fled from Facebook this last time, I gave Diaspora one last shot before I thought I would simply give up on social media and stick to e-mail and forums. There are a few pods that are just downright awesome now, and lots of people using the hashtags #Christian, #Christ-follower, #conservative, #bible, etc. And at least one of them is working on opening his own Diaspora pod that will be Christian-friendly and heavily moderated to keep it family friendly. I would have done it long ago myself if I had the money and time it would take to set up and maintain a Diaspora pod. So I’m delighted to find someone else taking it seriously enough to start his own pod (a “pod” is Diaspora’s term for an instance, a server that people can use to receive and send posts and comments from others on Diaspora and the Federation.

Karin, a newcomer from Google Plus, wrote this really cool review of why diaspora is 10 ways better than Google Plus. She called Diaspora “pluspora,” but that’s the name of the particular pod she joined from.

It’s definitely worth a shot now, for those of you who may have been holding off, or who might have abandoned an older Diaspora account because of the very small number of people who share “family values” and respect for those with religious beliefs, traditions, and values. If you decide to try Diaspora, whether again or for the first time, look me up! Find me here and say hello!

Update

Hi fellow technophobes and trainees!

We just completed a move out of state and life is a bit crazy and chaotic until we get all unpacked and sorted out. Please forgive the prolonged absence, but I’ll be back soon! When I return I want to do a write about all the new updated supercool tools in MX-Linux 17!

More Awesome MX-Linux

This post is just to show off another of MX-Linux’s cool tools, called MX-Clocky! You can pick from several desktop clocks, including this cool-looking one that also monitors CPU and RAM usage. There have both analog and digital, from plain to fancy.

Today I have my “Salute to Mepis” desktop wallpaper on, and my newly-discovered neofetch display.