What Really IRCs Me: Mastodon

Learn how to use the Mastodon social network platform from the comfort of your regular IRC client. When it comes to sending text between people, I've found IRC (in particular, a text-based IRC client) works best. I've been using it to chat for decades while other chat protocols and clients come and go. When my friends have picked other chat clients through the years, I've used the amazing IRC gateway Bitlbee to connect with them on their chat client using the same IRC interface I've always used. Bitlbee provides an IRC gateway to many different chat protocols, so you can connect to Bitlbee using your IRC client, and it will handle any translation necessary to connect you to the remote chat clients it supports. I've written about Bitlbee a number of times in the past, and I've used it to connect to other instant messengers, Twitter and Slack. In this article, I describe how I use it to connect to yet another service on the internet: Mastodon.

Contributor Agreements Considered Harmful

Why attempts to protect your project with legal voodoo are likely to backfire on you. I have a little list (they never will be missed) of stupid things that open-source projects should stop doing. High on this list are CLAs (Contributor License Agreements) and their cousin the mandatory CA (Copyright Assignment).

Lessons in Vendor Lock-in: Google and Huawei

What happens when you're locked in to a vendor that's too big to fail, but is on the opposite end of a trade war? The story of Google no longer giving Huawei access to Android updates is still developing, so by the time you read this, the situation may have changed. At the moment, Google has granted Huawei a 90-day window whereby it will have access to Android OS updates, the Google Play store and other Google-owned Android assets. After that point, due to trade negotiations between the US and China, Huawei no longer will have that access.

In the End Is the Command Line

Times have changed every character but one in Neal Stephenson's classic. That one is Linux. I was wandering through Kepler's, the legendary bookstore, sometime late in 1999, when I spotted a thin volume with a hard-to-read title on the new book table. In the Beginning...Was the Command Line, the cover said.

Online Censorship Is Coming--Here's How to Stop It

EU's upload filters are coming. Why and how the Open Source world must fight them. A year ago, I warned about some terrible copyright legislation being drawn up in the EU that would have major adverse effects on the Open Source world. Its most problematic provision would force many for-profit sites operating in the EU to use algorithmic filters to block the upload of unauthorized material by users. As a result of an unprecedented campaign of misinformation, smears and outright lies, supporters managed to convince/trick enough Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to vote in favour of the the new Copyright Directive, including the deeply flawed upload filters.