Welcome ... I'm Kristof

I've been a passionate software developer for almost 30 years and currently a tech-savvy IT manager. I tinker with things like this blog in my spare time, because creating things never lets you go. Here is more about me ...

Yellow Curves


We should only have one identity in the Fediverse

Today I was listening to Mike McCue’s Dot Social podcast where he talks with Eugen Rochko about Mastodon and ActivityPub. At around 12:30 Eugen talked about Twitter and the fact that Tumblr is willing to join the Fediverse network and he asked a question, which he immediately tried to improve again:

I think that is the future, because why should we have all these different accounts … ehh … like … ehh … all these different experiences that are required to connect with different people, when we could have just one account and connect with everyone who uses different services just from one account?

This slip of the tongue and Eugens emphasis on “ONE account” hit me, because it points to something that has bothered me about Fediverse so far, as wonderfully open and forward-looking as it is:

It doesn’t free me from the need to be a duplicate of myself everywhere in the form of an account.

… because I’m not only a Mastodon, Pixelfed or <you name it > user. I’m me at kiko.io in the first place!

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Used Lenses

Comparison of Lightroom Classic Denoise with Topaz Photo AI

Removing photo noise with AI, a personal experience

I don’t like to call myself a “photographer”, as my friends sometimes do when they are enthusiastic about one of my pictures, but rather a “photo enthusiast”, because I know that I have no idea about real photography and am simply too lazy to take the perfect photo.

My current gear is a Nikon D500 and the incredible Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD, which allows me to capture everything reasonably well from very close up to far away. When traveling, where I take most of my pictures, I usually also have my Nikkor 35mm Ff/1.8 and a fisheye lens with me, but a change of lens is often not appropriate. Not that my wife doesn’t understand that I often fiddle with my camera for minutes on end to then make the strangest contortions for the best shooting angle while she simply enjoys the beautiful view, but I don’t want to overtax her patience either. So I usually leave the Tamron on and live with “ISO Auto” to compensate for the lack of luminous intensity of this lens monster in low light conditions.

The problem that naturally arises from this is considerable grain and often also motion blur. If, like me, you usually take photos according to the motto “Point & Shoot”, some of the best photos, in terms of the scenic representation, are simply a mess afterwards, even with massive use of my favorite image editing tool Lightroom Classic.

To address this problem when post-processing photos, it was a step forward when Adobe added an AI-supported denoise function to Lightroom Classic in one of the latest versions. However, this has often not satisfied me, as the setting options are limited and the results often overshoot the mark.

Yesterday, Stefan Münz drew my attention to the “Topaz Photo AI” tool and I used the morning to find out whether the additional around 150 USD required for a license would make sense … as a Christmas present to myself.

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Carpet Rocker

Don't be ignorant and offer a theme switch

There is more to consider than the binary choice between dark or light mode

Coming from a IndieNews post from Simone, I stumbled over Garrit’s post Roast my Site!, to which Simone had referred. I was also just in roast mode again and if someone asks me so kindly, then go for it…

A little background …

I have often talked about a topic on Mastodon or other channels that keeps bothering me for very personal reasons: Dark and Light mode on websites. I am glad that both exist, but the way they are usually implemented sometimes drives me crazy.

My eyes (and I think many other people can relate to this) start to flicker slightly after a few seconds of reading white text on a dark background, or at least it feels that way. The stronger the contrast, e.g. pure white on pure black, the faster it goes and the worse it is. I then have to stop reading. If I then look away, white lines continue to dance in front of my eyes for about a minute until the effect disappears. Mandy reported on Mastodon about this halation effect, which in her case is due to astigmatism. I don’t know of any such corneal curvature in my case, but the result seems to be similar.

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SVWW vs Braunschweig @ 2023-12-08
SV Wehen Wiesbaden

SVWW vs. Braunschweig @ 2023-12-08

Third defeat in a row, this time at home


Our last home game of the year. The last two away games against Greuther Fürth and Holstein Kiel were unfortunately lost. One 2:0 and the other 3:2, so you could say that our good run had come to an end. But well … anyone who thought it would go on like this should have seen a doctor. After all, we’re the promoted team and we have to win against far stronger teams with far more Bundesliga experience. We can only ever catch them at a weak moment and hope that in the end it will be enough to stay in the 2. Bundesliga.

Eintracht Braunschweig was one of the teams we thought had a chance, as they were in a relegation spot with just 8 points before the matchday (we have 21) and hadn’t won an away game for months.

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A New Blog

Hexo, WebFinger and better discoverability

Providing a static Webfinger file via your own domain

Recently I read the blog post “Mastodon on your own domain without hosting a server” by Maarten Balliauw, which dealt with how to become more visible in the Fediverse, more precisely in Mastodon, with your own domain, because in contrast to the Indieweb approach, the Fediverse relies on Actors (@USER@INSTANCE) of the respective instance/platform and can only include your own domain, if it becomes a Fediverse endpoint itself.

In my case, the latter is not possible because this blog is a static site, generated via Hexo and hosted on GitHub. It simply lacks a modifiable active server component.

However, Maarten has found a trick to at least make it findable in Mastadon via his own domain. First, he explains how Fediverse platforms work in general:

– Mastodon (and others) use ActivityPub as their protocol to communicate between “actors”.
– Actors are discovered using WebFinger, a way to attach information to an email address, or other online resource.
– WebFinger lives on /.well-known/webfinger on a server.

His idea was to simply copy the WebFinger file to his server and make it available in the same way, to allow the Fediverse server to find the correct actor, so search for @me@mydomain.xxx and find @me@my-fediverse-instance.xxx.

Copy a file and deliver it via Hexo over .wellknown/webfinger? What can be so difficult about that…

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Green Canal
New Photos

Mecklenburg Lakes

Impressions of a Houseboat Trip

August in Germany is usually a safe bet when it comes to the weather, so my wife and I decided to relax for a few days on the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau … on a chartered boat. In general, you need a driving license for everything that moves in this country, but there are a few exceptions, such as in Brandenburg/Mecklenburg where even inexperienced tourists are allowed to steer a 12-metre houseboat/yacht across the many lakes after a short briefing.

The weather was, let’s say, suboptimal this August, because a storm passed over us in the first three days and there was no chance of happy sailing around on the water. On the one hand, the swell and wind forces were extremely worrying for newbies and on the other, it’s simply no fun being on a boat in cold, heavy rain. We were stuck in Rheinsberg. On the one hand, the swell and wind forces were extremely worrying for newbies and on the other, it’s simply no fun being on a boat in cold, heavy rain.

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Medieval Art

Discoveries #27 - JavaScript Tools

This month's Discoveries are about small, large, new and somewhat older JavaScript tools that can make life and coding easier for developers. Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already done it. Happy Coding :)

  • Spacing.js - Measuring
  • Ukiyo.js - Parallax Effect
  • IntersectionObserver Debugger
  • mande - Fetch Wrapper
  • Vest - Declarative Validations Framework
  • Granim.js - Gradient Animation
  • RoughNotation
  • barba.js - Page Transitions
  • dead-or-alive - URL Checker
  • timeago - Format Date

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