Blog Index for August 2017

A look into the YouTube Adpocalypse - Video Blogger shows how his revenue has dried up

(August 30, 2017)

This YouTuber takes us into his videos management console for an inside look into what some call the YouTube Adpocalypse. This guy has been posting videos since 2008, and developed into a focus on Linux. Early on he didn't care about the revenue, but as it grew (both his subscribership and revenue) his attention changed. Recent policy changes at YouTube are causing his video to receive limited advertising, and therefore limited revenue. That in turn is causing this fellow to (understandably) think about slowing down on making videos.

Is Google/YouTube -- in seeking to cater to creators with larger audiences -- starting to kill YouTube?

Non-censorable video platform DTube offers possible adpocalypse solution

(August 25, 2017)

Is the YouTube Adpocalypse a form of censorship? The YouTube creators who no longer earn advertising from YouTube are crying about the loss of ad revenue. It doesn't amount to censorship, however, because YouTube isn't blocking those videos, just not putting advertising revenue on the videos.

A new video platform, DTube, doesn't block content and offers a method to earn cryptocurrency from your videos, that can be converted to Bitcoin that can be converted to regular fiat currency.

How do I boost traffic to a new or established blog website

(August 25, 2017)

Most websites exist to inform the public about something-or-other. The website owner may have another goal in mind, like selling products, or advertising their dental practice, or covering the latest news on Afghanistan, or any of a zillion other topic areas. Regardless of the larger goal, every website exists to inform people about topics chosen by the website owner. Pretty much every website owner hopes to generate a large audience, one large enough to justify their effort on the website. Generally speaking the more traffic on a website the more opportunity to satisfy goals like selling things to the audience, earning revenue, and so on.

In other words, one of the primary questions of all website owners, whether they just started or whether they've been publishing websites for 25 years, is how to get more traffic. The problem is most of the advice out there is overly packaged in pristine marketing-speak, and loses sight of another core purpose -- informing the public.

Using Raspberry Pi as Amiga emulator that's better than a real Amiga

(August 20, 2017)

The Amiga 1000 was a ground-breaking computer of the 1980's. Many of us think it was far and above better than the other computers of that time. Unlike the 1980's era Macintosh, the Amiga was properly multitasking and had better multimedia, and of course it was a zillion times better than MS-DOS. But then in the 1990's Commodore Computer Corporation went out of business after promising several advanced Amiga systems. That left Amiga fans stuck and abandoned.

Fast forward over 20 years, and the Raspberry Pi is a flexible inexpensive Linux-based computer that's inspired all kinds of hacking projects. In this case, an Amiga emulator running on Raspberry Pi allows you to run AmigaDOS applications.

A speed test shows that with Amibian, a Raspberry Pi runs 250 times faster than an Amiga A600. Running various heavy-duty applications run faster than on an original Amiga. This is under an EMULATOR, since AmigaDOS of course was written for Motorola 68xxx processors while the Raspberry Pi is an ARM processor.

Daily Stormer's new domain registrar wrings hands and cancels dailystormer.lol domain

(August 20, 2017)

A week ago a hate-filled group of fascist KKK nazi protesters descended on Charlottesville Virginia, supposedly to protect the existence of a Robert E. Lee statue. That statue is one of many commemorating "hero's" on the losing side of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee being a famous General in the Confederate Army. Why do we even have statues commemorating figures from the Confederacy? In the early 1900's a group of people seeking a revisionist reframing of Civil War history got these statues installed. So when a KKK fascist nazi white supremacist group takes to the street to protect such a statue, they're not acting to preserve history but to continue whitewashing history.

In any case -- the Daily Stormer website actively promotes the KKK/fascist/white supremacist cause, and was deeply involved in promoting the protest rally last weekend. Since then, the Daily Stormer's domain registration has been canceled, and they've lost several other important services from at least Cloud Flare, Google and Zoho. For awhile the Daily Stormer website was available only through the Dark Web, and later it had a .ru domain (Russia), and then they registered a .lol domain. But now their new registrar, Namecheap, has canceled that domain registration.

Namecheap's CEO, Richard Kirkendall, wrote a long blog post about his decision. In it he says that no Domain Registrar should be making such a decision but that even though he recognizes there will be a strong backlash against Namecheap that he feels he made the right decision. That's because while the Daily Stormer website deserves as much free speech protection as the next guy, free speech protections should stop when there's an incitement to violence. The content of the Daily Stormer website is clearly aimed at increasing violence and hatred and inciting violence.

Make a DIY ring light for DSLR or other cameras

(August 18, 2017)

Ring lights are used by camera buffs for macro-photography. It's an excellent way to light the subject of the photograph from the same angle of perspective as the camera lens. This is important for avoiding shadows. It's also desirable to have a softer light than a regular camera flash.

This DIY project inexpensively builds a circle of LED light units into a form that can be easily screwed onto the front of a camera lens.

Attacks on anti-Fascist and pro-Fascist websites stifling free speech

(August 15, 2017)

Web hosting provider Dreamhost is fighting a Dept of Justice order to release broad-ranging data about visitors to a website that organized protest rallies in Washington DC on January 20, 2017. That was Trumps inauguration day, and saw large protests, which the Dept. of Justice's Search Warrant called riots, against Donald Trump. The information demanded by the DoJ is "highly untargeted" and includes visitor IP addresses, along with contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people. According to Dreamhost, the web hosting provider, the DoJ's search warrant is an attack on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.

Last weekend a protest by NEO-Nazi white supremacists in Charlottesville Virginia was intended to "protect" a statue of Civil War leader Robert E. Lee. That protest turned very violent, including an incident of a car used as a battering ram to drive into a crowd of peaceful anti-fascist protesters, killing one and injuring dozens of other people. In the wake of that protest the Daily Stormer website, billed as the most Genocidal website on the planet, has taken offline by web hosting provider GoDaddy over Terms of Service violations. Reportedly the Daily Stormer's staff has tried to shift web hosting to other providers, but has yet to find an agreeable hosting provider. Seems that publishing a website encouraging people to violence is against the terms of service.

What's common from these extreme ends of the political spectrum is the role the web hosting provider plays in implementing our right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.

Any group denied the ability to host a website cannot speak their message to the world. Guaranteeing freedom of Speech and the other freedoms means guaranteeing that freedom for everyone, including those with whom you disagree.

Live TV & DVR on the Raspberry Pi & HDhomerun & PLEX

(August 8, 2017)

This video series goes over getting rid of the Cable TV box, and instead using the HDHomerun box from Silicon Dust. Silicon Dust makes a series of TV tuner boxes that are extremely flexible and out-of-the-box supports streaming television content to devices around your home network. The devices support multiple TV tuners so your household can watch multiple TV channels simultaneously, and there are many software DVR systems that can interface with Silicon Dust's products. The HDHomerun device is meant to replace cable TV boxes, letting you subscribe to cable TV systems without paying a monthly fee to lease hardware from the cable TV provider. Plus, because these boxes stream to devices over the local WiFi, there's no need to rent multiple cable TV boxes.

The project uses the PLEX media server, including running the PLEX software on a NAS drive. In the second video he presents a very expensive solution. In the third video he presents a preferred setup using a Raspberry Pi as the DVR running LibreELEC, the Raspberry Pi version of Kodi. The result is a very nice looking DVR and TV Tuner. A NAS drive is used as mass storage for the DVR, and he also integrates Kodi/LibreELEC into an existing PLEX media server he has on his network.

It's claimed he saves about $60 per month on cable TV fees. You can completely eliminate cable TV fee's by using over-the-air television, and Silicon Dust sells products for that purpose.

Kodi is a system for organizing "Media", whether that's Audio, Video, TV Shows, or Photos, for viewing on televisions. It has a "10 foot" interface meaning it's meant to be used from the couch via a remote control. LibreELEC lets you run Kodi on small computers like the Raspberry Pi.

Where does MySQL/MariaDB store database data files on Linux or Unix?

(August 8, 2017)

You launch the database server, give it a bunch of data to store, do you need to know where the data files are located? If MySQL or MariaDB does its job properly, the server just runs and runs with no need for further maintenance. But of course, software being software you need to do a bit more. For example, if the system crashes you might need to do a low-level recovery of the databases as I had to do - How to restore a MySQL database and tables from .frm .ibd or .myd raw database files

For various reasons you do need to know where MySQL/MariaDB stores its data files. It's not that hard to locate, and with a little change to the configuration file you can even change that location.

Five years of Mars exploration with NASA's Curiosity Rover

(August 8, 2017)

One of the most successful space missions ever - the Curiosity Rover - has been on Mars for over 5 years. This amazing video is a time-lapse of the pictures taken by Curiosity as it has driven across the Martian surface. In the last five years it has driven over 10 miles.