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Here is a privacy thing that seems strange to me.

I buy something from an online store. The connection is https. Secure server. We protect your privacy, says the website. Great!

Once I've placed my order, they send complete details of my order to me by regular email. Unencrypted. The confirmation email includes my name, address, payment method, and the list of what I bought.

How is that protecting my privacy, ffs? And there is no way to opt out of this.

A mystery: on my phone, old calendar entries are deleted. Why? All the stuff that's more than about 3 months old is gone.

It only affects calendars that I share with my account - and those old entries are present when I view my Nextcloud account on my web browser.

I can't see a Nextcloud setting that would affect this. So, puzzling.

I pointed out a problem last week: an organization is putting info about members online, without their permission. I thought my complaint might be ignored, because sometimes it's hard to get people to care about privacy.

Instead they asked me to write a privacy policy, which might be adopted nation-wide in this organization. Oh!

Good news on the privacy front for BC residents:

Federal Political Parties Must Follow BC’s Privacy Law, Commissioner Rules.

thetyee.ca/News/2019/08/29/Fed

I have enough oregano, but I let the plant spread anyway because the bees love it so much.

Run Your Own Social is a guide for people who might want to run their own social network - like a instance!

runyourown.social/

I like the author's emphasis on small communities, and will check out the links to resources that the author included.

Found via downes.ca, which is Stephen Downes' site. Thanks, @Downes!

"...dogs’ faces are structured for complex expression in a way that wolves’ aren’t, thanks to a special pair of muscles framing their eyes. these muscles are responsible for that “adopt me” look that dogs can pull by raising their inner eyebrows. it’s the first biological evidence scientists have found that domesticated dogs might have evolved a specialized ability used expressly to communicate better with humans."

theatlantic.com/science/archiv

Composing text messages on my phone makes my shoulder hurt, so I installed the lovely Signal app on my computer, and linked it to my phone.

signal.org/

This is fantastic.

Wow, this airline privacy site is handy: airlineprivacy.com/

I'm planning a trip, and I was going to fly British Airlines, but it seems they use facial recognition software now. How crazy as that? So 'll pick another airline instead.

I think I need a new RSS reader for Android. I love the one I've been using (Flym), but it keeps crashing. I think I overwhelm it with the huge number of feeds I follow.

Any suggestions for an RSS reader that is open source, works on Android, and can handle a zillion feeds?

This bird was hopping around in one of my garden beds today, seeming quite tame and friendly. After a while I sat down on the ground, and the bird hopped up onto my foot.

I don't know what kind of bird it is. Do you?

They gave him a chocolate Easter bunny. He said this would cause a bit of a problem: how to split the bunny between his three children.

No problem at all, I thought. Eat the whole bunny on the way home, problem solved.

I have a mutant tulip here. You know what regular tulip leaves look like, right? They don't usually wrap around a neighbour tulip in an affectionate way.

I'm looking for a way to shield my phone number for reasons. Suggestions?

I have used an app to create a burner number that forwards to my Android phone, which is great - but it is not a thing that is going to work on a phone, so I'm looking for an alternative. Something simple like a voicebox that I could access over the web or via email might be all I need, although the ability to somehow make calls from a burner number would be great.

I don't mind paying for a service, but I won't sign up with a company that is a privacy disaster, like that big search engine / advertising company, or that nonsense thing in Redmond.

L.A. River's Invasive Weeds Are Turned Into Musical Instruments

"In the hands of artists and L.A. River advocates the role of invasive river weed, arundo donax, is questioned."

kcet.org/confluence/la-rivers-

So this charity site I'd been dealing with for over a decade got kind of weird. It wanted to google captcha me to death. Screen after screen after screen.

Sorry, charity people. I am not going to spend my time finding traffic lights in images for an evil corporation. Account deleted, donations going elsewhere.

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Mastodon.host

What sets mastodon.host appart?

As a general instance, we are not centered on a specific theme, or a specific language. Everyone is welcome as long as they follow the few rules we have.

We always run the latest stable version of Mastodon, providing you a stock experience, with the following modifications:

  • 2048 character limit (not 500).
  • 512 character limits for the account's bio (not 160).
  • full column width (not fixed size).
  • more search results (20 instead of 5 per type of search).
  • Audio upload (not limited to videos only).
  • full text search of statuses (not restricted to searching tags and users).
  • trending tags are displayed on the main UI ( and a more complete view is available here)
  • boosts and replies are shown in the timelines (more complete view for everyone).
  • Your mastodon.host account is also a XMPP account (Federated Instant Messaging, take a look online to find a client and use your mastodon.host username and password to configure it, you can also use our online web client). Woohoo! two services in one!
  • We also have a very good view of the federation (our federated timeline gives you a more broad view of the Mastodon network than a 'normal' instance, there's a lot to read in a lot of languages).
  • We also host a Peertube instance for the convenience. Try it and let us know what you think !
  • In the same vein, we host a Funkwhale instance for the convenience. Try it and let us know what you think !
  • If you want to be on a more quiet, moderated instance, or use another AP implementation, we host a Pleroma instance for the convenience. This is the same fediverse as with Mastodon, but with a different default UI and way more optimized backend. Try and see which one you prefer !
  • Now if you want a different UI, the stock mastodon one does not please you, you can check Pinafore.
  • We do also host for the convenience a video Conference server ( Jitsi Meet )
  • We have a mastodon relay for other instances to bootstrap their timelines: https://relay.mastodon.host

Although we are a medium+ sized instance, we'd like to keep the feeling that you are at home and safe here.