Writing in Wired, frequent Boing Boing contributor Clive Thompson praises the rise of rural broadband co-operatives that are springing up to provide internet access to their far-flung, widespread communities, comparing them to the rural electrification co-ops that sprang up to provide power to farmers neglected by the monopolistic Edison trusts.
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Helm is a startup making a $500 home gadget that replaces Gmail and Google Calendar, letting you control your own email and coordination; its founders have deep information security backgrounds, and plan to make money by charging an annual $100 management fee.
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Jon Cog writes, "On the 30th anniversary of IRC, David Cassel pulls together his favorite memories from the 1990s, 'when there were all kinds of fun things to do.' It was an unexplored world of freedom and fun, where even Monty Python's fish-slapping dance got a shout-out in a popular IRC client -- prompting one reporter to describe IRC as 'the kind of place that slaps you around a bit with a large trout.' But the article describes the humble origins of IRC (as a Swedish college student's summer project), as well as the many weird and wonderful moments that followed -- including an IRC-themed music video from Sweden in 2006. And best of all, IRC is still popular among open source developers today.
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Two years ago, I delivered the closing keynote at the Internet Archive's inaugural Decentralized Web event; last week, we had the second of these, and once again, I gave the closing keynote, entitled Big Tech's problem is Big, not Tech. Here's the abstract:
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We're months removed from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the public outrage of #DeleteFacebook
, and new information continues to surface about Facebook's sloppy handling of data and hunger for surveillance. Last month, we learned about an Orwellian patent that might allow Facebook to track you via mobile microphone
. Though some have cast doubt on the reports
, mobile spyware like the now-infamous Alphonso do track mobile devices via sound emitted by TVs
In 2016, the Internet Archive convened a decentralized web summit to discuss ways to make the web less centralized and thus less vulnerable to censorship, corporate abuse and "shadow regulation" (I gave one of the keynotes). Read the rest
When "social media" meant "blogs," there were many tools, services and protocols that comprised an infrastructure for federated, open, loosely joined interaction: the rise of the social giants has killed off much of this infrastructure, all but erasing it from our memories. Read the rest
At yesterday's Internet Archive Decentralized Web Summit, the afternoon was given over to questions of security and policy. Read the rest
This week, the Internet Archive is hosting a three-day event (which finishes today) called The Decentralized Web Summit, whose goal is to figure out how to build a new Internet that is "locked open," an idea that emerged from Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle's 2015 series of talks and articles about how technologists can build networks and protocols that are resistant to attempt to capture, monopolize and control them. Read the rest
Everyone thinks libraries have a positive role to play in the world, but that role differs greatly based on whether you’re talking to a librarian or a patron. Ask a patron what libraries have in common and they’d probably answer: they share books with people. Librarians give a different answer: they share a set of values. It’s time for libraries to step up to those values by supporting access to the Internet and taking the lead in fighting to keep the Internet open, free, and unowned.
Two striking articles on the roboticization of the workforce: first is Kevin Kelly in Wired, with "Better Than Human", an optimistic and practical-minded look at the way that robots change the jobs landscape, with some advice on how to survive the automation of your gig: Read the rest
Christopher sez, "MediaGoblin, a decentralized free and open source software media publishing system for audio, video, images and more, has landed a new media type: 3D! This expands MediaGoblin's role beyond being not just a free as in freedom replacement for Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc but now also a run-your-own Thingiverse. Development was sponsored by open hardware company Lulzbot, which gave away a 3D printer to the woman who added the feature. MediaGoblin is also currently running a crowdfunding campaign with the Free Software Foundation." Read the rest