Impacts and Ethics of Eating Meat

The health benefits of vegan diet over a balanced omnivorous one have been largely disproved by nutritional research. Since then, the argument has shifted to the negative environmental impact of producing meat. Recently, media has been swarming with articles such as Mean is horrible on Washington Post, or Tax meat and dairy to cut emissions and save lives, study urges on The Guardian. Their authors cherry-pick arguments to support their position, that eating meat (especially beef) is detrimental to the environment. Meanwhile, they ignore any downsides of growing crops. On the latest episode of Revolution Health Radio, Diana Rogers presents a more complete picture of the situation. In the process, she dispels the notion that growing crops is the only environmentally and ethically feasible way of producing food. Listen to it here:

Impacts and Ethics of Eating Meat

20th Anniversary of Diablo

Diablo was my favorite game as a kid. I remember the captivating gloomy, haunted atmosphere, that kept you incessantly on your toes, as if it were yesterday. It is hard to believe that twenty years have come by. Yesterday, Blizzard have announced that they have something special in store for the 20th Diablo anniversary. In the upcoming patch of Diablo 3, they will have recreated the original Diablo campaign. And to make the experience as authentic as possible, characters will only be able to move in 8 directions (instead of 360 degrees). Also, a special grainy filter will be applied to graphics.

Original Diablo remade in Diablo 3

Perhaps it is time to finally buy Diablo 3?

Use Pi-Hole to Block Ads with Raspberry Pi

We live surrounded by ads. Not only in the physical space, but also in the virtual reality of Internet. They don’t just consume a lot of bandwidth and are very obstructive, they usually also unethically track you. While I understand, that content creators need the means to make ends meet, I believe there are better ways to accomplish that, such as Patreon. Now, there are plenty of ways to get rid of ads on traditional computers. For example, browser extensions, such as Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin, or proxys, such as Privoxy). However, on mobile devices, the situation is far less ideal. One way to tackle the problem, is to filter out ads for your whole network. Welcome to Pi-Hole. It is a DNS server for Raspberry Pi, that keeps a blacklist of advertising sites and serves an empty response instead of them, saving both your bandwidth and your sanity.

Installation

As you can see on its website, Pi-Hole’s installation process is very easy. Once you have your Raspberry Pi set up, connect to it via SSH. Then run the following command to download Pi-Hole:

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Attack on the Titan Board Game

Last weekend Spiel 2016, the biggest board game trade fair, took place in Essen, Germany. While there, I had a chance to catch up with Antoine Bauza, designer of such gems as Tokaido, 7 Wonders and Samurai Spirit. Currently, he is working on Attack on the Titan: The Last Stand. The game based is on the hugely popular Japanese manga and anime, where the remnants of humanity live in a wall-protected city, defending themselves from titans, who have an appetite for humans. In this board game, one player takes on the role of a titan. Their goal is to eat innocent citizens, destroy the city’s defenses and kill the members of the defense corps. The other players team up, trying to take the titan down.

Attack on the Titan: The Last Stand

I got to try out the game prototype as well. The game-play was very immersive and action packed, even though it was a bit too dice heavy for my taste. That was quite surprising for me, since Bauza’s games usually do not utilize dice at all. But I will be definitely buying the full game once it comes out in February 2017 anyway.

Automatically Turn Off the LEDs on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is my little busy-bee, working as a torrentbox and a Nextcloud server, among other things. But man, those blinking LEDs are not good for your sleep. So, I have written a small script with a systemd service to keep the LEDs turned off at night. You can find it at my Gitlab page. Enabling it on your own Raspberry is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. First, download the script with git clone https://gitlab.com/radek-sprta/automate-raspberry-leds (you might have to install git first).
  2. Then copy raspberry-leds.sh to /usr/local/bin.
  3. And make it executable with sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/raspberry-leds.sh.
  4. Afterwards, raspberry-leds.service and raspberry-leds.timer to /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants.
  5. Finally, run sudo systemctl daemon-reload.

Well, that was more like 1-2-3-4-5. But still pretty easy I would say. No more blinking lights bothering you at night anymore. Yay!

Install Nextcloud on Raspberry Pi

For a lot of people, using a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive for syncing their data between different machines has become a necessity. However, it comes at a cost - you lose control over your data once you uploaded them. What if you could run a cloud service at your personal server? Welcome to Nextcloud. You might have a heard about Owncloud. Due to disagreements over the goals of the project, the Owncloud founder and few other key figures have forked it into Nextcloud. Between the Nextcloud conference and the Nextcloud Box, the project seems to be gaining a lot of traction. And that’s why I chose it rather than Owncloud. As in my previous guides for Setting Up Headless Raspberry Pi Server and Turning Raspberry Pi Into Torrentbox, I will guide you step by step how to install Nextcloud on Raspberry Pi, turning it into your personal cloud. In the examples, I am using Raspbian, but the instructions should be similar for other systems.

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Darkest Dungeon - The Crimson Court DLC Announced

Darkest Dungeon - The Crimson Court poster

Just days after the release of Darkest Dungeon for PS4 and PS Vita, Red Hook studios have announced a new DLC called “The Crimson Court”. Truthfully, the official announcement does not say much except the release date - early 2017. And that the DLC will focus on vampires. As is Red Hook’s tradition, they will probably not be your typical vampires. But that still leaves a plenty of room for speculation. So, my guess is we can expect a new dungeon. Perhaps also some new classes - a vampire hunter, vampire or even a dhampir. What is it going o be? Let’s see! I feel excited already.

Turn Raspberry Pi Into Torrentbox

In an earlier post I explained how to setup a headless Raspberry Pi server. It is sitting there, all nice and shiny. Now it is time to actually make it do something useful. Therefore, this guide will show you how to setup your Raspberry to work as torrent box, that automatically downloads all your favorite legal content.

Create download folders

First of all, you will need to an external usb drive to store the downloaded files. You can find out how to connect one in one of my other posts. Let’s say you have it mounted as /media/external. Then, create the following directories for your downloads:

$ mkdir /media/external/incomplete
$ mkdir /media/external/complete

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Darkest Dungeon on PS4/PS Vita, Now With New Czech Translation

Darkest Dungeon is probably my favorite game released this year. It is a Gothic rogue-like about the stresses of dungeon crawling. You lead a party of heroes trying to stop an ancient evil encroaching upon your birth village. But you do not stand only against creatures of the dark. Hunger, diseases and unimaginable horrors that your heroes encounter will all take a toll on their mental state. They will despair, they will go mad, they will die… and they won’t return. The game features challenging tactical combat and gloomy Lovecraftian hand-drawn graphics. Yesterday, the Red Hook released the long- awaited PS4/PS Vita version. I am personally invested in this one, because supposed features a remade Czech localization. The original localization was plagued by inconsistent, too literal, and sometimes outright wrong translations. I took upon the task of bringing it up to standards. And many sleepless nights later, the Czech gamers should have a much more pleasant experience. So, for those of you who have not tried the game yet, this is the perfect chance. If you are still not convinced, take a look at the is a release trailer:

Edit: And now there is a DLC on the way too!

Download Flickr Images Easily Using Script

I like to change my wallpaper to reflect the current season. Since I spend large parts of the day in front of computer, this gives me a glimpse of the outside world. My favorite source of high quality photos has for the longest time been Flickr. There is one thing though, that has always bothered me on Flickr. Some authors do not allow download of their photos. I don’t see the point doing of this. If someone has the picture open in their browser, it is already stored stored on their computer. Therefore, they can just copy it from the cache. Or look for link to the picture in the source code. What I’m trying to say is, that if someone wants to download the picture, they will. Don’t upload the picture to the Internet in the first place, if you don’t like other people having it. I tend to download a lot of wallpapers at once. Because of that, digging through the source code can get a bit tedious. To deal with that, I wrote a simple script to download Flickr images in Python to do the heavy-lifting for me. You can use it with the URLs as arguments or saved in a text file, one per line. By default, it downloads the original image, but you can specify the size. Enjoy!