Category Archives: General

Anything that doesn’t really fit anywhere else…

Gigabyte, do you even test your broken AORUS Engine software?

I wanted to install AORUS Engine for my AORUS GTX 1080Ti and after installation, it just doesn’t run. At all.

So I checked event viewer and the damn thing is crashing because of itself. I thought my months old Windows install was getting dirty so I just installed it clean. Guess what, exact same result. It used to work fine, but now it’s just broken to a point it won’t even start anymore lmao. Get your shit together Gigabyte…

Full details:

Faulting application name: AORUS.exe, version: 1.5.9.0, time stamp: 0x5c94a430
Faulting module name: GLedApi.DLL, version: 1.0.0.1, time stamp: 0x5b2215bf
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Faulting process id: 0xfe8
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\GIGABYTE\AORUS ENGINE\AORUS.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\GIGABYTE\AORUS ENGINE\GLedApi.DLL

EDIT 2019-04-08:

Tried version 1.60 that was just released. Same thing. Wouldn’t even start. Lets play a game how long it’ll take for Gigabyte to fix this shit…

Direct URL tracking of Royal Mail parcels

I’ve already posted a guide for DHL and UPS parcels here, but Royal Mail seems to be quite common in Europe so this will be helpful too…

To track Royal Mail parcels/packages directly using URL, just copy this to your browser or bookmark:

http://track2.royalmail.com/portal/rm/track?trackNumber=[TRACKING_NUMBER]

Just replace the [TRACKING_NUMBER] with the actual tracking number supplied to you by the store. I always store tracking number as bookmark so I can quickly check the status on my phone without having to manually open Royal Mail tracking page and copy&paste the tracking number in the field. This way it’s much faster and convenient.

Ditched Google for good. Entirely this time.

Several months ago I’ve ditched everything Google and avoided it like plague. Only thing still following me was Android. Sure it has several neat features, but user privacy sure as hell isn’t one of them.

And with phones, you really only have 3 options. Dumb phone, Android or iPhone. There is no in-between. Some people say “uh oh, use a different Android ROM without Google Apps. I’ve had a different ROM and my banking app was endlessly protesting because it was unlocked (but not rooted!). Besides, if you don’t use GooglePlay, you’re really using just a better feature phone. What’s even the point then? So, I’ve done something unthinkable. I’ve said in the past I’d NEVER EVER own anything made by Apple. And here we are, in 2019, I ate my own words, spit them out and bought iPhone XR.

I know I’m essentially just trading one big corporation for the other, but Google repeatedly disappointed me with their practices as well as with their MO of hoarding data like mad and not giving a single fuck about it. Where Apple, their efforts in regards to privacy show they actually care and that also shows not only internally, but also externally. Set “Location” to NOT ALLOWED and apps will respect that while still work. Where on GooglePlay, if you set that, most apps will just endlessly bitch about it and just blatantly refuse to work until you do even though they don’t need the damn location info at all to operate. And just having Location enabled reports everything to Google where they pinky promise not to use it in any way. Sure… Besides, Apple is selling products. Expensive ones, but they mostly make money with that. Google hands almost everything out for free. Guess how they make money. From YOU. So, that’s another aspect.

I’ve always protested Apple idiocies and boy iPhone has some of the dumbest things I’ve seen last 2 decades. But it also has quite some really neat things. I’ve had to escape Google and I just took a plunge and said to myself: “I’ll adapt if I’m forced to.” And I have. It’ll still take some time to figure it out entirely, but so far, I like the experience in general. And build quality is indeed premium. It just feels as good as much as I’ve paid for it. A lot. Sure, it’s still expensive, but at least I have a company behind it that at least on the outside gives a damn about user privacy and software support basically guaranteed for the next 5 years. Which is just a wishful thinking with Android, which absolutely sucks in this regard.

We’ll see how things unfold, because a decade ago I wouldn’t buy an Apple product. And back then I also never thought I’d be ditching Google with such joy a decade later…

Control Google Privacy

It’s no secret at this point that Google is a data hoarding hamster, but some realize this after using their services for months, years and even decades. And lets be frank here, Google may offer controls for privacy, but they dug the controls deep into their settings where most users won’t even find or look for them. And no one can really audit if they do anything for real or how much of the data they already sold to 3rd parties and blocking or removing it makes any difference at this point.

But still, there are controls for it and you can use them to at least feel better in worst case scenario lol. Some panels may interleave or share parts of controls, but I’ve listed them anyway for faster direct access.

VIEW AND DOWNLOAD ALL YOUR DATA

Download ALL your data from Google

BASIC GOOGLE CONTROLS

Google Dashboard

Your Google Personal Info

PRIVACY CONTROLS

Google Privacy Controls

Google Privacy Checkup

GOOGLE ACTIVITY

Google MyActivity

Google Activity Control

3RD PARTY APPS WITH ACCESS TO GOOGLE SERVICES

Google Connected Apps

DELETE GOOGLE SERVICES / DATA

Delete individual Google products IRREVERSIBLE!

Delete Google Account IRREVERSIBLE!

I also suggest you sweep through all panels and look at every setting in there and decide whether you want them enabled or not. Also, be aware that controlling activity settings will also affect how their products work. For example, if you disable Youtube Watched Activity, Youtube won’t track what videos you’ve watched (at all) and it also won’t remember where you stopped watching videos if you stop watching them half way through.

What is also a bit worrying is the fact there is ZERO controls for GMail in particular, a service/product which stores by far the most of your personal data.

Good riddance Twitter

After the bullshit for which they locked my account and having to bitch for days for fuckers to unlock it without giving them my phone number to “verify” me, I’ve decided I’m done with bullshit “social” platforms like Twitter. I was basically waiting to get access back to my own damn account so I can terminate it on my terms and not just leaving it “locked”. I didn’t miss it for several days or was it 2 weeks already, I don’t know or care, but I have no wish sticking around platform that’s clearly biased leftist muslim loving fuckery. Good riddance Twitter, you won’t be missed and your stupid spineless practices led me to dumping it.

I’m returning back to good old e-mail communication and Gab.ai. A free speech Twitter alternative where you are in control over what you see and what you don’t want to see, not some blue haired latte sipping idiot who gets offended on your or someone else’s behalf. On Gab I don’t have to worry about getting my account locked because I expressed an opinion someone found “problematic”.

I’ll write more about Gab in the future…

Susana’s Press Play Radio

PressPlayRadio_By_Susana.jpg

I’ve been listening to Susana for years now, ever since I first heard her voice in one of Armin van Buuren mixes and simply fell in love with her powerful vocals. There are many vocalists in the world, but not many are like her. Have been following her work through years when she was still hosting V2V show which unfortunately ended (and I never managed to archive all the mixes), but she continued with Press Play Radio show which puts even more emphasis on amazing vocals in trance and vocal trance genre. Thanks to her mixes, I’ve discovered many other amazing vocalists within this genre. I think her mixes are amazing way to promote these vocalists. Most of them can be found on Beatport where you can buy their music and support them as well. Best way to consume Press Play Radio mixes is to create a playlist with all the tracks in your favorite music player and set it to randomized repeat loop. I can listen to it like this for days and never get tired of it!

I’ll always upload Press Play Radio mixes to MEGA Archive the moment they become available.

Press Play Radio

Press Play Radio is a monthly music show hosted by incredibly talented vocalist Susana every first Sunday of the month at 20:00 CET on 1.FM Amsterdam Trance Radio channel. But if you can’t listen to it live or you fancy listening to Press Play Radio mixes at a later time, you can check them out below…

Listen/download Press Play Radio archive

Press Play Radio on SoundCloud

Press Play Radio on iTunes

If you for whatever reason cannot download Press Play Radio mix of your choice from above links, use my Press Play Radio Archive on MEGA.

Press Play Radio MEGA Archive
Decryption key for MEGA Archive: !Cz8QWNcH6aBraifQiramEA
Decryption key is used separately to prevent direct hotlinking due to limited bandwidth.

Press Play Radio Tracks Lists

Discover other artists from Press Play Radio mixes

Support Susana

If you like Susana’s music and you want to support her, follow her on social media and consider buying her music on Beatport.

Disclaimer

This is not a paid promotion, I just really like her music and vocals and I want to share her work with the world (as well as work of other musicians included within the mixes). All Press Play Radio continuous mixes are available for download as MP3 free of charge by Susana herself, I’m just hosting a MEGA Archive so her work won’t ever get lost (also SoundCloud is often funky and tracks can’t be downloaded reliably). For any copyright or licensing concerns, please contact Susana directly as she is selecting the tracks and hosting the Press Play Radio show as well as providing the downloads.

Adding custom AdBlock filter lists to Opera browser

As you might know already, Opera comes with integrated AdBlock for quite a while. And it’s generally very fast because it’s an integral part of the rendering engine in this browser. It also comes with widely used EasyList and EasyPrivacy out of the box as well as with NoCoin protection from cryptocurrency mining scripts that can abuse CPU usage during visits on certain webpages. But there are a lot more out there that you can use to filter out of webpages…

How to do it?

OperaCustomFiltersScreenshot.png

 

 

What lists to use?

Most widely used ones are from EasyList and Fanboy. EasyList and EasyPrivacy are already included in Opera out of the box, so you basically only need Fanboy’s lists as an extra.

https://www.fanboy.co.nz/

My favorites are Annoyances List (which includes blocking of social widgets and cookie messages), Anti-Facebook List and Enhanced Trackers List (which also includes Problematic Websites List).

Read the descriptions of lists well because some already contain the others and you don’t want to unnecessarily duplicate them as it will just make browsing slower with no other benefits.

This way I filter out all the nonsense and tracking garbage from websites without using a single extra extension.

How to use the lists?

To use the list, just go to Fanboy’s webpage, right click on “View List” link and “Copy link address”. Paste it in the “Add a site” field and press ENTER. It’ll import the list and it will also regularly auto update on its own.

Congrats! You’ve just removed bunch of nonsense from webpages you visit, keeping them clean and without social networks that track you everywhere you go.