March 29, 2015

Annamaria Monteverdi

Tesi su videomapping di IKER OIZ ELGORRIAGA

In rete abbiamo trovato (e segnaliamo) un’ottima tesi spagnola su videomapping (dove peraltro mi citano…) per l’ UNIVERSIDAD POLITÉCNICA DE VALENCIA- ESCUELA POLITÉCNICA SUPERIOR D E GANDÍA MÁSTER EN POSTPRODUC CIÓN DIGITAL. Ecco qua il link. Buona lettura!

by annamaria monteverdi

887, lo spettacolo di Lepage sulla memoria. Recensione su Teatro e critica

Robert Lepage è andato in scena a Nantes con un’anteprima del nuovo spettacolo, 887. Recensione e approfondimento di Anna Maria Monteverdi su Teatro e critica. Leggi l’articolo integrale qua   È prima di tutto una straordinaria prova d’attore questo 887, il nuovissimo solo show con cui Robert Lepage ritorna a recitare sul palcoscenico dopo aver […]

by annamaria monteverdi

Chiara Mazzocchi:la fotografia diventa performance

Sono fotografa, video artista, performer. Mi sono appassionata di arti visive e performative sin da quando ero bambina. Ero affascinata dal mistero del corpo, dall’energia e dagli spazi, dall’umanesimo e dall’arte concettuale e minimale; cosi si presenta nel suo sito web Chiara Mazzocchi, affascinante e intrigante artista imperiese, sguardo orientale, capelli neri, corpo nervoso e […]

by annamaria monteverdi

Pula Videomapping Festival (Croazia). Aspettando l’edizione 2015

PULA - Visualia è senza dubbio uno dei migliori Festival di arti digitali, di light design e videomapping in Europa. Ha luogo in Istria, nella città di Pula (Croazia) a maggio, e il suo direttore artistico è Marko  Bolkovic di soli 28 anni,  progettista luci per gli spettacoli. L’edizione del 2014 è stata particolarmente sorprendente, superando ogni aspettativa. […]

by annamaria monteverdi

March 27, 2015

videogame confessional forum

Laralyn McWilliams

I'm Laralyn McWilliams. I'm currently chief creative officer at The Workshop Entertainment, which is an independent, third-party developer. Mostly consoles and PC games, but exploring other platforms...

by people who make games

The GNU project

FSF Events: Richard Stallman to speak in Akron, OH

Richard Stallman will be speaking at Kent State University. His speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Speech topic and start time to be determined.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Akron.

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

Interview with Citizens Foundation

Editors: Darryl Chamberlain, Francesca Bria

Citizens foundation promotes e-democracy and participatory budgeting in Iceland. Interviewing Róbert Bjarnason.

What is the Citizens Foundation?

robert_0

We’re a non-profit that started after the Icelandic financial crisis in 2008, and we aim to increasing people’s influence in policy and government. All the banks went bankrupt, and there was a big decrease in trust in the political process and parliament. Parliament went from a 70-something percent trust rating down to six or seven per cent. It’s now recovered to 14%.

I started Iceland’s first internet service provider in 1993, and I thought we could use the internet to empower people and give them a stronger voice. Our Your Priorities tool was written into the original proposal, and I think D-CENT could really help us.

What obstacles can D-CENT help overcome?

On a basic level, it’s channelling resources into volunteer-driven projects. One benefit is being able to meet people and network, and there are a lot of interesting ideas, such as strenghtening open standard and federation of different open source e-democracy solutions. Things are moving very fast in this space. Podemos didn’t even exist when we started, and it’s excellent to work with them.

Don’t platforms for democracy on the internet exclude people without the web?

We integrate online and offline participation. We run a participatory budget each year in Reykjavik, and we set up computers in libraries and city service centres which help people contribute. That’s one thing you can do. You have to support any platform by giving people real world opportunities to participate too.

What does success look like for D-CENT?

Success will be if D-CENT manages to push the limits a bit further in participation tools, and runs three successful pilots across Europe that engage real citizens. That’s the main thing. There’s no specific end point apart from the money running out – you could do this for 10 years and keep doing interesting and good stuff. It’s a research and innovation project and we’re doing experiments, so it can only fail if there are no results! It’ll all work out.

Participatory budgeting

What’s coming next for the Citizens Foundation?

We are running participatory budgeting in Reykjavik for the fourth time. It’s become a bit of a routine, which is good, and we’ve got a new version of the software, and I’m sure something exciting will happen with citizens proposing useful projects with social impact.

Read more: Pilots in Iceland: Boosting bottom-up municipal democracy

Original article @Nesta blog can viewed here.

by Kaisa Eskola

Vlax

#Mexico : feudalismo reloaded

#Mexico : feudalismo reloaded

  • En #SanQuintin los campesinos pararon el abuso. La respuesta del Gobierno fue la represión. La reacción de los medios fue el silencio, escudados en esa conducta cobarde a la que llaman “objetividad”.

http://buitre.mx/2015/03/23/san-quintin-el-mexico-feudal-que-nunca-se-ha-ido/

  • Con frecuencia se escucha a conductores de noticias vociferar sobre campos de concentración en países como Cuba o Corea del Norte, sin tener ni una maldita prueba al respecto. Pero cuando se trata de centros de explotación y esclavitud en México, de los cuales se tienen evidencias documentales y jurídicas, entonces todo les parece normal. Canallas.

https://youtu.be/_-R4BF3eSnE


RT_SQ

-> Organizaciones del Valle de San Quintín, iniciaron un movimiento exigiendo entre otras cosas:

  • Alto al abuso sexual contra las mujeres
  • Que a las mujeres embarazadas se les respete seis semanas antes y después del parto
  • No obliguen a las madres a llevar a sus hijos para que trabajen
  • Pago de $300 pesos por jornada laboral de 8 horas y no de 14 horas
  • Tener seguridad social
  • No represalias contra los trabajadores que participan o se reúnen

http://www.comitecerezo.org/spip.php?article2075

Los jornaleros, en su mayoría indígenas, iniciaron su movimiento y cerraron calles locales del valle de San Quintín, a las 22:00 hrs del día de ayer, 17 de marzo de 2015, alrededor de 150 patrullas de policías municipales, estatales, federales y elementos del Ejército Mexicano de la 57 zona militar llegaron a la zona y aproximadamente a las 02:00 de la mañana del día de hoy 18 de marzo de 2015 iniciaron una represión indiscriminada y detuvieron a alrededor de 200 personas.

#campesino #trabajo #USA #rebelión #justicia #sociedad #racismo #migrantes #Oaxaca #BajaCalifornia #California #tierra #frontera

https://youtu.be/ZxIUuvYTikU

March 26, 2015

Vlax

#Mexico : Militar...

#Mexico : Militarizada la entrega de comida chatarra en la Tarahumara

  • Pepsico+CocaCola+Bimbo y otras trasnacionales son escoltadas por la Policía Estatal Unica.

http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=399407

  • No es por la narcoguerra ni por el sistemático genocidio, sino que se trata de “evitar que las empresas y sobre todo los empleados se conviertan en víctimas de algún tipo de delito; asimismo con la vigilancia de los elementos policiacos se evitarán también los auto robos”, señala la Fiscalía General de Chihuahua.

http://dia.so/1gp

#narcoguerra #comida #guerra #violencia #frontera #USA #Chihuahua #coke #pepsico #Tarahumara

  • En su propaganda, el gobierno explica que esto es para apoyar a las empresas que reparten artículos y productos en las comunidades más apartadas de la Sierra Tarahumara y al norte de Durango, porque los repartidores transportan valores.

http://dia.so/1gq

The GNU project

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "Free as in Freedom" (Mandalay, Myanmar)

Richard Stallman's speech will be nontechnical, admission is gratis, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Mandalay.

FSF Events: Richard Stallman - "Free as in Freedom" (Yangon, Myanmar)

This speech by Richard Stallman will accessible to all audience; attendance is gratis, and the general public is encouraged to attend.

Please fill out our contact form, so that we can contact you about future events in and around Yangon.

Informatic school is in southwest Cameroon

THE OPEN DOOR DAY CEREMONY AT GTHS LIMBE

At 10.00am pupils from different primary schools at down beach limbe were ushered in by the teachers of their various institutions.

SAM_0636

Going around the campus for site seeing, the various departments had their  working tools placed in front of their various departmental offices .

SAM_0639 SAM_0638

While, the Divisional Delegate, the Divisional Officer and parents were still to come , the arena was animated by the d.j

SAM_0644

and some students were found moving halter and scatter.

SAM_0642

By 11:00Am ,the Divisional Delegate arrived the premises

SAM_0641-1

also, the Divisional Officer was ushered by the host principal

SAM_0643-1

The national anthem was sung by the school choir of GTHS limbe. And a word of prayer from a parent.

SAM_0647-1

Also, we had a speech from the principal of GTHS limbe who emphasized on the aspect of parents and teachers together in unity to bring their children to a better perfection in the aspect of technology as science is concerned.

SAM_0645-1

she called on students to be ambassadors  of technology.

SAM_0646-1

After the speech was a welcome song from the GTHS students to relieve the guest.

SAM_0647-1

 

After the blossoming song from the choir ,we had a speech from the Divisional delegate for Fako.

SAM_0649-1

she talked more on the theme being a show case of know how of the technical school through professionalism. she was based on the words of Nelson  Mandela”Education is the only weapon to defeat the world” and frown at the laxity of the teachers.

SAM_0652-1

Next was a traditional dance from the students, which was also wonderful.

SAM_0655-1SAM_0657-1SAM_0659-1

After which was a play on the importance of a technical education.It was excellent .

SAM_0660-1SAM_0661-1

Next was a ballet group.

SAM_0666-1SAM_0667-1

A blossoming word for the activities came from the  (D.O) who also emphasized on the necessity and importance of a technical education.

SAM_0672-1

Next was a general photograph of the staff of GTHS limbe together with the DD and the D.O

SAM_0675-1

Furthermore, the various pupils present had a group photo on this occasion.

SAM_0676-1

parents were not left out in the picture gallery

SAM_0679-1

more was a visit to the various stands by the the guests together with the principal ushered by the H O Ds.

SAM_0688-1SAM_0690-1SAM_0691-1

next after the department of arts was a visitation to the department of electricity where the students of the association of Linux friends had a presentation on 3D printer as seeing below.

IMG_20150320_134814(1)=

at this stand we can see a student from the association of Linux friends demonstrating to the guests and students of GTHS limbe how the 3D printer works .

And as such a sample of the output is seeing below.

IMG_20150320_141019=

the figure above is an illustration of what the 3D printer can print out and many other things such as buttons just to name a few.

And lastly, was a presentation of the Solar System or Energy.

SAM_0632-1

the photo above is an illustration of a solar panel. it accelerate electrical energy from the sun  to it battery where it can be consume in the absence of electricity.

After the long visitation to the various department was a heavy refreshment.Then departure followed..

Report done by Berta Molongo.

by admin

Vlax

Banco Central de Argentina publica actas secretas de dictadura

Banco Central de Argentina publica actas secretas de dictadura

El Banco Central de Argentina (BCRA) desclasificó este miércolas las actas secretas de la dictadura militar (1976-1983) que incluyen la venta de armas a dictaduras latinoamericanas, informó la entidad.

El presidente del BCRA, Alejandro Vanoli, indicó que la desclasificación y publicación se hizo a través de la página web de la entidad monetaria estatal y contienen las actas secretas del directorio durante los años de la dictadura.

La decisión del BCRA fue comunicada por su presidente en un acto celebrado en la sede del organismo y que tuvo como eje "los derechos humanos a la luz de las transformaciones económicas y financieras".

“La publicación de las actas permitirá hacer un aporte a la Memoria y a la búsqueda de la Verdad y de Justicia, de modo de echar luz sobre uno de los períodos más oscuros de nuestra historia, al tiempo que guardan relación con el debate del presente donde confrontan dos proyectos, uno nacional y popular y el otro neoliberal que ya estaba presente durante la dictadura", dijo el director del Banco, Alejandro Vanoli.

Los documentos desclasificados detallan la exportación de material bélico secreto por parte de la estatal Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares a países latinoamericanos con regímenes dictatoriales, resalta un comunicado de la entidad.

Vea también → Argentina desmiente ser una amenaza bélica en las Malvinas

Por otra parte, el presidente del BCRA se refirió al significado económico del golpe militar del 24 de marzo de 1976 como el acontecimiento que puso fin al período de crecimiento del Producto Interno Bruto de Argentina desde 1940, que dio lugar a un estancamiento económico y endeudamiento externo en el período comprendido entre 1976-2000.

"Recordar el pasado no es por una cuestión de añoranza sino una necesidad para actuar en el presente y prevenir el futuro", afirmó Vanoli.

En Contexto

El dictador Jorge Rafael Videla gobernó Argentina desde el 1976 hasta el 1981, cumplía cadena perpetua por delitos de lesa humanidad, pero murió el 16 de mayo de 2014 en Buenos Aires.

Desde el 2006 hasta lo que va de año, 613 personas fueron sentenciadas en procesos por crímenes de lesa humanidad, donde se determinó que 563 son culpables y 50 absueltas, de acuerdo al informe presentado por la Procuraduría de Crímenes contra la Humanidad.

Organismos de Derechos Humanos estiman que durante el régimen militar unas 30 mil personas desaparecieron y 500 niños fueron robados a sus madres que los parieron en cautiverio.

Lea también → Argentinos realizan vigilias por el Día de la Memoria

http://www.telesurtv.net/news/Banco-Central-de-Argentina-publica-actas-secretas-de-dictadura-20150325-0084.html

#botpost via feedDiasp*

March 25, 2015

Vlax

Zaffaroni : "Sumen 10 años de muertos en #Mexico y tendrán una pequeña ciudad"

Zaffaroni : "Sumen 10 años de muertos en #Mexico y tendrán una pequeña ciudad"

  • En #LatinoAmerica ya no hay cabidas para dictaduras como la Videla en #Argentina o como la de #Pinochet (1915-2006), “pero no porque hayamos conseguido nada, sino porque se terminó el neocolonialismo”

    • __“Fue una etapa que comenzó con la Revolución Industrial y terminó con nuestras dictaduras de Seguridad Nacional. A partir de entonces entramos en una fase más avanzada del colonialismo, que es la actual y que no se vale de Golpes de Estado tradicionales, sino de desestabilizaciones y de un control social muy perverso que se juega por sociedades excluyentes, donde hay un 30 por ciento de incluidos y un 70 por ciento de excluidos”, explicó en ciudad de #México Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, catedrático emérito de la Universidad de Buenos Aires y uno de los tratadistas más importantes de la ciencia penal iberoamericana.

#colonialismo #imperio #violencia #DDHH #genocidio #terrorismo #sociedad #justicia #historia

https://diasp.org/posts/4218871

Huelga de hambre masiva contra las condiciones en los CIE británicos

Huelga de hambre masiva contra las condiciones en los CIE británicos

El 9 de marzo, 60 detenidos en el centro de internamiento de Dungavel, en Escocia, cerca de Glasgow, comenzaron a rechazar los alimentos para denunciar “la forma en la que son tratados desde hace mucho tiempo”, el hacinamiento en las celdas, hasta ocho en un misma habitación, y el hecho de que el Reino Unido es el único país de la Unión Europea que no tiene límites de tiempo para recluir a los migrantes que esperan ser deportados.
Pocos días después ya eran 70 los internos en huelga de hambre, y la medida de fuerza contagiaba a ocho centro de detención, entre ellos Yarl’s Wood (Bedfordshire), Harmondsworth y Colnbrook (cerca del aeropuerto de Heathrow) y Tinsley House y Brook House (cerca del aeropuerto de Gatwick).
El 24 de marzo, un solicitante de asilo que llevaba nueve meses detenido se cosió la boca como forma de protesta
El 24 de marzo a que un solicitante de asilo se cosiera con hilo la boca. Este migrante llevaba nueve meses detenido en este centro de internamiento.
En Harmondsworth, el mayor CIE de Reino Unido, con más de 600 migrantes recluidos, las protestas por la suciedad, el maltrato, el hacinamiento en las celdas –que los internos comparan con “jaulas de animales”– llevó el 24 de marzo a que un solicitante de asilo se cosiera con hilo la boca, según informó The Independent. Este migrante llevaba nueve meses detenido en este centro de internamiento.
Una reciente investigación del Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) señalaba que la interminable detención en estos centros tiene “un efecto destructivo en el bienestar y la salud de los detenidos”. A principios de marzo, una serie de vídeos con cámara oculta aireaba las deplorables condiciones de vida de la población migrante en Harmondsworth. En una de las piezas quedaba patente que la administración encerraba a los migrantes dos horas extra en sus celdas como ejercicio de reducción de costes.

“El agua ha estado cortada todo el día”, contaba un interno de Harmondsworth el 13 de marzo. Y no era por mantenimiento. “No les importa lo que hagamos aquí dentro. Nos estamos muriendo. Por la protesta de ayer, uno de mis compañeros ha ido al hospital porque se ha puesto enfermo. Estaba en la huelga de hambre y se puso a vomitar. Ahora no sabemos dónde está…”, contaba.
Al sureste de Londres, el mismo viernes 13 de marzo los testimonios se replicaban con semejante desesperación: “No estamos comiendo en el centro de detención de Dover. La mitad de la gente ya está en huelga. Nos estamos organizando y hablando con la gente. Somos seres humanos”.

Los teléfonos con cámara están prohibidos en los centros de detención de migrantes. Cuando se le preguntó la razón a un representante del Ministerio del Interior en el centro de Harmondsworth contestó que era para impedir que los detenidos envíen fotos a los medios de comunicación de las peleas, las autolesiones y "estas malas condiciones como las ratas y cualquier otra mierda que hay aquí ". El Gobierno "no quiere la mala publicidad que implica", dic el funcionario.

Un guardia descontento explica que la nueva administración está haciendo que el personal trabaje más turnos con menos descanso entre ellos.

La investigación de Corporate Watch desveló que la gestora del CIE de Harmondsworth comenzó a encerrar a los detenidos en sus celdas durante dos horas más por la noche. De esta forma, los detenidos pasan casi la mitad de su tiempo encerrados en sus celdas.

https://www.diagonalperiodico.net/global/26191-huelga-hambre-masiva-contra-condiciones-cie-britanicos.html

#botpost via feedDiasp*

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

Essay Collection: Designing Democracy

How designers and design could improve participation in the democratic process and communication between electors? The essay collection ‘Designing Democracy’ examines this from different perspectives. Francesca Bria, Senior Project Lead in the Nesta Innovation Lab and project coordinator of the D-CENT project, writes about ’Internet-era citizen movements and political parties’.

‘Designing Democracy’ investigates key questions surrounding democratic engagement, for example the decline in election turnouts and increasing voter apathy. Could design reverse this trend and reinvigorating democratic engagement and improve the experience of voting? How can we use design to help people understand why their vote counts?

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 13.20.01

Even though we have seen the rise of new network parties, like the Five Star Movement in Italy and Podemos in Spain, attempts to engage people in democratic decision-making using digital platforms are still in their early stages, D-CENT project coordinator Francesca Bria states in her article (pages 41-44).

“A few existing platforms have been specifcally designed to engage in Internet-scale democracy that goes beyond the limits of traditional corporate social media. The European funded project D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) is bringing together leading European examples of collective deliberation and decision-making, and helping them developing the next generation tools for online democracy”, Bria writes.

“The purpose of democracy in the 21st century should be to harness the collective knowledge of the people to build more inclusive institutions, formulate better policy and laws and solve real social problems empowering citizens. D-CENT wants to provide a positive vision of collective intelligence in democracy, which is a vision of a more inclusive and participatory democracy in the 21st century”, she continues.

The ‘Designing Democracy’ essay collection features articles from leading designers, MPs and policymakers. Other writers include e,g:

  • Lord Richard Rogers, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, President of APDIG
  • Speaker John Bercow, House of Commons and Chair of the Speaker’s Commission into Digital Democracy
  • Jason Prior, AECOM
  • Karen Anderson, Architecture and Design Scotland
  • Sam Jacob, Sam Jacob Architects
  • Hayley Rogers, Good Law Project
  • Dan Hill, Future Cities Catapult
  • Laura Haynes, Appetite 
  • Kieran Long, V&A Museum
  • Kate Jones, Design Council
  • Carole Ann-Davies, Design Commission Wales
  • Nick Hurley, The Human Project
  • Cassie Robinson and Louise Armstrong, The Civic Bureau and Forum for the Future
  • David Klanner-Jausner, Commonplace

The collection is co-Chaired by John Howell MP and Dr. Richard Simmons. It is published by the Policy Connect.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.18.00

>> Download the file


D-CENT is a Europe-wide project creating privacy-aware tools and applications for direct democracy and economic empowerment. Together with the citizens and developers, we are creating a decentralised social networking platform for large-scale collaboration and decision-making.

Follow us:

Website: www.dcentproject.eu 
Twitter: @dcentproject
Facebook: facebook.com/dcentproject
Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/dcentproject
Vimeo: vimeo.com/dcentproject 
Slideshare: slideshare.net/dcentproject 
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/groups/DCENT-8252379/about
GitHub: github.com/d-cent

 

 

 

by admin

March 24, 2015

Annamaria Monteverdi

Call for proposal: Videomapping, Girona

Oberta la convocatòria del Concurs Internacional de Mapping de Girona Fins al 20 d’abril està oberta la convocatòria al Concurs Internacional de Mapping de Girona. Tota la informació i les bases del concurs al webwww.fimg.cat. El concurs té quatre categories: professional, amateur, micromapping i escolar, ideu premis que sumen més de 24.000€. El concurs Internacional […]

by annamaria monteverdi

The GNU project

FSF News: LibrePlanet 2015 brings free software luminaries to MIT

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman gave the opening keynote

At a ceremony on Saturday, March 21st, Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan announced the winners of the FSF's annual Free Software Awards. Two awards were given: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software was presented to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging, and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit was presented to Reglue, an Austin, TX organization that gives GNU/Linux laptops to families in need.

Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler closed out the conference with a rallying cry to "Stand up for the GNU GPL," in which she discussed a lawsuit recently filed in Germany to defend the GNU General Public License. When she asked the audience who was willing to stand up for copyleft, the entire room rose to its feet.

Karen Sandler at LibrePlanet

Karen Sandler gave the closing keynote

Videos of all the conference sessions, along with photographs from the conference, will soon be available on https://media.libreplanet.org, the conference's instance of GNU MediaGoblin, a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run.

LibrePlanet 2015 was produced in partnership by the Free Software Foundation and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at MIT.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

Libby Reinish
Campaigns Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

videogame confessional forum

jenn dahlke

I'm Jennifer Dahlke, I'm 26, and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. I guess I've been going back and forth with games a lot in my life. Usually because of situational things or environmental changes...

by people who played games

Vlax

Trovebox (OpenPhoto) is shutting down

Trovebox (OpenPhoto) is shutting down

https://trovebox.com/

We believe the best is yet to come. Some of the team will be joining another much larger company to pursue our original goal of preserving digital memories. It’s an idea that we’re excited about and have incubated for most of 2014. Consider it a “fork” of the Trovebox you know today.

#opensource #open-source #photo #sharing #alternative #OpenPhoto #Trovebox

March 23, 2015

Vlax

The epoch before ...

The epoch before digital computers - Modern Business Machines for Writing, Duplicating, and Recording

  • 1947
  • Director: uncredited
  • Producer: Teaching Aids Exchange
  • Sponsor: Thomas S. Mullaney

#video #record #information #data #society #technology #culture #machine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENh-lljc4og

The GNU project

FSF Blogs: LibrePlanet 2015: Highlights and what comes next

With approximately 350 people in attendance, we kept pace with last year—with a few improvements. In particular, our tech team did a fantastic job improving our video feeds, with peak usage at around 300 simultaneous views. We also worked hard to streamline the registration process, reducing time spent waiting in the registration line before Richard Stallman's Saturday morning keynote, with few hiccups.

Attendees wait for Saturday registration

Morning registration at LibrePlanet

Let's take a look at some more highlights.

  • Read our post about day one of the conference and the election of our newest board member, Kat Walsh.

  • FSF board member Benjamin Mako Hill kicked off Sunday morning with an examination of how the free software community has progressed with two major goals: access and empowerment. He argued that empowerment has a long way to go, and offered some suggestions for next steps.

  • This year, we had over 40 speakers, and like last year, about 40% were women.

  • Karen Sandler, in her new role as executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, gave her third LibrePlanet keynote to close the conference, expanding on the recent suit brought by Christoph Hellwig, contributor to the kernel Linux, against VMWare for violating the GPL by not releasing the source code for the version of the operating system kernel they distribute with their ESXi software. Read our statement of support here.

  • Sunday's talks explored the possibilities for free software: Jennie Rose Halperin of Safari looked at free software's potential role in cultural heritage organizations, Brett Smith discussed Arvados, a free software platform for big data science, Free Software Award-winner Sébastien Jodogne gave one of several talks on free software's role in medicine, and other talks looked at free software possibilities for universities and journalism, as well as examining threats to free software, gathering the community for strategy sessions, and offering practical training.

  • Our sustained partnership with MIT's Student Information Processing Board once again helped make LibrePlanet great, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of SIPB's membership.

We on the FSF staff owe many thanks to our tireless volunteers, without whom LibrePlanet couldn't possibly be as large or well-run as it is. Thank GNU to Francis Rowe of Gluglug and Libreboot, rsiddharth, Janith Perera, Sharon Ramage, Anke Nowottne, Mo Moulton, Diane Williams, Elyes Ighilaza, Brendan Kidwell, Rimma Shakhbatyan, Andy Zimolzak, Herm Pena, Taylor Gunnoe, Tanya Balyan, Devin Ulibarri, Ryan Desfosses, Geoffrey Jenkins, Martin Yim, Daniel Felix, Evan Mulvaney, Veronika Alexander, Patrick Engelman, Dan Fitzmartin, Ian Denhardt, John Saylor, Ben Cook, Sunil Kumar, Tim Jordan, Alice Alisme, Sunil Kumar, Julian Daich, Lizz van Allen, Kendra Moyer, Loren Chen, Helen Jiang, Max Dunitz, Mariah Villareal, Shayna Cummings, Matthew Coleman, Weston Cooke, and George Chriss. If you're interested in volunteering next year (you'll receive gratis admission and a t-shirt), please contact resources@fsf.org.

Libreboot installation

If you attended LibrePlanet and haven't filled out our feedback survey yet, please take a few minutes to do so. LibrePlanet is for you, and your ideas, compliments, and criticisms will help us make the next LibrePlanet even more productive, welcoming, and fun. If you missed a session, or want to share them with friends, keep an eye on the LibrePlanet video archive (powered by GNU MediaGoblin). We're working hard to get videos posted within a week or two, and we'll inform you when they're available.

We had a great group of sponsors this year and we are looking to build on that for next year. If your company would like to support LibrePlanet, please contact us any time at donate@fsf.org.

With the renewed energy that comes from spending a great weekend with the free software community, we're excited about the year ahead. Mark your calendars for October 3, when we'll celebrate our 30th anniversary, with events here in the Boston area and around the world. If you'd like us to let you know when registration opens for LibrePlanet 2016, join the announcements list (anchored at the top of the 2015 conference page) today. Remember that becoming an FSF member gets you gratis admission to the conference, and bragging rights for supporting the FSF's work year-round.

Vlax

Confesiones de un privilegiado de la fotografía

Confesiones de un privilegiado de la fotografía

Soy un privilegiado
Soy hombre y me interesa el mundo del arte, en mi caso la fotografía. Me he informado un poco y resulta que si estudio Bellas Artes tendré muchas compañeras, seis de cada 10 estudiantes de arte son mujeres (Informe MAV N.13 julio 2014). Pero no serán competencia si algún día quiero presentarme a algún premio. Al ser hombre, la estadística me favorece, tengo un 70% de probabilidades de ganar frente al 30% que tendría si fuera mujer.
El arte y los premios no entienden de géneros, no es un requisito esencial ni te lo preguntan para presentarte aunque, casualmente, hay una media del 63% de jurados hombres decidiendo que siete de cada 10 premios vayan también a hombres.
Y si algún día quiero trabajar en un museo, es cierto que la mitad de sus trabajadoras son mujeres pero, también casualidad, si quiero llegar a dirigir dicho museo, solo dos de cada 10 mujeres acaban consiguiéndolo, por lo que tengo bastantes más posibilidades que mis posibles compañeras mujeres.
Incluso si, llegado el día, mi trabajo como fotógrafo se considera merecedor de un premio tan importante como el Premio Nacional de Fotografía que otorga el Gobierno de España, tengo la fortuna de pertenecer al género más agraciado. De 21 ocasiones, solo en 4 se ha reconocido el trabajo de mujeres: Cristina García Rodero (1996), Ouka Lele (2005) , María Bleda (2008) y Colita (2014 aunque lo rechazó). Para financiar este premio, por suerte, no discriminan si eres mujer a la hora de cobrarte impuestos, por lo que no tengo que pagar más por ser hombre.
Lo reconozco, soy un privilegiado. Y yo no lo he elegido, es lo que me ha tocado, esa suerte que tengo. Pero da la casualidad que tengo muchas amigas a las que también les interesa la fotografía. En alguna ocasión he participado con ellas en concursos, visionados, publicaciones, escuelas, exposiciones... Y por el camino he ido viendo cómo sus trabajos, de los que soy muy fan, no recibían el mismo reconocimiento que el mío. Y esto es algo que me choca bastante, porque no creo que tantas amigas mías tengan todas peores trabajos que yo.
Como me parece un poco raro, a veces lo digo. Unas veces solo lo menciono y normalmente cuando lo hago nadie se da por aludido. Otras veces insisto e incluso me enfado porque me cuesta creer que sea simple casualidad. Y entonces suelen responderme cosas del tipo (totalmente real, aviso): "eres un radical", "ya decía yo que te olía el bigote a coño" o "eres un nazi, te han lavado el cerebro ¿acaso quieres ser mujer?" Cuando estas cosas te las dicen compañeros, supuestos amigos, hombres que no paran de repetirte que ellos no miran el género y que no son machistas, empiezas a atar cabos. Sí, quizás esté destacando casos extremos, también es cierto que son los que más me han marcado. Pero las estadísticas que antes he mencionado no son extremas, son medias ponderadas. Y suceden continuamente.
Por todo esto, unas amigas hemos decidido poner en marcha un proyecto para ver si cambian esos datos estadísticos, aunque sea un poco, de manera constructiva. Sin señalar con el dedo a nadie, sin atacar, solo buscando un espacio donde crecer y empoderarse. Y sí, no es para mí que soy hombre, si a mí no me hace falta, tengo el resto del mundo a mis pies. El espacio que os digo se llama Género y Figura y tiene el apoyo de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid y la plataforma de micromecenazgo Goteo, donde buscamos pasta para levantar una web, hacer unos vídeos y una publicación, todo lleno de trabajos de mujeres fotógrafas ¿Os apuntáis?

https://www.diagonalperiodico.net/culturas/26160-confesiones-privilegiado-la-fotografia.html

#botpost via feedDiasp*

[U.S. Court Extends Global Shutdown of DVD Ripping Software](http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Torrentfreak/~3/jB-YC4XdPZ8/ "via TheDiasporaPiBot" )

U.S. Court Extends Global Shutdown of DVD Ripping Software

Published on 2015-03-23T10:12:27

A federal court in New York has issued a paralyzing verdict against the Chinese-based DVD ripping company DVDFab. Ruling in favor of AACS, the licensing outfit founded by Warner Bros, Disney, Microsoft, Intel and others, the court has issued an updated injunction granting the seizure of several domain names belonging to the software vendor. Source: TorrentFreak , for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and anonymous VPN services .
Last year the decryption licensing outfit AACS launched a crackdown on DRM-circumvention software.
The company sued the makers of popular DVD ripping software DVDFab . It won a preliminary injunction based on the argument that the “DVDFab Group” violates the DMCA’s anti-circumvention clause, since their software can bypass DVD encryption.
Initially DVDFab did not respond to the court, so the order was entered by default. However, after the injunction was issued the company responded in the name of Feng Tao, with a request for the court to revise its earlier judgment.
One of the counterarguments DVDFab raised was that the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions don’t apply worldwide, and DVDFab was promising to no longer do business with U.S. customers.
“It is well-established that the Copyright Act doesn’t apply extra-territorially,” the company argued , asking the court to quash the injunction or limit it to the United States.
AACS contested the good intentions of DVDFab and showed the court that the software was still readily available to the U.S. public. According to AACS the circumvention software was still being offered and promoted though new domains and services.
For example, new circumvention tools and services were offered from TDMore.com, BluFab.com, Boooya.org, DVDFab.de, and FabImg.net, among others. To stop DVDFab from bypassing the court order, AACS asked for an updated injunction to cover these new products and domains.
This week District Court Judge Vernon Broderick ruled on the motions from both sides with AACS the clear winner
The Judge argues that DVDFab’s explanations for the continued offering of software in the U.S. are not credible so has ordered the seizure of several new domain names.
“Tao’s explanations for his continued trafficking of infringing products into the United States—the product is not his, the product was not created ‘primarily’ for AACS circumvention, or the product was not intended for U.S. users — is simply not credible. The record overwhelmingly demonstrates these statements are not true,” Judge Broderick writes.
The injunction ( pdf ) bars DVDFab from distributing its software in public and allows AACS to seize seizure a wide range domain names. In addition, the company’s social media accounts are to be blocked and other services including online banks cut off as well.
While the Judge understands that the DMCA doesn’t apply in other countries he argues that, considering DVDFab’s conduct after the initial injunction, it will only be effective if it applies worldwide.
“It was not my intention to sweep within the Preliminary Injunction lawful conduct, i.e. entirely extraterritorial conduct. However, Defendant’s recalcitrant persistence in accessing the United States market makes clear to me that no more narrowly-tailored relief would be effective,” the Judge writes.

As a result DVDFab will lose control over TDMore.com, BluFab.cn, BluFab.com, Boooya.org, DVDFab.de, DVDFab.cn, FabImg.net, Woookao.cn, and Woookao.com which were found to be in violation of the DMCA. Two other domains, TDMore.cn and Boooya.com, were not added as there’s not enough evidence that they are operated by the software vendor.
There is no doubt that the broad injunction will severely impact the Chinese company. Aside from its domain names, the court also ordered payment processors to stop working with DVDFab, which will make it very hard for the company to sell its products anywhere in the world.
Source: TorrentFreak , for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and anonymous VPN services .

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Torrentfreak/~3/jB-YC4XdPZ8/

Permatags: #TheDiasporaPiBot #TorrentFreak

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

Network parties in Spain: Interview with Labodemo, Podemos participation team

Miguel Arana Catania_Labodemo_picture Nesta

Writers: Darryl Chamberlain & Francesca Bria (Nesta)

Representatives of the groups involved in D-CENT met in London to share their experiences. Miguel Arana Catania, of LaboDemo, which is working with Spanish political party Podemos, talked about how he sees the project. Miguel took part in the FutureFest panel hosted by D-CENT titled ”Networks, Movements, and Parties: D-CENT and the challenges of the netera politics”.

What is Podemos?

During the last three years we’ve had a huge mobilisation in Spain – 15-M – coming after the Arab Spring and many other demonstrations. Podemos is the current stage of that. We tried many things – petitions, demonstrations, whatever. With elections approaching, a lot of people said “let’s make a party, otherwise these people won’t really hear what the people want to do”.

It’s a new kind of party. The structure is quite similar to the mobilisation of 15-M. It’s made of 1,000 assemblies, along with a leader and a more organised part. There’s an important focus on direct democracy and new technology, and we’re asking for real democracy in Spain.

How did you get involved?

I was there from the beginning in the 15M movement. I was there in the demonstrations, in the first camps – we thought it was very exciting and why not? The first camps [in Puerta del Sol, Madrid] were just supposed to be for one week, ahead of local elections. And then people started joining the camp, they were evicted by the police and a lot more people came. Then it exploded and it was crazy.

It’s the first real political movement we’ve had in Spain for a long time that’s got real hope to change things. Everyone wanted to be involved, and I had a bit more time to get involved. The support over the past three years has been amazing.

What does D-CENT mean to you?

It’s a very interesting project – to establish a decentralised network, a different kind of internet, and to show the problems the internet is having right now – control by corporations and users’ data. Promoting democracy tools is very important, as we have a unique opportunity to create a different kind of tool to interact with people, not only to protect privacy but to maximise reach. There aren’t many companies doing this, so D-CENT is very important.

What can D-CENT do for Podemos?

It can help build tools that can be used in a new way of doing politics. Of course, Podemos is involved in this, but there are also other forces in Spain – such as Barcelona En Comun (“Barcelona in common”) – that are also involved in this path.

These tools go beyond political movements. Whatever happens with Podemos, the tool can be used in other countries. It’s designing a new kind of democracy, a new way of doing things, where people are really involved. It’s just not just somebody representing you.

Doesn’t this exclude people without the web?

If you use the internet alone, of course you exclude some people. You should always combine with physical and other processes. There are things you can’t pick up through the internet – emotions, how people engage with the processes, the way you look.

The internet can’t give you that, but it does mean we can do things that weren’t possible before. It’s an extra thing that’s really changing.  On the first night of 15-M, it was on Twitter, and other people came, and then the movement replicated in 50 cities in one night, just because of the social network and the work that’d been done.

I want to suggest a new policy in Podemos – how would that work?

In Podemos, we are trying to build a lot of different ways for people to interact and propose things. So if you wanted to suggest a tax, you could join the assembly for the economy and then just go there, propose something, and if people like it, they will propose it to the next step in the organisation – the council, the main organisation of the party.

And then we have something called the Podemos Citizen Initiative, a process where people can go to the global space for debate we have in Reddit called Plaza Podemos (“Podemos Square”). It’s an open space for everybody and you can just go there and propose something. If enough people support it, it will jump to the official Podemos website, and if it gets through that, there’ll be an internal referendum. Then everybody in Podemos will be able to vote.

If we like it, it’s on. It’s a very straight path of direct democracy which we think is easy and useful. We are working to make it happen technologically, and in one or two months it will be ready.

What challenges will D-CENT help overcome?

It will help build these paths to create policies. It’s very important to build connections with other countries, there’s a lot of experience – we’re working with Finland, Iceland, and other countries to understand their experiences, their different tools and processes, to see what happened and improve on them in Spain, and to give feedback on their projects.

So this is the special point of D-CENT– the connection between countries’ experiences. If there’s something we want to do, maybe they’ve already done it.

 

The original article published @ www.nesta.org.uk: Network parties in Spain – Interview with Labodemo, Podemos participation team

by admin

March 22, 2015

Annamaria Monteverdi

RGB Outdoor Light Festival

27-28 marzo 2015 Roma – sedi varie Opening: 27 marzo ore 19.00 Circonvallazione Casilina (angolo via del Pigneto) Nell’ambito delle attività culturali legate alla celebrazione dell’Anno Internazionale della Luce proclamato dall’UNESCO per il 2015, Luci Ombre presenta – per la prima volta a Roma – RGB Outdoor Light Festival, progetto di illuminazione artistica urbana nato dal […]

by annamaria monteverdi

M.U.R.S. by La Fura dels Baus at Holland Festival

Digital technology is continuously speeding forward, bringing about radical changes in our society. At a local level, this has already spawned the notion of the smart city, in which everyone is connected with everyone and everything digitally. Still, what does all this technology really mean to us? The famous Catalan theatre company La Fura dels […]

by annamaria monteverdi

The End by Keiichiro Shibuya + Hatsune Miku at Holland Festival

Performing sold-out 3D concerts around the world, boasting over two and a half million Facebook friends and singing an incredible repertoire of more than 100,000 user-released songs, Hatsune Miku is possibly Japan’s greatest pop star. Now artist Keiichiro Shibuya features Hatsune Miku in his creation The End, the first Vocaloid opera – an opera without […]

by annamaria monteverdi

Impressioni da L’OSPITE dei MOTUS. Percorso d’archivio.

Motus aveva iniziato il cammino verso Pasolini  con lo spettacolo Come un cane senza padrone, rilettura “filmica” di Petrolio. La descrizione pasoliniana della periferia romana si traduceva spazialmente in una videoinstallazione «a tre ante» posizionata sulla parte destra del palcoscenico: umanità povera ma spensierata (lunghi piani-sequenza puntati sui «ragazzi del popolo») e paesaggio desolante ripreso […]

by annamaria monteverdi

X Racconti crudeli della giovinezza di Motus: il doppio codice del teatro

X (ICS) è prima di tutto un progetto doppio, teatro e cinema, uno spettacolo in cui saltano le gerarchie e le preoccupazioni di specificità del mezzo per dare vita a una narrazione espansa, doppia, contemporanea tra cinema e video, graphic e videogames art e teatro con un libero nomadismo di linguaggi già ampiamente sperimentato dal gruppo […]

by annamaria monteverdi

The GNU project

FSF Blogs: LibrePlanet 2015: Day one roundup

Kat Walsh

FSF's newest board member, Kat Walsh

On Saturday morning, the new green and white LibrePlanet logo was all over MIT's Stata Center, from our new banners to the t-shirts worn by dozens of hard-working staff, volunteers, and attendees. In the morning, FSF executive director John Sullivan kicked off the day with a few cool announcements: first, that Aleph Objects donated a Lulzbot Mini 3-D printer, which we are auctioning off as a fundraiser for the FSF, and second, that Kat Walsh had been elected the newest member of the FSF board of directors. We are all thrilled to welcome Kat to our board, and excited that she will be lending her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to our efforts.

The opening keynote by FSF president Richard M. Stallman covered a range of topics, but focused on the necessity of free hardware designs, which is also the subject of an ongoing series Stallman is publishing in WIRED. Read the first and second parts now.

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet

Of course, Saturday was stuffed with exciting sessions, fueled by our collective enthusiasm and lots of coffee and snacks (thanks to Jasimin, FSF's business manager, for making sure we don't run out of caffeine this year). Talks included a conversation with the FSF's High Priority Projects Committee about revising FSF's High Priority Projects List, Bassam Kurdali's discussion of Blender, which he used to create the FSF's User Lib video, Sucheta Ghoshal's examination of the GNOME OPW program (since succeeded by Outreachy) as a former student and mentor, and Francis Rowe's overview of Libreboot (by the way, we had some RYF-certified Libreboot X200s for sale at the GNU Press store - they were gone an hour after they went on sale).

Saturday ended with the presentation of the Free Software Awards. The Award for Projects of Social Benefit was awarded to Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Reglue, and accepted by founder Ken Starks, who also gave a session on Sunday. The Award for the Advancement of Free Software was presented to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging with his project Orthanc.

Following the day's formal sessions, many attendees gathered at Flat Top Johnny's for pool, good food, and more conversation. We are looking forward to more great sessions today, closing with a keynote by Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. Tune in to the livestream if you aren't here in Cambridge!

parallel @ Savannah: GNU Parallel 20150322 ('Hellwig') released

GNU Parallel 20150322 ('Hellwig') has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parallel/

Haiku of the month:

Stand up for your rights.
VMware does not comply.
Hellwig goes to court.

(https://sfconservancy.org/linux-compliance/vmware-lawsuit-faq.html)

New in this release:

  • --number-of-cores respects 'taskset' on GNU/Linux.
  • --joblog --pipe gives the data send and received in the log.
  • GNU Parallel was tested to support 100 GB sized records in --pipe. A few bugs was fixed to support >2 GB records. It works, but is rather slow.
  • GNU Parallel was cited in: Efficient Retrieval of Key Material for Inspecting Potentially Malicious Traffic in the Cloud http://sacko.uk/pdf/2015.1.pdf
  • Bug fixes and man page updates.

GNU Parallel - For people who live life in the parallel lane.

About GNU Parallel

GNU Parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. A job is can be a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. A job can also be a command that reads from a pipe. GNU Parallel can then split the input and pipe it into commands in parallel.

If you use xargs and tee today you will find GNU Parallel very easy to use as GNU Parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU Parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU Parallel can even replace nested loops.

GNU Parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU Parallel as input for other programs.

You can find more about GNU Parallel at: http://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/

You can install GNU Parallel in just 10 seconds with: (wget -O - pi.dk/3 || curl pi.dk/3/) | bash

Watch the intro video on http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL284C9FF2488BC6D1

Walk through the tutorial (man parallel_tutorial). Your commandline will love you for it.

When using programs that use GNU Parallel to process data for publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU Parallel - The Command-Line Power Tool, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, February 2011:42-47.

If you like GNU Parallel:

  • Give a demo at your local user group/team/colleagues
  • Post the intro videos on Reddit/Diaspora*/forums/blogs/ Identi.ca/Google+/Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin/mailing lists
  • Get the merchandise https://www.gnu.org/s/parallel/merchandise.html
  • Request or write a review for your favourite blog or magazine
  • Request or build a package for your favourite distribution (if it is not already there)
  • Invite me for your next conference

If you use GNU Parallel for research:

  • Please cite GNU Parallel in you publications (use --bibtex)

If GNU Parallel saves you money:

About GNU SQL

GNU sql aims to give a simple, unified interface for accessing databases through all the different databases' command line clients. So far the focus has been on giving a common way to specify login information (protocol, username, password, hostname, and port number), size (database and table size), and running queries.

The database is addressed using a DBURL. If commands are left out you will get that database's interactive shell.

When using GNU SQL for a publication please cite:

O. Tange (2011): GNU SQL - A Command Line Tool for Accessing Different Databases Using DBURLs, ;login: The USENIX Magazine, April 2011:29-32.

About GNU Niceload

GNU niceload slows down a program when the computer load average (or other system activity) is above a certain limit. When the limit is reached the program will be suspended for some time. If the limit is a soft limit the program will be allowed to run for short amounts of time before being suspended again. If the limit is a hard limit the program will only be allowed to run when the system is below the limit.

March 21, 2015

The GNU project

FSF News: Sébastien Jodogne, Reglue are Free Software Award winners

The Award for the Advancement of Free Software is given annually to an individual who has made a great contribution to the progress and development of free software, through activities that accord with the spirit of free software.

This year, it was given to Sébastien Jodogne for his work on free software medical imaging with his project Orthanc.

Sébastien Jodogne

One of Jodogne's nominators said, "The Orthanc project started in 2011, when Sébastien noticed in his work as a medical imaging engineer that hospitals are very exposed to lock-in problems when dealing with their medical imaging flows....Freely creating electronic gateways between imaging modalities (autorouting), between medical departments, or even between hospitals remains a challenging task. But the amount of medical images that are generated, analyzed, and exchanged by hospitals is dramatically increasing. Medical imaging is indeed the first step to the treatment of more and more illnesses, such as cancers or cardiovascular diseases."

Jodogne said, "Technology and humanism are often opposed. This is especially true in the healthcare sector, where many people fear that technological progress will dehumanize the treatments and will reduce the patients to statistical objects. I am convinced that the continuous rising of free software is a huge opportunity for the patients to regain control of their personal health, as well as for the hospitals to provide more competitive, personalized treatments by improving the interoperability between medical devices. By guaranteeing the freedoms of the users, free software can definitely bring back together computers and human beings."

Jodogne joins a distinguished list of previous winners, including the 2013 winner, Matthew Garrett.

The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life. This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity.

This year, the award went to Reglue, which gives GNU/Linux computers to underprivileged children and their families in Austin, TX. According to Reglue, Austin has an estimated 5,000 school-age children who cannot afford a computer or Internet access. Since 2005, Reglue has given over 1,100 computers to these children and their families. Reglue's strategy diverts computers from the waste stream, gives them new life with free software, and puts them in the hands of people who need these machines to advance their education and gain access to the Internet.

FSF executive director John Sullivan and Ken Starks

One nomination for Reglue read, "Mr. Starks has dedicated his life to distributing free software in many forms, both the digital form...and by building new computers from old parts, giving a new life to old machines by re-purposing them into computers given to extremely needy children and families. They are always loaded with free, GNU/Linux software, from the OS up."

Ken Starks, founder of Reglue, was present at the ceremony to accept the award. While all free 'as in freedom' software is not free of charge, Reglue focuses on finding empowering free software that is also gratis. He said of his work with Reglue, "A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on the ability to afford it. Few things will eclipse the achievements wrought as a direct result of placing technology into the hands of tomorrow."

Nominations for both awards are submitted by members of the public, then evaluated by an award committee composed of previous winners and FSF founder and president Richard Stallman. This year's award committee was: Hong Feng, Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Yukihiro Matsumoto, Matthew Garrett, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Fernanda Weiden, Jonas Öberg, Wietse Venema, and Vernor Vinge.

More information about both awards, including the full list of previous winners, can be found at https://www.fsf.org/awards.

About the Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software—particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants—and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contacts

John Sullivan
Executive Director
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

Photos under CC BY-SA 4.0 Attribution

The GNU project

FSF Blogs: Welcome to LibrePlanet 2015!

After an opening keynote by FSF president Richard Stallman - and the announcement of our newest board member, Kat Walsh - more than 300 attendees split up for talks on a wide variety of free software topics. These included MediaGoblin developer Christopher Webber on the role of free software in federation of the web, Seth Schoen of EFF on a new robotic certificate authority called Let's Encrypt, Deb Nicholson's lively comparison of the 1980's and the varied aspects of the free software movement, and Francis Rowe's discussion of the Libreboot free boot firmware. Talks continue into the early evening, concluding with the annual Free Software Awards at 17:45 EDT.

FSF staff setting up LibrePlanet 2015

If you are here at LibrePlanet, say hello to the FSF staff, pictured here in a photo taken while setting up in the Stata Center early this morning. And don't forget to visit our partner, the MIT Student Information Processing Board SIPB in the exhibit hall, along with our other exhibitors and the GNU Press shop, where you can buy a LibrePlanet t-shirt, GNU Press books, and stickers and other free software swag.

If you aren't attending LibrePlanet in person, in Cambridge, MA, check out the sessions on our livestream, today and tomorrow. If you microblog about LibrePlanet happenings, use the hashtag #lp2015.

March 20, 2015

videogame confessional forum

anonymous

You can call me a game developer who’s in his forties. Man. That’s a sad-sounding thing to be, somehow. Why is anonymity so important for this conversation we're about to have? The videogame...

by people who make games

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

Interview: Denis “Jaromil” Roio

Denis Roio, also known as Jaromil, is a researcher in philosophy of technology and a software artisan. His creations are recommended by the Free Software Foundation and redistributed worldwide. Since 2000 Jaromil has dedicated to build Dyne.org, a software house gathering the contributions of a growing number of developers who value social responsibility above profit. Dyne.org is also a partner in the D-CENT project.

“The digital money of the 21st century is definitely not going to be a number in a database of a bank. It’s going to be a blockchain, triple-signed ledger that more people can have in custody. Hopefully it also involves the creation of new forms of institutions that can re-establish the trust towards value circulation – the same trust that banks have lost today”, states Denis Roio.

D-CENT interview: Denis Jaromil Roio from D-CENT on Vimeo.

by Kaisa Eskola

March 19, 2015

Zuper - Zsh Ultimate Programmer's Extensions Refurbished 0.1

… – Changes: Refurbishing various techniques from Dowse, Devuan SDK and Jaro Mail.

by jaromil

Riccardo Orioles

L’antimafia vera non costa niente. Landini e don Ciotti raccolgano queste energie

“Fior di viola, splendente,
vivi nei canti, Atene,
tu che hai difeso l’Ellade, tu ardita,
tu città degli dei…”

Ma insomma, come faccio a distinguere l’antimafia fasulla da quella di cui fidarsi? Facilissimo: quella povera è quella vera. L’antimafia, difatti, è gratis. Perciò non puoi farci soldi o carriera. Puoi rischiare la pelle, questo sì, puoi  farti emarginare dappertutto, puoi  – ovviamente – restare senza lavoro, puoi anche fare la fame se occorre. Tutte queste belle cose puoi fare, e altre ancora. Ma soldi e carriera no.

Ci spiace, ma non l’abbiamo messa noi questa regola. A noi piacerebbe di più ricevere – in un paese civile – soldi, onori, carriere felici e tranquille, e magari qualche buona parola. Ci piacerebbe anche di più poter promettere tutte queste belle cose ai ragazzi che, un anno dopo l’altro,  arrivano freschi e decisi: “Voglio dare una mano all’antimafia”. Ma questo in un paese civile. “Ragazzi, l’antimafia si paga” dobbiamo invece insegnare. Eppure, non restiamo mai soli.

La mafia, in Sicilia, nasce al servizio dei grandi imprenditori agricoli e poi industriali. Già nel 1920, a Palermo, giustiziò il sindacalista Fiom Giovanni Orcel; negli anni ’40-’60, per conto dei latifondisti, assassinò un centinaio di dirigenti contadini. “Imprenditore”, in Sicilia, non è una gran bella parola, e comunque con l’antimafia ha sempre avuto poco a che fare. Così, desta poca sorpresa la “scoperta” che le proclamazioni di questo o quell’imprenditore “antimafia” andavano in realtà prese cum grano salis.

In realtà, la vera sorpresa è data dalla facilità con cui personaggi del genere hanno potuto essere presi sul serio dall’antimafia“perbene”. I motivi son tanti. Primo, l’approssimazione politica di gran parte della nuova antimafia, dove la ripetizione di buoni principi sostituisce spesso la lucidità delle analisi e la radicalità delle azioni. Secondo, è più facile prendere a interlocutori (finché non  smascherati) i vari Montante e Helg che non gli Umberto Santino, i Pino Maniaci o i Siciliani. I primi hanno denari da mettere nei vari “rinnovamenti”, e i secondi no; i primi non minacciano in alcun modo l’assetto sociale “perbene”, e i secondi sì. Ma così va il mondo; e noi perdoniamo volentieri agli amici perbene quella che non è certo malafede ma solo disattenzione e pigrizia.

* * *

In un sistema dove i poteri mafiosi sono tanto inseriti nell’economia, è ovvio che la vera lotta alla mafia sia condizione primissima per cambiare qualcosa. Avete già sentito ‘sta tiritera, se siete vecchi lettori dei Siciliani.

E’ stata una bella sorpresa vedere che qualcun altro cominciava a percepire queste cose. Che lo scontro, in Italia, non è più tanto politico quanto sociale. Che è la società civile, non i partiti e partitini, a dover portarlo avanti. Parliamo della Fiom, di Libera, della “coalizione sociale” a cui, con gran diffidenza, vorremmo affidare una speranzella, dar fiducia.

La diffidenza nasce dal fatto che per “società civile” s’intendono ancora solo le grosse e un po’ verticistiche organizzazioni. La speranza dal fatto che tutta ‘sta baracca nasce fra gli operai. La fiducia dalla modestia e dai limiti fissati dai promotori. “Altri partiti? – dicono – Dio ce ne scansi. Vogliamo una rete sociale, mettere in comunicazione. Noi siamo la società, quella vera. Non c’interessa il Palazzo. Siamo semplicemente il Quarto Stato”.

E’ un bel progresso rispetto alle ingegnerie precedenti (arcobaleni, azione civili, fors’anche altreurope) che si presentavano con bellissimi progetti chiavi-in-mano, cercando disperatamente di farli gestire insieme da tutte le vecchie sette precedenti (carbonari, giacobini, seguaci degli statuti di Spagna, narodniki…) le quali, per loro natura, difficilmente potevano accordarsi su qualcosa. “No, ripartiamo dalle origini, dai soggetti sociali”. Questo comincia a essere buon senso.

* * *

Anche dall’altra parte ragionano nudo e crudo, senza tante illusioni. Hanno fatto governi (tre, uno dopo l’altro, tecnici, più tecnici ancora e infine “riformatori”) che – a parte la fuffa mediatica – non hanno governato granché. Hanno coperto, in sostanza, l’emergere del governo reale, quello direttamente “sociale” – ma della parte alta della società, dei Marchionne. E sono stati attentissimi, agendo sul corpo sociale, a smantellare via via proprio i ceti sociali che potevano fargli opposizione.

Prima è toccato agli operai, privati di sindacati e statuti, sospinti (tatcherianamente) nelle curve sud e abilmente divisi, con opportune campagne mediatiche e leghiste, dai loro omologhi neri, che dopo anni d’Italia non sono che operai come tutti gli altri. Adesso stanno attaccando l’altra colonna della vecchia Repubblica, la scuola. Il preside-comandante, i prof soldati semplici ai suoi comandi, non sono solo un rigurgito degli Anni Trenta. Sono un progetto abilissimo e preciso, distruggere ogni luogo sociale e lasciarci ciascuno solo davanti alla sua tv o al suo monitor. Se i Landini e i don Ciotti lo capiranno, potranno contare su molte forze ora sparse e divise.

The post L’antimafia vera non costa niente. Landini e don Ciotti raccolgano queste energie appeared first on Il Fatto Quotidiano.

by Riccardo Orioles

March 17, 2015

videogame confessional forum

richard duck

My name is Richard Duck. I actually am 33 years old now. I just turned 33. I live in Seattle, Washington, and I currently work for Nintendo. I actually have been in the games industry, working for...

by people who played games

Decentralized Citizen Engagement Technologies

The emergence of the Internet-era citizen movements and political parties

The 19th century institutions of democracy, such as Parliaments, elections, parties, manifestos democratic assemblies are in great need of revival since they are out of synchronization with the 21st century technologies, norms and collective aspirations. Network parties are appearing in Europe: the Pirate Parties in Iceland, Germany and Sweden; and the Five Star Movement in Italy have pioneered Internet-based decision-making structures. Podemos in Spain, now leading in the national pools, is opening decisions up to large numbers of people through the Internet, involving citizens in shaping policy and sharing their expertise.

http://podemos.info/

However, attempts to engage people in democratic decision-making using digital platforms are still in their early stages. Few existing platforms have been specifically designed to engage in Internet-scale democracy that goes beyond the limits of traditional corporate social media.

Running large scale experiments with democratic organisations across Europe

D-CENT wants to provide a positive vision of collective intelligence in democracy in the XXI century. It is trying to change the decision-making processes and makes it easier for citizens and social movements to participate and change things. This means running experiments that help building new kind of political parties and institutions best suited to next generation democracy – open, experimental, and able to tap into collective intelligence of citizens.

New political movements in Spain

In Spain the experiments were launched with two new and influential political groups: Podemos at national level and Barcelona En Comù at municipal level.

http://preprograma.barcelonaencomu.cat/

Podemos is a political party born in the wake of the 15M ‘indignatos’ anti austerity and pro democracy social movement, with strong citizen participation and that relies heavily on the Internet and online platforms to mobilise their members. In the spring of 2014, it obtained five seats in the European Parliament Elections. As of today, polls reflect a huge growth in vote intention, to the point of being clear candidates to win the elections due in November 2015. Barcelona En Comù is a citizen-led coalition attempting to win the next city elections and build a new type of city management. They are using D-CENT tools to engage citizens in writing the coalition political programme and voting candidates.

D-CENT is now running large scale pilots in collaboration with Laboratorio Democrático, a digital strategy Lab driving the participatory infrastructure of Podemos at national and municipal level. Labodemo is developing innovative tools for networked democracy and has launched the debate platform Plaza Podemos with 220,000 registered people. The challenges reside now in developing new prototypes and tools that allow experts and citizens to get involved in policy making processes, ranging from citizen initiatives, collective policy-drafting, to meaningful large scale debates and voting.

Crowdsourcing legislation and bottom-up municipal democracy in Finland

http://finnish-democracyos.herokuapp.com/One organisation active in the D-CENT project is Open Ministry, which has assisted citizens in drafting laws for a couple of years already. The citizens’ initiative amendment to the Constitution in 2012 ensures each Finnish citizen the right to have his or her bill presented to the parliament. The prerequisite is that minimums of 50,000 persons of voting age back the bill. Open Ministry, has been involved in drafting the bills aimed at changing the copyright laws and establishing the equal marriage law. Another focus is to create bottom-up citizen feedback on the decision making of the City of Helsinki. The D-CENT project tests how to produce an functional kit for establishing an online democracy community using open source tools so that citizens can get organized, mobilise, and act to influence decision-making.

E-democracy and participatory budgeting in Iceland

One success case is the Icelandic Better Reykjavik, a website enabling citizens to voice, debate and prioritize ideas to improve their city, giving the voters a direct influence on decision making of the City Council. The website was launched in 2010 and it has attracted over 12,000 registered users with over 50,000 unique visitors the past 12 months in a city of 120,000 people. In 2014 300 million ISK (1.9 million EUR) were allocated as part of an open budgeting process to 10 different neighbourhoods in the City of Reykjavik.

During FutureFest we are inviting leading figures from three parties Podemos, Five Star Movement, The Pirate Party and others to share their wisdom about what the Net can – and can’t – do, to help mobilise citizens for profound societal change.

 

http://www.nesta.org.uk/users/francesca-bria

D-CENT is bringing together leading European examples that have transformed democracy in the past years, and helping them in developing the next generation of open source, decentralised, and privacy-aware tools for network democracy. Francesca Bria is the EU project coordinator of the project. She works at Nesta as a Senior Project Lead in the Nesta Innovation Lab.

The original article was published at the Nesta website D-CENT: The emergence of the Internet-era citizen movements and political parties.

 

by Francesca Bria

Pix and bits

March 14, 2015

The Next Layer

The Museum of Forever - Interview with Robert Adrian

Robert Adrian at Fields

In 1979 the Vienna-based Canadian artist Robert Adrian started using the I.P. Sharp telecommunicatiins network for art purposes. Access to this network had been organized by Bill Bartlett in the context of an event called Interplay. Bartlett had gained access to the network of the company I.P. Sharp Associates for the first time in 1978 through the Toronto based artist Norman White (cf. Shanken 2003. p. 61). In 1980 Bartlett organized he Artist's Use of Telecommunication conference at SF MOMA. Robert Adrian became a key figure in art & telecommunication projects and set up an Intercontinental Interactive Electronic Art Exchange Program - ARTEX (Grundmann 1984, p. 84) which became the organizational platform for many seminal art and telecommunication projects, such as The World in 24 Hours (Ars Electronica 1982) and Wiencouver I to IV. With the group Blix, Adrian organized a number of telephone concerts linking Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw and Berlin. In the second half of the 1980s Adrian started using Bulletin Board Systems and in the early 1990s began cooperating with young artists and technicians in Graz, Austria, launching the Zero project. Zero was an important induction for many artists into the world of telecommunications. In 1995, when many people were enthusiastic about the opening up of the WWW for public use, Adrian wrote the text "Infobahn Blues" which detcted the commercial overtones behind the rhetorc of the electronic Agora. In 2014 I interviewed Robert Adrian for a radio program on the topic of media art histories. On the occasion of his 80th birthday on February 22 2015, I edited this interview into this version which you find here, uncommented and cut only to exclude redundancies.

by Armin Medosch

March 13, 2015

The Next Layer

The Obsessive Utopia of Mesh Networks

Paul Baran Network Topology

„The sleeping beauty of mesh has been kissed into life by the community,“ explains Elektra in her book. The community has made it possible to have decentral wireless networks which connect small local cells, automatically connected by intelligent software (Aichele 2007 p. 15)
In this chapter, a closer look at developments around mesh networks is taken, based on a study trip to Barcelona, supplemented by further research. This chapter also asks the difficult question, how the mystifications of technology might be overcome. Are better mesh routing protocols really the answer to all problems?

In one of the previous chapters I stated that there is a significant difference between town and countryside. In many rural areas, it is virtually impossible go get affordable broadband Internet. This problem has actually furthered the growth of wireless community networks on the countryside. A widely shared view is that it is much more difficult to mobilize people for wireless community networks in urban areas where a variety of possibilities for network access exist and where the urban topology makes networking difficult. This, however, while broadly true, may not always be the case. In some areas in Barcelona, wireless community networks are growing, and they are developing and using the latest mesh network technologies.

Routing is generally a very interesting area. The Dijkstra's algorithm is one of the earliest path finding algorithms, written by computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra in 1956 and published in 1959.
The Dijkstra algorithm is something as basic for the current political and cultural system as cars – or traffic lights - were for the previous one, but nobody knows it, except for experts, computer scientists, techies. It would not surprise me if it was included in the Evil Media book, since this is something that has become part of the technologcial unconscious. It has an agency of its own, as a repressed. This is definitely the case with the information infrastructure.

The process of forewarding 'packets' from one node to the next on the net is called routing. The politics thereby deployed concern fundamental freedoms and rights. Until now, the neutrality of these protocols has been maintained, because they are jointly developed by the IETF and IEEE. The commonality of the net depends on neutrality on some layer. And even in the turbo-capitalist world we live in this is still safeguarded. Mesh routing protocols are improvements of „normal“ routing protocols.

Pau Escrich is one among a team of researchers working on the Confine project, and he is also a Guifi activist.

Pau Escrich: “I realized that in my district, a Barcelona neighborhood which is called Sants, there was not any node of the Guifi.net project. So, following the approach - think globally, act locally - I started contacting people from the neighborhood. We built a nice group of folks interested on building a free network, and after having some meetings we started deploying nodes. Now, four years after this, we have around 50 nodes in this area.”

Pau and colleagues started using new technology based on mesh routing protocols. Most of Guifi.net does not use mesh protocols, but standard routing technology such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). In such a network, a group of routers under a single administrative policy – an Autonomous System (AS) – is managed using BGP for interior and exterior routing. If you compare an AS with a country, the router controls entrance and exit to that country. The benefit is that for nodes inside this “country” it is not necessary to know the route to each and any other node on the net, it only needs to know the nearest gateway router.

The resulting network topology is one that could be described as decentralized, according to the classification of Paul Baran's seminal study from the early 1960s (see image above). A decentralized topology is a mixture between a hierarchical, star-shaped network and a completely distributed or mesh network, without any nodes taking on a notion of a center.

In Catalonia, Guifi.net has a decentralized topology with SuperNodes which are connected with each other, and to which are connected many Nodes, which are only connected to the SuperNode, but not to each other. This works reasonably well but does not fulfill the criteria of the wireless community network dispositif which demands a more egalitarian topology.

Pau Escrich: “The SuperNode network creates what we call the Backbone and this Backbone network is decentralized, but the level below (the Nodes layer) is very centralized and it represents more than 80% of the network devices. So this is an actual control point; the groups, individuals or companies controlling these SuperNodes are the actual managers of the network. This is what we are trying to skip by developing and using QMP.”

QMP stands for Quick Mesh Project, a Linux distribution based on OpenWRT and specifically made for mesh networks. QMP is based on a predecessor project which was developed in the context of another community network initiative. In 2007 a small group in Gracia, a pleasant neighborhood in Barcelona, which extends from just behind Sagrada Familia into a more leafy and hilly area, started a small mesh network called GSF. Roger Baig, a key figure in Guifi.net, was involved in this. Roger Baig, according to his self-description, had been involved in free software since the 1990s, and “installed a server in each village around my area.” “Initially,” he said, “I was not so skilled in networks, still learning, so OpenWRT was fresh air for me.”

The group looked for funding and managed to win a contest organized by a foundation named PuntCat (dot-cat are Top Level Domain managers). They received 15.000 Euros to start the project, reports Pau Escrich.

The development of QMP then started seriously after 2010, when a small group of convinced mesh networkers dedicated themselves to building a new distribution from scratch. Part of this group was the German Axel Neumann who at the time also lived in Gracia. After 3 years they launched the first stable release, and QMP is now used at many places around the world. http://qmp.cat/
Axel Neumann is key developer of BMX6 http://bmx6.net/projects/bmx6, one among a number of the latest incarnations of B.a.t.m.a.n., a mobile ad hoc mesh network protocol.

Axel Neumann is writing software for the Confine project. He is helping to run the testbed, Community Lab. He is also main developer of bmx6, one of a number of Batman forks. Axel was fascinated with complex problems early on, problems such as how to make a map of a landscape that constantly changes; or how to have routing tables in a network where constantly nodes appear and disappear? Axel was getting interested in Batman through Freifunk.

Pau Escrich: “B.a.t.m.a.n. was born in Berlin as an alternative to OLSR. Its approach is different for a node running the routing protocol; instead of knowing all the network topology (as OLSR does), in B.a.t.m.a.n. every node only knows its new best step to reach any other node in the network. So if all the network participants are doing the same, the user data will be routed from one side to the other following always the best path. This approach is called distance vector.”

B.a.t.m.a.n. is actually an acronym and stands for “better approach to mobile ad-hoc networking.” The initial idea came from Corinna “Elektra” Aichele who also started developing it, and was soon joined by Axel Neumann in this effort. To cut a long story short, after B.a.t.m.a.n. emerged as an alternative to OLSR – the latter the first mesh protocol which became more widely used by the community – a rivalry developed which inspired the “Battle of Mesh Networks.” This is a kind of contest, where community networkers meet to test and compare different protocols. The next wireless battle mesh will happen in Maribor, Slovenia, in August 2015 http://battlemesh.org/ . Meanwhile, a number of different flavours of B.a.t.m.a.n. exist besides BMX6.

Batman is a distance vector protocol. OLSR is a link state routing protocol where every node has a map of the network and can make decisions about where to send packets first. Distance vector, Axel explains, is more like I send somebody on a hike without giving him a map, but telling him to look out for the signs. Distance vector is more simple, in a certain way, but has other consequences. The signs have to be put in place and they have to be kept up to date. This is done by flooding the net with messages from the target node. Axel is now working on bmx6, trying to improve the way how this flooding of messages is done. „Speaking in the absract“ Axel explains, „it is like compressing data.“

Pau Escrich: “We choose BMX6 because it fits our requirements: scalability, good performance, capable to run on a low-resources machine and IPv6 support. In addition Axel Neumann, its main developer, is a good friend of the Guifi.net community and he joined to the QMP team, so we are really having a routing protocol which is very adapted to our needs.”

Programmers such as Axel and Pau are deeply fascinated about the capacities of mesh protocols like OLSR or B.a.t.m.a.n. in terms of self-organization. In the network topology of Guifi.net as described above, a SuperNode may control 50 or 100 nodes. While the backbone is decentralized, the leafs are very centralized. For community network activists, the network topology is not just a technical issue, it also expresses a political desire.

Pau Escrich: “When I was kid I was an enthusiastic about Che Guevara, Gandhi and these people in history who changed the world and fought for the freedom of ordinary people. I also liked computers a lot. So I found the free software movement as a perfect scenario to follow my ideas.”

The mesh networking community is striving to build a completely egalitarian, uncensored, free and open network. Axel Neumann believes that the future belongs to multipolicy routing. Each node decides autonomously but still everything works together. In Community networks, it would be too much asking constantly for meetings to make policy decisions. Batman advanced, the other main Batman fork, uses Layer 2 of the Internet. The user feels like hanging on one switch, but Axel says he cannot be sure how far this can scale. Axel would propose to have a cloud using Batman Advanced and bmx for long distance connections. Locally, the user will be able to move from cell to cell as with a mobile phone.

Distributions with several mesh protocols are already in actual use in Spain, Germany, Austria, Argentinia and Nicaragua, in Chile possibly too. A major effort for a new distribution is called libre mesh. It is an attempt at globalising the Freifunk firmware undertaken by several community networks across continents, including Freifunk, Ninux and Guifi, together with people in Argentinia. http://libre-mesh.org/attachments/download/20

The latest Freifunk distribution, kathleen, also has Batman and OLSR installed. It offers a lot of improvements in the direction of autoconfiguration and ease of use, and better management of IP spaces and DNS services. https://github.com/freifunk-berlin/firmware/blob/0.1.0/README.md
With regard to the politics of Freifunk, I was able to make interesting observations when a massive flamewar broke out, between someone who appearantly wanted to use the Freifunk label for his own cause and everybody else.

The discussion about what makes a network „free“ or „open“ was raging on WLAN-News, one of the main Lists for exchange on Freifunk issues. The story, which had rumbled already through local Freifunk lists, was that one wannabe entrepreneur wanted to do something „like“ Freifunk, and with its endorsement and under the subdomain, but with policies inflicting on some rules. It seems he wanted to make his own network and use a tall building, paying someone to have a router there on his balcony.

The ensuing discussion was like a look into the collective psyche of the Free radio community. The community objected to a whole range of issues, but one of them was that the other network would not mesh. Admittedly the „entrepreneur“ did not make his own case easier with a very angry tone, accusing Freifunk of acting like a closed shop. The whole idea smacked of opportunism. But what I found interesting was the emotional intensity with which mesh was argued as a political project. Only the mesh network is really a free network.

On one hand, I do believe that things such as Libre-Mesh can make a difference, since it creates the possibilities of a global, independent infrastructure, the network commons, reclaimed by its users.

In political terms, this could either be described as libertarian, or anarchist or grassroots, bottom-up, self-organized democracy. The desire of mesh network developers is to give the Net a technical structure which makes it difficult to impose any top-down control structure.

In my ears, this sounds a bit like the initial idea behind the Internet in the first place. However, as the history of the Net has shown, such a decentralized structure on the technological level does not make the Net immune from other forms of centralization and control. Capitalism knows many ways of bending and taming the liberatory potential of new technologies. Google is the best example, it can exert control without directly owning the whole of the net, it does not need to shape the traffic flows of the Net at control points such as routers or hubs.

In my conversations with community network activists, I tried to explain that a decentralized network can also serve top-down organizations and vice versa, that a centralized network could also serve the struggle of a movement for freedom. This winter, I visited the Museum of Revolution in Havana where you can see the radio transmitters built by technicians for Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. There was nothing decentralized about this technology, but it served the purposes of the revolutionary struggle perfectly well. Whenever I try to make such an argument, it seems I am running against walls.

“If you have a centralized network you have a weak network; distributed things are the basis for the freedom of technologies,” Pau insisted. The “freedom of technologies” are constituted by the three freedoms of Eben Moglen introduced earlier in this text: free software, free networks, free hardware. Basically, everyone from Guifi.net whom I interviewed repeated those three freedoms to me like a mantra.

Pau Escrich and Roger Baig are part of a group of community networks and researchers, who work at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) within the framework of the EU funded Confine project http://confine-project.eu/. This project brings together community networkers, but also academic computer scientists and telecommunications researchers, to build Community Lab, a testbed for many new WiFi applications.

One of them is Llorenç Cerdà-Alabern who is an Associate Professor at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. He also lives in the district of Sants and wanted to contribute something practical to this project. So he put an antenna on his roof which has now become a hub in the Mesh in Sants built using QMP. Llorenç thinks that this cooperation between networking enthusiasts and academic researchers is beneficial because the community is much more oriented towards practical results whereas researchers can look further into the future.

Llorenç is using his position in the network topology to conduct some experimental measurements and to write papers about it, for instance on “Topology Patterns of a Community Network: Guifi.net.”1 He has also written a topology generator, a tool that visualizes the network between Sans and UPC. The resulting page is definitely worth studying: http://dsg.ac.upc.edu/qmpsu/index.php

The community network provides the unique opportunity to have live field tests running, studying relatively large scale wireless networks under real conditions. Ivan Vilata-i-Balaguer is also working within the Confine project. His responsibility is to provide services for the implementation of the testbed, Community Lab. For those more technically interested, there are some slides here:
http://wiki.confine-project.eu/_media/pub:community-lab-intro_fosdem-2014.pdf

“We have the community device,” explans Ivan, “we chose to run the experiments on a separate device.” The community lab testbed is actual hardware, a device which is put next to nodes at community networks, and on this device are running some experiments. So they had to ask a lot of questions, explains Ivan, questions such as “how do we manage all this hardware; we are talking about nodes on the community network which can be used to run experiments.”

Most research is usually done in controlled environments, by research groups, but there are no users. In a community network with real users, explains:

Ivan Vilata-i-Balaguer: “the experiments must not overwhelm the community network with traffic, must not crash it, when experiments crash, and it also should not affect node ownership, so we cannot expect total control from testbed operator; we had a lot of open topics to think about and we had to find an architecture that meets all these requirements.”

The research devices can be used for different experiments, remote controlled from servers hosted at an organization called Pangea. According to Ivan Vilata-i-Balaguer, in July 2014 there were 120 to 130 research nodes, of which were about 90 in perfect working condition, “but we are expanding the testbed and developing the software.”

The maintenance of the research devices is an issue, because most of the nodes belong to individual node owners, so the update of the software and keeping of the nodes in working-order is precarious. As a result, now most of the nodes which are connected to a research device “are operated by people who work for CONFINE, so the communication overhead is not so big” explains Ivan. Confine merges community network and academia in the same project. It enables for example advanced monitoring capacities which can be used by Guifi.net to have a transparent network and enforce the rules and principles of the network commons. It also enables more experimental topology generators such as the one by Llorenç Cerdà-Alabern; but this is just a fraction of what is going on.

The project is also providing data sets from those measurements for other researchers. http://wiki.confine-project.eu/experiments:datasets This page gives an overview of all the partners and activities, such as Athens Wireless. Ninux in Italy, Funkfeuer and many more: http://community-lab.net/

As part of the project, a whole range of social projects have been added through an open call. http://wiki.confine-project.eu/experiments:opencall2

One of those projects is CONFLATE, which uses “the new Research Devices of Ninux.org to deploy a simple (but practical) OpenFlow based DASH Live Video Streaming service for real users of Ninux.org” informs the website. This and other projects will be topics of future articles.

However, on the danger of being seen as a party popper, I feel the need to also share an observation which stems from rather long term engagement in the field. It seems that many participants in this movement display facets of what Joseph Weizenbaum called the obsessive-compulsive programmer.
In his 1976 book Computer Power and Human Reason2 Weizenbaum, as a big critic of computer science from within, wrote this famous passage about the

“bright, young men of disheveled appearance, often with sunken glowing eyes, can be seen sitting at computer consoles, their arms tensed and waiting to fire their fingers, already poised to strike, at the buttons and keys on which their attention seems to be as riveted as a gambler’s on the rolling dice.”

The real issue here is not about appearances and also not about finger pointing at computer enthusiasts or techies, as I prefer to call them. We should not make techies gullible for what are actually the contradictions of this society. In the knowledge economy, almost everyone is quite compulsive about their work and in the 21st century many people have become “hackers” according to McKenzie Wark's definition.3 In Fun and Software, a recent book edited by Olga Goriunova, one of the pioneers of Software Studies, the authors treat this subject in a more even handed way.4 Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Andrew Lison argue that there is a dialectic at work between fun and exploitation.5 Techies such as Linus Torvald write software “just for fun” but their political naivety makes them also subject to exploitation. For some, the fascination with technology, which itself is not the real problem, can turn into a compulsive obsessive disorder.

The real problem seems to be not the obsession, which is actually driving innovation, but the one-sided belief that there is a technological fix for each and any social ill. The bigger question rumbling throughout this draft book is if community networks can alter the course of technology and if a different relation between technology and society can emerge which could help to make society more democratic. The simple answer to the first part of the question is almost certainly a bold Yes!, of course. Community Lab certainly helps to generate a lot of data to improve mesh protocols and develop new methods and services. Yet the second part of the question is much more complex and demands further explanations.

In capitalist societies a heightened division of labour develops which drives people into increasing specialization. As a result, information and communication technologies (ICT) are for most people a black-box. They use it, but have no idea how it works. This allows to create what Critical Theory used to call the “mystifications of technology.” Societies get ever more fragmented, whereby small elites command a lot of power by using money and technology. To ordinary people then it looks like they are controlled by technologies, mistaking social relations for relations between things. As technology becomes “mystified” in this way, the solution to the problem appears to be to create even better technology.

While techies, as individuals and citizens, my actually disagree with the political status quo and desire a free and egalitarian society, the course of technology as such – driven by their own free labour, produced out of their obsession with creative computing – exacerbates those divisions between powerful elites and ordinary user-citizens. Techies passionately belief that Free and Open Source Software will help to counter such developments. But while those technologies are transparent to experts, for ordinary people they are as opaque as a brick wall. Social mechanisms intrinsic to the techie community actually make matters worse.

The idealistic techie communities who produce FLOSS tend to have a missionary zeal about them and are very tightly knit 'communities of practice' who have created their own rules and codes, literally and metaphorically. This world, as highly complex it has become, of practices and ethics, has few connections with the rest of society - it works well within the community, where everybody carries the same rules and values, but is completely impregnable for non-members.

Just to give an example, it is completely beyond me why the testing of different mesh protocols has to be called “battle mesh.” People who are otherwise really nice and sensible are using, without further questioning it, a militarized language. This is a put-off for many people who may otherwise be interested in joining those communities. The problem goes even further. Mobile ad-hoc networks have initially been developed by the US military. The new and improved mesh network protocols are almost certainly used by the military again. Mesh protocols can be used for creating swarms of semi- or fully automated weapons in a battle field. These are issues that most people involved would want to avoid. When directly asked, they give evasive answers.

The “mystifications of technology” could be reversed by a two-way process which I tentatively call the socialization of technology. If more people learn about how ICT works, it will become much less easy to use and abuse those technologies by the powers that be. The socialization of technologies would also imply that there are closer links between the people who develop technology and those who use it. This was the idea behind participatory design which was pioneered in Sweden in the 1970s. Community networks in principle carry great hopes for initiating and furthering such processes of participatory design and socialization.

In reality, however, when I tried to find empirical evidence for those claims, I mostly gathered evidence to the opposite. I wanted to find out what drove people to work on those issues and how they developed the criteria for their code. And the answer was in 90% that the criteria were implicit, that they were following a shared tacit consensus according to which the coders developed the code. The question of a “user” of a software lies at the bottom of concerns, as the developers – or like minded people - are the users themselves.

This self-referentiality of community network activists extends to the three “laws” of Guifi.net. When asked about the freedom in free networks, everybody was quick to come up with the answer that this freedom was based on the open, free, and neutral character of the net. The reality is that the initial utopia of self-provision of networks is not really attainable. Most networks are built and maintained by professionals and the users, by participating in such networks, learn little or next to nothing about the technology, it remains a black-box and thus mystified.

Yet for exactly that reason, mesh is so important in upholding the decentralized utopia. If every node can mesh, you don't need expert knowledge at each node. The dream of mesh, however, is a Promethean fantasy inherent to all such technology, it is a form of the automatic utopia. The idea is that community networks will proliferate freely once mesh software is perfectly working and available.

In the meantime however, the actual problems and possible impediments come from the social sphere, where lobby groups and continued neoliberalism lead to a difficult environment for community networks. At the time of writing, Freifunk in Germany finds itself in a renewed battle against “Störerhaftung”, the law according to which a node owner is responsible for anything that a user might do. This law seems to have been created particularly to support the interests of the copyright industry. Now, the German coalition government is drafting a new law which, if passed, would make wireless community networks next to impossible. The problem is a political one, not one of the efficiency of battling mesh networks.

To support the Freifunk campaign against the new draft law, follow this link:
http://freifunkstattangst.de/2015/03/10/wir-brauchen-eure-hilfe-helft-mit-die-stoererhaftung-fuer-wl...

[To be continued]

  • 1. Vega, D., L. Cerda-Alabern, L. Navarro, and R. Meseguer. “Topology Patterns of a Community Network: Guifi.net.” In 2012 IEEE 8th International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications (WiMob), 612–19, 2012. doi:10.1109/WiMOB.2012.6379139.
  • 2. Weizenbaum, Joseph. Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgement to Calculation. W.H. Freeman & Company, 1976.
  • 3. Wark, McKenzie. A Hacker Manifesto. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  • 4. Goriunova, Olga. Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing. Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2014.
  • 5. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Andrew Lison “Fun Is a Battlefield: Software between Enjoyment and Obsession.” In Fun and Software: Exploring Pleasure, Paradox and Pain in Computing, 175–96. London / New York / Paris: Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2014.

by Armin Medosch