Yaba Yaba

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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

UN-happy about censorship?

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@szabgab tells me that UN security forces destroyed their poster at IGF for mentioning China’s firewall.

An anti-censorship group holding an event Sunday at the United Nations-sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, was disrupted by UN officials who demanded removal of a poster that mentioned Internet firewalls in China.

According to a Pakistani delegate, Shahzad Ahmed of Bytesforall.net, a reception hosted by Open Net Initiative (ONI) was rattled by IGF security, who objected to a poster advertising “Access Controlled“, a book being introduced at the event. “The poster was thrown on the floor and we were told to remove it because of the reference to China and Tibet. We refused, and security guards came and removed it. The incident was witnessed by many,” Ahmed reported.

The poster promoting ONI’s forthcoming book, “Access Controlled” was removed by the IGF’s organizers because a sentence in the poster apparently violated UN policy. The sentence in question reads, “The first generation of Internet controls consisted largely of building firewalls at key Internet gateways; China’s famous “Great Firewall of China” is one of the first national Internet filtering systems.”

“If we cannot discuss topics about Internet censorship and surveillance policy at a forum about Internet governance then what is the point of something like the IGF,” said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for International Studies and one of ONI’s principal investigators.

Deibert, one of the organizers of the reception, said he will file a complaint against the censorship of the event and send it to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

“We condemn this undemocratic act of censoring our event just because someone is trying to impress or be in the good graces of the Chinese government. It is ironic that while people are allowed to gather here to discuss freedom of expression online, censorship and surveillance practices on the Internet, we are being restricted in expressing our views,” said Al Alegre of the Foundation for Media Alternatives, a member of the ONI Network.

I find this deeply disturbing. Please help spread the news widely and pressure the UN for explanations.

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Written by yishaym

November 17, 2009 at 10:23 am

#iranelection: the revolution will b twtrd.

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Written by yishaym

June 14, 2009 at 11:37 am

Shai Agassi’s @TED: how to save the world and make a buck

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If you want a problem solved, get a hacker. If you want world problems solved get a mega-world-hacker.

Most people see the system as fixed, and struggle with negotiating the problem description to fit the current state of affairs. Hence we get incentive packages, 20% CO2 reduction by 2020, and all sort of abominations.

Hackers only see two things as fixed: problem description and mathematics. All the rest is a toys to play with. The problem is emissions, and the mathematics is simple: we need to stop burning fossil fuels. So forget hybrids (“hybrids are like mermaids”) or hydrogen fuel cell. We need electric cars that are affordable, convenient and scalable, and we need them with current technology. Fix those parameters, and let loose of the rest. What do you get? Stop thinking of electrons as fuel and batteries as fuel tanks: the battery is the fuel. The rest follows.

Shai Agassi tells your future like you want it to be. Better world is the company 2.0 that will make the car 2.0, and has no problem with including profit and morality in the same sentance.

read more | digg story

Written by yishaym

April 15, 2009 at 1:00 am

Take it from the Dod

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CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

CCN - Collaborative campaign news thingy

The Dod is a master hacker and overall kewl kat who has been putting his skills in the service of good people for many years. Currently on his agenda is the campaign against biometric ID in Israel (Hebrew). As part of his support for that campaign, he has developed a very clever widget which allows a group of people to collaboratively update a news ticker and embed it on various sites. The ticker is very web2.0, with flickr galeries and all. RSS coming soon.

Here’s the use scenario. You’re running a campaign, and need to constantly collect and distribute news in real time. You have 0 budget but a good group of activists.

Old school: nominate a PR person, have everyone email her the news, she edits them and maintains a website.

New school: open a private room on friendfeed, everyone joins the room and picks up the bookmarklet, and starts pushing news to the room. Next, everyone picks up this widget and plug it into their blogs, sites, etc. Now the news is flowing from the people to the people by the people.

The Dod has promissed twitter feedout and other goodies, but will not say when. With a bit of nudging, he’s ported the widget, and its documentation, to English. Only bummer is that it doesn’t work on wordpress.com. It works fine on blogspot, or on hosted wordpress.

CCN 4 NoBioID

The original, as used by the Israeli human rights society's campaign against biometric ids, as seen on Bracha Goleshet

free soul food, or the Atheist food kitchen

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Clay Shirky asks:

Would it be possible to run an atheist soup kitchen? (This isn’t an entirely idle question…)

Easy.

A soup kitchen needs some fixed assets (space, pots, plates), and a reliable supply of three resources:

  • Perishable goods, aka groceries.
  • Manpower
  • Modest finances to cover operating costs.

Let’s assume we have an intitial investment to cover fixed costs (from municipalities, foundations, etc.). The main challenge is sustaining a flow of resources over time. So –

Now, for some administrative health:

  • Use a wiki (such as wikia or google sites) to share organisational knowledge among kitchens.
  • Maintain a public facing blog, with at least 2 posts a day: one informational, one opinion.
  • Use google app engine to construct and manage your operations database.
  • Use ZohoCRM to manage supply chains.
  • List locations of your soup kitchens on http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter

And some PR:

  • Get the right people to blog about you.
  • Get some good viral videos out there on youtube.
  • Publish a constant flow of heart-warming stories of champion volonteers and some heart-breaking stories of your clients.

Most important:

Make a habit of innovation. Make your core service 5% more eficient each year, and use the residue to develop new services.

By the way, here in the civilised world we have an atheist soup kitchen, its called a welfare state. Not as streamlined, not as sexy, but it does keep people from freezing in the streets.

knight news challenge, 2nd round

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My entry (small worlds network) is up for votes:

http://generalprop.newschallenge.org/SNC/ViewItem.aspx?pguid=54e1c82d-5dd9-4918-aae6-4634fccca5a0&itemguid=916e8ff1-8700-438d-b851-83703a2fdae8

this project will connect existing open-source tools and web2.0 sites to create a platform that will allow users to broadcast and subscribe to news by location, time, and topic. Users will be able to send and receive items by SMS, MMS, email, microblogs, RSS, instant messengers and social networking sites. Users will also be able to tag and rate incoming items. The unique feature of the system is the ability to define a subscription “radius”, which will direct news from the proximity of the selected location / time / topic. For example, if I subscribe to sport news in a radius of 10km of my home, I will receive any item posted to that topic within that range. The proximity variance will create a dynamics of information cross-over, engendering unexpected links between communities of shared, or close, interest. Thus, the “small worlds” property of human networks will be expressed and enhanced, empowering individuals to access the knowledge they want and build communities around common agendas. The core of the system will be the news routing engine, which will collate items from a variety of sources and distribute them to masses of subscribers. The system will provide several straightforward user interfaces, via web, SMS commands, and iPhone and Android apps. More elaborate interfaces will be provided as components for social networking sites and mashups (e.g. with googlemaps). The requested funding is intended to cover the fist year of development and operation. After that, the system should sustain itself through advertising and commissioned channels. Users will have a choice of several subscription options, from free and open ad-supported to corporate rented closed and ad free. The free option will always be available, and will be supported by the paid ones.

Written by yishaym

December 1, 2008 at 2:59 am

beat it

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This comes from my homeboy Gil. For the first time in my life, I wish I had an iPhone:

ZooZBeat Lite and ZooZControl Lite now available in the Apple App Store.

ZooZBeat Lite and ZooZControl Lite are both now available for free in the Apple App Store. The full-featured standard versions will be available soon.

ZooZBeat for Nokia N95 series will be available Nov. 15. Reserve a copy at http://www.zoozmobile.com/reserve.html

  • ZooZBeat – a gesture-based mobile musical studio, simple enough for non-musicians to immediately become musically expressive but rich enough for experienced musicians to push the envelope of mobile music creation. Check out videos and read more at http://www.zoozbeat.com/
  • ZooZControl – a mobile application that transforms your iPhone and iPod Touch into a gestural PC game controller. Check out videos and read more at http://www.zoozcontrol.com/

About us:
ZooZMobile is a spin-off from the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. Learn more at http://www.zoozmobile.com/about/

(digg)

Written by yishaym

November 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm