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  • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Founders, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    SOPA Nightmare 

    Petri on Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings: I just want the nightmare to be over; http://eicker.at/SOPAnightmare

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:12 on 16. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      WP, Petri: “Last night I had a horrifying dream that a group of well-intentioned middle-aged people who could not distinguish between a domain name and an IP address were trying to regulate the Internet. Then I woke up and the Judiciary Committee’s SOPA hearings were on. … [T]his is like a group of well-intentioned amateurs getting together to perform heart surgery on a patient incapable of moving. … This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing – there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like ‘server’ and ‘service’ when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us. … This afternoon, the hearings continue, with even more amendments. But at the rate it’s going, it looks likely that SOPA will make it to the floor. – I just want the nightmare to be over.

      VB: “A group of influential and iconic tech entrepreneurs have written an open letter of opposition to the recently proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which has been published as a paid advertisement in several major U.S. newspapers today. … The opposition letter warns of the dangers that SOPA would bring to business and innovation. It’s signed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Netscape co-founder and prominent investor Marc Andreessen, PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk and several others. … In addition to those top tech executives, several companies and organizations have publicly come out against SOPA. Open-source online encyclopedia Wikipedia is even toying with the idea of staging a blackout in protest of the proposed law.

      An Open Letter to Washington: “We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online. – However we’re worried that the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act – which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online – will undermine that framework. – These two pieces of legislation threaten to: Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation; – Deny website owners the right to due process of law; – Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and – Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet. – We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.” … [Signed by] Marc Andreessen (Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz), Sergey Brin (Google), Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square), Caterina Fake (Flickr and Hunch), David Filo (Yahoo!), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive and Alexa Internet), Elon Musk (PayPal), Craig Newmark (craigslist), Pierre Omidyar (eBay), Biz Stone (Obvious and Twitter), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation), Evan Williams (Blogger and Twitter), Jerry Yang (Yahoo!)

      NYT: “For years, pirated movies, television shows and music have been on the Internet. … Now, however, two bills, broadly supported on both sides of the political aisle, aim to cut off the oxygen for foreign pirate sites by taking aim at American search engines like Google and Yahoo, payment processors like PayPal and ad servers that allow the pirates to function. – Naturally the howls of protest have been loud and lavishly financed, not only from Silicon Valley companies but also from public-interest groups, free-speech advocates and even venture capital investors. They argue – in TV and newspaper ads – that the bills are so broad and heavy-handed that they threaten to close Web sites and broadband service providers and stifle free speech, while setting a bad example of American censorship. – Google itself has hired at least 15 lobbying firms to fight the bills; Mozilla has included on its Firefox browser home page a link to a petition with the warning, ‘Congress is trying to censor the Internet.’ A House committee plans to take up one of the bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act, on Thursday. … Many in the Internet world, however, see ominous aspects even in the revision. ‘There are some provisions that have improved,’ said Markham Erickson, executive director of NetCoalition, a group of technology companies that includes Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay. – ‘Unfortunately,’ Mr. Erickson said, ‘the amendment also creates new problems in other places and fails to correct some of the original concerns we have raised since the start of the debate.’ … A third alternative emerged last week, as Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been blocking the Senate bill from getting to the floor, introduced a new proposal that would make the United States International Trade Commission the arbiter for Internet disputes over copyrighted material. ‘Butchering the Internet,’ Mr. Issa said, ‘is not a way forward for Americirca.’

      TLF: “On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is slated to take up the misleadingly named Stop Online Piracy Act, an Internet censorship bill that will do little to actually stop piracy. In response to an outpouring of opposition from cybersecurity professionals, First Amendment scholars, technology entrepreneurs, and ordinary Internet users, the bill’s sponsors have cooked up an amended version that trims or softens a few of the most egregious provisions of the original proposal, bringing it closer to its Senate counterpart, Protect-IP. But the fundamental problem with SOPA has never been these details; it’s the core idea. The core idea is still to create an Internet blacklist, which means everything I say in this video still holds true. Let’s review the main changes. … These changes are somewhat heartening insofar as they evince some legislative interest in addressing the legitimate concerns that have been raised thus far. But the problem with SOPA and Protect IP isn’t that they need to be tweaked in order to get the details of an Internet censorship system right. There is no ‘right’ way to do Internet censorship, and the best version of a bad idea remains a bad idea.

      WMF: “How SOPA will hurt the free web and Wikipedia – Wikipedia arguably falls under the definition of an ‘Internet search engine,’ and, for that reason, a federal prosecutor could obtain a court order mandating that the Wikimedia Foundation remove links to specified ‘foreign infringing sites’ or face at least contempt of court sanctions. The definition of “foreign infringing sites” is broad and could well include legitimate sites that host mostly legal content, yet have other purported infringing content on their sites. Again, many international sites may decide not to defend because of the heavy price tag, allowing an unchallenged block by the government. The result is that, under court order, Wikimedia would be tasked to review millions upon millions of sourced links, locate the links of the so-called ‘foreign infringing sites,’ and block them from our articles or other projects. It costs donors’ money and staff resources to undertake such a tremendous task, and it must be repeated every time a prosecutor delivers a court order from any federal judge in the United States on any new ‘foreign infringing site.’ Blocking links runs against our culture of open knowledge, especially when surgical solutions to fighting infringing material are available. … In short, though there have been some improvements with the new version, SOPA remains far from acceptable. Its definitions remain too loose, and its structural approach is flawed to the core. It hurts the Internet, taking a wholesale approach to block entire international sites, and this is most troubling for sites in the open knowledge movement who probably have the least ability to defend themselves overseas. The measured and focused approach of the DMCA has been jettisoned. Wikimedia will need to endure significant burdens and expend its resources to comply with conceivably multiple orders, and the bill will deprive our readers of international content, information, and sources.

      Forbes, Tassi: “How SOPA Could Ruin My Life – Hi, my name is Paul, and I’m a small business owner. But my storefront isn’t quite of the traditional variety. Rather, it’s a virtual one, a website I built from scratch, and currently own and operate. … But that might not be the case if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) passes. My virtual small business, along with many others like it, might be history. – Why is this? Am I a pirate, who feeds my users stolen content every day and deserves to be slain by a new law like this? Not at all, and this is the fundamental problem with SOPA and other prospective laws like it (Protect IP most recently). … The fine print of the law says sites that distribute copyrighted content could be subject to summary censorship, ie Torrent sites and the like. But it also encompasses any sites that LINK to copyrighted content, which is the bomb that blows up any semblance of sense this bill might have had. … So how many of these reports would it take before I lose my advertisers? Get my site on a government blacklist? Twenty? A dozen? Five? As an owner of a YouTube channel and Facebook page, I’ve had content falsely reported for copyright many times. … Stop SOPA, stop Protect IP, stop letting congressmen who don’t even understand the internet to dictate its future. Go here to voice your concerns, and pray that even if you’re not handing them tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash, that your representatives might actually listen to you.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 09:41 on 17. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “What was expected in this contingency was for the committee to resume work whenever the House reconvenes in January. After all, with such controversial and far-reaching legislation, it is better to take one’s time. But no: the committee has announced it will continue markup this coming Wednesday, the 21st of December. … It’s telling how badly the bill’s supporters want this thing to go through that they’re willing to come in right in the middle of the holidays to do work that could easily be done a few weeks from now. We’ll follow up on Wednesday, when the bill is likely to be approved and sent on to the House.”

      SEL: “The delay is to allow more experts to weigh in with opinions and recommendations addressing technical, legal and first amendment issues. – If you’re involved with any type of online marketing, you should learn as much as you can about this proposed legislation, as the implications (mostly negative, unless you’re a large content provider or trademark holder) are huge.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:49 on 14. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Federation, Founders, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Ilya Zhitomirskiy 

    RIP Ilya Zhitomirskiy: Co-founder of open source social network Diaspora dies at 22; http://eicker.at/IlyaZhitomirskiy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:49 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      ATD: “Social network co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has died. Zhitomirskiy, along with Maxwell Salzberg, Daniel Grippi, and Raphael Sofaer were preparing to launch Diaspora, a social networking site designed to be open and decentralized. He was 22.

      TC: “Late last night, word began to spread around the tech community that one of Diaspora’s four co-founders, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, had passed away. With much sadness, we’ve now confirmed this terrible news with the Diaspora team. … Our sincerest condolences to Ilya’s family, friends, and the entire Diaspora team.

      HuffPo: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the young co-founders behind social network Diaspora*, passed away suddenly on Saturday, TechCrunch has confirmed. – No details about Zhitomirskiy’s cause of death had been issued at the time of this writing. He was 22 years old.”

      Mashable: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the co-founder of the open-source Facebook alternative Diaspora, has died at the age of 22. The cause of death is not yet publicly known. – Zhitomirskiy, along with Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer, created the open-source software as part of a project while they were students at New York University.

      ZDNet: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of social network Diaspora, has died at age 22, TechCrunch reported today. The cause and date of his death were not reported.”

      CNET: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of co-founders of the social network Diaspora, has died at age 22,TechCrunch reported today.”

      TTO: “Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has passed away at the age of 22.”

      TCMG: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, was one of four students at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to design Diaspora, a platform which differentiates itself from the highly centralised Facebook, by leaving ownership of whatever is posted with the users who posted it, and allowing users to host their own content.”

      WPN: “If you’re unfamiliar with Zhitomirskiy, he was one of the four co-founders of Diaspora, a free personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service. It’s been rumored that Diaspora could eventually become a direct competitor to Facebook. – The death of Zhitomirskiy is pretty hard to grasp, he was only 22. The exact cause of his death is unknown at this time.

      TCMG: “Zhitomirskiy’s last post on Diaspora on November 7 has become a tribute, with other Diaspora members posting their thoughts and condolences. – The tragedy of someone passing at such a young age is mitigated slightly by his achievements and legacy in bringing Diaspora into being. He will be remembered by many.”

      GigaOM: ” I am speechless. I met Ilya on a couple of occasions and am having a tough time coming to grips with the news. Our hearts and prayers go to his family, friends and the Diaspora community.

      Examiner: “Regardless of the cause of death, it is unfortunate to lose a bright young star in the community of individuals working to make the web, and the way we use it, a better place. Condolences go out to Ilya’s family, friends, and the entire Diaspora team.”

      TD: “The network was due to launch this month, although it is not known whether this will still go ahead.

      TC: “Following Founder’s Passing, Diaspora Opens Redesigned Alpha To Invitees – Diaspora sent out a new round of invites to a redesigned alpha version of its open source social network today. The invites came just before the saddening news broke that 22 year old founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy had recently passed away. … Diaspora has now covered the bases to become a satisfactory solution for those uncomfortable with the compromises of control required for joining the leading social networks. Even if it doesn’t grow to hundreds of millions of users, Diaspora’s working alternative could influence the conversation about what a social network should be. This could inspire Facebook and Google+ to adopt some of Diaspora’s flexibility and expand the impact of Ilya’s ideals.

    • BirchWind 09:09 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Goodby Ilya. Thank you for all you have done. Diaspora has kicked off its training wheels and is ready to roll on forward thanks to the work of you, the rest of the D* team, and this wonderful community of Diaspora. <3

    • Gerrit Eicker 15:18 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FT: “Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the co-founders of social network Diaspora, has died at the age of 22, TechCrunch reports.”

      MB: “Diaspora co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy has died at the age of 22. The cause of death is, as of yet, unknown.”

      DM: “Social networking pioneer found dead at age of 22 – Friends and fans of Zhitomirskiy have written tributes on Twitter after hearing of his death, with one posting: ‘So sad! Social networking pioneer dies at 22.'”

      SR: “Just as a new batch of invites to the much-anticipated open source social networking platform Diaspora were issued, the sad news emerged that one of the platform’s co-founder’s, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, has died. He was only 22.”

      Register: “Open-source social network Diaspora has launched a redesigned alpha version of its software, with invites going out to users of the site hours before it was confirmed that co-founder Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, had died.”

      DJ: “Very sad the world has lost an innovative thinker, and Zhitomirskiy’s vision will be carried forward.

      SB: “Our condolences go to Zhitomirskiy’s family, colleagues and friends.

    • Gerrit Eicker 18:26 on 14. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Get the full media coverage on Diaspora’s Media Coverage page on GitHub; http://eicker.at/DiasporaMediaCoverage

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:55 on 6. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , Founders, , , , , , , Pixar, , , , , , ,   

    Steve Jobs 

    RIPSteve Jobs: Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life; http://eicker.at/SteveJobs

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:15 on 6. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Jobs: “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. – About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes. – I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now. – This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true. – Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:21 on 21. January 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Founders, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Larry Page: Google CEO – Again 

    Google CEO Eric Schmidt surprisingly steps down: Larry Page, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead; http://eicker.at/LarryPage

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:22 on 21. January 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Schmidt: “For the last 10 years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions. This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company. – Larry will now lead product development and technology strategy, his greatest strengths, and starting from April 4 he will take charge of our day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Officer. In this new role I know he will merge Google’s technology and business vision brilliantly. I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better! Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead.

      GigaOM: “Larry Page is taking the helm at what could be a turning point for Google. Its core business is under fire; it’s losing ground to Facebook in an important new market; and it’s still relying on search-related ads – a market getting long in the tooth – for 90 percent of its income. It has been unable to build any substantial new businesses, despite a number of attempts, including its recently rebuffed $6-billion acquisition offer for Groupon. As angel investor Chris Dixon put it, some Google watchers are probably asking: Is Page’s return like Steve Jobs coming back to Apple in 1997, or is it more like Jerry Yang’s return to Yahoo in 2007?

      Battelle: “It’s quite interesting that Google did not look outside its ranks for a new CEO, instead doubling down on one of its original founders. I think it’s fair to say that Larry Page will not be a conventional CEO – he’s not been much of a public figure for the past ten years – Sergey is the more gregarious and press friendly of the two. It will be interesting to see if that changes, or if Page chafes at the relentless public demands of running a massively scrutinized public company.”

      Salon: “Can Page lead this company? Clearly Schmidt believes so, and so does the board of directors. Investors in after-hours trading boosted the stock price, but whether that had more to do with Google’s blockbuster earnings report today remains to be seen. It has to be somewhat unsettling for investors to see any change of this magnitude. … Brin won’t be lounging around. He’s always seemed the more visionary member of the team, and maybe his change in role will give him more time to think strategically. … It will be Larry Page, more than anyone else, who decides whether the company’s best days are ahead.

      Siegler/TC: “Eric Schmidt: ‘After discussions, we decided to change things. We’ve been doing it one way, but we think this way will be better. Larry will run things day-to-day, I’ll be elevated. And Sergey will do what he does best.’ – Larry Page: ‘I want to congratulate Eric. He’s done a great job this past decade. We’re all in great debt to him. The results speak for themselves. No one in the universe could have done what he’s done. I’ve learned so much from him. His role going forward will be invaluable. This is an incredible oppotunity. People thought when we started that we were too late. Too many other search engine, etc. We’re only at the beginning now.’ – Sergey Brin: ‘I’d like to mention that I’ve had a great time working with Larry now for 15 years and Eric for a decade. Both of them have inspired and moved me. I would like to work more on my personal passions. There will be several new products I’m working on. I’ve been accused of vaporware recently, so I won’t talk about them yet. But soon.'”

      Arrington/TC: “Late last summer we were ready to break a big story – that Eric Schmidt would be stepping down as the CEO of Google. Multiple sources and all that jazz. The basic story was that he was tired (who wouldn’t be), and that the idea of competing, and probably losing battles, against Apple and Facebook for the next decade wasn’t all that appealing. Who would replace him? That was the rest of the article. – But Google insisted the story wasn’t accurate, wasn’t even close to accurate, and generally contained no accuracy whatsoever. We killed the story, since their denials seemed fairly straightforward and honest, and we found no other independent sources.

  • Gerrit Eicker 12:29 on 19. April 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Females, Founders, , , , , VCs, , ,   

    Female Founders and VCs? 

    Cameron: Why there are hardly any female founders and VCs; http://j.mp/9TNmBa

     
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