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OBIT Meeting 20 Jan 2013

Attending: Dana, Kendra, Steve. We met at Boloco from 3-4pm.

Computers in Storage

Joe was interested in taking some of the computers from storage the pace. He was going to give them to Sebla's friend and/or otherwise give them away. We have 29 machines in storage. Most are missing to keyboards and monitors.

Kendra hoped to donate some machines to the South End Tech Center (for outreach purposes). Mel King wanted to set up some machines with Linux and other Free Software. Kendra will talk to Mel, to see if he's interested in taking some of the machines.

No objections to Joe taking 10-15 of the machines. We'd rather see the machines being used, as opposed to sitting in storage.

Community Forum

Dana's noticed some community forum messages where the body appears to be empty, except for the words "This attachment has been scrubbed".

Steve explains the "scrubbed" message. My default, mailman is configured to show plain/text attachments in digests and archives; text/html-only messages have the text/html `scrubbed' and treated as an attachments. If there's no text/plain part, then all you see is the `scrubbed' message.

This is a mailman configuration issue, and can be changed by the list owner. There are three things we can do

  • Ask the owner of the community forum to change the mailman configuration.
  • Try to educate people about text vs html vs mime-multipart.
  • Do nothing, because this doesn't seem like a big issue.

We choose the third option.


A few people have needed material from the old groups site. For example, FSU documents, and material from the Safer spaces working group.

Steve plans to update the groups site (it needs several security updates) and make it read only. At least until we can migrate the content elsewhere.

There's a trac ticket for this: http://support.occupyboston.org/trac/ticket/105

MIT Researcher

Background: a few months ago, we found that an MIT student was downloading all of Occupy Boston's mailing list archives, for use in a research project. A few people objected, and voiced their concerns to the researcher. The research went back to MIT's Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects; now, he plans to incorporate the use of anonymization techniques, to protect the privacy of individuals.

MIT researcher is studying how OB working groups have used mailing lists for communications. It seemed like a data study project.

In last few days, he's been in touch with us. He'd spoken with MIT's review boards, and developed a proposal for anonymizing data to preserve privacy. He also plans to seek permission from the groups who's mailing lists he wanted to analyze.

His new proposal seemed okay to Steve and Linda.

OBIT goals for the next year

We brainstorm ideas and goals for the next year.

  • Gaining proficiency with GPG and monkeysphere
  • Teach people how to do wordpress updates. (Here "updates" refers to updating and deploying wordpress software)
  • Drupal training
  • Git training
  • Cleaning up hosting orders. See http://support.occupyboston.org/trac/ticket/99
  • Possibly migrate some of OB's web services to use OpenID. This would reduce "password proliferation"