Can you live without Google ?

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by, and thank for any real comment, if I had any…. Most of the comment I have are spams. But I prefer having spam than tracking you.

I have decided in my blog not to track you at all, and to pay for my blog instead of getting a free one from Google or any other “free” blog plateform. I am using the free open source plateform WordPress. I don’t know how many vistiors I had so far, and I don’t really care. I am not really writing this blog to get an audience. Maybe I could have more readers with the Google plateform but I have got few reasons why I would like to  avoid using Google services. And I have stopped to use by default Google for my search on the web.

Do you realize how much power we are giving to Google and Facebook with our “personal information”. I am focusing on these two as these are the two giants one and their practice should be known by the “public” for the public interest. However does the public care about their privacy ? Most of the public consum without any care on privacy,without so much care how their personal information is managed. And they agree because these big companies provide them a “free”service. I acknowledge that it is usefull and get our daily life easier. But we shall use this with care.

Most of who likes technology have followed this summer the trial beetween Samsung and Apple, however fewer have heard that Google had been fined last month by the FTC to pay 22.5 millions $ because they are tracking Safari users using without their consent.

According to the FTC webpage there, the first sentence is written as “Google agreed to pay…” To me that means Google have tried to settle an agreement. I am just outraged because the fine is so small compare to their revenue, and I think it would not impact them nor prevent them to track you again by illegal means. I am wondering what we don’t know yet about Google, as it is somehow a secret company. The European commission target them for their competition practices. They redirecting youtube links before their competitors, hence abusing of their dominance on the market. There is lot of thing we don’t know about Google, and this particular event have deicded me not to set Google as my home page anymore. I am currently stopping to use my gmail email address. I trying live without Google

In late 2009 they have set their own public DNS server. They claim that it is more secure. The problem I can see is that, they’re bounding the web to what Google want. An internet for consumer. Instead of using Google DNS you should use OpenDNS, and if you don’t know what a DNS is. Here is a very fast explication. On  the right here is a representation of the internet network map. The DNS system bind an IP adress to a name you can see on your web browser. For instance going to the address http://46.51.197.88 is the same than going to http://duckduckgo.com a public DNS server make the translation between the two. Here is the wiki page about DNS if you want to learn more about it.

The issue is that the network will impact more and more our lives, and we should learn and take the advantage of if. Internet should belong to the people and be used by and for the people.

Do not let Google own your internet, make it yours and be more than a consumer.

How about you ? Can you live without Google ?

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Social media’s alternatives

Dear unknown reader,

Thanks for the comment I had so far. I did not post any article since few weeks now. I did not took care of my blog so much lately. I should write more. Because often I want to do to well my post. I would like to add value to my post provide some analysis  bias to point of view with some argument, instead of posting some quick comment on about an event.  I would rather wait for sometimes trying analyze the situation before writing a post. Maybe that’s not the right thing to do (A blog is web log after all)

Yet I don’t have twitter nor Facebook, to comment on anything happening and I am paying for my blog instead of having a free one. Why ? I have grewn up on the generation before the social media’s and I did not subscribe as soon as things came out… Sometimes I feel I’m getting old fashion as people ask me : Do you have a Facebook ? I’m just replying politely No I don’t…but it’s hard sometimes to explain why quickly. So here is my long answer :

I had Facebook for few months and I lost my password. I could never get back my password. I have breach their Terms of Service as I used false name on it, and they found out when I tried to get back my account. So I don’t have Facebook anymore I don’t want to grant Facebook the right for my digital life. When Facebook arrived everyone enjoyed it without thinking on privacy issues nor any knowledge on the information world we are in the information you’ll give to this companies.

Now many people cares about their privacy, and it’s too late to remove Facebook as their already connected with loads people they don’t want to loose contact with, so  people use it. I am sure a lot of people use it under a false name. I know someone who’s got two account. One under a false name for chatting girls, and the other one under his real name for his friend. Anyway I hate Facebook because they have transformed internet into something where you cannot be anonymous internet user anymore.

At the time when the Egyptian revolution was on going a political activist was describing the situation under a false name. His account has been suddenly shut down by the company, but he could get him back because he has some connection, he could have his account back and using Facebook for the good cause of Egyptian revolution. So Facebook was cited as the social media in the trend with the Egyptian revolution.

This example among others shock me because it grant Facebook the right decide the activity on his social network. It’s all matter how Facebook social media is seen by the public. When it give bad publicity for their plateform I am sure your accound would be closed quickly. Me I see social media run companies a threat for your privacy and your freedom of speech, but I guess Mark Zuckerberg truly believe it helps people to connect and enhance their digital life.

Are you friend with Mark Zuckerberg ?

I guess if you have Facebook you are participating to make him billionnaire, and you have given him access to your digital life, with the right to keep all your personal photos text songs on his servers, just to spy your habbits on his plateform, so he can show more accurate adds…

I have chosen not have not such friend. I am sorry. But don’t get me wrong ! I am for social media ! There is some other alternatives : http://diasporaproject.org. It is a decentralized opensource social media which respect your privacy which puts you in center of your digital life. As it a decentralized network no one can really control it.

If anyone likes my post you can ask me my username and add me on diaspora….

Regards,

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Stay anonymous online…

Hello,

Thanks for passing by here and read my post, I have not written any post since a while now.

Today I would like to  talk about the staying anonymous online. Unfortunately in many countries this right is being more and more under threat. In UK very recently the government is proposing to a new law to monitor all the traffic on your phone/emails/Twitter/Facebook for security purpose so the officials says.

U.S had done a very similar thing about 10 years ago after the most famous event. This was Patriot Act. I am not sure that this has been efficient on prevention of terrorism. Moreover this legislation did not made the U.S citizen any safer in my opinion but made their democracy under more threat than before.

If you had watch Loose Changes, there is a lot speculation on going which I don’t really agree with. In fact I am not interested to know the truth on these events. However what I can see that if someone famous on mass media says publicly that he don’t believe to the officials explanation of 9/11 events, he got censored and face a lot of pressure from all the media. To me that shows that something is wrong there because the Freedom of Speech is under threat, and that the U.S officials doesn’t want people to ask questions on this.

I feel we’re on a  society of consumption without any consciousness. We’re using technology without thinking of the impact it has on the society. It transform us all. Yet the global leaders of most nations underestimate theses changes and are trying to make law new without understanding the network itself, nor how the world change quickly for something that no one understand yet.

Anonymous appeared because they don’t believe in any form of officials explanations, that could be from company officials, countries officials, and many others. So they protest online ….DDoS attack are useless in my opinion only dissruptive. And that make the games of the politicians.Why do we feels that the government lie to us ? I guess this feeling is not new. The web have reduced the distance between me and you, and unofficial s ideas are conveyed in instants.

This is why it is important to have the right to publish on Twitter/Facebook/Blogging anonymously, the government need a watchdog to ensure that he acts for the people and not to tell them what to think. What’s better watchdog other than people themselves ?

Yet the safety argument is false argument to me because monitoring every form of communication would generate a lot of data to analyze in real time ,and I am not sure it would prevent from a terrorist attack. Does the CCTV have prevented crimes ? I would like to see the figures. The UK government have not said much how they gonna do it.

More pragmatically I have been to a famous shop in London few week ago and you can buy a hardware encrypted phone(Not a software one, such as app on Android or IPhone). You need a pair of them to make it work. I have asked to the representative the stupid question why people need to get such phone ? The person told me that some people requires confidentiality… Connect the dot now… Moreover I am sure the people who makes such legislation are not aware of how Internet works. On top of that if you go online , I just look for 5 minutes and I found a lot how to encrypt a an SMS text using your iphone : http://guyism.com/tech/black-sms-encrypts-your-text-messages.html. The text are encrypted in AES (Advance Encryption Standard), and anyone who has little knowledge in cryptography know that it is very difficult to decipher, especially in real time !

I don’t think such a law would prevent terrorism, nor makes people any safer, just taking away some of our privacy.

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29 th February

Today is the 29 th February. Did you do anything special today ? Did you ever met someone who was born 29 th of February ?  Or is it just another day like any other ?

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The new cold war is already here

Dear reader,

Thank you for you passing by here. I came across recently an article about Syria from the Guardian, for once a little bit different from what we’re usually can find on the web.

The article related a case whereby a Syrian / Canadian have been arrested in U.S back in late 2002 for suspicion of terrorism. Without any formal charges, he has been deported to Syria, and tortured . After 10 month he has been released, and cleared of any links with terrorist. He received very consequent compensation from the Canadian government. You can read the full article here.

The U.S. officials are now very quiet about this subject, and everyone highlight how the Syrian regime is bad. As the article imply the U.S. has agreement with Syria, to be able to torture people of suspected ties terrorism  “the dark side of war on Terror”. This shows how much U.S. officials have double speech about their foreign politics, when they accused the Syrian regime. Don’t make me wrong I am certainly note defending the Syrian regime about this extremely violent uprising. But dear reader, I guess we should realize we are in cold war not beetwen to Bloc but between multiple poles. And in this cold war that is the Syrian people who pays it unfortunately….

Have the BBC talked about the Bahrain recently ? Again according to the Guardian the U.K have sold £1m to the Bahrain government. Look here. This will certainly be used by the government against a uprising from the population. At the same time fews day ago William Hague make the highlight make comment on Syria and warns of Iran threat to peace of the world.

If Iran develop the bomb, I am sure it won’t be to attack anyone, but to reinforce their power in the middle east. Thus that would mean the western countries loosing controls over the middle east countries, and yes it could threaten the influences of Israel which in position of force because Israel have the nuclear technology.

The stability of this region is essentials for the western economies, because they are dependent on it, and they’re loosing influences, so they currently have a double speech where things arranged them to ensure stability within this region. Meanwhile millions of people suffering in Iran from the repressive regime, in Syria as for the very violent uprising….

In background of all of this there war on ideology between democracy and dictatorship. In the west it is common to promote the democracy values. Unfortunately soon enough I have realized these values are quickly forgotten, when some economic interest, political influence of  a country are in play.

Finally what is the difference between a corrupt democracy in decay, and a dictatorship regime of more than billion people which apply censorship ?

 

 

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File sharing will never die….

On 19 th of January in the name of copyright infringement  a well known file sharing website have been seized by the authority.

I was shocked to see that the U.S authorities could arrest someone and stop a website out of their countries, without any trial before hand. There was also a “legal” use a file sharing, and some people still cannot access there data.  This has upset me. Where is the justice there ? All of that in the name of copyright infringement and piracy?

Anonymous answer have been to attack using DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) all website which have interest of the “Major”. In my opinion this won’t change anything, their website won’t be available for fews days, but that won’t force the major to change behavior towards us (consumers). I have just tried to access the MPAA, and the website work fine now several days afterwards.

The way to fight the lobbyist in my opinion would be more the legal way rather and these sporadic actions. Yes, some could say that Kim Dotcom made profits from the illegal distribution of copyrighted works. However any copyright holder could inform Megauplaod to remove the link of the copyrighted content. If you’re trying to read a bit more on this, he was arrested because he was about to launch a service called MegaBox,  and this service was trying to bypass the industry music or movie distribution as we actually know it. And obviously a massive threat for this industry. And yes this character unknown from the majority of people before 19 of January is described as controversial in the media. But that doesn’t mean he is not right about certains things. He wanted to compete with these majors. And there is nothing wrong with that. Shouldn’t the U.S. for be free market ?

Dear reader, don’t you see that this music /media/ movie industry is wrong and corrupted ?

Wrong because they trying to protect their job so they say, they ‘re saying piracy or files download illegally have cost them millions, billions of loss. But if you think differently, how much how could have made this industry if they understood the new digital world we are living in ? They should understand that file sharing is not crime, and it has never killed any artist. Kim.Dotcom understood our digital world and took the opportunity and created a market and something new.

Corrupted because as they see their interest threaten they’re trying to enforce law in their advantages, more than for the benefit of everyone. Do you know how long a copyright on a content last on the U.S ? According to the law Copyright Term Extension Act, someone who want to use a copyrighted work have to wait 120 years before it can go to the public domain. Was this law made to defend the interest of the creators, or trying to ensure revenue of people such as Walt Disney for life time ? Is this fair and for the benefit of everyone ?

They may have taken MegaUpload, but they will never stop filesharing

 

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The revolution is global

The current anonymous tends is to blame the bank and the political system for the world uncertainty problem, in the whealthy countries problem. I disagreee with their current way of thinking and will not participate to their movement, because I think it is too easy to blame the only  the bank for the all economic problems as the anonymous tends to lead us think. There is no straight forwad issues on this matter. Nor my speech in favor of the banks interest. The politicians have also participate to set up such a economic systems where the bankers an play.

In 2011 the world have changed in the middle east and magrehb countries  very deeply throught several revolutions or uprising, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria, and there is also other countries which we don’t hear so much Barhain, Yemen, Maroc, and in Algeria. I believe this has happen because the reality in most of their countries showed a huge differences between  the rich and the poor in addition of a lack of a prospect for the young generation, in addition of massive corruption.  A year ago no would have taught that a such uprising would have been possible. The power is slighly coming back to the people, rather than a few dictators and that’s very good news.

At the same time in Europe, politicals / diplomats / business man , and others officials have made business with those dictators to get natural ressources such as petrol or gas or making business.Stable and corrupted regime in these countries have arranged the Europe interest for long time meanwhile most of European behave as superior, proud of the values it carries such as  human right. For once politicals / diplomats / or any other officials, bankers should learn about what happen in these countries, but I guess they wont. The world is changing and will never be the same again. They should understand that the power is getting back to the people ! You cannot mute people ! If in Europe politics continues to be in favor of a wealth minority, rather than doing a politics in favor of the people then the revolution will spread in Europe, and it could happen more quickly than they taught. I am sure they think now it impossibe ! Like what people would have taught a year ago that dictators would never fall ! The movement for more democracy in Russia is groing.

Where would that movement will go ?

In 2012 there is lot a key elections are coming up in many countries U.S, France, Russia, and the world in this turmoil will change for more revolution I believe. In each of theses three countries many laws were voted in favor of the wealth person to be even more wealthy, and not voted to protect the people citizen despite what they claim. When will that really change ? This situation cannot last for ever.

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win” [Mahatma Ghandi]

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Free Culture

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by here. Today I would like to talk about a book Free Culture written by Lawrence Lessig. He essay’s is available there and it seems that his work has been quite popular in U.S. and it also seems that he has influenced a lot of people, on subject related to copyright.

I wonder whether Lawrence Lessig is known in Europe or in Asia. At least for sure he is not known by most of people, even if he went to study at Cambridge University around two decades ago according to Wikipedia. I am currently reading work and it’s really interesting to understand the impact of the copyright ideas into our world. Despite the title the author does not promote a piracy and is not against any form of the copyright. He explains the impact of the miss use of the copyright, and how it could affect the creativity in general.  Even if it’s available free of charge it doesn’t mean he promotes a culture where everything should be free. Unfortunately a lot of people miss understand the mean of Free Software. His book was heavily influenced by Richard Stallman work in which he wrote the foreword of his unique essay. You can find it there. Because Richard Stallman seems to be an activist, a lot of people have criticised Richard Stallman who wants to apply the use of free software to the extreme. (I shall discuss this on another post)

In the computing world would the people gather the same way and creates innovative software without the “Free Software Fundation” ideas ?  In the computing world I can names so many successful fundations (I will not list them as the list would way to long, and I may forgot/not know many them…) In my opinions one of the companies to pay tribute is RedHat. They have successfully set up their open source business since many years now. When Marc Ewing and Bob Young started this open source business they were taken of dumb and people taught they would disappear very quickly. People did not believe in the open source business model. Several years later their company is successfully established the open source model in the computing world is likely to be key player in the software industry for the servers for a long time.

The ideas beyond “Free Software” is that it enhance exponential the possibility of creativity and innovation, could then benefit the vast majority of us, instead of benefit a minority of us. People on vast majority does not acknowledge Richard Stallman nor Jimmy Wales, which I consider also of visionary.

Earlier the vast majority of us payed a tribute to this CEO who passed away recently,  but Jimmy Wales is not acknowledge by the vast majority of us. Why? To some extent that what makes me sad because this person has also influenced the world beyond much more in my view than this iconic CEO which have been elected by the Time magazine “The person of the year”.  If you ask people on the street if they know Jimmy Wales, or this CEO? I am going to bet that the majority know this CEO, but they don’t know who is Jimmy Wales. If you do not who is Jimmy Wales, you should know that you’re using all the time, and almost every day what he has launched in 2001: Wikipedia.

To conclude this post I would express my belief: The Free Software ideas have opened doors and made things possible which was not before and contribute to innovation and creativity much more that patent in the software industry.  Moreover the open source community have proven it was possible to do a sustainable business with the open source model.

It’s up to us to reinvent the world now. A world where knowledge is not kept to protect the interest of a minority but a world where knowledge is shared under certain conditions and enhance creation/innovation to the benefit of the vast majority of us : A world with a Free Culture.

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The father of computing died…

Hello…

Few weeks ago a CEO of well know technology company has pass away, and the mediatisation over his death have been far too much in my opinion. And few days afterwards the father of computing died Dennis Ritchie. The mass media have not said much about him because he is almost unknown to everyone,  except the most of people who have studied computer science in the past three decades. Unfortunately people/media prefer to prise someone who wasn’t a programmer, nor a graphist, nor electronics engineer, but who began a simple technician, and who did not even graduate. Yes his has skills. His skill is that he knew how to persuade people he was right.

Dennis Ritchie contributed to create with Brian Kernighan and Ken Thomson  a computing language and UNIX operating systems which are the root of modern computing. The root of C language, and UNIX will remain for a very long time.You can read here an article from Wired which praise to Dennis Ritchie, as he should be praised.
Because I think it’s easier to remember someone who was very good communicator and persuasive, and which does let indiferent. It is also easier because people could associate his name, with the popular phone, tablet,  fancy colorfull computers his company was making.  People embrace him for his talent, his visionary, whereas they should praise the hard work of his employee rather him, and the employee of Foxcon in China.  UNIX  or C language are concepts which remains something difficult to understand, and you cannot make it cool it you’re not interested in computer science.

“UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity” [Dennis Ritchie]

That’s sad to remember someone who claim in 1994 who said without shame a sentence from Picasso “Good artists copy great artists steal”. Several years later his company became the most secret corporation ever, and claim intellectual property for everything they are making.

Do you know Linux Torvald or Richard Stallman ? Do you think they will be remembered like this famous CEO for what they have contributed to the computing world ? Richard Stallman the founder of the Free Software Foundation have been harsh towards him in the recent days, and have a been heavly criticized. Because Richard Stallman fought all his life against the principle of intellectual properties, yes I am not shocked when he said :
I am glad he would not be able to create any more “jails” to lock people in..

If you’re intersted in the Free Software community, I found a webpage there which is a give interesting critics over Richard Stallman, which I think is interesting if you want to read more about it . At least but not at last I found a blog at this page which at counter current despite everyone thinking these days, with more analysis than emotional tribute…

No unfortunately I do not admire him and is not a customer of his products….
Think different … (Stolen from a great company)

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