Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (May 2024)

Undersea internet cablesWe live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed while understanding the risks of wearable technologyDiscord public messages sold for profit and seeing the Investigatory Powers Bill approved.

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 America finally getting a online privacy billBitwarden and Proton giving away passkey support to all users including the non-paying ones. Finally Fairphone shows up the consumer tech industry with new levels of sustainability.


The long con of the XZ backdoor

Ian thinks: This video really explains whats known about the XZ backdoor and the Microsoft employee who saved so many in the industry from a unthinkable backdoor. The social engineering side is also fascinating and chilling.

Encryption in the age of surveillance

Ian thinks: This lightening talk is a harsh reminder of the current state of encryption law in the UK. Whittaker’s talk is aimed at the EU, which are facing similar legal objections around encryption and privacy,

Fast fashion under the limelight

Ian thinks: Not tech as such but related as I was looking at larger effects of social media on our collective conscious.

Enshitification explained in a way we can all understand

Ian thinks: When a very popular youtuber covers a issue such as enshitification, you know its hit the mainstream (plus it was word of the year last year). This is perfect to share with many other people.

Who looks after those undersea cables?

Ian think: The Verge’s piece about the importance and health of those super important internet cables is a good read and reminder of how important the physical cables are to so many.

Are we at Peak AI and can you say AI bubble?

Ian thinks: Zittrain’s recent podcasts looking at AI is worth your time. Although he use the metric of revenue & profit most of the time, there is parts across both podcasts asking about the public benefit. There is also a clear question about the problem of booms and bubbles.

Why men shouldn’t control AI?

Ian thinks: Although a very clicky headline, there are some really good points raised about the fragile egos of some men and the clear pointers to the lack of imagination and cooperation in a patriarchy. Read with a open mind.

Fediverse gets new Threads

Ian thinks: In the latest dot social podcast, Mike Cue is joined by Meta employees to talk about joining the fediverse. Techcrunch have a good cover of the conversation, Regardless of Meta, its clear the fediverse isn’t something which can be ignored.

23andMe? A welcomed update

Ian thinks: I have always been concerned about DNA testing, especially in the tech space. In this update the Freakonomics play an existing interview and update it with the very public downfall. I can’t help but think public health was ignored from the start.

You may know Transhumanism as another name?

Ian thinks: To understand Transhumanism is to understand the almost unwritten motivation of so much of the tech billionaires. Recently renamed techno-optimism, longtermism and even effective altruism, it crops up so much. Where better to listen to a critical view of it than on tech won’t save us?


Find the archive here

20 years at the BBC today

Media City UK

Its incredible to say those words but in April, I have my birthday and also my work birthday.

20 years ago, I accepted the position as a XSLT developer for BBC WorldService in London, I did apply for two positions, the other one under BBC New Media central, which I did also got a offer for, but turned down.

20 year with some great and challenging moments. Everything from setting up RSS on 40+ language services BBC Worldservices, BBC Backstage, Perceptive Media, Perceptive Radio, Databox, Living roon of the future, Public Service Internet, Human values, Adaptive podcasting and so much more. Some of the best stuff has come from non-sanctioned collaborations and works, for example with BBC & Mozilla’s ethical dilemma cafe. beebcamps. barcamps. etc…

MyPDS and Perceptive Raido
MyPDS and Perceptive Raido in the museum of science and industry in Manchester (personal highlight)

Although there is lots of good, there has been a lot of frustration in those 20 years. Moving a public service corporation known for broadcasting and news to one leading the future of the internet, is something I compare to the innovators dilemma. My lack of interest in TV has been tricky but always thought it made sense if I focus on a public service internet.

In the last few months a lot of people I have worked with in BBC R&D, have left for new positions in other organisations. Some of them I have worked with for a long time and respect greatly (heck one saved my life).
I have been through many different BBC restructures and seen 5 different director generals (Mark Byford, Mark Thompson, George Entwistle, Tony Hall and Tim Davie) outline their plans for the future.
The pandemic changed working practice sometimes for the better in my own view and sometimes worst in other ways.

Being in the BBC R&D advisory team is still the best place for me currently. I still have the belief, its the place a public service internet can be realised in collaboration with others.

However, 20 years certainly makes you think… I didn’t plan to be at the BBC so long and certainly don’t plan to be around for another 20. I’m very aware of the industry changes but have an eye on where could be next? What ever I do, it needs to be to the benefit of a future public. My current research is focused on the future of social (not social media) something few organisations have the true time to look at in detail.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Dec 2023)

 

People investigating a document in detail

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed with the soap opera of Open AI, ai bias feeding ai bias and being anonymous getting more difficult.

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 the Apple not advertising with X, Pebble/T2 restarts as a mastodon instance,


Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity is not a blockchain

Ian thinks: Tim Bray is a well known figure in the older tech circles. His review/blog looking at C2PA is revealing, honest and just what I’ll be sending people interested in content provenance and trust.

Privacy costs? But should it?

Ian thinks: Signal revealed how much it costs to run Signal and its quite an open opener. Relying on donations and grants  I am amazed and recently donated, but I do question if privacy should cost, as its so fundamental to being human.

Climate change requires a new financing model.

Ian thinks: Mariana lays out a clear argument why solving the climate crisis is even further off than it should be.due to the way business and markets work. Strong warning but who is listening?

Flipboard’s fediverse podcast is a must listen

Ian thinks: Ok I’m bias, as a upcoming guest on the dotsocial podcast series but if you are confused or even a expert about the emerging space of the fediverse and activitypub. This is the podcast series for you.

How ActivityPub, WordPress and Decentralised social networks work together

Ian thinks: WordPress is huge on the internet and when Automattic announced ActivityPub support, it was exciting. In this podcast Matthias, explains how it all happened in a informative straight forward way for anyone to follow. I would recommend it to anyone interested in what the Fediverse means for the public service internet.

Self service tills in the middle of a battle?

Ian thinks: There has been so much news, discussion and debate about self service tills. Its part of a much bigger question about how much automation society will accept vs how much businesses balance between profit and loss. Not just in profits but also publicity, trust and so much more.

Mozilla Explains: Is Your Dating App Racist?

Ian thinks: There is a lot in this short video but the research is solid in the face of a industry which avoids sharing critical data with researchers.

Dating is so full of data and Elon wants a piece?

Ian thinks: This was not widely reported on but the online dating market is huge, full of personal & sensitive data and growing all the time. Facebook tried but while people may brush it off. Is it bluster? Who knows but its important to think about the bigger picture as online dating is the dominate way people meet across the world.

The era of easy money is gone?

Ian thinks: I first came across this book from the talk at the Thinking Digital conference. Its a good read/listen with lots more detail than expected and strong advice for the future of this space. I can’t help but feel if it was released now, I’d love to hear the final take on Sam Bankman-Fried, who was recently sent to prison.


Find the archive here

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Oct 2023)

Person in trousers points a pen at paper work on a table

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing criminals creating their own ChatGPT clones, Fitbit becoming useless without data sharing and those Tiktok frenzies.

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 the EU naming the gatekeepers, the 1.26 million Kardashion crypto fine and Signal’s CEO calling out AI surveillance technology.


Thinking about buying a creepy car?

Ian thinks: Thanks to Mozilla’s privacy not included project, its clear almost every major car brand is sharing your personal data without any consideration of privacy. Everything from race, weight and health is free shared without the drivers consent.

Cannabis could save the environment?

Ian thinks: This piece from German broadcaster DW really makes clear the positive potential impact of Cannabis in the fight for a greener more sustainable economy. Its a real eye opener and for reasons you didn’t think.

Regularly using the internet can half the risk of dementia

Ian thinks: When I first read this, I had looked through the paper taking it a part to see if there was something which could be wrong. However it’s solid and surprised it didn’t get much attention.

The big con, How the Consulting Industry Weakens society

Ian thinks: I started reading this excellent book, really digging into the 4 audit consultancy and Its ultimate affect on more than just businesses. I noticed DW’s mini documentary about most of the problems raised in the book is good start..

Is this the UK Government U-turn you wanted?

Ian thinks: In short no, it sounds like the UK government might have done a U-turn on the encryption in the new online safety bill. But it is still there waiting for the right moment.

Crypto was never really the saver

Ian thinks: Sex workers and adult entertainers are usually demonised by the mainstream, turned to crypto made sense. But like most things in the crypto space, its never so simple and the wired piece outlines some horrible and disturbing problem. There has to be a better way for the sake of so many.

Living Next Door to Russia, Ensh*ttification and Veilid explained at Defcon

Ian thinks: In the last few weeks, Defcon, Tech Open Air and Techcrunch disrupt have uploaded their conference videos. I found Mikko, Cory and the Veilid talks the best so far. Although I will give a nudge for the Opera and Vivaldi founder from TOA.

What people don’t know about the Luddites

Ian thinks: The word gets thrown around a lot and very few people know the history. In this podcast it becomes clear the luddites image of techbophic is very wrong. With thoughts for the future with generative AI and power, the Luddites image is due a rethink.

Learning from the Fediverse

Ian thinks: The fediforum is the unconference for the fediverse. I took part in the September one and learned a lot including how activitypub can become the plumbing channel between the usual (microblogging) and unexpected applications like event management (gath.io)


Find the archive here

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Sept 2023)

2 FBI agent's casually question Reality Winner outside her house

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed the unthinkable awful end of apps, the breach of UK voters data and zoom’s new business model.

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 Meta threads supporting Mastodon’s verification. the whitehouse cracking down on data brokers and ABC in Australia closing down almost all of its twitter account.


Colbalt the hidden side of the energy revolution

Ian thinks: This documentary by German broadcaster DW is a real eye opener of the real inequality happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its effect across any potential energy revolution.

The really deep problems of Venture Capital

Ian thinks: This interview outlines not just the well known problems of taking capital from a VC but how deeply broken the whole ecosystem is. Nothing better said that the market place won’t solve everything, it may make it worst?

No one gets fired for buying Microsoft?

Ian thinks: Local first but when will companies and the C suite care enough to take it seriously? You might have thought the serious damage of ransomware and malware might be a factor for the future to mitigate such damage?

AI right down the middle

Ian thinks: Although I was sceptical of the talk, there were some good points made about the problem of markets. I especially the responsibilities, coordination and the public/society interest.

A race to the bottom where everyone loses

Ian thinks: I hadn’t heard the term Moloch but Liv makes it clear what the term is and give great examples of Moloch. Although Liv and Tristan brush over the thought this is the market and capitalism in effect.

The world is a mess lets fix it?

Ian thinks: Defcon 31 has showed there is a number of incredible revelations on hacking voting machine to the Cult of dead cow’s open-source, privacy peer-to-peer networked framework.

When are we going to finally listen to the minorities who know?

Ian thinks: This fine group of black women have been ringing the bell about the real problems of AI for such a long time. They refuse to be silenced and as we are starting to understand they were absolutely right.

The awful truth about facial recognition and black people

Ian thinks: Simple as this, facial recognition can’t tell black people apart. So why the heck are we still deploying it? Its a question I just can’t wrap my head around, If you don’t trust business insider read the actual paper here.

Reality asks whats in the public interest?

Ian thinks: This film ended up in a lot of small cinemas but the true story of Reality NSA whistle blower is portrayed exactly how the FBI recording captured. Its quite compelling and raises questions about the public interest and what happened next.


Find the archive here

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Aug 2023)

Blue hand holding a key

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed thinking about the eyeball scanning worldcoin, Tesla’s secret range suppression team and dare I even mention @x.

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 the BBC joining the fediverse, all those Firefox tips in one video. and EU plans to force replaceable batteries in smartphones.


UK’s online safety bill breaks encryption

Ian thinks: Its clear the UK government like most governments around the world have a difficult problem with end to end encryption. In my own experience anything which weakens encryption means there is no encryption. Anything which weaken encryption is an open door with a door mat and bright lights saying try here and welcome.

AI everywhere, bias everywhere

Ian thinks: This is a disturbing piece about shop owners using facial recognition to protect their stock in the UK. Face-watch is a worrying trend especially knowing how much AI systems are desperate for more training data.

PublicSpaces 2023: The collective of videos

Ian thinks: All the Publicspaces videos are now on peertube and linked on this page. If you only watch one video, I highly recommend the keynotes from Ruha Benjamin, Levien Nordeman and Eli Parser

Race, class, fame and harm: our current social media

Ian thinks: I didn’t see this live in Mozilla House Amsterdam but had a really good talk with Symeon who convinced me to finally read his amazing book.

Is it time to give up on the global internet?

Ian thinks: I hate to say it but this piece has some really good points and its hard to argue against them. The vision of a global internet has been torn apart by many companies, governments and pure greed.

The Eliza effect is big business

Ian thinks: With all the talk about AI, you can’t help but stumble into the chatbot space. Although its easy to laugh, we already know there is a demand to connect with people and there is a ton of companies willing to supply them with better versions of clippy. But do spare a deep thought of all the data being shared and sold too.

A old form of colonialism in effect?

Ian thinks: It was through the tech won’t save us podcast I came across the paper on Open AI’s whisper and indigenous languages. This isn’t just a cautionary tale, its actually as close to the playbook of colonialism. Glad the author and the community are call it out.

Had enough of Captcha’s?

Ian thinks: Although a emerging technology, privacy pass could bring an end to those captcha’s which are annoying, don’t stop a lot of malicious activity, are basically free labour which is used to sell to others. Could this client-side privacy pass protocol which uses un-linkable cryptographic tokens finally put an end to them for good?

Posting without consent is immoral?

Ian thinks: This is a question which has existed for a long time. Even mentioning a persons name can have dire consequences. Two things which were not mention is the interconnected nature of this all.and the EU laws around the right to be forgotten.

RIP Free Kevin

Ian thinks: When i heard Kevin Mitnick died aged 59, I thought back to all the things I had learned through his books, experiences and the free Kevin movement. Well worth re-reading his books and this piece in the register. Rest in piece Kevin.


Find the archive here

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (May 2023)

Weaken encryption cyberpunk

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the environmental impact of ChatGPT, the fascination to force people back into the office and that musk interview.

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 a new right to repair for up to 10 years. how solar got so cheap and John Oliver’s 2nd reaction to cryptocurrencies.


Weakening encryption is a idea which needs to die

Ian thinks: There is so much to say about the potential UK online safety bill, when it comes to encryption. In my personal experience, weaken encryption is no encryption. I’m not the only one. There is a reason why no one uses MD5 anymore.

Using photosynthesis as a source of clean energy?

Ian thinks: This energy hack is exciting to say the very least. Although very exciting its very early. I certainly encourage reading the details of the Cambridge research here.

Heating our homes using abandoned coal mines?

Ian thinks: Novel use of the many shut down coal mines, is a gem of not just an idea but something being put into practice in other countries.

The bright future of Homomorphic encryption, 

Ian thinks: This interview with Rand Hindi of zama.ai is very enlightening. The idea of Homomorphic encryption at every level is fascinating. Could it be quantum resistant? Well Rand certainly thinks so. I also expect we will be hearing a lot more about this in the next 2 years and will be a building block for the public service internet.

Bluesky finally on Android but join the waiting list

Ian thinks: Its good to finally see an Android version of Bluesky, as there is growing interest in Bluesky and the actively developed AT protocol. There is also a lot of pumped up tension from some about Mastodon vs Bluesky which is just nonsense and a waste of energy.

The danger of stochastic parrots

Ian thinks: This very shared piece calls out the real problems of the new range of “AI Chatbot.” Bender runs through history and her challenging sometimes ignorant experiences talking with those evangelising the AI future. Its well worth the read if you haven’t come across it somewhere else already.

The stochastic parrots which drives us insane

Ian thinks: Jaron’s thought on the affects of AI on our well-being is spot on. Be it consistently doubting, double checking or just the overload of AI generated content. It always makes me think an adversarial AI bot working for you makes a lot of sense.

The detailed evidence of the impact of social media on teen girls

Ian thinks: This very detailed post outlines with countless data points summarising the effect of social media on young girls. Just incase you were not clear already?

Is Kevin Kelly’s technium, unrealistic or genius?

Ian thinks: This interview was a difficult one to hear, mainly because I usually find Kevin Kelly a good thinker. However his general thoughts on tech will save us, painful to listen to and it runs through most of his thoughts. Worth a listen with a sharp critical mind.


Find  the archive here

A new meetup: Public service futures

NHS Nurse with mask and halo
Found on a wall in the Northern Quarter of Manchester

For a long while I have been thinking about the incredible role of public service in the fabric of modern society. Not only because I have worked for a public service company for almost 19 years. There is so much happening in the public space but its never really talked about or even celebrated? This is all right at a time when there is so many strikes in public services.

With all this in mind and the pandemic a lot more clear, I thought its time for a new type of  meetup. Something I have been thinking about since the end of Manchester Futurists.

Passion led us herePhoto by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

One which is focused around the future of public service, ideally hosted in public services/spaces. Spaces like public libraries, health centres, national trusts spaces, etc. Its a challenge but could be great.

Since the days of London Geekdinners, I have greatly enjoyed running meetups and bringing people together. Its hard work but with a good group of like minded people it can work nicely.

Just recently I took part as remote guest in the think & drink.

Come, Think & Drink with us

It worked well with everyone in the room but me remotely connecting via zoom. They had a camera which would rotate to who is speaking. Not a huge number of people which made it a much easier to manage event it seemed.Nice hybrid event which worked.

If you are interested in the concept or/and possibility of being involved in one in Manchester, get in touch… Equally if you know a great guest which could fit the bill talking about the future of public service in the age of the internet, get in touch.

Join me at the virtual Mozilla Festival in 2023

https://player.vimeo.com/video/786738931

I’m very happy to say 4 of my proposals were accepted for the virtual Mozilla Festival 2023. Worth noting the tickets are available now for a pay what you can.

Ian Forrester, talking about the Mozilla Festival's Transparency

My 4 proposals are…

Designing for the future fediverse

in Allies in Practice on Thursday 23rd March – 18:30–20:00 GMT

A designer view on what the Fediverse could be for many people. Everything from the site, apps, platforms and beyond will be up for redesign.

Black crypto culture

in Tech & Biodiversity: Legado 2060 on Monday 20th – 13:45–14:45 GMT

A critical look at how people of colour, LGBT and others were targeted by the crypto pushers selling the dream of intergenerational wealth. Learning the techniques to prevent it in the future.

Building the Future of Public Service together

in Education & Access: You’re The Product Of Data on Monday 20th March – 21:30–22:30 GMT

Understanding what the public service internet could be and who else  is doing similar, in what spaces and to what degree? We will together map for the benefit of everyone

Rabbit Holes Collective

in the Youth Zone on Tuesday 21st March – 17:00–18:00 GMT

Myself and Penny from Forest of imagination are going to run quickly through the rabbit holes collective launching in June. Then have a freestyle jam session with the Adaptive podcasting editor and the young people who attend.

Mozfest 2022

I know a lot of people are fed up with virtual festivals but the Mozilla virtual Festival is something very different. How different? Have a read of my review of 2021 Mozfest. Well worth the ticket price and don’t forget it gives you access to the festival till September allow you to catch up with sessions you missed and that incredible community

Hope to see you at the Mozilla Festival at some points.

Don’t miss out: Mozilla Festival 2023’s call for proposals ends 16 Dec

Ian Quote text “I appreciate that Mozilla runs the festival in the open. It’s transparency to the tenth degree. I really appreciate that they’re trying this stuff, seeing where it goes, and kind of always in this constant cycle of, “Let’s try this, see how it goes. Let’s build on it or decide if it’s not for us.” Feedback is quick and used well”Its a tricky one to remember because of the changes over the last few years but the Mozilla Festival will be back in March 2023 as a virtual festival complete with a number of in person events during the same year.

Because of the March virtual festival, the call for proposals is live and waiting.

I’m thinking about 2 or 3 proposals right now.

  1. The public service internet
  2. Design a client to take full advantage of the fediverse
  3. Rethinking how we match people for the benefit of all

Sure more will come along but the community spotlight around transparency has me thinking even more, how these can benefit from transparency.

Founder Member of the Responsible Tech Collective – Interview

EMF Camp complete with Lasers
The bright future for the public service internet?

Following the talk I did at the Bright Ideas recently.

I also recently spoke with the Responsible Tech Collective, which is mainly out of Manchester.

The collective is a community of cross-sector organisations and community representatives, working to (first) establish Greater Manchester as an equitable, inclusive and sustainable examplar for responsible tech, through putting people first in its creation.

The collective has been one of those interesting groups which has been doing a lot around what I’m calling the public service internet ecosystem. Another group out of Manchester is Open Data Manchester.

You can read the whole piece on Medium below.

View at Medium.com

Its a good read and I especially like how it links different pieces of work together. Mainly the Adaptive podcasting, Personal Data Stores and Living room of the future in with the ethos of a Public Service Internet. The list of podcasts was a surprise question and hopefully will be of interest to others.

This all reminds me clearly why I moved to Manchester.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Nov 2022)

Example of Solid with person and data surrounding them

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the Palantir’s Secret Plan to Crack the NHS. Deliberate radio spoofing to distort live video, a distressing insight into Silicon Vallay’s tech elite and of course Twitter finally bought.

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 the open wallet foundation bringing standards to the chaos, Competition wins and American smart devices adopting security/privacy labelling.


Solid adoption faces the cultural problem?

Ian thinks: Personal data stores make a lot of sense, especially for developers as this post makes clear. However its consistent with the discussions I have had with startups with “The tech culture in the U.S. is a lot less suspicious of companies that are looking to centralise their data, because they can see a way to make money off of that”

See the future of the public service here

Ian thinks: Following the personal data store dev discussion above, its a lot clearer for public interest companies who want to innovate and provide a different proposition from profit driven companies.

Mozilla’s unknown influence is very chilling

Ian thinks: This short documentary is pretty powerful and highlights how much worst the dumpster fire is outside North America and Europe. Well worth the 12 minutes of your time. Also worth mentioning Mozilla’s little mini-series is fun, educational and instantly shareable. I personally have shared a few with some less technical friends and its been well received.

Hacking google mini series

Ian thinks: Although a big advert for Google, there are parts which are worth while watching from a cyber-security point of view.

OFCOM is looking into cloud services, iot and messaging

Ian thinks: This is good news as the national regulator does have a lot of power to work in favour of the public, but has spent too much time focused on traditional media.

All the Unfinished videos are online now

Ian thinks: The Unfinished live conference has caused quite a splash since its inception. A lot of the talks are worth re-watching and if not seen before, you are in for a treat.

Shannon needs to look away from the mainstream

Ian thinks: Shannon is no longer excited by Technology, but through the post its clear she is focused on the big mainstream tech. Looking away form the mainstream into the indie & niches could be what she’s missing?

Enable our cookies, pay or get lost

Ian thinks: We all knew it was coming, but to see it happen in the EU first was unexpected by myself. Expect many more to follow suit, a high profile court case and hopefully a renewed look at micro-payments.

Bluesky discussed and dissected

Ian thinks: There was a small announcement about Bluesky coming soon, but I found at least the first part of this video with Kevin Marks and Jeff Jarvis looking through the AT protocol quite revealing of whats coming.


Find the archive here

The future of public service broadcasting is closer than you think

The other day a family member said to me.

I remember ages ago you talking about something you were researching around personal data stores. Then I saw on the most recent click, something similar.

I looked it up, knowing colleagues in the team have recently done a interview with BBC click and found the above video. Its great to see it being used in unique ways and always reminds me of the great BBC news story “Why the BBC does not want your data

To me its clear a personal data store is a key part of the public service internet ecosystem. There is much more to it but people controlled data is a key corner stone. Its also why the Perceptive Radio sits next to MyPDS/Datapod in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).

MyPDS and Perceptive Raido

My role in personal data store project ended a while ago but I’m still involved in tangential research around this all. Part of it being the living room of the future and other new research.

The public service internet is one step closer… everyday!

Join us! Its going to be great!

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Aug 2022)

Who has power over AI - world map

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing 1 billion chinese citizens data hacked, The UK’s DWP using AI ti decide who gets universal credit and Elon & Twitter once again.

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 some fresh thoughts about federated moderation, the EU attempting to regulate those black box AI’s and clever environmental moves around reusing paper and rethinking body gels.


The Internet health report dives deep into AI harms

Ian thinks: Mozilla’s internet health report is usually across the board but this year they have deep dived into AI harms. Its not a surprise but the detail is surprising in part.

Those public cameras are everywhere, here’s how they are being used

Ian thinks: This short video from Amnesty International and Wired Magazine is simply the surveillance state utopia some have dreamed about. For the rest of us its a dystopian nightmare, but this is no nightmare… its now.

What is the matrix? Not that one!

Ian thinks: I have always found the Matrix protocol incredible and this frank interview will give you a real scope of what a open distributed protocol can actually do. The stance on bridging is certainly refreshing.

Violence guarantees success?

Ian thinks: The influence and lobbying of Uber was bad but picking through the uber files, its insane the high ranking people who have been influenced by Uber. There is something deja-vu about this?

Uber whistle-blower’s sends a stark warning for us all

Ian thinks: If the Uber files isn’t super clear to you, spend 25mins watching this Guardian video interview with MacGuann, the Uber whistle-blower.

The freakonomics tackle Crypto, NFTs and Web3 in their style.

Ian thinks: The freakonomics team look at many things from a economics point of view. Hearing their unique view on some of the battle for the next internet is quite insightful.

Canada’s Rogers outage is exactly why monopolies are a bad idea

Ian thinks: Not many saw or were affected by this almost complete network outage. But its important to remember Rogers has been pursuing the merger of another Canadian telcom.

The European Commission joins the fediverse, join them

Ian thinks: The EU joining the fediverse is refreshing but I saw so little about this trial by the EU. I really hope they don’t expect huge numbers of people because that would defeat the purpose of the fediverse.

A Game Designer’s presentation turns into a wake up call for all

Ian thinks: You can read the slides in English here and there are subs for an excellent talk which he admits would never be selected. Asking the question do we really want to live in a trust-less society, which crypto is setup to support?

Servers and heat do not mix

Ian thinks: A clear reminder that environmental change/collapse will massively affect the way the internet works and is shaped into the future. Our expectations of servers always up and instantly available needs to shift.

Shhhh, what is quiet?

Ian thinks: I have seen a few of these decentralised slack, discord, element systems. The introduction of everything over TOR will excite certain people along with IPFS support, but its clear the track record of Holmes Wilson is another key feather in the hat.


Find the archive here

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (June 2022)

Digital Literacy for Seniors

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed reading how Paypal wrote the crypto playbook, seeing the incredible insecurity of smart locks,  and is Bluesky going anywhere soon?

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 the FT mentioning Mastodon, The right to repair research and the Lumous system identifying all those hidden camera in hotels.


Our password-less future is one step closer

Ian thinks: Everyone is throwing their weight behind FIDO and its looks extremely useful. Finally something which is user friendly, easy to use and secure.

Can you really trust that mental health app?

Ian thinks: Mozilla’s research into those apps many people used during the pandemic and varies lockdowns is simply a horror story. There has to be a better solution which doesn’t rely on misplaced trust?

Period tracking apps are tracking you

Ian thinks: On a similar note to the previous one, the consumer reports article is full of very useful tips to protect you. These are good for almost every single app I would say.

Dove uses deep fakes to really tell the story

Ian thinks: Dove’s self esteem project is consistently doing great things for society. Deep faked mothers talking to their daughters while sitting next to their real mothers is just incredible and so well thought out.

Proton taking on Google with a privacy edge

Ian thinks: Andy Yen Proton’s CEO gave a talk in the European Parliament hinting at this announcement. Taking on Google with a non surveillance business model is intriguing as scale isn’t as critical for success?

The time is now says PublicSpaces

Ian thinks: The Dutch collation, Publicspaces had their 2nd conference in May and a good number of the English language sessions are well worth your time. Always challenging and full of good threads to tug on.

Literacy, the forgotten side of our digital world

Ian thinks: This is a sobering and some what recently forgotten side of the digital revolution. If left to market forces, I can’t see things getting any better. Only a public service internet can really make the difference.

Regulating Algorithms?

Ian thinks: Although the register adds a level of snark to the idea, there is something which does speak true. Regulating algorithms could really provide a level of trust, comfort and agency which just doesn’t exist right now.

Education to promote agency?

Ian thinks: I love these projects explaining and educating diverse communities to take control of the technologies to avoid being the disadvantaged by them.

Learning the lessons of the past for the future of the internet

Ian thinks: In the middle of the hype, there is very little looking back and learning the lessons of previous generations. Dare I say it, those who don’t learn their history are doomed to repeat it.


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