Data Ownership

  • 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.
  • Using third party services like Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Flickr, etc… to communicate and work online is very convenient but also has huge drawbacks: even ignoring the privacy issues exposed by the Snowden affair, you become completely dependent on a private (foreign) company that may cancel your account in any moment, because they basically feel like it, or even disappear in a few years (Facebook or Google too big to fail? That’s the same thing people said of Geocities or MySpace just a few years ago).
  • These days half the Internet is upset because Google Reader is about to quit. I am not. I am really happy about these news, because this is a wonderful occasion for everybody to consider again something that I have been suggesting for a while now. I couldn’t care less about the end of Google Reader for the same reason why I would have no problem at all if services like Gmail, Del.
  • A recent article by Bruce Sterling explains why, thanks to Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft talking about the Internet stopped making sense in 2012. The article caused the following comment an Italian mailing list: unfortunately, this isn’t news at all… What would be news would be to find alternatives. I answered that comment as follows. Sure enough, projects like Diaspora were born just to replace some of those services, but they are still in the early stages.