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Comment Background (Score 1) 225

Eben Moglen on taking back control over your data, privacy and freedom in the age of cloud services.

- Don't accept any cloud services that come with free spying, free built-in man in the middle attack (Facebook as the worst offender, GMail and many other services mentioned as other examples)
- Thus avoid lock-in, avoid anyone limiting your mobility and freedom, stop being exploited and spied upon.
- Instead of centralized services use P2P (or federated services), protected by strong encryption
- A $29.90 plug-in, power-supply-sized appliance (the "freedom box") providing these services, and much more (VoIP telephony, TOR, etc.) at home.

1. Freedom in the cloud:
(talk from February 2010)
2. How We Can Be the Silver Lining of the Cloud:
(talk from August 2010)

(I wrote this summary back in August 2010, so it's somewhat outdated.)

Role Playing (Games)

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72

destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"

Comment Re:If only we could harness this in RL (Score 1) 252

I think this is an indicator that a lot of people would like to own/operate a business, and have an entrepreneurial spirit, but are too bogged by the realities of risk and especially legal burden to carry out their entrepreneurial instinct in real life. Imagine how many jobs we could create if people felt safe enough to be able to play these games in the real world.

People are working on just that. For some inspiration, watch this irresistible TED talk: Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world (20min).

Submission + - Moneybookers: Send us your DNA or else ( 1

ccguy writes: A few days ago I got an email from moneybookers (supposedly a good alternative to paypal) regarding my account: They want me to send them full color copies of my ID, as well as other documents, for my security. Given that you can open bank accounts, requests loans and access lots of private data with the information they asked for, I asked them to just terminate my account and send my balance (around 400 euros) to my bank account. They replied 3 days later saying that they are sorry to see me go, and that they would terminate my account as soon as they get the documents they asked. So basically, they're robbing me 400 euros. Now, I'm not going to let them get away with this. Without spending lots of money in lawyers, what would be the most efficient way to make them reconsider? Is there a place in the European Union that a lawyerless citizen cand send a formal complaint about this kind of abuse?

Comment Re:Opinion of Google is Changing... (Score 2, Informative) 628

My opinion changed when they stopped releasing text-only copies of public domain works through Google Books.

Care to substantiate that claim?

As far as I see, Public Domain books can be downloaded in the PDF and EPUB format, for free. And there's a plain text version.

Example: "The origin of species" By Charles Darwin

PS: Reposting this since I don't have mod points and the anonymous user's post is currently at 0.


Submission + - Users, Web Developers Vent Over IE7's First Year (

outlando writes: After a year of IE7, Tony Chor at M$ has written a glowingly self-congratulatory entry in the IE blog. The comments, from various developers, designers and other industry professionals, tell a rather different story to the one outlined in the blog entry itself.
PC World's story is here:,140299/article.html

Unfortunately, PC World neglected to provide a link to the blog entry itself. You can find it at


Submission + - Help me fight the swiss dmca. (

pyalot writes: "The swiss goverment has passed a law that would make it impossible to cirvumvent effective copy protection measures. I have created a page to inform and organize a resistance against this law. If we collect 50'000 signatures until the 24th of January however, we can force a national vote on this law. Help me in any way that you can fight this law. I was first made aware of this two days ago by this article on slashdot."
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - GNU Affero GPL released

Brett Smith writes: "The FSF just announced the final version of the GNU Affero GPL version 3. This is a new license, based on version 3 of the GNU General Public License with an additional term to allow users who interact with the licensed software over a network to receive the source for that program. This should help developers who are concerned about modifications being locked up in web services and other software run on servers."

Submission + - CNet promotes major open source alternative apps (

An anonymous reader writes: CNet is running a massive article promoting open source applications as alternatives to major commercial products, in an aim to educate the average Joe on the advantages of open source. While uber-l337 open source aficionados will already using many of these, it's an admirable pitch to put the word out that open source is ready for mainstream adoption.

Submission + - Linus blasts GCC developers (

An anonymous reader writes: Linus blasted GCC developers on LKML today stating that "The gcc developers seem to have had a total disregard for what people want or need, and every time some code generation issue comes up, there's a lot of people on the list that do language-lawyering, rather than admit that there might be a problem." He also noted OpenBSD's efforts but regarded them as impractical, stating that "I think the OpenBSD people decided to actually do something about this, and I suspect it had *nothing* to do with license issues, and everything to do with these kinds of problems. I wish them all the luck, although personally I think LLVM is a much more interesting project." Read more on the LKML GCC flamewar here :

Submission + - A new fun way of looking at server logfiles ( 1

Fudgie writes: "My boss claimed it was pretty much impossible to create an entertaining way to visualize server traffic and events in a short time frame, so of course I had to prove him wrong.

A weekend of neglecting my family produced a small ruby program which connects to your servers via SSH, grabs and parses data from Apaches access log and Ruby on Rails production log, and displays your traffic and statistics in real-time using a simple OpenGL interface (tested under Linux and Mac OS/X).

It's a bit hard to explain over text, so please have a look at for an example movie, and more information."


Submission + - Subversion 1.5 will have merge tracking (

odiug writes: "Subversion, the hugely popular version control tool, will add Merge Tracking in 1.5, many developers have been waiting for this. In a post on Submerged (CollabNet's blog about Subversion) Guido Haarmans writes about the benefits of Merge Tracking and describes the new feature. Merge Tracking will support the following use cases:
  • Repeated merge: merge a branch into another branch this week, do it again next week. Subversion will remember what was already merged and only merge the new changes.
  • Automated merge with conflict resolution. Subversion can do most of your merges automatically, but merging inevitably involves conflicts that Subversion’s internal merge algorithm cannot resolve. If so, Subversion will ask the user to resolve the conflict manually.
  • Cherry picking: merge only one or a few changes on a branch, rather than all changes.
  • Record manual merge: sometimes users will merge something manually (copying code from one file to another by using an editor). Subversion 1.5 has functionality to explicitly add information about manual merges to the history database so its Merge Tracking information stays complete.
  • Rollback Merge: undo a merge. Merges are often not perfect and you may find out afterwards that something is broken. Subversion lets you undo the merge.
  • Merge auditing: merge data is automatically added to the commit log

The Internet

Submission + - Why we don't have a WWW for science (

An anonymous reader writes: James Boyle has an article in the Financial Times 0000779fd2ac.html
on recent legislative proposals to require open access to the articles that come out of NIH funded research.
"The World Wide web Was designed in a scientific laboratory to facilitate access to scientific knowledge. In every other area of life — commerce, social networking,pornography — it has been a smashing success. But in the world of science itself? With the virtues of an open web all around us, we have proceeded to build an endless set of walled gardens, something that looks a lot like Compuserv or Minitel and very little like a world wide web for science."

The links to the $21,000 journal subscription on Amazon and the $150 per page per student photocopying fee for a nanoscience journal are worth clicking on.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan