The Bus Problem

Warning: Death discussion within


Death is mentioned in this post and is a bit of a theme. Stop reading NOW if you’d prefer to avoid the topic.

Bus Problems and Trust

Ever since KemoNine launched the Lollipop Cloud as a public project they have been acutely aware of our “bus problem (link).” Stated another way: “Continuity.” Yet another way: “What happens when KemoNine dies?”

We have been hard at work reducing spoons, matches and cost surrounding self hosted clouds. We strive to make this technology stuff more accessible for all humans. We are especially sensitive to the needs of those at risk or managing disabilities or nomadic. Spoon theory (link) and matchstick theory (link) being key examples of our focus. KemoNine is big on trust (dangerously so, trust us). How can you trust us if the project could die if any one of our team members dies?

Think on that a moment.

If you rely upon a project, software, etc but if a sole human dies; so does the project. What then? Can you replace that project? Are there even alternatives? Does that reduce or increase you risk profile?

KemoNine founded the Lollipop Cloud project with these concerns in mind. They have been on their brain since before jmf joined as an official team member. They also know that this project can succeed but requires a large amount of trust from the users (you!).

Can you honestly trust this project if KemoNine dies, that’s the end?

Of course not! You can’t!

Up until the point that jmf joined the official lollipop team, KemoNine was the only human with access to key resources of the project. Simply put: KemoNine was (past tense!) the benevolent dictator (link) and if dead so too was the project. This is bad! Very bad!

Don’t Panic

The last paragraph is past tense. KemoNine is course correcting. Even as you read this blog post the wheels are in motion to ensure the Lollipop Cloud doesn’t die with KemoNine.

This project was born from a random idea to solve a specific problem. As it was shown to others KemoNine was prodded into making the project official. After a few months a small user base and support system developed. jmf came on board as a core team member and the rest is mostly history.

These events are the foundation of a project with potential. So much potential that KemoNine is worried about the project surviving them. Over the last month KemoNine has been quietly working with jmf to ensure the Lollipop Cloud is wholly independent as a project. Wholly independent in a way that allows jmf to take the reigns and carry the project forward if KemoNine dies (gets hit by a bus). This is obviously not something we wish to see happen, but it can happen…

It’s a situation that scares KemoNine deeply. They asked jmf if they were comfortable taking the reigns to ensure continuity if something happens to them. The answer was and remains “hell yes!”.

It’s Official

This post is our official announcement.

jmf will succeed KemoNine if KemoNine dies, leaves the project, etc.

The project can carry forth without KemoNine if necessary.

The Lollipop Cloud project will continue if something happens to our key contributors, hosting account contacts, etc. We are building a diverse community of humans working together. The project is more than KemoNine, jmf, or anyone else. It’s the whole of contribution from EVERYONE: public, private, or anonymous.

Continuity is part of the trust our users allowed us to earn. We will continue to earn and work to ensure the trust is not broken.

Additional Details

That stated, we have some additional detail for the curious. We are big on transparency and the following are some details on how we have structured the project for continuity to ensure KemoNine is wholly accountable in their role as a founder. These are also the measures we’ve taken to ensure the project can continue in the absence of KemoNine.

  • We now have a dedicated fall back e-mail address on a secondary domain for ALL accounts the project has with providers (hosting and otherwise).
  • We have dedicated registrary (DNS) and hosting accounts that are just for the Lollipop Cloud project. These accounts are tied to the e-mail address in the previous bullet.
  • ALL of the Lollipop Cloud infrastructure and hardware is 100% isolated from non Lollipop Cloud infrastructure.
  • BOTH KemoNine and jmf have full access to all official Lollipop Cloud e-mail addresses and critical accounts.
    • At this time jmf has to jump through a few small hoops to take control of the infrastructure in totality. This will be changing ASAP. KemoNine is hard at work on this item currently.
  • KemoNine has purchased a pair of Nitro Key Storage devices for continuity needs and accountability needs. They will be deployed ASAP to
    • Ensure ALL Lollipop Cloud accounts, passwords, etc, are properly secured (they live on a secure Veracrypt device as of 2018/07/23) via a hardware token
    • Allow account information to be properly shared between KemoNine and jmf to ensure continuity if anything happens to either human
    • Ensure secret keys for ssh and other key services remain secure and not leaked
    • Ensure ALL core team members have necessary access and secure hardware necessary for ensuring the integrity of the Lollipop Cloud project sources, infrastructure, and more

In Closing

Some words from KemoNine…


I don’t speak in the first person much and I have a habit of clearing all official Lollipop Cloud posts with jmf and others who have been a great support and wonderful resources.

If you will let me… these are my words, straight from my pen/keyboard

The Lollipop Cloud was born of a “small” hobby project that solved a problem I was having. As I discussed this “little” project with others the support, question and potential started to take form.

I launched the Lollipop Cloud as a small open software project a couple (few?) months ago and started posting about it more publicly. It gained traction far faster than I ever imagined. I’m still surprised, shocked, grateful and humbled at the response this project has, and continues, to receive.

As the project progresses and grows I want to ensure it is here to stay for the long term. I”ve been around technology long enough to have seen more than one project disappear if a founder disappears, leaves or dies. I’ve seen them all.

I’m not the type of human to be OK with any of these situations. If something happens to me, this project and community deserve to continue and carry on without me.

Because I feel strongly about this project with or without me, I’ve been hard at work for awhile to ensure this belief holds true. There are a couple gaps but at this time jmf has enough access to take things over and ensure the project doesn’t disappear or fail if something happens to me.

I am working on finalizing a few things to make things easier for jmf if something happens to me. They should be complete within the next few weeks.

I am committed to ensuring the success of the Lollipop Cloud project well into the future. Even if I’m gone.

Thanks to EVERYONE who’s helped, supported and been a great human along the way. I owe you much. This official project is more your doing than mine.