Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Jan 2022)

Mozfest 2022

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed thinking about the security & privacy of live facial recognition, Qualcomm’s always on smartphone camera and the erosion of community over convenience.

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 seeing the work around better AI pictures, Lush closed down its social media accounts. and even Elon Musk & Jack Dorsey’s doubts about Web3.


Mozilla Festival 2022 tickets now available

Ian thinks: There is so much to love about the Mozilla festival and 2022 will include a virtual mozfest and a more distributed programme over months. Its exciting to be part of something special.

App tracking via tunnel technology

Ian thinks: I always found tunneling technologies like VPNs powerful ways to understand the characteristics of networks. Duck duck go’s app tracking uses the technique to shine a light on app surveillance on Android devices.

WordPress Matt’s humble thoughts on saving the internet

Ian thinks: Personally I find Matt Mullenweg one of the most humble and thoughtful people out of the valley. I would never underestimate him and the open interconnected services he’s creating. I find this profile of him clearly one to watch.

Technocultural through the eyes of black technology

Ian thinks: This talk by Dr Andre Brook is a strong talk given at Microsoft with a lot of pointers to positive alternative technologies and approaches which benefit all minorities.

1000 true fans, back with a vengeance?

Ian thinks: Kevin Kelly’s original blog was well thought out and this follow on looking at coming technology does give Kevin’s original blog a lot of legs.

Sleep walking into an advertisers dream

Ian thinks: Although very much early days, the studies so far are alarming and needs a lot of consideration. They had me, as someone who tracks their sleep every night.

Calculating the true environmental impact of AI

Ian thinks: Quantifying the carbon impact of different aspects of our lives is critical. What I like about this is not just applying it AI systems but the different practical methods being developed.

Could Filecoin be used for more public service purposes?

Ian thinks: Within this interesting discussion, there is aspects which could be useful for the public service internet. Shame Kevin pulls Mikeal off talking about it in detail.

The Economist’s 2022 look ahead has a couple of good points

Ian thinks: These prediction type things are everywhere at the start of the year. However I did find 2 stories about African fashion and Hybrid work, had some good points.

The last word on Meta

Ian thinks: This Vice documentary pretty much sums up everything to be said about Facebook/Meta. Even includes Lawrence Lessig along other smart people.


Find the archive here

Distributed Social Networking, one day soon?

WordCamp 2011 Bulgaria

This has to be the ultimate standing in social networking. Distributed social networking is going to happen at some point but in the meanwhile, we all have to put up with these crappy social networks.

I read a few things recently which got me thinking about this again… The main one centres around this read write web piece.

The prospect of a distributed, interoperable, self-hosted network of publishing, reading and discussion tools is nothing new – but the idea is gaining a lot more support as more people react to recent news like FriendFeed’s sale to FacebookTr.im’s up and down and Twitter’s denial of service attacks. The tide may not be turning, but there’s sure to be some new waves of innovation that come out of this period of frustration.

The one which got me writing is the WordPress.com ability to do real-time blogging

Jabber (XMPP) is an open instant messaging protocol used by millions of people daily. At WordPress.com we use Jabber to instantly deliver new blog posts and comments to subscribers.

It for me is very intriguing… Its a lot more like how Jaiku use to be (I actually wonder what happened to jaiku engine?). The WordPress ability is nice but if they bring the same idea to self hosted wordpress blogs too, now that would be amazing…

Diso the project all about this went quiet back in 2010 it seems, which is a shame.

I fear Matt Mullenweg the great guy that he is, may not be able to provide the ultimate standing. The im.wordpress relies on wordpress.com too much for my liking. It would be great if there was a way to do most of the piping through other distributed means. I’d also love to see the ability to post comments/feedback through im? And why not? You got the persons details, and you can subscribe to the comments, why not replies?

Matt had to said recently in GigaOM

The Internet needs a strong, independent platform for those of us who don’t want to be at the mercy of someone else’s domain. I like to think that if we didn’t create WordPress something else that looks a lot like it would exist. I think Open Source is kind of like our Bill of Rights. It’s our Constitution. If we’re not true to that, nothing else matters.

The independent web is growing quite a bit. Although we have these great cloud servers for WordPress, the software that people run and install themselves is still as popular as ever. Our services are bringing more people online, but they’re also bringing more people who want to own their own space on the web–they want to own a house instead of rent an apartment. When we were first starting out, I thought, “Downloading and uploading software, managing databases, no one wants to do that.” But it turns out, a lot of people do.

Lets hope he follows through on that thinking…