As George Costanza used to say, "You know, we're living in a society!", but just in case we don't, remember this website has a mirror on the Tor network, so bookmark it. RSS feed is here.

IRC is the Only Viable Chat Protocol

September 18, 2023    Bookmark

I touched on the problems of centralisation and why de-centralisation was a key tenet of the old Internet in my acclaimed article Make the Web Great Again, and Discord does not get nearly enough bad press for its role in destroying this aspect of the Internet. Much as the dreaded Reddit has largely paved a fascist monopoly over the niche once occupied by a bounty of independent Web forums, Discord has done the same with the chat world, replacing the sea of independent and free IRC servers with a single corporate walled garden whose owners each user must avoid offending in any way, lest they be entirely cast out of the public square.

This problem is so endemic on the modern Internet that not only is there a sea of unintentionally comical Neocities “Web 1.0” websites featuring their owners jabbering about how much they miss the old Internet while inviting people to chat on the webmaster/webmistress’ Discord server in the same breath, but even actually respectable people and outfits (who I will not name out of politeness) that have migrated to Discord because all of their misguided friends use it and refuse to budge. Even I, for all of my frenzied rabble-rousing, briefly created a Discord account a few years ago to speak with a friend before quitting the service out of disgust.

Nonetheless, for all of the social issues it causes me, being autistic has also given me the stubbornness of a mountain, and I have long since vowed to never touch the service again no matter who or what I may need it for. Each person who avoids big technology companies pushes the stake slightly deeper into the frigid, rotten heart of the privacy vampire that Discord and other big technology companies are (no offence intended to comparatively benevolent actual vampires with this comparison). Each person who avoids these services is also one less carrot for the vampire to dangle away over other people’s heads to convince them to stay in its cave.


Have the courage to be a loner

September 16, 2023    Article    303 words    2 mins read

Life is just the intersection of fate and free will. We call that destiny.

The fate part can be hard to swallow depending on what it is, and free will can sometimes feel more of a burden than a joy. But we should recognise it for what it is and understand that we are the captains of our ship. We can’t change the weather but we can steer the ship. And there’s some comfort in knowing that we have a bit of control and aren’t simply fated to be tossed around by the waves of life. If you feel like you’re being dragged down under, maybe it’s time to shift your focus to the steering wheel. You could be missing safe harbour just off the horizon and all you’ve got to do is turn hard. Do something different with your life.

Have the courage to be a loner. Maybe things will work out for you better than you could ever have imagined.

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September 15, 2023    Photography

I've soured on Open Source

September 13, 2023    Bookmark

Look, I get the noble intentions that originally spawned the movement, but y’all, capitalism is winning, and Open Source isn’t changing that fact by an appreciable margin. What it is doing, however, is convincing a whole lot of talented people to donate critical hours of their life to working on tools and libraries that profitable corporations are making bank off of.


I don’t know what the answer is, I just know that I’ve stopped feeling good about people sinking so much of their time, energy, and good vibes into this work, only for their good intentions to be taken advantage of. As power and money shifts ever more away from the people who work towards the people who own things, it feels weird and wrong to see people give away the fruits of their labour for free to the people who are getting more and more of it, cheaper and cheaper, everyday.

Dan Hulton

Getting the Mi Band authkey from an iOS device

September 8, 2023    Article    544 words    3 mins read

If you want to play with your Xiaomi Mi Band{4,5,6,7} without using the official application (Zepp/MiFit) you can do that, but there are some steps before you can pair your band/watch to your favorite Linux distro.

New devices (and older devices with updated firmware) require server based pairing. This means, that you absolutely must use the original MiFit/Amazfit/Zepp app to make the initial pairing, retrieve the pairing key and then use this key.

Currently, Mi Band 4, Mi Band 5, Mi Band 6 and Mi Band 7 are known to be the first devices with this enabled from the beginning. You must not unpair the band/watch from the original application (Zepp, MiFit) because that will change the device’s Bluetooth MAC address and a new auth key will be required (auth keys are based on the device’s MAC). Every time you hard reset the band/watch, the Bluetooth MAC address will be changed and you must get a new key.

As prerequisites, you should have Zepp Life installed on your device, create an account and pair the band/watch with your Apple device.

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