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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.

I would like to introduce you fine people to The 512KB Club. #512Club

Computers have always been an escape for me.

When computers have issues it is my fault, I made a mistake. There is no human element: I have complete control, in contrast to many painful events in my life. The computer is not being malicious or judgemental, the computer cannot traumatize me. It just takes an instruction and executes it.

I think, on an emotional level, that is why I cling so much to libre software. My computer is the one thing I have control over. Don't take that from me.

Just discovered RSS-Bridge; really helpful, open-source project.

For instance Mozilla doesn't provide a feed for their security advisories page ( but rss-bridge does ( 👍🏼

@amolith and @snopyta both run public instances too.

- NixNet:
- Snopyta:


It's been a few days since Apple's M1 machines launched. I cannot find a definitive answer on if you are completely locked out of booting another operating system. This is what I (and many others) assume, but I really want a definitive answer and explanation as to how that is achieved.

Obviously driver support will be a mess (no discussion in the Linux kernel mailing list as far as I could tell), but does Apple even officially support booting other OSs on the machines?

CryptPad is an #opensource collaborative editor (think: Google Docs/Drive) with a strong focus on #privacy. I have been using it for a while, and would like to recommend it to others as well!

You can try it here:

You can create and share text documents, sheets, presentations, code, kanban boards and more.

You can use it for free, but I recommend supporting them either by upgrading to a paid subscription, or by donating here:

The plain text project, a listing of tools to help you do most of your work using plain text files.

next time someone needs a demonstration of the cut curb effect (e.g. how even the most selfish ablebodied people should want accessibility measures, because what is necessary for a disabled person is often really nice to have if you're ablebodied - for example, a cut curb may be there to make something accessible for people in wheelchairs, but if you're pushing a grocery cart or baby stroller they're also really handy), may i suggest: this meme

My ebooks and audiobooks (from @torbooks, @HoZ_Books, @mcsweeneys, and others) are for sale all over the net, but I sell 'em too, and when you buy 'em from me, I earn twice as much and you get books with no DRM and no license "agreements."


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Installed #Cabal desktop. After some screen flashing and freezing and crashing and restarting it eventually worked. My guess is that the initial room sync is buggy, but thereafter incremental updates are more stable.

Well, this isn't completely hellish. And I guess that's about the best you can say for a lot of internet systems these days.

@dielan I've convinced my entire friend group to move from discord to matrix, so it's def possible!

As with so many other things, the real solution would be two things:

1. Support decentralized systems wherever possible (financial, using for your creations, submit code, help with triaging or community support, documentation, translation etc)

2. We need to massively simplify self hosting. Currently #Yunohost #Freedombone #Freedombox seem the best options, but all need to simplify more of the technical side for normal users. Helping out these projects would help greatly, too.

This was super surreal. I was just reading through my RSS feed, and I saw that someone was colorizing public domain films, and I was getting ready to compare their results with mine when I realized that it was an article about me.

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Any developers interested in taking up this challenge?

Build 1.x with 7.x

Yarn 2.x already moved to babel 7.x but there is no stable release for yarn 2.x and it is completely different from yarn 1.x.

This will help us ship yarn in (we already moved everything else to babel 7.x but could not port this yet) for next stable release bullseye.

It would be useful to nodejs developers to make initial installation of yarn easy.

Today's issue of Tales from the Dork Web is especially 🔥

"The biggest con Silicon Valley ever pulled off was convincing us they’re masters of innovation. Netflix brought us digital movie distribution *cries in Bittorrent*. Apple introduced Music streaming to the world *laughs in Napster*. Facebook invented social media *no they didn’t*."

Here’s one big take away for me about moving from Github to

Github treats source control like a social network. Getting stars on your projects, following users, news feeds, showing off your usage stats for... some reason.

It’s not until you get away from that you realise how fucking awful and pointless it is.

A load of other stuff too, but that.

I don't want to post my content in that corporate walled garden anymore. I hate the censorship, the disappearing of people, the gradual degradation of the newsfeed into a cesspool of advertising and propaganda. But it's often hard for me to get sufficiently motivated to post content unless I believe my friends will read it. So for the longest time, I didn't post anything at all, anywhere.

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