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FOSS Academic

FOSS Finds

I recently announced my new book project, focusing on ethical FOSS social media, and I’m trying an experiment in writing it openly. That’s Goal 2 of this blog (Goal 1 being discussions of my actually using FOSS to complete this task). To that end, I’ve decided to share items I’ve found as I do my research.

I’m calling it FOSS Finds, because alliteration.

A cartoon penguin doing an impression of Sherlock Holmes

These are typically going to be websites, blogposts, podcasts, or academic research. They may or may not be very recent. I plan on including a citation (exported, of course, from Zotero) and a brief note about each, a la an annotated bibliography, and versions of my Zotero tags. The notes won’t be exhaustive – it’s really about what I’m collecting at this stage, rather than analysis.

Broadcasting, Jupiter. n.d. “Saving Podcasting from Centralization.” Linux Unplugged. Accessed January 11, 2022.

In this 9 January 2022 podcast episode, Chris Fisher interviews Dave Jones of Podcastingindex.org. They discuss the threats of centralization happening to podcasting, not only from existing corporations such as Apple or Spotify but also Alphabet (by way of Youtube). Jones talks at length of updates to RSS that provide independent podcasters with features, such as soundbytes, transcripts, and payments. Jones talks at length about using blockchains for push notifications and for payments to independent podcasters.

Tags: alternative cultural industries; political economy; non-centralization

Balkan, Aral. 2020. “What Is the Small Web?” Aral Balkan. August 7, 2020.

In this blog post, Balkan uses an interesting metaphor: we are renting space on the corporate servers of Facebook et al. We pay our rent with our attention, privacy, and data. In contrast, we can and should own our own servers, much as we would our own homes. But unlike home ownership, running a server should be as easy as renting. This is thus an abstract for a design of self-hosting software.

Tags: identity; political economy; scale

Linux Lounge. 2021. The Story of Xenia - Linux’s Forgotten Mascot!

In the 1990s, an artist was unhappy with Tux being the Linux mascot and designed a fox named Xenia. 20 years later, someone rediscovers Xenia and draws her as a girl. The original artist noted Xenia was initially a boy, but that the transition makes sense in the light of trans Linux users. Xenia thus becomes not just a Linux mascot, but a trans rights in tech mascot.

Tags: identity; Linux; Xenia (Linux Mascot)

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