Self-Hosting
As you probably can see, I have been firmly in the self-hosting crowd since a few years ago. To say the least, I have my own self-hosted "cloud" storage, music streaming server, Git frontend, email server, social network (Mastodon, Misskey), and messaging apps (XMPP, Matrix). One main reason of doing so was, of course, for privacy, just like many others who are on the same boat. I just can no longer trust my personal data to big companies, especially if the product handling said information is f...
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Imposter Syndrome
Having started several popular projects since I was in the 9th grade or so, I, to some that I know, have always been one of the "successful" people in the circle, at least in terms of visibility and the number of projects that have received public / media attention. For all the privileges and opportunities I have gained through all of these experiences, I have never felt being truly "worthy" for what I have "achieved". I understand that saying this tends to leave a sour taste in some people, and...
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Why Write
When I restarted my blog (again) this year, I, like all the times I did before, had a resolution to start writing regularly -- probably not every single day, but maybe every other day, or at least once a week. And, also like all the previous attempts, my frequency of writing peaked around the moment when I first restarted the blog(s). Just look at the post frequency on this blog: I created this "shorts" blog around April 24, 2022, specifically so that I can "dump" some of my random ideas without...
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Disconnected
(Or: How to be totally unprepared for the worst) On July 8, the past Friday, I woke up in the morning as usual, with the sun shining directly into my eyes. I let out a long yawn, blamed the sun, proceeded to check my phone, and realized that it has somehow lost the cell signal. Weird, I thought, at least I still have Wi-Fi -- but none of my chat apps showed any updates past around 4 am that morning. I opened my browser to check, only to be confronted with a connection failure message. As a firs...
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Recent Updates 06/30
The past two weeks or so have been a little bit hectic for me, and that's part of the reason why I have not updated this blog in a while. In the mean time, I thought it would be appropriate for this semi-diary formatted blog to have some sort of a miscellaneous update on what has been happening to me recently. This would not be a short post, but due to its miscellaneous nature, I felt that it belongs to this blog more than the main one. Of course, school has been the majority of what I am doing...
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Right to Repair and Software Freedom
Recently, the right to repair movement has been gaining a lot of momentum around the world, which I absolutely support and am extremely happy to see. But as people are cheering over the passage of some of the pro-right to repair regulations, I cannot help but fear that all of this would end up stopping short of its actual full promise of "owning what you own" and reducing planned obsolescence. In my mind, to achieve its goal in its fullest form, the right to repair is not at all separable from h...
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Attention Span
I've always wondered whether my attention span is normal. Like, probably since my high school years. Right before I entered high school, I first became interested, and more importantly, engaged, in the Android community, both as an open-source app developer and a third-party ROM developer, which was basically my introduction into the world of systems and mobile development. That interest of course carried over into high school, where the course workload was significantly higher than before. This...
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2022-05-24 Web Applications
The web should be allowed to be way more capable than it is right now. Seriously. I know a lot of people who grumble about how the web today is way too capable than it should be and that creates a lot of privacy or security issues from overly capable web applications, but I just fail to see a convincing argument on why it is the case. On the contrary, I am pretty sure that the popularity of web applications actually reduces the attack surface of average home PCs and the fact that web application...
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2022-05-17 初恋
多少人一生都怀念自己的初恋,认为初恋是最纯洁、最好的恋情,以至于无数漫画、电影都以初恋为主题。然而我一直不曾理解初恋究竟好在哪里 —— 也许是因为我没有经历过真正的、双向的初恋吧。 在我的印象里,作为一个男孩子,中学时代萌生的「喜欢」,无非是青春发育期的性欲罢了。说得难听点,这叫做「发情」,而不是「暗恋」。当然,原因可能是当时的我不甚受欢迎,导致我并没有和很多异性打过交道。我所「喜欢」的女孩子,往往不过是长得好看,或者说是刻板印象中的可爱的女孩子的长相;而我往往甚至完全没有跟我号称「喜欢」的人说过一句话,甚至连偶然的搭讪都完全没有过。我可以用一万个理由为自己的「社恐」开脱,但事实是,我并没有真的把对方当成恋爱对象的想法;最多只是当作妄想的对象而已。这样的所谓「初恋」,称得上「纯洁」「美好」吗?我能想到的只有相反方向的形容词。 一个例子是高中毕业上大学之后,我曾经尝试过认真地和当时(高中毕业之前)「喜欢」的女孩子打交道。结果并不乐观 —— 开始经常聊天以后才意识到,我们双方的三观的差距有多么的大,甚至连找一个共同的话题都是一件难事。我不想贬低别人的三观 —— 恰恰相反,我认为我自己当...
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2022-05-15 生きる理由
一年前のこの時期、僕のとある知り合いが病気でこの世に離れることになった。ネットだけの知り合いだが、僕みたいな引きこもりにとって大事な友達の一人だった。彼女は普段体が弱い人だと思われていたけど、いきなりこんなことになるって誰も思わなかった。平日話している同じ年の人がいきなりもう目覚められないなんて、僕にとってそれは初めてだった。 突然のことですが、当時の僕はカナダに留学する準備の色々で忙しいので、あんまり悲しさを感じていなかった。たぶん、悲しさを処理する脳力がなかったから、考えることを避けていただけ。ただ、僕の友人が一人減った事実に避けなくて、心の何処かで空っぽだった。一年後の今、カナダに落ち着く住んでいる僕は彼女を思い出し、ものすごく強い悲しさに襲われている。当時の感じなかった分の悲しさも今一気に来たみたいに。 もう一年か。そう思っている僕は、久しぶりに深く思考に沈んだ。もしかして明日、僕も彼女みたいに覚められなかったら、僕の友達や親族の間にどんなことになるんでしょう。僕も素晴らしい人と覚えられるのか、それとも嫌がる記憶ばっかり残るのか。そして一年後、これみたいな僕を追悼する文章を...
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2022-05-08 eSIM, and the Sad State of AOSP
The current state of AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) is sad. Or rather, sad from a user / third-party developer perspective. I'm sure this same opinion has been reiterated a million times across the Internet, but my recent endeavor with eSIM only proved this point even more. For the longest time, I thought eSIM was a huge threat to user freedom on Android devices, because I believed all of them had proprietary interfaces that can only be operated through a proprietary vendor app, which often...
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2022-05-01 Two-step Login Pages
Nothing annoys me more than websites that force a two-step login flow. Seriously. Typical examples include Google, Microsoft, or most Big Tech companies -- when logging into their service, you have to first enter your account ID, and then wait for a (fake) progress bar to load, only after which can you start to enter your password. I don't know what is the principle behind such a design. Maybe it is for security, by which I mean maybe they can go through some heuristics in the backend after you...
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2022-04-27 Contemporary Google-fu
Google-fu has been important since the dawn of the modern internet. Except nowadays, simply knowing how to search for answers is in no way enough. It could even be dangerous sometimes -- this article shows an example of how Google search results are filled with questionable health advice produced by marketing teams -- and without the ability to filter them out in your brain, it is very hard to extract anything useful from such searches. It is not limited to just health-related queries. Even whe...
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2022-04-26 Introduction
I have had multiple blogs at different points in time, but every time they seem to end up being neglected, torn down and rebuilt eventually, just to repeat the same cycle again. One of the reason is that a "proper" blog post takes so much effort to write -- from coming up with the idea, to deciding what type of article to write, to laying out the post, to writing and proof-reading. Even though I slowly relaxed my standards of writing in order to make better use of my blogs, it still feels kind o...
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2022-04-25 Twitter
Woke up from a nap, and suddenly everyone is talking about Elon's acquisition of Twitter. And suddenly everyone is scrambling to migrate to the Fediverse (Mastodon, Misskey, Pleroma, etc.). I'm certainly not against the idea that more people should be using free and federated social platforms, but the reason they suddenly migrate seems not well-supported at best. What I mean here is that Twitter was not, in any way, a better platform before this deal. I'm not even talking about what Elon Musk w...
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