Some longer posts/articles by

Frustrated with Spotify's web player and audio book support (what support, you ask ? my point exactly ...) I decided to give Deezer another try, using the free 30 days premium test offer. The test subscription will not end automatically, by the way, so if you are not convinced of Deezer, make sure to cancel your subscription in due time!

The most important criteria for a music streaming service is of course music availability. Deezer not only claims to have more titles available than Spotify (55M vs 45M), after migrating my playlists using Soundiiz, there was basically just one important title missing from my rather eclectic music collection, which was a cover version of 'You Spin Me Round' by Dope, and even for that there was at least a live recording available.

Which reminds me to mention the first very useful Deezer feature to you, which is a replace button for missing songs. That button will bring up a list of search results, which in most cases points you to an identical replacement for the song (e.g. album instead of single track).

Deezer still has Likes, you can 'heart' songs and they will be added to a special category. Of course this is not much more than a default playlist you can't rename, but I still like the feature and never really understood why Spotify abandoned it.

MP3 upload (for songs like e.g. 'Cop Killer' by Body Count) works much better than Spotify's P2P system, too, you just upload your files once and have instant access from all your devices.

The absolute killer feature for me is the Audio Book App. It keeps audio books in a separate playlist and saves progress on each individual book when you stop listening. Spotify has the same huge number of available audio books, but in Deezer you can actually listen to these books continuously, even if you decide to listen to something else in between.

I didn't have much time to check out Deezer's discovery features yet, but a short test run of the 'Flow' was promising, i.e. much less annoying than most of the playlists Spotify generated for me. Then there's the Filtr app which promises Pandora- style playlist generation from a combination of tags, artists etc.

While there are a lot of official playlists for new content and different music styles, third party content (by celebs, music magazines, radio stations etc.) is somewhat limited compared to Spotify.

This is not the only disadvantage, although Deezer's web player is much more powerful (you can even rename and sort playlists ...), it's not 100% stable and sometimes you have to refresh the browser to make the menus work again. The desktop app is almost identical to the web client, so if you don't need offline you can safely skip that download.

Also, if you depend on Spotify's client integration (things like seamlessly continuing a song on another device or remote controlling a device from another client) you won't be happy with Deezer, except for the library itself and the Audio Book App there is no synchronization whatsoever between clients.

Anyway, after a couple of days I must say I'm quite convinced, Deezer is as good as Spotify in most aspects, and even better in others (audio books !!!), so for my part, I'll cancel Spotify premium and stick with Deezer for a while

The pricing is very similar (including family accounts) and there's even a “Hifi” option with lossless FLAC encoding for audiophiles.

Here's a list of the most interesting talks from #35c3 Chaos Communication Congress held by German “Chaos Computer Club” in 2018

EN * The precariat, a disruptive class for disruptive times by Guy Standing * A Farewell To Soul Crushing Code by Mike Sperber and Nicole Rauch * What the Fax by Yaniv Balmas and Eyal Itkin * The Mars Rover Onboard Computer by Daniel Jilg * Blockchain – A Picture Book by Alexandra Dirksen

DE * Mind the trap – Die Netzpolitik der AFD im Bundestag by Miriam Seyffarth * Butterbrotdosen Smartphone by Bücherratte * Archäologische Studien im Datenmüll by Letty and Katharina Nocun * Hackerethik – Eine Einführung by Frank Rieger * Du kannst alles hacken, du darfst dich nur nicht erwischen lassen by Linus Neumann und Thorsten Schröder

This is what I was able to watch so far, might add more sessions later !

Social networks are great, especially decentralized ones like Mastodon, but sometimes you just need that little extra functionality, for writing a longer post (maybe even with some basic formatting and without spamming everyone's timeline) or to note down something you might want to find / refer to later.

I've tried a couple of services for this use case in the past, comes close but doesn't offer https, still feels a little unfinished and Medium with all its ecosystem is too much of a social network of its own

Now I found It offers a simple, clutter free UX (basically just an empty window allowing you to enter text), Markdown formatting and a very simple “blog” list, holding all your articles. And that's already it. Ok, almost, you can also enable Federation, which will allow other “Fediverse” accounts to follow your musings.

If you're not looking for a full featured CMS but just a simple writing tool, give a try – you might like it. If you REALLY like it, or want some extra features after all, there are paid plans ranging from $1 to $4 per month, but for my use case the free version is totally sufficient.

In the light of recent Google decisions like abandoning URLs, the “new” Chrome design (with the round tabs Firefox had 5 years ago) or the recently introduced auto-logon to Google sync, the idea of a “Chrome browser without Google” is becoming more and more attractive ... time to give Vivaldi another try, a project started in 2015 by Opera co-founder Jon Tetzchner.

After downloading the 2.0 release candidate I must say I'm really impressed – Vivaldi gives you the advantages of Chrome (100% Blink/Chrome compatibility including extensions and dev tools) without the privacy issues (sync is always end to end encrypted and not stored on Google servers), and adds more features on top than I can even list here, just have a look at the Vivaldi features page instead.

Vivaldi 2.0 RC1 already feels very mature, fast and stable. The “killer feature” for me is the URL bar autocomplete, which is the fastest and best I've experienced in any web browser so far. The only thing I'm missing is synchronization of search engines, but this has been promised for a later release.

Long story short, if you are looking for a modern, innovative, customizable browser beyond the big names, look no further – give Vivaldi 2.0 a try and you'll never look back!

PS: to use this on Archlinux or Manjaro, install vivaldi-snapshot and vivaldi-snapshot-ffmpeg-codecs from the AUR (the second one will take quite long to compile, so alternatively you can also get the packages from from the unofficial herecura repo – worked fine for me, although Manjaro isn't supported).