Mitigating the Link Rot Problem

2023/07/01 - Tech

Links are one of the core features of the web. We use them to browse websites and to refer to content hosted somewhere else. The problem with links is that they might stop working at any time. Websites change and die, content is moved, modified and deleted, services introduce paywalls and login pages, laws make sites inaccessible. This is usually referred to as “link rot”.

Just a few hours ago Twitter decided to put all tweets[a] behind a login wall. This change might not be permanent if we are to believe a tweet from the owner (and of course you need an account to read it), but just like that, millions of links shared over the years, bookmarks, and open tabs no longer work as expected. And some of those links are important.

Sign in to Twitter

Popular services have been doing similar things for years. For example, Facebook and Instagram redirect users they don’t like (IP, browser, etc) to a login page independently of the content you’re trying to access (could be a meme or some announcement from your government). Reddit started hiding content from mobile users, requiring them to login or install their app (even though the content is right there behind the popup). Imgur, a very popular image hosting service, now has a problem with hosting images, started deleting content, and redirects users accessing images to pages with ads and trackers. Google tried very hard to create a Facebook competitor with Google+, but the service closed and a lot of content was lost.

This affects embedded content too. On top of the privacy problems of adding external content to pages, if the content isn’t really on the page, it might disappear, change or be put behind some wall. For some content this is not a big deal, but sometimes it is. For example, some news websites embed public posts from politicians. What if the post is removed? Did the person ever said what the site claims they did? Or what if the post is updated to say something else?

How to mitigate this?

There’s nothing we can do to stop links we don’t control from breaking, but we can duplicate the content so it exists in more than one place. We can:

  • Take screenshots of the page/content.
  • Archive the content on services like the Wayback Machine and
  • Provide different sources.
  • Keep our own copy of the content.

And so on.

Charging Control on LineageOS

2023/06/11 - Tech

I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere else other than LineageOS’ changelog, but today’s build (2023-06-11, LineageOS 20) for my OnePlus 8 Pro (instantnoodlep) comes with a new feature called Charging Control which gives us some control over the charging of our devices.

There are 4 options at the moment:

  • Off: default, starts charging right away.
  • Automatic schedule: based on your alarm.
  • Custom schedule: set the start time and target time to be fully charged.
  • Limit charging: set the max % your battery should charge to (between 70 and 100%).

If charging is restricted by your settings, you’ll see a notification. This notification takes you to the settings page… which is okay, but it would be nice if we could quickly resume charging/temporary disable the restriction directly from the notification.

Charging Control Notification

Some Android brands and iOS have offered it for years (with different levels of control), but it’s nice to see this coming to a popular custom ROM like LineageOS and, eventually, to many others that follow LineageOS closely.

The “limit charging” option will be useful on a phone I use as hotspot. It sometimes spends days connected to a charger and it gets a bit warm. Currently I use a Magisk module to limit charging and this will allow me to accomplish the same without doing anything more advanced.

The 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine

2023/04/14 - Random

Back in 2003 when the U.S. invaded Iraq[a], my father told me about him watching the start of the Gulf War[a] live on television. Apparently my parents were watching the news and later on they started showing what I believe was the CNN live feed from Baghdad. This wouldn’t surprise anyone today, but in 1991 for a guy in a rural part of Portugal, it was something very different. In the area where they lived, most only had two TV channels available, a colour TV if they were lucky (many were still black and white), and after a day of work many would watch the Telejornal[a] at 20:00 and maybe one of the (bland) programs before going to bed. Watching war live wasn’t something that people were used to, so like many they stayed up until late.

I don’t remember much of the 2003 Iraq war even though it was broadcasted live too (12 year old me didn’t pay attention to wars or followed the news). The only memories I have from what I think was the start of the war was an American tank shooting by mistake at the hotel where some journalists were staying, a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled, and weirdly some technology that RTP[a] was using to do live broadcasts from there… I think it involved sending the video (low quality) via satellite and the audio via a normal phone call or something like that? I was into mobile phones back then, 2.5G/3G services were being introduced, we could make (expensive) video calls, etc… maybe that’s why I still remember this.

In February 2022 I had a similar experience to that of my father back in 1991. Russia invaded Ukraine[a] and I was about to follow the start of this new stage of the war in a very different way.

This won’t be an interesting post for most, but it has been a year since the start of the invasion and I’m starting to forget some of the details, so this is me writing it down in case I want to refer to it later on. Some of the content and descriptions might be too much for some, so here’s your warning to stop reading. The dates should be more or less correct, but keep in mind that it has been a year since it happened. My time zone is UTC. Some of the links also have an archived version “[a]” saved when I was writing this in case the original source changes or disappears.

Ukraine War

Poco F4 Review

2023/01/07 - Tech

Poco F4 Box

What’s in the Box

  • Poco F4 “Moonlight Silver”, 6GB+128GB, pre-applied screen protector.
  • 67W USB-A charger.
  • USB-A to USB-C cable.
  • USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone port.
  • Clear case.
  • SIM card remover tool.
  • The usual paper stuff (quick start guide, warranty notice, etc).

Other notes:

  • Bought directly from Xiaomi. I paid £229 GBP (around 266 euros or 273 dollars) for it in June 2022.
  • The phone is running MIUI 13.0.6 Global based on Android 12.
  • Out of the box, after the Play Store/Xiaomi updates installed apps and before uninstalling bloatware, there’s around 100GB of space free on this 128GB variant.