Less noise on Youtube: Adblock the comment box!

Just wondered how to further lock out unhelpful noise and clutter from websites I use on a daily basis.
And got the idea of hiding all the comment boxes from youtube.

The result: Me not even getting close to trolls, hatred and other noise interfering with enjoying the videos. Life just got easier!

Reduce comment trolling by enforcing link click

It’s been a couple of times now where I simply put a comment under some shared link on fb or g+ without having ever read the actually linked page, that may is an article or some video.

Then, after I commented the post, I actually read/watched it first – which caused me to change my actual “opinion” concerning that link.

So my idea is now to force users to at least click on the respective link in order to become able to leave a comment. This might reduce all those troll threads where people flame each other without having ever read the actually linked content.

This might increases the chances that those folks who want to comment the content have actually read parts of it before just catching on a bad headline.

Rant on Tiles on Websites

Welcome to the 90ies:

ScreenshotSeriously, in which way shall nowadays’ websites like this one give the user a clear, consistent and comprehensible way of being guided through the website?

First off: I *love* Rood.fm – they have nice radio shows, awesome DJs playing and generally do a great thing!
But:

1) There’s no clear navigation, in fact there are so many distributed navigation elements to reach different subcontents. Even when accessing the page via small-screen devices, there are too many misleading visuals (see point 4).

2) Which designer-chosen visual element suggests that this website can be scrolled? Not a single one!
— On some other web sites, I simply had no idea that the page contained further stuff..accessible through scrolling down.

3) Talking about accessibility..how accessible are pages like these for users with limited coginitive abilities?
— Where do screenreaders start reading on pages like these?

4) Misleading visuals: A smartphone that stands for mobile radio? A light bulb representing Windows Media? Seriously?
— The same goes for news apps on actual smartphones: Why the hell do articles need a senseless unrelated teaser image anyway?
God damn it, just give me a 3-7 words long headline, that’s totally sufficient for everything!

5) You’re probably enforced to use a website search or some search engine to scramble through all content layers of the websites: Just look at this one. That’s the site of a German University of applied sciences. Despite its text is German (which probably gives you the advantage of not having to read everything but just look at it), there are many subsites only accessible through
a. skipping the nonsense/misleading images everywhere,
b. perceive the link captions
c. hope you just clicked on the right thing.

Why the hell should important contents be that hidden. That’s [un]conscious stressing of the user’s patience, not helpful at all to get to the content quickly.

Stupid web trends..or perhaps I’m just too stupid for perceiving those kinda like websites properly.

My wishlist for a better Interwebs:
1) No misleading visuals.
2) No misleading visuals. (Yes, twice!)
3) Consciously leaving screen space empty. There are sub pages available for subordinate contents. Why was this single-page crap invented anyway?
4) Form follows function – and thus: Form follows Content. If there’s special art or creativity-oriented stuff to show, then then this may be an exception. Anything else just should deliver content straight to the user.
5) If there is advertising to show, please have dedicated ad pages that open up as a redirecting page like adf.ly does – I love this concept, as there’s strict perceptional separation between content and advertising. I may even spend a second looking at the ad, if I’m promised to have ad-free content afterwards with absolutely zero misleading visuals.

Focus, people!

Get Iron to open http-links properly after updating it

There’s this one issue I’ve experienced a bunch of times after updating the SRWare Iron browser:
When clicking on an http link in chat/mail/teamspeak/explorer programs in Windows, Iron simply won’t open with the link I just clicked on. That’s mainly because there was a wrong launcher associated with http links: iron.exe
Instead, it must be chrome.exe because iron seems just to be a launcher, not the browser executable itself.

  • So open regedit.exe
  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ChromiumHTM\shell\open\command
  • Set the default value to "C:\Program Files (x86)\SRWare Iron\chrome.exe" -- "%1"

Ungoogling myself – Step by step.

  • Iron or at least Chromium instead of Chrome – or Firefox.
  • CyanogenMod without GApps but with F-Droid instead of any Bloatware-Android delivered by default.
    Even without the Play store there’s always tools that allow downloading stuff from Play.
  • Use search providers like Duckduckgo instead of Google.
  • Use OpenStreetMap instead of Maps. Even finding routes for travelling is possible although one does have to manually check the result twice because there might be errornous street data entered by OSM users — if so, just go and correct them on your very own. :-P

This is what I did for just getting rid of most Google services, mainly just because I can. There’s obviously still not a hundred percent privacy established but I just want to experience what it’s like not to drain my entire life into Google’s interwebz :)

Loudness and mindless mastering ruins today’s music

loudnessIt hasn’t been that so long time ago when I first noticed that some weird crackling noises were coming out of my headphones.
Surprisingly it weren’t the phones itself but rather the music which is just awfully mastered – just for convenient listening ‘experience’/”they won’t notice it anyway”. Just have a look at the sound curves and those little red rectangles drawn next to the ‘L’/’R’ letters:
They indicate that the sound was made louder than 0.0 db – which is the maximum threshold for sound that can be played. But now the artist (probably) ignored this given limitation and did neither silence nor compress his raw samples so it might fit into the range of ~-60 to 0.0 db.

How should it look like?
less-loudnessDespite it’s still reaching the 0.0 db threshold occassionally, the curve and thus the music is generally less loudened – so you immediately won’t get those crackling artifacts when trying to enjoy the music!

Use Optirun/Primusrun in Steam on Linux

Until now, I always wondered how to launch games with my dedicated nVidia graphics chip for Steam games on Linux.
Now I found a solution: Just put

primusrun %command%

into the extended start parameters for a game in your Steam library.

Primusrun has to be taken due to some 32-bitness of the respective games;
I furthermore tried running games via optirun which resulted in some weird and misleading error messages (e.g. that glGetError couldn’t be found which obviously can’t be true).