• an Internet of Things that we definitely don’t need there is a project, over at Seeed, that is a good example of a really (too) large category of projects that I really do not get. At least, I don’t get why they should have anything like “smart” or “smarter” in their name. I’m talking of “Gmail Buddy - Smarter Email Notifications”:”Gmail Buddy is companion device which checks your Gmail inbox every 15 secs and notify you using sweet elegant light [and] can also be used as a sweet night light!
  • By now, you probably already know that Yahoo scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence”, and if you haven’t you can read all the details in the previous link, or in many other places. Here, I only want to point out one thing, mainly but not only to software geeks, and to any organizations whose goal include promoting privacy: this whole Yahoo story is just one more perfect example that one of the most urgent things to do in the digital sphere is to give everybody their very own, personal email server, at the smallest possible cost.
  • Vedant Desai is a “Smart Fifth Grader Football Player” who just invented a “Light Saver” device that is “guaranteed to save you energy” because it “reminds you to turn off your light before you leave your room”. I would like to congratulate Vedant for his skills and creativity, but I also have a suggestion for him (and for LittleBits):Vedant, you are really a very competent and enterprising kid! Congratulations!
  • What is Open Data? Open Data is something with which we can ”/improve how we access healthcare services, discover cures for diseases more efficiently,** understand our governments better**”. This is a verbatim quote of the definition from the Open Data Institute (ODI). I have just emphasized the part most directly linked to the possibility for all citizens to make informed decisions. Where was ODI born, and where is it based? Why, of course in the country that not only has been for years “at the top of the league table for open data“ but in [pray note… ] May 2016 still “maintains Open Data lead”.
  • I have a strong feeling that certain headlines and assertions about the Brexit result are if not factually wrong, at least very misleading. I refer to statements that summarize charts and tables like the ones above in this way: “The U.K.’s Old Decided for the Young in the Brexit Vote” “Brexit is a middle finger from the baby boomers to young people like me” “Young screwed by older generations” “Young voters wanted Brexit the least - and will have to live with it the longest” Fact is, it was very clear, well before the vote, that opinions varied greatly across age ranges and that
  • Here are a couple of comments about the article “3D Printing: IP Vulnerability and Information Technology”, which are directly related to the EU research project DiDIY (Digital DIY) in which I am participating these days. In my opinion, THE most relevant paragraph of that article, the one that should receive more attention, is this:“It may also become more difficult to secure digital blueprints within the supply chain and companies who believe they will never give their suppliers or customers digital blueprints may be living in a fool’s paradise.
  • It’s always fun, and useful, when two or more news, that somehow go against each other, are published in the same day. Last Friday we had: ** From the UK:**_ Internet of Things is Driving the [Global Market of Homes and Buildings] to New Heights… the residential market is expected to be the subject of the battle between utilities, telcos, technology companies and others_ From Denmark: a survey found support for digital smart city services [but also] concern about abuse of personal information: 45 percent said they would be unwilling to supply the data to make such services possible… 28 percent of respondents were ‘very concerned’ about data misuse
  • Screenshot source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKggZezZf2M FBI says that Apple must help them, because nobody else can do it, to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter. The complete story is quite more complex than this one-sentence summary, but there is **one part of it that, as far as I can see has received almost zero *attention so far ():if the only entity in a given country who can actually monitor someone’s “private data and conversations” is ONE corporation, then who actually holds police power in that country, and is actually ruling it, is that corporation, not the official government.
  • Internet of Things. Smart homes. Smart appliances. Smart everything. How smart is the result?These days we may buy or self-build “connected kitchen gadgets” like: a Smart Grill that can cook almost any food perfectly based on weight, composition, and desired done-ness, all controlled through an iPad app an electronic fork that measures how long it took you to eat, the amount of fork servings and the time in between servings.
  • The logo of the ScoutLinux distribution Almost twelve years ago, I pointed out some links between Scouting and Free as in Freedom Software, like, for example, those between B-P’s call to“in some cases to have the fun of taking a hand in developing [wonders], and also in being able to help other people..” and the GPL clause stating that “For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have”.