Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Aug 2021)

Solar protocol

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing more centralised downtime, seeing a surge of ransomware and hearing about Voice as a vector for attack.

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 reading about the path aware networking proposal (Scalability, Control, and Isolation On Next-Generation Networks), Google providing an element of transparency and artificial intelligence used to restore the missing parts of a Rembrandt.


Digital Infrastructure as the core of the European internet

Ian thinks: There is so much good thinking here from Nesta’s Katja Bego. This why the infrastructure is so important as a base for privacy focused better/smarter systems.

Labelling retouched photos

Ian thinks: This is great news and hope it spreads to other EU nations and further a field. Although it should also cover video and audio and highlight whats in the metadata too.

You have YouTube regrets? Join the massive line

Ian thinks: So many of been horrified by where Youtube recommendations can lead you, and this crowdfunded campaign speaks volumes. Will Google do anything about this, its very unlikely.

Our digital legacy in data

Ian thinks: Elaine is right on the button, if you think the data ecosystem is bad now, what happens when most of the dead outnumber the living on social networks. Those terms and conditions need a massive reform.

Steve Wozniak on the right to repair

Ian thinks: Although its a cameo video and its Wozniak, I do think his thoughts are genuine. Does this make much of a difference in the right to repair? Unlikely.

Have you noticed the price increase of Uber?

Ian thinks: I wonder how much of this is the drivers, public understanding of the gig economy and the investors finally wanting their return on investment?

Those apps are selling your most private data

Ian thinks: Its funny but with a deadly serious message. Its also well researched too, its good to see the data ownership/misuse is getting attention everywhere. Even the daily show.

Its time to make the decentralised systems more common and friendly

Ian thinks: Although I don’t agree with everything said here, there is a need to change things and for me it comes down to user experience.

A new future for Solar power

Ian thinks: Great to see the advancement in the use of solar power technology. Using rocks personally surprised me but makes a lot of sense.


Find the archive here

Not the biggest mark fan but the subtle art of not giving a fcuk is good

A long while ago someone once called the game, a self-help book for men who don’t like/will take self-help. I’m still so-so on that one but seeing Mark Manson review his own book, reminded me of the two books he wrote which I actually found pretty good. (I don’t really like the man but he writes well and his examples are always useful). Not that it changed my life or anything like that. But rather I liked the down to earth advice and there was plenty of things I heard and took on board a long time ago.

For example the fault and responsibility one.

The pandemic isn’t my fault, its also not my fault I’m terrified of medical injections. But it is my responsibility that I have my vaccine injection. In my mind its unfair but its overridden by my responsibility to myself, family, friends and society.

The questioning of death is a important one I learned 11 years ago. I said then and now, I want to push my limits but not in a jump out the plane or climb a mountain way. I’m much more interested in socially pushing myself.

So as a whole I would recommend the audio/e/books, even if you don’t like the punk rock style of Mark himself. I know lots of people love his style and the heavy swearing, I don’t care so much for it, however what comes out from his brain is a wealth of experiences and connecting it with a better way to be more human.

Films you may have missed during the later part of 2020

Matrix on the big screen
Watching the matrix on the big screen during lock down

Following on from my previous post about films to watch during covid19 and again during mid 2020. Some of us have been consuming a lot of media. Its never been a better time to own a full home cinema.

Having just gone through my trakt year in review and its almost 2021, it might be worth another blog post for the locked in. Believe it or not there has been some good stuff to watch on the small screens in our living rooms.

Films

Just mercy

Just Mercy

This is a genre which always gets me, court room dramas. I didn’t think that much about the trial of the chicago 7 especially after watching Small Axe’s Mangrove and this film. Its powerful and emotional, it deserves a lot of respect and perfect timing with the on going anti-racism protests. Don’t miss this film!

Parallel

As the name suggests its a film about parallel universes. This film comes across off as a lower budget movie but the concept is neat and it has legs. It surprises in different ways and within the serious plot points still has elements of comedy. It reminds me very much of the film Time lapse.

Run

This took me by surprise. Not usually into horror but this is clearly more on the thriller side. I can’t even start to explain how messed up this film is on so many levels. As the film develops you get a real sense of the subtitle, you can’t escape a mothers love!

The honest thief

Nice easy going action film which isn’t too stressful but has its moments of action too. Liam Neeson is wooden than his usual roles in Taken, but still has edge. Nice plot and the actors do carry the film well. Good quality hollywood action.

12 Hour Shift

This film is a bit of dark humour and comes across as serious. Its a simple film about staff in a hospital but the things which happen are, lets say intriguing and there reactions are hilariously dark. Been a while since I seen a dark comedy like it

The Secrets We Keep

I wasn’t quite sure where this one was going but its a thriller which strikes where it hurts. Partly revenge film but its not for the faith hearted. Not an amazing film but strong and worth watching.

Love and Monsters

Another fun hollywood film which I would say is similar in notion to Zombieland but less adult. Its a fun teen flick with some enjoyable moments. Light relief from the pandemic.

Follow Me

I’m a bit of a sucker for these escape room type films and this one has all the right ingredients to keep you guessing. Part of you wants bad things to happen as this youtuber is just the wrong side of arrogant. If you don’t like follow me, try escape room.

Opening Act

A film about stand up comedy with stand up comedians. Light entertainment again but with the strength of everyday life as a comedian. Heckling, trying out jokes, fighting for spots, its all there in the film.

Black Box

Psychological thrillers, some hate them and sometimes they are awful. This one is good, not great but challenging. Its great to see Mamoudou moving into the prime time. Its a good film but be prepared for a small mind screw.

Boss level

A fun film which reminds me of a three way between Shoot’em up, Groundhog day and Scott Pilgrim vs the world. Light entertainment but good entertainment on these dark nights.

TV

A Teacher

A interesting story about a student and a teacher. The emotional side is treated well and respectful over the episodes. Usually these type of things are rushed and A teacher doesn’t do that. The topics are adult and dealt with in that way.

Small Axe

There is so much to say abut Small Axe, the director worked on these 5 almost feature length episodes showcasing different aspects of Black British culture in London. Each episode is unique with for example episode 2 having a completely different tempo and feel from episode 1. Each one is worth while watching alone, together they marked a excellent series.

The Queens Gambit

The Queens Gambit

Such a beautiful and short TV show. Most people have seen or heard of it but honestly watch it on a big screen at the highest resolution you can. You will notice every short is just beautiful. The story is great too.

Industry

This was recommended to me and its quite a interesting series, looking at new graduates aiming to permanently join a investment bank. What I like is its not too stereotypical. Yes theres drugs in the bathrooms, yes the women get a much rougher experience than the men. But each character has more depth than you first imagine.

The Flight Attendant

A fun comedy drama with Kaley (known for the big bang theory) with a bit of a edge. The story unfolds slowly but the comedy elements keeps the flow. There is a message about alcoholism there but its not clear cut and well produced. Worth watching but don’t expect something deep and meaningful or even light entertainment. Look forward to second series?

Sneakerheads

Following the flight attendant, something actually light and fun comedy. If you are a sneakerhead or take your trainers a little more serious than most people… this short series is for you. Funny and entertaining, some light relief.

Ted Lasso

Another fun TV series but with a heart. I’m really not a football fan, so I was expecting this to be a bore. When I first came across it, I thought this is going to be a joke which will get old. But it surprised me as the characters backstory holds up well and keeps you interested. Like the flight attendant sure there will be a second series.

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Dec 2020)

Jessica gordon nembhard

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed, watching people shaming others for not working extra hard during the pandemic, employers spying on their employees and our continuing reliance on centralised servers.

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 happening with Google implementing Signal’s open source E2EE protocol and Google loosening control of the Chromium project


BBC R&D’s New forms of value research explained by MaxAlexLianne and myself

Ian thinks: Yes this is a bit meta but its great to deep dive into the cutting edge research of BBC R&D’s lab. Remember its all for the benefit of the citizens of the UK and far wider. Worth also listening to the Human Values podcast series if you want to know more about what Lianne talks about.

The Solid project hits a mile stone in development

Ian thinks: Following BBC R&D’s new forms of value, one of the key research aims is using personal data stores. Solid is one such personal data store and its hit a mile stone with a number of different partners.

Hacking society for the sake society

Ian thinks: Bruce Schneier’s talk from Tech Open Air is well worth 20mins of your time. Its a combinations of what goes into these notes. Security, privacy, hacking, dis-information, policy and the internet.

The key for securing our shared water future

Ian thinks: In this sobering Tedx talk, Seth makes clear we are running low on shared water. Seth talks about a rethink of our policy, technology and cooperation around this space.

What black ideas from the past we could take into the future

Ian thinks: Jessica and Douglas talk about how black communities already developed circular economic mechanisms and how effective they have been.

Technology always transforms ethics

Ian thinks: Juan’s thoughts are important to take in, he touches on so many points from ethics to politics. All framed within alongside technology disruption. I did find it strange he never used Brexit in his last reply about example of breaking up a nation.

An unscientific look at algorithms and my phone is still listening to me

Ian thinks: Wired magazine creates a quick and dirty test looking at Youtube’s recommendation algorithm. Plus that classic notion that your phone is listening to you.
Both are crude but if the social dilemma has taught me anything these actually help convince people

The challenges of IP in the coming world of ubiquitous game engine use

Ian thinks: Found via Simon Lumb, a real in-depth look at the challenges around IP in a world of game engines. There is also a podcast if like me you prefer audio

A musical trip into Nerdcore *explicit language

Ian thinks: Hip-hop artists talk about their reality and Nerdcore is no different. Its impressive and fascinating to hear how integrated internet & hacking culture has become in these artists life.


The archive is available here

Films you may have missed during the Covid19 lockdown

Host (2020)

Following on from my previous post about films to watch during the Covid19 lockdown. Now the cinemas are starting to open, I thought I’d write another set of films and TV I have watched between June – August.

The list of films I usually post are ones you may not have seen or skipped over.

Films

Archive

Target Number One (2020)

Based around a true story, its a slow but insane story of drug addict Daniel Leger. Being built up as a major international drugs smuggler. Its well worth a watch

Irresistible (2020)

Quite funny film written by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show fame. Really points the finger at the system of money which drives the elections and politics in America. No one gets away clean in this one

Swallow (2020)

There are a short list of films I will only watch once a year as they are just uncomfortable. I’m going to add Swallow to this list. Its a difficult subject reasonably told but a bit slow in parts.

Archive (2020)

Intriguing AI type film, its no Ex-Machina but it will surprise you in the end. Solid Sci-fi which slowly builds and hits you out of nowhere. I don’t want to say anything more.

The Rental (2020)

Every Airbnb nightmare ripped large with hidden cameras and a over bearing host. Nice little twists and the tension is about right for this thriller rather than horror.

One Night in Bangkok (2020)

This reminds me very much of Hummingbird and Vengeance. Its a bit slow in places but there are some soft twists and the character development does help you feel for them.

Host (2020)

Not a fan of horror, only because I find the jump silly and the gross parts just stupid. Host surprises as its of a moment, while we are in the pandemic using zoom. Host comes along and leans right into it. Well worth watching even if your not into horror.

Ava (2020)

I mentioned in the last review a film called The Rhythm Section and its similarity to films like Anna, La Femme Nikita, etc. Its a good film and likely better than the Rhythm Section thanks to Jessica Chastain’s performance.

TV

Tell me who I am

Tell Me Who I Am (2019)

Yeah I know it was available in 2019 but I hasn’t come across it till someone mentioned it to me recently. What a story and then it gets very dark very quickly. It reminds me of the film called Rewind which I recommended a little while ago. Both are worth your time and patience around this incredibly difficult subject

On the Record (2020)

I heard bit of the story during the peak of the movement but it got drowned out by other women’s experiences. Its clear it didn’t get the absolute attention it deserved and for f-sake, Russell Simmons and others are pretty untouched. For the record, Russell has stepped down from his positions in Def Jam Recordings and other companies as a result of these allegations. He moved to Bali where there is no extradition treaty to the U.S.

Alex Rider (2020)

I wasn’t sure about this one. It kinda fell under the radar for what ever reason, but it surprised me. Its well thought-out and well told. Its a got a lot of production behind it and it really shows. Expect a series 2 maybe?

Upload (2020)

I wrote about Upload early in the pandemic, comparing it to the now ended Good Place. There’s a lot of comparisons but its going to take a season or two to get up that level. Get the first season and enjoy potentially the start of something special?

Favourite new podcasts I’m currently listening to

Me listening to podcasts in madrid
During Mozilla Festival last year Annabel Church ran a session about podcasting. The session included a look at the diversity of podcasts we listen to. It was interesting to share our podcasts with each other.
So in the same vein, I thought I’d share some of the ones I’m listening to at work, on the go or in the mornings when getting ready for work . I included the RSS feed because some of them have that frustrating apple podcast link and I need the RSS for my smarty pants podcast system.

Anna Sale explores the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation.

Death, Sex and Money is highly produced American public radio and Anna Sale really has the non judgemental tone needed for some of the sensitive subjects which are covered. Great podcast material always

RSS – https://www.wnycstudios.org/feeds/shows/deathsexmoney

Risk podcast

RISK! is a live show and podcast where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public

Talking of death sex and money, imagine if there was podcast which was a cross between that and the Moth. That is pretty much RISK and its great listening, with lots of quite quiet laughing at work.

RSS – http://feeds.feedburner.com/risk-show/yWzy

Team human

Team Human is a manifesto—a fiery distillation of pre-eminent digital theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s most urgent thoughts on civilization and human nature. In one hundred lean and incisive statements, he argues that we are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together—not as individuals.

Team human is just a fantastic listen, real high level conversation with a grounding in common sense. Such great guests and well worth it to hear Rushkoff’s thoughts at the top of each podcast.

RSS – https://feed.pippa.io/public/shows/teamhuman

After on podcast

The After on podcast is described as series of unhurried conversations with thinkers, founders, and scientists. Like Teamhuman, its great to hear the conversations about the future. Not every episode is as interesting to me as others but when they are, its perfect.

RSS – http://afteron.libsyn.com/rss

The guilty feminist

Each week Deborah Frances-White and guests discuss topics “all 21st century feminists agree on” while confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine their lofty principles.

This is essential listening for everyone, a combination of the live events cut together for the podcast. Its just perfect to hear the insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine the sometimes lofty principles of a feminist in the 21st century. Funny but so insightful always.

RSS – https://guiltyfeminist.libsyn.com/rss

Revisionist HistoryMalcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History and broken record

Anything Gladwell is always full of insight and interesting. Even the most unlikely of subjects can be great. He’s gone of and started Broken record, which is ok but prefer Revisionist honestly.

RSS – https://feeds.megaphone.fm/revisionisthistory

If you know anything about TorrentFreak and Jamie King. Then you know filesharing, decentralised tech, copyright, etc are common themes. The guests are pretty incredible with the depth of the always on podcast but with a slight political insight of team human.

RSS – http://stealthisshow.com/feed/podcast

Darknet diaries
Darknet Diaries: True stories from the dark side of the Internet.

Following up from Steal this show, comes a format which is great to hear. Each episode is a single story told extremely well focusing on the hacking, cracking and related fields. Its actually very accessible without loosing the details which matter. Each episode is pretty compelling and you can feel the darkness as you listen.

RSS – https://feeds.megaphone.fm/darknetdiaries

Following Reni’s amazing book Why I’m not talking to white people about race. I found out she followed up with a series of podcasts. I haven’t had the chance to listen to them all yet but its well worth listening to and sounds a bit like the old guardian token series. I also find the nod podcast good but this is better, as its more focused.

RSS – https://audioboom.com/channels/4947699.rss

Mozilla IRL podcast

Because Online Life Is Real Life; Host Manoush Zomorodi shares real stories of life online and real talk about the future of the Web.

Excellent podcast from Mozilla, explaining different parts of the internet through a combination of stories, interviews and news stories. Really well put together and interesting to experts and novices on the internet.

RSS – https://feeds.mozilla-podcasts.org/irl

TV shows worth watching

I have been watching quite a few new TV shows recently.. Most are American. I won’t go into the details of how to watch them but let’s just say they are available if you look. This adds to Supergirl, Gotham, Limitless, The Flash, Better call Saul, First dates, etc…

Mel also blogged about a few shows which I’ll be honest most I disagree with (sense8 yes and Mr Robot yes – the rest I watched and wasn’t impressed with).

Lucifer

Lucifer crew

Suw pretty much covers Lucifer in a blog post (beware it contains spoliers!). I’ve been enjoying the series since I saw the pilot last year. I am worried it might go formulaic but so far, theres been enough variety to keep things ticking over. I’m expecting things to heat up soon, and Suw confirms this.

Suits (season 5)

Suits

Suits I’ve liked for a while but its not been anything to shout about. Its been ticking along for a while in mid-level drama mode. But this series finally Mike is on trial and the tension is back up again including lots of bits across the previous series. I would almost say skip to season 5 but you will miss all the references which is a shame.

Man seeking woman

Man Seeking Woman

I’m sure I’ve covered this before but it always makes me laugh. I was planning on using a part in my TEDxManchester talk but had to remove it due to time constrains. Its funny, short and quite smart about its points of references.

Master of none

Master of none

This recommendation came form Sarah who I recommended Man seeing woman too. Its actually similar in off the wall style as man seeking woman. One episode starts one way and then the very next one is totally different. I almost once restarted playing it, as I wasn’t sure it was correct. All from the mastermind of Aziz Ansari, the co-author of the excellent and funny modern romance. Can’t wait for season 2.

11.22.63

11.22.63

This came from my cousin, said I should check it out and I thought what on earth is this? After watching the first episode I was hooked… I replied saying its a cross between Looper, The Lost room and Vantage Point. I’m a sucker for time travel but what I also like is the focus on that era of time. The racism and sexism is all there and shocking through the lens of now, which pretty our man character is. This also confirms what I think when people say they would travel back in time and I say heck no…

Films you might have missed recently

I watch a lot of films (and that doesn’t even include the ones in the cinema)… So in my usual style, here’s a list of ones you may have missed (also made a Top10 list), which are certainly worth watching… I’m adopting part of the Simon Lumb approach to film reviews

  • Entitled
    More twists and turns than a spinning twitter… Will have you thinking and scratching your head for a while. Its smart and clever, if you like smart films with plenty of twists and believable characters this one you will like. If you like well written dramas like Cracker, Dexter, etc. You will enjoy this one.
  • The Ledge
    I saw this film and then later saw a trailer for a film called Man on the Ledge. I thought they were the same film renamed but after a little look on imdb, I discovered they were different in everything but concept and plot. Maybe its this years Liberty stands still/Phonebooth, Armageddon/Deep Impact, etc, etc. Either way, the ledge is a gripping film which surprises and delights. Say its a heist movie gives away too much. You will certainly like it if you like Liberty stands still or Phonebooth, you will also enjoy it if you like heist movies like Heat and Takers. Don’t watch it if you like cheese…
  • Trust
    The story about a girl who is groomed online by a older man, and the reaction from the parents. It starts simply enough and you think well Clive Owen is going to smash someones face in at some point. But then comes the real emotion that the girl doesn’t feel like she wasn’t raped and the other half (the interesting half) is how the family deal with this. Expect a lot of shouting and slamming doors… If you liked Hard Candy, this isn’t for you. Its gritty and takes its matter very seriously.
  • The Perfect Host
    This film is very surprising… You think you have its back then it transforms into something more align to a scene in American Psycho. Once again, you think its a simple plot and easy to follow but it gets very very dark. To the point where your wondering where things took a turn for the worst. If you enjoyed the Last Supper then you will enjoy this. Don’t watch it if your after action and love your Fraser heart throb.
  • Middle Men
    The tale of two men who stumble across a way to make serious money off the new media porn industry . Its very adult in nature and frankly a bit of fun till it all goes wrong as different people get involved and they end up ripping each other off. If you liked the Social Network, August or Startup dot com or work in the field of online, you will like this film a lot.
  • Soul Surfer
    This one is the tale of a lady surfer who over came amazing disability to carry on doing what she loves. Its a heart felt tale and knowing its a true story elevates it in to this list. I’m a bit of a sucker for these kinds of a story and who wouldn’t be? Inspirational and touching. Something for those who like real stories and don’t mind a little teenager emotion. Its a cheesy in part but its held together by the real life story
  • Wrecked
    Very much like Burried but more like 127hours where not everything is so focused on one single scene. Things do happen outside the one scene and are shown on the screen for all to understand what happened. I don’t know if I would recommend it over 127 hours but I certainly would recommend it over Burried. If you like either, you will like Wrecked.
  • The Veteran
    This is a broody guts and all type movie. It feels like gangster number one, but lacks the polish. Its gritty and a bit cheeky in parts but a good watch and worth seeking out if it comes across your scope.

 


If you liked these recommendations, theres even more dotted around my blog. [1][2][3][4]