In one picture: The internet now and into the future

Breath in and out the internet

I have to give credit to Bill Thompson for his thoughts around the public service internet. In one of our conversations Bill suggested a need for a picture to sum up the internet now and where we are going.

It feels like two pictures, but images can be powerful and stoke up vivid responses in the mind. Its a challenge I have been thinking about quite a bit and put it on the Publicspaces international matrix chat (#PublicSpacesInt:matrix.org).

Challenge for you all… If there was one picture which would sum up the state of the internet now, what would it be? Also what picture would sum up the internet if things go the way you would like what would it be?

Theres been a few entries but my favorite so far has been Erik who posted the one above.

This image would probably sum up my ideal internet as a magical portal to empower yourself with all the knowledge, and a connection to all the people in the world.

Others saw this as a way of breathing new life into the internet. While I started thinking about modifying the picture into something with multiple people breathing life into the internet (closer to this in nature). I like this image but don’t like the fact shes looking at her phone, likewise this image is striking but hands behind her back feels less participatory that where I think we are going. This is better but needs multiple people working together.

Like my colleagues in BBC R&D looking to change the way AI and Machine learning are displayed in the general media. I think I might take it upon myself to craft something using inkscape/glimpse and lots of creative commons media. Just something which speaks closer to what I think I’m going for when I talk about public service internet.

Love to know what others come up with?

The Matrix Resurrections official trailer released

Its here and it looks incredible. If you want the inside track, this one covers every bit after the trailer.

I also quite liked the Perceptive Media piece of the teaser-teaser trailer. Good use of  time (something which requires no permissions and quite easy to so things with). Its also worth noting it wasn’t just the time but also shots based on when you choose to watch the red pill and blue pill teaser-teasers trailers.

Can’t wait to see it but might have to wait to watch it on the cinema screen because my parents internet isn’t going to cut it over the festive holidays.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (June 2021)

Mozilla's instagram adverts

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing Google’s new dermatology system wasn’t built with darker skin ,the relative landmass the big tech corps are taking in make believe maps and seeing Mob-rule encouraged by the Citizen app.

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 Google finally processing dark skin betterco-ops changing the gig economy and seeing the number of iOS 14.5 users taking back their privacy.


Digital inclusion in the UK

Ian thinks: OFCOM’s report highlights the importance of digital inclusion which most assume is pretty much over, judging by the general press coverage.

Mozilla on the transparency march

Ian thinks: Mozilla picks up where Signal and Facebook left off with creepy personalised adverts in Instagram. They also did a good job explaining the signals which are used in Youtube’s recommendation.

A Planetary-Scale, Pluralist and cooperative commonwealth for the Digital Economy

Ian thinks: Such a interesting read starting with an alternative to Amazon and ending up rethinking everything. This is the kind of thinking we need more of.

Thorp attempts to make a statement

Ian thinks: Our European friends in the publicspaces collation take on the messaging and (small S) social networking big tech giants with a new matrix based server service which promises to be exciting.

The public interest internet

Ian thinks: The Electronic Frontier Foundation starts a series of postings around the concept of the public interest internet. Similar in many ways to the public service internet I do believe.

The Knight institute asks us to Re-imagining the internet

Ian thinks: There were some good sessions and like most online conferences, you can catch up with everything. I normally would point at one or two but they were all worth watching.

Smart contracts or Smart coins?

Ian thinks: I’m always interested in whats possible with DID’s and smart contracts and this high level Identity talk around Chia raises many ideas for non-commercial use.

The stress of digital currency on our existing banking sector

Ian thinks: The economist outlines the massive power struggle going on with company digital money, p2p cryptocurrency and government backed Central Bank Digital Currency

Why Recapture is getting much harder for humans

Ian thinks: If the captures are annoying now, don’t worry because behavior recognition will judge us all, all the time. Feedback loops make this a reality forever more.

The opt out game

Ian thinks: Its rare I mention a game but this frustrating trip through opt-out web interfaces/dark patterns that we all loath so much, is worth it. Even I have to admit to not getting 5 of the opt-outs correct!


Find the archive here

Getting on the self-hosted train again

Map of the fediverse.space

A long time ago, accessing cubicgarden.com meant accessing my direct server sitting in my home. I use to run Blojsom on top of Resin server. I was self hosting from my 512k ADSL line with 256k up (remember how fast that use to be to!?)

There were a lot of problems I grant you that but it mainly worked ok, although I didn’t like the sysadmin side of it all, as I was using Windows 2000 as the operating system. At some point I decided to switch to wordpress only because PHP hosting was cheaper than Java, although I got some incredible breaks during my time. In 2014 I moved my blog to WPengine thanks to dotBen

That was a while ago and since then I have massively upgraded my connection speed to 1gigabit up and down thanks to Hyperoptic and upgraded my server quite a bit (6 core AMD with 16 gig of memory). The first thing I did was installed Plex server.

Since then I have been slowly adding more services to my server. I guess the most noteworthy ones being tiny tiny rss, icecast2, plex and zerotier vpn (which I’m considering changing to wireguard with the recent announcements). Tiny tiny RSS is useful as I don’t like what feedly and others are doing with my data. Zerotier VPN is very cool and very much like the old and forgotten Hamachi. Because it uses internal ip addresses (non-addressable?) any device I have it connected with can access those addresses like they are on a internal network. This ultimately means I can access all my services including tiny tiny rss without opening up ports on my firewall and exposing it to the internet.

Anyway I’ve been thinking about adding more services to my server including Wekan (alternative to trello), Pixelfed (feiverse instagram), wisemapping (web based mindmapping tool), wallabag (alternative to instapaper), standardnotes server, mastodon (fediverse twitter), funkwhale (fediverse spoitfy), language tool (alternative to grammerly) and matrix (powerful alternative to slack).

Doing it under Ubuntu isn’t a problem as theres lots of tutorials and theres plenty which use Docker to manage everything.

But there is issue it seems when installing multiple services on top of each other. Most of the tutorials require a Apache or Ngnix then some SQL database. The tutorials are written like you are running just one service alone and things become more tricky when you have services using certain ports, etc. Trying to move the ports, database tables is sometimes tricky to follow.

Right now, I’m focused on doing one service at a time or really getting to grips with Docker which was meant to make this easier to deal with???

Ok so why selfhosting (and there is a lot of self-hosting services as I found here) and all the hassle?

I found something which sums it up nicely from a different but connected context.

Decentralized, peer-to-peer networks are evolutionarily superior to the bastardized corporate ‘sharing economy’ platforms like Uber and Lyft. Their billion-dollar budgets won’t save them from the inevitability of the blockchain-based peer-to-peer economy.

The decentralization revolution is here.

Beautiful Shots from The Matrix

The Matrix, agent smith

I was reminded how beautiful the cinematography is of the original Matrix film, by film school rejects.

Hoping for a better 4th film

 

Crossed lines and the continuing mystery of 07490170731

https://twitter.com/cubicgarden/status/680196715803054080

I wrote the following post last night and I know it was posted because its on my FB wall (friends have commented too) and posted to twitter correctly. I even found a Google Cached version of it here. But looking at my WordPress install there is no sign of it at all!

googlecache-version of 07490170731

Since yesterday I tried to call O2 to say there was a problem but line went quiet for 10mins and I got more text messages.

Merry xmas to you and family..****** and david 1:30 PM
We might be doing a surprise visi .make sure in 1:37 PM
Eh!!!??? Wtf!!!???
So I replied, expecting my number to be blocked but I explained they got the wrong number. I wouldn’t care so much but theres a number of weird things happening including the deletion of my blog post!
Anyway here’s the blog I originally wrote…

Every once in a while you feel like the something is emerging, like skynet is reaching centennial status or something. Or more likely GCHQ and others have made some kind of mistake. Its almost like those number counting stations.

A friend who I haven’t heard from in almost 2 years suddenly got in touch. It was so weird and the caller ID was unknown to my work mobile phone, which was forwarded to my personal mobile phone. I briefly spoke to my friend but the line was terrible (but I was in starbucks to be fair so thought little about it) she called me back from another number – This time 07490170731 (which I added to her contact). I could hear her but it was weird like there was a crossline or something. Like somebody was listening and I could hear their breathing. On both times I could hear her but she couldn’t hear me much. I said about the heavy breathing and coughing which was male. She said she could hear it and would give me a call back another time. She also said I had called her…?

I got a text from that number at 6:38pm (23rd dec) saying it was her and at 6:48pm the same day. “Sorted had a cross line..”

I replied saying something like… Ummm I dont think you can crosslines on a digital siginal?

Which prompted this tweet, after some searching…

It was so weird but things got weirder…. after calling the friend on the mobile number again and texting. Going to a voice mail machine of as it sounded like a vehicle recovery centre or something. I then got another call with her and the rough man coughing. She could kind of hear me and I said about the man and that somebody was listening in before hanging up. It was her and she responded like she would, so no recording or someone putting her up to it as such.

I got more texts asking if I’m ok, and what was I doing tomorrow? This is when I decided to not text back and contact her via Facebook and Twitter DM. With every message that came through, I replied saying look at your twitter dm and fb.

In the morning I got messages from the same number this time saying it was ******* from **** shop. I said wtf? I’m sorry ****** has been using this number to contact me. This was about 10:10am.

Then while sitting in the Arnolfini cafe, I got messages saying…

Did you just tex a lady called ****** .and who areYOU

WHO ARE YOU?

****** is my wife..and who is **** ..and where is the shop..please

I then got a call from David ******** telling me to take him off speaker phone and stop messing about. I obviously didn’t have him on speaker but he was distant like the calls previously with my friend (no man coughing though). After putting down the phone I got…

Who are you and why playing about.you just tex my wife.and who is **** again.

After a while I got this…

Ive reported to my service provider.my name is david ****** and an gonna block your number

Nothing since, but I’ve not called or texted that number since. Also nothing from my friend but I did text her old numbers just in-case.

Finally I spent some time researching online 07490170731. Out of the stuff I found, this was the most interesting and confirmed the apps which forward my sms’s, the phone provider and my friends wasn’t having a laugh.

In the last 3 days

Jessica 3 daysI’m looking for the name of the owner of the number 07490170731?


Alfie 3 dayswho is the owner of this number 07490170731 ?


Chloé 3 daysCan you help me to find out who owns this number 07490170731 ?

I still don’t know whats really going on behind the number but I’ll be recording the next call if I get one. I have a log of all my text messages anyway and use a app to log calls times to my google calendar anyway. The audit trail is all there at least. I removed identifiable names, just incase its one massive prank or some kind.

Why blog this, especially in the early hours of Christmas day? No idea, I find it slightly bizarre like I scratched up against the side of the matrix or something. Too weird to explain to the people I have including my parents and friends.

Happy Christmas!