The PhoneBoy Blog

Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog with Micro.Blog

Update 25 September 2018

I have decided to discontinue using as, while I like the concept, the implementation and the community are not what I'm looking for. I will leave this post up as-is in case it helps someone, but I currently have no plans to update it.

Updated 28 May 2018 with tips for preventing Webmention spam

Updated 20 January 2018 with auto-linking mentions instructions

Updated 15 January 2018 with a better introduction

I have to admit to being intrigued when Manton Reece was initially discussing his project back in 2016 on the Core Intuition podcast. I did not participate in the Kickstarter at all, nor did I continue listening to Core Intuition in 2017 to track it that closely.

I did look into it a few weeks ago upon hearing about it from some people I interact with on other social networks. From their homepage, describes themselves thus:

Today's social networks are broken. Ads are everywhere. Hate and harassment are too common. Fake news spreads unchecked.

There's a better way: a network of independent microblogs. Short posts like tweets but on your own web site that you control. is a safe community for microblogs. A timeline to follow friends and discover new posts. Hosting built on open standards.

In many ways, it's similar to more traditional services like Twitter or Plurk. To participate on the service, you join the service, which gives you the ability to create a profile, and respond to other people's posts. There is also a Discover section where you can find other people using the service. So far, so good.

You can originate conversations on in one of two ways:

  • On a hosted microblog, which you pay $5/mo for the privilege of having. If you go this route, it's effectively no different than Twitter, Plurk, or any number of similiar services.
  • On your own blog, which could be literally anything that spits out an RSS feed. This option is free, and is where things get confusing for some folks. It is also the route I chose.

My originating posts to appear on a WordPress site I set up specifically for that purpose. I post to it just like any other blog. The native clients for iOS and Mac interface directly with my WordPress blog, which means when I use them to post, it looks just like using a Twitter client. I can use any Micropub or WordPress client to post to my blog as well, which will cause a post to show up on

When I respond to posts on, they are stored on, exactly the same as if I was responding to a post on Plurk or Twitter. With a few additional steps, I've made it so the conversations around my posts are imported as regular comments on my own blog.

The bad news, the process is not nearly as well documented as it should be. This blog post is an attempt at documenting this.


Unihertz Jelly Pro Review

Through various news sites, I had been made aware of the Jelly Pro smartphone, which bills itself as “Impossibly small, amazingly cute, and totally functional.” Recently, Stephen from Unihertz had reached out to me and offered to send me a review unit, which I took them up on. Does it deliver?

Jello Pro in Hand

It’s definitely small. In terms of size, the only phone I’ve had that was even close to this size is the Nokia 6230, which came out back in 2004 and wasn’t even a smartphone! That clocked in at 103 x 44 x 20 mm. The Jelly Pro is smaller than that at 92.4 x 43 x 13mm, fits in the coin pocket on my jeans, and packs a lot more functional punch!

Just to give you a sense of how small it is, I took a picture of it next to an Alcatel OneTouch Flint that I have:

Jelly Pro with another phone

Cute? Well, that’s relative, but I definitely think it’s cute. Definitely reminds me of the candy bar phones of years past, though it’s got a touchscreen and runs a fairly stock version of Android 7.0.

Totally functional? That’s also relative. It’s definitely functional, more so than I thought, but there are some definite limits to it’s functionality.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1184: AWS, VPSes, and Cloud Economics

Amazon Web Services makes it really easy to use their infrastructure...and rack up a huge bill in the process. This is why I tend to use cheaper Virtual Private Servers, which I usually find on Low End Box, looking for the best value for money. Because, in the end, there's not a ton of difference between them. The same goes for the Public Cloud offerings, which is on track to start a race to the bottom in terms of pricing.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1183: Sennheiser SC 60 USB ML USB Headset

Been a few months since I podcasted. Been a few changes in my life lately. ope to get back to it soon. Meanwhile, you can tell me how you think my Sennheiser SC60-USB-ML headset sounds.


VoIP is Still a Thing

I don't write much about VoIP anymore. Of course, I don't write about much. Maybe if I string enough of my WhatsApp/SMS/iMessages together, I could write a book. In fact, I bet we all could :)

That said, VoIP is still a thing. Businesses are still looking for a way to lower costs and make it easier to connect their employees. What's surprising to me, at least, is that one name is still there from back when I was writing about VoIP on a regular basis: 8x8! The others are fairly new, though Ooma and Ring Central have "sponsored" radio-related things I've listened to recently.

Me, personally? The only VoIP app I use with any regularity is WhatsApp. Not sure how Facebook makes money off it. But clearly, the solutions below are making some money. And if you're in the market, they're worth a look.

Via: Phone Systems


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1182: Fifine USB Microphone

The last few podcasts were recorded with a new USB microphone and a USB to Lightning adapter on an iPad. Still using Auphonic to post-produce the audio. What do you think?

Note the links below are Amazon affiliate links. On the off chance you purchase based on my link, I'll make a few pennies.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1181: Containers, Microservices, and Security

Containers and Microservices are on the rise, and they are going to impact application security in a good way.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1180: RoboFence

Spam phone calls are still a thing. They're even more annoying on mobile phones, but there are tools that can help.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1179: Do You Really Own Your Data?

You have less control over your data than you think.


PhoneBoy Speaks Ep 1178: The ADN Apocalypse

App.Net is shutting down on the 15th of March 2017. This is my podcast to commemorate the occasion.


Long ago, when I didn't work for Check Point Software, this site used to be a well-visited FAQ site on the Check Point firewall products. This site has served many other purposes over the years, but is currently the home for the PhoneBoy Speaks podcast.

Some other projects I'm doing include: CheckMates, Check Point's user community site, PhoneBoy's Security Theater, a blog where I discuss computer and network security-related topics, as well as PhoneBoy Says, an infrequent personal blog where I discuss more personal issuea.s

PhoneBoy Speaks: Mobile Technology, Social Media, Geek Culture, Information Security, and General Tech Douchebaggery