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Freedom in a Box

My talk about privacy, decentralization, self-hosting, freedom of speech and FreedomBox.

It's a non-technical talk meant to spread awareness about the dangers of mass surveillance and the alternatives that exist to centralized systems.

Links to slides are in the video description.

Delivered at ThoughtWorks Hyderabad for the 46th edition of GeekNight on 2nd Jan, 2019.

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Digital Empowerment in Rural India - powered by FreedomBox.

Sudhamsh Kandukuri and I presented yesterday at XConf India 2018.

An inspiring story of a grassroots movement where people rejected Facebook's Free Basics and installed low-cost community Wi-Fi networks instead.
A FreedomBox on the network provides most of the essential digital services required, offline.


Video recording: coming soon!

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Welcome to this little corner of the Fediverse. This instance is one among hundreds running Mastodon.

You are seeing this because I'm the administrator of this account and I'm the first person you follow when joining this instance.

Please read the rules before posting.

This site is funded by individuals and doesn't make money with your data. You can use your real name or an alias.

You can find other instances like this one at

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All it costs to fulfill the average person's needs for digital services is a $5 per month VPS instance. It's even cheaper if you buy a single board computer and host your services at home.

We've been letting companies steal our personal data and sell it to the highest bidder and destroying democracy in the process all to save what? A coffee a month?

This is one of the worst deals in history.

Rediscovering the Small Web

"Today's web is mostly commercial. The smaller web of individuals has neither the resources nor the will to compete for visibility and audience the way the commercial web does"

Another great post by @neustadt - welcome to Mastodon by the way, a part of the new small web!

Algorithmic suggestions and filter bubbles harmed me so much before when I was using google and popular social media, but I managed to escape it. I have a friend who thinks everyone wants to be a rapper based on what he sees on social media and youtube. And this view of the world is really influencing many of his decisions in life. For people out there the entry point to any kind of knowledge is google (which gives them what they want to see). How can you destroy the human mind more.

Peertube has launched a campaign for Peertube V3!

Please consider to donate so they can ship this release, with new features (like livestreaming!!)

#peertube #fediverse

Maybe there's a blog post in this, like "Simplicity is the easiest path to accessibility on the web"

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A quick Google search shows that for many people, including journalists, "going down the rabbit hole" still means "coming to believe in dangerous, false, nonsense"

This is why it worries me that for some non-trivial fraction of the English-speaking online population, "going down the rabbit hole" now ALSO means "innocently learning some complex and previously unknown, yet true' set of facts"

I don't like that these two meanings are getting blurred. Don't like it at all.

The Mediocre Programmer

This book is about helping you along on the journey of being a mediocre programmer. Together we'll uncover some of common misconceptions we have about programming, failure, and growth and come to understand that the act of programming and development is something we undertake each day and improve in small ways. It's these small changes that over time transform us from being mediocre programmers into better programmers.


Google memories (1/x) 

y'all going to laugh, but I really believed it. I drank the kool-aid. this was the mid-00s, a tech company with a motto "don't be evil" still felt daring rather than cringe – for an alienated techie like past me, at least; my politically aware friends tried to warn me; but I didn't realise that Google leveraged its fine-tuned advertising machinery also for recruiting, and I swallowed the whole thing.

Some of you people actually think Microsoft isn't going to screw you over and it shows

Replacing Digital Capitalism with Digital Socialism

"Unfortunately, current legislative proposals by US legal scholars and Congress promote a capitalist model where "many Facebooks and Twitters" compete to capture data and user attention. This will not solve our problems.

... we cannot fix social media with corporate owners, proprietary technology, centralised clouds, and market competition. The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.

A genuine solution requires digital socialism: a decentralised social media commons based on free and open-source technology, supported by laws and the public purse. The foundation is already set, but a popular movement is needed to see it through."

#DigitalCommons #DigitalSocialism #FreedomBox #Mastodon #LibreSocial #SocialMedia #ActivityPub #FreeSoftware #DigitalColonialism

huh, this seems bad

"macOS 10.15: Slow by Design"

> Apple has introduced notarization, setting aside the inconvenience this brings to us developers, it also results in a degraded user experience, as the first time a user runs a new executable, Apple delays execution while waiting for a reply from their server. This check for me takes close to a second.

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The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!