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Content warning: UK Pol

Content warning: UK Pol

Content warning: UK Pol


Sarah reshared this.


I challenge anyone to read this without thinking either of the words, "phlogiston" or "epicycles".

Sarah reshared this.


Content warning: UKPol

Content warning: UKPol

Content warning: UKPol

Content warning: UKPol

Content warning: UKPol

Content warning: UKPol


Sarah reshared this.


This was an interesting read for me; a guy sets up on mastodon, starts posting, then gets what is, from his account of events, a false positive moderation hit that gets his account deleted.

And it’s interesting to me because he presents this as a Mastodon problem.

I feel like a lot of women and minorities, especially LGBT people, kind of regard this as a normal social media experience. It’s entirely common for us to randomly find ourselves restricted on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook for simply talking about our own lives. Sometimes we get outright banned, and appeals tend to not work.

The only social media I pay for is Mastodon (I have a cloud server) and Reddit, and I nearly got banned from Reddit for talking about reclamation of terms user against LGBT people. Lesson learned: no “shop talk” on Reddit.

Even private Facebook posts are not safe. They’re safe from malicious reporting, as long as you haven’t gone too broad with your friends group, but Facebook has a lot of automated moderation that scans everything, and if it doesn’t like what you say, into Facebook jail you go.

In this light, it comes as no surprise that queer, and especially trans people, are congregating on majority LGBT instances or, in increasingly large numbers, rolling our own. I have a cloud Mastodon server which I’m paying for, but @Zoë O'Connell and I have also been experimenting with a #Friendica server running on our own home network. We are safe in our own servers: from malicious reporting, and from automated keyword auto-bans.

The worst that can happen to us is defederation, and we aren’t particularly at risk of being defederated by our own community.

And the micro-instance fediverse is a fun place, with a lot of camaraderie and, I think, quite a different and more intimate experience than even being somewhere like mastodon.social, let alone commercial social media.

To all the malicious reporters out there, all you did is encourage us to get stronger and build a fortress. Joke’s on you.
This entry was edited (4 days ago)
@Mabande it’s interesting; I hear many people say they’ve been hounded by moderation etc but I’ve used every major social media platform, some of them extensively, and never experienced it myself. Maybe they don’t speak Swedish?
Before I left twitter, I learned that the way to tell people to "get in the fucking sea" safely was to do it in Portuguese.

Sarah reshared this.


Content warning: UK Pol, GRA reform

This entry was edited (4 days ago)
I sorry to hear that, that is so frustrating. I hope you can find a way to proceed and not need to use those words! 😢

The US only requires a "declaration of intent" and a pronouncement from an officiant (a license easily obtained and needn't be religiously associated). The wording of the declaration is very flexible.
This isn’t me. I’ve been married since 2001.


"would you have watched this series we could have commissioned? We're testing out if we can get people annoyed without even making things."
“Hi. We realised Ripley still has to go get Newt from the atmosphere processor, but we just cancelled this film. You’ll have to put up with ‘we’re not leaving’ being Ripley’s final words.”

Sarah reshared this.


Love the guy in the article: “why don’t customers understand the value us spying on them via their dishwasher has? The problem must be that we haven’t explained why being spied on is good for them well enough”

Like, fuck off?

Appliance makers sad that 50% of customers won’t connect smart appliances


Did you connect it to your wifi?
@Austin_Skeldon
No, but maybe my resident gremlin did?


Went for a paddle with @Sylvia Knight yesterday in the inflatable kayak. Drove out to Alvor lagoon about an hour and a half before high tide and the idea was to paddle up the Ribeira Odiáxere as far as we could get. Normally this is a dry streamed, but there have been heavy rains in the Algarve this year, and we wanted to see what sort of state it was in. First order of business, inflate the kayak! Got a 12 volt pump from Decathlon for this. Plugs into the Leaf's DC power socket and makes short work of it.

inflating the kayak on the sands at the edge of Alvor lagoon

Then into the water and off we go. There was a bit of wading but we were wearing wetsuits and the sea is still quite warm, despite overnight temperatures dropping to about 5º. Alvor lagoon is wide, shallow and flat, so you're gonna get wet before you find enough water to float even a kayak.

Anyway, we started paddling upstream with the tide, and as the lagoon started to narrow, we approached the rail bridge that carries the Algarve Line across it.

Our kayak approaches the rail bridge. The lagoon is still very wide here, but narrows significantly to go under the bridge.

Once under the bridge, the lagoon starts to resemble more the mouth of a river, and it sort of is at this point. Two rivers really: The Odiáxere, our target, and the Arão.

Paddling up a wide expanse of water, but starting to look like a river. There are mountains far in the background.

Now the Algarve is a wide flat plain, on which almost everyone actually lives, separated from the rest of Portugal by a range of smallish mountains. The reason we chose the Odiáxere instead of the Arão is that at the confluence, you turn left to get into the former and run parallel with the beach for some way. The latter heads straight inland and soon starts meeting contour lines, and we need the high tide for depth.

You can just see the confluence in the previous photo.

In the Odiáxere proper. It's much narrower: maybe ten metres.

I keep dipping my finger in and tasting the water. Initially it was unambiguously sea water. Now it is starting to get brackish as more of it is flow from upstream, and also colder. As you can see, we are approaching our next bridge, which carries the N125 road over the stream.

A bridge with two circular arches approaches on the right, as the stream bends to go under it.

I thought the reflection made this a cool picture!

Under the bridge. Because of the reflection, it looks like we are in a circular concrete tube!

After the bridge the stream runs into the town of Odiáxere. I think the stream is named after the town, not the other way round. The water is now losing a lot of its salinity and it's only about 3 metres wide now, and flanked by lots of thick bamboo. Much of the bamboo has broken off and fallen in the water. It keeps snagging our skeg.

A narrow channel, paddling towards the sun. The channel is flanked by high bamboo either side, and the water surface has a lot floating on it.

You can't really tell, but we're actually in the village now. It's hidden from us by all that bamboo. Nobody can see us, but local dogs are keen to tell everyone that we are there, very loudly!

Eventually we can go no further. The water now is completely fresh and the stream is only a few centimetres deep. It's also utterly grown over with quite thick vegetation. I guess the salt water doesn't get up here at all often.

This is where we turned round. I had to get out and push!

The kayak in the stream. The way forward is blocked by plants, rocks, and the fact that the water simply isn't deep enough.

Our timing was perfect. We arrived at the top of the navigable part pretty much exactly as the tide turned, and had it pushing us both ways. Retracing our steps, we arrived back at the car 15 minutes before sunset. Perfect! Here we are, almost back where we started, bathed in golden light from the setting sun. It was getting very cold though and, because I am prone to Raynaud's syndrome, I can't feel or move my fingers. Sylvia had to do a lot of the finer bits of packing the kayak away because I simply couldn't grip stuff until the car heater had warmed my fingers up for a while.

Back in Alvor lagoon. Water everywhere, a big change from the narrow channel we were in. The sun is sinking below the horizon over the Atlantic Ocean, the other side of the barrier beach.

Other than being freezing bloody cold in the last 15 minutes or so (problem with The Algarve in winter. The days can be lovely but it gets cold fast as the sun goes down), I really enjoyed that. There's another big tide in 4 weeks time. Might try something similar with another stream.
I have a SUP too, but I’m still getting the hang of it 😊
only got mine last year and managed about 4 outings. That will definitely change this year.

Sarah reshared this.


The comments section of this is the most unintentionally hilarious thing I’ve read in ages. It’s full of people talking about how their lives are so much more interesting than those of people who do silly things like post on social media.

The. Comments. Section.

Zero self awareness.

2 people reshared this


Sarah reshared this.


Repost, as the first one seemed to get weirdly corrupted.

8km evening walk in the forest at Barão de São João.

Probably not what most people think of when they picture the Algarve!
A view from a ridge over a forest, peppered with wind turbines. There are a pair of mountains in the distance, touching the clouds. Two women walk along a dirt road in a forest, towards a wind turbine. One of the women has a small white dog
A dirt road leading through a green forest towards a wind turbine, backlit by the setting sun

Sarah Brown reshared this.


tugging the ear of a journalist friend, hey interested in a story considering the slowly failing ethics of journalism in the social media age neatly bound in a tale of how newsmedia have been gladly scapegoating a minority for many years in their press for monetary click only to now discover that minority runs much of the infrastructure of the new platform they want to now publish their articles on?
This entry was edited (1 week ago)

Sarah Brown reshared this.

This is a *story*... I would *so* love to quote-toot this! Ah well, bad habits die slowly 😏
what happened to the last platform and why? well..
Perhaps it should be pointed out that there, their employers' interests and those of the platform were nicely aligned. No pesky ethics rules getting in the way...

Content warning: journalist pitch cont cw twitter / transphobia

This entry was edited (1 week ago)
That rejected movie script in a dumpster by Sunset Boulevard based on this very plot

Content warning: journalist pitch cont cw twitter / transphobia


Sarah Brown reshared this.


If #Mastodon existed in the 1980s! Please boost this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV8Q0WOYoag

*edit* Wow, 384 boosts!
This entry was edited (3 weeks ago)
Ohhh, now I want a mastodon client that works like that!
@MegaMichelle @squirrelmonkey: There's DOStodon. It runs over DOjs, a JavaScript engine for early 90s' style DOS. As in, I don't think it can be easily made run outside a DPMI environment, or anything below 386.

Sarah reshared this.


According to this UK government site, under the new Tory "suppress the people who don't vote for us" rules, you can use an EU issued driving licence as valid photo ID.

Quite looking forward to testing that out at the next UK general election (I have a Portuguese licence).
Yet without having British or Irish nationality you are not allowed to vote for government in England, and neither are UK citizens who've are not registeredin any constituency.
So don't give up your UK address or your UK passport if you want to vote in England!


Content warning: Testing fediverse stuff

Content warning: Testing fediverse stuff


Sarah reshared this.


Once again, thanks to the talents of @Zoe O'Connell, our #friendica server is back running on our own little Pi, with a brand new and not totally shite this time SSD.

Let's hope it stays up this time.

Sarah Brown reshared this.


Anyone who says you can't go viral on the fediverse has never had a Twitter client suspended and discontinued.

Sarah Brown reshared this.

I had a toot go viral here with barely a reaction on Twitter even though I have 4x as many followers there.

Sarah reshared this.


So a little problem with the Fediverse. Some platforms, such as #Friendica, which I cannot stop going on about, allow very rich content. Not just going over 500 characters, but tables, quoting of other posts, properly threaded replies, rich text, etc etc.

But anything you're gonna write is gonna get federated to the elephant in the room, which because it's pretending to be #twitter is very much a lowest common denominator.

Should we just go ahead and do it anyway, or should users of more compositionally capable #fediverse software limit ourselves to what we know is going to render sensibly on #mastodon and its various clones?
I think you need to make that decision based on the participants on your server. Just remember that there may be formatting & other issues that mean that others of us who aren't on your instance will not be able to see. Because of this, interactions may be limited.
mostly I think it’d be good to push it, to get people to appreciate fediverse is more than just Mstdn, and help nudge new client apps in right direction too. But nothing too ridiculous, to keep it as open as possible


State of the fediverse

Some federation statistics from my #Friendica server. #Mastodon is by far and away the biggest software platform we're federating with, but interestingly, Friendica is now number 2. I'm sure it was nothing like that last week:

Platform Instances
Mastodon5309
Friendica170
Hometown114
Akkoma21
Pleroma18
Lemmy17
GoToSocial10
Pixelfed7
Misskey6
Honk2
SocialHome2
Peertube1
WordPress1
WriteFreely1
other30


Looks like Friendica is getting some of the recognition it deserves!
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)
Wow, tables really don't render on Mastodon, do they?
Apologies, Mastodoners. It was supposed to look like this:
A neat table showing the data in the original post.
Huh, didn't know until just now you can do tables in #Friendica. Cool.

Mastodon126857948918
WordPress1614105462
Pleroma1506101668
Peertube1258338949
WriteFreely64263401
GoToSocial611620
Misskey54156538
Friendica47824794
Pixelfed468127348
Akkoma45411166
Microblog342342
Other251175476
Owncast203203
Hubzilla/Red Matrix1986934
Funkwhale1659818
Hometown15510858
ActivityPub Relay146147
Mobilizon12314666
Diaspora120742855
BirdsiteLIVE10777709
Castopod106210
Honk8285
Lemmy8035484
BookWyrm7612014
Plume6023790
GNU Social/Statusnet492753
Nextcloud4948
Foundkey331839
Calckey251334
Gancio25402
Nomad projects (Mistpark, Osada, Roadhouse, Zap)14400
SocialHome51468
Write.as33

Μαθθίας/ξ ✔ reshared this.

@Lorraine Lee @Sarah Brown Unfortunately, another beautiful thing that Mastodon portrays terribly
View of this post from Mastodon - table as continuous text without spaces
You're not on Friendica though...

Sarah Brown reshared this.


There is no system of ethics that would support policy choices where the 1% at Davos are protected from a virus by simple and affordable technologies like open windows, HEPA filters, and room cleansing UV lights and first graders in your town's elementary school are not.

Sarah Brown reshared this.


Sarah reshared this.


Thanks to Herculean effort from @Zoe O'Connell, our little #friendica server has dealt with the backlog of my post about GRA reform going viral (Friendica is REALLY bad at that) and then the cheap PoS SSD I bought failing half way through.

The offending piece of crap is pictured after I disassembled it. Even when working it was only as fast as an SD card. Truly dreadful.

Anyway, the friendica server is temporarily running in a data centre in Madrid (apparently it’s that easy to move Docker containers), but because the URL is fixed for all time when you create a server, the little Pi is sitting there acting as a concierge for that VPS and sending all data to it via an SSH tunnel. String and sellotape, whatever.

I have bought it a shiny proper branded SSD from Samsung that goes like shit off a Teflon coated shovel and we will likely be migrating it back this weekend.

Lesson learned: you CAN host a personal instance on an RPi on your home network, but please, for the love of god, do not buy the cheapest piece of shit SSD you can find. You will regret it if you do. The world’s cheapest SSD. A pair of unbranded flash chips that are probably powered by ants or something. They are very very slow and very very crashy. The entire price is the unit is probably markup and shipping, and the USB cable it came with.
This entry was edited (2 weeks ago)
zoe@friendica:~$ sudo du -sh mysql nginx friendica
865M	mysql
160K	nginx
155M	friendica
zoe@friendica:~$ docker image ls
REPOSITORY                 TAG         IMAGE ID     CREATED      SIZE
friendica                  latest      7e3551926c66 43 hours ago 652MB
yobasystems/alpine-mariadb latest      0e44a1aef456 6 weeks ago  238MB
nginx                      1.15-alpine dd025cdfe837 3 years ago  16.1MB
zoe@friendica:~$ 


I'm guessing for anyone on Mastodon that looks hopelessly mangled but should make some sense on Friendica. Also, I have no idea why I pulled such an old Nginx image. I should fix that.
Oh, they’re tiny! Up for migrating back tonight, or wanna leave it a bit?
I need to prep for a mooting competition tonight. Saturday evening is the next time I have some free time...
No hurry. Only if you feel like it. How long do we have on the Madrid VPS?
Depends how long I'm willing to pay for it. (Turns out I couldn't use the free tier, I think I must have already used it up)

Yesterday cost me the grand total of £1.21. That'll go down because I'll bump the size down later on now it's caught up.
OK. All I need to do from this end is clone the SD card onto the new SSD, and then resize the filesystem. Let me know when and I'm all yours.

In fact, if you're willing to redo your iptables magic, I can do it now
The existing SD card knows nothing about Friendica or anything else, including permanent iptables rules. All it's had is a sudo apt-get install tshark for some initial troubleshooting.

Might as well put a fresh install on the new SSD if you have a spare Pi.
But then I have to go delete shit in my .ssh/known_hosts files AGAIN
It's literally faster for me to clone the card
Don't knock gaffer tape solutions. They're holding the best parts of the internet together.


Hi! Had lots of follow requests on the back of my post about my work in Stonewall back in the day.

What I'm finding is that Friendica does not cope well with lots of followers in the same way Mastodon does, so I'm going to be limited in the follow requests I accept here.

But I will retoot interesting stuff on my Mastodon account: @Sarah, I promise!

Sarah reshared this.


A little story.

In 2014, the UK charity, Stonewall, had a new CEO: Ruth Hunt.

Ruth wanted to make Stonewall trans inclusive. Up until that point it hadn’t been. Part of that effort was to recruit an advisory group from the UK trans community.

I was on that group. I ended up as its vice chair.

We spent the next year and a bit creating a document called “A Vision For Change”, which detailed what we thought the areas that trans equality campaigning should focus on in Britain.

Then the Brexit referendum happened and Cameron ragequit. Theresa May came in and it was apparent there was very little government apetite for the stuff we wanted.

But May, who was there when the same Sex marriage bill went through under the earlier coalition government had had something of a damascene conversion to LGBT rights issues. Stranger things have happened (but not many!)

So she wanted something from our list that was quick, easy, and uncontroversial. Obviously we were disappointed, but she was presented with bringing Britain’s antiquated Gender Recognition Act up to date, and in line with other European countries, as something simple. We honestly thought it was. It’s an administrative change of very little significant consequence, and actually no significance at all outside the trans community.

And it would have been simple, had an eclectic collection of unpleasant, obsessive arseholes with privileged access to the UK press not decided to start a culture war over trans people at that exact moment.

A culture war which, at least in England, they basically won. In part, this war was why I emigrated to Portugal.

Here we are, seven years later, and the result of Scotland finally wanting to implement a watered down version of the “easy win” we presented to Theresa May is apparently that the current prime minister, Rishi Sunak, is willing to end the Union between England and Scotland over it.

So that’s my story. I am part of a small, elite cabal of LGBT people who wrote a document that is poised to destroy the last vestiges of the British Empire.

Go me! If there are any other governments you want destabilising, my bank details are available on request. I provide reasonable rates.