ProtonVPN Makes All Its Apps Open Source

ProtonVPN recently announced it was making all its VPN applications open source and simultaneously releasing security audits of its various VPN applications.

We’re happy to be the first VPN provider to open source apps on all platforms (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS) and undergo an independent security audit. Transparency, ethics, and security are at the core of the Internet we want to build and the reason why we built ProtonVPN in the first place.

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Making all of our applications open source is therefore a natural next step. As former CERN scientists, publication and peer review are a core part of our ethos. We are also publishing the results of independent security audits covering all of our software.

Five Year Study of Women Who Had An Abortion Finds Few Women Regret Decision

A study followed 667 women who had abortions over a five year period, and surveyed them both about their emotions related to having an abortion as well as whether they continued to think that they made the right decision in choosing to have an abortion.

Using five years of longitudinal data, collected one week post-abortion and semi-annually for five years from women who sought abortions at 30 US facilities between 2008 and 2010, we examined women’s emotions and feeling that abortion was the right decision over five years (n=667). We used mixed effects regression models to examine changes in emotions and abortion decision rightness over time by decision difficulty and perceived community abortion stigma.

We found no evidence of emerging negative emotions or abortion decision regret; both positive and negative emotions declined over the first two years and plateaued thereafter, and decision rightness remained high and steady (predicted percent: 97.5% at baseline, 99.0% at five years). At five years postabortion, relief remained the most commonly felt emotion among all women (predicted mean on 0-4 scale: 1.0; 0.6 for sadness and guilt; 0.4 for regret, anger and happiness). Despite converging levels of emotions by decision difficulty and stigma level over time, these two factors remained most important for predicting negative emotions and decision non-rightness years later.

These results add to the scientific evidence that emotions about an abortion are associated with personal and social context, and are not a product of the abortion procedure itself. Findings challenge the rationale for policies regulating access to abortion that are premised on emotional harm claims.

YouTube Video: A 97-Year-Old Man Faces His Own Looming Mortality

This is a truly heartfelt, insightful video featuring Herbert Fingarette, an elderly man contemplating his approaching demise. Midway through the video Fingarette contrasts the positions he took as an academic philosopher with the way he feels as a person approaching death.

He sums up what I imagine most people who have deeply contemplated their own motivations on this topic must come to realize at some level.

I still find that I am, in many ways, a puzzle to myself.

YouTube Metadata Explorer

A GitHub user has created a YT Metadata Explorer project designed to harvest large amounts of metadata from YouTube, including channel names, comments, live chat, and similar metadata.

The author of the tool has also made available a massive 2.1 terabyte CSV file of more than 10 billion comments which was the result of a YouTube crawling effort that ended in November 2019.

Better Google Userscript–Route Around Google’s Latest Search Update

Back in May 2019, Google announced it would start rolling out a “new look” for Google Search. Google tends to roll these things out in waves, so I didn’t actually see a change in my Google searches until recently.

New Google Search Design
New Google Search Design

This is an awful design. Putting the icon and a sudo-URL above the title makes scanning through results on the desktop version of Google incredibly frustrating. Typically only ads would have that sort of design, and presumably this is Google’s attempt to make it more difficult for users to distinguish between ads and search results.

Anyway, the “Better Google” userscript once again makes Google search results readable. This requires installing Tampermonkey or your favorite browser’s equivalent first, and then adding the script. But it is definitely worth it.

Interesting Statistics from The Pirate Bay on Total Data Made Available vs. Total Still Seeded

The Pirate Bay recently published a couple of charts illustrating the total size of files made available on its site vs. how much is still being actively seeded.

Looking at the total since the site was launched in 2004, users have upload 6.7 petabytes of data, although at the end of 2019, only roughly 2.6 petabytes of that data was still being actively seeded.

The Pirate Bay - Total TB Uploaded vs. Still Seeded
The Pirate Bay – Total TB Uploaded vs. Still Seeded

The annual year-to-year trends are also interesting. Especially of note is that The Pirate Bay seems to have almost completely recovered from the 2014 raid by Swedish authorities, with 2019 upload levels getting close to its 2014 pre-raid peak again.

The Pirate Bay - Annual TB Uploaded vs. Still Seeded
The Pirate Bay – Annual TB Uploaded vs. Still Seeded