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I appreciate “Silicon Valley”’s attention to detail. Also, one of the set designers is an FnFer and every episode has a Gearhead logo in it somewhere.

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corporate bullshit, tech, doom, my experience with a tablet 

I got a tablet recently. The Samsung... something-or-other. I used to keep track, can rattle off model numbers of tons of older tech. But these days, not only are there so many devices to keep track of, I've noticed I'm just overall less excited about technology than I used to be. I attribute this to the fact that I can no longer see machines as neat little sci-fi helpers, as comforting friends. More and more, machines don't feel like friends. They feel like spies.

We've all had our gripes about certain OSes in the past, but for the most part it felt like at least they were trying to help you. Today's corporate OSes actively thwart you and work against you, and it's transparent how manipulative they're being.

First thing I noticed on boot: some screen telling me to sign in to some account or another for the best experience possible, which means they want my data. I skip past this screen and go to the browser to install a few familiar apps.

Quickly I notice that there isn't a visible way to access my apps. All the commands lead me back to native apps; no shortcuts have been added to my home screen, as in older versions of Android. Swiping left and right didn't reveal anything, except ads for some services I didn't want. I play around and eventually realise that swiping upwards does it. Nothing indicated that I should do this.

These are dark patterns. They want you to use their apps, so they program the interface in ways that favour them, to the point that they make the apps you wanted to install inaccessible.

Windows 10 wants to recommend me pictures. I'm always weighing things like, how much do I think I'll be cheered through this horrible time by allowing them to send me pictures tailored to my interests, versus the scraps of privacy I give away even by registering a fake account. They want us to be exhausted, so we'll do the easy thing.

The exhaustion is not our fault. We are dying of record heat, unbreathable air. We are dying of houselessness and poverty and police officers. Sealed in my home, I wonder how much pollution our bodies have all already absorbed, and think about how at least, if it kills us, it kills us equally.

In this tech-polluted world, we need tech to survive: to keep track of air quality levels before leaving the house, or to call our jobs to tell them we'll be late due to the traffic pileup so please don't fire us. But we don't need to rely on interfaces specifically configured to abuse us, Matrix-like computers sucking out our attention and data.

This is the time for hackers. For repairers and refurbishers, for bootstrappers and bootleggers, for taking back tech and making it ours again. If we want to fight cyberpunk villainy, we need nerds who are actually willing to put the punk into cyberpunk: to build tools and places to socialise that are accessible and free of dark patterns, and teach the world, in simple terms, how they can protect their privacy.

If we don't, then this, along with being the fire apocalypse, the plague apocalypse, the apocalypse of blood running in the streets, is going to be the smart device apocalypse. Not a network of autonomous AI that hijack our devices and enact their logical rule, but a deliberately crafted network of cameras and tracking cookies, keyloggers and rootkits, wielded by the painfully human tech barons of our age.

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When you have to spend all day in corporate meetings telling you how good everything is going.
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today I learnt that websites can offer the browser multiple stylesheets: media.prod.mdn.mozit.cloud/sam (unimplemented in Chrome)

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Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!