Hello and welcome friends of the Wider Web!
As complex and dangerous as Earth was this week, the people in our community somehow put one foot in front of the other on the path towards the Wider Web and Agreement Bedrock. Insights were made. Software was released. Experiences were shared. I’m grateful for each of you and for our collective effort to build a strong foundation for factual information and international connection.
Opportunities for support
I plan to set up a federated link aggregator to collaboratively gather and discuss news and events for each issue of the Transmutable News Weekly. I have considered a number of configurations including limiting the entire site to only Patreon supporters, making it world readable but only supporter writable, or giving access as a “thank you” gift to supporters of all sorts. As always, send your ideas and suggestions my way.
If you’ve worked behind the scenes of large web services then you may be familiar with the Consistency, Availability, and Partition (CAP) tolerance theorem which posits that only two of those goals can be solved by any networked system. This week I learned about the “blockchain trilemma” which makes similar claims about security, decentralization, and scalability. As we work toward an Agreement Bedrock on which to build the Wider Web, both theorems will be useful lenses with which to inspect proposed technologies.
The Wolvic team at Igalia published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that includes information about their sources of funding, how much Mozilla paid Igalia, the size of the team, as well as answers to technical questions like whether they’ll stick with Mozilla’s GeckoView. If you’re interested in contributing code to Wolvic then head over to their GitHub Issues to see if anything catches your fancy.
Decentralized storage startup Filebase announced a new API that is compatible with Amazon Web Services clients but is backed by two decentralized systems, IPFS and Sia. While the combined energy of IPFS and Sia are immense on a watt-per-byte basis compared to storage in buckets on Amazon’s S3 service (and thus is not appropriate for the Agreement Bedrock) it is interesting to see another crypto-first company wrap decentralized services in relatively ancient, boring, and centralized web APIs in order to attract business.
Gabe Newell revealed that Valve stopped accepting Bitcoin because transactions were expensive and “50% of those transactions were fraudulent”. To turn the ship in a better direction we have quite a bit of work to do.
The IEEE’s fully virtual Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces is scheduled for March 12 through 16. Tickets start at US$120 for non-members. Looking a bit further out, their XR Awards event is open for entries until April 8. It would be excellent to see Wider Web experiences among the nominees and winners.
Stay open and safe, friends.