Open Collective
Open Collective
SSBC Newsletter #16 (The Finnish edition)
Published on September 16, 2020 by Alexander Cobleigh

SSBC Newsletter, August 2020 Edition

Hi-ho butts, and friends, and extended internet-family!

I hope you, yes you, are doing okay despite the turbulent times. This edition of the newsletter has been somewhat more delayed than usual. It is for a quite good reason, I promise. Ah, you are skeptical? Well, let me end this little soapbox paragraph that I have alloted myself with the following image, and then refer you to reading the rest of the newsletter in order to find its source:

Four Nights in Tornio teaser image


➫ Berlin-based Mushroom Collective

Redlighted shot of the mushroom cultivation space in Berlin

notplants started a mushroom cultivation collective in Berlin [1], which looks very intriguing. I enjoyed reading the thread, hearing about their goals and challenges in the project.

➫ The Oak Lover has logged on

One of my never-ending, yet inconstant, joys of ssb is the topics and people that pop up in the community in general, but particularly in the #new-people channel. This month, Surili4theOaks popped in [2] to introduce themselves to the community. The welcoming thread is lovely, but I also wanted to give an extra highlight to the unexpected and well-written intro to dialectics [3] which somehow naturally occured in the course of the thread!!

An excerpt (by Surili):

but [dialectics is] basically about how you can’t understand a thing without know[ing] how the thing relates to other things and the systems that govern them

➫ SSB Post Summary

Romeo (w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶f̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶ ̶r̶o̶m̶e̶o̶ sorrysorrysorry) took it upon himself to start a new ssb identity [4], which (currently) posts roughly once a week with one line summaries of interesting posts. Give the feed a look, yeah?

➫ Show your coffee

Steaming coffee being poured into a red receptacle, through a reusable cloth filter

Continuing the recently started tradition of sharing your beverage of choice in the #showmeyourcoffee channel, Luandro shared his coffee making process, including a picture of his future source of coffee beans (an immature coffee tree!) [5]

➫ Announcement of the European Scuttlebutt Collective (ESC)

The European Scuttlebutt Collective (ESC) was finally and officially announced! The ESC is a group of people in Europe (Swiss & Brits and other people residing in Europe are warmly welcome, of course), dedicated to improving the Secure Scuttlebutt Protocol and ecosystem. See the announcement post [6] for more information, or the collective's website.

➫ Extrasolar Symposium

An original hoodownr sketch of Hendrik Peter's talk during Extrasolar, with a dash of Teemu on the (right-hand) side

Last but absolutely not least, the Extrasolar SSB meetup & speaker symposium happened! Initially described as "a magical, family style affair" it was that, and so much more. Extrasolar was the first physical ssb event to happen since the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic began.

Four Nights In Tornio (i'm an article link; click to read)

Sneakpeek of the Four Nights in Tornio hypertext writeup

After you have read the remainder of this newsletter, I humbly recommend a special edition telling of the story of the meetup (link above), from the perspective of one of its participants (by whom, you wonder? why, the editor-du-jour, of course). There are quite a few images in it from that magical weekend in northern Finland.

If you want more than is contained in the Four Nights In Tornio-writeup, check out the impromptu Extrasolar reflection thread [7], or the #extrasolar channel. As an example, Hendrik Peter took some GORGEOUS drone shots of Tornio during his stay in this post [8].

Tornio from the sky. Drone photography by Hendrik Peter

➫ SSB Reading Circle: Twitter and Teargas

Murilo Polese and aadil started a reading circle on the book "Twitter and Teargas" by Zeynep Tufekci. If this sounds like your jam: check out the gathering [9].

🔗 Community Links

  • [1]: %zjnbNxftfceJm1IhH76JZgJyr1EgLCSDJSTlc6uc1dU=.sha256 berlin mushroom collective
  • [2]: %4cfR8QnKudfoBIkxh382L8AqgiFouZPbZf1DXWn4BeE=.sha256 Surili's intro post
  • [3]: %pKogC/V3hzla/hopZslNBASDDtRsaVFUd8y2X5ZwNzc=.sha256 dialectics 101
  • [4]: @kElj8VIc4r1uGAJMAbKjBvvfiakUc1k7/Dl2R94BVmA=.ed25519 post summary acc
  • [5]: %6bPS5M+X33Mq0IAK4gVz8OZ6oVgpXxW/3degwxYEw1M=.sha256 luandro's coffee process
  • [6]: %wBWXSq/+C0/iK7UCfpQH53KGdVngTkqWzebeb6dEi2Q=.sha256 european scuttlebutt collective
  • [7]: %x2ckqyft7IheSyS68FoIQPwvVNWlYdiCk0uYgDTk+zs=.sha256 extrasolar reflection thread
  • [8]: %kuKvYR+RAUs83zjmu78bniFgADIMGkdDJQKkX1DpaVs=.sha256 tornio drone shots
  • [9]: %IzNZ8yCCvAK1dWSgGB/ZuQgM1rRV9IXm5wjNdueCwFk=.sha256 ssb reading circle


➫ ESC lands 200k for protocol development

NGI pointer logo

Related to the European Scuttlebutt Collective, the collective's first grant application just landed, which means 200k euros for protocol development! The successful grant application has its roots in the Next Generation Internet: Pointer, a grant dedicated to forwarding new developments of internet infrastructure. The grant application was spearheaded by Zenna. The working group that made it happen, and whom will be working on it, are (cue heist montage zoom-cuts)

  • Zenna (as the coordinator),
  • Anders (as the technical manager),
  • Cryptix (as the lead developer), and
  • Andre (as the fullstack developer).

Also involved are: Keks (as security advisor), as well as Erick (one of our previous newsletter editors!), Aljoscha, and Christian Tschudin (as academic advisors).

You can read more in [10].

➫ Transparent Financials: Manyverse edition

Green-blue graph showing distribution of money in Manyverse

Andre opens up Manyverse's financials on a public webpage with pretty graphs~ [11]

🔗 Finances Links

  • [10]: %vDDLfTmoUqJ+9hhw9Um7oYxTlRPczEwVcsYBUuRuWBc=.sha256 grant announcement
  • [11]: %aeidjLGZVMYnihGuiqtNcTEA7QSaXSE2HPag/LMvIpI=.sha256 manyverse financials


➫ Bay of Plenty

regular's Bay of Plenty had an update [12] after a length silence. What is Bay of Plenty? Well:

"Bay of Plenty (BoP) aims to be for the Scuttleverse what a browser is for the web: A single desktop application that can download and then run multiple applications in tabs in parallel, optionally using different user profiles or Identities. In this comparison, I consider websites to be networked-deployed applications. This does not only include social applications but also things like calendars, password managers, photo organizers, collections of recipes, financial applications"

You can follow the project in the #bay-of-plenty channel using your SSB client of choice.

➫ Patchfox

Sketch of the More Info feature, see the bottom, in Patchfox

Patchfox had a new release! It is an incremental patch, the goal being the More Info feature. More Info will allow patchfoxes to (privately) attach arbitrary information to ssb profiles, their own and others. It is similar to what you might be able to do in your smartphone's contact book. Read more about SoapDog's plans in [13] and [14].

➫ Manyverse

Manyverse had a new release, notably adding playing of audio posts! [15]

Manyverse also had a new ux dev, Wouter Moraal, join the project on a part-time basis! [16]

➫ Feedless

Feedless, the forum-like & twitter-inspired client which was started earlier this year, joined the merry band of clients publishing updates, and thus also had a new release! The release notes contains patches for both the iOS and the web version. [17]

➫ A new maintenance effort kicks off

"SSBC and its future" [18] ia a proposal by Christian Bundy in which a new maintenance effort for the javascript stack was announced under the name of ssb-js. The ssb-js effort is defined as a healthy commons of dependable JavaScript applications and libraries. Read more in the post or in the maintainer document.

(They have been quietly productive since the announcement; encouraging!)

➫ A list of good & hard problems for improving SSB

After one of the European Scuttlebutt Collective's online calls, arj took up the mantle of outlining hard & good problems which would bring ssb forward. Read the tasklist online.

➫ SSB Observables (gossiped key-value databases ontop of SSB)

arj also announced a new concept called ssb observables [19] which are, essentially, a kind of gossiped key-value store drawing inspiration from ssb's current binary blobs subsystem. The idea is that an observable would be useful for things which continually change, such as the latest nickname of a butt (ssb user). Importantly, arj posits that this could be a building block upon which to bring partial replication to ssb, resulting in way shorter onboarding times, smaller databases, and more ephemerality.

➫ Private groups and envelope reach 1.0.0

The SSB Private Group and Envelope specifications have reached 1.0.0! This means the specs have been thought-through very carefully, and the people behind it have confidence that they can be implemented across many programming languages.

The envelope spec outlines how to encrypt messages to large groups of people, while the private groups spec specifies how to create large private groups ontop of the envelope spec's encrypted messages. The private groups spec allows for people to be added after the group has been created; this basically unlocks the ability for hidden scuttlespheres inside the larger scuttleverse, allowing subcultures and niches to blossom while keeping their contents private. More on that by Mix in [20].

Screenshot of ahau, showing mix's whakapapa records

Relatedly, the private groups implementation effort keeps trucking forward [21]. The javascript implementation of the private groups specificiation is encapsulated in the ssb-tribes module. The current driver of the ssb-tribes work is Ahau, an ssb-based app for preserving the Whakapapa, or the stories, places, and knowledge of the genealogy of Māori people.

🔗 Technical Links

  • [12]: %Eh5hKCK8lwT4tDti/tPpo9cOnkG75fXoOTmexXRb3fM=.sha256 bay of plenty
  • [13]: %UbK6ZACB6uFJU0+JDHtnvPW1mV2c2QAq3dXYnKkmcFg=.sha256 the more info feature
  • [14]: %7ty7OEHAMG8SSub4EePF8Lfq0lzj4f9lqKQAZkszjcA=.sha256 patchfox release notes
  • [15]: %R9xO6YW+xwyL5n9c2NtOJvdVCyxBUJceLk1t91v4c2w=.sha256 manyverse release notes
  • [16]: %ORj1StIT9TQebOuaQV9NwKDbp1hvQysZFeZ7yFe1pXg=.sha256 wouter says hi
  • [17]: %ni5RidSJsZGwLcAyInScGHRf+udZdBxkuL1ZyM1Yuk4=.sha256 feedless release notes
  • [18]: %7825cJNlgYXz1zHeqSEdrMAiWE/bXP0fg6MzN4ujACw=.sha256 ssb-js announcement
  • [19]: %Z3xS6WmnIVjwwynBOkdz3azct/2Es/DvgrMfNEAPUis=.sha256 ssb observables
  • [20]: %CMHr/h6SpMFHq1V5PpgGlJPmmPyS2kxeTOk0BNo4Hrk=.sha256 private groups + envelope specs @ 1.0.0
  • [21]: %5xNwUbPK5d+rGjv52KwL386jUS6YGJW+pCenbrN4j0k=.sha256 ssb-tribes

Closing off

Alright!! It feels nice to finally share both the newsletter and my wannabe gonzo journalism writeup. Hope you have had a lovely time reading.

As always, you can contribute financially to the Secure Scuttlebutt Consortium. With more recurrent contributions, it is easier for the community to plan and sustain a variety of projects, one-off expenses, and lovely butts (again: ssb users!!).


cblgh, signing off for now