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Design or decoration?

Designers, developers, engineers… are you building tools that just empower people or shiny, addictive traps that farm them? Are you part of the problem or the solution?

(And, more importantly, what kind of world do you want to live in and are you contributing towards that?)

Packing up and moving to Ireland (Cork) next week. Might not be easy to reach in the next couple of days or slow to reply.

Don't waste the Cambridge Analytica scandal: it's a chance to take control of our data

Excellent article by Scott Ludlam in the @guardian that cuts to the heart of the matter:

“What has been exposed here is not some unforceeable aberration, but an ordinary consequence of what Shoshana Zuboff calls ’surveillance capitalism’“

“‘Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have the same business model,’ says Balkan. ‘If Cambridge Analytica can sway elections and referenda with a relatively small subset of Facebook’s data, imagine what Facebook can and does do with the full set.’”

Just turned off boosts and favourites in my notifications column and I can now actually find the posts people who are interacting directly with me :)

(Apologies if I missed some of your messages in the past.)

Was just experimenting with stuff in the fridge for a stir-fry for lunch and I can confirm that olive oil + onions + jalapeños (w some of the water from the bottle) + proper maple syrup + New York deli-style mustard makes a scorching + yummy glaze (in this case for a chickenesque vege protein thingamabob called Mifu and potatoes) :)

Proposing guidelines for an ethical and harmonious app ecosystem. (Thank you @aral for helping me understand how we can improve the current state of mobile experience !)

“Kurdish Afrin is democratic and LGBT-friendly. Turkey is crushing it with Britain’s help. Northern Syria’s Kurds are establishing direct democracy and a gender revolution. Why are we arming jihadist-linked Turkey?”

I have Turkish parents and I was a Turkish citizen. I strongly urge you to read this, take notice, and – if you can – take action to get our representatives in Europe and elsewhere to put an end to this gross injustice.

Thank you for helping move humanity forward, Stephen, and for being a progressive voice for social justice, science, and reason. You will be missed.

Longer term, any such project that seeks to be an alternative to the closed, centralised silos of the mainstream is going to live or die based on how convenient it is. And that’s overall convenience, from setup onwards. The greatest design challenge we have, as I see it, is to have decentralised apps/sites compete with the 30 second sign-up of Facebook, etc. If we can bring going from zero to you up and running on your own domain down to < 1 min, we can radically change this game.

One of the guiding principles with an Indie Site (what we’re calling our federated personal web site implementation) is that it must be as lightweight as possible. Since these are single tenant sites, we can simplify a lot of things. I want to keep everything in a single process, for example, so we’re using LevelDB. Installation should be a single command/automatic. (We’re working on a separate installer app w the goal of <1min domain registration to site live… that’s going to take work…) :)

Really enjoying working with Nuxt + Vue + FeathersJS…

Can’t wait to get the basic functionality for a federated personal web site (FPWS) up and running and share it with you all. Getting back into web dev has been a learning process (especially since I’ve been working in Swift + Cocoa/CocoaTouch for the last few years) but finally feel like I’m getting my head around it all – and having a lovely little team in Ghent helps. Just got public-key & JWT auth implemented so that’s a start… ;)

Think of AI as Augmented Intelligence instead of Artificial Intelligence.

Whose intelligence is being augmented? Is it yours as an individual? (Yes, if you own and control the AI.) Or is it augmenting the intelligence of a corporation? (The norm today.)

@aral Haven't followed through, but isn't this the version that some users reported messing with permissions [1]? 5.7.1 seems to have fixed the issue [2], so maybe use that instead?

[1] -
[2] -

Is npm driving you crazy by removing your git-based packages every time you install a new package?

They’ve fixed it in 5.7.0! 🎉

npm i -g npm@5.7.0

When you say 'keep politics out of tech', you mean 'your politics', you don't feel the existing politics of white supremacy and misogyny because you are so used to it you can't feel it anymore or you are actively contributing to and benefiting from it.

Welcoming film and TV director and social justice advocate @Lexialex to the fediverse. She just made a principled move away from Twitter after they banned someone’s account for cussing a Nazi (

Welcome, Lexi!

CC @Gargron

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

“People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws… None of this is actually radical.”

Excellent article by Dr. Jason Hickel

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Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.