I was reminded of the Detect Missing Ad-blocker WordPress plugin made by Stefan Bohacek.

I hate intrusive advertising on the web. I always install ad blockers to manage my own experience but I often forget that many of my friends and family are oblivious and see ads as a routine annoyance. Presumably they assume it's an inevitable part of modern life. And they don't even see the adjacent class of content, the invisible, nefarious, mass surveillance and tracking.

Could I do something to help my friends and family? Presumably these people are likely to share my values.

Why, yes, I could!


Privacy is over-rated. It's not unimportant, but what I mean is privacy is an over-used trigger word, easy to mention, but it (the lack of it) is not one of the main harms of big tech. The main harms of big tech are more subtle, to do with opportunity cost, diverting the direction in which societal tools are built, towards capitalism investment value return, away from the shapes of technology that would be in society's best interests and values. Wish we had a word to express that. Oh, we do, thank you Cory Doctorow. Enshittification.

#enshittification #bigTech


These are some of the talks I'm most interested in, at FOSDEM '23.

I won't be there in person, I'll be watching some from home and in the matrix.

By Tracks or Dev Rooms | Times are UTC+1

Special Extras

Main Tracks (Janson, K Building)

There are a lot of good main track talks.

And one of the Keynotes I'd like to call out:


Great news: someone at the EU understands that public services must not foist Big Tech on their citizens.

F-Droid.org tooted the news yesterday: “EU Pilot project — De-monopolized access to EU applications”

What does this mean and why is it important?

I recently framed a take on this issue as “FOSS Apps Live In FOSS App Stores”. Free (Libre) Open Source Software apps should be distributed in such a way as to be available to everyone, not only to Apple's and Google's users.


Don't lock a FOSS Android app in Google's proprietary store!

Many of us are looking to FOSS solutions in order to keep our digital lives under our own control. We don't accept that any Big Tech company should hold the keys to a vast swathe of our digital life.