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Archive for October, 2009

From a press release of the Commission:

The Commission today moved to the second phase of an infringement proceeding over the UK to provide its citizens with the full protection of EU rules on privacy and personal data protection when using electronic communications. European laws state that EU countries must ensure the confidentiality of people’s electronic communications like email or internet browsing by prohibiting their unlawful interception and surveillance without the user’s consent. As these rules have not been fully put in place in the national law of the UK, the Commission today said that it will send the UK a reasoned opinion.

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Found this rant about the social network service Facebook at harmsen.net.

Facebook is worse than useless to you because facebook.com is Facebook’s website, not yours. It is not ‘your’ profile, it is Facebook’s profile about you. Those aren’t your friends, they are a Facebook sanitized version of your friends. It took centuries of political evolution to reduce this kind of manipulative abuse and insult from the state – why go backwards to a medieval social structure and expose ourselves to this kind of abuse on Facebook and the like?

A business colleague of mine started a project called TioLibre with our German association FFII e.V. which researches the risk management of cloudsourcing. I don’t know if he thought of the term Tiro libre. Social networks at least require a better management of personal social identity data but who does?

When I entered university there were still Volkszählung’s boycott stickers in the toilet. The data attempted to be gathered by the government was riddiculous, but the Volkszählung followed from the symbolic 1984.

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For the SkyDrive Explorer, a kind of Dropbox clone, a new definition of cross-platform has been developed:

Cross-platform
32/64 bit OS support

SkyDrive Explorer works both in 32- and 64-bit Microsoft® Windows OS. Minimal required OS is Windows XP, and SkyDrive Explorer will successfully work in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and Windows 7.

But anyway, tools like Skydrive are killer applications. File servers are nothing new in the business environment but setting these external virtual hard discs up has never been so simple.

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Now that is fun! When you look at the KDE4 trunk statistics the Germanic minority language Low Saxon is more complete than the German translation/localisation of KDE. Back in 2004 I attended the Linux Information Days in my home town Wilhelmshaven as a speaker, where Heiko Evermann presented his project to translate KDE into low saxon. I thought it was a great idea but they would never catch up. Low Saxon reads as follows:

“Updating boot sector for NTFS file system on partition %1.”
msgstr “”
“Bootsektor för NTFS-Dateisysteem op Partitschoon %1 “”warrt opfrischt.”

The teams have to translate at present 163711 strings. Lox Saxon (5) is at 92%, German (11) at 87%. There is a reason why Lower Saxony won’t make KDE4 in Low Saxon its National Desktop Environment for the public sector. Hardly anyone speaks it in the capital Hanover where according to certain legends the reference dialect of German (Standard German) is spoken, a city which ironically had been under English rule for quite some time.

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Die Informationstechnik des Bundes bedarf der Konzentration, Standardisierung und Effizienzsteigerung sowie Bündelung vorhandener Ressourcen. Wir werden hierzu den Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Informationstechnik stärken. Wir prüfen, wie die IT des Bundes sich zukünftig an offenen Standards orientieren und dabei auch Open-Source-Lösungen berücksichtigen kann.

Koalitionsvertrag CDU-CSU-FDP

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A Spanish colleague sent me this “net neutrality” definition from a Spanish law:

Citizens have the right to not suffer in their digital sent or received data any kind of manipulation, distortion, prevention, diversion, priorization or delay. The exercise of this right must be independent from the source or target of the communication, from the protocol or application used, from the type of data content, or from any other consideration external to the wish of the citizen. This data traffic will be treated as a private communication and it will only be possible to spy, trace or analyse its content under a judicial order (exactly like in the case of any other current private mail).

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Just read at Heise that Helmbrecht actually will take over ENISA. I mentioned it before when it was just rumours. It is an excellent chance to drive the ENISA cyber security agency into a meaningful direction and take the trash out. Part of the cleanup is to overcome the national security and capture problems of ENISA as such. I have confidence that a German state servant can perform that difficult task.

http://www.enisa.europa.eu/

I will strive to help the Agency to work more closely, hand-in-hand, with the European Institutions, trustfully and actively together with the Member States and to promote cooperation between governments, businesses and NGOs to the benefit of citizens in the European Union. That way, we should increase the appreciation of ENISA as a brand for trust and security.

I will work towards a permanent mandate for ENISA-beyond the present 2012 ‘sun-set’ clause. The clear and permanent mandate is necessary to manage the increasing, fundamental role of security for economic and financial matters; for business and consumers alike. Ultimately, the economy of Europe is at stake if we do not manage security matters properly and adequately.

Press release of Enisa

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Alternativeto.net is a very interesting online application. It shows alternatives to similar applications:

AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you suggestions on great alternatives! Instead of listing thousands of more or less crappy applications in a category, we make each application into a category.

Application alternatives are often open source or freeware applications.

Take Notepad++ as an example. The top alternative choice is IBM Eclipse which is of course a totally different application for editing because it serves another purpose. Similar applications like notepad2 are mentioned, or not at all as e.g. Textpad. The reason is that the platform does not sort the applications by similarity but by popularity votes. Features like application tagging could create a semantic network of available software.

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I am a Wikidot.com user of the degree “Guru”. Wikidot is a wiki farm, that is an collaborative online content management and editing system. The wikidot platform is developed and run by a few Belgium and Polish software specialists I collaborated with in different business matters. I found Wikidot the wiki system which works best for me. But recently wikidot’s terminology caused reflections and confusions on international grounds:

basenram wonders how these terms ‘guru’ and ‘karma’ used in relation to each other in the game parlance used by wikidot guru has no karma at all. He does spontaneous action which has no reaction.Therefore he is not bound by Karmic law.
Here with all your objective skill wikidot is using wrong concept and not only that wikidot is advertising as if there is few parallel. [..] if you want to play pranks at the expense of ignorance of the mass just acknowledge!

Here is the Wikidot document page on “Karmic Law” of Wikidot use, on which the user “basenram” reacted. The answer is probably that the authors of wikidot.com don’t care for religious concepts of Karma but the prosperity and development of their online content platform.

A wikidot.com “Guru” Phil Chett goes ad hominem:

basenram.. what the hell are you on about ?
what junk mail are you getting?…

or… being as you are not a member of ant site.. are you just spamming here coz youre sad and lonely ?

Here I have to add that I get spam from Wikidot because someone subscribed me to watch the wikidot.com page:

basenram commented “nice game at the expense of indian terms inserted in
world encyclopedia” on the page “Karma” at
http://www.wikidot.com/doc:karma/comments/show#post-604093

basenram wonders [….] mass just acknowledge!

—————

You received this email because you are watching page “Karma” at
http://www.wikidot.com/doc:karma

To stop these emails, go to
http://www.wikidot.com/un/u/36024-cb9e30fe502c1e117934ee9187250e6b/a/3127958

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The Economist announced that it will switch its online content provision model to a subscription-based scheme:

Beginning October 13th, we will be limiting access to certain sections of our site to subscribers only. Over the past few years, Economist.com has become a hub for intelligent discussion, with news commentary, blogs and an award-winning debate series. We will continue to encourage both subscribers and non-subscribers to participate in those conversations. We will also enhance the experience we offer our most loyal readers by expanding our subscribers-only features.

Currently, all content published within the last year is free of charge. Soon, this access will be limited to articles published within the last 90 days. The print edition contents page… will also be limited to subscribers only.

It tends to be difficult to generate income both from free and subscription-based content. The reason for that is the abundance of information online. So it is likely that other free media services will even further expand their importance as information sources and marginalise traditional journalistic content providers. It is a fatal process of structural change where we still don’t know if the traditional media online would be a sustainable model.

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