WhatsApp and the domestication of users (article)

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muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013
muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013

I saw this via FSF's Twitter account by the way (there is irony, I know)

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Iscritto: 07/24/2010

See https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/new-changes-to-twitter-make-it-even-worse-for-free-software-users

It recommends Rainbowstream or Twidere (on Android and derivatives) to use twitter.

muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013

Thank you my friend; I will will give both a try

Jorah Dawson
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Iscritto: 12/13/2020

Nice!

Thanks for sharing it.

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

This article is nice but the next question is what the alternatives now are. Easy self-hosting based on purely free software would be nice.

The easy solutions I am aware of:
1) Freedombox
2) Snikket

I bought a ready to use Freedombox (https://www.freedombox.org/buy/), starting ejabberd is just a click on a graphical interface (but before that you need to wait a long time for software updates), creating accounts is straightforward. Of course you need your own domain but that is not really difficult. The most difficult is to convince others to use this and, for people with iphones, to get a decent XMPP client from the App store of your country.

So far, I convinced no one :(

I don't know the advantages of 2). I am a bit reluctant to use Docker but it seems Trisquel has packages for Docker so I may give it a try.

Anyone tried that or something else based on XMPP? For now, I don't plan to try Matrix (also availabe on the Freedombox).

muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013

I remember hearing about the Freedom Box what feels like 6-8 years ago ... it's finally available!? Was it easy to set up? What's it like? Does it allow self-hosted email, website? Is it possible/easy to self-host NextCloud etc.?

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

I bought the box sold at https://freedombox.org/buy/, it is very easy to setup. The way it works it that you create an admin account and then you can add user accounts and if you choose to activate a particular service, these user accounts are used. Software updates are automated, at the initial start it took a long while to do updates (perhaps 2 hours) during which it was not possible to install anything.

I did not see any Email or Nextcloud server. I am now using eJabberd (XMPP server), communication with people having an XMPP account with other servers work. I have just activated a contact server (CardDaV), my main difficulty now is with mobile phone clients, not with the server. It can also do CalDav. I started openvpn, it works but it does not do what I want now, perhaps because of some misconfiguration of my home routeur, I'll further check. Wireguard is shown as available but it actually isn't.

So far, I was able do everything with close to zero effort without reading any documentation at all.

The physical box is an Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 board and I am using the image they have provided on the microSD card they sent. I suspect that for an email and nextcloud server, it would be better to add some external disk. I have seen a wiki hosting app as well. You are asking about a web server but "apt install apache2" is all you need to do for any Debian-based distribution. By the way, if you redirect ports 80 and 443 to the freedombox, you can get a Let's encrypt certificate by just pressing a button.

Perhaps I'll look into nextcloud. Now, I am using a Seafile server that I installed on my desktop running Trisquel, I am not entirely happy with the behaviour but I never read any user documentation so perhaps this is where I should look next. Nextcloud looks a bit scary to me, too many features I don't need.

I bought extra A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 boards as they are officially supported by Parabola and I hope to use that as a light portable device when I am on travel, with a portable screen and external keyboard and mouse. I started using Parabola on it, this is not so difficult but I had to read a lot of documentation and it took me two full days to make it work decently well.

koszkonutek
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Iscritto: 03/19/2020

> you can get a Let's encrypt certificate by just pressing a button

I encourage everyone to read this to get a bigger picture:
http://michael.orlitzky.com/articles/lets_not_encrypt.xhtml

I am not saying I endorse Orlitzky - I just think his opinions are worth getting familiar with. When using something, it is good to be aware of that thing's weaknesses ;)

Avron
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Iscritto: 08/18/2020

Thanks, that encouraged me to do a little research.

Let's encrypt relies on the protocol described in RFC8555 that in section 10 discusses the limitations of that scheme. It is shorter and clearer in my view, the most dfficult is to find what exactly some simple words refer to.

For people reading French, I recommend:
https://www.bortzmeyer.org/https-blog.html (switching his blog to encryption)
https://www.bortzmeyer.org/passage-blog-lets-encrypt.html (switching to let's encrypt)
https://www.bortzmeyer.org/8555.html (the protocol for let's encrypt)

I haven't finished reading but while it also discusses issues of HTTPs and Let's encrypt, the conclusions are that one should actually encrypt and monitor the automated certificate renewal process.

muhammed
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Iscritto: 04/13/2013

There is a follow-up article by the way:

https://seirdy.one/2021/02/23/keeping-platforms-open.html