cover photo

Mike Macgirvin

 High Range, Australia 
What could possibly go wrong?

Facebook is asking more financial institutions to join Messenger  


The plans come at a sensitive time for Facebook, as it continues to battle privacy concerns and tweak its policy regarding user data. 
future is kinda creepy
I was going to riff off these lyrics, then I looked them up and decided they worked just fine as they are.

I'm heavenly blessed and worldy wise
I'm a peeping-tom techy with x-ray eyes
Things are going great, and they're only getting better
I'm doing all right, getting good grades
The future's so bright I gotta wear shades
 High Range, Australia 

Santo & Johnny "Sleep Walk"
by NRRArchives on YouTube
 High Range, Australia 
Nomad - Wikipedia


A nomad (Middle French: nomade "people without fixed habitation")[2] is a member of a community of people without fixed habitation who regularly move to and from the same areas, including nomadic hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads (owning livestock), and tinker or trader nomads.[3][4] As of 1995, there were an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the...
Should we add the millions of forced nomads, the exodus of the masses seeking asylum or refuge?
When civilisations and empires collapse, nomads survive. Always.
 High Range, Australia 
The Big Dry: what's it like living in a town running out of water


The New South Wales town of Murrurundi has enough water to last until November. Then what?
 High Range, Australia last edited: Fri, 03 Aug 2018 16:13:12 +1000  
Somebody apparently forgot to tell this little girl that she's supposed to be extinct.

 High Range, Australia last edited: Fri, 03 Aug 2018 18:45:26 +1000  
Now that development of Zap/Denim is starting to wind down, I'm turning my attention to the next phase. That's the bridge (or more accurately firewall) between the authoritarian city-dwellers of ActivityPub and the freedom loving nomads of Zot. After a bit of waffling on the name I'm finally settling on "Osada", which is literally "gypsy settlement".
 High Range, Australia 

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowman dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word

No reason to get excited
The thief he kindly spoke
There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke
But, you and I, we've been through that thing
And this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour's getting late

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went
Barefoot servants, too
Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching
And the wind began to howl
Do you have a demo site for Zap

Most of the basic functionality is now present and working. This is still "use at your own risk", but it shouldn't burn down the house.

Happy to see that Zap has met my minimum criterion for trying out new software.
Consumers are such a fickle lot.
 High Range, Australia 
Nomadic identity is now mostly working over Zot6 transport. There are only a few more bits to test and then Il'l be able to sign off on the protocol changes and publish an official spec.  That was some hard yakka, but it was still easier doing it the second time around than it was to create it the first time.
 High Range, Australia 
Have been in training this week for BPM (Business Process Modeling) software. I can only say that those who think hubzilla is complicated would be going into epileptic seizures with this BPM stuff and we'd have to lock them away in a loony bin. Anyway, it set Zap back by a couple of weeks. I've been testing nomadic stuff and ran into a few issues. I hope to get it back on track next week.
Funny, I'm just seeing this thread now for the first time and I have installed Bonita this very afternoon to test it out! Talk about synchronicities.
Eliyahu M. Goldratt wrote some really great books on process management. Pretty much predates software but the concepts are probably solid. The Goal is written for a broad audience but he wrote several high level books.

The Goal (novel) - Wikipedia


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A "software version" of The Goal is called The Phoenix Project.

The Phoenix Project, 5th Anniversary Edition - IT Revolution


Identifying and amplifying best practices for IT organizations through events, publishing, and research Five years after this sleeper hit took on the world of IT and flipped it on its head, the 5th Anniversary Edition of The Phoenix Project continues to guide IT in the DevOps revolution. In this newly updated and expanded edition of the bestselling...
 High Range, Australia 
Nobody is talking about this except a few farmers, but it's huge. Most livestock producers in Australia are divesting their livestock. Can't afford to feed the stock. There's no hay left in Queensland, new South Wales, or Victoria. There never was much to speak of in the Northern Territories or Western Australia, where they need hundreds of thousand of hectares to support a few thousand head of cattle.
There's a bit of hay trickling through from South Australia. That will be gone in a few weeks and it's about 3X normal price. You're probably thinking "so what - I'm not a cow." And that's why it's scandalous. Replace the word "hay" with "grain" and Australia with "continent".
I'm not looking for any sympathy and if things get really bad I've got plenty of hamburger. I might not be able to afford buns or #homebrew, but stuff happens. Just think of it as another canary in the coal mine. Your continent might be next - if it isn't happening already. If this happened in the central USA or the Ukraine it would be getting prime time attention. Since it's Australia nobody cares.
Here in the foothills we had a drought for 4 years and suddenly it flooded a year ago. We will see what this winter brings. We have been wondering if it is going to be a every-few-years of drought cycle
Unpredictable seems to be the keyword
 High Range, Australia 
“We are a little land. And little lands on the borders of a great empire were always hateful to the lords of the great empire. He longs to blot them out, gobble them up.”
― C.S. Lewis
 High Range, Australia 
The bag of corn chips says very prominently "No added MSG". Their silence about not adding mercury or bug killer or rat poison is alarming.
However, reading the compositions and warnings on any packaging of food or medicine has become a heroic act...
I prefer food with no chemicals. :laughing:
  from ZAP/ZotPost
This probably doesn't look like much but it  was cross-posted from ZAP (Zot/6) using the ZotPost App and the Zot API.
Sometimes I think of you as the Stephen Hawking of decentralised and federated networks ;-)
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
-- Benjamin Franklin
I've tried to compose my thoughts about where I see this all going, but it would take a few hundred pages to explain. I'm looking at trends and aligning my work to intersect with them 2-5 years from now. Same as I have always done. I haven't always been successful because the target point on the horizon keeps shifting. To be fair, I actually have hit all my long-term targets, but not with a bulls-eye; because of expected but unpredictable gusts of wind along the path between here and there.

If you want to understand zap and the motivations behind it, install it and play with it. Read the code. Read the protocol spec in my wiki (such as it exists today). If you really want to know what I'm thinking, examine the diffs between zap and hubzilla and the conceptual differences between ActivityPub, Diaspora, and Zot.  All these things speak for themselves. But don't attach any significance to it or claim that this is who I am and what I am doing, because the world continues to evolve and what I think next week and where I see that heading in 2-5 years will have to take into account what happens this week.
 High Range, Australia 
Look what just crawled out the woodwork...

PGP creator backs Openbook, a KickStarter privacy-first alternative to Facebook


A new privacy-oriented social network called Openbook has gained the support of notable security experts. The firm is due to launch its KickStarter on Tuesday to raise funds to build the new network.

It will be interesting to see how they pull this part off...

“Just drag-and-drop your old social media archive into Openbook and import all your photos, videos, chats and more!”

Obviously they haven't looked at the file format.
Hubzilla needs just some „little“ effort to catch the broader masses, why the hell all these intelligent people out there want to start over and over again with new and less functional projects? Just a little bit of UI, some code cleaning and dev docs ...
What the heck, sorry, running into rant mode :-D ...

Joel Levi Hernández Fernández: @Peter This is one of our most asked questions :-). It's a topic that I hope to address in a long a lengthy interview or post soon. In short: Decentralised systems are incredibly complicated. For example rolling out updates (security updates/improvements included), maintaining cross-version compatibility (for example when rolling out a feature that is by design non-backwards compatible) and tracking, modifying or deleting user information across the nodes (pretty much impossible to guarantee).

It is a mighty challenge by itself to develop a system that tackles all of these issues. It could take years of research and development.

The software giants are growing at an incredible pace, crushing or buying any sign of competition. Initiatives for social media decentralisation in all honesty and sadness, don't stand a chance.
Ignoring that in reality systems exist and are running with decentralization and federation.

Joel Levi Hernández Fernández: While decentralisation initiatives are focusing on building revolutionary technologies and ways to tackle the decentralisation system problems, the real users of such systems (people with a non-tech background) care little for that aspect of the product. They care about the experience, the features, the ease of use, the design. Once these initiatives solve the decentralisation challenges, they will be thousands of light years away from matching the features the software giants will then have. It would all have been for nothing.
Only truth here is that non-tech people do not care really about decentralisation. But this is because it is very hard to understand what are the problems with centralised services. The rest is just blaming and ignoring the running reality.

Joel Levi Hernández Fernández: We are tackling the problem the other way around. We will use existing technologies to build not only a product that competes with the software giants but beats them in the aspects that the general public cares about.
I assume "the other way around" here means just: We get out money of our users and than forget our proposed ideas on the long term.

Joel Levi Hernández Fernández: If we do manage to become the defacto social network (which at that point would already be a huge improvement over existing ones in regards to transparency, privacy and security), with that amount of users and public interest, we would then be able to afford the time and the best and brightest minds in tech to research decentralisation strategies.
This sounds a lot like the talk you hear from all these startup "CEOs" who think their product deserves your money because it's the next big thing. The only problem: in 999 out of 1000 cases it isn't. Just wait a couple of years until they have disappeared in the void and we are still here. It's just a little bit of history repeating.. ;-)
 High Range, Australia last edited: Thu, 05 Jul 2018 10:41:11 +1000  
It's a very long tunnel, but I can finally see a glimmer of light at the other end. I'm currently guesstimating about 6 weeks before a public preview of denim. Zap will be about 4 weeks behind that. Vassal and backporting Zot6 to Hubzilla probably around Xmas.

So what are all these things?

Denim is the basic Zot6 social app. It is nomadic and does social networking and nothing else. Really truly nothing else. Your first channel will be a social channel and you can also create either a restricted or public forum.  There are no other choices. There is not now and never will be federation with anything that doesn't support nomadic communications.

Zap is the Zot6 community app. It does a few additional things for those who want to use Zot in the workplace or with their community. It won't do nearly as much as Hubzilla. It also does not federate with anything that isn't nomadic. Not now. Not ever. Never.

Vassal (formerly Mule) is a gateway between nomadic and non-nomadic networks. It speaks Zot6 and ActivityPub. Local channels are not allowed to replicate (they can only relocate), hence it federates with non-nomadic services. Vassal identities can be linked with nomadic identities on other sites and this provides the requisite bridging between the two universes. Identity linkage means that messages will flow back and forth but connections and other data will not. It's similar to API federation, so if you want to communicate with Diaspora folks from a nomadic platform, you'll need to create a separate channel on Vassal and link the identity to your nomadic channel. If the Vassal server goes down you can relocate the linked channel, but you'll lose any connections on services that don''t provide relocation. (Friendica supports relocation. Diaspora may or may not provide relocation by Xmas. Mastodon does not currently provide relocation, though it is being discussed.)
@Haakon Meland Eriksen (Els Mussols) Fair enough. It will now be known as Vassal.
@Mike Macgirvin exiting news! What will change for plugins likes chess?
There are a few changes to the way plugins work, but most should only take a couple of minutes to port. Those that hook directly into the delivery system will be harder.
 High Range, Australia 
Eating some left-over smoked ribs from the party last weekend. It's the fourth day of the month of July. Ironic.
Sounds yummy. :-)

I was experimenting with Jackfruit some time ago, but the smoked barbecue sauce from the store was too "smokey". Do you have a nice sauce recipe you can share? :-)
The wife makes the sauces. I just operate the machinery. But take any bbq sauce recipe and add a half cup of pureed raisins and it will keep people coming back for more.
Thanks for the tip! :-)
 High Range, Australia 
Bloody Twitter... I had a Twitter account a few years ago to try and make the Twitter post addon work (the person complaining about it not working couldn't read the obvious error message). Anyway at that time you couldn't actually delete a Twitter account. Don't know it it's still the case. So I "deleted all the content" (yeah right)  and changed the name to something random and set a random password so that at least people wouldn't be able to find that account and think they were following me.

Anyway they've been sending me email spam ever since. Every day. Mostly I just let it go. It's not like they're the only fucking company that sends me spam. But yesterday I thought - well enough is enough, wonder if they'll let me unsubscribe.

And they did!

This morning I've got twice as much Twitter spam.

Moral of the story: Twitter sucks.

The end.
Moral of the story: Twitter sucks.

In other news, a local man discovers that Facebook has been secretly looking at photos he shared with friends and that the company knows he likes cucumbers, a secret he has never revealed to anyone. More on this breaking story at 11...

Hey Mike, you should make a communication platform that can do what Twitter does, but that is decentralized, protects privacy, and supports freedom. I bet if you put your mind to it, you could come up with something. You might even find a way to support more than 140 character posts!
Twitter's entire existence is about being dysfunctional. To provide an alternative, get rid of decentralisation, freedom and privacy. Nobody cares about that shit. Then limit posts to 119.31672 characters.
  last edited: Thu, 05 Jul 2018 01:03:16 +1000  
..I had a Twitter account

I see where you went wrong.

Honestly, I have never signed up for a Twitter account. I could not make heads or tails of what it was all about until years later and by then I knew too much
 High Range, Australia 
Update: Channel discovery and making connections, posts, comments, likes are now federating over Zot6/ActivityStreams. Forums are mostly working. Yay. That's a big milestone. I'll probably take a break in the next few days because this shit has a tendency to fry your brain.
Enjoy your break!!!
:champagne: :-) Congratulations!
Looks like Facebook wants to pick up where SilverPush left off.
How can you patent a technique that is in use already?La Liga quiere usar móviles de particulares como espías a través de su aplicación


El organismo solicita el acceso al micrófono del teléfono para detectar posibles emisiones ilegales
Facebook patents system that can use your phone's mic to monitor TV habits

“The technology in this patent has not been included in any of our products, and never will be.”

Funniest thing I read all day!