We will not join the United Federation of Instances

The United Federation of Instances is a bad idea, and Free Radical will not participate. The “UFoI” is an organization of fediverse instances making a compact: if an instance enters the compact, and they abide by the group’s Code of Ethics, then all members of the group promise not to disconnect from or block that instance. If one instance believes that another is violating that Code of Ethics, then they can present evidence to the elected board of the group.

Goodbye, S3

I configured Free Radical to use S3 to serve media assets, like images and videos, almost immediately after launching it. There are compelling reasons to use something like S3 instead of serving those files directly from the Mastodon server, such as freeing that server from getting clogged with a zillion media requests. In theory, it should be cheaper, too. Well. In October 2022, our AWS S3 storage bill was $12.54 for storing about 330GB of media files and serving about 113GB of files to users.

Upgraded to 4.0.2

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v4.0.2.

Surviving and thriving through the 2022-11-05 meltdown

Background After Elon Musk bought Twitter and started making a bizarre series of decisions about how to run it, people started logging into Mastodon to see what it’s all about. Lots of them. So, so many of them. In real numbers, Free Radical grew by 20% in the last week. Which is awesome, because it’s wonderful to see new faces excited and eager to join the fun. The downside is that new users, being new to it, tend to be understandably excited and exploratory, with lots of posting, following other new people, and doing the kinds of things that require server hardware to wake up and earn its living.

Upgraded to 3.5.3

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v3.5.3.

Five Wonderful Years!

Several years ago, I heard about GNU social. That sounded like an interesting change from the centralized giants like Facebook and Twitter, so I installed it on a spare server. It was… interesting: not great, not terrible. Shortly after, I started hearing about this Mastodon thing, which was basically GNU social but prettier. I gave in and installed it on my laptop as a trial, and was immediately blown away. It wasn’t just nicer looking, but polished and professional.

Upgraded to 3.5.0

Free Radical is now on Mastodon v3.5.0.

Bling out in FRZ gear

For FRZ’s fifth anniversary, I’m thrilled to announce that we commissioned the amazing @Wetdryvac@hackers.town to design a gorgeous new logo for our site. For a limited time, we’re making Free Radical anniversary five merch available from our online store, with 100% of profits through the end of April, 2022, going to charity. Check it out, buy some beautiful, sure-to-be-collectible loot, and make the world better. Everybody wins!

CCPA Scam November 2021 from Princeton University

Today I received this email: From: Victor Coutand Subject: Questions About CCPA Data Access Process for freeradical.zone To Whom It May Concern: My name is Victor Coutand, and I am a resident of Nice, France. I have a few questions about your process for responding to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) data access requests: Would you process a CCPA data access request from me even though I am not a resident of California?

Skip 'Mastodon for iPhone'

Sometimes a creator loses touch with how people use their creation. I worry that Eugen Rochko has found himself in a bubble and doesn’t understand why the rest of us like Mastodon. Eugen and friends released the new official Mastodon for iPhone app, and users noticed that it doesn’t show local or federated timelines. He responded: The omission is intentional and I do not intend to add these types of timelines into the app.