The WordPress ActivityPub plugin by Matthias Pfefferle has been updated. It now allows you to @mention ActivityPub users and they will be notified of the mention in your blogpost, through ActivityPub.

This is useful. Yet, I’m holding out on using the plugin myself until three things are possible:

  • Set the user name of the ActivityPub account: Now the username is the login name of the user doing the posting. I recognise using WP user names is a straightforward way of turning WP into an ActivityPub client, and prevents having to add addditional stuff to the database. As I use non-obvious user names for additional website security, having those exposed as ActivityPub users is undesirable however.
  • Refuse follow requests: currently the plugin allows follows, and defaults to accepting all follows. As on my separate AP account I want to decide personally on follow requests.
  • Determine flexibly which postings get shared through ActivityPub, and through which ActivityPub user account. The current set-up is that all postings get shared through ActivityPub. I’d rather be able to determine not just on a post by post basis what gets shared but also to have specific categories of postings to be shared through a specific account.

I want to actively use the affordances ActivityPub allows on top of those WordPress as blogging tool provides. For me that is the ability to use the different activity types that AP can support, and to use dealing with followers and follows to selectively disclose content to different groups of people.

My current usecase for this is to have a separate AP account that shares my travel plans (posted in an unlisted category on my site) with accepted followers. The first part requires selectively sharing a category of postings, the second part doing so to a group of accepted followers on an AP account that is meant for just this type of postings and not my general AP account.

The plugin will develop in this direction, but is not there yet. I am slowly going through the code of the plugin myself to understand its architecture and choices. Perhaps it will give me an idea either on how to build on its core to create the functionality locally I want for myself, or maybe (though my coding skills are likely not adequate for it) add to the plugin itself.

We have a wide range of Hue lights in our home. They’re programmable for different times of day and settings.
The default behaviour is that after having been without power they light up bright and white.
This is true when you toggle the physical wall switch, but also after a power outage.

When we leave home for a longer time we use the physical switches to power off all lights.
Power outages during the night however mean all the lights in the house come on. And power outages are now occurring a few times a year as the networks are apparantly struggling with the load balancing required for distributed electricity generation. As happened last night. E noticed, I slept through it all, and switched everything off again.

An online search revealed it is possible to change the behaviour of the Hue lights when power comes back on. However because this default behaviour is stored on the lightbulb you have to set it for all Hue bulbs separately. In the Hue app in Settings, go to Lights where you’ll find all the bulbs listed. Go to each one and set Power On to ‘power loss recovery’. That way the lights will return to the setting (on or off) they had when the power went off. (The other options are the default full brightness, the last lighting setting getting switched on, or a custom setting getting switched on)


Dinner during a power outage last December

I read daily, and browse bookstores often. At times you pick up a book in a store, or come across it online, look at it and think that it might be interesting, only to conclude it isn’t and leave it. Until you encounter it a next time, and think it interesting and again conclude it isn’t. Some of those might be interesting at a different point in time when my own interests have shifted to align with it better.

Others I’d better not read because they’re badly written, or there’s strong indications the content doesn’t live up to its backflap pitch. Better to spend my reading time on a different book.

For that group I want to break out of the repeated ‘oh this might be interesting…..oh it’s not’ cycle. I already keep notes about books I haven’t bought yet but might. It’s a sort of preselection stage before both my current reading stack and my anti-library. I now added a Won’t Read List, for books I haven’t bought for which I want to ensure my future self also won’t. You might say it’s type of critical ignoring. I do positive curation in my notes, but now adding negative curation too for those books I repeatedly encountered and rejected.

Through my feeds I follow the book notes and recommendations of other bloggers, and have found some fun and great books through them. For their negative recommendations I never had a use before, but now there’s a way to curate those for myself too.

The inaugural version of my personal ‘Won’t read list’ has two books. Maybe I’ll add it to the OPML book lists I share online.

This looks like a very welcome development: The European Commission (EC) is to ask for status updates of all international GDPR cases with all the Member State Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) every other month. This in response to a formal complaint by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties starting in 2021 about the footdragging of the Irish DPA in their investigations of BigTech cases (which mostly have their EU activities domiciled in Ireland).

The GDPR, the EU’s data protection regulation, has been in force since mid 2018. Since then many cases have been progressing extremely slowly. To a large extent because it seems that Ireland’s DPA has been the subject of regulatory capture by BigTech, up to the point where it is defying direct instructions by the EU data protection board and taking an outside position relative to all other European DPA’s.

With bi-monthly status updates of ongoing specific cases from now being requested by the EC of each Member State, this is a step up from the multi-year self-reporting by MS that usually is done to determine potential infringements. This should have an impact on the consistency with which the GDPR gets applied, and above all on ensuring cases are being resolved at adequate speed. The glacial pace of bigger cases risks eroding confidence in the GDPR especially if smaller cases do get dealt with (the local butcher getting fined for sloppy marketing, while Facebook makes billions of person-targeted ads without people’s consent).

So kudos to ICCL for filing the complaint and working with the EU Ombudsman on this, and to the EC for taking it as an opportunity to much more closely monitor GDPR enforcement.

Een paar weken geleden had ik een gesprek van een uur met Bart Ensink van Little Rocket over mijn werk en mijn bedrijf The Green Land. Dat gesprek is als zesde aflevering van de Datadriftig podcast nu te beluisteren. We ‘kwamen elkaar tegen’ in de interactie op een draadje op Mastodon in december. Little Rocket is een ebusiness bedrijf en maakt voor hun zakelijke klanten data bruikbaarder. Het is gevestigd in Enschede, dus bracht ik een bezoek aan de stad waar ik tot 6 jaar geleden woonde, en dook Enschede en de Universiteit Twente vaker op in het gesprek.

In reply to Naming things by Sebastiaan Andeweg

Ha! Begin jaren negentig noemden we de mail en maillist server bij mijn studievereniging Bettie. Genoemd naar de band Bettie serveert. Heb je iets om te delen? Stuur maar naar Bettie. Bettie serveert de mail.

Ik ken ook wel teams die hun softwareprojecten willekeurige namen geven. Maakt het mogelijk er over te praten zonder meteen publiek te maken wat iets is of moet gaan doen.

…in mijn hoofd heb ik nu een service genaamd Truus die de orders aanmaakt. De e-mail? ‘O ja, die stuurt Truus.’

Sebastiaan Andeweg