Data Ownership

  • On the left: the “new” Nokia cell phone. On the right: why they may be a HUGE commercial success. The phone on the left is a reboot of the Nokia 3310 model, “the most reliable phone ever made”. That article calls it “dumbphone” because… it should be, as its direct ancestor, a real, serious mobile phone. A mobile phone, that is, that: receives and makes phone calls, SMS and nothing more should be “nearly indestructible” (compared to modern “smartphones”, at least) wouldn’t know what to do with a Wi-Fi signal, no matter how strong but… has a battery that will last one month on one charge will connect even from the bottom of a cave, if there is a base station in a radius of 2 KM… costs only 59 Euros The screenshots on the right outline the excellent reasons why many people may want to buy that phone, or one like that, as soon as possible: switch to a phone like that and you will be able to hand over your phone without problems to any border guard, anywhere.
  • I had (at least) three big reasons to be at the fOSSa 2015 conference, a couple of weeks ago. Two already covered elsewhere and one, “Citizen Cloud: Towards a more decentralized internet?”, that deserves its own separate post. Before getting to that, however, let me quickly remind the first two reasons: first, I and Wouter Tebbens had to present a great research project we of the Free Knowledge Institute are working on, that is Digital Do-It-Yourself (DiDIY).
  • (please note that this was just the second part of this other post!) Don’t you see that the percloud could never be as secure, performant, flexible etc as [some other project]? Of course it couldn’t. It doesn’t even try to, it just aims to be actually used by many people. I propose it as an intermediate step towards such solutions, that it is absolutely necessary to provide as soon as possible.
  • Fargo is (I’m really simplifying here!) Open Source software by Dave Winer that lets you build a blog out of files stored on your Dropbox online storage account. Ron Chester explains very well here why he is using the Fargo Web publishing system. I find particularly important, and a must-read for many “sophisticated” users of the current popular social networks, his explanation of why it’s pretty dumb to publish anything more relevant than pictures of your last breakfast on Facebook:
  • Sometimes support comes in the most unexpected ways. Today the NSA, the super-secret spy agency that intercepts countless digital communications worldwide, greatly helped me, by providing evidence that a little project of mine is a really great idea that is sorely needed NOW.Thanks NSA. I mean it. And the reason is that (full story here): http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/personal-cloud-free-software/ the NSA is gathering contact lists in large numbers that amount to a sizable fraction of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts.
  • Shortly after launching my proposal for a personal, p2p replacement of Facebook, Gmail and similar services I was contacted by the developers of Cozy Cloud. We had a very interesting discussion, which ended with their proposal to write a post for their blog, to explain what similarities, differences and possible synergies I see between the two projects. Here I am, looking forward to your feedback! (this post had been sent on 2013/10/08 to the cozycloud team for immediate publication on their blog.
  • I just got an email by somebody asking how the Free Software alternative to corporate social networks that I call percloud would work. I answered that…In a certain sense, we may compare a percloud to a traditional FTP server on which you would upload your posts, pictures and so on, in order to make them available from any computer or smartphone with an FTP client or Web browser, to you and every other Internet user else with the right permissions.
  • Believe it or not, I only discovered arKos last Friday, through this Slashdot announcement: a project (apparently) very similar to the percloud, which is my own proposal for a Free Software alternative to Facebook, Gmail &C. Following the links from Slashdot I discovered this interview to the arkOS developer and even more projects in the same space that I didn’t know: buddycloud, Personal Clouds and unhosted. update 2013/10/08, 10:20am GMT+1: I discovered just now the IndieWebCamp projects.
  • Have you seen that article titled “How Linux owns the Internet”? It is basically a list that is supposed to prove how good Linux is, because it is Linux servers that “are hosting the world’s largest Search Engines and Web Portals”. That list and its conclusion are unassailable from a technical, engineering or business point of view. When looking at it from a social/privacy/human rights perspective, instead, it looks much more like an ironic, tragicomical proof of failure.
  • Source: Ray MacLean on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/raymaclean/3548172441/ UPDATE 2013/09/17: THIS PROJECT NOW HAS A HOME AT per-cloud.com I have been using my own email service and self-hosted blogs since 2006⁄2007. I started explaining why everybody should do the same three years ago, when I proposed Virtual Personal Email Servers to overcome the big limits of today’s email. In 2011 I repeated why it is important to find alternatives to Gmail.