Percloud

  • 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): 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.
  • (this is a translation in Albanian of my percloud crowdfunding call, kindly provided by Gagi Berani. An Italian translation is here. Thanks in advance to whoever may provide translations in other languages) Permbledhje e shkurte Unë jam një autor freelance, hulumtues, dhe aktivist që punon në çeshtjet e të drejtave digjitale dhe të Softuerit të lirë. Mund të lexoni lidhur më punën dhe background-in tim këtu.Qëllimi i kësaj fushate është mbledhja e fondeve për punën fillestare në hulumtimin e alternativave të Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox dhe shërbimeve tjera të cilët përkohësisht i kam quajtuar “percloud”.
  • 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.
  • A reader of my critique to the “Linux owns the Internet” slogan just made the comment integrally copied here:I agree that some of the big companies are pure evil when it comes to user’s data, but your suggestion that this is Linux’s “tragicomical proof of failure” is just plain wrong, even more than the catchy title you linked to. Linux and the GNU software collection provide a flexible and solid server system.
  • 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.
  • The percloud is my proposal for an easy to use personal cloud, that is for a feasible alternative for the masses to Facebook, Gmail, and all similar centralized Web services and their privacy and data ownership issues. Last week I put online a 10 slides summary of how the percloud should work. This post answers a specific question that I’ve been asked many times by readers of those slides(*): hey, wait a minute: isn’t this percloud you’re talking about just another Linux distribution?
  • 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).