Archive for the ‘Future of the Web’ Category

Jeff Klein from Mozilla emails:

Hi there,

Zainab says it best: “The Mozilla Hackasaurus workshop was a once in a lifetime experience.”

From X-ray Goggles to Hack Jams, Mozilla is giving kids the tools to remix and shape the Web — moving them away from consuming what already exists and toward shaping and building a more awesome Web — and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!

Argh! And it goes on:

The online experience presented to most kids today is one that is delivered in a shiny, fixed package — but Mozilla is changing that. Just ask Zainab: “We were introduced to Hackasaurus, a tool that makes it easy to mash up and change any website with the use of X-ray Goggles. You can remix any website and change it up to become your own…it was new and exciting.”

Get me the Karl Fogel manual rant. I just can’t stand all these awesome phrases.


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Christiane Schulzki-Haddouti writes in Futurezone about alleged fears that the UN would take over the internet. With the UN she means ITU, the cartel-like UN organisation for international telecommunication companies, which still breathes the spirit of the times when telecommunication was a public utility service. She refers to an op-ed by Robert M McDowell in the Wallstreet Journal:

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet.

Just consider the recent attempt with the SOPA laws to annex the Internet as a property of the United States. The position of McDowell is good old cyber-libertarianism:

A top-down, centralized, international regulatory overlay is antithetical to the architecture of the Net, which is a global network of networks without borders. No government, let alone an intergovernmental body, can make engineering and economic decisions in lightning-fast Internet time.

Still for certain functions you rely on neutral govermental players. Privacy and libel, contract law, protection of property, law enforcement etc. Non-intervention is a deliberate choice as is intervention.

Pro-regulation forces are, thus far, much more energized and organized than those who favor the multi-stakeholder approach.

I don’t know why anyone would still favour multi-stakeholderism. In Brussels multi-stakeholderism makes citizens feel alienated and public servants appear disloyal to their people.

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Pitch der IT-Bundesbeauftragten zu einer Veranstaltung der Konrad Adenauer Stiftung:

Lebhafte Diskussion zur “Bedeutung des Internets in der Gegenwart”
“Willst Du den Rest Deines Lebens Zuckerwasser verkaufen, oder willst Du mit mir kommen und die Welt verändern?”. Mit diesem Spruch lockte Steve Jobbs [sic!] in den achtziger Jahren den damaligen Firmenchef von Pepsi Cola zu Apple. Was damals als Vision galt, ist heute längst Realität: Das Internet wirkt sich auf nahezu alle Bereiche unseres Zusammenlebens aus.

Ich habe zurückgefragt:

Dürfte ich die Frage stellen, was Steve Jobs… mit dem Internet zu tun hat?

Hier die Erklärung:

Das Steve Jobs-Zitat leitet den Artikel lediglich ein. Oder, um Ihre Frage mit Barack Obama zu beantworten: “Steve Jobs hat das Internet in unsere Taschen gesteckt”.

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The famous WS-Calendar specification, an xml-based response to iCalendar, moves closer to become an OASIS standard. It makes you wonder why parts 2 and 3 were not adopted. The editing history shows:

1.0 WD25 2011-05-26 William Cox Eliminated remaining references to Parts Two and Three, corrected internal links

Spec: PDF, HTML. Editable source (doc!),
ZIP spec, ZIP Schemas.

We are pleased to announce the approval of an OASIS Committee Specification (CS) by the members of the OASIS Web Services Calendar (WS-Calendar) TC:

WS-Calendar Version 1.0 Committee Specification 01 30 July 2011

The specification includes XML vocabularies for the interoperable and
standard exchange of:
– Schedules, including sequences of schedules
– Intervals, including sequences of Intervals
– Other calendar information consistent with the IETF iCalendar standards

The specification is divided into three parts.
1) The information model and XML vocabularies for exchanging schedule
2) RESTful Services for calendar update and synchronization
3) Web services for calendar update and synchronization

The Technical Committee will publish Parts 2 and 3 in a later version.

Despite its popularity the specification does not meet the high standards of OASIS yet, not to mention ISO formal requirements in drafting. I am confident that the transition of the specification into OASIS would lead to substantial technical improvements.

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Net Neutrality is discussed in the EU: Communication, Speech, Press release

Mind how the consultation gets analysed:

There was broad consensus that operators and ISPs should be allowed to determine their own business models and commercial arrangements, subject to all applicable laws. Some respondents called on National Regulatory Authorities and operators to work together to ensure that transparency to consumers as regards traffic management practices was meaningful and effective.

As stakeholders are no constituency but just represent a diversity of views “consensus” is politically irrelevant. You cannot expect affected market players to embrace rules and principles while responses along the position to “determine [your] own business models and commercial arrangements” are expected public affairs narratives in any regulatory context. Moreover, the Commission argues the consultation was incomplete/inprecise, thus wants to dig deeper into the technical issues:

Moreover, as stated above the data obtained from the public consultation was incomplete or imprecise in many aspects that are essential to understand the current state of play in the European Union. For this reason, the Commission, with BEREC, is currently looking into a number of issues that surfaced in the course of the consultation process, in particular, barriers to switching (for example, after how long, on average, a customer is permitted to break a postpaid contract, and what if any are the penalties), practices of blocking, throttling and commercial practices with equivalent effect, transparency and quality of service as well as the competition issues relating to net neutrality (e.g. discriminatory practices by a dominant player).

As a result of the investigation the Commission announces:

On the basis of the evidence and the implementation of the telecom framework provisions, the Commission will decide, as a matter of priority, on the issue of additional guidance on net neutrality.

If significant and persistent problems are substantiated, and the system as a whole – comprising multiple operators – is not ensuring that consumers are easily able to access and distribute content, services and applications of their choice via a single internet subscription, the Commission will assess the need for more stringent measures to achieve competition and the choice consumers deserve.

Vocal advocates of net neutrality like the French advocacy group Quadrature are embarrassed by the report: “The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators.” However, given the general opposition of telecom providers to net neutrality regulation, the Commissioner Kroes clearly shows that they consider “additional guidance” and “more stringent measures”. For telecommunication providers it is an invitation to enter a more technical debate about traffic management where they have to make concessions.

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Das BMI berichtet:

Ein Frühwarnsystem zur Landwirtschaft in Afrika, Kontrollstandards für ökologische Lebensmittel und eine Web-Anwendung zu pflanzengenetischen Ressourcen sind drei Beispiele für Maßnahmen des BMELV im Rahmen des IT-Investitionsprogrammes.

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Marble 1.1

The KDE globe application Marble released a new incarnation between the releases. That helps to get a better tested version in the next, sorry, I don’t get the branding, KDE 4.7 incarnation.

The Marble Team has just released Marble 1.1. … The new version provides several new features and improvements:
Map Creation Wizard and Map Sharing
OpenDesktop and Earthquakes Online Service
Extended Plugin Configuration
Map Editing
Voice Navigation

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MEP Kósa Ádám prepares a report on Mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Have a look at the draft report, you don’t find it on OEIL.

For the larger context consider the report from KEI about the WIPO participation/leave of the EU from the WIPO treaty for the blind process. The EU does not want a diplomatic conference.

Attached is a PDF of the proposal by the European Union that was presented at the April 15, 2011 informals in Geneva, held at the US Embassy. The European Union now proposes that WIPO adopt a soft non-blinding recommendation on cross border sharing of accessible works, and then monitor progress on the issue for 3 to 5 years. Only after the period of monitoring would WIPO assess whether or not the non-blinding measures “meet the reasonable needs of persons with print disabilities because of legal restrictions,” and only then would WIPO consider “discussions” about whether or not to hold a diplomatic conference.”

Nice phrase: “soft non-blinding recommendation”

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European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström finally presented her devastating evaluation of the data retention directive transposition in the European member states. She wants to move on with a review of the directive via stakeholder consultation, a move to win time.

We pointed out the shortcoming that she did not accompany a legislative proposal for a reform of the data retention directive (Directive 2006/24/EC of 15 March 2006 on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks and amending Directive 2002/58/EC).

Former rapporteur MEP Alexander Alvaro (FDP/ALDE) proposes radical measures: EU data retention directive should be scrapped. That would be a less beneficial move, because that leaves the ball in the court of the member states how to proceed with data retention. The better move is a fast legislative reform proposal to let the European legislators fix the directive. Cecilia Malmström’s approach seems to be to muddle through and delay, and escalate the public debate. She even wrecks the support of member states as she threatenes certain member states with EU infringement procedures.

Watch her nervous upbeat press conference. It is also insightful to watch the Dec 2005 plenary debate (part 1, part 2 wmv) again which demonstrates how clueless members of parliament were about data retention in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings.

EDRI published a shadow report:

The burden of proof in order to justify the massive interference with fundamental rights that comes with blanket telecommunications data retention lies with the Commission. From its evaluation report, it becomes clear that the statistics provided by the Member States do not prove the necessity of data retention. Remarkably, many Member States were unable to provide any relevant statistics to the Commission at all. Those that did indicated that the vast majority of data used by law enforcement authorities would be available if the Directive did not exist at all. Sound analysis of independent statistics must point to the fact that indiscriminate data retention is superfluous to the detection, investigation and prosecution of serious crime.

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Press release: Oracle Announces Its Intention to Move OpenOffice.org to a Community-Based Project

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