Technology

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Rumors, happenings, and innovations in the technology sphere. If it's technological news or discussion of technology, it probably belongs here.

Subcommunities on Beehaw:


This community's icon was made by Aaron Schneider, under the CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

founded 2 years ago
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Regarding Beehaw defederating from lemmy.world and sh.itjust.works, this post goes into detail on the why and the philosophy behind that decision. Additionally, there is an update specific to sh.itjust.works here.

For now, let's talk about what federation is and what defederation means for members of Beehaw or the above two communities interacting with each other, as well as the broader fediverse.

Federation is not something new on the internet. Most users use federated services every day (for instance, the url used to access instances uses a federated service known as DNS, and email is another system that functions through federation.) Just like those services, you elect to use a service provider that allows you to communicate with the rest of the world. That service provider is your window to work with others.

When you federate, you mutually agree to share your content. This means that posting something to a site can be seen by another and all comments are shared. Even users from other sites can post to your site.

Now when you defederate, this results in content to be no longer shared. It didn't reverse any previous sharing or posts, it just stops the information from flowing with the selected instance. This only impacts the site's that are called out.

What this means to you is when a user within one instance (e.g. Beehaw) that's chosen to defederate with another (e.g. lemmy.world), they can no longer interact with content on another instance, and vice versa. Other instances can still see the content of both servers as though nothing has happened.

  • A user is not limited to how many instances they can join (technically at least - some instance have more stringent requirements for joining than others do)
  • A user can interact with Lemmy content without being a user of any Lemmy instance - e.g. Mastodon (UI for doing so is limited, but it is still possible.)

Considering the above, it is important to understand just how much autonomy we, as users have. For example, as the larger instances are flooded with users and their respective admins and mods try to keep up, many, smaller instances not only thrive, but emerge, regularly (and even single user instances - I have one for just myself!) The act of defederation does not serve to lock individual users out of anything as there are multiple avenues to constantly maintain access to, if you want it, the entirety of the unfiltered fediverse.

On that last point, another consideration at the individual level is - what do you want out of Lemmy? Do you want to find and connect with like-minded people, share information, and connect at a social and community level? Do you want to casually browse content and not really interact with anyone? These questions and the questions that they lead to are critical. There is no direct benefit to being on the biggest instance. In fact, as we all deal with this mass influx, figure out what that means for our own instances and interactions with others, I would argue that a smaller instance is actually much better suited for those who just want to casually browse everything.

Lastly, and tangential, another concern I have seen related to this conversation is people feeling afraid of being locked out of the content and conversation from the "main" communities around big topics starting to form across the Lemmiverse (think memes, gaming, tech, politics, news, etc.) Over time, certain communities will certainly become a default for some people just given the community size (there will always be a biggest or most active - it's just a numbers game.) This, again though, all comes down to personal preference and what each individual is looking to get from their Lemmy experience. While there may, eventually, be a “main” sub for (again, by the numbers), there will also always be quite a few other options for targeted discussions on , within different communities, on different instances, each with their own culture and vibe. This can certainly feel overwhelming and daunting (and at the moment, honestly it is.) Reddit and other non-federated platforms provided the illusion of choice, but this is what actual choice looks and feels like.

[edit: grammar and spelling]

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hey everyone. if you want to post links or discuss the Reddit blackout today, please localize it to this thread in order to keep things tidy! Thanks!

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submitted 1 year ago* (last edited 1 year ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
 
 

Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place, but I see Reddit developments as Tech news right now.

Wanted to share a website that is tracking Subreddits that have/will be going dark. It even has a sound notification for when they change their status.

Edit: Adding the stream https://www.twitch.tv/reddark_247

Double Edit: Data visualization https://blackout.photon-reddit.com/

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Happy BSOD Day!

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Archived link

Half a century ago, a young Stanford professor named Mark Granovetter published what would become one of the seminal papers in the field of sociology. “The Strength of Weak Ties” argued for the important of mere acquaintances — not just your friends — in the growing field of social network analysis. (It’s been cited more than 73,000 times.)

Granovetter surveyed a few hundred people in the Boston area who had recently taken a new job they learned about through a contact. (It’s who you know, right?) It turned out their weak ties — people they reported seeing once a year or less — were responsible for nearly twice as many job discoveries as their closest friends (people they saw twice a week or more).

[...]

Granovetter’s insight has been fundamental to the explosion of social networking platforms. Facebook is fundamentally a tool for flattening out all your strongest and weakest ties — from your spouse or sibling all the way to that kid you sat next to for two weeks in fifth grade. They all exist side by side, first-class citizens in your feed. LinkedIn was essentially Granovetter’s research turned into a startup. (Indeed, the strongest empirical support for Granovetter’s thesis is a massive study looking at more than 20 million LinkedIn users.)

So why do your weak links matter so much? One big reason is that they’re more likely than your closest friends to possess novel, salient information that you might lack. Your BFFs likely live in roughly the same knowledge universe that you do and are thus less likely to come across a new insight that’s unknown to you. That kid from fifth grade lives far enough outside your personal bubble to present you with a truly important piece of information.

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Highlights:

Krishnan told Ars that "Meta is trying to have it both ways, but its assertion that Unfollow Everything 2.0 would violate its terms effectively concedes that Zuckerman faces what the company says he does not—a real threat of legal action."

For users wanting to take a break from endless scrolling, it could potentially meaningfully impact mental health—eliminating temptation to scroll content they did not choose to see, while allowing them to remain connected to their networks and still able to visit individual pages to access content they want to see.

According to Meta, its terms of use prohibit automated access to users' personal information not just by third parties but by individual users, as a means of protecting user privacy. Meta urged the court to reject Zuckerman's claim that Meta's terms violate California privacy laws by making it hard for users to control their data. Instead, Meta said the court should agree with a prior court that "rejected the argument that California law 'espous[es] a principle of user control of data sufficient to invalidate' Facebook’s prohibition on automated access."

Much more in article

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Edit for an addition: If you are interested in the technical details of this bug, you can read about it here.

Several Cybersecurity firms have criticized Microsoft for mishandling bug reports - Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) - claiming that Microsoft’s lack of proper communication with security researchers could deter future vulnerability disclosures, putting users at greater risk.

A CVD is a widely adopted processes in security research. When independent researchers detect a vulnerability of a vendor like Microsoft, they report the issue with all the details, allowing the vendor to fix it before it gets published. Typically, software vendors acknowledge the researcher's work and sometimes reward them for their contribution. In a recent post on its website, however, Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) accuses Microsoft of a "lack of transparency" which "leaves researchers who practice CVD with more questions than answers".

ZDI refers to a Microsoft patch release in in July (CVE-2024-38112), which Microsoft said was being exploited in the wild.

"We at the Trend Micro Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) agree with them because that’s what we told them back in May when we detected this exploit in the wild and reported it to Microsoft", the firm writes.

"However, you may notice that no one from Trend or ZDI was acknowledged by Microsoft. This case has become a microcosm of the problems with coordinated vulnerability disclosure (CVD) as vendors push for coordinated disclosure from researchers but rarely practice any coordination regarding the fix."

"CVD doesn’t work if the only ones coordinating are the researchers," the ZDI says. They add that there are multiple occasions from others vendors. "The lack of coordination doesn’t just hurt the vendor/researcher relationship. It hurts the end users."

ZDI concludes:

Why is CVD not working? Have the number of bugs being disclosed increased to the level where vendors simply cannot cope with the level of coordination? Have budget cuts reduced the number of response personnel vendors employ? Has the rush to automation come at the expense of coordination? Are researchers just reporting to an API and no humans are reviewing the reports? As I said, we’re left with more questions than answers.

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cross-posted from: https://feddit.org/post/889819

The EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled that the designation was warranted under the European Union's new Digital Markets Act (DMA) because short video app TikTok exceeded relevant thresholds including global market value and the number of EU users.

Labeled companies are prevented from forcing users in the bloc to consent to have access to a service or certain functionalities.

ByteDance had argued that its global market value largely came from China, rather than the EU.

It also said TikTok does not operate an exponential user expansion model and that it was acting as a "challenger" to digital monopolies operated by established platforms such as Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, and Alphabet, which owns Google. Both companies are also designated as "gatekeepers."

But the EU General Court rejected those arguments, finding that TikTok could no longer be considered a "challenger" on the market, unlike when it joined back in 2018.

The judges concluded that TikTok had "succeeded in increasing its number of users very rapidly and exponentially" since then, and that its large number of European users does indeed contribute to its global market value.

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cross-posted from: https://feddit.org/post/859623

Since 2020, Next Generation Internet (NGI) programmes, part of European Commission’s Horizon programme, fund free software in Europe using a cascade funding mechanism. This year, according to the Horizon Europe working draft detailing funding programmes for 2025, we notice that Next Generation Internet is not mentioned any more as part of Cluster 4.

[...]

While the USA, China or Russia deploy huge public and private resources to develop software and infrastructure that massively capture private consumer data, the EU can’t afford this renunciation. Free and open source software, as supported by NGI since 2020, is by design the opposite of potential vectors for foreign interference. It lets us keep our data local and favors a community-wide economy and know-how, while allowing an international collaboration. This is all the more essential in the current geopolitical context: the challenge of technological sovereignty is central, and free software allows addressing it while acting for peace and sovereignty in the digital world as a whole.

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Addition for the Archived link

Carissa Véliz is an expert in ethics applied to technology. The Spanish-Mexican philosopher, who does not provide a date or place of birth to protect her privacy, is one of the voices that warn us about the growing digital dangers that lurk at every corner and chip away at our individual autonomy.

Carissa Véliz: Autonomy is a fundamental principle. To have it, you need space to make your own decisions, to think about what your values are and act in that direction. And when they are watching you all the time, the other’s gaze is oppressive, it seeks your compliance. The simple fact of being observed reduces our impulse to experiment, to ask. Human beings need privacy, intimacy and a certain solitude to discover ourselves [...]

We don’t realize how surveillance influences us. If we turned off the cameras we would see that we do not think the same, we do not express things the same way, there is not the same type of frankness in the debate [...]

Anonymity is one of the most important social innovations of democracy, in particular, the possibility of making an anonymous protest, going out into the streets... Today we carry our cell phones with us, which identifies us, and that sometimes means that people do not show up when they need to [...]

China takes the lead [in the rejection of any privacy], it has no pretensions to being democratic or liberal. It is going all out with surveillance, it intends for it to be centralized. The surveillance you are subjected to at work has consequences on your personal relationships in a country like this. It affects, for example, the visibility you achieve on dating applications [...]

Obviously, we [in the West] need regulation. Collective problems need collective solutions. It is not up to the individual to change things and yet we have power; When we change our behavior, companies and governments are sensitive to it. It’s not about not using your cell phone. We must try to protect our privacy when we can and it is not too demanding. Instead of using WhatsApp, use Signal. It’s free, it works just as well, it doesn’t collect your data. Instead of using Gmail, use Proton Mail [...]

Any decision that can significantly affect a person’s life [should never be left in the hands of AI]. AI is not a moral agent, it cannot be responsible for harming someone or denying them an important opportunity. Nor should we delegate to AI jobs in which we value the empathy of a fellow citizen who can understand what we feel.

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