FOSS dev, self-hosting fan, Matrix, degoogling, small tech, indie tech, friendly tech for families and schools. Let's own our own identity & data.

Open letter, initially published by the petites singularités association, in French. Translation by OW2.

The European Union must keep funding free software

Since 2020, Next Generation Internet (NGI) programmes, part of European Commission's Horizon programme, fund free software in Europe using a cascade funding mechanism (see for example NLnet's calls). This year, according to the Horizon Europe working draft detailing funding programmes for 2025, we notice that Next Generation Internet is not mentioned any more as part of Cluster 4.

NGI programmes have shown their strength and importance to support the European software infrastructure, as a generic funding instrument to fund digital commons and ensure their long-term sustainability. We find this transformation incomprehensible, moreover when NGI has proven efficient and economical to support free software as a whole, from the smallest to the most established initiatives. This ecosystem diversity backs the strength of European technological innovation, and maintaining the NGI initiative to provide structural support to software projects at the heart of worldwide innovation is key to enforce the sovereignty of a European infrastructure. Contrary to common perception, technical innovations often originate from European rather than North American programming communities, and are mostly initiated by small-scaled organizations.

Previous Cluster 4 allocated 27 millions euros to:


I recently learned something new about those tweety birds we hear in the tall trees all along our school run, cycling or walking past the golf course. Near the school end, lots of coal tits, a name with which I was barely familiar. Near our end, lots of wrens. I had an idea that wrens were rare and secretive and tiny, so it had not occurred to me they were responsible for that noisy cheerful chatter. Perhaps it's hard to spot one but they're loudly singing.

These I learnt last week helped by an app named “whoBIRD” which, as you may guess, listens for bird calls and displays the most likely matches. It's delightful to identify real birds, and surprisingly successful if they're not too far away.


Let's take charge of another part of our digital life! Must we be beholden to Google for delivering our push notifications? No! No longer! With apps that support UnifiedPush neither Google nor the app makers get to determine where our data goes and who gets to monitor it. We get the control, the freedom to choose.

To me this feels like a breath of fresh air!

You might find your way here while installing an app that uses UnifiedPush. Let's see how to make sure the notifications work properly.


This article is about one particular step of the procedure for “flashing” a new android-compatible operating system onto a Samsung device to create a Freedom-Respecting Smart Phone or Tablet.


This is about flashing a custom operating system ROM in a Samsung Android device using the tool named Heimdall.

We may encounter a failure mode in which heimdall detect succeeds but heimdall flash and heimdall print-pit both fail, printing this:


This is about buying a Samsung Android tablet and replacing the privacy-invading proprietary Google and Samsung software with privacy-respecting Freedom Software: “degoogling” for short.

Why? In “The Problem” section below, we take a look back at how much we're giving up when we accept Google's and Samsung's terms.

I would like ordinary people, with a little technical skill, to be able to do this. The process unfortunately is currently far too difficult, especially so on Samsung devices.

My goals:

  • Install a privacy-preserving freedom-software operating system on my tablet
  • Make it easier for others to do the same

The cap leaks, from new, so unsuitable for carrying in a school bag. Now the bottom is cracked and leaking too, as soon as dropped from ~1m carrying heigh on its first morning going to school. Pointless.


The PineTime (open-source hardware and software) smart watch strap fits with a 20 mm pin connector, which is a common standard fitting. However, not all 20 mm straps fit, because of the shape of the housing around it.

I bought a cheap silicone 20mm watch strap. Its ends were 20mm wide but too fat to fit in the PineTime. I sliced off some silicone with a sharp craft knife. Now it fits. Not perfectly beautiful but unobtrusive and neat enough.

2024-04-19-10-28-12-585.jpg 2024-04-19-10-41-51-126.jpg 2024-04-19-10-56-59-742.jpg

#PineTime #openHardware


Completing This Phase

This is the last week of my funding on Moderator Tools for PubHubs. It has been a pleasure working with the PubHubs team. The time seems to go quickly.

Over the last few weeks I have been documenting everything about the Moderator Tools for PubHubs project on my dedicated web site, https://www.ph.trax.im/.

To summarise, these are the main work areas in this project, linking to their web site sections:

  1. Civilised Discourse

    • Researching best practices to inform the longer term design of PubHubs moderation facilities.
  2. Disclosure of Identity Attributes

    • Building a moderation tool specific to PubHubs' special features.
  3. Draupnir for PubHubs

    • Adapting the best existing moderation tool from the regular Matrix ecosystem (Draupnir), evaluating and extending it.

An idea for explaining Matrix: it's hi-fi separates vs. a mini-hi-fi.