apple internet

1Blocker Stops YouTube Ads on Mac, iPad, and iPhone

Soon after Apple allowed “content blockers” to block advertisements (six years ago! ?) the 1Blocker app became my favorite tool to do so. With iOS 15 and iPad OS 15, as well as Safari 15 on the Mac, that usefulness expands to allow blocking ads on YouTube via the newly supported Web Extensions in Safari.

There are considerations here for the consequences of blocking ads and especially on YouTube where the people who make the videos are essentially spec workers without any guarantees. I have had generally pleasant interactions with the workers for YouTube as a creator, but the ads and content are often extremely objectionable. Beyond Coke ads, the ads on YouTube include ads for hate groups , grifters, and scam artists, selling everything from Bitcoin to literal poison. There are other, better ways to support the people making good things on YouTube.

Blocking ads on YouTube isn’t a perfect experience, sometimes not loading an ad will also mean you need to reload the page to continue watching the video but I would rather be slightly inconvenienced than accidentally exposed to YouTube’s advertising. Of course this method of blocking ads also won’t work inside the YouTube app, it only works through Safari.

If you decide to use the new support for blocking ads on YouTube through 1Blocker or another web extension, I recommend supporting the people you enjoy watching on YouTube through other means.

The 1Blocker FAQ has a guide to enabling their Web Extension for YouTube ad-blocking. 1Blocker itself is free with an in-app purchase subscription to enable more features.

This is a link to the 1Blocker website where you can find out more about the tool.


New Freenode Leadership Hijacks Over 700 Channels

Since the last update on the Freenode situation the new Freenode  leadership team decided to make the situation worse and hijack all IRC channels that mentioned Libera in their channel topic. Here’s what that looked like for the ioquake3 project’s #ioquake3 channel:

Screen Shot 2021 05 25 at 18 10 56

At that point the #ioquake3 channel was moved to ##ioquake3 (in freenode parlance this indicates that it is unofficial or off-topic to the network’s purview of free and open source software, this change to mark the new channel as unofficial was the smallest possible token of honesty in this hijacking) and with my username specifically being NuclearMonster on IRC and the voice bit removed I couldn’t speak without changing my username and losing any authority to let anyone who had missed our notice to move to our new home on know about the situation or what’s going on. The new freenode leadership also helpfully unbanned every single banned user. I guess they just want the trolls and not the people who actually work on projects.

Of course this didn’t just happen to the ioquake3 project, it also happened to:

In total, about seven-hundred project channels were apparently hijacked to feed Andrew Lee’s new rulership over the Freenode IRC network. Lee also posted a bizarre screed to the Freenode website titled “freenode exists for FOSS.” In the statement, Lee says that projects that decide to leave are a “a trojan horse to pursue a political cause based on falsehoods on IRC.” and that the project leaders are “an illness.”


Freenode is Dead

The freenode internet relay chat network has been a staple of open-source and free software projects for decades and it has been taken over:

Developers of the open source organization Freenode are quitting en masse after Andrew Lee, a tech entrepreneur and the Crown Prince of Korea, has taken control of the network in what developers are describing as an “hostile takeover.”

I’m attempting to move my projects off of the dying service already, it is incredible how much time so many people spent on this one network. It was the place to put a channel about your software or technology project and now it looks like people are moving to a new network called Libera.

Update: As pointed out by The Internet’s Basscomm The Chairman of Freenode, Andrew Lee, has responded on the freenode website, and linked to a Paul Graham post in the response which really tells you everything you need to know about the Chairman of Freenode.

internet music

Radio Garden

UntitledImage A lot of things about the internet are sad these days. With the internet people can find their kind of people and that is how you end up with good things like people who like mechanical keyboards developing their own keyboard projects but you also get groups of white supremacists organizing to storm the U.S. Capitol or people spreading lies about elections to lead up to that kind of action. One good thing on the internet is Radio Garden, a website that aggregates internet-accessible real-world radio stations from around the globe onto a virtual globe directory that you can click through to listen to any of them by clicking on the station’s general physical location.

Maybe the only downside is that the Radio Garden has dynamic ads inserted before the remote radio station starts playing. It was jarring when I tuned into this station depicted above in Germany only to hear a Verizon ad in English clearly targeted at U.S. customers.

The mobile version of Radio Garden has one In-App Purchase to remove ads, but it’s only for removing interstitial ad graphics and not the audio ads. Unfortunately the app says the Radio Garden developers have no control over the audio ads. So, unfortunately the internet also let ad publishers and agencies get together for enhanced advertising. Which is why Facebook is now advertising to me and interrupting this German radio station to tell me how their ad programs are safe and definitely not completely evil.

internet writing

What Happens When The Publisher is a Casino

Last year I was happy to receive a gifted subscription to The Athletic, a subscription-based sports outlet. It has some fine writers. Now they’ve partnered with a sports gambling company, BetMGM. Nando Di Fino:

From the day we started the fantasy sports section, I’ve gotten one question, repeatedly:
“Why Chris Vaccaro?”
But a close second is, “When is The Athletic going to get into sports betting?”
My friends, the answer is … “today.”

You might think that just means they’ll provide coverage targeted towards gambling, but no, it’s worse:

As you may have seen pretty much everywhere, we’ve partnered with BetMGM. This was not, by any means, a short process — I think it’s been about eight months in the making. I want to assure you that your overall experience on The Athletic will mostly remain unchanged. And in most cases, it’ll get much better and deliver way more value.


So whether you want to tinker with our models before you place a sizeable wager, read some columns and simply enjoy the insights because it makes you a smarter fan, or maybe you’re like me and want to try a $3 longshot parlay across a few sports that will pay back $213.10 — we’re here for you. And we’ll be here in the comment sections for your feedback, questions, concerns, or general razzing of bad advice. (Try as we might to avoid it, there will be bad advice. That I can promise.)

I don’t doubt that most, if not the majority, of money that funds publishing is corrupt because it is impossible to earn a dollar under capitalism without stepping on someone else, but it is difficult to imagine a more brazen hijacking of the process of reporting than explicitly joining, and thus foisting your readers directly into, gambling.

Incredible but maybe not entirely surprising for an outfit that was originally born out of the notoriously libertarian Y Combinator start-up program.

I’m very curious what writers for The Athletic who aren’t making bank on this deal think about the situation.