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  • Gerrit Eicker 19:17 on 27. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , Indecency, , , , , , , , , Pornography, Predators, , , Security, , ,   

    Net Control 

    Jarvis: We don’t need no regulation. We don’t need no thought control. – Leave our net alone! http://eicker.at/NetControl

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 19:17 on 27. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Jarvis: “The internet’s not broken. – So then why are there so many attempts to regulate it? Under the guises of piracy, privacy, pornography, predators, indecency, and security, not to mention censorship, tyranny, and civilization, governments from the U.S. to France to Germany to China to Iran to Canada – as well as the European Union and the United Nations – are trying to exert control over the internet. – Why? Is it not working? Is it presenting some new danger to society? Is it fundamentally operating any differently today than it was five or ten years ago? No, no, and no…

        We don’t need no regulation.
        We dont need no thought control
        No dark sarcasm in the network
        Government: Leave our net alone
        Hey! Government! Leave our net alone!
        All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
        All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

      The Internet and Web are, need, and will stay open – this gorgeous discussion proves it once again; http://eicker.at/OpenWeb

      The Web goes dark on January 18, 2012, protesting #SOPA/#PIPA: Wikipedia, BoingBoing, many more; http://eicker.at/J18 #J18

      White House: Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet; http://eicker.at/PiracyInternet #SOPA

      A UN report declared Internet access a human right last summer: Cerf argues why it’s not; http://eicker.at/InternetHumanRight

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

      Internet censorship made in the USA: SOPA and PIPA are a major attack on Internet freedom; http://eicker.at/InternetCensorship

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Google Plus Pseudonyms, , , Google+ Pseudonyms, , , , , , , , , Nicknames, , , , , , , , , , Security, , , , ,   

    Google Plus Pseudonyms? Not yet! 

    Google Plus updates its real name policy: allows nicknames if they areestablished; http://eicker.at/GooglePlusPseudonyms

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:47 on 24. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Horowitz, Google: “Since launch we’ve listened closely to community feedback on our names policy, as well as reviewed our own data regarding signup completion. The vast majority of users sail through our signup process – in fact, only about 0.1% submit name appeals. … Today we’re pleased to be launching features that will address and remedy the majority of these issues. To be clear – our work here isn’t done, but I’m really pleased to be shipping a milestone on our journey. … Over the next week, we’ll be adding support for alternate names – be they nicknames, maiden names, or names in another script – alongside your common name. This name will show up on your Google+ profile and in the hovercards which appear over your name. … On Google+, we try to flag names which don’t represent individuals, such as businesses or abstract ideas which should be +Pages. Sometimes we get this wrong, so starting today we’re updating our policies and processes to broaden support for established pseudonyms, from +trenchcoat to +Madonna. – If we flag the name you intend to use, you can provide us with information to help confirm your established identity.

      Google: “Your name and Google+ Profiles – Google+ makes connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world. Because of this, it’s important to use your common name so that the people you want to connect with can find you. Your common name is the name your friends, family or coworkers usually call you. For example, if your legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, any of these would be acceptable. – If you are unable to complete the Google+ sign-up flow, or if your profile is or could be suspended for a name-related issue, review our guidelines below. If your profile name was already saved, and we find your name doesn’t adhere to our Names Policy, you will have a four day grace period to change your name or appeal our finding before we take further action. … If you’ve followed these guidelines but your name still isn’t being accepted by our system, please follow the on-screen instructions to submit your name for review. You can provide us with several different types of information to help confirm your established identity. These could include: Scanned official documentation, such as a driver’s license – Proof of an established identity online with a significant following – References to an established identity offline in print media, news articles, etc. – We’ll review the appeal and typically get back to you within a few days. We may also ask for further information, such as proof that you control a website you reference.”

      RWW: “Google’s initial handling of pseudonyms on Google+ was draconian. Critics argued that a real-names policy endangers politically active users, and that it’s not even how real peoples’ identities work. In response, Google’s Vic Gundotra said in October that Google+ pseudonym support was coming. Today’s addition of ‘alternate names’ at least allows users to display an identity of their choice, but Google will still actively patrol the network to establish users’ identities. … Kevin Marks has captured Google engineer Yonatan Zunger’s explanation of the policy, making clear that Google only cares that the names on Google+ sound real. According to Zunger, Google doesn’t care whether you use your own name, only that it looks like a name to Google’s algorithm. Short online handles are not allowed.

      VB: “However, Google+ accounts are increasingly being linked to other Google web product accounts, from Gmail to Blogger. Someday soon, Google+ accounts will likely be linked to products like Google Checkout, where only a ‘real world’ identity will do. As Horowitz mentioned in a recent long interview with VentureBeat, Google is well aware of the complexities and challenges of managing multiple personas and identities online, and the company is thinking carefully about how to let each one of us be who we are, whatever that means for us, on Google’s Internet. – Saying that there are three ways to use any web product, unidentified, identified or pseudonymous, Horowitz told us last year, ‘Certainly, some products like Google search will support ‘incognito’ mode… (but) something like Google Checkout is the highest bar, where financial processes are involved. And there’s a spectrum in between. Some products make sense to support in multiple modes, and it’s sort of a product-by-product decision.‘”

      TC: “Moving forward, Google says that when the Google+ team flags a user name, people can appeal the decision by showing that it’s an ‘established identity,’ either offline or online – though if it’s an online identity, it needs to have ‘a meaningful following.’ – In discussing the issue, Horowitz says that only 0.1 percent of users submit name appeals. Of those users, 60 percent want to add nicknames, 20 percent are businesses that accidentally created a personal Profile rather than a company Page, and 20 percent are people who would prefer to use pseudonyms. To address nicknames, Google+ is adding support for alternate names that display alongside your legal name.

      ZDNet: “Pseudonyms on Google Plus? Wrong. – Google Plus is now only supporting ‘nicknames’ and names in another script in addition to the ‘real name’ users are require to register with the service. – Users’ birth names (or names on ID) are still rooted to the account and displayed with the added name. – The change they made on this explosive issue is minor. The implementation makes it clear that this is ‘nickname’ support and not true pseudonym support. – Clarification: The very limited pseudonym option to be offered in Plus is not tied to a user’s ‘real name’ only if the user signs up for a new account using a pseudonym (and the ‘nym is considered ‘established’ and gets approved by Google’s hazy ‘appeal’ process – or you are famous, like Horowitz’s example, Madonna). … A pseudonym is a different name that is used in place of someone’s real name, for a wide variety of legitimate reasons. … Google Plus and its truly problematic pseudonym policy encompasses issues of online harassment, personal safety, political speech, sexual minorities, women and gender identity, privacy, the collection and use of personal information by corporations, identity verification, and online deception. – So if you left Google Plus because you couldn’t safely use a pseudonym – don’t come back just yet.

  • Gerrit Eicker 12:19 on 16. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act, , , , , , Security, , , ,   

    Online Piracy and an Open Internet 

    White House: Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet; http://eicker.at/PiracyInternet #SOPA

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 12:20 on 16. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      White House, Victoria Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmidt: “Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support – and what we will not support. … Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. … We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. … Let us be clear – online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, and threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation’s most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs. … That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders while staying true to the principles outlined above in this response. … This is not just a matter for legislation. We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.”

      RWW: “In a statement on behalf of the Obama administration this morning, a trio of senior officials including the nation’s Chief Technology Officer made clear that any anti-piracy legislation passing the President’s desk would not create risks of censorship, nor would it condone any alterations to the Internet’s domain name system that could invite security dangers. … That President Obama himself has not made a statement is probably intended to help him preserve his official position as against online piracy. However, this recommendation will very likely be heeded, and this move may slow, if not halt, any legislative activity on this matter for the remainder of this term in the Senate. In the House, which remains under Republican control, the SOPA bill (minus the court order provision that constituted its main enforcement provision) may still be voted on, but the chances of it facing reconciliation with a Senate version of the same bill are now extremely minimal.”

      ATD: “Obama: Don’t Worry Internet, I Got Your Back on That SOPA ThingToday it became clear that SOPA, at least in its current form, will never get that far. Word came from the White House today that the administration, while sympathetic to the cause of curbing online piracy, will support neither the SOPA bill nor its companion bill – known as PIPA – in the Senate. … Piracy is bad, but approaches like SOPA are bad solutions that would potentially hurt the free-flowing, vibrant Internet we’ve all come to rely on for so many things. … Somehow, I find it encouraging that opposing SOPA – or at least calling for changes to it – was the issue on which Obama and Cantor, who can’t seem to agree on anything, found they had some room for common ground. Could this signify a badly needed thaw in bipartisan relations in Washington?

      VB: “In other words, the White House seems intent on striking a balance between two competing constituencies, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Both of them have supported Obama, and they have very opposed interests. Big media companies, including big record companies and Hollywood film studios, want a hardline to protect copyright, so that they can make more money from their content, and have supported both the House and the Senate Bills. Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others, however, oppose SOPA legislation, warning in a Nov. 15 letter that it would force new burdensome mandates on law-abiding technology companies…

      TC: “Support in Washington for the SOPA anti-piracy bill in Congress (and its Senate equivalent, PIPA), is waning. After weeks of mounting uproar online, Congressional leaders started backpedaling last week and the Obama Administration weighed in on Saturday in response to online petitions to stop the bills. The White House issued a clear rejection of some of the main principles of SOPA. – While the White House supports the major goal of the bills to stop international online piracy, the growing chorus of complaints about the ham-fisted way the law is going to be implemented may finally be acting a s a counterweight to all the media-company lobbying which is trying to push the bills through. … But it still is not clear how the objectives of the bills can be achieved without causing damage to the Internet. Congress should come up with a different mechanism for going after foreign pirate sites or else kill the bills entirely. – SOPA supporters may be rethinking their positions, but they have not retreated entirely. Online SOPA opponents shouldn’t be doing any victory dances just yet.

      TC: “What is Internet freedom? The United States government has an ‘Internet freedom’ agenda, complete with speeches by the Secretary of State and millions of dollars in program funding. A key United Nations official last year issued a major report emphasizing the right of all individuals freely to use the Internet. Taking a different tack, Vint Cerf, one of the Internet’s founding fathers and ‘Chief Internet Evangelist’ at Google, recently argued in the New York Times that Internet access is not a human right. And Devin Coldewey parsed the debate in TechCrunch, noting that the Internet is an enabler of rights, not a right unto itself. … Government officials and their private sector counterparts have a key role to play in all of this. The United States should be in the lead in formulating acceptable international definitions of Internet freedom, aggression, and cyber security that respect widely-recognized human rights. … Even some of America’s closest democratic friends have views of Internet freedom that are more restrictive than those widely held in the United States. Witness recent attempts by the government of India to have key Internet companies remove objectionable content or restrictions in Europe on online speech that insults population groups. But the effort begins with getting straight precisely what we mean by ‘Internet freedom.’ The idea – and the reality – is too important to muddle.

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

    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 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , , GNU, GNU Project, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Proprietary Software, , , , Security, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Surveillance 

    Stallman: Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their usersFacebook does massive surveillance; http://eicker.at/Surveillance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Stallman interview on RT (Russia Today) and video on YouTube: “Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their users… Facebook does massive surveillance. If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are… Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of computing. It means that you can control your computing. It means that the users individually and collectively have control over their computing. And in particular it means they can protect themselves from the malicious features that are likely to be in proprietary software… This doesn’t automatically give you freedom in some other area of life. To get that you have to fight for it. But human rights support each other. In an age when a lot of what we do, we do with computers, if we don’t have freedom in our computing, that makes it harder for us to defend or fight for freedom in other areas. You loose one set of rights – and it’s harder for you to keep the others…

      VB: “Social networks are under constant scrutiny by their users but also privacy watchdogs as companies add more sharing tools to to connect millions of people from over the world. – Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, hit the headlines over the past week after its co-founder admitted the company had made ‘a bunch of mistakes’, agreeing terms with the FTC to make its networks more transparent and allow users to control their own levels of privacy. – However, there are many that believe companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, insisting that they are mistreating them. Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, is one such person, believing that not only do Facebook and Google mistreat users on their social networks, they are putting some people in danger. … Circling back to social networking and the privacy implications involved, many still believe Facebook and Google are working hard to track users across the web, extracting their preferences and information for their own gain. Facebook has said moved to employ two dedicated members of staff to oversee its privacy practices on its website, also agreeing to have its practices audited by the FTC on regular intervals. – Stallman might not believe that Facebook is doing all it can to remain transparent but with the FTC on its back, it is a case of making sure it does to ensure it doesn’t land itself in more hot water. With upwards of 800 million people, Facebook’s growth shows no signs of slowing, suggesting many people simply don’t care about the information they share with third-parties.”

      Wikipedia: “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms, is an American software freedom activist andcomputer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. – Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.”

      Winer: “Why I stand up for Stallman – But I still see it going on for Stallman, and that makes me feel ill. I think a guy like Stallman should be heard and we should think about what he says. And if you disagree, have the self-respect to express it with dignity. And if people start getting personal about it, there should be moderators around to put a stop to it at least stand up to it. No one should stand alone when being subjected to personal attacks. … What Stallman does is what any good blogger would do. He says what he thinks. And if you really listen to what he says, you’ll learn something. Probably the biggest thing you’ll learn about is your own fear. Because there’s something about Stallman that scares a lot of people. They wouldn’t try to isolate him so much, if he didn’t evoke their fear.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 20. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Burn Rate, , , , , , , , , , Free Market, Free Services, , , , , , Milton Friedman, , , , , Security, , , , , , TANSTAAFL, There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, , ,   

    TINSTAAFL 

    There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch: and there is no exception for #TINSTAAFL on the Internet; http://eicker.at/TINSTAAFL

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:27 on 20. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Physics has Newton’s first law (‘Every body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed’). The equivalent for internet services is simpler, though just as general in its applicability: it says that there is no such thing as a free lunch.The strange thing is that most users of Google, Facebook, Twitter and other ‘free’ services seem to be only dimly aware of this law. … But it costs money – millions of dollars a month, every month. The monthly amount is called the ‘burn rate’. … It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the best way to get big fast is to offer your services for free. … The penny drops for most suckers, er, users when it occurs to them that the service is, somehow, becoming more intrusive – whether through abrupt changes in default privacy settings, or sudden changes in the way their update and news feeds are reconfigured. What started as a lovely, simple, clean interface suddenly starts to look very cluttered and, well, manipulative. … It doesn’t have to be like this, of course. It just needs a different business model in which users pay modest fees for online services.

      Wikipedia: “‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ (alternatively, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ or other variants) is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing. The acronyms TANSTAAFL and TINSTAAFL are also used. Uses of the phrase dating back to the 1930s and 1940s have been found, but the phrase’s first appearance is unknown. The ‘free lunch’ in the saying refers to the nineteenth century practice in American bars of offering a ‘free lunch’ as a way to entice drinking customers. The phrase and the acronym are central to Robert Heinlein’s 1966 libertarian science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which popularized it. The free-market economist Milton Friedman also popularized the phrase by using it as the title of a 1975 book, and it often appears in economics textbooks; Campbell McConnell writes that the idea is ‘at the core of economics’. … TINSTAAFL demonstrates opportunity cost. Greg Mankiw described the concept as: ‘To get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another.’ The idea that there is no free lunch at the societal level applies only when all resources are being used completely and appropriately, i.e., when economic efficiency prevails. If not, a ‘free lunch’ can be had through a more efficient utilisation of resources. If one individual or group gets something at no cost, somebody else ends up paying for it. If there appears to be no direct cost to any single individual, there is a social cost. Similarly, someone can benefit for ‘free’ from an externality or from a public good, but someone has to pay the cost of producing these benefits. – In the sciences, TINSTAAFL means that the universe as a whole is ultimately a closed system – there is no magic source of matter, energy, light, or indeed lunch, that does not draw resources from something else, and will not eventually be exhausted.”

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

    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 10:20 on 11. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Metaphors, , , , Phenomenons, , , , , , Security, , , , , , , , , , Sociopath, Sociopaths, , ,   

    No Social Graph 

    Ceglowski on social networks: The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social; http://eicker.at/NoSocialGraph

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:21 on 11. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ceglowski, Pinboard: “The Social Graph is Neither – Last week Forbes even went to the extent of calling the social graph an exploitable resource comprarable to crude oil, with riches to those who figure out how to mine it and refine it. I think this is a fascinating metaphor. If the social graph is crude oil, doesn’t that make our friends and colleagues the little animals that get crushed and buried underground? But right now I would like to take issue with the underlying concept, which I think has two flaws: I. It’s not a graph – This obsession with modeling has led us into a social version of the Uncanny Valley, that weird phenomenon from computer graphics where the more faithfully you try to represent something human, the creepier it becomes. As the model becomes more expressive, we really start to notice the places where it fails. Personally, I think finding an adequate data model for the totality of interpersonal connections is an AI-hard problem. But even if you disagree, it’s clear that a plain old graph is not going to cut it. – II. It’s Not SocialWe have a name for the kind of person who collects a detailed, permanent dossier on everyone they interact with, with the intent of using it to manipulate others for personal advantage – we call that person a sociopath. And both Google and Facebook have gone deep into stalker territory with their attempts to track our every action. Even if you have faith in their good intentions, you feel misgivings about stepping into the elaborate shrine they’ve built to document your entire online life. … My hope is that whatever replaces Facebook and Google+ will look equally inevitable, and that our kids will think we were complete rubes for ever having thrown a sheep or clicked a +1 button. It’s just a matter of waiting things out, and leaving ourselves enough freedom to find some interesting, organic, and human ways to bring our social lives online.”

      GigaOM: “If you’ve ever gotten a little creeped out by the way social networks have invaded our lives, then you aren’t alone. There are a lot of people who enjoy using the social web, but struggle with it too. … The real problem with the social graph, he argues, is that it’s based around a series of troubling assumptions – including the idea that we can and should model human relationships, and for profit. As he says, ‘Imagine the U.S. Census as conducted by direct marketers – that’s the social graph.‘ – This is partly because the social web has really been spun off from the idea of the semantic web, and ways of describing connections between data that require all kinds of sleight-of-hand to work. How do you interpret messy relationships into things computers can understand, or translate meanings that are complex and constantly moving? … But he’s certainly right that mapping this stuff is very difficult, and perhaps impossible. … The real difference, however, is that while sociologists try to come up with ways to define interaction, technologists end up building systems that define the interactions that can happen. That means the processes behind today’s biggest social networks actually place themselves as a layer over human activity, as much as they help that activity exist. … This conflict is, I think, why Facebook is constantly struggling with privacy issues, or why the real names controversy on Google+ exploded. The social graph, to them, is an attempt to codify what people do rather than act as midwife to their ideas.

      Marks: “People choose to model different relationships on different sites and applications, but being able to avoid re-entering them anew each time by importing some or all from another source makes this easier. The Social Graph API may return results that are a little frayed or out of date, but humans can cope with that and smart social sites will let them edit the lists and selectively connect the new account to the web. Having a common data representation doesn’t mean that all data is revealed to all who ask; we have OAuth to reveal different subsets to different apps, if need be. – The real value comes from combining these imperfect, scrappy computerized representations of relationships with the rich, nuanced understandings we have stored away in our cerebella. With the face of your friend, acquaintance or crush next to what they are saying, your brain is instantly engaged and can decide whether they are joking, flirting or just being a grumpy poet again, and choose whether to signal that you have seen it or not.”

      ORR: “It’s hardly surprising that the founder of a ‘bookmarking site for introverts’ would have something to say about the ‘social graph.’ But what Pinboard’s Maciej Ceglowski has penned in a blog post titled ‘The Social Graph Is Neither’ is arguably the must-read article of the week. – The social graph is neither a graph, nor is it social, Ceglowski posits. … But if today’s social networks are troublesome, they’re also doomed, Ceglowski contends, much as the CompuServes and the Prodigys of an earlier era were undone. It’s not so much a question of their being out-innovated, but rather they were out-democratized. As the global network spread, the mass marketing has given way to grassroots efforts.

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: +Creative Kit, , +Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Apps Administrators, Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, , , Google Plus Creative Kit, Google Plus Data, , , Google Plus Migration, Google Plus Notifications, , Google Plus Ripples, , Google+ Creative Kit, Google+ Data, , , Google+ Migration, Google+ Notifications, , Google+ Ripples, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Playback, , , , Security, , Sharing History, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Plus + Google Apps 

    Google Plus is now available with Google Apps, adds sharing history with Google+ Ripples; http://eicker.at/GoogleAppsPlus

    (More …)

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:18 on 28. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Google Apps fans, today we’re ready to add you to our circles. Google+ makes sharing on the web more like sharing in the real world, and now Google+ is available to people who use Google Apps at college, at work or at home. – Starting now you can manually turn on Google+ for your organization. Once Google+ is turned on, your users will just need to sign up at google.com/+ to get started. For customers who use Google Apps for Business or the free version of Google Apps and who have chosen to automatically enable new services, Google+ will automatically become available to all of your users over the next several days. … Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. … Many students and teachers have sent us their ideas about how they can use Google+ to teach, learn, work, and play. These are a few Google Apps for Education universities from around the world that are bringing Google+ to their campuses today… For those of you who’ve already started using Google+ with a personal Google Account and would prefer to use your Google Apps account, we’re building a migration tool to help you move over. … It took more technical work than we expected to bring Google+ to Google Apps, and we thank you for your patience.”

      RWW: “The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the ‘next several days.’ … Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. … But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

      VB: “While enabling Google+ for Google Apps customers is certainly a big move for the company, eventually Google plans to bring Google+ functionality to all of its various services (Gmail, search, shopping, etc.).”

      TNW: “Using Google+ for Google Apps? Your admin has access to all of your data – If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature: ‘Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.’ … The fact that an administrator has access to your accounts under Google Apps is nothing new, but this is the first time that Google has had a social network among its Apps offerings, so the privacy implications are a bit more severe.”

      Google: “Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching ‘What’s Hot’ on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected contentGoogle+ Ripples: watch how posts get shared – There’s something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends [who share with their friends], and in no time at all there’s an entire community around your post. … Google+ Creative Kit: have more fun with your photos – Now you can add that vintage feel to your vacation photos. Or sharpen those snapshots from the family barbeque. Or add some text for added personality. With the Creative Kit, all you need is an idea…”

      TC: “Google+ Resurrects Playback Feature From Wave, Renames It ‘Ripples’ – Last August, Google asked us all to say good-bye to Google Wave. Some said Wave was ahead of its time, some said that the platform had enough features to sink the Titanic. … And one of these features launched today on Google+ seems a throwback to one now-defunct feature of Google Wave, called ‘Playback’. … Yes, today, Google launched its new Google+ Ripples, which will let users ‘re-live’ the conversations, comments, and sharing that’s taken place over the history of their use of Google+. … In other words, Ripples is a ‘visualization tool for public shares and comments‘, which users can access by simply selecting the ‘View Ripples’ option in the drop down window to the right of the public post.”

      TNW: “Google not only wants to show you what’s hot, but wants to show you how it got hot by showing you how a post was shared. The name also brings back memories of a previous Google product, ‘Wave’. … This is a pretty drastic upgrade for Google+, as until now, the only way to find posts that interested you was through its search function, or when your friends re-shared a post.”

      VB: “Perhaps more interesting for the visually oriented is Google+ Ripples, a new way to watch how posts travel across the company’s set of social features and through various user’s circles. You can view the ‘ripples’ for any public post; this feature will show you all of that post’s activity. You can zoom in on specific events, check out top contributors and more.”

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