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Messages - ersi

DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
Because the war with Iran failed to catch fire, impeachment goes on.


A good thorough piece published half a year ago. Amazing what you may find when you browse

DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
The most obvious contender for "what Trump gets out of this" is that he has been impeached and is going into an election year with stubbornly underwater approval ratings, and sees war with Iran as a Hail Mary pass to whip Americans into a wartime fever -- much as happened behind Bush in 2003 -- which might be enough to drag him across the line in what will likely be a close election.

(Trump on Nov. 16, 2011:
"Our president [Obama] will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected -- and as sure as you're sitting there -- is to start a war with Iran.")

One of the most predictable aspects of Trump's narcissism is that he always projects his own flaws and evil impulses onto others. If he accused Obama of feeling an urge to start a war for political advantage, we can pretty much bet that same impulse lurks in Trump's own heart.
What a nasty little writer. But who can prove her wrong?

The Lounge / Re: Happy New Zealand!
They seem to share same limited feeds. It should be possible to do better.
Yes, it seemed better last year. They keep getting worse.

Anyway most of the world has entered 2020 already, and we haven't gotten to Europe yet (Russia and Turkey excepted).
Even in 2020, Turkey is still not Europe.
The Lounge / Re: Happy New Zealand!
Yeah, congrats NZ and Kiribati and the rest.

Same as last new year, I am trying to find a live stream on YT that show the celebration fireworks in most places in turn. Right now I cannot decide if USA Today is better than NBC or not.

Edit: The protesters in Hong Kong cleverly stole the spotlight holding the banner "Never Going Back".
Consider the (Linux x64) User Agent for our current Vivaldi stable. It reads like so:
Code: [Select]
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/78.0.3904.99 Safari/537.36 Vivaldi/2.9.1705.41
Really? In my testing, Vivaldi always, since day one, showed the UA identical to Chrome where things mattered, falling back to Vivaldi when it didn't matter. So your current change does not change anything.

A change would be permitting users to change the UA manually, instead of via an extension. Well, even that would not be much of a change. It would be just giving the users what they were used to with Opera.
A far more realistic observation, unfortunately
The materialistic United States, which Rifkin expected to be eclipsed by Europe, was better able to weather the financial crisis. [...] The error was not Europe's, but Rifkin's. Europe was not, and is not, bound to succeed. In fact, as 2019 comes to a close, the European Union is seemingly helpless and resigned in the face of its most important challenges: completing the economic and political integration of the bloc, creating a common defense policy, and even safeguarding basic standards of the rule of law.

Poland's government, for example, is responding to a European Court of Justice decision regarding violations of judicial independence by introducing legislation that would allow the country's judges to be removed for criticizing violations of the Polish constitution. When leaders of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party proclaim that "this caste must be disciplined," what can the EU do?

[...] China['s] emergence as a global leader is displacing not the United States, but Europe. China is now the world's largest exporter, and, as the biggest producer of electric cars, it may soon overtake Germany to become the global leader in the automobile industry. America's position as the world's leading military, financial, and innovation power is not threatened for now. The US withstood previous challenges from Germany and Japan in each of those areas, and very likely will resist China's competitive threat, too. But Europe very likely will not.

In fact, we are witnessing a great reversal of roles between Europe and China compared to the nineteenth century. For China, the 1800s were the "age of humiliation," a period when it was infiltrated by the French, British, and German empires, as well as by Russia and the US. These foreign powers imposed humiliating trade treaties, subordinated and exploited China economically, and controlled it politically.

Today, the EU increasingly resembles nineteenth-century China: a still-rich empire that cannot be occupied by others, but is weak enough to be infiltrated and exploited. China, meanwhile, has assumed Europe's former role, with its companies and investors increasingly penetrating the European economy and extending their influence.
...impossible to achieve in EU, see those Brexit supporters.

EU would never return to it's supremacy role with such people.
When was the EU ever at the supremacy role? Back in the golden age of colonisation, when there was no EU in the first place?

And what is wrong in supporting Brexit? UK never did anything good in the EU politics. They drive on the wrong side, they have the wrong sort of power sockets, they kept their island tax havens, and they never planned to fix any of this. They had all the exceptions and still whined for more, so that eventually the only kind of unity in the EU was the continent versus the UK. Let them get out quick and stay out forever.
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.