We undermine our own advocacy by not leading by example when we can. @mako's seminal essay https://mako.cc/writing/hill-free_tools.html makes the great point at we cannot allow ourselves to be at the whim of the companies whose tooling we do not control.
By ceding control to proprietary platforms, we set ourselves up for failure when they inevitably fall down or ask for more.
@conservancy @mako hell yes. Wrote about this, too: https://davelane.nz/arresting-slide-open-fauxpen and this, too: https://davelane.nz/why-slack-better-and-why-open-communities-shouldnt-use-it
I feel your pain @o0karen0o
Also today I had to participate to more events on Zoom and Teams that could have easily been Jitsi or BigBlueButton based events.
It's even more annoying for the fact that I host several Jitsi/BBB instances and I sometimes offer them for free to avoid having to use the others but... "The users are familiar with mainstream platforms" 🤦♂️
@o0karen0o @fosdem I fully agree. I'm currently working on creating a FOSS conference (matomocamp.org) and inspired by FOSSDEM we try to use only FOSS software for everything. And while it's not plug-and-play, it looks like it is definitely possible (even for our much smaller team) to get something working with #BigBlueButton, #Nginx for streaming a recording of BBB, #Matrix for Chat and #Pretalx for schedule and organizing.
@lightweight yes, I usually try to just supply an easy alternative too. "You don't need an account or to download any software - really!" This is why I'm just completely flabbergasted that people who actually know better keep brazenly using Zoom and expecting me to use it too. It's not like being invited to a relative's birthday party. This is a professional discussion about the ethics of freely licensed code.
@o0karen0o agreed. I'm similarly flabbergasted that every single country's national school organisation (like the US Dept of Ed or NZ Ministry of Ed) haven't implemented BBB across their entire school system. It's criminal negligence, actually..
I'm planning a conference (linguistics) for the Spring. Our University/Department has Zoom accounts, which we're expected to use for classes and official University business.
But we don't have a high enough "tier" of Zoom for me to use it for a conference whether I wanted to or not. I'm not keen on spending conference resources to pay Zoom. I'd rather pay a host to spin up a BBB instance for the conference and have been looking into different options.
@lightweight I doubt it will affect Uni decisions. Our IT departments routinely choose the worst solutions. I think their guiding principle is "use whatever most other Unis are using so we can't be blamed for X", and thus we have Outlook and Zoom etc.
(Tragically, there was actually some use of BBB pre-pandemic and early pandemic here, but they switched everything to Zoom.)
But I at least don't want to add to the issue by paying Zoom more more.
@emacsomancer @o0karen0o this is where a little civil disobedience comes into play. Perhaps you can convince your department to make the switch? Or voice concern about the terms of service for the proprietary services - see this for example: https://davelane.nz/explainer-digitech-risks-school-boards
@lightweight The Microsoft Teams one is worse, because, while it is true that Teams is one of the "official" solutions of our University, unlike Outlook, which is now the only allowed channel for email, it is not mandated. So we could have made a different choice there, at the Department level.
On the larger issue of incompetent (I'm tempted to say, and also paid off by large corps) IT policy makers - it's not clear to me exactly where I can apply leverage.
@emacsomancer @o0karen0o organise your peers... state that you no longer accept the draconian/byzantine terms you've been forced to accept, and then show the Uni why it's an imposition on the rights of all attending or employed by the institution... And yes, your Uni's institution IT folks are getting lots of 'perks' to ensure they stick with the Frightful Five (and Zoom). They need to be helped to 'move on', i.e. put out to pasture.
Where are you based ?
If you're in Poland (or the EU), Teams¹ is illegal to use for Universities since Safe Harbor has been turned over.
The French CNIL has confirmed it in June (or July ? Don't remember) and any European CNIL is bound to draw the same conclusion.
¹ And all american cloud collaborative solutions.
(and yes we're used to have IT laws not applied, but still it's the law)
Agh I'm so frustrated I wrote a message that was too big and lost all of it. But in short jibri is a mess, with docs from Ubuntu 16.04 and many holes. I'd like to get some time to update it.
Jitsi needs to provide sample config files instead of relying on tutorials with conflicting ideas. 8x8 is good, but the idea of a premoderated room is critical and deal breaks it for most places wanting to do an event. I made a manual workaround this for work but it's more a wrapper.
Wow. Talking tech ethics on a platform that lied about how they protected their users, then were caught and lied again then just kept on lying? And then open source to boot? Talk about working in a vacuum.
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