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TFW you're enjoying playing strategic games (in this case widelands, with a strong emphasis on economy building), but there is a tiny voice in your mind asking what's the point of conquering lands, when all of their resources have been used up for the war.

Image/photoKlaus wrote the following post Mon, 14 Oct 2019 18:23:17 +0200

THE PREMISE: As a society, we need an open source device for reading. Books are among the most important documents of our culture, yet the most popular and widespread devices we have for reading — the Kobo, the Nook, the Kindle and even the iPad — are closed devices, operating as small moving parts in a set of giant closed platforms whose owners' interests are not always aligned with readers'.

The Open Book aims to be a simple device that anyone with a soldering iron can build for themselves. The Open Book should be comprehensible: the reader should be able to look at it and understand, at least in broad strokes, how it works. It should be extensible, so that a reader with different needs can write code and add accessories that make the book work for them. It should be global, supporting readers of books in all the languages of the world. Most of all, it should be open, so that anyone can take this design as a starting point and use it to build a better book.

I'd recommend reading both the article and the mastodon thread, as there are a number of useful pieces of software in both.

With notes on how to deal with an industry that is very dependent on proprietary software and formats, using only free software

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to get a small branch of bamboo, and of course I did.

Yesterday I found the 10 minutes to try to cut it into a couple of pens, following the instructions on : I think that the branch was probably thinner than what is usually recommended, but the pens seem to work just fine, in the picture there are a couple of lines written with the two pens, and they aren't significantly harder to use than regular metal nibs.

There is also a closeup of the points: I tried to make the cut more or less perpendicular, as they are going to be used for western-style calligraphy and I'm used to nibs with just a bit of slant.

And yes, the slit on one of the pens is definitely off center: I'll fix it when it will have worn down and I'll need to trim it.

I was working on #3dprinted #enclosure for @olimex #Lime2

The SATA port does not fit as neatly as it could and the board is actually attached to the box with just one screw, but it works. 🙂

If anyone would like to print their own box or even better improve it, move the holes for ports and screws by a few milliliters, so they will fit more tightly, let me know and I will upload the #STL and #OpenSCAD files on GitLab, FramaGit or somewhere. :openhardware:
Costumed made 3D printed enclosure for Olimex Lime2
Costumed made 3D printed enclosure for Olimex Lime2
Costumed made 3D printed enclosure for Olimex Lime2
Costumed made 3D printed enclosure for Olimex Lime2

@Gruppo Linux Como @LIFO

OLIMEX Ltd Bulgaria reshared this.

Are you able to run this board with only a standard kernel?

mostly yes: it is using an A20 SoC, for which support is almost complete:

(it is missing e.g. HDMI audio, but HDMI video does work)

The ones I have around all run standard debian, from the official installer (not a precooked image), and that must be able to run from the upstream kernel.

setthemfree reshared this.

That is so good to hear.

we live in an age of surveillance, tracking, targeted ads and the whole dystopia

and sites STILL show me temperature in Fahrenheit!

come on people, use all this data for something useful for once! I know you know who I am!

I think I'm in love with that RTFM design

Bye, bye, HuffPost.
I can't be bothered reading your stuff if I have to jump through hoops first.
When clicking a link to a HuffPost article I was presented with this overlay where I had to agree to their terms or "manage my options". No, thanks!

The comments to that post are also worth reading

couldn't find the link to the thread so I had to dig it out here:; only applies to, not; latter is operated by HuffingtonPost Italia s.r.l. which is a JV between Oath and GEDI s.p.a. so they are less scared by the GDPR

the link to the thread is indeed that one, and it is linked from the date of the post, below the author.

Not very visible, I agree.

@Gruppo Linux Como @LIFO

The same petition, in German:

The TooItalian;Didn'tRead is that the province of Bolzano has decided to stop paying to develop FUSS, a Debian based system¹ that has been used since 2005 in the italian language schools of the province and move towards a microsoft-based solution.

¹ not just a distribution, the project also includes tools for both classroom management and teaching.

Strategies for sustainable phones

On the Tinkerphones mailing list, Paul Boddie expressed some interesting thoughs about (lack of) sustainability of modern mobile phones. Things got worse lately, it seems.

It's a longer text, but we are on Diaspora, not Twitter. Our attention span is not limited to 280 characters. So here is the complete text.
Hello again,

Recently, having found myself needing to buy a fairly cheap Android smartphone
to keep communicating with the rest of the world, I found myself reviewing
what the options really were for buying something that would be (amongst other
  • Viable for a reasonable amount of time: the featurephone I retired lasted
    15 years but was wearing out and obviously couldn't do smartphone things.
  • Designed not to become obsolete purely because of cynical corporate
    decisions: for example, having a removable battery instead of something
    sealed in that may either spontaneously decide that it wants to burst out
    of the phone or that will eventually fail to hold a decent amount of
    charge, making the whole device useless.
  • Running Free Software under my control as an end-user.

Obviously, the phone I ended up getting doesn't fully satisfy (3) even though
the manufacturer does provide something claiming to be the source code. It
does satisfy (2), being something of a rarity now. Time will tell how
successful it will satisfy (1).

Being aware of various initiatives, it was therefore interesting to read the
following review of Fairphone 3:

"Fairphone 3 review: the most ethical and repairable phone you can buy"

I dislike the tone of technology reviews, especially when they talk of "last
year's" technology. They start to sound like fashion industry gossip ("last
season's collection") with largely the same implied level of regard for the
planet, workers' rights, and so on, unless carefully worded and qualified.

Fairphone have clearly refined their process of getting products to market
that satisfy their ethical goals, and they appear to be improving with regard
to software support, but even with their resources it appears difficult to
convince others that their premium (£200 according to the article) is worth
paying or that their longevity goals can be realised. Will the phone still be
usable in five years?

Coincidentally, another article approaches this latter problem from a
different angle:

"To decarbonize we must decomputerize: why we need a Luddite revolution"

Although it is perhaps not a central observation of the article, one reason
why something like the Fairphone might not be usable in five years is down to
the ongoing escalation of end-user hardware requirements by software and
services. This is rather like the way Microsoft and Intel worked in concert to
make people upgrade their computers every few years, but now things like
"bloat" in Web and online services are factors, too.

Making a top-end device can mitigate obsolescence to an extent, but this
raises some worthwhile questions about where less well-resourced efforts for
making genuinely open phones might be best directed. Smaller initiatives
cannot hope to be using the latest chipsets because these are all exclusive
things for the largest companies. And sadly, "consumers" are programmed to
obsess about specifications and how new the technology is.

I wonder, and think that others have also wondered before, whether it isn't
worth concentrating on making more modest devices instead of supposedly
competitive smartphones where openness is the differentiator. I recall
discussions of the Fernvale kit, the Zerophone, and maybe Nikolaus considered
a featurephone design at one point.

One aspect that will always detract from considerations of featurephones is
that their capabilities are maybe limited and do not appeal to all kinds of
users. That some Web sites or services may be too demanding, for instance, and
that the hardware just cannot deal with modern things.

It certainly seems to be the case that there are systemic issues involved
here: the people writing software and deploying platforms need to stop and
consider their effect on the end-user, on device longevity, and on the planet.
But there must still be a core region of functionality that could
satisfactorily be addressed by a featurephone design (or something relegated
to that category by whatever it is that passes for a "proper" smartphone these

Anyway, I think I have now written enough on this topic, but I hope that it is
worthwhile to air these thoughts in the hope that they help to inform any
future directions of the efforts undertaken in this community.


#tinkerphones #letuxos #sustainability #openhardware #freesoftware #fairphone #smartphone #featurephone

We (my SO and me) made a first attempt at firing some #clay objects in a fireplace.

To reach the fireplace they had to be carried for a bit of a walk, so for the first attempt we only brought 3 different whorls, one tiny vase and a round sample bit; one of the whorls (the thickest one) broke near the beginning (and we could only find one piece), but the rest came out decently, even if we accidentally let the fire slow down earlier than planned (they remained at temperature for something like a hour and a half).

The mini-vase is currently sitting on my kitchen sink, half-full of water and at 5 °C less than its surroundings. Before the next summer I want to make one of those refrigerating flasks…

2 people reshared this

thanks for the link, good read indeed

(since the preview on friendica isn't working, the article talks about the lack of a need for a new leader for the Free Software Movement)
This entry was edited (4 weeks ago)

Just to clarify: the preview in Friendica works. It adds corretly the iframe to embed the preview. But the url is http, while friendica is almost always https. and browsers block http content in https pages nowadays... :)

whooops, you're right

(I still don't understand when friendica uses the iframe preview and when it uses the snippet of text from the description in the editing window, but it's not like I've ever made an effort to understand it).

it depends on what the site offer as data. It this case the oembed endpoint offer html code to use as embed which contains the iframe (see here). Note that the blockquote with title and link is also in oembed reply.

If the site don't support oembed, friendica tries other systems: opengraph meta tags, "description" meta and title tag. As a fallback, it tries to extract first lines of body text... (I'm describing this from memory.. I could be wrong)

the site has no favicon and no opengraph meta tags so it's not really social-friendly; this is how it looks like in Mastodon:

yup. the site lacks the favicon. but Mastodon lacks support for oEmbed, so also Mastodon is not really social-friendly :-P

In general Mastodon supports oEmbed; but I tried with another WP site served over https and it gave the same result as; whereas the oEmbed-from-WP example from with type=link is better (but still no excerpt); the issue could be lack of support for type=rich oEmbeds: ... in any case, homework for both and install WP opengraph plugin

uh, my edit didn't appear on mastodon? when I realized that the preview looked pretty empty I added a short description.


The fight for diversity, equality and inclusion is the fight for software freedom. Our movement will only be successful if it includes everyone. RMS does not speak for these values.

Charles Stanhope reshared this.

he makes a good point but the link preview could be improved. Matthew should do his homework and implement I wonder if he’s @mjg59 here ? That account seems dead ...

btw, the link preview was empty, the quote was my choice

TFW you are on a commuter train between Varese (Italy) and Como (Italy) and an announcement warns you that you are now leaving the European Union!!1ONE!!! (and if you are carrying about a truckload of money or valuables you should leave the train at the next station to declare them)

(I knew I was going to leave Italy for part of the trip, I just didn't expect the EU bit) ---> this is the line, going through Switzerland.