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  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:42 pm on April 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Big Bucks Moxie, , , , decentralization, federation, finance, Joshua Goldbard, , LibreSignal, mobile transactions, MobileCoin, Moxie Marlinspike, Open Whisper Systems, , security, Signal, Signal Messenger, technology, Threema   

    Crappy Privacy Alternatives: Signal Messenger 

    Well well well!

    It’s been almost an year since my last series on crappy privacy alternatives. And I somehow got carried away with more interesting topics, but here we are again!

    I installed Signal when I first started using a smartphone. But I never used the app much because I never really had anyone to talk to.

    The last time I used Signal was maybe in May/June last year? Then I just dropped it completely because again, I had nobody interesting to talk to.

    But I’ve always been suspicious of Signal. So, even when it was advertised as a secure encrypted private messenger, I never really trusted it enough to use it freely.
    I’ve shared more information on some of my public blogs than I have on Signal.
    And that, is a hint of what I’ve always thought of Signal.

    Now here’s my problems with Signal:

    1. Signal requires mobile phone verification to create an account.

    In the world of privacy, that’s a huge fucking red flag. And I don’t care what anyone says about it. RED FLAG! That’s it.

    I’ve got a dozen alternatives that don’t need a phone number. How about that?

    2. Signal UI is ugly.

    I’ve tried most of the privacy apps out there. Signal is the ugliest app I’ve ever used.

    3. Lack of features.

    I remember creating groups on Signal. I could add new members but I couldn’t remove anyone from the group. I could leave a group but couldn’t rejoin it unless someone from that group invited me back.
    This is the reason I stopped using Signal.

    4. Forced updates.

    This version of Signal has expired. Update now to send and receive messages.

    Have you seen any other app that becomes completely useless when it “expires”?
    What’s with these updates? What’s so fucking important in these updates that renders the old versions completely useless?

    5. Overrated.

    Signal is overrated. Okay? What was once a private secure app that intelligent people were supposed to use, quickly became a meme with all the shills advocating it left and right.

    I’m going to tell you a secret about technology, okay? The more people that use it, the higher likely a target it becomes for the hackers and spies and government surveillance crooks.

    You’re better off using an insecure means of communication that nobody would think of, than using a popular means of communication that everyone’s hopped on.
    For example, BBS. How many surveillance crooks would think of going after bulletin board systems in 2021?
    Well there you go now. I just fucked it up for everybody who’d ever use a BBS for private communications. Ya see how this works?

    6. No desktop features.

    Signal has been around for a few years now, but the company – what’s it’s name? Open Whisper Systems – yeah, Open Whisper Systems and their overrated CEO Moxie Marlinspike never had any time to make the desktop app work like a regular desktop app from any other messenger.

    The last time I installed the desktop app, I couldn’t use it without scanning a fucking barcode from my phone. Now what the fuck is this bullshit?

    You just can’t sign into the desktop app like a normal messenger. No. Moxie Marlinspike and his team of retards want you to scan a fucking barcode as if you’re at the fucking grocery store.

    You’re goddamn right I went there! Who came up with this brilliant idea of scanning barcodes? You fucking morons!

    And then, the desktop app only works if you have a goddamn phone, where, of course, you have to register using your mobile number.

    But what if your phone camera breaks or cracks? And you can’t scan the fucking barcode?
    That happened to me. Now I had a fucking broken phone with a shitty app, and a fucking computer with a useless fucking app.
    Moxie Marlinspike didn’t think of that one, did he?

    So instead of working on the desktop app and making it more user-friendly, Moxie and his team of retards spent all their time planning on going full capitalist corporate crooks.

    7. Signal was never decentralized or federated.

    Remember when people were talking about decentralization and federation? Moxie the pinocchio led everyone to believe that this would happen at some point when Signal had matured in development.
    Anyone remember LibreSignal?

    It’s been 6 years and not a whiff about decentralization and federation.

    You know why?

    Because Moxie and his team of crooks were busy forming a scheme to make some big bucks! And everyone knows, you can only make big bucks when you have a monopoly in the market.
    That’s why Moxie didn’t give a shit about the people’s demand for decentralized servers and federation.

    Look at Matrix. Matrix was rolled out way after Signal gained popularity. You have to remember that Signal has it’s from RedPhone and TextSecure. I distinctly remember installing both of those apps when I got my smartphone. But they weren’t updated and were later killed off as Signal became popular.
    Yet Matrix already had decentralized server by the time I started using it.

    So the problem wasn’t that Signal couldn’t be decentralized. It was that Moxie wanted to maintain a monopoly on it until he could cash out and make big bucks for all his hard work.

    And that brings me to the recent news about Signal implementing cryptocurrency for beta-testers in the UK.
    Big Bucks Moxie, as I shall call him from now henceforth, decided to spend 2020 implementing a currency called MobileCoin into Signal. Yeah, that’s going to be a seller.
    People don’t think about privacy and security when they think of a messenger, oh no no – they think of a cryptocurrency called MobileCoin. Priorities folks!

    Big Bucks Moxie’s partner in capitalism is a man named Joshua Goldbard. I don’t know anything about this guy, and I’m not going to bother wasting any time looking him up.

    The bottom line is this – nobody wants some fucking crypto coin in their messenger, okay?
    If you look at the previous series of crappy privacy alternatives, I’ve already mentioned it. Blockchain’s tried it and failed. No respectable man has given blockchain based bullshit apps any time of his day.

    This reminds me of Keybase in many ways. Keybase had a solid foundation in the identify keys authentication nonsense, which sold out to every nerd on the block. Then they fucked it up with the cryptocurrency bullshit. What was their coin called? Never mind. Nobody cares.
    See? This is how irrelevant cryptocurrency is in the real world. Nobody cares!
    Th only people investing money into this bullshit are the scumbags who invented these coins, the miners who’ve got plenty of resources laying around, and the retards who’re gonna lose everything to make the other two richer.

    It’s all gambling, okay? Cryptocurrency is gambling.
    The only real monetary value is in physical assets. Don’t rely on some virtual shitcoin whose prices rise and fall like a cardiogram on steroids.

    Now where was I again? Keybase. Keybase did the cryptocurrency thing where they gave everyone a bunch of free coins then sold out to Zoom.
    Now here’s what I suspect – when a reputable company invests in crypto, it’s going down the hill. That’s the best time to jump off the fanboys wagon before it crashes into the valley of corporate crooks.

    How’s Keybase doing nowadays? Does anybody know?
    Looks like the website has been redesigned. Last blog update was from their acquisition by Zoom, 336 days ago.
    This is what happens when open source free software is handed over to a capitalist corporation.

    Big Bucks Moxie, are you taking notes? Yeh, I got you all figured out.
    One year from now, Signal will probably be acquired by Facebook, won’t it? Won’t it Moxie? Come on now. You gotta have a game plan here. What’s plan B when the cyptocurrency bullshit lands on it’s arse and the poop splatters everywhere? Selling out, acquisition… no? Are you going to let your company die just like that? You gotta make some money now! Come on now! I know you want some money! Don’t you? Don’t you? Someone’s been very naughty at work. Santa’s going to be upset.

    On the other hand, Signal could’ve gone with a business model like Threema. I’m sure a lot of people would’ve paid for it, considering how popular Threema is in the privacy world.
    Is that Big Bucks Moxie’s plan C? It’s not guaranteed to work like plan B. Selling out would be much more profitable than adopting a premium model. Decisions decisions!

    There’s already a petition on Change.org from the loyal fanboys.
    Hilarious!

    7. Pins

    Here’s something that I just remembered – the pins. I had to enter a verification pin a bunch of times to continue using the app. Which genius came up with that idea at OpenWhisper Systems?

    Oh wait! They’ve changed the company name a shitload of times too. I’m just going to call it Big Bucks Signal!

    There’s a bunch of fanboys calling Big Bucks Moxie’s MobileCoin groundbreaking and innovative.
    These are probably the same people who still use Keybase.

    I’m pretty sure there’s some blockchain apps with chat and crypto transactions implemented. Though I’m not going back to look into them to confirm that.

    I noticed that there’s a bunch of essays on the MobileCoin websites in terms of rules and regulations and agreements and all that nonsense. Who the fuck has time to read through all that nonsense?

    The biggest realization I’ve had, is that anyone can come up with a currency of their own, provided they have some resources to get it off the ground. There’s hundreds of cryptocurrency coins out there, and they’re all useless. What makes you think I’d want to invest in your currency anyway? Why can’t I just invent my own currency and run on that?
    This is the future of cryptocurrencies.
    At some point, everyone will have their own coins, and they’ll all have as much value as diz nuts. John will have JohnCoins, Jane will have JaneCoins, and all the Johns in the world will band together to form an organization to make JohnCoins the most popular currency in the world. Sounds like fiction?
    Well, so are all the coins today.
    Fuck your cryptocurrency.
    I’ll hold onto my paper.

    I can’t wait for someone to pull the plug on all these cryptocurrency servers and watch all the nerds pull their hairs out.

    Everyone wants to be like Elon Musk with his Paypal startup, Well your cryptocurrency ain’t it.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 7:54 am on February 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , technology   

    Purchasing A Laptop: Considering The Options 

    In the previous post I’d talked about what kind of laptop I wanted, and my checklist.

    Today I’ll discuss some of the options I’d reviewed, what I liked about them, and what I disliked.

    Now I’d done some extensive research on laptops everywhere.
    An interesting phenomenon I observed was that some laptops were cheaper in some countries and quite expensive in others.

    For example, a laptop that cost $810 in Asia cost $1130 somewhere in Europe.

    Another peculiar phenomenon is that some laptop models that were the best sellers in Asia, didn’t exist in Europe!

    I wanted a laptop that was internationally known. If I wanted replacement parts or an upgrade, I didn’t want to hassle for them. That could be the case if you bought a piece of crap like Asus Vivobook.

    Some of the laptops in this list merely exist for me to bash and pound on ’em. They’re no good. I wouldn’t recommend ’em to anyone, an fuck the companies that manufactured ’em, eh?

    But all of them had to qualify to get on this list – and that’s by the specs. If it looks good on paper, maybe I’ll take it into consideration, eh?

    1. Lenovo IdeaPad L340

    This is by far, the most famous laptop in terms of performance:price ratio.

    It has a big battery, which is always nice to have, even if it can only power the laptop for 3 hours.

    It only has 1 upgradable RAM slot.

    Storage is good with one m.2 slot and a SATA drive bay.

    2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

    This laptop is almost identical to the L340. Except, it has two upgradable RAM slots and 3 storage slots.
    Two m.2 slots and one SATA drive bay. You can only use two at a time, since one of the m.2 slots shares the same space with the SATA drive bay.

    3. Dell G3

    This laptop has cooling fans on opposite ends, which is always more efficient than two fans stacked on the same side.

    It has 2 upgradable RAM slots.

    2 storage options: one m.2 slot and a SATA drive bay.

    4. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15

    This laptop’s motherboard is so huge, yet the battery is small.

    HP Pavilion has always had a quirky design.

    This one’s fans are paired at the centre.
    A big ass HDD is right next to ’em.

    Two upgradable RAM slots.
    One m.2 slot next to them.

    It’s alright if you’re a HP fanboy. The hinges look weird. I bet they have the same issue as my first HP Pavilion laptop.

    5. Asus TUF Gaming

    Now ASUS has so many TUF gaming laptops that have identical specs at different prices, that it’s getting ridiculous.

    The fans are on the opposite ends, which is good.

    It has two upgradable RAM slots, one SATA drive bay and one m.2 slot.

    The battery is small, similar to the HP Pavilion one.

    6. Acer Nitro 5

    These laptops are identical to ASUS TUF series. There’s too many damn laptops and all of them have some difference in specs.
    Instead of having one laptop with different specs at different price points, these assholes have different model numbers for each spec at a certain price. Ridiculous!

    The fans are either paired together or on opposite ends. There’s no way of knowing because Acer is a company full of retards.

    It has 2 upgradable RAM slots.

    Has 3 storage options with 2 m.2 slots and one SATA drive bay.

    The battery is a tad bit bigger than ASUS TUF and HP Pavilion’s but I doubt it lasts any longer.

    7. MSI GF63

    Now this laptop has a different unique design. It looks professional, okay?

    It has only one fan location on one end of the laptop.
    That’s a bummer.
    It’s very obvious that this machine will experience thermal throttling.

    Also, if the fan fails, you gotta replace it immediately. Whereas laptops with two fans could probably run with one fan and not burst into flames. Probably! Let’s not test that theory.

    It has 2 upgradable RAM slots.

    Storage has one m.2 slot and one SATA drive bay.

    8. MSI GF75

    Now this laptop is a beast.
    Two cooling fans on opposite ends.
    2 upgradable RAM slots, one SATA drive bay and one m.2 slot.

    It’s also the most expensive on this list.

    9. Asus Vivobook Gaming F571

    This piece of trash is the ugliest laptop I’ve ever seen.

    This is the probably the cheapest on this list.

    It has one upgradable RAM slot.

    Storage has one m.2 slot and one SATA drive bay.

    Battery is small.

    The fans are small and on opposite ends and the two heat pipes are shared by both the CPU and GPU.

    If this piece of crap was put against the MSI GF63, who would win? The MSI GF63 would kill this machine a 1000 times and still live to tell the story.

    Build quality is absolutely terrible. ASUS didn’t even attempt to make the plastic look good. One look at this laptop and it instantly reminded me of my netbook.

    This is the cheapest-looking laptop of all the laptops on this list; and believe me, all the laptops here are cheap.

    10. Acer Aspire 7

    This is a rebrand of the Acer Nitro 5.
    Same specs as the Nitro series. Internals look the same and the prices are the same.
    Which begs the question – why the fuck did Acer waste so much time in replicating an entire line of products?

    This looks like the uglier brother of Nitro 5.
    If you want a cheap laptop that is ugly but not Asus-ugly, then the Aspire is for you.

    So this was my list of potential laptops that I could buy.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 11:12 am on February 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Apple M1, , , Graphics cards, , , , M1, , , , SoC, technology   

    Apple M1: The Greatest Chip Of The Decade 

    The M1 is an ARM based SoC designed by Apple inspired by their ARM A14 chip.

    It has four high-performance Firestorm and four energy-efficient Icestorm cores.

    The Firestorm cores have 192 KB of L1 instruction cache and 128 KB of L1 data cache and share a 12 MB L2 cache.

    The Icestorm cores have a 128 KB L1 instruction cache, 64 KB L1 data cache, and a shared 4 MB L2 cache.

    The Icestorm “E cluster” has a frequency of 0.6–2.064 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 1.3 W.

    The Firestorm “P cluster” has a frequency of 0.6–3.204 GHz and a maximum power consumption of 13.8 W.

    The M1 comes with unified 8 GB or 16 GB RAM. The RAM and the SoC are combined into a single chip.

    The M1 has an integrated Apple-designed 7-core/8-core GPU.

    And that’s the specs sheet.

    This chip is faster than any Intel and AMD chip of it’s class.
    In fact, this chip is in it’s own class with it’s 5 nm architecture.

    This chip is also faster than any NVIDIA and AMD dedicated graphics card in a special way.

    The M1 can consume a maximum of 14W.
    In fact the M1 Macbooks don’t even come with a fan! My crappy Lenovo S20-30 netbook also came without a fan but it had a crappy slow piece of Intel garbage.

    The battery life for M1 powered laptops is the outstanding.

    The M1 Macbook Air was reportedly launched at the price of $999.
    At this price point, I’d say this was an acceptable deal, BUT the Macbooks aren’t great.
    Don’t get me wrong – the M1 chip is the greatest, so far. If I had the money, I’d buy a laptop with an M1 chip.
    But Apple Macbooks aren’t a great purchase for consumers. And for several reasons; one being, very poor maintenance, repair and upgradability options.

    The M1 is a trendsetter. It’s a spaceship in a world of supercars.

    I’m excited to see what the competition will now bring on the table.
    It’ll take AMD perhaps another 5 years to get their equivalent of an M1 chip.
    It’ll take Intel 10 years or more. Because Intel sucks and FUCK INTEL!

    Everyone was talkin’ about how cool AMD chips are. I mean, look at this! It’s more powerful than anything AMD came up wih and doesn’t even need a fan! If AMD is cool, then Apple’s M1 is ice-cold. And Intel – oh bugger! Intel may shut down by the end of this decade. Their CPUs are way overpriced and Intel HD Graphics is completely useless when the M1 is taken into consideration. And the Iris crap isn’t any better. No praise for Intel and their new generations of the same overpriced bullshit every year!

    I mean, look at the performance vs power consumption here, both on the CPU and integrated GPU.
    The Zen 3 products are the last great thing from AMD for the next few years. Because now they’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and redesign an entire new SoC that can compete with Apple’s M1. And compatible graphics cards that can go along with those.
    Because that’s where the money is.

    The M1 chip just falls short of AMD and Nvidia’s most powerful dedicated GPUs that were released late last year. That’s a big deal. Apple singlehandedly designed a chip with an integrated GPU that beat all the dedicated GPUs before it’s launch.

    Nvidia will have to go back to the drawing board as well. Every company that wants to survive will have to do something! And if they don’t, rest assured that Apple will gain a whole lotta new consumers. Well that can’t be good for AMD, Intel or Nvidia, right?

    Fanless SoC that runs like a beast! The entire motherboard is so small, they make desktop computers look like dinosaurs.

    Now I don’t like Apple’s tiny motherboards and terrible upgrading designs. I hope the other companies would make better choices.
    Imagine a 16 core M3 chip, with a fan and the same chassis as today’s average laptops. The thing would be a beast with the best cooling possible.
    And I hope there would be upgrading options with RAM slots in addition to the integrated RAM. That’d be nice.

    I think this new decade will bring along some of the most powerful chips we could ever have imagined. And the longer those are delayed, the larger Apple’s customer base will grow.

    Apple’s 8 core M1 chip is already here.
    Now we just have to wait and see when they’ll release a 12 core M2 and 16 core M3..
    By the time those come out, if AMD and Nvidia haven’t released something as good, then dedicated graphics cards will become obsolete.
    I mean, if there was an option for the M1 chip in a Lenovo, Asus or Dell laptop when the M1 Macbooks came out, I’d have bought one.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 6:00 pm on July 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , activists, , experts, , , , , , , technology, Telegram,   

    Wolf In A Sheep's Clothing: Privacy Experts Or Privacy Traitors? 

    Ever since Snowden’s revelations in 2013, there has been a surge in so-called privacy experts who have established their names in the privacy world.

    Who are these experts? Why would I listen to them? Why should I trust them?

    What I’ve noticed is that many of these so-called “experts” don’t follow the philosophy they preach to others. They just happen to have adequate knowledge about privacy but they don’t usually do anything for their own privacy.

    These are the privacy missionaries with Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, Reddit accounts, Github accounts, LinkedIn accounts, Gmail accounts, YouTube accounts, Telegram accounts and so on.

    What the hell is a privacy-oriented individual doing on Facebook? Posting anti-Zuckerberg memes for likes?
    What are they doing on Twitter? What is Snowden doing on Twitter? Did he not know about GNU Social or Diaspora? Does he still not know about the Fediverse?

    Why do privacy activists still use Telegram? Do they not read the news? Do they have some secret anti-FSB powers that I don’t?

    I see these privacy activists and I hear what they are saying, but I’m not sure if they believe in their own words. Are they magically untouchable, whereas I’m not? Does Twitter not violate Edward Snowden’s privacy like the rest of it’s users?

    There’s this guy called TheHatedOne on YouTube, that posts privacy-oriented videos. Apparently he’s quite famous on Reddit as well. I haven’t watched his stuff. I browse YouTube every single day. But I haven’t watched this guy’s channel. I mean, why should I? He’s talking about privacy on the world’s most invasive platform. And I don’t think he’s making money either. Probably has a patreon or something like that.

    Why are these privacy experts using Twitter and YouTube? I thought about it. They have a message for the people. They want to inform and educate the people. It’s a noble cause.
    But if you want to make an impact on your audience, you’ll have to switch platforms some day. This is inevitable. People can only take you seriously for so long before they begin to have doubts on your authenticity. Show them how it’s done. Create a GNU Social account and make your regular posts there. Peertube has been around for over a year now. Post your videos on a peertube instance.

    Why does a large portion of the privacy community gather on Reddit? There have been alternatives for a while now. Why haven’t they made a switch?
    How much sense does it make, to discuss your methods of evading surveillance on the largest surveillance platform on the internet?
    Does the NSA, FBI, CIA, FSB, GHCQ not browse the /r/privacy subreddit? Is that it?
    Does Reddit not know the various methods used by a certain community of privacy enthusiasts to evade it’s tracking mechanisms?

    What’s the use of preaching about animal rights and veganism if, at the end of the day, I go home and have nice steak for dinner? Do animal rights not matter while I’m eating the steak?

    I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while now. I decided to type my thoughts on this matter, quite aware that there will be no change whatsoever. It’s just that the hypocrisy in the entire situation is quite intriguing. And it’s going to hurt the cause. You can’t expect to change the general population by constantly mingling with them and acting like them. You have to take a stand; stand out from the rest, do what’s right and show them how it’s done. Otherwise it’s just another show. I believe Hollywood has better actors.

     
  • isvarahparamahkrsnah

    isvarahparamahkrsnah 5:03 am on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology   

    Crappy Privacy Alternatives: A Note To My Readers 

    Yesterday, I was on a roll. This is currently my 10th week in quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are times when I get frustrated and angry. I need to go out, get some fresh air and get back to my former schedule. But in the interest of self-preservation, I chose to stay in my room all day and night. Physically, I’m quite healthy, and I”m very grateful for that. Mentally though, the isolation is taking it’s toll.

    Crappy Privacy Alternatives is a series that I’ve wanted to discuss for a couple of years now. I just never got around to doing it. But the opportunity has presented itself and I’m on it.

    There’s a couple of things I’d like to clarify though. I know yesterday’s articles may be misunderstood by some people. These articles are not coming out of malice or hatred. I’m just here to be upfront about things and tell it like it is. I happened to interact with the developer of SSB during my time on it, and he’s a nice guy. If he happened to come across my article, I don’t think it would lift his spirits up.

    There are some facts that need to be told and I happen to be the type of guy that is very straightforward about it. I happen to know a thing or two about technology. I’m currently running my own build of custom Linux going by the name Krsnah Desktop OS. It’s been a work of progress and I’ve never been fully satisfied with it. There’s a lot of things that don’t work as I would like them to and sadly, there’s not much I can do to fix it.

    So, would I recommend my own OS to someone else? Absolutely not. They’d be better off with one of the popular distros that just work out of the box. Facts.

    It takes a lot of passion, dedication and hard work to create something that’s different. Scuttlebutt is one of them. Blockchain is another. Bitcoin another. And that goes for IPFS, Zeronet and so on.

    These projects are a reason of hope that commercial corporate products will never take over and rule the market. These projects give people a choice. It’s a tough choice, but nevertheless, it’s worth a try.

    I’m a fan of technology, particularly ones that enable people to communicate online. The mainstream options of online communication have become polluted by greed, politics and control. Advertisements, data mining, censorship and surveillance are some of the characteristics of the mainstream social networks. As a result, I’ve always explored the alternative options and adopted the ones that fit my requirements.

    Regardless of my opinions on these projects, my readers are free to try out and use whatever they like. My criteria of what’s acceptable may be different from yours.

     
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