Posts tagged #web

Announcing mastodon-homefeed-rss: your Mastodon home feed in your RSS reader

the Mastodon logo

tl;dr Want your Mastodon home feed in your RSS reader? I've cooked up just the thing.

I am enjoying Mastodon, the federated Twitter alternative, quite a bit. So far, my experience with it has been extremely pleasant, and reminiscent of the internet of the early 2000s, which was far more decentralized, and far more neighborly.

However! Speaking of the internet of the 2000s, I am one of those people who still misses Google Reader, and still uses an RSS reader. There are 154 feeds in my reader currently, including one for my Twitter home feed (provided by a third party), another for Facebook (ditto), and another for Instagram (ditto). Because this is the twenty first century, dammit, and I should not have to go gallivanting all around the goddam web to find out what's going on! This is why RSS readers got invented, and why they still rock. Anyone who tells you RSS is dead simply stopped using it (or never did).

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1980s Nostalgia Break: Fred Rated for Federated

Amid the ongoing Twitter meltdown, I’ve been enjoying Mastodon quite a bit. (I’m on Every time I see “Federated” over in its sidebar, I think of the bonkers commercials from the 1980s for electronics chain store The Federated Group, with the amazing Shadoe Stevens playing Dr. Fred Rated. These commercials transport me back to a time when a Quasar VHS VCR for $273.11 was an exciting deal. Here, enjoy a few minutes of pure eighties insanity…

A Dose of Chill

I discovered the Sheep Barn Cam before the pandemic began, but have been relying on it more lately for needed doses of chill. I find it extremely calming to watch the stream after the sun goes down, when it is quiet in the barn, half its occupants asleep, the other half awake and chewing cud. I am particularly fond of a mottled sheep with curly horns whom I’ve nicknamed “the Colonel.” Any night that I dial up the Sheep Barn and see the Colonel resting comfortably, perhaps enjoying a good long chew, I feel a little better.

In Remembrance: Aaron Swartz

It was eight years ago today that we lost Aaron Swartz, an exceptionally gifted hacker (in the original sense of the word), writer, and activist — a 21st Century renaissance man and a prodigy as well, much loved by people like me who spend our working hours pushing bits around. Aaron was confronted with the very real prospect of spending decades in federal prison for the “crime” of downloading too many academic journals, and ultimately decided, from within the fog of depression, that he could not live in this world any longer.

In the bubble I live in, a lot of people refuse to admit that the Obama administration did some truly heinous things. Hounding Aaron to suicide was one of them. When we remember Aaron, we are reminded that copyright laws in this country are badly out of whack, that our criminal justice system focuses on procedure, not justice, and that our society still does more …

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