Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The joy of Micro.blog

Long-time developer Manton Reece created Micro.blog last year, a network of independent microblogs based on the foundations of the open Internet. I’ll let the front page of the site explain itself:

Today’s social networks are broken. Ads are everywhere. Hate and harassment are too common. Fake news spreads unchecked.

There’s a better way: a network of independent microblogs. Short posts like tweets but on your own web site that you control.

Micro.blog is a safe community for microblogs. A timeline to follow friends and discover new posts. Hosting built on open standards.

I joined a few weeks back and am really attracted to the simplicity of it. There are no frivolous practices, unnecessary gimmicks, or anything like that. The content is yours and yours alone. What you see is what you get. It reminds me of the earlier days of the Internet, where everything was more whimsical and less threatening than the current status quo. When it comes to free services, we have sadly come to expect a gimmick, trade-off, or worse in exchange for our data. Micro.blog’s opposition to this idea simply makes it a joy to use.

Upon signing up, you can either have them host a blog for you for only $5 a month or you can publish to your own site, while content is mirrored to your Micro.blog profile via RSS. Taking it one step further, Micro.blog can also cross-post individual RSS feeds to Twitter and Facebook, eliminating the need for third-party services to do so. 1

Since I already have my own blog, I opted to publish everything solely here. It took quite a bit of adjustments with WordPress, but I have my Micro.blog posts displayed here on the site exactly how I want them. You’ll always find my latest status posted in the sidebar, right under the One-Tech Mind logo. Go ahead and click on the ‘Microblog’ header for my full stream of status updates. I am @Starman on Micro.blog, so you can follow me there, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my status updates directly. These status updates are not present on the main site feeds, since I know not everyone will want to see these in their RSS reader.

Manton’s team hasn’t stopped there, either. They recently introduced microcast support, a straightforward and open way to create and publish a bite-sized podcast.

There are also quite a few apps in which to use Micro.blog with. The main ones are Micro.blog for posts, Wavelength for microcasts, and Sunlit for photos. There are even quite a few third-party apps that work with Micro.blog. In fact, a new one came out today called Icro, and it shows a ton of promise.

While Twitter threatens to remove critical features third-party developers have used to build their apps, Micro.blog’s attitude on the matter is the complete opposite. Because of this and the reasons I mentioned above, I am really looking forward to what Micro.blog and the community creates moving forward.

More info on Micro.blog.


  1. This is free with a $5 hosted micro blog. Otherwise, it’s a $2 per month add-on. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in Victory for Telecoms →

Aaron Byrd and Natalia V. Osipova for The New York Times:

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites.

The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers. Those limits are central to the concept called net neutrality.

[…]

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Mr. Pai said in a statement. “Instead, the F.C.C. would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

Complete and utter bullshit. ISPs are amongst the shadiest companies out there and Pai is a disgrace to the F.C.C. chairman office.

A brief example of what could theoretically be possible without Net Neutrality rules:

Big online companies like Amazon say that the telecom companies would be able to show favoritism to certain web services, by charging for accessing some sites but not others, or by slowing the connection speed to some sites. Small online companies say the proposal would hurt innovation. Only the largest companies, they say, would be able to afford the expense of making sure their sites received preferred treatment.

For an explainer, read my piece on this subject, Net Neutrality And You.

Please call your representatives and plead with them to pass legislature to preserve Net Neutrality. Visit Battle for the Net for more info and to find out what you can do to help. We may lose this battle, but as long as we keep pressing, we’ll win the war.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Despite public concerns, the FCC will begin repealing Net Neutrality regulations

Save the Internet

Credit: Joseph Gruber License

Yesterday, the FCC voted to begin rolling back Net Neutrality regulations that classified Internet Service Providers as common carriers (utilities) under Title II of the Telecommunications Act back in 2015.

This simply cannot stand for the good of all Americans, and it comes after thousand of comments were left on the FCC’s website against repealing the rules. In case you missed it, my Net Neutrality post goes into more details about the concept as a whole.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (a former Verizon lawyer, by the way) has frequently said “The Internet was not broken in 2015,” but he is completely missing the point. Net Neutrality exists to protect the internet, not fix anything that’s wrong with it. Read on to find out what’s next.

Read on

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Net Neutrality and You

Save the Internet

Credit: Joseph Gruber License

You’ve probably heard the term “Net Neutrality” before, but what is it, really? It’s a highly important topic that should be on everyone’s radar, because it affects us all. It should be a non-partisan issue, but President Trump has already repealed FCC privacy rules, in addition to the GOP passing legislation to allow the sale of private Internet data. Now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced plans to roll back regulations that classify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as utilities. Read on for a breakdown of Net Neutrality and what we can do to fight for it.

Read on