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Messages - ersi

Some week ago my Android YT app stopped working. It kept saying that an update is absolutely required, otherwise no go. I had kept it deliberately unupdated because the newest updates insist on you to log in.

TubeMate is a good alternative, I have found. It lets you browse YT, block autoplay, switch between mobile and desktop sites, it has a good number of video-sharing websites pre-bookmarked, and is capable of downloading from all of them. You can liberally bookmark more video websites.

At first I assumed TubeMate uses ytdl for downloading, but there seems to be something different going on. For example, TubeMate can download this video while ytdl cannot (President of Finland visiting Estonia, 1925).

The downsides:
- ads
- sometimes the app steals focus from other apps too aggressively
Hail Finland! And congrats for independence day again! (Dec. 6)

Finland Is a Capitalist Paradise
"Can high taxes be good for business? You bet."
The Lounge / Re: Random horse
Those horses look edible, but might be purely decorative.
USA is much more likely than the EU to devise something to counter China.

How to Respond to the Rise of China - Part 2

Due to its larger geographic size and larger population relative to earlier challengers, the US had a big advantage in its knowledge base to fuel its innovation. Against the Soviets, the US had a larger economy, invested more in higher education, and even managed to attract many of the leading German scientists after World War II. Against the Japanese, the US had a much, much larger economy and a much larger population, as well as more investment in higher education. This advantage gave the US a big edge in innovation, whether it was in developing superior weapons systems and consumer goods relative to the Soviets, or inventing new industries in response to the Japanese challenge.

Today, China's economy is approaching the size of that of the US, while its population is more than four times the size of the US. And the country has steadily and strongly expanded its spending on higher education to prepare for an even brighter future. Since China knew that it would take many years to strengthen its own universities, it has also provided generous funding for young masters and doctoral students to study at excellent international universities, not only in the US but throughout the developed economies in Western Europe, Canada and Australia. China calculated that allowing its citizens to study abroad would strengthen their knowledge, and that most of them would likely return to China and put that enhanced knowledge to work in the Chinese economy. This meant that China did not need to wait for its own universities to catch up, in order to increase its innovation capability.

As a result, we in the US now face a near-peer in innovation infrastructure. The innovation infrastructure consists of the hard and soft assets in the society to generate, disseminate, and absorb new innovative knowledge. This requires investments in hard assets, like 5G connectivity or up-to-date airports, roads and train stations, as well as investments in soft assets, like training, skills, universities and other forms of human capital development.
USA, always calculating how to override others, continues to do according to its nature. Continental Europe does not have this in the genes and the genes cannot be altered. The EU does not even have a Russia-policy (except as a weak reflex of USA's Russia-policy), so there is no reason to hope we come up with a China-policy.

Then again, USA is strongly to blame for what China has become and is becoming. The point of blame is when Kissinger switched diplomacy from Taiwan to mainland. Often enough USA wrestles monsters of its own creation and imagination.
Synopsis (read article for full argument):

  • articulate a vision for the future as concrete and appealing as anything Beijing can come up with
  • offer more to Europe's eastern and southeastern flank in particular
  • create a better-defined and more attractive offer for countries not on a path to full single market membership
  • employ sticks as well as carrots; carbon border adjustment taxes with those not doing their part on climate change; restrictions on data flows with those that disrespect the data rights Europeans increasingly assert
  • while being transparent about systemic rivalry, identify clearly aligned interests where the EU and China can work together as equal partners
  • look for areas to accommodate a full role for China in shaping global governance
  • the EU needs to be much more aware of the things it does well and which make it attractive to others
This can never work.

"1. articulate a vision for the future as concrete and appealing as anything Beijing can come up with"

This already starts with pretention and disingenuousness. We should actually *be* appealing in fact and deed, not only by articulating a nicer vision than Beijing does. Unfortunately Europe has embarrassed itself badly enough in several different ways, such as by starting two world wars, then failing to stop next wars when they were close by (Balkans in the 90s) and running along to fight wars where we had no business (Afghanistan and Iraq). There is no way to articulate a vision that could erase these events. At the same time, modern China never attacked anyone outside its own borders.

In the outside world, the EU is seen both politically and economically as the pendant of USA. Any "vision" we might articulate will be seen as an attempt to push through the (military) interests and (asymmetric "free" trade) values of USA. This is not some remote impression, but has always been confirmed by the actions. Nobody in their right mind (or rightly skeptically minded) can trust us.

"2. offer more to Europe's eastern and southeastern flank in particular"

Those who call the shots in the EU always undermined Europe's eastern and southeastern flank, even when it was in their immediate interest to strengthen the flank against the aggression of Russia. For example, Merkel sang the bright future of visa freedom with Putin and France signed a treaty of delivering warships for Russia's Black Sea fleet just before the Crimean war, against warnings of eastern EU members. Another notable example, when MH17 was shot down in Ukraine and the Dutch prime minister almost immediately offered to go in to investigate with military backup if necessary, which would have shown that the EU is serious when their own citizens are attacked (most of the passengers were Dutch) and serious about what is going on at its eastern flank, the bigger members reined him in, for fear to upset Russia.

These examples should convince everyone that the EU is absolutely not serious when their own citizens are attacked and is ever ready to sacrifice its eastern and southeastern flank.

"4. employ sticks as well as carrots; carbon border adjustment taxes with those not doing their part on climate change;"

Somewhat doable only with those who have ratified the relevant treaty. And does not pull out like USA did. Anyway, it would be good for that carbon thingy to make sense in the first place. There is too much CO2 in it and too little about reducing industrial pollution, encouraging renewable energy, reusable/recycled materials, etc. With such senseless emphasis on mere CO2, pranksters can say that the farting cows of India have the most effect on global warming.

"5. restrictions on data flows with those that disrespect the data rights Europeans increasingly assert"

What data rights do Europeans assert? The right to the cookie popup hell? How is this even a right?

"6. while being transparent about systemic rivalry, identify clearly aligned interests where the EU and China can work together as equal partners
7. look for areas to accommodate a full role for China in shaping global governance
8. the EU needs to be much more aware of the things it does well and which make it attractive to others"

Yadda yadda.
The Lounge / Re: Random horse
I don't own those horses. And after uploading anything on the internet, why would anyone pretend they still own it?
Computer-generated pronunciations? Eww.. I can recommend Speakly. I updated (or kind of upheld rather) my French there when they had a free campaign for a while. No computer-generated nonsense. No real-life interaction either, but if you just want some conversation phrases in writing read out to you so you can repeat, it's fine.

The best conversation exercise is still live interaction. This cannot be changed. Find a real-life friend among native speakers, if you are really serious. (I am not that serious.)
The Lounge / Re: Random horse
See if I can remember my imgur login.
I found that Xfce Screenshooter can post to Imgur without requiring a login. Been using it ever since.
I cannot directly recommend it either. Emacs org mode requires Emacs and Emacs can drive one crazy when diving into it too fast. Even after years it becomes slowly comfortable only after you, after long familiarisation process, become convinced of the usefulness of at least three of its major aspects. For example, org mode, editor, and browser. Or org mode, editor, and mailer. Or mailer, browser, and editor. Or calendar, org mode, and editor. Can't do without the editor, unfortunately.

This is quite different from Vim, which is only frustrating as long as you do not know the keybinds and shortcuts. It frustrates, but doesn't drive one nuts (apart from the beginner's shock when you do not know how to quit/exit it, which can be quite traumatic) because it is just an editor with a visually clean interface. Even though I don't like Vim's quit keybind to this day, to me its view mode versus insert mode made instantly sense, and I soon set up Less and Nano to emulate these modes: I always open up readable files in Less, and when I need to edit, I press "v" in Less to go into editor, which I have set to Nano.

In comparison, Emacs is rocket science in every way. And its quit keybind is much worse than in Vim.
Looks like org mode is so amazing that I may finally switch to Emacs. Its core is the distinction between a heading and paragraph. Or note title and content.

Then add lists, including checklists. Thus far markdown can do the same. But then add deadlines with calendar integration. Also add the ability of displaying it in Emacs with collapsing and expanding from the headings, tables that can do everything Excel can do, and advanced extensions to convert to HTML, Latex, PDF, and whatnot, and everybody should be convinced.

Org mode in Emacs can serve as notebook/organiser and authoring tool for code, article outlines, presentations, and more. Copycat versions for vim are trying to play catchup but are nowhere near. Here's a speech by its original author

DnD Central / Re: God Save the Governor!
Yay, now we even have a Mississippi thread. Bookmarked!
What a weird article this is. In the end it turns into an ad of Tutanota email, which is apparently unrelated to Vivaldi. The article would make some sense, if Vivaldi's email were based on Tutanota. But there are more anti-Vivaldi features in this article on the Vivaldi blog.

How to stop the online tracking machine
Google knows everything you've searched for. Google stores your search history unless you delete it. But you must make sure to delete it in your Google Settings, not just your phone history, for example. Click here to see your own data [].

PlayStore, YouTube, Gmail, Google Translate, tracking possibilities for Google are endless. Google knows what apps you use, when you use them, who you communicate with.
Yes, Google does all that, particularly when you are logged in to the Google services. I went to the Myactivity page and there were some Youtube videos listed that evidently were tracked when I was inadvertently logged in to Youtube on the smartphone. Nothing else. I figure Google only reveals very little on that page.

But Vivaldi browser also invites you to log in, same as Google Chrome. What does Vivaldi record when I am logged in? Where do I see it and can I delete it? I guess I can see and delete about as little as on the Google's Myactivity page.

The challenge today is to stop this unlimited data mining, to stop online tracking. The problem is that the most commonly used tools are provided for free by a handful of tech companies. These companies have based their business model on excessive data mining and, thus, have no interest to stop.


We have to stop the tracking machine, not just for us, but for the good of society. The only way we can achieve this right now is by limiting the power of data-hungry tech companies that do online tracking.
Right. And, other than size, how does Vivaldi differ from Google?
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
Bob Norris, Marlboro Man and Colorado Springs
philanthropist, dies

At one point, his ranch was selected as the location for
a Marlboro cigarette ad. When advertising agency
executives arrived, with their models and Western wear,
they saw a more authentic cowboy in Norris, and asked
him to star as the Marlboro Man. He appeared in ads for 
the next dozen years. Ironically, Norris never smoked.
Never smoked. And died. Double sad news.
If you mean right-click>View source, then this opens up a a coloured source viewer. I do not know if the colour theme there can be tweaked.

By "just humanly readable" do you mean that the source of some pages is uncoloured? It would be nice to see an example of this. Perhaps non-HTML raw plain text pages are like that.

For me the colour theme in Otter's inbuilt source viewer is good enough and it's nice that Ctrl+scroll changes the font size, but of course it would be even nicer if the colours could be tinkered somewhere.

A good option in Otter would be the ability to open the source in external programs, something that Opera had, e.g.
I guess nicknames don't work from the F2/Ctrl+k/Go to page dialog. I don't think this makes too much sense; it might be a case of following Opera/Presto too closely (not sure how it behaves otoh) or perhaps some people consider it a feature that nicknames don't work in there?
Bookmark nicknames *do* work in Opera's secondary address field. The difference between the nickname field and nicknames-in-the-address-field is that in the former they fly (i.e. the page is opened when you have typed enough so that it is already recognised by the browser) and in the latter you have to complete the nick with precision and then hit Enter or push Go to open the page.

Otter is not following Opera very closely. There are many similarities and directly copied aspects, but mostly in a superficial way. It is very far from a clone.
but it's precisely on this second adress bar that there is no way to use word-shortcuts for search'engine and boomark shortcuts
Careful here, because there are two secondary fields (popup dialogs, just like they used to be in Opera): One is an actual address field, called "Go to page" on the popup dialog titlebar; the other one is called "Go to Bookmark" and is for bookmark aliases only.

The "Go to page" popup dialog works for searches with search engine shortcuts (the same that you see in Preferences/Search). For me this popup dialog does not seem to suggest bookmarks, even though I have AddressField/SuggestBookmarks set to Yes (which is also the default) in about:config. Also the main address field does not suggest bookmarks for me. A workaround for bookmarks is the sidebar.

The "Go to Bookmark" popup dialog has a very limited function: Fly to the page as you type a bookmark alias. It does not accept regular web addresses and it is not meant for suggest-as-you-type.

Edit: I found that when Otter is in fullscreen, then, by default, Ctrl+k activates the secondary address field in search-engine mode. But, yeah, bookmarks for some reason do not show up either in primary or secondary address fields.
In fullscreen there is the secondary address field available (performs also searches) and a thingie for aliases. For more complicated things, such as sifting through bookmarks, I tend to open the sidebar. Sidebar opens for me in fullscreen view.
And just now Snowden was interviewed by Joe Rogan too
Maybe it was a dubbed American ad? I'm not sure if native Dutch ads were so bluntly sexist.

If this is a real ad by McDonalds, then they easily compete with Disney in overt racism. And yes, the message is "I'm lovin' it", their current catchphrase, but from the bad quality and general lack of availability of the video, it seems the ad was cancelled.

Is there some "Black TV" network in USA?

Edit: And yes, it looks like in USA the marketing departments in all earnestness posit the question, "How can we dupe that particular demographic into buying the product?"
Samsung also has something called DeX these days, which sounds interesting.
As much as I have looked into it, it is not interesting enough, because it does not properly resize all apps. Moreover, for some dumb reason dual-screen (a.k.a. split windows, a very well implemented feature already in Galaxy Note 4) view is not available (but manual resizing with mouse is). So it is not a solid window manager. As a result, there are only mixed benefits to it compared to simply landscaping the Android. 

I don't buy Samsung anymore since pretty much anything Samsung I ever owned died prematurely in my eyes. (A TV, two monitors, several DVD player/writers...)
I cannot quite corroborate that, but looks like you have bought more Samsung stuff altogether, so you know better.
Some other Unconventional Economic Indicators that have been promoted include:

1. Hemlines: First suggested in 1925 by George Taylor of the Wharton School of Business, the Hemline Index proposes that skirt hemlines are higher when the economy is performing better. For instance, short skirts were in vogue in the 1990s when the tech bubble was increasing.
2. Haircuts: Paul Mitchell founder John Paul Dejoria suggests that during good economic times, customers will visit salons for haircuts every six weeks, while in bad times, haircut frequencies drop to every eight weeks.
3. Dry-cleaning: Another favorite Greenspan theory, this indicator suggests that dry cleaning drops during bad economic times, as people only take clothes to the cleaners when they absolutely need to when budgets are tight.
4. Fast food: Many analysts believe that during financial downturns, consumers are far more likely to purchase cheaper fast food options, while when the economy heads into an upswing, patrons are more likely to focus more on buying healthier food and eating in nicer restaurants.
What I find curious about these indicators is that most of them are allegedly trying to capture consumer behaviour, something that the mainstream theory is incapable of. According to the mainstream economic theory, just one type of people exists: maximisers of economic profit. In reality, there are at least three types: hoarders, hustlers, and drifters.

Maximisers of profit are a combination of hoarders and hustlers, whereas the bulk of consumers are drifters. After fulfilling their primary needs, drifters buy stuff just because other people are buying the same or similar stuff, or if minimalism is in the vogue, they do not buy anything. There may be more pennywise and less pennywise drifters, but they do their thing completely regardless how economy at large is doing.

With the last point (fast food), I guess they are referring to the famous Big Mac Index. It is useful for measuring purchasing power parity rather than consumer behaviour in relation to upswings and downturns of economy. West-branded fast food is a completely different social phenomenon in e.g. Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe and USA.

In Eastern Europe, McDonalds and Burger King are a symbol of the stage of development where prestigious global brands enter the local market. Visiting such places signals that you can afford shiny foreign things. It has nothing to do with cheapness or even with fastness. In under-industrialised countries, Western fast food brands are an outrageously expensive choice compared to e.g. forest produce which comes only at the expense of picking (and most people are picking forest produce by themselves because this is what under-industrialised means). When these people go to a fast food restaurant, they are not thinking about saving money. They think about showing off and having fun like they have seen in the movies, nevermind the health effects.

This is why the Big Max Index measures purchasing power parity, not much else. Also those other indices measure, in a limited way, purchasing power parity in various social strata. They can have a relation to macroeconomic trends on the assumption that economy equals consumption. Wrong assumption.

Economics is about the least attractive science, not really worth to be called a science. Accounting and econometrics are something, but economics is nothing.
The Linux (Ubuntu) phone Librem 5 is sold with "a compatible 30-inch monitor, keyboard, and mouse," implying that it is designed as a potential desktop replacement

If the monitor, keyboard, and mouse all work while the phone is charging at the same time, it surely serves its purpose. I have managed to connect my Galaxy Note 4 to external monitors with a connectivity adapter. When put in landscape mode, it fills up 16:9 space and is okay for watching videos or pic slideshows, and tolerable for a short typing session. The nags are that there is just one output resolution and that the keyboard at that time must use bluetooth. If Librem can output more resolutions and connect with all kinds of keyboards, it might be worth buying.
Want to Know the Economic Forecast? Check Your Underwear
The Men's Underwear Index, as it's known, was originally conceived of and popularized by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. It looks at the sale of men's underwear as an indicator of economic growth. In a healthy economy, the theory goes, men are more likely to buy new underwear; in shakier times, they're more wary of spending and don't buy much new underwear because it's not a true necessity. [...]

So does the Men's Underwear Index hold water? Well, in 2008 and 2009, sales of men's underwear began to slow, which matched with the Great Recession. In fact, according to H&R Block, in the years leading up to and including the Recession, there was a three percent increase in men buying single pairs of underwear and a decrease in men buying multi-packs -- a sign that buyers were looking to make one pair of underwear stretch a bit further. As the economy started to come back to life, men's underwear sales across the U.S. began to increase again. They stayed pretty consistent.

Currently, it looks like men's underwear sales for 2019 are down a bit. [...] But if you haven't bought new underwear in a while, you might want to. Economic certainty be damned.
Will you start commenting there now?
there is no need for any other cameras on any other side
I disagree. The secondary camera on my phone is good enough for video calling...
Maybe, but the better camera would be even better, wouldn't it? Therefore, if you want good video calling, you are actually agreeing with me :) Or, if you do not want video calling to be too good, then you actually do not like video calling much.

I have probably made just two video calls on my phone. They were Skype calls. And about two Skype video calls on the computer too. So few calls partly because the cameras are crap and also the sound is not too good, and often there are ambient disturbers. The chat feature is enough. Well, at work we need to do Skype conferences. There are often glitches that will never endear me to this form of communication. I will forever prefer writing.

I think it would be great if we could easily reuse old Android devices as touchpads or webcams. You can kind of do that with regular Android, but that's slow and cumbersome. I mean more like a plugin USB device, where instead of slow Android booting you have a minimal quick boot.
Isn't the hardware capacity there, so it is just a software issue? What you need is some community hacking the appropriate os/platform/app. I would very much like to use handhelds as displays for different inputs too, e.g. from my computer over bluetooth or wifi maybe. Surely there are apps for that, and if you want quick bootup, there should be a way to make that particular app the only app...

My Sony Ericsson T630 came with a mirror just below the camera for selfie purposes. It's a lot cheaper than even the cheapest secondary screen and almost just as effective.
Yes, that was ingenious.