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Some of you may already have seen solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2018 . It is a re-design of Low-Tech Magazine that I did together with Marie Otsuka and Lauren Campbell. After a few months of working on it I'm happy its out in public, survived the attention and creating discussions!

and its double plus good that it was on the fediverse that the news broke :)

For those of you interested I'll present some experiences and findings about the project during Radical Networks: radicalnetworks.org/

Held between october 19 and 21 in Berlin. Really interesting yearly conference on alternatives network topologies such as and , protocols new and old, meaningful understandings of politics, weird prototypes etc etc organised by @chootka

@raphaelbastide for example will present a based around the protocol!

I've also published a technical and contextualization on homebrewserver.club/low-tech-w

It is mostly about the theme and the web . The hardware will be the subject of another article!

@rra great ! I knew the website long before but this redesign is perfect for the purpose ! congrat !

@rra Don't know if you seen it, but there has been some discussion about it there [1]. PM me if you need an invite ;)

[1] https://lobste.rs/s/9v0ioj/how_build_low_tech_website

@Ninjatrappeur its hard to keep up with these discussion threads but there are some interesting comments there! I wouldn't mind an invite. By the way, in case you are active in the discussion at lobsters, I've made a lengthy response over on grid powered lowtech magazine adressing most questions : lowtechmagazine.com/2018/09/ho

@rra Totally agree with you regarding redundancy. It does not really make sense in a context where energy becomes a scarce resource.

To me, it seems HTTP is a pretty terrible protocol if we assume we can't provide a 100% uptime. I've been trying out some post-internet compatible communication protocols lately.

I think we should design such things to still be able to communicate in a global scale, even if internet becomes too energy expensive to maintain.

Interoperability will be really tricky to reach after (if?) the internet goes down.

Secure Scuttlebutt seems pretty interesting: it lets you synchronize with the network in a disconnected manner. It is compatible with small mesh networks and/or cuban pakete-style cold transfers.

It is still a pretty recent project and has some shortcomings:

- you can't have any kind of forward secrecy when using private messages.
- you can't use multiple devices for a same identity.
- the current implementation are a performance hog (electron-based...)

However, the community is pretty active and works toward fixing those shortcomings.

Have you tested it?

I just sent you a lobsters invite to the mail you used to respond to my feedback.

@sifr
@rra @sifr Oh yeah, I forgot, you made the right choice regarding the dithering, it looks really nice!
@Ninjatrappeur @rra @sifr TBF there's a client called patchfoo that's a static web interface for SSB. It's their version of brutaldon...

Also the patchfoo developer has made a extension for dillo to understand the gopher protocol. That kind of nice person :)

@Ninjatrappeur @rra @sifr sorry for jumping in:
SSB is a protocol. Only some clients are Electron based.
What is really a PITA is that you cannot ever delete anything and you have to download full history of a user because it is a hecking blockchain-like structure.

@charlag @sifr @rra @Ninjatrappeur

Actually you don't have to download the whole history, clients may jump in at any point in time. It's not that you need to verify every post a user ever made. All posts are signed by the author's priv key so they can be validated individually.
@ckeen @charlag @sifr @rra

This is precisely what makes me hopeful about ssb.

I have a related noob question though: is there any kind of distributed system being able to both assert consistency and providing a way to permanently delete a sent information?
@Ninjatrappeur @charlag @sifr @rra How can you permanently delete a postcard you have sent out to a friend with the hope that it gets spread to your friends?

Technically impossible. You could choose an encryption scheme and 'lose' the key afterwards, but your (ex)friends will have access nonetheless.

@ckeen @sifr @rra @Ninjatrappeur hm, pardon me if I wrong then. I Rennes that the client I uses did that and I made wrong assumptions

@hhardy01 Apparently not, I though it was a transfer protocol. Do you have any good ressource on it? The wikipedia page is quite empty.

@Ninjatrappeur

The point is, uucp and the associated protocols are very good for intermittent connections.

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9781565921535.do

@rra Are you someone we can ask technical questions about the project, and if so do you mind if I do? :)

@rra What I'd love to see is some idea of how much the current draw from the hardware you use for the site device varies over time.

I was curious if we could use a similar technique (in my region, the wind is often above 10mph so we might consider homemade microturbines as well as solar) for running a custom, minimal ActivityPub server, so that people could have a purely off-grid mastodon instance.

@rra I'm trying to work out what a slightly more sophisticated processor load would look like in this case.

Hi @endomain I've written some technical documentation about the project over at homebrewserver.club/low-tech-w

The power statistics of the server are actually published here: solar.lowtechmagazine.com/api/

From what I've experienced running in hosting the post.lurk.org mastodon instance, you'd need a much beefier machine and probably would also need to attach an external hard drive. Pleroma is actually designed to be run from RaspberryPi-like machine so perhaps you'd like to start there?

@rra Thank you! I'm reading this now.

As for the available power; I'm woking on writing an ActivityPub implementation compatible with Mastodon's rules that does not have any interface and uses tricks I know in my capacity as a distributed systems engineer to reduce I/O loads.

I only just learned of Solid, but it's in a similar design where your workstation terminal would provide the UX independently.

@rra It also occurs to me that with a very small javascript library, you could let client browsers opt into become rich clients for your site via Service Workers and the Cache library (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Cache).

Most modern web browsers support Cache & SW, and they represent a considerable power savings in mobile contexts for clients. I had never considered it before, but I suppose it'll amortize the cost of sending the JS and result in server power savings quickly.

@rra
A few people I've seen say this was not necessarily more ecological than a traditional shared server. I was wondering if you could with your setup keep a few extra websites with that too in order to maximise its footprint.

@Niquarl This could very well be the case as there are economies of scale can to higher efficiency. In our case during the biggest surge of traffic our server was only at 30% capacity all the time. This means we could have shared the hardware with two other similarly designed popular websites..

However, for the project low-energy use was not the only goal. We also wanted to show how you could do this without the cloud, where hardware and material conditions are abstracted. How you could do it with a DIY solar setup etc..

It is like with the dithered images, it works for us and the design of our page. It might be less applicable to others. The same principles can be applied different in other use cases though.

@rra @chootka @raphaelbastide Hey! Radical networks sounds like a good place to hear and talk about ways we can use these tech for communities in the third world. Be sure to share the vids so we can catch up all the way from the Pacific. Hahaha. Remind the organizers you have a viewer/s here.

@gladys @rra Hi Gladys, we will have a live stream available during the conference.

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