I used snap for the first time today, while setting up a demo nextcloud server. All dependencies in one bundle, it was incredibly simple. Has anyone else used it, is there a catch? (aside from the wasted disk space from not sharing dependencies) Pros/cons?

I’m quite tempted by fed.brid.gy (turning your indieweb site into a first class citizen of the fediverse, basically become your own instance), but I really like being part of the #socialcoop instance. I only really actively look at the local timeline (and passively I see a bunch of interesting stuff from elsewhere that gets boosted). Would be a shame to lose that.

Also on:

Our team away afternoon at the start of November was a trip to The Glassroom, a ‘pop up tech store with a twist’.  It was set up in a space in central London, by Mozilla and the Tactical Technology Collective, and upon entering it looks pretty similar to an Apple store.  Cool white colours and ‘products’ on pedestals, even a Genius bar (though here named the Ingenius bar).

The topics of the exhibit were personal data, personal data security, and privacy.  It’s purpose was to get us thinking about the kind of information that is stored about us online, who owns that data, and what they are doing with it.

We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.

Eric Schmidt, when he was CEO of Google

Continue reading

Going to start doing the 8 Day Data Detox (https://datadetox.myshadow.org/detox), should be interesting to find out what data I’m inadvertently leaking online.

I actually really like the idea of digital personal assistants. Sometimes a timely digital reminder can stop my lizard brain from putting the kibosh on my frontal lobe. The problem, as with most things, is that they’ve been hijacked by commercial interests, who wish to harvest your attention, not support your intention.

"Which smart speaker should I buy?" How about – none of them? Or at least phrase the article – "do I actually need a smart speaker"? Tech journalism is often horribly complicit in upgrade culture. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/01/amazon-echo-google-home-sonos-one-which-smart-speaker-buy

Browser plugin idea: something like those (admittedly annoying) anti-virus browser extensions that tell you if a search result is ‘safe’, but it tells you whether the organisation behind a particular result is safe for humanity or not.

Looking into tech strategy stuff. Coming across frameworks like TOGAF, ArchiMate. Hoping there’s a bit of a simpler starting point, something like Community Canvas but for tech.

[listen]

"There’s No App For That" - Interview with Richard Heinberg

from teamhuman.fm
Playing for Team Human today is Post Carbon Institute fellow Richard Heinberg. Richard is the co-author of Our Renewable Future and most recently, the manifesto, There’s No App For That.

Nice interview with Richard Heinberg by Douglas Rushkoff.  He questions what role technology should play in the solution to the current existential crises facing humanity, and advocates for community resilience – building local, grassroots connections as a way to respond to these challenges.

Ep. 57 Richard Heinberg “There’s No App For That”

Monday

Monday I went on an Insider walking tour. I really like walking tours in unfamiliar cities. If you get a good guide it’s a great way to see some of the major attractions, in a short span of time, and to get some deeper insights into the city and its history in the the process. This was great, the guide Brian was really fantastic – funny and knowledgeable.

We got some of the history of Berlin right back from where it started up until the present day. It was interesting to learn some basics of of Berlin and German pre-history – such that Berlin wasn’t the capital of Germany until relatively recently (and in fact Germany as a country didn’t exist for a long time – it was the kingdom of Prussia for centuries.) Hopefully I haven’t mangled the region’s history too much there.

The post WWII era holds the most historical intrigue for me, literally East meeting West and colliding in a barrier between the two. The demarkation of the path of the Berlin Wall is fascinating and boggling. It’s one of the starkest physical representations of humanity’s split into competing politcal ideologies, at least in Europe. It’s hard to imagine a city carved into two like that, in this case with a graphically-titled ‘death strip’ in between. It’s like for me if suddenly overnight a wall went up through London, and friends north of the river are suddenly in a different state and a different regime and I need to cross a border to see them.

Continue reading

I spent a few days in Berlin at the start of November to bookend the IndieWebCamp conference. The opportunity to travel again to Berlin was in fact a big draw of the IWC. I’ve been a couple of times before, once 15 years ago as a backpacker, and another time about 2 and a half years ago. Each time I’ve really enjoyed Berlin – a modern city with many layers of history.

Continue reading

Made a bit of progress setting up a travis ci build for my website – https://github.com/ngm/doubleloop-specs/blob/master/.travis.yml. Not fully working yet, but a good start.

Dropping some links here for reference:

Just finished the second season of The Expanse. Not as good as the first series (which was really brilliant), but still enjoyable. The first series felt a bit more polished, and with a bit more focus on the geopolitics.