Pete Moss is cheerful
  
Switching.social actually is how I discovered OsmAnd and can now finally ditch Google Maps.
  
In case you need a handy resource to point people who wish to leave the $ilicon Valley walled garden, this website is not only user-freindly, bus also has great #FOSS suggestions.

switching.social – Ethical alternatives to popular sites and apps

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Ethical alternatives to popular sites and apps You can get started by clicking on the site or app you want to replace: Alternatives to Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Outlook Alternatives to WhatsApp, Messenger and Skype Alternatives to Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer/Edge Alternatives to DropBox, Google Drive and Google Docs...
  
What's a few cool things the novice can do with their server besides a personal cloud and media hosting?

No Hubzilla yet though, I'm working my way up to that :D
  
Cool! I'm gradually learning about all the things that servers can do since their purpose is to run 24/7 and provide data on demand.
  
Data backup is another useful one, if you aren't including that in "personal cloud". One of the simplest backup solutions is Syncthing (one of its many use cases).
  
Yes, after a decade of rolling the dice, I implemented #Nextcloud as a backup for my mobile device instead of Google's services. I'll check Syncthing out though. Thanks!
  
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong

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The $100 OLPC laptop was supposed to revolutionize education.
 
To me, the Sugar OS seems like the worst part of this whole affair; it made it seem like a toy or a joke. If it was running a standard Linux desktop, and Sugar was just a Qt or GTK application I think it would have been better received.

It's also really painful to see them talking about the limited capabilities of the hardware in one paragraph, and then saying that they made Sugar into a web-app in another paragraph.
  
And in addition to yellow, Musk was said to dislike too many signs in the factory and the warning beeps forklifts make when backing up, former team members said. His preferences, they said, were well known and led to cutting back on those standard safety signals.


Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books

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Undercounting injuries is a symptom of a larger problem: Tesla has put electric car manufacturing above safety concerns, former safety experts say.


This is an example of the dark side of tech; putting advancement above the benefit to people.
#elonmusk #tesla #tech
  
I've been exclusively using #Linux at home for over ten years!

Wow, time flies when you're having fun, eh?
  

The Full Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Pilot Episode
by Lincar Rox on Vimeo

This was pretty awesome to watch!
Ning

  
I tooted on #Mastodon the other day about Ning. The service was/is a 'white label' social network platform that lots of people used to build their own social sites for anything and everything.

#Hubzilla reminds me of that in a good way :)
  
Pete Moss is tired
On FOSS Economics

  
Something that I've been thinking of in recent days is about the economics of FOSS projects. The #Mastodon instance mastodon.cloud is having some severe service disruption issues that seem to stem from its hosting service more than anything else, but the episode serves to underline the fragility of the service. It relies on pretty much just one admin who's running things in his spare time and he's clearly not able to do so for an instance with tens of thousands of users.

What makes me wonder though is the fact that financial help from users like me wouldn't necessarily solve their problems, which in this case, appear to be technical. As FOSS software begins to transform into providing SaaS in addition to traditional roles, the issue of how projects' implementation are funded and maintained will become a more prominent issue.

It's one thing to fund a developer to write code, but its entirely different to fund infrastructure on an ongoing basis. The latter cannot have time and effort donated to it on an ad hoc basis as easily as code can. There is a need for a consistent human presence that keeps everything running smoothly. This is one area where proprietary closed source software (and very large open source) companies have an advantage in that they can simply assign employees to perform the necessary roles.

Most FOSS aren't quite so lucky and indeed, often have a single individual simultaneously running the project and its implementation. The skills and abilities needed to actually run something are quite different from building something, and I'd hazard a guess that many future FOSS projects will run into dilemmas as their success becomes entirely dependent on a successful popular implementation.

Patreon and Librepay are great tools, but are not entirely ideal for addressing the problems outlined above.

What would be useful is a standardised way of providing users (and therefore backers) with a detailed breakdown of a project's needs at any given time. If server costs are an issue, there could be a meter for that. If admin help is an issue, there could be a list of acute needs for that, if code help is needed, there are already tools available to assign roles.

Reddit's meter of daily server time paid with Reddit Gold subscriptions is a good example, as is Join Diaspora's donation meter. I think more FOSS projects that intend to operate as services should consider similar ideas to provide users with a better understanding of the resources needed to keep the lights on. Most internet users aren't willing or able to host their own and in the absence of an easy way to do so, they will rely on others to do handle toe nitty gritty details for them. Transparency is important, and as we're all aware, knowing what you're getting in return is always desirable, especially if your data and/or privacy isn't part of the bargain.
  
Had to migrate my #Mastodon account.

I'm now here: https://mstdn.io/@PeteMoss
  
I have thoughts on the economics of FOSS projects but will have to post them later.
  

Something For Nothing
by MFSB - Topic on YouTube

Some of you may recognize the melody from a rather different song by Jay-Z but this is the original by MFSB.
 music
Some Uses that Hubzilla is Ideal For

  
Now that I've explored Hubzilla a bit and gotten used to it, I began to think of some uses that it would be ideal for. We're all familiar with the usual social media mantra of 'bring people closer together' and ' making the world a better place'; you know, the usual Silicon Valley nonsense that has long proven both stale and wrong. FOSS tends to be different though, and one of the things that attracts me to the concept is that it exists for the sake of putting knowledge to use, and not letting the results be subject to restrictions.

Hubzilla is a social network, but like similar FOSS projects, it doesn't have a marketing team that attempts to persuade (or manipulate, depending on your point of view) new users into signing up. Which means that it can be tricky for uninitiated users to know what it is and how they can obtain its benefits without expending the energy to sign up and explore. What helps is if such new users are aware of a clearly defined use for the service that serves as a beacon to guide them to the service and their initial foray into it.

With that in mind, here's a few uses for Hubzilla that I think it's ideal for and could serve as selling points to wider engagement.

1. Neighbourhood Hubs
My local neighbourhood association (not a HOA thank goodness) uses Path as a way of sharing information between members and as a way of organizing and promoting local community events. Path is proprietary and despite its marketed restricted nature, also harvests user data. Hubzilla is more than capable of fulfilling the community functions that Path does, and membership to the hub could easily be restricted to users within a geographical area, without limiting their ability to interact with users on other neighbourhood hubs. Hubzilla could easily function as the local news (and gossip) source, a bulletin board, a community calendar, and a forum for discussing neighbourhood issues.

2. Organization Hubs
The premise of a social network for an organization of any kind can seem rather unappetizing. It's kind of like when a company creates a social network for employees and only the most brown-nosing in the ranks sign up. Yet some organizations could benefit from running a hub as a productivity tool instead of a social one. The file-sharing abilities of Hubzilla would be useful, and integrating other FOSS communication and productivity tools like #Matrix would only enhance and extend those abilities.

3. Club Hubs
One of the great aspects of Hubzilla is that users can reside on more than one hub, but can choose a primary hub and federate from there. For entities like clubs, Hubzilla would be a great way to provide a central point for members and non-members alike. There could be a public-facing channel, and a private one for members. Akin to the neighbourhood benefits listed above, clubs could benefit from the social, organizational, file sharing, and photo sharing abilities. Think of the benefits of Facebook's pages but with much better member cohesion.

These are just a few ideas for what Hubzilla is ideally suited for. I'm sure there are many others, but it's worth considering as the platform grows.
  
I'd like to add one.

4. Family Hub
Hubzilla can be used to share photos, schedule events, and status updates with family members. Keep a central repository and webpage of genealogical information that everyone can access.
  
I wrote this post yesterday, and today I notice the @tenant-hoa account was created...
 
I'll say a great thing that Hubzilla has going for it is the demo server, for projects with no marketing it is really important to easily show that your system actually functions. The start.hubzilla.org is then almost like a tier II demo, where you can easily make an account and become more familiar with how things work in Hubzilla land.
  
Pete Moss is cranky
Test Post

  
Just a test post from a mobile device :)
  
Here's a response from a mobile device.
  
Pete Moss is relaxed
  
  
I should have learned to ride one when I was younger.
  
I realised a while ago that I would like to get one before other commitments get in the way.
The All-In-One FOSS Home Server for Dummies

  
There's tons of great free and open source software out there or all to see, use, contribute to, and share. Which is a wonderful thing in its own right, and even more so when you can see the results of what it all produces. I'm typing this on a laptop running Fedora using a web browser called Firefox, on a platform called Hubzilla. That's just a faint scratch of the surface of FOSS and what it's capable of, but it exemplifies how it can become an integral part of daily life, and all without being a pain in the you-know-what to do.

In my quest to get a home server up and running, I began to wonder why every house doesn't have a server in the basement or broom closet holding an entire household's data, communication, and social needs. FOSS is working for me in that regard storing my files and media (via NFS,) providing a cloud service, shared calendar, tasks, and contacts (all via Nextcloud), and hosting an adblocker for the entire network. FOSS provides the alternatives to proprietary services for all these tasks, and in a way that is pleasing to use.

Imagine if all these capabilities came in a ready-to-go box with a simple setup (and ability to be extended.) Is it possible for a box like I imagine to exist? One a consumer can buy, connect to their network, configure in a couple of minutes, and be up and running with a device that puts them in control of their data without having to micro-manage it?

For all the control and privacy protections that FOSS offers, it still stumbles at the convenience hurdle more often than not. Despite growing tech literacy, most consumers do not want to spend the time or the energy doing grunt work to get something working. I don't think this is as a result of choices made by FOSS project's themselves, but rather a symptom of a vast ecosystem that encourages variety but lacks the ability to enforce standardisation in the efficient manner that proprietary software can.

It would ultimately be nice to see an new industry where producers of such boxes can tailor their offerings to consumer's needs, but also retain compatibility. E.g. music lovers could provide built-in streaming server software, and federate the hosted social tools with pre-selected music-related services.

I think it could work given the right individuals and collaboration.
 
Have you heard of YunoHost? I used it for a while to host my own email server and XMPP server and such. I even made a Hubzilla app for YunoHost a few years ago that @Anmol Sharma primarily maintains these days. It's a great project, and there is nothing stopping it from being installed on a small, cheap machine that you sell for people to plug into their home router and TV or whatever. I would love for this to be commonplace. A few years ago I got excited about ArkOS, which was based on a similar idea.

The reality, unfortunately, is that while so many of these web services are being packaged and maintained by solid FOSS developer groups, they are complex systems, and those systems occasionally require troubleshooting and maintenance. The general public would need a way to purchase support for their server-in-a-box device when needed. In other words, it is in my opinion unrealistic to imagine the general population running their own decentralized, federated web services on hardware physically under their control with current technologies. What is realistic, however, is a growing sector of businesses like SpiderOak (centralized, I know), who provide web services at a price, but who explicitly do not own your data. I would love to see a thriving competition between businesses who would support in-home servers like you are imagining, and offering hosting solutions that are decentralized and zero-knowledge and all that good stuff so that people are not locked into proprietary services simply because those services own their data and maintain dominance through a network effect made possible by using proprietary, non-federated protocols.

As we often hear but do not often fully appreciate: freedom is not free. In this web technology context, we should aim to foster a culture and economy in which ownership of our online data and identity can be realized and supported.
  
I haven't heard of YunoHost. It looks interesting though. The SpiderOak model is going to become more prevalent I believe. The cost is bound to fall, and will become justifiable for most people. For me, the biggest cost was not the hardware, but the time needed for setup and configuration. If that hurdle could be reduced by a significant margin, it would likely be enough to kickstart the industry in my opinion.

The general public would need a way to purchase support for their server-in-a-box device when needed.

This makes me recall the 90s when you had to call customer support if you couldn't get your software to work. Customer support would be vitally important (and costly) but different product lines could be created to tailor support depending on abilities.

we should aim to foster a culture and economy in which ownership of our online data and identity can be realized and supported.

Agree 100%. Well said.