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Have I shilled for Brave yet?

I really like this browser. It’s built on Chrome, so it can use all Chrome’s extensions, and it’s got some great built-in features for blocking tracking cookies and so on.

But its real claim to fame is the Basic Attention Token, or BAT. It’s a crypto-currency that you earn by putting up with ads. You can decide how frequently you want to see ads, including not at all. The ads pop up unobtrusively in the bottom right of your screen. Some of them are even interesting (chess.com, which is exactly what you think it is, is a regular advertiser).

I don’t use this machine to browse much, so $3.72 is not too shabby for twelve days. I’ve got it on my phone, my laptop, my desktop and the Linux machine in my art room. The accounts aren’t linked (I could link them if I wanted) so each one is totting up separately. I haven’t totalled it or cashed any of it in, but I reckon I have a few bucks in there by now.

The second part of the equation is tipping creators with BAT. If you see a red triangle in the upper right corner of your address bar, or the lower right corner of a Tweet, you can tip that site with BAT. Not many in my daily reads have signed up for it, sadly.

And no, this site is not BAT-registered. I’d have a whole different relationship with this blog if I asked for money, and I don’t want that.

True fact: Uncle B came up with the basic idea twenty years ago. He called it “nergs” – each worth a few pennies, for tipping creators.

Heh. Turns out, I’ve blogged about this before.

January 12, 2021 — 8:59 pm
Comments: 18

Got to say goodbye to the bird site

I’m a tad annoyed that Twitter didn’t think me scary enough to ban. I am smol and wik.

I have to get off of there, though. It’s making me nuts. But I’m not quite ready to walk away from social media entirely.

I don’t think I’m a great fit with Gab. I’m not exactly the demographic. I didn’t like Parler when it existed – the interface was klunky and slow. I’m not sure changing what basket we put all our eggs in is the right way to go.

I’m exploring the nerdy open-source apps like Mastodon or Pleroma. (The two can talk to each other). They have a refreshingly ‘old Internet’ feel about them.

They’re decentralized, which has to be the direction we move in to get out of this mess. The way it works is, anyone can set up a Mastodon node (called an “instance”). The interface looks like Tweetdeck, with multiple columns. One column is system messages and your blank message form. One column is for your notifications. One column shows what people you follow are saying (“tooting” in the local lingo, which makes me smirk). And one column can either be your local instance feed, or the federated feed.

The “fediverse” is what they call the loose association of machines that communicate with each other. You can follow anyone in the Fediverse, in theory.

In practice, though, each instance makes up its own rules, sometimes really restrictive rules, and can block whole other instances (and therefore the people on them). And Mastodon, being new tech, is dominated by young people who are either far left or, at best, shitposting libertarians. The tools for finding other instances are really terrible – mostly just great long lists.

It’s really important that you find an instance that is well suited to you. I haven’t managed. I will let you know how the search goes.

January 11, 2021 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 16

Are you still Drudging?

I’m running into a lot of people on the online complaining the Drudge has gone NeverTrump. I still go there for the quick headlines, and I’ve always assumed the negative stories were intended in a know-thine-enemy way, but I dunno. Is there something better?

One alternative I saw promoted was something called Spinquark News. It looks similar to Drudge – I mean, font and everything – and it does appear to be an adequate headline aggregator. But it has me blocked unless I set my VPN to a US server, which is a nuisance. I exchanged some messages with them about it, but as it’s a US-centric site, they weren’t inclined to drop the blocks as it stopped a lot of nuisance traffic.

I use Twitter for breaking news and the BBC for UK headlines, but with the understanding that everything they both say is a lie.

Who are you using for headline news?

p.s. Not really a news site. More like a few inspirational life hacks a day. May I recommend Fucking Homepage?

February 4, 2020 — 10:01 pm
Comments: 8

No, YouTube. Let us not go.

This popped up at the top of my YouTube tonight, as though they haven’t been interrupting my programs flogging this thing for months and months. That and their ‘premium’ service — which, as far as I can tell, just lets you play videos in the background on your phone.

No, YouTube. Nobody wants this. Go away.

Anyway. Got jammed up with work tonight, ‘Shopping pictures and watching ‘Tubes.

p.s. Uncle B just reminded me — they’ve started shoving ads randomly and badly all over videos now, too. Like, plop in the middle of an album.

March 28, 2019 — 10:32 pm
Comments: 6

Well? DO you?

No, no. Not me. Not here. This place dun’t have no rules!

I nicked the graphic off FaceBook, where people are potty about rules. Have you noticed? Is it true in your groups?

I got booted off an anatomy group once because my drawing of an armpit looked like it had flesh on it. Which, I dunno, I guess I didn’t KNOW THE RULES. I saw someone get scolded off a ‘bad art from junk shops’ group because her bad art was from a flea market. I guess she didn’t KNOW THE RULES.

And don’t get me started on the chicken groups. There aren’t so many rules about actually keeping chickens than there are posting in the chicken groups.

What is with people who get a little taste of the whip hand?

January 21, 2019 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 11

Hoo boy, this guy!

In case you don’t recognize the moniker, this is the guy who was prosecuted for teaching his girlfriend’s pug to do the Nazi salute. His ass hauled through the courts for two years. I don’t know. I think I’d be more circumspect.

On the other hand, the GoFundMe for his appeal has just topped £100,000. He’s now internet famous beyond his wildest dreams.

I doubt this is what the judge intended.

April 25, 2018 — 9:25 pm
Comments: 4

Oh, I don’t like that…

Eh, I just did a Google search on my sad old machine upstairs and for the very first time, at the bottom of the search screen, it said something like “based on your search history, your location is THE LITTLE TEENY VILLAGE POPULATED MOSTLY BY SHEEP THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIVE IN(!!!)“. Substitute the real village name for the phrase in italics, obvsly.

Usually, the closest it gets is a largish town at least twenty miles away. When I use Opera, with its built-in VPN, it defaults to Amsterdam (which sometimes plays havoc with authentication).

I was sure I turned off location services on all my devices, but they have a bad habit of turning themselves back on after just about any software update. So the question is, who ratted me out — my phone? My Kindle? One of my three tablets? My desktop machine? The wheezy old thumper upstairs?

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be Uncle B’s machine. Dude is crazy paranoid.

So…what are you doing to keep Google out of your panties? Are you using a VPN? Are you paying for it? I…really don’t like this.

April 18, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 22



Katie Hopkins cracks me up. I highly recommend you follow her Twitter.

Wait, no I don’t. I’ve decided Twitter is bad mojo, whether you follow people you agree with, people you don’t agree with or a mix. I think there’s something about the pace of it that engages rat-brain in an unhealthy way.

Also, it’s becoming a roving band of SJW hit mobs. I don’t suppose any of them realizes how boring Twitter will be for them if they succeed in driving off all the Nazis. They’ll have no choice but to turn on each other before killing the platform entirely. Won’t that be fun?

Well, the Nunes memo has dropped. I dub it: serious, but unsexy. I don’t think there’s anything there we didn’t suspect, and nobody will suffer for it but some deputy assistant dweeb nobody’s ever heard of (and he’ll get to retire vountarily with his full pension). I’m just glad we can pursue this with Trump as winner; it would look awful if the GOP chased it down as the losing party.

There are hints that more is to come. I hope so.

Well, folks, looking back I realize I had a lot of fun with my new toy this week and made some pretty bad art with it. I’ll work on that. This weekend, I think I’ll push oily dirt around on fabric with a stick (we watched a program on Rembrandt last night; I got to bust out the oil paint).

Have a good weekend, all!

February 2, 2018 — 7:40 pm
Comments: 6



So FaceBook apparently passed two billion users at some point recently. To celebrate, they instructed robots to make a vomitous short film starring nightmarish cartoon figures, creepy music and pictures of me from my various profile pictures. It concludes with a montage of my friends’ profile pictures swirling around me.


I can’t show you it, though. They didn’t actually make one for Stoaty. I guess I don’t log into that account enough. Apologies if you’ve tried to reach me there.

Two billion. What a world.

July 3, 2017 — 10:00 pm
Comments: 8

Yoo-hooo? Hel-looo? Anybody in here?


Gab is calling itself “the free speech alternative to Twitter”. Which (inevitably) means “hotbed of disinfranchised righties”, barring a few obvious trolls. Registration isn’t open; if you click the link, you get yourself in a queue.

When I clicked about a month ago, I was told I was number ninety-six thousand something something in line. I finally got in over the weekend.

Annnnnd…now what? Anybody here? JoanOfArgghh! was the first name I recognized. I went and followed everybody in her list, but it’s still early beta (the service was started in August) and slow going.

Here are some articles on Gab in Breitbart, Digital Trends, BuzzFeed, Libertarian Republic and Heat Street.

If you’ve been avoiding Twitter because it’s a sinkhole of SJW nonsense, sign up for Gab. And then look me up, please.

If you’ve been avoiding Twitter because you think the whole idea is stupid…carry on!

November 2, 2016 — 10:05 pm
Comments: 20