Tumblr to Add Support for ActivityPub


400 points | by Tomte 9 days ago


  • arglebargle123 8 days ago
    Well I certainly didn't have "Tumblr becomes culturally relevant in 2023 after adding federated content cross-compatibility with foss platforms" on my bingo card, but here we are I guess.
    • aliqot 8 days ago
      Where are these bingo cards issued? I hear this often, curious what prize there may be out there. Sorry if a stupid question, I'm assuming it's a blockchain thing.
      • LikesPwsh 7 days ago
        It's usually metaphorical, but here's somebody that made a generator-https://www.reddit.com/r/Buttcoin/comments/ywkjy1/bingo_card...
      • chimeracoder 8 days ago
        It's a meme - it's a way of saying "this is really unexpected; we live in unpredictable times".
        • noirbot 8 days ago
          Yea, specifically that prop-bet bingo cards are usually constructed that every line you could make includes some rare thing so that you don't just easily win with 5 obvious things. So if something happens that's "not even on my card" then the implication is that it's so crazy that someone wouldn't have even put this down as a "this will never happen" option for betting.
        • aliqot 7 days ago
          Ah, thanks.
      • MonkeyMalarky 7 days ago
        You make your own! I may or may not be guilty of making a few in the time leading up to corporate town hall meetings at a former employer. Just pick out management's favourite buzzwords and projects du jour, randomize the layout, CC your office buddies and see who wins!
        • nibbleshifter 7 days ago
          I usually make one in paint during the annual "where the vendors talk at us for two days" sales thing at my day job.
      • searchableguy 7 days ago
        > Sorry if a stupid question, I'm assuming it's a blockchain thing.

        That's an interesting idea. Build a smart contract which can issue bingo cards and keep track of it publicly.

    • kweingar 8 days ago
      Not sure what federation with FOSS platforms has to do with cultural relevance.
      • jrajav 8 days ago
        Federated platforms are definitely relevant right now, as a direct result of the current very public mismanagement of Twitter and resulting public freakout. I've heard Mastodon mentioned at work (where it's not a competitor) and in several different social circles. Maybe you just aren't tapped in?
        • arsome 7 days ago
          Maybe I'm just not in with the cool kids but it feels like social media in general is just kind of dying in a lot of circles, outside of content platforms like YouTube and TikTok at least. Direct group chats via Discord, Telegram, Signal, etc are the main ways of communicating and beyond those do you really need - or have any desire - to communicate with random strangers?

          It seems the like vanity and excitement of the early internet is dying out and more normal social circles are being established.

          • riffraff 7 days ago
            > do you really need - or have any desire - to communicate with random strangers?

            I have circle of acquaintances on Twitter and Facebook which are not strangers, but I don't feel like updating directly.

            Sharing a wordle result with them and having an occasional exchange is akin to meeting them while walking on the street and exchanging a few words.

            The chats with my family and friend groups are at a different level of communication.

          • none_to_remain 7 days ago
            > do you really need - or have any desire - to communicate with random strangers?

            I learned it by watching you!

        • extheat 7 days ago
          Your mainstream user doesn’t care about the underlying technology behind a product. They care about good UX/UI, good content, who’s on it and a supply of dopamine to keep the “must check social media” cycle going. There’s a separate group of people who use social platforms to stay up to date with the news. Think Twitter/HN. It’s not so much about dopamine but necessity to stay up to date on things/discovery. There’s really no shortage of platforms out there. I don’t know if we want to bundle general chat applications like Discord/WhatsApp into this as they’re more closer to SMS than Instagram or TikTok. All the talk about “federated” or “decentralized” infrastructure matters little to people outside tech people and the tech enthusiast crowd. Programmers wanting widespread adoption on a platform should be focusing on the product itself and value to content creators versus the nuts and bolts around the product.
          • heavyset_go 7 days ago
            I think you might be conflating what are the most profitable social media business models with what people actually want. It's the difference between a lucrative something that addicts or traps, and something people genuinely enjoy or believe in.

            I think there is a growing amount of people who want to get out of the social media Skinner box, and there are also growing amounts of people who believe in new and alternative technology like this.

            Sure, these platforms might not appeal to someone who uses Facebook like you would a slot machine, but I know plenty of non-tech people who use things like Linux, Firefox, Android/LineageOS/GrapheneOS, etc for moral and ideologically appealing reasons.

            • jpetso 6 days ago
              The problem is that there is also a steady supply of people coming in who don't give much of a damn about any of this, and just want to do what their friend group does. They might get more aware later, but by then there's already a new generation out there making the same mistakes.

              Unless we can push ethical (and FOSS) software over the point of critical mass, it's a never-ending losing battle. And even if we get there, the battle for daily attention is much fiercer than, say, Blender or Godot permanently winning mindshare among professionals. Trends are fickle and even just by not being the next best thing, we can lose the masses to the next best Skinner box.

          • IanCal 7 days ago
            I think you're misreading the comment. It's not saying it's becoming relevant because it's Foss, just that mastodon is more culturally relevant and is Foss.
        • josteink 7 days ago
          > as a direct result of the current very public mismanagement of Twitter and resulting public freakout.

          I have to admit I don't fully get this. What part of Twitter is mismanaged?

          If management thinks that 7000+ aren't needed to make single page web-app, is reducing the work-force mismanagement? I'd consider it a healthy step towards creating an actually profitable company. I mean, who benefits from the company going bankrupt? Certainly not the employees.

          Is allowing more people get to exercise freedom of speech mismanagement? Or that the new management polls the actual twitter user-base instead of listening to a select few people, seemingly only on one side of the political spectrum?

          Also, since the new ownership came in place, supposedly 90%+ of sexual-abuse material and tags has been cleaned out and banned, something which was allowed to go on for years during old twitter management. That's a good change, right?

          Is all this just about some people you don't like being un-banned? If so, you can still individually ignore them or block them, and just move on with your life, right?

          I really, honestly don't get what all this hysteria is about.

          • contrast 7 days ago
            That's a bit of a rant you've got going on there.

            Why participate in the hysteria if doesn't mean anything to you?

            • josteink 7 days ago
              I see lots of people claiming to be upset, but I can't see any good objective reason for it.

              So I'm asking one guy who clearly has an opinion on it. Is that wrong?

              • inglor_cz 7 days ago
                People don't like sudden changes, that's it.

                Musk founded SpaceX and bought Tesla when it had like 6 employees, so everyone working in those two companies is used to his management style.

                Twitter was a huge and sort-of stagnant company, they must feel as if they were hit by a hurricane, and this filters out to all sorts of media including HN.

                Also, Twitter is all about publicity. We don't see what's happening within SpaceX, but we all watch whatever happens within Twitter in real time.

        • Semaphor 7 days ago
          Someone necro’d a facebook comment reply by me from 3 years ago. They were asking for a social network that allows you to uglyf… "improve it" like MySpace used to and I recommended Mastodon which they now remembered ;)
        • stiltzkin 6 days ago
          Outside my techie and Elon haters contacts I have not seen interest to the fediverse. It is as what is happening with people promoting Signal for "privacy" alternatives to Telegram (which I believe it is now more akin to Discord) or Matrix as an alternative to Discord. And as other social media platforms, no need to move to the fediverse until more than 50% of my friends and communities move in.
        • stiltzkin 6 days ago
          Outside my techie and Elon haters contacts I have not seen interest to the fediverse. It is as what is happening with people promoting Signal for "privacy" alternatives to Telegram (which I believe it is nor more akin to Discord) or Matrix as an alternative to Discord. And as other social media platforms, no need to move to the fediverse until more than 50% of my friends and communities move in.
        • concordDance 7 days ago
          People will leave when the mismanagement actually affects them, which it mostly hasn't.
        • Kiro 7 days ago
          > Maybe you just aren't tapped in?

          Thinking other people are not tapped in is a clear sign that you live in a bubble.

      • qikInNdOutReply 7 days ago
        Its the second stage of social implants. First get society to communicate through a plattform, that allows for moderation, self-moderation and upholding of civilization even when states break down via panopticon effects. (Also show some adds, vision may be compromised)

        Then make certain that hostile, powerfull actors can not capture those platforms and use them for surveilance, while the very same platform can not be used to coordinate violence.

        Its all scenario-tree root hardening, basically not a investment into a specific future, but a increasing of all chances to recover should the branch your current scenario resides on give and you root back to a past-scenario with reduced capabilities.

        Welcome to a disability-friendly planet, redesigned for your very special human needs, preventing self destructive riots when the good times end. All dangerous toys are removed, to prevent you blowing up nuclear power plants during times of strife. Its super depressing, but then so is the state in which we are.

        A unmodified, unadapted primal creature, that by the use of tools has squeezed itself between a rock and a hard place. A technology roof, that if fully explored, ever amplifies the unstable individual until everyone has a red button. Meanwhile the facade of civilization does not even survive a day without those advances. Sucks to be a zookeeper right now.

    • whateveracct 7 days ago
      Tumblr clearly has a good "soul" - if you will. We'll see if it lasts, but the website is definitely a certain kind of special. Glad to have been part of it for the last decade+
    • musk_micropenis 7 days ago
      • Shared404 7 days ago
        ... That's not what OP said?

        Also - I've seen stats from Mastodon servers and there's definitely been an explosion of interest. Same as tumblr has seen.

      • suprjami 7 days ago
        That's why news sites are writing articles about it. They always cover the most inane irrelevant stuff so that people don't read their sites. Great argument.
      • scheeseman486 7 days ago
        Federation is broad. Email, Usenet, IRC and the web are federated and at least two of those remain relevant and all four continue to exist.
        • judge2020 7 days ago
          But can you really say that "because it's adding federation, it'll regain its popularity"?

          Also, where is this federated IRC you speak of? There's no cross-server identity or data transfer baked into the protocol.

          • stonogo 7 days ago
            You don't get to redefine 'federation' because you prefer an approach different than IRC undertakes. It's very much federated and always has been. Data transfer is in the RFC:

               2.3 Messages
               Servers and clients send eachother messages which may or may not
               generate a reply.
          • avian 7 days ago
            > where is this federated IRC you speak of?

            IRC has the ability to form networks of servers which share identities and chat channels. There used to be a few large networks and many popular servers were part of one of them. Back in the 90s "being on IRC" commonly meant having a nickname on one of these networks.

          • charcircuit 7 days ago
            >Also, where is this federated IRC you speak of?

            Freenode is one.

            >There's no cross-server identity

            Your identity is your nickname.

        • c1sc0 7 days ago
          Why can’t we run more things on top of email as a backend?
          • chimeracoder 7 days ago
            > Why can’t we run more things on top of email as a backend?

            Security, speed, and lock-in.

            Email is hard to secure without using out-of-band mechanisms, and at that point if you're already not adhering to an existing standard you might as well write your own.

            Email is fast for what it does, but it's not fast enough to handle the low-latency and interactive environment of something like Twitter. We don't notice this as much because so many people are used to using the same 2-3 email providers (heck, Google alone probably accounts for most personal email), but in a truly federated environment there can be noticeable delays. SMTP explicitly allows for this and provides mechanisms to handle it.

            And lastly, building on top of email makes it hard to achieve vendor lock-in, which makes it hard to make money.

      • spion 7 days ago
        Tell that to everyone using email
      • plaguepilled 7 days ago
        Interesting take. Counterpoint: why tho?
    • brap 7 days ago
      How is adopting a niche tech standard being “culturally relevant”?

      The vast majority of people outside of tech simply do not know about, or care to know anything about ActivityPub.

      They only care about the value that these social platforms provide to them. It shouldn’t be surprising that the most valuable platforms (judging by usage) are centralized and proprietary.

      I can see the parallels between this and crypto. Cool tech, but not what people want.

      This isn’t being “culturally relevant”, quite the opposite. This is catering to a small niche. If anything, this smells like desperation from Tumblr who was once a juggernaut in the social media space.

      • jtode 7 days ago
        Most of the culture is irrelevant, so being culturally relevant is overrated anyways. This is just smart.

        I think when this all shakes out, most people are still going to be on a Meta-like platform run by a for-profit company, but one which has capitulated to opening up a pipe into and out of the garden so that those with the ability to manage their own data are able to do so.

        Tumblr apparently believes the same (it's one of the scenarios where they don't turn into Yahoo's directory of internet websites and eventually have to sell their server room to Private Equity frat bros, so of course they do), and they have correctly identified that ActivityPub is the champion of this moment of upheaval. Implementing it with the resources of a full-on platform has always been trivial; it's not already there because they have all been playing the "move into our company town and use all our company services or we don't want you" game, and AP murders that model.

        If someone points me in the direction of a bookie who will take the bet, I'll bet twenty bucks at any odds that within five years, AP (or something that does exactly the same thing) is either free or available as a premium feature on every social media site that is, as you say, culturally relevant.

        • chriswarbo 7 days ago
          > I think when this all shakes out, most people are still going to be on a Meta-like platform run by a for-profit company, but one which has capitulated to opening up a pipe into and out of the garden so that those with the ability to manage their own data are able to do so.

          Reality has gone the exact opposite way: Facebook accounts used to accept email, and their chat used to interoperate with XMPP. Both features helped them grow, and were switched off once they'd reached a dominant position.

          Twitter followed a similar path, with many third-party clients and other projects built around their API (plus native support for SMS). Once they grew, those APIs were removed or restricted, to funnel users into official clients (which display ads).


  • berjin 8 days ago
    This reminds me a lot of OpenID over a decade ago. The idea was anyone could setup their own identity provider on their own domain and login anywhere. Unfortunately it became "login with google/facebook" which is a real shame. I hope sites don't restrict ActivityPub usage to only a few big players.
    • meibo 8 days ago
      Funny enough, Steam is one of the only big OpenID providers left, it's always fun when something still supports it and I can log into it with my Steam account.
    • suprjami 7 days ago
      There's been talk about Embrace Extend Extinguish coming to the Fediverse, with the counter-argument that anyone who tried it would find themselves almost universally de-federated and just building their own walled garden.

      I actually expect most Masto and PixelFed instances will block Tumblr pretty fast.

      • toastal 7 days ago
        Look at what happened with chat when everything was using XMPP, and then it didn't and now everything is a proprietary silo again
      • serverholic 7 days ago
        This is wishful thinking. People will use whatever is easiest even if it means centralization.

        There are two routes we could take to fix this. One is building social pressure and a social consciousness around federation. The other is to bribe people, like how crypto social media rewards people for making popular posts.

    • lrem 7 days ago
      I’d posit there’s a generic way to assess the hope:

      Does the protocol come with inherently good way to deal with spam right in the core design? If not, it’ll eventually end with delegating trust to corporations.

    • rkangel 7 days ago
      My usual example to explain the concept of federation to people is email - you create an email account with your preferred provider and they all talk to each other.

      It's a good analogy on a couple of levels, because of course Gmail has become a dominant player in that space, in some occasionally problematic ways (e.g. it's very difficult to run your own email server now, because GMail might decide you're not trustworthy and stop delivering your mail). There are still several big players though and the system works.

    • simfree 8 days ago
      ActivityPub implementations thankfully tend towards open federation versus closed whitelisting federation.
      • solarkraft 7 days ago
        However centralization is still a theoretical threat, just like it happened with E-Mail or the various services that started as implementations of XMPP.
        • spion 7 days ago
          At least when that happens it has better chances of yielding the best product.
          • paulgb 7 days ago
            And an oligopoly is still preferable to a monopoly. It may be unrealistic to run my own email server, but I can use GMail on my domain and if I want to switch to Fastmail, I can do that. If that’s where fediverse ends up, it will still be preferable to what we have today.
      • luckylion 7 days ago
        How do they deal with Spam? Domains are cheap, someone could just stand up new instances, federate, dump a load of Spam on everyone and not care about their instance being defederated.
        • zimpenfish 7 days ago
          > dump a load of Spam on everyone

          Personally, I wouldn't see it because my main timeline is "following only" (I also have a "followers + replies they make" view for finding new content.) Also I'd be able to remove it because I control my server. Also also I could write a Pleroma filter which says "if it's a post to me and I've not seen that instance before, hide it".

        • progval 7 days ago
          As an instance admin since 2017: we don't have a way to fight this, and it just hasn't been an issue yet because spammers are incompetent. They always just sign up with accounts on legit instances.

          When competent spammers start looking at Mastodon, either we hope buying domains is too expensive to be worth it (unlike email spam), or rely on IP range bans.

        • wasmitnetzen 7 days ago
          For one, you can't really spam hashtags since there's no global search or timeline. It only shows up for users if someone on their instance follows the spamming account.

          Reply spam still works, but that doesn't scale as easily.

    • Avamander 7 days ago
      Apple ID login seems to be on the rise, GitHub is very popular for tech stuff, so these tendencies change over time.
    • serverholic 7 days ago
      This is because people refuse to acknowledge and solve the core issues. Techies think all you need to do is to create a ideologically superior technology and people will gravitate to it over time.

      People will gravitate towards whatever is easiest unless incentivized to do otherwise. Usually incentives are either social or financial and interestingly both are being attempted currently.

      The left-leaning folks are trying the social pressure route. One of the themes of the modern left is trying to change culture in order to pressure people into doing the right thing. You can see this right now with the vitriol against Elon Musk on twitter. This vitriol creates social pressure.

      The libertarian-minded folks are attempting the financial route. One way of viewing crypto is as a tool to bribe people away from traditional institutions. Crypto wallets are essentially bribing people to install cryptographic tools onto their devices. De-fi is trying to lure people away from traditional financial institutions.

      How you judge either movement is up to you. I’m just saying what I’ve observed. It’s also worth noting that each movement is creating copies of traditional web apps. There is a crypto version of reddit and a federated version of reddit for example.

  • Kye 8 days ago
    Can you imagine

    You log into your Tumblr dashboard

    All your friends on Mastodon making posts, your favorite bloggers on Write.as/WriteFreely instances, your favorite artists and photographers on Pixelfed

    Mingling with the people you follow on Tumblr. And it's all neatly tied together through ActivityPub.

    This was the original promise of the tumbleblogs Tumblr was inspired by. https://kottke.org/05/10/tumblelogs

    I see people worry that it'll be quickly blocked the moment it steps on to the Fediverse. The matt in Automattic lived through the same decades of web and internet we all did. I hope he has the good sense to slow walk it and make sure Tumblr is a good citizen of the Fediverse rather than flipping a switch one day to open the floodgates.

    • toastal 7 days ago
      > your favorite artists and photographers on Pixelfed

      Pixelfed is more or less an Instagram clone ... which is like photo/video microblogging. Because the audience is largely 'casual' and encourage taking and consuming media from a smart phone it does some things with images that are antithetical to what a _good_ platform would be for artists. Instagram compresses the living hell out of images, it limits you to square and close-to-square dimensions, the color profile is stripped (I would assume you still can't even upload DCI-P3 photos from non-Apple platforms for whatever reason), and all license and metadata is stripped from the image. Most, if not all, of these issues have traveled to Pixelfed too. If it wasn't for the walled status and trying to gain 'casual' followers, I don't think artists would prefer the degradation of image options, quality, and metadata of Pixelfed/Instagram if they could be federated on a different, image-quality-focused platform. It's not without it's shortcomings, but Flickr better at this sort of thing and was talking of federation this week: https://twitter.com/DonMacAskill/status/1594945727255699457. Currently nothing in the Fediverse respects the media in the way a deviantArt, 500px, Flickr, et.al. type platform does.

      • mgerdts 7 days ago
        Presumably a pixelfed server could be configured to support full resolution raw images for their local users. The federated feed could push out the lower resolution images that are fine for viewing on phones.

        This would be a way for an ActivityPub service to work on a freemium model.

        • toastal 6 days ago
          I don't think you need to ship full-res images, it's that the compression and stripping should be turned down and formats like JPEG XL should be supported to push a high-quality-but-small-size image for consumption. The line between a photo and photography is vague, but folks' daily coffee photo probably doesn't need to have the compression dialed back a lot.
          • mgerdts 6 days ago
            My point was that a pixelfed instance wouldn’t necessarily need to reduce the size or quality of images if those that were uploading them were bearing the cost of storage and data transfers. I said raw because I am far from enough of a photography geek to suggest something else that would be ridiculous for casual viewing on a phone but a reasonable request for someone that will do something interesting with photos they download.
    • Doxin 3 days ago
      So one of the nice properties about the fediverse is that tumblr "flipping the switch" wouldn't really do much of anything. You'd either have to explicitly follow a tumblr account, or have someone you follow boost a tumblr account, for it to show up in your feed.

      I quite like how it's much more network-y than regular social media. Keeping your experience sane is much easier because you'll generally only see people you know, or people who people you know know. Reach intentionally has some friction to it. People have to keep vetting posts by boosting to extend the reach it has.

    • no_wizard 8 days ago
      Why is flipping the switch bad in this context? Isn’t that actually what the protocol needs, a major visible platform adopting it with open arms all at once?
      • Kye 7 days ago
        Look at how much chaos came from just adding a few million people in a month. I don't see a way that goes better adding tens of millions in the same or shorter period. The best way for Tumblr to do it would be to:

        1: Open source it

        2: Make it federated with other Tumblrs. Probably using whatever BlueSky cooks up, or some similar effort focused on big platforms.

        3: Offer a managed version the same way they do with WordPress for the majority of people who don't want to run their own

        4: Provide an optional ActivityPub extension

        5: Telegraph that federation is coming for the still probably too big main instance(s) to give administrators time to decide how they'll handle it: mute, block, allow, etc. This gives people who eventually migrate off in 6/7 a clear view of how instances plan to handle it.

        6: Add ActivityPub support to the main instance(s). Make it opt-in.

        7: Wait to see how it shakes out as people migrate to non-Tumblr instances. By now, probably 2-3 years in, there will be enough diversity in platforms and hosting options that most people will have some place to go that's appealing. We already see minimal AP instance software popping up that focuses on providing people with a Linktree/Caard-like experience where it's only a profile that's exposed to AP instances. Maybe even sites like that will add AP support! Posts from these could replace newsletters. (I know, a common claim for as long as newsletters have existed)

        • sylvietg 7 days ago
          Tumblr already effectively federates inside its own network. Instead of accessing <blog>.tumblr.com, log in at tumblr.com and then visit tumblr.com/<blog>. Each user must have one blog. A user can create more blogs and a blog may have more than one contributor. Only primary blogs can comment, like, etc. What I would personally do is copy Mastodon's approach. This is super easy and pain free and doesn't require messing with Hellsite's architecture and potentially ticking off thousands of users while simultaneously playing better with Mastodon, specifically. How do I accomplish this? By creating a proxy for each Federated entity the first time it is needed. Tumblr's local API continues to just operate against local entities, tagging the proxy when needed. A separate process batches outbound notifications, grouping by target server. Inbound, I just locate or create the proxy for the given federated entity - then use the existing deliver infrastructure to deliver the notification. This also gives me a good way to cache content - and allows local trust and safety to do their thing if they need to. It limits all code changes related to this to the edge of my network, limiting the risk.
      • notatoad 8 days ago
        i think right now the protocol and the people who run popular mastodon instances are being treated as the same thing - mastodon.social and various affiliated servers are trying to build a community based around a certain set of values and type of content, and feeding all of tumblr into that might cause some drama.

        it's unquestionably good for the protocol to have more people using it. but it might not be good for mastodon.

        • simfree 8 days ago
          Mastodon.social and other large instances certainly aren't working to build the same focused, higher quality communities that smaller instances thrive on.

          This is part of why many instances block the large, poorly moderated instances.

      • lmm 8 days ago
        Pivix did exactly that, becoming the majority of the fediverse overnight. The result was a huge concerted effort to block them.
        • esjeon 7 days ago
          You mean Pawoo created by Pixiv? Welp, yeah, but having Tumblr federated would not raise legal issues like that.
        • rodgerd 8 days ago
          Odd that you choose not to mention that the rest of the fediverse dropped them over child pornography, which might leave some readers with the wrong impression about Pixiv's problems.
          • lmm 7 days ago
            Over a novel, non-standard definition of child pornography. I suspect the fediverse would find something equally offensive to redefine tumblr as responsible for.
            • rodgerd 7 days ago
              You have to be pretty far down the weeb hole to think that anime loli isn't regarded as child porn by anyone outside of that particular cave.
              • tpxl 7 days ago
                There are reasons child pornography is bad and loli doesn't share any of those reasons. Equating those two is pearl clutching and an insult to victims of actual child pornography.
                • rkangel 7 days ago
                  There are reasons child pornography is bad and loli shares some (but by no means all) of the reasons. Just because loli isn't as bad as 'normal' child pornography doesn't mean that it's not still bad.

                  Sexualisation of minors is not a good thing, and taking a stance against it is a perfectly reasonable action. For example - Netflix's "Cuties" film should never have been made, except that it did at least draw some attention to the real life pageants that are themselves a problem.

                • zimpenfish 7 days ago
                  Regardless of the specific distinction between the two, it would be possibly illegal for me, as a UKian, to allow that content[1] - "The Act made it illegal to own any picture depicting under-18s participating in sexual activities, or depictions of sexual activity in the presence of someone under 18 years old."

                  (I admit that I am not well versed enough in "anime loli" to know whether it is just "sexual activities" or more nuanced but I'm not risking a jail sentence either way, thanks. UKGOV is trigger happy on anything CSAM/fictional CSAM.)

                  [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_fictional_porn...

              • GaggiX 7 days ago
                I think many people would find it reasonable to draw a line between victimless drawing and abuse material, regardless of whether it contains children, gore, violence, bestiality, rape, etc.
            • mschuster91 7 days ago
              > Over a novel, non-standard definition of child pornography.

              The problem is, there are jurisdictions in which loli and similar content can be classified as CSAM [1], and there are jurisdictions where e.g. the operator of a federation server can be held liable for facilitating access or for not blocking access to such material, even if the material in question isn't hosted at that server, such as in Germany (the case in question [2] was about software piracy, but the general legal principles apply just the same).

              Legal systems worldwide haven't even begun to catch up with tech developments, and I think it will take at least a decade until regulations adapt.

              [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolicon#Legality_and_censorshi...

              [2] https://rsw.beck.de/aktuell/daily/meldung/detail/bgh-kein-un...

    • whateveracct 7 days ago
      I actually never considered Tumblr supporting ActivityPub reads. Just publishing over the protocol. That is intriguing indeed, as a Tumblrina
    • none_to_remain 7 days ago
      By implementing ActivityPub wouldn't Tumblr become the overwhelming majority of the Fediverse?
  • college_physics 7 days ago
    It feels like activitypub is the true web 3.0 or at least the start of a road towards it?

    but is it too tied to "social" web platforms as we have come to know and dislike? I mean its got explicitly hardwired the concepts of "followers" and "liking" and all the inanity that this has unleashed upon us. Now of course these are just "words" representing underlying software functionality but the mindset of designers and the constraints or blind spots they embed on software plays a huge role.

    consider the possibility that a more democratic / federated model of a broken concept will not deliver us from the social media fiasco.

    • rkangel 7 days ago
      It's something I'm trying to understand too - what concepts does ActivityPub embody. My current version is "the general concept of someone posting some information that other people might be interested in, and the ability to get updates about it if you're interested". Fundamentally it's what "blog+RSS" gets you.

      I haven't had a chance to go through the spec properly, but all of the other bits like liking, replies etc. seem to be more application specific.

    • BlueTemplar 7 days ago
      Does it actually have that, or has this been added on top of it by Mastodon and PeerTube (and not some of the others) ?
      • none_to_remain 7 days ago
        ActivityPub includes the social media concepts of liking, following, and sharing
  • technojunkie 8 days ago
    This is great. Now, who can we contact to get this integrated into WordPress Core? I know there's a plugin but it'd be great to get something into Core.


    • hn_20591249 7 days ago
      Tumblr is now owned by the original developer of WordPress, so not outside the realm of possibility.
      • tiffanyh 7 days ago
        > owned by the original developer of WordPress

        What do you mean by “original developer” of WordPress?

        I don’t think you mean the developer of b2/cafelog, which is what WordPress is a fork of. [0]

        I think you just mean that WordPress acquired Tumblr.

        [0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

        • russellbeattie 7 days ago
          What sort of pedantic geek with a grudge do you have to be to think you're making some sort of point by stating the absolutely irrelevant fact that 20 years ago there was a crappy abandoned PHP project that was initially used by an ambitious teenager as a starting point to create the world's most successful publishing platform and one of the top open source projects of all time?

          Seriously, what do you think your point is? That the past 20 years of WordPress success is somehow the result of some nefarious teen fraud back in 2003? That Matt shouldn't get credit for creating WordPress because he started with a few hundred lines of PHP from an - again abandoned - open source project?

          The bitterness and stupidity on the Internet will never cease to amaze me.

          • michelv 7 days ago
            Hi, developer of b2 here. Can't believe I finally have to create an account on HN, but here we are.

            First of all, Matt and Mike (along with Doug, Alex, Donncha, and other devs from that time) deserve all the credit for WordPress and its success. Often I get way too much credit from friends and people who mean well.

            I have mixed feelings about calling b2 a crappy project though.

            When I started writing it, I only had one month of PHP behind me, and no computer science background.

            It was a time when Blogger was flaky and a lot of bloggers were tired of the frequent downtime. There was a demand for blogware that could be installed and customized easily, and most existing blogware fell short (those written in Perl required specific hosting, others were not easy to use or customize).

            What I brought with b2 at the time wasn't technical prowess, but software that could be installed on super cheap webhosting plans by just editing a config file and uploading.

            I take pride in the documentation that allowed folks who only knew HTML to customize their blog's markup without having to know PHP or a custom template language. (Keep in mind we're talking about a time when bloggers would hand-write their site's HTML, ready-made themes weren't a thing.)

            I have fond memories of the dozens of fine people who contributed ideas and code to the project; among those contributions were the first opensource implementation of PingBack and perhaps the first of TrackBack too (not so sure about that one, but at the time there wasn't a lot of GPL blogware).

            The relative success of b2 (among those who self-installed their blog) was not due to the intrinsic quality of its code, but to those important things. It was mostly crappy PHP, but there is more to projects than just code. I would keep on talking about what blogs looked like in 2001, but if I recognize your name correctly, I believe you were there too.

            Finally, yes, it was abandoned. I was suffering from depression following the loss of my job at the time, and took time away from the internet. It was just not physically possible to open a code editor, or even reply to email, for a few months. It's not like I decided that I had enough and decided to explore greener pastures. If I could go back in time, I would hang on to the community we had, instead of abandoning the users and contributors.

            TL;DR: Matt, Mike, and the team deserve all the credit for WordPress's success, and it's a bit harsh to judge a 20+ years old project created by an enthusiastic newbie coder.

            • russellbeattie 7 days ago
              OMG! I'm so sorry!!!

              I deeply apologize for calling it crappy - that had absolutely nothing to do with my point and not based on any sort of knowledge beyond dim, decades old memory, and also more based on how I describe "solve a problem" coding. Literally ALL my code is crappy, if that helps clarify. Really, I'm totally sorry I threw that in there, I could have made my point without it.

              Worse, someone else might read my comment and worry about publishing their own project which is the last thing I want to do. I used to worry constantly about the quality of my projects. I don't any more because I realized that a line of published ugly code which solves a problem is worth thousands of perfect lines of code which never sees the light of day, and that open code can be used as a starting point for others. That's exact what happened with b2, of which you should justifiably be proud and happy!

              Gah, I feel horrible. Sorry again!

            • seriocomic 7 days ago
              upvoting to at least justify your effort in creating an account here :)

              Fond memories myself - of finding, downloading, running B2 back in 2002, then wondering "what happened to Michel V?" - then moving on to .72 of Matt/Mike's fork...

              Thanks for rounding out the missing details, and for your understated contribution.

        • yurishimo 7 days ago
          "WordPress" didn't acquire Tumblr. Automattic did. Automattic (A8C) is the corporate entity behind WordPress.com and Tumblr.

          The open source software can be found at WordPress.ORG and while the CEO of A8C does sit at the head of the board of the OSS project, his reach extends as far as others are willing to implement his ideas. Also to be fair, he does pay plenty of A8C employees to "contribute" to the OSS project on company time. This is largely how the Gutenberg project was pushed over the finish line.

    • capableweb 8 days ago
      I sincerely hope a bunch of benchmarks and research will be made first about how well ActivityPub scales and how many (average hardware) servers it can realistically can support, before turning it on for all Wordpress installations by default.
      • technojunkie 8 days ago
        WordPress Core devs can double ActivityPub testing using wordpress.com in addition to Tumblr. With success, and with it in core (disabled by default), we then have an easy path to turn it on.
  • valeg 7 days ago
    Tumblr's second wind. They seem to be on the right track.
    • SeriousM 7 days ago
      In addition with allowing porn on their site again...
      • manchmalscott 7 days ago
        They still don’t allow sexually explicit material.

        From their most recent policy:

        Visual depictions of sexually explicit acts (or content with an overt focus on genitalia) are not allowed on Tumblr. That includes pictures, videos, GIFs, drawings, CGI, or anything similar. Historically significant art that you may find in a mainstream museum and which depicts sex acts—such as from India’s Śuṅga Empire—are now allowed on Tumblr with proper labeling.

        Nudity and other kinds of adult material are generally welcome. We’re not here to judge your art, we just ask that you add a Community Label to your mature content so that people can choose to filter it out of their Dashboard if they prefer.


        • ryanbrunner 7 days ago
          Their definition of sexually explicit is pretty narrow though in practice, there's still a significant chunk of Tumblr blogs that are 100% focused on sexual images and content without issue (and frankly were throughout the time when porn was banned since in practice Tumblr didn't put a tremendous amount of effort towards enforcement).
        • bjtitus 7 days ago
          Good luck finding anyone who gets significant traffic from Apple’s App Store allowing this.
  • throwaway894345 8 days ago
    Does anyone know of any good writeups documenting the Mastodon/ActivityPub server-server protocol? Ideally a tutorial?
  • donatj 8 days ago
    I misread Tumblr as Twitter at first and thought that was really interesting. Be really neat to make Twitter a one stop shop.
    • gonzo41 8 days ago
      That would be a smart and strategic move for twitter if they did. Along the lines of an embrace, extend, extinguish move against the fediverse.
      • glenstein 8 days ago
        Twitter apparently was working on their own protocol, under a project named BlueSky. I personally feel this was unnecessary and redundant because w3c had put forward activity pub.

        However, this project existed just the same. As far as I can tell, the Twitter and blog for the project have not been active since late October and I'm not sure if there's any life to it anymore.


        • pfraze 8 days ago
          Bluesky is very active, we started beta testing 6 days ago https://twitter.com/arcalinea/status/1593439410699501570?s=4...
        • technojunkie 8 days ago
          Here's a contributor's (pfraze) reason for not using ActivityPub.


          • est 7 days ago
            > a preference for domain usernames over AP’s double-@ email usernames

            This I strongly agree.

            • kibwen 7 days ago
              Frontends can just support both. In Mastodon, I can search for either `@username@example.com` or `https://example.com/@username` and both will suffice to show the same result.
              • est 7 days ago
                I prefer the email format, like username@example.com

                Double @ just look so ugly.

                • simonw 7 days ago
                  The problem with that format is that it had better also work as an email address, because otherwise people will be extremely confused by it.
                  • est 7 days ago
                    > better also work as an email address

                    Sure why not? Make ActivityPub work over SMTP doesn't sounds like a bad idea.

                • spookie 7 days ago
                  That would imply that's an email, when in fact it's just a fedi account. It's there for a reason, another one (besides accessibility) is to make it easier parsing for other instances.
        • esjeon 8 days ago
          BlueSky is completely different from AP.

          BlueSky is closer to decentralized SNS, where as AP is actively seeking to become a federated SNS. BlueSky uses DID and independent data repositories, which allows freely migrating b/w instances. AP simply does federation b/w rather classical blog hosting apps.

          • rjmunro 7 days ago
            AP is ActivityPub, the protocol behind Mastodon. But what is SNS? What is DID?
            • esjeon 6 days ago
              SNS is the usual Social Network Service.

              DID is Decentralized IDentifier. It's a design for decentralized identity registries, independent of central ID providers and authorities. Anyone can verify identity without going through the issuer. This is generally considered as a blockchain tech, though the spec is written in a generic way.

        • devmor 8 days ago
          I though Bluesky was Jack's pet project and unrelated to Twitter Inc.
          • odo1242 8 days ago
            It was funded by Twitter, but under a separate organization.
      • nerdponx 7 days ago
        I'm sure some senior decision makers at Tumblr also have this in the backs of their minds just in case this move works out well.
      • ilyt 8 days ago
        I have a feeling that would just make most of the server owners ban it
  • alpb 7 days ago
    Anyone remember PubSubHubBub?
  • stevenicr 7 days ago
    I am glad for this in general, but wonder how it's going to work and scale - given that tumblr censors more than twitter..

    if activity pub is a two way thing - what it going to happen to naughty bits shared between the two.. comments and posts that are outside the allowed bounds of tumblr?

    Will this be bot blocked? will there be a notice sent to the post-er and post-ee?

    Very interested to see how this actually works, and how it works at tumblr.

    • tga_d 7 days ago
      It's already pretty common to choose federation status based on moderation policies. Many instances will only federate with instances that require content warnings for NSFW content, and some won't federate with instances that allow NSFW content at all. This information is machine-readable (see https://instances.social for an example of how it gets used), and lying about it will get you on lists for defederating pretty quickly.
      • stevenicr 6 days ago
        This I understand from a [Popular Servr X has Y rules] - vs other server possibly being different.. and essentially a server admin or moderator group being choosy about broadly banning Z type of servers, and particular AA and BB ones as issues arise.

        What I am having a hard time figuring out, is what would tumblr do? If people from twitter servers post stuff via activity pub - (comments?) - and it's against the prude TOS they adopted some years ago - will they be blocking twitter servers outright?

        Find a way to block individual twitter users from cross posting?

        Will people on tumblr side be notified that a comment reply was attempted but X was blocked and so whatever.. will there be a fail notification send to the activitypub person from server V ?

        There is often confusion when comments are written directly to a blog - did the blog owner delete it? Did akismet (wp/automattic's spam filtering thing for comments and more) kill it and no one ever saw it? Was it punted to the spam comments section based on a server it's from or a word in the comment field?

        I just don't see how tumblr or similar could possibly scale this without a bunch of moderators - and I also think the ux for the tumblr users and those who would communicate with them via activity is going to go well as people find big holes in communication (no warnings and no info as to what is blocked, how it is blocked, etc)

  • samwillis 7 days ago
  • kuramitropolis 8 days ago
    Still no standalone ActivityPub client anywhere. Strange.
    • mariusor 8 days ago
      That is mostly because there are very few servers that support the client to server portion of the ActivityPub specification.

      I am working on such a server, and I have built a custom client for it, but it's just a web application.

    • dsr_ 8 days ago
      ... what does that mean?

      It sounds like you are saying "there are no standalone SMTP clients", after which we would all start listing software that speaks SMTP.

      • remram 8 days ago
        So point out the clients that speak ActivityPub?

        There is a lot of software that speaks the ActivityPub server-server protocol, but most client apps use the Mastodon client API or custom protocols, not ActivityPub client-server.

      • esjeon 8 days ago
        SMTP is strictly a server-to-server protocol. POP3 and IMAP are the protocols for accessing mailboxes remotely.
        • cdot2 7 days ago
          You can send mail via smtp connection from client to server
          • esjeon 6 days ago
            Woopsie, totally forgot about that part. It seems like I got too used to webmails.
    • vidarh 7 days ago
      Likely because ActivityPub alone provides just a subset of what a typical social media client needs, and requires far more logic in the client than using the Mastodon API. E.g. if you use those APIs you don't need to care about webfinger and can treat the local server as the only API endpoint. There are few compelling reason for client writers to talk ActivityPub to the servers unless/until there's a far larger number of servers which does not support the Mastodon API
    • rakoo 7 days ago
      AndStatus definitely speaks it
  • joshuanapoli 8 days ago
    Why is ActivityPub better than RSS?
    • jillesvangurp 7 days ago
      RSS is a loosely specified document format with many implementation variants that basically represent a list of items with links, titles and a few other fields.

      ActivityPub is a W3C protocol and API specification for basically a generic federated social network with client server, and server to server API calls to create and manage activities and activity streams (a related specification).`

      It's not about being 'better' but about being something different. Representing an activity feed as an RSS feed is easy. Mastodon in fact has support for RSS. So, you don't even need to use mastodon to follow mastodon users and their micro blogs. For example, this is how you get Neil Gaiman's RSS feed

        curl -H 'Accept: application/rss+xml' https://mastodon.social/@neilhimself
    • mariusor 8 days ago
      It's not really comparable, because ActivityPub describes a two way communication channel between entities, while RSS is just one way.

      ActivityPub is similar/comparable to email but built for social networks interactions.

      • fallat 7 days ago
        ActivityPub is built for events. It's way more general than email.
        • vidarh 7 days ago
          You can push whatever you want over email. I have used email as a federated queueing system... It worked fine.
        • mariusor 7 days ago
          I'd be very curious what gave you this idea. The ActivityPub vocabulary contains a number of social network related activities that can operate over a decently large vocabulary of object types, events being only one of them.
          • fallat 7 days ago
            You're confusing "an event Im going to" with "an event signaled by a program"
            • mariusor 7 days ago
              Thank you for clarifying that. I would hope that I can be forgiven for not understanding what you meant seeing how stingy you are with your words. Even so, I can't say I've heard anyone that works on ActivityPub projects call "Activities" events.
      • kmeisthax 7 days ago
        So it's Trackbacks all over again ;P
    • notatoad 8 days ago
      they're fundamentally different things. Activitypub is a protocol for multidirectional sharing of content, RSS is for unidirectional publisher/consumer distribution. there's no reason an ActivityPub instance couldn't also provide RSS feeds of their content.
      • toofy 7 days ago
        > there's no reason an ActivityPub instance couldn't also provide RSS feeds of their content.

        it already does. you can receive users mastodon posts/comments as rss already—just add .rss after their address.

        the number of esoteric things mastodon and activity pub support is wild. honestly i think it’s gonna change the entire paradigm.

      • notpushkin 8 days ago
        Which they usually do! Now if only you could also follow arbitrary RSS feeds...
        • rakoo 7 days ago
          I built this: https://sr.ht/~rakoo/rss2ap/. It posts RSS entries to a given account, and that account can now be subscribed to, entries can be commented, etc... It works well for one or two feeds but can get tedious if you want to follow many feeds and not spend too much time on that.

          There is also https://github.com/dariusk/rss-to-activitypub. It requires a bit more work to maintain, but the creation and management of feeds is way more straightforward.

    • braingenious 8 days ago
  • asddubs 8 days ago
    >Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg — whose company acquired Tumblr from Verizon in 2019 — suggested the user “come to Tumblr” as the site would soon “add activitypub for interconnect.”

    I'll believe it when I see it

    too easy to say this kind of thing in the hopes it will lure people in and get some press, and then to just quietly never do it and when asked about it again say "it didn't work out because of technical reasons"

    • codetrotter 8 days ago
      Automattic are pretty serious about open source software.


    • brigandish 8 days ago
      I think it’s fair to be sceptical. I’m not aware of other services having retro fitted activitypub (are there any?) so it’ll be a good test of the protocol and any claims it will lead to more interoperability beyond Mastodon instances.
    • stryan 8 days ago
      Tumblr infamously had a lot of spagetti code back in the day, with both new and old features breaking all the time. Last I checked (within the past 10 months), my tumblr accounts still shows -1 likes.

      I think Automattic has been good for the site code quality-wise, but also very much believe it when I see it. Plus, what happens when porn federates over to someones Tumblr dashboard?

  • ramesh31 8 days ago
    • capableweb 8 days ago
      The article is not about Mastodon, why bring this up?

      Imagine people complaining about HTTP being inefficient on every submission of a web service just because you happen to know one slow web service.

      • ramesh31 8 days ago
        The article opens with someone complaining about spending 7 hours trying to get a Mastodon instance running.
    • Touche 8 days ago
    • vengefulduck 8 days ago
      Your kidding right? Anything IO bound like an server isn’t going to be remotely affected by the speed of underlying language. There’s almost no compute required for a mastodon server just take HTTP requests and store and retrieve data from a database. The CPU is going to be active for a fraction of a millisecond before it becomes blocked on either the database or network.
      • datalopers 8 days ago
        You’d be surprised at how brutally inefficient RoR code actually is. Anyway, ActivityPub is a protocol, and Mastodon isn’t relevant for this discussion.
      • jeroenhd 7 days ago
        Hard disagree. Friendly programming languages such as Python and Ruby on Rails are good for small applications but when applications grow, so does their footprint.

        You can get equivalent performance through more work, more caching layers, more servers and more hardware resources, but there's a real limit to how much one server can handle before it starts slowing down.

        The simple fact is that a a Bash web server will never be as fast as a bespoke x64 assembly HTTP server. There's a huge gradient between the two and I'm not suggesting we need to build a Mastodon backend in C, but this "it's a web server so who cares about performance" approach to programming languages needs to go.

        Take a look at the techempower listing if you don't believe me. Ignore the weird, bespoke, benchmark oriented servers and focus on real world applications if you wish to make the gap smaller but even among big frameworks you'll find the differences. JSON serialisation is one example every web API needs to deal with, and ASP.NET stands head and shoulders above Ruby on Rails performance, for example.

        In practice, there's probably no real performance difference between the JVM, dotnet, and Rust frameworks because of I/O limitations. However, Ruby on Rails lives in a whole different performance segment, next to PHP and Python.

      • lzooz 8 days ago
        You are wrong. Web applications written in languages like Python or Ruby will spend most of their time spinning the CPU instead of retrieving stuff from the database. There are languages that are just that slow.
      • threeseed 8 days ago
        Benchmarks disagree with you. Ruby is 6x slower than Java/Rust/Scala for a basic web server.


        There is a reason Twitter switched from Ruby to Scala during their fail-whale era.

    • boyter 8 days ago
      Those exist already. https://humungus.tedunangst.com/r/honk For example.
      • pram 8 days ago
        This is delightfully esoteric.
      • witheld 8 days ago
        I wish this thing had a screenshot
    • traverseda 8 days ago
      Surely the actual work is mostly being handled in the database, with the ruby code mostly acting is glue code? I'd expect to run into database scaling issues (or data model issues) long before running into issues with the relatively easy to scale horizontally ruby code.
      • kstrauser 8 days ago
        Nope. The biggest bottleneck is in the async Sidekiq workers. I have 7 Sidekiq processes using a total of 5GB of RAM and as much CPU as they can get, but my database server is at around 5% CPU and IO.

        If the Rails part scaled as well as my DB, I believe I could trivially handle 10x the number of users I have today.

        • kondro 8 days ago
          You might want to double-check your DB pooling numbers. Running out of DB connections can end up looking a lot like heavy CPU usage on Ruby.

          This bottleneck probably relates to the delivery of new messages to feeds. That's the busiest part of the backend and requires 5-7 DB requests and a bunch of Redis requests per recipient from a post on your server.

          I'm sure spending time just on making this part of the platform more efficient would have massive impacts on performance across on a Mastodon instance.

          • kstrauser 8 days ago
            That part’s fine. I’m sitting being PgBouncer, and neither it nor PostgreSQL are anywhere near their connection limits.

            I sincerely wish that were the issue so I could configure my way around it.

            • kondro 7 days ago
              Yes, but are the connection pools in Rails & Sidekiq configured for a very large number of connections. You can probably squeeze up to 100+ out of a single process.
              • kstrauser 7 days ago
                I’ve got a pool of 100 DB connections for each Sidekiq process, and haven’t gotten any errors related to lack of connections.

                For real, I’ve troubleshot this to hell and back. Mastodon’s Sidekiq processes eat servers for breakfast.

        • vidarh 7 days ago
          That's a Mastodon and Rails architecture issue first and foremost, though, and far less of a Ruby issue.

          Mastodon is indeed a resource hog, so that part of the complaint I agree with.

          I've run queue processing on servers a fraction of a modern server CPU, less memory than that total, and with Ruby 1.8.x.

          It's not hard. It's hard to do with a naive Rails-based design based around Sidekick workers and ActivityRecord.

      • ilyt 8 days ago
        Yes on the "big user" side (you're just burning little extra money every month on slow code), but no on overall.

        Having fast code means that random $10 a month VPS can now support much bigger community. The hosting providers can also provide cheaper/better service for people that want just pay someone to run it for them.

    • Alifatisk 7 days ago
      Well, can’t you just switch engine from mruby to jruby? I believe Mastodon was compitable with jruby.
      • vidarh 7 days ago
        Mruby is a small embeddable Ruby that will not run Mastodon. The Ruby you're thinking of is usually described as MRI or CRuby.
        • Alifatisk 12 hours ago
          You’re right, I meant CRuby.
    • hokumguru 8 days ago
      • ramesh31 7 days ago
        Nearly every RoR success story has been in spite of Ruby’s performance itself. AirBnB, Twitter, Soundcloud — they all ditched it as soon as they couldn’t bear the technical debt any longer.
      • jug 8 days ago
        Yeah, I know ruby is slow but is it “dominates over architecture and software design”-slow?
    • bubafub 8 days ago
      I'm surprised people are still writing stuff in Ruby. I thought it was one of those obsolete languages like D or Forth or ALGOL.
      • doublerabbit 8 days ago
        > I thought it was one of those obsolete languages

        Not really when it powers most of eCommerce, services in and around Asia; within Japan it's far from obsolete.

        It may not be a thing in the Western World. It is over the pond.

        • ramesh31 7 days ago
          > within Japan it's far from obsolete.

          Well so are fax machines