Requests that Facebook “opens up its algorithms” continue to come. Because nobody seems to realize that, no matter how surely well-meaning those proposals are, they are structurally impossible to satisfy, on any centralized platform like Facebook.
An article by Roger McNamee titled “How to Fix Facebook - Before it fixes us” does a great job of describing the problems created by Facebook or any other platforms working in the same way, but contradicts itself when it proposes certain kinds of regulatory fixes. Those fixes are:
Eelo is a project to build “Desirable, privacy-enabled smartphones & web services”. This is a proposal about the “web services” part of Eelo, as presented here.
Yesterday, I presented what I consider a perfect confirmation of my views on “Twitter replacements”. Today, I “defend” that position from “accusations” of individualism. (I’m joking, of course, when I say “defend” and “accusations”).
I just saw on Twitter and his “replacement”, that is Mastodon, something that in my opinion is a perfect, real-world confirmation that, as I recently said, certain worries about Mastodon flaws and alternative “platforms” are… misplaced. Please have a look at this screenshot:
I just found online what is, in my opinion, another proof that certain concerns about the “Twitter replacement” called Mastodon are solid… but the solutions that get the most attention right now may be dead ends.
- On February 28th, 2017, a “cockup at Amazon facility in Virginia, US” caused its S3 cloud storage to fail. This fault led to “major websites and services - including Imgur, Medium, Trello, Yahoo webmail, the Docker Registry Hub.. falling offline, losing images, or left running like treacle. Basically, that outage “knackered half the internet, it seems, because it all relies on S3 to store data online”. Just to stress: this is one S3 region that has become inaccessible, yet web apps are tripping up and vanishing as their backend evaporates away.
By now, you probably already know that Yahoo scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence”, and if you haven’t you can read all the details in the previous link, or in many other places. Here, I only want to point out one thing, mainly but not only to software geeks, and to any organizations whose goal include promoting privacy:
- I had (at least) three big reasons to be at the fOSSa 2015 conference, a couple of weeks ago. Two already covered elsewhere and one, “Citizen Cloud: Towards a more decentralized internet?”, that deserves its own separate post. Before getting to that, however, let me quickly remind the first two reasons: first, I and Wouter Tebbens had to present a great research project we of the Free Knowledge Institute are working on, that is Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY).