It appears that an era is coming to an end. It was really nice to be able to run my own email server and even get a few people onboard with it. Unfortunately though, due to circumstances beyond my control, Free2Mail appears to be gone forever. The domain registry indicates that the domain is active on my account and the server is working perfectly, as evidenced by the fact that I run Talkabout on the same machine. But no matter what I do with the DNS nameservers, even using the registry's own servers, DNS queries return NXDOMAIN. This has been the case for 6 days now, so I am forced to abandon the project indefinitely. And no, I will not pay money to have my residential address posted all over the internet for all the world to scrape via automated whois queries, and I also refuse to pay even more money to resolve that issue. And then all the fees imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce are entirely too much. So weighing my options carefully, I have chosen 1and1's Global Mail Exchange service to host mail for me going forward. Yeah, it's 1and1, a fairly large company, but at least it's not Google, Verizon/AOL/Yahoo/whatever, or God forbid, Apple or Microsoft, and although it's a huge hassle to get IMAP working, it's not impossible thanks to BeMyEyes, and I don't have to have the company generate a password that they know about either. So I guess of all the remaining options, 1and1/GMX is the best, at least for now, although I will take suggestions. It needs to cost nothing unless I'm running it on my own server where the server price is the only cost, and it needs to have IMAP/SMTP support. I also don't want to be limited to a few MB/month, as I need my mail to be reliable and not get cut off just because I get too many messages.
Planet earth

Wow look what I found! I initially heard a sample of this song ~2 years ago in my favorite artist's live. It was said to be on an upcoming album that unfortunately has still not been released. But fortunately for the world, this song was just released as a single 2 months ago. Of course I purchased the mp3 as soon as I found it. I guess if I had been monitoring my non-free social media feeds, I would have found it sooner. In any case though, here's the Youtube link to listen to it, and I know that it can be purchased from Anazon, and possibly other places as well.
Planet earth

Qasim Rashid, Esq. mastodon (AP)
20 years jail for rescuing 1000 low income migrants who were forced to put their lives at risk.

Expanded search for rescuing a few billionaires who chose to put their lives at risk.

Criminalizing poverty and excusing oppulance.

Smh. We donโ€™t have to live like this.
Left headline. โ€œGerman sea captain faces 20 years in jail for migrant rescue effort.โ€ Right headline: missing titanic sub search team expand search area.โ€

Just got my wife a new Chromebook. We are a bit put off by a long-standing wifi bug that connects but says "Network unavailable," but we are impressed that it tells us how to make it speak. Thanks Google for taking a page out of the KaiOS playbook, telling us how to make a Chromebook talk immediately upon powering it on.
Planet earth

The U.S. auto industry apparently hasn't learned from its brush with catastrophic failure. No, I would never purchase anything that tells me it was made in 2024 when 2023 isn't even half over.
Planet earth

AI6YR mastodon (AP)
Okay fine. Fans of #NPR on the Fediverse, I have temporarily put up a "bot" which toots out the news stories posted to as they are posted (within 5 minutes). It's at @npr_bot If you're NPR, you can have this account anytime you join us here on the Fediverse... stopgap until you are here with us! (NOTE: This is NOT the same as the bots out there, which post from Twitter; this is direct from the NPR RSS feed). #news #bot
2 people reshared this

Fedi.Tips mastodon (AP)
Pixelfed is a photo sharing social network, the Fediverse's alternative to Instagram.

You can find out more from the official website at:


The site has a server list and app list (click โ˜ฐ if you're on mobile).

The official @pixelfed apps are in public beta testing, and there are third party Pixelfed apps available such as @vernissage for iPhone and @PixelDroid for Android.

You can follow Pixelfed accounts from Mastodon, and Mastodon accounts from Pixelfed.
2 people reshared this
Cyberlux Compucat mastodon (AP)
@PixelDroid I wonder if there's any art-focused Pixelfed instances. Given the huge art community in Instagram, it would be neat to have a federated equivalent!
Fedi.Tips mastodon (AP)
Funny you should say that... is about to launch in the next few days.
Condalmo mastodon (AP)
@PixelDroid Is there a format for a URL to take someone in a browser directly to my Pixelfed page?

Jt mastodon (AP)
Is Gay the New Black? l Voddie Baucham. Apparently from 2014, there is a lot of great info here to think about. #LGBT #Christianity #Religion #BlackCulture #blacktwitter #BlackTwitterNews #bible #gay #Obama
Jt mastodon (AP)
Part 2: Beyond the Rhetoric Applying Biblical Truth to the Homosexual Debate: Modern Sodom - Voddie Baucham

"Itโ€™s time to move on from removable batteries"
BULLSHIT! Itโ€™s time either to advance battery technology so that it is no longer the first point of failure, or to bring back the removable battery. Itโ€™s time to move on from planned obsolescence in favor of future-proofing.
Planet earth

My favorite #Hosting #ControlPanel just added the ability in the latest version to import #CPanel backups. This should greatly ease the migration from CPanel to a much more sane open source solution. #HestiaControlPanel continues to amaze!
Planet earth

Now I'm an international boss, or at least I can talk like an international boss! It's all thanks to #BOSSWireless, by the folks who gave us the calling app. Mobile plans are $10, $20, $30 and $40 with all taxes and fees included, app not required!
Planet earth

The more I look at this paid domain name shit, the more I see the scam. Anything you could possibly want is either taken or is priced higher than a pastor addicted to Rolex. Anything reasonable is a subdomain that should be free. And some even tell me I can make an offer, and a professional scammer ... I mean broker will try to grab it from someone else for me. Man I sure do hope Freenom gets its new registration problems fixed. They were the only reasonable registrar available, unless you wanted something with 3 letters or less before the top level. Otherwise, the price of $0 was the same for everyone, with few exceptions. I have all my names registered through them, including and others, with similar names unavailable or at truly exorbitant prices anywhere else, I'm talking in the hundreds to thousands of dollars each year, more than I pay for all my servers combined, higher than my light bill and water bill, higher than all my utilities all at once, just for a namespace on the internet. #scam #ripoff #ShouldBeIllegal #DontTheyKnowBetter
Planet earth

Fedi.Tips mastodon (AP)
Are you a #Fediverse developer?

There's a new initiative by @gabek (the lead developer of the Fediverse livestreaming platform @owncast) called FediDocs. It aims to provide an easy-to-find set of documentation for how to federate with a Fedi platform, in order to promote better federation between platforms.

The FediDocs website is still very new and empty ( but if you are a Fedi developer please contact @gabek about contributing info on federating with your project.
@gabek Interesting. I'll have to take a look. Currently the two projects I'm working on which will integrate with the Fediverse are my Congress project and my blog.

They're currently (not guaranteed they'll stay the same) located at @congress and
Ivan Rodriguez unkn (via ActivityPub)
@feditips, @gabek, that sounds pretty cool! I wish I could help out right now, but I am trying to get a grip on the ActivityPub standard. If y'all would like me to check for typos on the finished documentation, feel free to DM me when y'all are ready to have me do a quality check.

It's confirmed I will never buy another carrier phone. Once bitten twice shy. @Ting Mobile told me they don't sell locked phones, but my #KaiPhone is locked to Ting by TCL. Funny they neglected to mention this on the product page for their TCL Flip.
Planet earth

I have purchased my last phone ever from a carrier. I inserted a #SIM into my #KaiPhone and it asked for a #CCKCode, which I have read is a carrier unlock code, but I purchased it from a carrier that told me they sell everything unlocked. Worse, no one can give me the code, as customer service has been down for a month.
Planet earth

"Save Over 45% per Month With the Disney Bundle" So now I can save over 45% a month by purchasing something that costs about 500% more each month than what I am currently paying. Is this some kind of a joke whose punchline I missed? #Hulu #DisneyBundle #email
Planet earth

Microsoft wouldn't know what ethics is if it came up to them and bit them on the bum. Saying that Microsoft laid off its ethics and society team is about the same as saying that the NBA just fired a baseball team.

Microsoft, which has been moving very fast to deploy large-scale AI systems, just removed one of its responsible AI teams

Planet earth

Fedi.Tips mastodon (AP)
If you know the address of an account on the Fediverse, you can make it appear within your own server so you can follow and interact with it:

1. Copy and paste the address into the search box on your server
2. A link to the account's profile will appear, click on it to interact

This works with all kinds of Fediverse addresses including Mastodon, Pixelfed, PeerTube, BookWyrm, Friendica, OwnCast etc.

This also works with a profile page's web address.

Find out more at
Screenshot of a Mastodon profile with the account address highlighted.
Screenshot of a Fediverse address pasted into the search box on Mastodon and a link to the account's profile has appeared below it.
2 people reshared this
ghosttie mastodon (AP)
this is far too much work
Andy Teaszer Fella mastodon (AP)
once or every session?

Our current phone service provider's customer service has been completely down, I would say for nearly a whole month now. Initially, dialing either 611 or their listed support number both greeted us with an AI-generated voice talking about an internal system issue. Then 611 changed to a human voice a week or maybe a week and a half ago. Today, 611 still tells us in a human voice that they appreciate our patience as they work to restore their customer care systems as soon as possible, while the support line's AI-generated voice now tells us that their office is closed, and that we should call back between "6 am and 9 PM Mountain time." Yes, you read that right. It doesn't say AM, A M, like morning, it says am like I am. The worst part is that it said this at 7:15 PM Mountain Time. Not 9 PM, not 10 PM, 7:15 PM Mountain Time. They also tell me to go to if I need any help, and although does exist, of course does not; it shouldn't. OK yeah, maybe this is a step in the right direction ... maybe they're finally almost ready to let us talk to someone the next time something goes wrong, as has been the case a few times over the past week and a half as outgoing calls intermittently fail and incoming calls intermittently fail to ring our phones until a text message has been received. Still, the AI-generated voice needs to be replaced by a human who gets the script right, the office needs to still be open at 7:15 PM Mountain Time, the customer care line should tell us to go to, not, and of course, 611 and the listed support line need to both have the same greeting. Two months ago, I would have, and still did recommend this company to friends and family members who wanted good phone service at a good price with excellent customer service. But I've watched its customer service go from great to non-existent since then. It's sad to watch really.
Planet earth

It seems Spamhaus, one of the foremost spam blacklists on the internet, is now issuing false positives when queried for IP addresses by private email servers. Recently I have seen a lot of messages being rejected by my server for being listed at, but running manual queries at Spamhaus as well as an independent dnsbl check tool shows me that these IP's are blacklisted exactly nowhere. Many of the emails I missed because of this were actually important. I have solved the problem for now by removing from my dnsbl configuration, but will need to look for at least one other such blacklist in order to keep my inbox fairly clean. Bye-bie Spamhaus. It was nice knowing you, but you fell off the bike real quick.
Planet earth

What's up with this false advertising trend I see where a company will tell me how to get something free, but then tell me I have to pay for it? "Get your FREE widgit today! Just pay for something you don't want or need and we'll give you the widget you came for."
Planet earth

Someone told me they don't read terms of service because they are too complicated. But from the big guys right on down to the little middlemen, these companies are banking on the fact that we won't read them. A bank already got me with this, so I now know better. #IReadTheTerms
Planet earth

WTZZZZZ? Company X "may terminate your service agreement at any time without notice if we cease to provide service in your area." Um, If you plan to discontinue service in my area, then you better tell me so just as soon as such plans are known.
Planet earth

"tampering, modifying, or reprogramming your Device;" This is an unauthorized use of a device according to two companies who copy each other. But if I bring my device, it has already been modified and reprogrammed, as it was flashed with LineageOS with MicroG a year ago.
Planet earth

This is the third time now that I see this clause buried in a phone provider's terms that tells me that they can change my number at any time without advance notice. Do these companies actually do this, even if I'm porting from another provider?? Is this even legal?
Planet earth

"You consent to receiving advertising, alerts and other broadcast messages from Company or our authorized agents." Oh really? then why would I pay for that? If you're forcing me to consent to unsolicited commercial advertising, don't charge me for the service. It's that simple.
Planet earth

I refuse to accept terms and conditions of service by any company that says they can terminate or suspend service if I modify my device. I already run a custom ROM, which will be a violation of said terms by at least two providers I've looked at today.
Planet earth

Now testing the 1GB data plan from @TextNow at $9/mo all in, beating out my current plan that starts at $10/mo excluding fees with no data. Seems all that's missing is "HD voice," that good sound we love on VoLTE providers. Bonus: voicemail transcription is included!
Planet earth

Jayson Smith hometown (AP)

Content warning: Somewhat long post, question of interest only to Linux server admins

2 people reshared this
Jayson Smith hometown (AP)
@kyle Yeah I'm just using .forward in the home directory of the secret forwarder account I manually forward to. What I'm looking for to use in this and a few other situations is what you might call a smart .forward replacement that can actually look at factors such as who the Email is coming from, etc. and decide whether to forward it or not.
@Jayson Smith I may have to do some digging myself. This sounds like a really nice idea, and I'm almost certain that such a beast exists, as I could swear I've seen something like this somewhere.

"You agree that UNREAL Mobile plans are to be used for voice and SMS messaging only between two individuals." Well, there goes the conference feature that they themselves provide, as more than two individuals are involved. And this also means that checking my bank account balance via text message is also prohibited, since I am in fact texting a machine and receiving back an automated response. Or is that OK since it says "individuals" rather than "people?" Still, worse is yet to come.

"UNLIMITED DOES NOT MEAN UNREASONABLE USE. UNLIMITED voice services are provided solely for active live dialog between individuals. UNLIMITED voice services may not be used for monitoring services, data transmissions, transmission of or listening to broadcasts, transmission or receipt of recorded material, machine-to-machine or one-way audio applications, or other connections that do not consist of uninterrupted active, live dialog between individuals." Well, checking the voicemail they provide is also out of the question it seems, since this necessarily requires that I receive recorded material over the voice line. Well, there is visual voicemail for that, but many times I still go oldschool and dial it up. Nope, not happenin' with this company. They can disconnect my call, switch my plan to one that does not offer unlimited voice calls, even terminate my service, just for dialing up my voicemail. By this definition, leaving someone a voicemail could be construed as something that is not live, active, uninterrupted dialogue between individuals. And this doesn't even take into account being on the phone with someone, putting the phone down to answer the door or to go to the bathroom and forgetting about it. I don't do this often, but I'm sure it's a common enough scenario that they'll get someone with this. And then what of the menu tree that I'm sure they have just to talk to a customer service agent? Since this menu tree is obviously not part of live uninterrupted dialogue between individuals, in their sole discretion, the company can consider it unreasonable use and deny service in future, or even drop my call before I ever get the chance to engage in any dialogue. Oh yeah, and that annoying hold music is also a recorded transmission. Well damn.

And now here's the real kicker. A bank got me with this one because I failed to see it before I opened my account. Fortunately, in their sole discretion, they gave me two weeks to move my money. This really is in the terms I'm reading though. "Notwithstanding the foregoing, We reserve the right to deny service, deactivate or cancel existing service to anyone for any reason at any time, in our sole discretion." This means that they could cancel my service plan or even delete my account, giving me no chance in hell of porting my number anywhere else, at any time and for any reason, and they would only tell me that they're about to do it out of the kindness of their hearts, which it seems from these terms and conditions that they do not possess, neither kindness nor hearts.

They call this "Unreal Mobile." It seems there is a reason for this. With these gotchas, there's no way this could be real.
Planet earth
Seedy! #Sweden reshared this.

Your phone plan is designed for sending picture messages, but we don't want you sending picture messages? What kind of confusing terms of service are these? This company also has the dreaded two individuals clause, so I guess checking the voicemail they give me with my plan is also out of the question.
Planet earth

Our current #phone service #provider not long ago took pride in its ability to offer excellent #CustomerService. But a couple of months ago when I called them instead of hold music followed by a live #human voice, I was told by a #recorded voice to press 2. Just a month ago when I called them, I was greeted by a recorded #menu with two options followed by the required press of the number 2, and after the hold music, which fortunately did only run less than a minute, I heard a human voice whose second language is mine, already a contrast from the three to four times before that when I was greeted by a human voice who spoke my language natively. Now ... well, they are experiencing an internal system issue, but my service should not be affected. Except we just had two phones in the same house with the same provider that had to be restarted in order to make or receive calls. My attempt to call the customer service that just a few short months ago was a point of pride for the company greeted me with the "internal system issue," and a friend who has service with the same provider told me that this internal system issue has now gone unresolved for two weeks. The problem is that we need to be able to keep our bill low, and we don't want any gotchas in a provider's #TermsAndConditions or their #AcceptableUsePolicies, which actually are the things that you can't do with what you pay for, and this was one of only about two to three providers like this that I was able to find. So I guess I go #OnTheHunt again, researching just as thoroughly as I did about 6 months ago. I did say at that time when we had to leave our previous provider in order to get our costs down that I no longer had any brand loyalty at that point. Damn it to hell though, I did want to keep this one just a little longer. Everything was right ... until it wasn't. And that's how things go I guess. Back to the drawing board with the phone thing it seems. Thing is that about the only thing left to us is TextNow, and it is all in an app, and doesn't offer the high audio quality we've come to expect from #VoLTE. They also have this odd thing with #data, where they have monthly plans that include a certain fast data usage allocation, and there is no way to add to it or just purchase 1GB allocations or similar. We would pretty much have to just pick what we think we may need and get stuck with it for the month ... or just use wifi, which would of course cost us nothing. They did fix their reliability issues at least here about 4 months ago so that calls and messages all seem to come in reliably now, so there's that. But I did still want to keep using my KaiPhone, for which they have no compatible app sadly.
Planet earth

Hypolite Petovan friendica (via ActivityPub)
Iโ€™m not entirely happy the most visible innovations in online technology in the past ten years have been entirely motivated by the ad industry (pivot to video, short form content) or selling artificially scarce digital goods (NFT, Metaverse).

On the bright side, the #Fediverse is a breath of fresh air with no obvious way of exploiting it for profit. Itโ€™ll come, of course, but it wasnโ€™t the original motivation for its creation and itโ€™s already something.
This entry was edited (7 months ago)
Hank G โ˜‘๏ธ friendica (via ActivityPub)
I would love for us to come up with some means of doing micropayments like what the Podcast 2.0 have come up with but without being based on the whole blockchain/crypto stuff.

Why should we insist on free software in education? "[B]ecause it is the only software that allows them to accomplish their essential missions: to disseminate human knowledge and to prepare students to be good members of their community." Read more:

This entry was edited (7 months ago)
Doug Bostrom mastodon (AP)

Sommer Panage mastodon (AP)
Has anyone ever created a site that is technically 100% WCAG compliant & visually makes sense but is completely unusable to someone using a screen reader?

I'm exploring this idea b/c today I was asked "what percent accessible is it?" and the Q gave me BIG feelings.

Accessibility goes far beyond compliance and, in short, I'm exploring ways that I could demonstrate that.

(This is NOT to say compliance with WCAG isn't important. It very much is - rather that it's just not always sufficient!)
Being someone who has hand-coded websites, I can say with a fair degree of confidence that it takes more to break screen reader accessibility than it takes to make it. The easy site is actually more compliant as well. The exception to this rule is of course the old text-based browsers that don't handle HTML5 well. In order to make an audio or video file playable in text-based browsers, I ended up having to essentially write my code twice, once with the audio or video tag that generates a nice player that is accessible to screen readers in graphical browsers, and then once more to offer a download link complete with a title and all so that people with older browsers could download and play the same file. But that was the only place where I had significant trouble. My hand-coded websites are 100% screen reader accessible, at least according to my own tests, and I don't know, but I hope that they are at least somewhat visually appealing as well.

schratze mastodon (AP)
I'm encountering more and more useless image descriptions on here that read like image captions or labels

you're not writing a listicle where your editor keeps pestering you about adding captions to each image. You're posting a funny or cool or informative image on social media, and not everybody on social media may be able to perceive and interpret the image the same way you're able to

so add a description, not a caption
schratze mastodon (AP)
just describe the image the way you would describe it to a friend on the phone

if it's just text, copy and paste the text into the image description

if it's just an image, describe what you're seeing in the image

if it's both, include both the text and the visual description

if it's a joke, describe all the components necessary for the joke to work

it's really that simple

Making my first attempt to completely reframe a narrative:

#Blindness or #VisualImpairment is not a #disability. Rather, it is a #disperception. Imagine yourself blindfolded, put on an airplane and dropped off in a foreign land where no one speaks your #language and all the signs are in an #alphabet you have never seen. . You of course would not be able to #experience the world around you in any meaningful way without an #interpreter or a #translator. You have no disability, only a disperception, as you cannot perceive the language or the printed alphabet they are using in a meaningful way. By the same definition and the same experiences, #accessibility as it relates to blindness or vision impairment is not an #accommodation for a disability; it is instead a #translation into the #perception we can experience.

What is a #screenReader? It is simply an interpreter that takes what it finds on a device screen that we cannot see and translates it to speech, a sound that we can hear, or braille, an alphabet pattern that we can feel.

What is #Braille? Why it's nothing more than a translated alphabet that we feel rather than seeing.

What is accessibility? It's nothing more than being sure that your app, website, device, building, whatever, can reliably interpret or translate its visual cues that we cannot perceive into auditory, tactile and haptic cues that we can perceive, usually using a translation matrix that we already have available, although providing such a translation matrix can help in some cases as well.

Another aspect is navigation, where we use various methods of translation to take what would normally be visual cues from vehicles, buildings, etc and translate them to sensations that we can perceive. Still, this is simply translation, it in no way affects our ability to navigate in an environment; it is simply a translation matrix similar to a screen reader, even if it's low-tech like the staff we carry. Yes, I call it my staff, because a new friend and coworker called it that and I love it. I've got everyone at work calling it that now. Although I don't mind cane or stick or whatever, staff is my favorite word for this handy translation tool that has saved my life on more than one occasion, although it still doesn't protect my head, which I actually find more important than protecting me from the waste down. GPS is another handy translation tool, as it generally uses voice cues, and can be helped along with the aid of the screen reader, to tell us where we are, and in many cases, what is around us. The point is that these things are all translation tools, nothing more, nothing less. They translate visual cues into audible and/or tactile cues that we are able to perceive meaningfully, with or without instruction from others.

Once again, for the people in the back, I do not have a disability, which is defined as an inability to perform actions. I have a disperception, meaning that I have different experiences based on the fact that I cannot perceive visual cues, and need a translator that will take those visual cues and translate them into the #auditory and #tactile perceptions I do have.
Planet earth

Wil James hometown (AP)
A little old lady is walking down the street dragging two
large plastic garbage bags behind her.
One of the bags rips, and every once in a while a $20
bill falls out onto the sidewalk.
Noticing this, a policeman stops her, and says, 'Ma'am,
there are $20 bills falling out of your bag.'
'Oh, really? Darn!' says the little old lady.
'I'd better go back, and see if I can find them.
Thanks for telling me..'
'Well, now, not so fast,' says the cop. 'How did you
get all that money?' 'You didn't steal it, did you?'
'Oh, no', says the little old lady.
'You see, my back yard is right next to the football
stadium parking lot.
On game days, a lot of fans come and pee through
the fence into my flower garden.
So, I stand behind the fence with my hedge
clippers. Each time some guy
sticks his thing through the fence,
I say, '$20 or off it comes.'
'Well, that seems only fair.' laughs the cop..
OK? Good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?
'Well, you know', says the little old lady,
'not everybody pays..'

Sad that we seem to be no closer to getting this done than we were 20 years ago. This is very important work that needs much more attention and awareness.

Protect developer freedom. Abolish software patents. Learn why software patents are unjust by checking out the new design of our #endsoftwarepatents initiative.
Image that says, "End software patents."

Planet earth

Florian Haas mastodon (AP)
Rules for naming things:

Don't name a new thing "new", it'll be old before you know it.
Don't name an old thing "old", you'll end up having two or more old things.
Don't name a default thing "default", someone will want a different default.
Later posts Earlier posts

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