Mesh/3 July 2018

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People's Open Network Weekly Meeting - 3 July 2018 7:30pm-9pm

Please contribute agenda items to the notes below.


  • Introductions and Meeting Roles (10 mins)
  • Check in on previous action items (5 mins)
  • Updates & Reportbacks (20 mins)
  • Next Sunday (5 mins)
  • Proposal: Formally sponsor Laptops For All project (5 mins)
  • Discussion: Next BYOI (15 mins)
  • Discussion Z (15 mins)
  • Action Items (5 mins)
  • Breakout Groups


Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Icebreaker Response; BRIEF Announcements

  • Icebreaker question: what was the first computer or computer-type gadget you ever had your hands on?
  • eenblam - he/they - DOS box in living room
    • Announcement: visited folks at friendly local ISP last week. Got to check out a new version of Microtik's Wireless Wire, which is integrated with a lightweight dish.
    • Roughly the same price per link (<$200), but now reaches about 500m for PtMP and supposedly 1.5km PtP. FLISP only confirms PtP functionality at 1km.
  • mai - she/they - first device was a tamagotchi or a nintendo game gear or kid's math toy
    • BYOI check-in: there's a guy who's excited to get a node mounted. Close to TMI/LiveLabs/Hearth!
  • Ryan - they - First computer I ever used was probably an IBM5150 with the clanky keys, but the first one I got to use a *lot* was a Macintosh Plus. I got to program using Hypercard!
    • Not sure what's going on, so I wrote a list of questions!
    • I submitted my first PR to sudomesh/peoplesopen-front
  • lesley - don't care about pronouns. she/they/he - We had these MS DOS machines at my school that we were supposed to do tutorials on.
    • Max is taking his boat out on the bay tomorrow to watch fireworks. Not really "sailing," so lots of room. 6:30 in Alameda or 7 in Jack London square by Scott's. You're all invited!
  • jenny - she/her - My grandfather's Atari console. In the spiderman RPG I'd get stuck in limbo :( I also used my best friend's mother's Apple II off and on.
    • Out of office for July!
  • juul - he/him - my first memory of using a computer was a game called Styx on an IBM PC. My parents have a photo of me playing with a joystick when I was three years old.
  • grant - he/they - first computery thing was a sega genesis. Sonic 2 was my favorite game.
  • seth - he/they - I had a thing with a keyboard the size of my finger. It was a way to teach math when I was in middle school.
  • sierk - pong console for the TV. A couple of years later, I encountered an early computer used for research in electronic music. Then an MSX. Learned assembly, pascal, etc.
  • benny - he/they
  • eve - i/me/my - My first computer was a huge mainframe in the computer science building. I was just typing on punchcards. I thought, "I never wanna have anything to do with computers."
    • Out of office late July and early August.
    • Announcements - Internet Society - speakers

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Benny
  • Stacktaker: eenblam, grant
  • Timekeeper:
  • Notetaker/s: mai, leslie, jenny, eenblam

Check in on previous action items

Check previous meeting minutes at and past action items below:

  • create github issue about making faq/security page on website (benny)
    • Ryan's question list:
    • Q1: Why do we need a mesh network? (this question is on the website, but it never gets answered)
      • Leslie: Digital divide (tons of people who don't have internet access, and this could provide access to more people), no central hub (disaster resilience--can communicate with neighbors)
      • Ryan: so, 40% of Oakland doesn't have internet, and we could address that. Also, it would improve our resilience.
      • juul: Gives people a way to control means of communication.
        • jnny - from 'about' - "We are building a decentralized, libre network for the East Bay: we believe in the creation of local internets and locally-relevant applications, the cultivation of community-owned telecommunications networks in the interest of autonomy and grassroots community collaboration, and ultimately, in owning the means of production by which we communicate."
    • Q2: What are the benefits of joining the network?
      • Lesley: If there's a disaster, you can communicate with your neighbors and contribute to a more democratic means of communication.
      • Mai: access to bandwidth, ability to connect through neighbors if something happens to your WAN connection, mesh services
      • Ryan: To summarize: disaster-proof communication, and democratizing communication
      • benny: excuse to build community with your neighbors over shared infrastructure
      • jenny - share connections throughout an apartment
        • ryan - so, saving money. That's compelling
      • sierk - While we're still building it, we don't get all the benefits. So, the website is meant to reflect what's actually there right now. We could be a bit more ambitious about what the benefits *will* be if we make clear what the benefits are now and where they could go.
      • juul - Regarding ethical/values-based reasons: it's the difference between paying someone for access to the internet or being a part of the internet yourself. On the mesh, you own a part of the infrastructure, and your neighbors do, too. You own a part of the internet together.
      • ryan - Summary: you will get to collaborate with your neighbors on building grassroots infrastructure.
      • mai - by controlling the network yourself, you can foster digital commons with the people you live close to. Being close to your neighbor is a precondition to collectively owning certain things/infrastructure.
      • marc - plays into the theme of the omni commons -- everything here is an alternative to a private infrastructure. every time you join one of the collectives here, you become independent with regard to a new sector of your life.
        • Also, you get to *share your internet in a safe way* that protects you from the people you're sharing with.
    • Q3: Can I get internet access through the mesh network?
      • (Kinda already answered, depending on what you mean by "internet" and "access")
      • tl;dr: You *can*, if you are near a node, but you probably aren't.
    • Q4: Do I need to pay anything to join the network?
      • jenny - a home router is $20, an extender node on the roof is maybe $80. We ask for a donation in that ballpark if possible, but we also have grant money for that. We also ask folks for a recurring donation patreon.
      • not a for-profit model - donations would be on the level of a membership to a nonprofit, recurring via eg Patreon ( )
    • Q5: Who pays for the bandwidth?
      • juul - Some donated. It's also so close to free that it doesn't matter - what does cost money is the last mile. If we can get that access and split it, it's something like $1-2 a month for participants.
      • <discussion on sharing bandwidth>
      • Ryan: Sumary: A lot is donated (~30 gigabits), Internet Archive, Paxio. Whoever wants to add bandwidth from their existing ISP subscription can do so.
    • Q6: Is this legal?
    • juul - in the US it is.
    • benny - what's illegal elsewhere?
    • juul - some countries don't allow you to share bandwidth without logging - you essentially have to be an ISP
      • your shared bandwidth is tunneled through our VPN - so any illegal activities* (eg torrenting copyrighted materials) can be conducted over the open network and not traced to your connection
  • leslie to email me eenblam, whoever else about Reed Bros (leslie)
    • didn't hear back from Reed Brothers - seemed to indicate you could show up and they'd just give us roof access. could try for this Thursday? early AM
      • juul: recommend not flashing initially - just use AirOS, you can always flash it later
      • thursday sounds on!
      • eenblam - We can set up Omni's end of the link in advance (Wednesday) and mount a PtP client + extender node.
  • talk to commons building that is being built and will block our LOS to paxio (jehan)
  • follow up with b4bel4b about doing a mount and about when our office hours and meetings are because one of the artists is interested in coming (mai)
  • follow up with hearth node mount (blake)
    • ben has jake's node with him
  • [sierk]: research rise up and austin yellow bike project about non-profits transitioning to paying people. contact them, ask them what they're willing to share. (sierk in 2 weeks)
  • finish video [jenny/robb]
  • circle back with lolspace/liberate 23rd ave [jenny]
    • they are down to participate! need to schedule a nodemount! via Devi 1 week ago: "We had another meeting and approved the mesh network; we just need to make sure the wiring doesn't get in the way of the tenants and we'll need the antenna taken down for a bit while we redo our roof sometime in the next 2 years-ish. What do we need to do next to get rolling with this? I'm cc'ing Jen, our point person at Oakland Community Land Trust, who's also interested in maybe having an antenna set up at her spot too. Please contact her directly. Thanks! "
    • might do this on sunday
    • sierk: should make a plan for how to connect to north oakland. also, would it be an option to do a BYOI over there?
    • peralta hacienda - native health center
  • circle back w/ archive folks & peef [jenny/juul]
    • from June 12 - "If you have line of sight from your infrastructure to one of our towers, I'm happy to help get something set up and can assist with access and configuration. Peef has helped us out a lot in the past but isn't working with us currently aside from end user support for connectivity. There's going to be a fair bit of activity potentially on the towers over the next few months as we are supporting a City of Richmond Open Wifi project as well, so might be a good time to get some hardware up. In terms of the Network Commons License, I don't know that it's a perfect fit for us, but I think we would be happy to come up with a similar license or memo of understanding to formalize the relationship a little better and ensure that your group is comfortable with relying on the service. Maybe I could stop by Sudo Room sometime (are you still doing meetings on Tuesdays? Can't make tonight but next week is possible) and chat about specifics and we can come up with something that will meet both our needs."
      • should check LoS from place in kensington? - jenny will ping ChrisJ
      • marc: could blast out to hacker space email lists describing what we need, and maybe someone will get back to us
        • ILSR (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
        • noisebridge
        • biocurious
        • counter culture labs
        • stanford liberation tech list
        • twitter

Updates & Reportbacks


Priority bugs we need help with are located at: - For a high-level overview of recent Github activity, see the Trello:

Node Mounts & Outreach

Node Mounts Trello:

  • nodes to fix: hearth, tigermonkey (tmi) - needs a new node, david&niki's (may have LOS to First They Came for the Homeless)
    • eenblam - I have Hearth's one working node. Will reflash to link to LiveLabs. Pretty sure both ends of TMI link need to be replaced.
  • mai - Tom from BYOI. (See announcements?)

Communications & Events

Comms Trello: //

  • Interview request from KALW (mai and jenny replied, others welcome, may attend this meeting or other Tues meetings) on our "Save the Internet" project :)
  • Outstanding request from someone in Cuba (see Trello)

Events Trello:

  • Take Doodle poll to find time to go to Digitalia exhibit at MOAD:
  • Our Networks - Toronto, July 13-17 - Grant & Jenny going, talk/discussion + workshop, sprint with ToMesh the Monday of the 16th re: prep for Dweb Summit (see below)
  • Decentralized Web Summit - July 31-Aug 3 - Jenny got an invite code for Sudo Mesh folks, $50 ticket in exchange for 4-hour volunteer shift - fill out application here and note you're part of Sudo Mesh -
    • Request to work with IPFS and Toronto Mesh folks on a "decentralized infrastructure" track: - we would be the BYOI component, ToMesh focusing on hosting distributed content
    • Request to help with technical backend for Decentralized Internet Archive project: (Jenny on group call Monday or Tuesday)
    • Request for to lead a workshop, possibly in tandem with the "Way Forward Machine" project (kids and solar lights are involved)
    • Enthusiasm for an unconference the weekend following @ sudoroom (Aug 4th and/or 5th) by DWeb summit folks (would promote), Gunner from Aspiration Tech (would chip in for food/drinks), the SSB community (~10 expressed interest on ssb), and Ben from ToMesh - should start a wiki page of hackpad... [action item]
      • mai: hackathon for folks to work on services for the mesh would be awesome - turn the weekend into BYOI!
        • juul: just have a stack of hardware and ask, "whatever you're working on, put it on one of these and we'll hook it up"

Internal Logistics / Finance

Internal Logistics & Bureaucracy Trello:

Next Sunday

Node Mount

We try to arrange a rooftop node mount every Sunday afternoon. Ongoing spreadsheet is located at:

  • Next Sunday's mount: LOLSPACE? W Oakland cluster?

Office Hours

We host office hours every Sunday from 1-2pm in Sudo Room. To sign up for a shift, fill in your name here:

  • Next Sunday's volunteer: Benny + a bunch of node mounting people
  • Notes from this past Sunday's session:

Proposal: Formally sponsor Laptops For All project

Please add any proposal needing consent from or action by the group below:

Discussion Item: Next BYOI

  • When should we hold our next BYOI and what should it be about?
  • Saturday, Aug 4th - at Sudo post - Dweb summit
    • mai: lightning talks
  • Eve: I had suggested Mesh presentation at an Internet Society meeting. ISOC still working on logistics (our chapter is spread out, it can be challenging to set up a meeting). Meanwhile may ISOC make a presentation at next BYOI?
    • Board's meeting on the 12th to figure that out

Discussion Item: Decentralized Web Summit Unconference

  • Is it happening? If so, how should we be involved?
    • See above
    • Lightning talks
    • hackathon - put your service on the mesh
      • marc - can supply some hardware -
    • promo - ssb / archive's outreach materials / mailing lists / ask friends with reach in the community (eg dominic, substack, karissa)

Action Items

  • start a wiki page for decentralized web unconference [jenny]
  • follow up on insurance quote [jenny]
  • ping Beneficial re: bank account [jenny]
  • add lolspace mount details to trello and CC Mai - [jenny]
    • others available on Sunday - Mai, Eve, ?
  • follow up with Jonah and Devi (cc Mai and Marc)
  • draft e-mail to hackerspaces about what we are looking for to connect to Internet Archive (grant)
  • add benny to info@peoplesopen (grant)
  • see who wants to meet about organizing the byoi-unconference (benny)

Last Meeting Notes

End of Meeting