Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Dec 2022)

The branches of the Fediverse diagram

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the UK government setup a discord server, A podcasting app sharing user location to podcast creators and whats its like to work in India as a woman in tech.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this with India following the EU with USB C. Flickr putting weight behind ActivityPub and even more calls to make privacy a human right.

Gifts which don’t track your friends and family

Ian thinks: I actually chuckle at the #askfirefox videos but this video makes good points about buying a surveillance device for friends and family this festive holiday. Shop smart with Mozilla’s privacy not included.

W3C Solid working group

Ian thinks: Solid the personal data store has found its place in the W3C groups, Tim Berners-Lee’s welcoming email is beautifully written, starting a genuine new phase of the internet.

The UK parliament debates the future of public service broadcasting

Ian thinks: Its good to see this discussion at this level but am concerned there isn’t more focus beyond broadcasting. Public service is much bigger and its time to bring what makes public service unique to this space.

Mozilla’s future looks bright and sustainable

Ian thinks: Mozilla although well know in certain circles, has been losing a lot of market share. However has good plans to build on its community roots for a bright and sustainable future. Don’t forget the Mozilla festival’s call for proposals ends Dec 16th

Thoughts on Blockchain technology a decade ago

Ian thinks: Tim Bray’s measured thoughts on blockchain technology is a good read. Its easy to say blockchains were not mature back when AWS started but Tim thoughts today haven’t changed much.

Elon musk’s take over of Twitter

Ian thinks: There is so much to say about this take over of Twitter but I didn’t want to spend the whole newsletter talking about it. However I’m sadden by the lack of understanding from Elon and the way employees have been treated.. No way was Twitter the public square.

More thoughtful discussion about the future of decentralised social media

Ian thinks: Interesting points made and worthy of listening to in full. Likewise this small panel with the folks from Bluesky, Manyverse and others exploring the possibilities way beyond what’s currently available.

The EFF look at Mastodon from a security & privacy point of view

Ian thinks: Its always great to see new systems deeply looked at by the EFF and Open rights group. Mastodon comes out looking great. However you certainly have to go about it differently.

Don’t like microblogging but like the idea of the fediverse?

Ian thinks: This is great news Automattic (WordPress) are once again supporting the standard ActivityPub and joining the large open network of the fediverse. How Tumblr will work on the Fediverse is another question.

Find the archive here

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and

2 thoughts on “Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Dec 2022)

  1. Professor, your mate Lucas here.

    Crypto-currency is a pyramid scheme, and block chain is poorly designed non-scalable tech which claims to be private but is not. It’s all a bad idea. I never liked it, I never liked how ambiguous the people behind it were. These people were always hand waving me like “you won’t understand, it’s a complex thing”. The cryptography is the only complicated thing. The rest is not, it’s just a distributed database and the moment they explained to me how it worked, I wondered: how will that scale?

    Well, poorly.

    And these days there’s lots of smart people pointing out that it’s also not secure. How will GDPR apply to this? Aren’t they supposed to dispose of transactions? Why can block-chain have an eternal ledger of transactions (or whatever data its collecting depending on the use) that never gets deleted? How do we avoid falling on the same trap we’ve been lured into by all those Apps, big and small, that forced us for years to unnecessarily sign up just to track us?

    I’m not concerned about cryptocurrency because I never bought into it, but I am concerned about these grifters who are posing as descentralizers and are trying to ride the wave of us real descentralizers. They create Apps with “block chain” technology and get funded. They want us all conned into some new sceheme where they control and leech data once again.

    Its important to call them out now. We don’t need more questionable tech. We’ll have enough out hands full with AI.

    There’s a firestarter for you! šŸ˜‚

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