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3/ The few people who were present at the expert session also seemed swayed by the “empty cafés” argument. But I think I succeeded in letting them at least consider there might be an alternative.

I told them about the point of view of a civil servant of the municipality of #Rotterdam. He says that cities used to be physical-social spaces, but are now turning into physical-social-digital spaces. This means that cities need to manage two (!) new dimensions: physical-digital and #digital-#social.

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2/ It annoyed me for two reasons. First, governments do have this bad habit of building empty cafés. For example, the European Commission hosted an almost €400k party in the #metaverse two weeks ago... to which only five people showed up (short article linked)!

Second, and more importantly, this does not mean that governments need to work with Big Tech. It's such a lazy conclusion.

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1/ What is the digital equivalent of a park?

The city council of #Amsterdam held an expert session on “the digital city” almost a week ago. I was present as a member of the public.

One of the experts invited was a consultant from Deloitte. He was making the point that Amsterdam should not reject working with Big Tech companies in building the #digital layer of the #city.

He said something along the lines of: “because governments end up building empty cafés”. This annoyed me.

Keith Whyte retooteado
Keith Whyte retooteado

We spent all this time saying what if China abuses user data harvested by TikTok, or what if China uses TikTok to manipulate public opinion. Now basically all that is happening but it's not TikTok and China, it's Twitter and a single emotionally unstable billionaire. Maybe the real threat wasn't TikTok after all, it was our reliance on social media in general.

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@toydragon @prehensile ah, yes, i wouldn't mind if everyone who finds that harrowing would indeed fuck off from here :blobcatcoffee:

Keith Whyte retooteado

Well, if you're interested in such things, I wrote up a case study on the Raspberry Pi thing that happened yesterday/today

Keith Whyte retooteado

I tend to avoid boycotts because I don't believe that, in most of the cases, individual actions solve anything at scale.

But, in the case of #RaspberryPi, I regretfully feel compelled to move towards that stance. Today's spycop case has definitely been the last nail in the coffin - not much for the fact itself, but for their unprofessional reactions: I was really shocked to read words as strong and arguments as weak as those of an enraged teenager coming from the official account of such a respected company. Blocking, mocking and bullying those who disagree or criticize in a civilized way goes against everything our community believes in.

But I'm not dropping RPi just because of this. Unfortunately this wasn't just a random incident. It's been the continuation of a disturbing trend in the way RPi manages their communications. I've seen them mock the makers' community as "people who only build useless gadgets for their homes", implying that they are mostly deaf to our stances because we are not the ones generating a stable revenue stream for them.

This is toxic alpha/technobro arrogance that I would have expected from Steve Ballmer or Elon Musk. Not by someone that built their own success on inclusiveness, fairness, and a vast community of enthusiastic makers.

Therefore I won't buy any more of their products, I'll slowly remove all the references to RPi in the documentation of #Platypush, and stop advising their products. And I'm saying this as someone who has ~20 RPis in his home, has been using their products since the first batch of RPi1 was released, has written a book and countless articles on it. I'm not the first random hater.

Since many people are asking for alternatives in these hours, I'll put together my little personal list of alternative brands (solely based on products that I use or have tried). Take two things into account though:

- Most of the products on this list assume that you may not be scared from installing and configuring a Linux distro, or deal with sparse documentation or buggy software. Unfortunately, it's hard to match the level of "newbie-readiness" that RPi built over the years (thanks mostly to the community of makers and volunteers that they are now deriding).

- When it comes to pricing, again, it's hard to compete with RPi. Even if the RPi4 sells at >$100 nowadays, that's still quite cheaper than the next cheapest board.

Coming to the list:


- BananaPi (these are personally my favourite RPi alternative products)

- OrangePi (the default software may not be very stable though)

- Odroid (most of their products are actually good enough to run even Android or Windows)

- Asus Tinkerboard (a RPi clone that for me represented one of the best drop-in alternatives to RPi)

- Beagleboard (I'm impressed that they have managed to nail an AI-oriented board with a bunch of cores for <$200)


- DeskMini (a producer of miniPC for all the budgets)

- LattePanda (one of the coolest x86 boards out there)

- Intel TUC (probably the most flexible option, and many other miniPC are based on it)

- Anything by System76 or Tuxedo (amazing products, solid Linux support, but pricey tag)

I'm personally waiting for the moment where RISC-V can really take over, but unfortunately at this stage we've still got some PoC boards and not impressive software support.

And I personally think that we need to build a new user-friendly alternative to the RPi: there's plenty of products out there for many of the geeks among us who know how to get Linux installed the manual way. But not many that either come with a good maintained OS pre-installed, or have something as simple as the RPiOS installer.

What solutions alternative to RPi are you folks considering?

Keith Whyte retooteado
Keith Whyte retooteado

Dystopia is rolling in fast: Weather App AI will now have a text romance with you if you buy her the "right combination of gifts".

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@kevlin @cwebber described ChatGPT as Mansplaining As A Service, and honestly I can’t think of a better description. A service that instantly generates vaguely plausible sounding yet totally fabricated and baseless lectures at an instant with unflagging confidence in it’s own correctness on any topic, without concern, regard or awareness even of the level of expertise of it’s audience.

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Keith Whyte retooteado

Remember: if you get Wikipedia "pls give us money" begging, give to the Internet Archive instead.

The internet archive is perpetually underfunded, whereas Wikipedia has enough cash on hand to continue operating at twice its capacity for about 3 decades.

Editors strongly opposed the wording of the recent beg banner:

The industry is dominated by a handful of companies including Google, Meta, and Amazon, which together control nearly three-quarters of the global digital advertising market.

The dismal outcome of this crisis, writes Victor Pickard, is “a lack of public access to high-quality information, a loss of diverse voices and viewpoints, and the evisceration of public service journalism.”

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After 2 years of negotiations with Microsoft, the German Data Protection Conference issued a damning statement: German schools must not use MS365 due to privacy violations.

Fortunately, Linux, LibreOffice & Tutanota are very good alternatives. 💪🔐

#OpenSource #FOSS #privacy #GDPR

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Again, a quick and dirty analysis, but if I have no bugs then the 1% largest #Mastodon instances accounts for 84% of all users.

The top 5% accounts for 97% of all users.

We can say that the system is effectively centralizing around a few instances, and this might be a problem for the overall stability and sustainability.

@tiago @lmrocha @estebanmoro @hirokisayama @PessoaBrain @danielemarinazzo

#MastoStat #ComplexSystems

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I wrote a bot that parses the current #Mastodon instances and assigns them to the respective #ASN (

Interesting is the concentration on a few top ASN. Here for example the 10 most frequent ASNs as Pie Chart (as of 11/25/2022).

❤️ Thanks to @TheKinrar for the nice API for receiving the current mastodon instances.

#networking #network #mastoadmin #mastoadmins #research #bot #instance

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it's four years later and everyone is still favoriting this post which must mean that everyone agrees it is good advice and yet nobody is following it

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