Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Sept 2021)

Metaverse

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed seeing the lack of coverage for facebook whistleblower sophie zhang, thinking about those batteries and yet another data breach.

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 seeingĀ twitter crop bias bug bounty, the discussion about removing the landline and the social dilemma free on youtube for a month.


Tech Crunch gets on the moving train

Ian thinks: Reading this, I can’t really take Techcrunch seriously, because for every one of these startups focused on privacy and security. Theres at least 20 more startups covered the opposite. Maybe its just me?

Envisioning the future of social media

Ian thinks: This interview with Ethan Zuckerman is full of some great points to get you thinking, I find it hard to disagree with Ethan especially around using affordances and setting up small town based on Mastodon.

Values not eyeballs please

Ian thinks: Its always interesting to hear from experts in the space, on the work you are involved in. Its a really good read especially if you haven’t come across the Human Values, which also has new podcast interviews.

Apple cares about your privacy?

Ian thinks: I do find it so ironic, Apple making a song a dance about their privacy changes but their own browser Safari, not including any strong level of privacy? Of course Apple are in privacy hot water for much more too.

What is really behind Only Fans new policy? and its Uturn?

Ian thinks: There is a important question about the platform and who has influence over the platform. As this twitter thread says, you really need to think about the platform & infrastructure,

The dystopia which is the metaverse

Ian thinks: There is so much talk about the metaverse but few looking at the privacy, security, infrastructure and trust within this space. Till then I can’t help but think Vice is kind of right.

Its started with a MP3 player

Ian thinks: Dan Hon’s rant starts with a want and spans the internet media ecosystem, pointing out so many of the problems we all know too well.

Blackhat & Defcon happened, here’s the scary flaws

Ian thinks: I always love seeing what comes out of these security events. You can also watch the full videos from Blackhat and Defcon online here.

Web Monetization showcase

Ian thinks:The webmon showcase is a nice summary of some of the projects which came out of the Grant for the web initiative

Mozilla thumbs down Facebooks claims about Ad Observer

Ian thinks: Its so interesting to see Facebook’s concerns around Ad observer squashed in one post by the privacy first Mozilla. This is deeply concerning behavior, what is Facebook worried about?


Find the archive here

The future of the browser conference

I was very happy to take part in the future of the browser conference, along with my amazing colleague Jasmine. It was a different kind of conference and this was very clear from the introduction with Amber in the future! (amazing and well worth watching)

Each section started with a really different video from different artists. This was a great move with most conferences, generally starting with a keynote before the conference talks) This conference turned that on its head before jumping into number of deep dives around aspects of the future browser. All the videos are now up online, so go have a watch now.

Since the conference I have installed Brave on my Ubuntu machine now and also Puma on my mobile.

There was quite a few new developments I hadn’t really seen before.

Project fugu

Project Fugu is an effort to close gaps in the web’s capabilities enabling new classes of applications to run on the web. In short things like controlling Zigbee, USB and Bluetooth devices. I heard about this a while ago and thought Living room of the Future controlled via a browser.

Handshake

Handshake is a decentralized, permission-less naming protocol where every peer is validating and in charge of managing the root DNS naming zone with the goal of creating an alternative to existing Certificate Authorities and naming systems. Names on the internet (top level domains, social networking handles, etc.) ultimately rely upon centralized actors with full control over a system which are relied upon to be honest, as they are vulnerable to hacking, censorship, and corruption.
I think that says it all, something which many people have pointed out many times as a major problem with the DNS system.

Handshake is an experiment which seeks to explore those new ways in which the necessary tools to build a more decentralized internet. Services on the internet have become more centralized beginning in the 1990s, but do not fulfill the original decentralized vision of the internet. Email became Gmail, usenet became reddit, blog replies became facebook and Medium, pingbacks became twitter, squid became Cloudflare, even gnutella became The Pirate Bay. Centralization exists because there is a need to manage spam, griefing, and sockpuppet/sybil attacks.

Unlock protocol

As most of you know, I have webmontization enabled on this blog and also on my mixes site. But Unlock is aimed at subscriptions and memberships. This is great news, except its not a standard yet but looks promising.

The coming age of the 402

I had heard Matt talk previously during May’s Manchester Futurists. There is a lot of unexplored areas in the http status codes including 402, which could be used to do new and interesting things like WebMon, which was also covered in Manchester Futurists and the future of the browser.

Better ways to archive and save the page.

Saving the page has been a nightmare for a long while, and I found Webrecorder and ArchiveWeb.page quite interesting solutions. Its also interesting to think about the lengths we have gone through to stop people saving the page.

This is why I like these community driven conferences… Big thanks to @caseorganic, @anselm and all the speakers.