2019 is the year of FreedomBox Pioneer edition home servers, Purism Librem 5 smartphones and the growing Fediverse.
This year marks a point in history where people have started to rebel against the surveillance capitalist platforms threatening our democracy and take back control over their digital lives with freedom-respecting products and services.
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.
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!
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 https://instances.social/
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.
Fossil Versus Git at https://www.fossil-scm.org/index.html/doc/trunk/www/fossil-v-git.wiki - discuss at https://freepo.st/freepost.cgi/post/4azi260u5d #freepost
Did you know that you don't need X-Windows for graphics on Linux? Here's a few console programs that can display graphics using the framebuffer:
Display and manage images directly from the command line.
A simple web browser without CSS and JS, can display inline images when switched to graphics mode with the -g param: 'links2 -g'
Play videos straight from the console! Can be a little tricky.
(And yes, I used a 5:4 monitor the screenshots.)
Remember when Google Hangouts removed XMPP support?
Just like that.
I was talking to my mom this weekend about scholarly publishing and she told me when she was academia-adjacent (before I was born!) she wrote 2 papers & the process for publishing was awful in so many ways that she never did it again.
I looked for her work and I found one.... and it's open access 🔓🖤 In the Journal of Applied Meteorology!!
"Sky-Cover Correlation within a Sky Dome" -- https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0450-30.7.1037
Remember: in 1968 NYC garbagemen struck and within a week, the city's mayor was on his knees begging for mercy. It lasted all of 8 days.
Then, two years later in Ireland, bankers went on strike for *6 months* and the economy kept on growing and history has largely forgotten it even happened.
Capitalists need you more than you need them.
Lately I've been using this awesome #Firefox addon named Temporary Containers.
You can set it on automatic and every time you open a link or a new tab it creates a fresh container for you, then destroys it when your done. This way the fact that every damn site wants to put a cookie on your system doesn't matter anymore.
With sites I want to keep login cookies for, like Mastodon, I just create dedicated containers and have the site always load in them.
Venus and global warming
If you ever want to scare someone, remind them that Venus is inside the Sun's habitable zone. It's the hottest planet in the solar system entirely because of carbon dioxide
It used to be more like Earth. If it had had a technological civilization, we would never know because all artifacts would have long ago completely melted.
Dyson spheres and Kardashev type 2 civilizations
In fact, solar prices, even with associated storage, continually defy projections. Solar is already the cheapest energy source there is, and it keeps getting cheaper. We're on track for $0.03/kWh LCOE by 2020. At that price point, hydrogen from electrolysis is cheaper than natural gas derived hydrogen, and desalinated water becomes cheaper than many existing sources of fresh water. Think about that.
Black hole efficiency
Black holes are the most efficient way, aside from antimatter, to convert mass to energy. A non-rotating black hole converts 6% of the mass of infalling matter to energy, compared to 0.7% for fusion. A rotating black hole can convert up to 42%.
And that's ignoring evaporation. If you use a small enough black hole and feed it just enough matter that its intake rate matches its evapration rate, it converts 100% of infalling mass to energy.
the second issue of the fediverse tribune is out now!!
Santhosh Thottingal wins the President's Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman for 2019
Santhosh Thottingal has won the Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman by the Hon. President of India. This is in recognition of his substantial contribution in the field of Malayalam language. The award, instituted in 2016, is given to the substantial contributions to languages such as Sanskrit, Persian, Arabi, Pali and Classical
When people talk about autonomous vehicles, the prospect of ride sharing is inevitably brought up.
Have these people ever owned a car? Most people keep all sorts of things in their car.
A car is not only a means of transportation, but a closet on wheels. If you have a family or enjoy outdoor recreation, you come to appreciate the convenience of keeping certain items in the car at all times.
A car is also a quiet personal space.
Ride sharing isn't as appealing as the tech utopians think.
The call for proposals for DebUtsav Goa 2019 is now open. You can submit proposals for talks or workshops at
The event will be held on the 14th and 15th of September 2019 in Goa College of Engineering, Veling, Goa.
More details can be found at
Idealist, technologist and general optimist.
Admin of https://social.masto.host
This is a general instance supporting toots in English and తెలుగు.
Hero image credit: Sean O'Brien (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)