agregador de noticias

Kawasaki Ninja H2R, una moto de 300 caballos

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 17:00

Kawasaki presentó la Ninja H2R, la moto de consumo más potente sobre la faz de la tierra hace ya un mes en Japón, y esta semana la ha engalanado para llevarla a la American International Motorcycle Expo de Orlando, en Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, aún no ha proporcionado sus especificaciones técnicas, la velocidad máxima que puede alcanzar o la fecha de venta y el precio que tendrá.

No es que sea una rareza este proceder, pero en este caso tiene más sentido que nunca. Basta con que muestres esta burra, que no desentonaría en el garaje de Batman, y sueltes el dato clave: tiene nada más y nada menos que 300 caballos de potencia. 300. Imagínate la batalla de cuádrigas de Ben-Hur con 300 caballos por cada cuádriga. Quizá fui un poco lejos. En comparación, la moto de Marc Márquez tiene cerca de 230 caballos y no está hecha precisamente para ir por carretera.

Kawasaki, sin embargo, pondrá a la venta su Ninja H2R, aunque es poco probable que los usuarios finales sean capaces de sacarle todo el partido. Y si lo hacen, es poco probable que a los radares les de tiempo a echarle la foto a la matrícula. Según las estimaciones de Wired, la moto debe de alcanzar al menos los 320 kilómetros por hora.

Colaboraciones estelares

No hay ficha técnica, pero sí se saben algunas cosas interesantes del modelo. Para empezar, que Kawasaki ha recurrido a algunas de sus divisiones más sofisticadas para producirla. Por un lado, Gas Turbine & Machinery Co., que habitualmente fabrica motores para jets; por otro, la Kawasaki Aerospace Company que, como ya te habrás imaginado, está centrada en vehículos para la industria aeroespacial.

La primera se ha encargado de diseñar el supercharger centrífugo que incorpora la moto. Y es una de las claves de su espectacular cifra, dado que impulsa más aire en el motor, permitiéndole aumentar la potencia. La segunda se ha encargado de la aerodinámica, la culpable última de que la Ninja H2R tenga ese aspecto tan agresivo, recargado de alas y recovecos.

Quizá el nombre que le han puesto no sea el más adecuado. Puede que sea una moto cortante y veloz como un shuriken, pero no es ni de lejos silenciosa como un ninja. De hecho, Kawasaki hizo crecer un poco el hype en torno al modelo con un vídeo promocional en el que no se ve nada. Pero se escucha.




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

WTO Director General Presents TRIPS As Major Tool For Trade Growth

IP-Watch - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 15:36
World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo this week hailed WTO’s intellectual property agreement, saying the past two decades show it provides a balanced multilateral foundation for the growth of trade in knowledge-rich products and services.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Un robot, protagonista de La metamorfosis de Kafka

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 15:30

Estamos acostumbrados a ver robots como protagonistas de películas de animación y de producciones de Hollywood con actores reales. Pero… ¿en una obra de teatro? ¿Y como principales protagonistas de la función? La obra elegida para sacar adelante el proyecto es muy significativa, nada menos que La metamorfosis de Kafa, rebautizada para la ocasión con un sencillo La Metamorphose Version Androide en un libreto adaptado por su también director Oriza Hirata.

En vez de despertarse convertido en una cucaracha gigante, Gregor Samsa se despierta convertido en un robot. Hirata ha llevado las cosas al extremo y, en lugar de contratar a un actor que finja ser un robot, ha contratado a un robot para que, bueno, haga lo que sabe. Por si fuera poco, se trata de un robot especialmente creado para la ocasión, con el nombre en clave Repliee S1.

Sí, sé lo que estás pensando. Que una producción francesa se encargue de La metamorfosis ya es suficientemente peligroso. Ya hemos visto en películas como Mártires o À l’intérieur que cuando los franceses se ponen en serio pueden ser tan truculentos como… Un japonés. Y en cuanto a Japón, cualquier película de Takashi Miike nos sirve como ejemplo, quedémonos como referencia con Ichi the killer. Así que el combinado puede ser mortal de necesidad.

Teatro en clave robótica

Pero no nos dejemos llevar por el pánico. Para empezar, Oriza Hirata no es nuevo en esto. Se trata de un referente en el mundo del teatro nipón desde los años 90. Y, además, es reincidente: en 2010 presentó la obra Sayônara, en la que una actriz compartía escenario con una mujer robótica, Gemonoid F. Sayônara, no en vano, está siendo adaptada al cine en estos momentos.

Los aficionados a la robótica conocerán ya a Gemonoid F, uno de esos robots que te ponen los pelos de punta porque cuesta distinguirlos de su modelo humano. Los Gemonoid son robots desarrollados por Hiroshi Ishiguro, un auténtico pionero de la robótica humanoide, con un robot réplica de sí mismo que dio la vuelta al mundo.

Pues bien, Ishiguro, como señala Engadget, ha sido el encargado de crear a Repliee S1, flamante protagonista de La Metamorphose Version Androide. El robot tiene la mayor parte del cuerpo hecha de metal, pero la cara y las manos son blandas y “expresivas”: puede sonreír y reírse y, naturalmente, hablar. Por su aspecto, podría ser el hermano pequeño del NS5 de Yo, robot.

¿Qué pensarán los actores de que un robot les haya birlado el papel? ¿O de su futuro en un teatro robotizado? Probablement, no le den mayor importancia. De hecho, entre los actores humanos de la función destaca la gran actriz francesa Irène Jacob, que no ha tenido ningún problema en compartir escena con un robot.

En cualquier caso, si la tuviera a mano, no me perdería la función. Aunque no será fácil verla. Esta semana se estrena en Yokohama, Japón, que no nos queda precisamente a la vuelta de la esquina. Por suerte, la tendremos un poco más cerca del 12 de noviembre al 9 de diciembre: será la obra estelar del festival Automne en Normandie, que se celebra en distintos puntos de la Normandía francesa. Si tienes ocasión, el desembarco merecerá la pena.

Lo que sí es posible hacer, entre tanto, es ver este breve reportaje en el que podemos atisbar las dotes de interpretación del robot:




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Panel “Inclusión digital para niños, niñas y adolescentes”

Derechos Digitales - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 15:24

En el marco del FIIS (Festival Internacional de Innovación Social) y en particular de FIIS niñ@s, el Consejo Nacional de la Infancia, Unicef y Ashoka ha organizado el panel “Inclusión digital para niños, niñas y adolescentes”. En la ocasión, participará nuestra directora de Incidencia, Paz Peña Ochoa.

Si te quieres unir para discutir sobre los derechos digitales de la infancia y de los adolescentes, te contamos que el panel es gratuito y será este jueves 23 de octubre de 12:45 pm a 1:45 pm, en el edificio Telefónica (sala C), en Santiago de Chile. Más información, acá.

Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Winning Discussions: Appeal to Fear (Effective Pirating)

Pirate Times - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 14:26

Logical fallacies are techniques that people use to make an argument appear convincing even when it is wrong. Learning how to identify and refute logical fallacies is one of the best ways to win in a discussion. Catching an opponent committing a fallacy will force him to retract his error or he will appear foolish or manipulative to his audience. There is a dark side to this. Once you learn to identify logical fallacies you will also be able to use them. Do not deliberately use them against fellow Pirates; it is extreme bad manners and you will most probably be caught out.

The Logical Fallacy – Appeal  to Fear

Fear is one of the most powerful motivators in making decisions. It can easily override rational thinking and lead to faulty decision making. It is also called argumentum ad metum or argumentum in terrorem. While it is easy to see it being used in justifying increased surveillance and invasions of privacy in response to perceived threats of terrorism it is not so easy to identify more subtle forms. In the tech world the acronym FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) was developed to identify subtle messages that corporates use to create fear and doubt about competitive companies and products. The Halloween documents revealed internal Microsoft conversations on how to use FUD against the Open Source Software.

Creating angst about financial or social security can be more effective than bombastic threats about physical safety. People are very bad at judging risk. We evolved to be more responsive to fear than rational thought as stopping for a moment to consider if a movement in the trees was indeed a danger could well lead to our ancestors becoming someone’s lunch. Hence many people are more afraid of flying than the much more dangerous act of driving. More afraid of being the victim of a terrorist bomb than a drunk driver.

Examples:

There may be jihadists in our country that need to be surveilled. Therefore giving up our right to privacy will make us safer.

Ebola is a deadly disease. We need to shut the borders to anyone who may have come in contact with it.

Feminists are coniving to take over men’s roles. Real men should resist feminism.

………………………

You can read more about the ‘Appeal to Fear’ logical fallacy in a wikipedia post and logical fallacies in general in this wikipedia article.
Remember that just because someone commits a logical fallacy it does not mean their argument is necessarily incorrect. If you have the time and resources then use the principles of scepticism to test their reasoning objectively.

This article is a part of a series called Effective Pirating:

Winning Discussions: Poisoning the Well (Effective Pirating) 29/9
Winning Discussions: Begging the Question (Effective Pirating) 17/8
Winning Discussions – The Bandwagon Fallacy (Effective Pirating) 11/8
Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – Tu Quoque 24/7
Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – The Straw Man 17/7
Effective Pirating: Choose your Opponents Carefully 7/7

Featured image: CC BY-NC Filipe Varela

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Google retirará de su función “autocompletar” los resultados “piratas”

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 14:00

La campaña de Google, el buscador que ejerce de puerta de entrada a Internet de tantos usuarios, contra la piratería acaba de incorporar algunas novedades de las que la compañía ha dado cuenta en una entrada en su blog de políticas públicas. Quizás la más llamativa sea la de eliminar de su función “autocompletar” aquellas búsquedas que tengan que ver con la descarga ilegal de contenidos.

De momento, solo en Estados Unidos, Google ha decidido empezar a eliminar aquellas predicciones de búsquedas que llevan a resultados relacionados con sitios restringidos por la DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act, la ley de copyright de Estados Unidos).

La función autocompletar de Google es aquella que sugiere a los usuarios las búsquedas más frecuentes que se hacen en su sitio cuando éstos están consultando algo en el motor. Basándose en las propias consultas realizadas por su público, Google recomienda algunas combinaciones de términos frecuentes. Hasta ahora, el gigante de Internet se mostraba muy reacio a intervenir en este proceso, puramente estadístico, a su juicio, y censurar, por ejemplo, aquellas sugerencias de búsqueda que podían resultar difamatorias para un individuo. Parece que ha cambiado de opinión.

Otra de las medidas que ha decidido implementar en su lucha contra la piratería es la de penalizar en sus resultados de búsqueda a aquellas webs que incumplen con las leyes de copyright. Ya en 2012 la compañía informó de que esto entraba dentro de sus planes, pero entonces lo limitó solo a aquellas webs de las que recibiera un gran número de denuncias. Ahora su equipo asegura que han refinado sus métodos de una forma que afectará visiblemente al pagerank de algunos sitios con gran notoriedad. Esta actualización se producirá en todos los países a partir de la semana que viene.

Google también ha anunciado que ha estado experimentando con distintos tipos de anuncios de plataformas como Amazon, Netflix o Google Play en los resultados de aquellas búsquedas relacionadas con términos como “descargar”, “ver” o “gratis”, en lo que define como un intento de redirigir a sus usuarios a plataformas legales de descarga de contenidos. También planea hacerlo con las consultas relacionadas con, por ejemplo, artistas musicales o títulos de películas.

La compañía acaba de actualizar su informe anual How Google fights piracy? (¿Cómo lucha Google contra la piratería), en el que da cuenta de éstas y otras medidas.




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Open Letter from Diego Gomez: "Access to Knowledge Is a Global Right"

Electronic Frontier Foundation - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 12:59

The progress of knowledge is fueled by people who dedicate their lives to a field—to read, examine, and absorb everything they can out of passionate intellectual curiosity. Diego Gomez is one of these individuals, and is dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

Unfortunately, like so many scholars around the world, Diego’s work has been frustrated by a lack of access to research trapped by expensive paywalls. So he did what many researchers and academics do today when they see a barrier to knowledge: he shared the research with his colleagues. Due to excessive criminal copyright laws in his native country of Colombia, however, Diego is now being prosecuted by Colombian officials for sharing another researcher's Master's thesis online. He faces up to eight years in prison and crippling monetary fines.

The following is an open letter from Diego (also available in Spanish):

The use of FLOSS was my first approach to the open source world. Many times I could not access ecological or statistical software, nor geographical information systems, despite my active interest in using them to make my first steps in research and conservation. As a student, it was impossible for me to cover the costs of the main commercial tools. Today, I value access to free software such as The R project and QGis project, which keep us away from proprietary software when one does not have the budget for researching.

But it was definitely since facing a criminal prosecution for sharing information on the Internet for academic purposes, for ignoring the rigidity of copyright law, that my commitment to support initiatives promoting open access and to learn more about ethical, political, and economic foundations has been strengthened.

I am beginning my career with the conviction that access to knowledge is a global right. The first articles I have published in journals have been under Creative Commons licenses. I use free or open software for analyzing. I also do my job from a social perspective as part of my commitment and as retribution for having access to public education in both Colombia and Costa Rica.

From the situation I face, I highlight the support I have received from so many people in Colombia and worldwide. Particularly, I thank the valuable support of institutions working for our freedom in the digital world. Among them I would like to acknowledge those institutions that have joined the campaign called “Let’s stand together to promote open access worldwide”—EFF, Fundación Karisma, Creative Commons, Internet Archive, Knowledge Ecology International, Open Access Button, Derechos Digitales, Open Coalition, Open Knowledge, Research rights Coalition, Open Media, Fight for the Future, USENIX, Public Knowledge and all individuals that have supported the campaign.

If open access was the default choice for publishing scientific research results, the impact of these results would increase and cases like mine would not exist. There would be no doubt that the right thing is to circulate this knowledge, so that it should serve everyone.

Thank you all for your support.

Diego A. Gómez Hoyos

~

Join the movement and stay connected! Together with the Right to Research Coalition, Creative Commons, Open Access Button, Fundación Karisma, and others, we created a platform for everyone to add their support for the open access movement. Sign here and share far and wide.

In the US? Send a message to your lawmakers to secure open access to taxpayer-funded research

Watch Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Related Issues: Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the BalanceOpen AccessInternational
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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

IBM muestra sus cartas en ‘cloud computing’

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 12:30

Cloud computing, el modelo de suministro de TI basado en la nube, ha atrapado a IBM. El Gigante Azul ha hecho un ingente esfuerzo en los últimos años para posicionarse como un peso pesado en un mercado que crecerá, según las estimaciones de Gartner, hasta los 250.000 millones de dólares en 2017 en todo el mundo. Las previsiones de negocio con cloud de la propia IBM son, en sí, elevadas. Desde la compañía aseguran que facturarán 7.000 millones de dólares en esta área en 2015. En 2013, el negocio de cloud de la compañía supuso unos ingresos de 4.400 millones de dólares, casi un 70% más que en 2012. “Desde el año 2007 IBM ha invertido unos 7.000 millones de dólares para crear una oferta cloud de valor. Esta cifra incluye desde la compra de 17 compañías, entre las que destaca Softlayer hasta la inversión para ampliar la red de centros de datos de cloud (1.200 millones de dólares); la creación del Grupo Watson (1.000 millones) que dispone de unos 2.000 expertos dedicados al desarrollo y comercialización de innovaciones cognitivas en cloud; y la creación del entorno de desarrollo de funcionalidades cloud Bluemix (1.000 millones). Además, hemos invertido unos 3.000 millones de dólares adicionales para desarrollar un nuevo chip que responda al desafío de cloud”, explicaba hoy a un grupo de periodistas Antonio Lubrano, director general de Servicios Tecnológicos de IBM SPGI, con motivo de la celebración del evento ‘Cloud en acción’, celebrado hoy por la compañía en Madrid.

 

Antonio Lubrano, director general de Servicios Tecnológicos de IBM SPGI.

 

Lubrano detalló el envite en cloud realizado en los últimos tiempos por el Big Blue que abarca las tres capas de cloud: la infraestructura como servicio o IaaS, fundamentalmente gracias a la compra de Softlayer (por la que pagó unos 2.000 millones de dólares en 2013) y la red de centros de la que ésta disponía y que IBM ha ido ampliando hasta llegar a los 40 próximamente; la plataforma como servicio o PaaS de mano de Bluemix, presentada el pasado mes de junio y que permite el desarrollo de aplicaciones que se ejecutan sobre la infraestructura de Softlayer y que es “perfecto para realizar pruebas y desarrollos de aplicaciones móviles”, según Lubrano, e “ideal para que las startups innoven”, añadió Cristina Caballé, directora ejecutiva de Cloud de IBM SPGI (no en vano la compañía ha lanzado la iniciativa Bluemix Garage dirigida a este tipo de compañías); y el elenco de soluciones de software como servicio o SaaS que ya dispone la compañía en la nube (más de 130) y que, recordó Caballé, “van desde soluciones de gestión de recursos humanos, hasta soluciones financieras, pasando por las de analítica empresarial, de atención al cliente, de ventas, de marketing, de compras, etc.”.

Whatsapp, Tumblr, Dropbox, Yelp, Fitbit, Samsung o Repsol son algunas de las compañías usuarias de la oferta cloud de IBM, cuyas funcionalidades se pueden contratar a través de un marketplace lanzado por la compañía el pasado mes de abril “y en el que hay más de 200 capacidades cloud no solo de IBM sino también de sus partners”, matizó Caballé.

SAP y Apple, dos acuerdos estratégicos

Lubrano se refirió también a dos acuerdos estratégicos firmados por la compañía con dos pesos pesados como Apple y SAP. Con la primera, recordó el portavoz, “Apple ha mostrado su voluntad de entrar en el mercado de la empresa de nuestra mano. Ambas compañías desarrollaremos más de cien aplicaciones para las empresas basadas en dispositivos de Apple. Además, ofreceremos los servicios que giran alrededor de estos dispositivos como es Apple Care y gestionaremos y suministraremos todos los terminales de Apple”.

En cuanto al acuerdo con SAP, anunciado hace unos días, Lubrano mostró su satisfacción ante el hecho de que el gigante de software empresarial haya elegido al Big Blue como “proveedor diferencial de su infraestructura”.

Cristina Caballé, directora ejecutiva de Cloud de IBM SPGI.

‘Cloud’, un “habilitador de la transformación”

Para Caballé no hay duda de que el modelo cloud será un “habilitador de la transformación que precisan realizar las organizaciones”, un cambio que pasa por “redefinir las empresas como si fueran un puzzle con diversos componentes”, añadió.

Pensar y diseñar una estrategia, construir la arquitectura adecuada, ejecutar la transformación y medir el éxito son, según Caballé, las cuatro fases por las que debe pasar toda organización que quiera dar el salto a la nube. Un salto que requiere por el camino la transformación de varios roles del área de TI, por ejemplo del propio CIO, “que se ve obligado a reinventar su departamento”.

Pero ¿está han dado este salto ya muchas empresas en España? “En los últimos meses la madurez de las empresas españolas en cloud ha avanzado mucho –afirmó Caballé–. Los clientes ya consideran cloud como la nueva norma en TI y lo más frecuente es que apuesten por un modelo híbrido”.

El miedo a la falta de seguridad en este nuevo modelo de suministro de TI y otras barreras que emergieron cuando surgió la nube son ya cosa del pasado, según Caballé: “Es más, cloud es una oportunidad para mejorar la seguridad en las áreas de TI, no un inhibidor”, concluyó la portavoz.

 

 




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Ministries of ICT, Education, & UNESCO join to formally launch School of Open Africa

Creative Commons - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 12:22

As promised last week, here are the details around the formal launch event for School of Open Africa taking place in Nairobi tomorrow morning.


SOO logo here. Earth CC BY by Erin Standley, Noun Project.

Our Creative Commons and School of Open volunteers in Kenya, including CC Regional Coordinator Alex Gakuru, are hosting a formal launch event of School of Open Africa in celebration of the School of Open programs launched last month in Africa, and to announce new programs in higher education. The event will feature a panel discussion with senior government officials from the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Ministry of ICT along with Dr. Bitange Ndemo (University of Nairobi) and regional representatives from UNESCO and Google regarding the status of open education in Africa, School of Open’s contributions and future. Alex says,

“This event will help establish a conversation platform for policymakers around School of Open Africa, connecting and synchronising education and ICT policies with the innovative open education programs being led by Creative Commons volunteers in Africa. It will also connect current School of Open programs in primary and high school education to academia and NRENs1 — towards the realisation of the international aspiration for universal access to education.”

Additional attendees include professors from local universities and law schools; participants of the copyright law course, CopyrightX:Kenya, who will be awarded certificates of completion; our CC Kenya affiliates; and School Open Kenya leads.


CopyrightX Kenya / CC Kenya / CC BY

In addition to the panel, SOO Kenya’s Simeon Oriko will present on School of Open Africa programs led to date, and Dr. Tonny Omwansa with C4DLab at the University of Nairobi will announce a new School of Open program to develop OER courses for higher education. This program will serve as a model for other universities across Africa to develop high quality open educational resources for use in higher education under CC BY. In celebration, CC t-shirts in Kiswahili will be distributed, “mwananchi mbunifu,” aka ‘creative commoner.’

The event is hosted at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi and will last from 9am-1pm, followed by a celebratory lunch. The event and new OER program in higher education is made possible with technical support from UNESCO and generous financial support from the Hewlett Foundation.

About the School of Open

The School of Open is a global community of volunteers that provides free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run courses, workshops, and training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a nonprofit that builds and supports learning communities on the web.

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

In Georgia State University E-Reserves Case, Eleventh Circuit Endorses Flexible Approach to Fair Use

Infojustice - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 11:13
Reposted from Association of Research Libraries’ Policy Notes blog, Link, CC-BY On Friday, October 17, 2014, the Eleventh Circuit released its long-awaited decision in the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case.Some key takeaways from the majority opinion include: Affirms that fair use is applied on a case-by-case basis; Rejects bright-line rules, such as using a [...]
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

One Perspective: The Liberating Potential of Bitcoin

P2P Foundation - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 11:06

Nozomi Hayase

One of the recurring themes on the P2P Facebook group is whether Bitcoin is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing, or whether it is even a fit subject for discussion in such a group (many think not) – but when one subject generates so much discussion and controversy I inevitably conclude that there must be some real ‘juice’ in the topic and that it is worth looking at it from all possible perspectives, even if they may not necessarily chime with what we personally happen to believe – in other words to consider things in an open-minded spirit of experimentation.

So for that reason I think the following article is worthy of reproducing here, not only because it is clearly written from the heart and with a clear conviction for the potential positive benefits which Bitcoin can bring to the world, but also because it is, I believe, by way of a reply to the discussion between its author and myself that followed my last posting on this subject here. (Another reason for posting the whole article here is that its parent site, falkvinge.net appears to be down right now and so the article is only available on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine).

I would take the point that this article would appear to be more or less from a ‘true believer’ perspective and obviously concentrates on the positive aspects of the potential of Bitcoin – and at this point both the positive and negative aspects of cryptocurrencies in general are more in a potential state than an actual one as they are clearly still in the infancy of their development. I do find myself fairly convinced by some of the arguments here, even if they would need the ‘winds of change’ to be blowing in certain favourable directions to fully realise their potential.

Another more critical perspective from the founder of the P2P Foundation, Michel Bauwens, can be found here and might be worth reading after this article if you haven’t already to get a more balanced view of the subject.

Also a very promising project (which I should hasten to add that several members of the P2P Foundation, including myself, are involved with) is fair.coop, the ambitious project to create a global ethical cooperative backed by a cryptocurrency. A nice introduction to this project can be found here.

So if you ask me at this point whether Bitcoin will be a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing I would have to reply ‘both’, and the only people I think are wrong about it are those who think cryptocurrencies are not going to have any impact at all on society. People said that about the internet itself, remember…?

Here’s the article:

Bitcoin, Open Source Movement for Decentralized Future

It all started with a white paper published in 2008. An unknown innovator under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto outlined an open source protocol for a public ledger that has come to be known as Bitcoin – which among other things is a peer-to-peer form of digital cash. Five years since its inception, more people are coming to recognize the revolutionary force behind the underlying technology of the Bitcoin blockchain that enables this decentralized network to achieve consensus amongst strangers at a global scale.

The disruptive force this innovation brings to existing systems is enormous. From potentially replacing the remittance industry to empowering the underbanked and those whose currencies are tightly controlled and subject to hyperinflation, the world is just beginning to see its effects in the financial realm. This capacity of Bitcoin to transform society is attracting activists and global citizens dedicated to promoting equality and a more just world. In particular, the ability of the blockchain’s decentralized trust to build a truly peer-to-peer platform for transactions is a very powerful force for those who seek to flatten the current hierarchical system that favors the one percent oligarchs who have their hands on the levers of power.

Yet as with any new invention in its early phase, many are still skeptical and hesitant to get behind this technology. They call for a more critical examination of Bitcoin as a digital currency. One argument revolves around perceived inequalities embedded within the design of the currency that create certain privilege of early adopters. The contention is that Bitcoin is centralized; that roughly half of all bitcoins belong to around 927 individuals. If true, this puts half of the world’s Bitcoin currency in the hands of a tenth of a percent of all accounts. A Washington Post published an article called, “Forget the 1 percent. In the Bitcoin world, half the wealth belongs to the 0.1 percent”. It called out Bitcoin’s apparent inequality and highlighted the gap between those who own Bitcoin and those who don’t.

All new technology takes time for mainstream adoption and in the beginning it is inevitable that the user base and innovator pool are relatively small. This is certainly true with Bitcoin. Compared to the situation in its early stages, bitcoin adoption now is moving very quickly. That said, what lies beneath this concern about the imbalance between users appears to be a fear that Bitcoin early adopters could end up replacing the current 1% oligarchy of bankster gangs of Wall Street and Goldman Sachs and would simply recycle the old world order of robber-baron capitalism. So the question arises, could Bitcoin’s revolutionary potential be overshadowed by this imagined pitfall, or worse yet become just another tool for neoliberal forces? By engaging this question, we can deepen our understanding of the genius and revolutionary potential of this innovation.

Perhaps the ideal currency in the minds of some of those who criticize Bitcoin’s perceived design of inequality is one that could bring all of Bitcoin’s positive features without creating so-called ‘early adopters’. For this to happen, coins would need to be premined and distributed to all people equally while still achieving the massive hashing power needed to secure the system from any external force determined to hijack or compromise it. This all sounds good, but practically speaking, who has the resources to set it in motion and bring it to that point?

These kinds of efforts might be achieved at a local and smaller scale, like Auroracoin in Iceland, even though it was reported that the experiment stumbled with problems in its design that caused a dramatic drop in value. In addition to scale vulnerability of the blockchain hashing power with a smaller currency, the larger question remains regarding how to effectively challenge the current global cartel of Western financial institutions that have over the years undermined sovereignty of local communities and destroyed whole countries through limiting access to payment networks, debt peonage, rent seeking and money printing. How is it possible to create a common currency that connects people around the world in a truly peer-to-peer way without it being intermediated or hijacked by a patronage network of states and corporate banksters that regularly steal from the commons and act against the interests of the people?

Decentralized Organizing

The creation of Bitcoin and its ecosystem follows a trend of decentralization that has emerged in recent years, such as the Occupy movement’s leaderless horizontal organizing, the Free and Open Source Software movement and collaborative production like Wikipedia and Linux. In traditional movements, a group of individuals or a particular organization takes the lead and organizes the cause. Activists generally struggle to fund their efforts, as altruism does not get rewarded financially in the current extreme capitalistic environment. Across the board in struggles for social justice, funding is often the most challenging issue. Identified leaders communicate the purpose of a project and rely on existing networks and systems for funding and material support. Oftentimes for the sake of efficiency and lack of alternatives, such organizing tends to crystallize into another form of hierarchy.

In addition, over the years, the old methods of dissent and social change have been shown to be less and less effective. Establishment forces target leaders and recognized organizers as a point of control for co-option and weakening movements. This is likely one reason why the inventor of Bitcoin decided to be anonymous and minimize his influence in the operation. Any open declaration of resistance against state and corporate power will not go unnoticed and a direct confrontation with the establishment is inevitable if what is created is at all effective. Such efforts are often met with attacks and in most cases easily squashed.

In a case of building Bitcoin network, the hashing infrastructure of the Bitcoin blockchain needed to attain a stable and impervious size before it could go truly viral and gain more mainstream appeal. Early on, Satoshi Nakamoto appeared to have strong concerns for protecting the development of the software against any just such external threats. This revelation surfaced in Julian Assange’s latest book “When Google Met WikiLeaks”. In a footnote, the founder of WikiLeaks depicted an alliance with Bitcoin community that goes back years before this new cryptographic invention matured into the currency of contagious courage it has become (bitcoin was eventually used to support funds for WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden).

In December 2010, just after WikiLeaks faced the unlawful financial blockade imposed by Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union, a debate emerged on the Bitcoin Forum, concerning a risk that using bitcoin for donations to WikiLeaks could “provoke unwanted government interest in the then nascent crypto-currency”. Responding to one poster who welcomed such challenge, Nakamoto emphasized the importance of protecting the software development at this early stage. “Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.” Six days later Nakamoto disappeared from the Bitcoin community. WikiLeaks read the analysis, agreed with his view and decided to postpone launching the Bitcoin donation until the currency attained stability.

Perhaps past protest and resistance movements can teach us something. In order for the creation of an alternative system to be truly effective, it needs to be subversive and under the radar until it gains strength. In a sense, Bitcoin is a living example of such an effective decentralized organization. After 5 years of existence, it has created the largest global network of supercomputing power. It has now grown to such a level that it is virtually impossible for one nation-state or corporation to undermine or hijack the network.
Swarm Effect

The idea of blockchain crypto-currency was put forward in 2008. The following year the Bitcoin software was launched and the first blockchain network came into existence by miners producing and transacting bitcoins. Someone had to do the early work of building of this open source ledger and securing the system at a time when few would even believe it possible or support this innovation. Where did the impetus for this work come from?

The unfolding process of the growing Bitcoin ecosystem can be looked at as an expression of a phenomenon called the “Swarm”. Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party describes the Swarm as a new style of organizing. He explains how this differs both from an egalitarian way of working where no single person or group has authority for guiding the process. He notes how it is a “scaffolding set up by a few individuals that enables tens of thousands of people to cooperate on a common goal in their life.” Falkvinge describes a Swarm is driven by voluntarism. People join the cause because they believe in the idea. There is no leader, but each person’s action inspires others and guides the Swarm in moving forward together.

Bitcoin is an open source project that generates a Swarm effect. From outside, this might appear mysterious or unsettling with its lack of a traditional core. Some have difficulty believing there is no controlling authority and are compelled to try to unveil a “ghost outside the machine”. Whether it is innovation or activism, people tend to first look for some subversion behind a seemingly progressive idea and then look for individuals or entities that are possibly pulling strings to divert the original intention. This can be a healthy skepticism, yet in the case of Bitcoin, there is no company, director or physical entity. There are no CEOs, no offices; no group of individuals running the operation.

At this time, the origin of the blockchain technology has been traced only to an anonymous unknown creator. The idea itself is not attached to a particular individual or group. It is somewhat similar to the way the online collective Anonymous express themselves as simply “ideas without origin” and claim that “there is no authorship … no control, no leadership, only influence, the influence of thought”.

Bitcoin is simply an ingenious idea and an open source computer code that anyone can read, take up, modify and develop. Whoever created it didn’t give it only to specific people, but instead made it accessible to everyone in the world. Doug Carrillo, founder of Bitstop.co tweeted, “Satoshi’s greatest gift was uniting all the intelligent, altruistic, visionary people from all over the world working on Bitcoin”. The impulse that got this global currency enterprise going was this gift of protocol.
#Satoshis greatest gift was uniting all the intelligent,altruistic, visionary people from all over the world working on #Bitcoin .

— Doug Carrillo (@docBTC) September 8, 2014

Incentive Structure

One notable characteristic that emerged within the Swarm surrounding the Bitcoin ecosystem is the creation of an unique form of volunteerism. Volunteering is generally associated with charity; one gives time, resources and skills for free. Traditionally one does not expect their work to be compensated. The Bitcoin ecosystem generates a new volunteerism in the form of innovation without permission, where those who engage both generate and expand new economic activity simply by creating, acquiring or using the currency. The value they create and the efforts that support it are rewarded in a way that strengthens the system as a whole, while further encouraging innovation on the edges. This all works with a network effect where voluntary peer-to-peer interaction creates and expands an autonomous zone impervious to patronage and monopolization. Each person moves toward something they believe in, while building a kind of common wealth that inspires further participation.

This is made possible through one particular feature of the Bitcoin currency. When we look at Bitcoin technology as a distributed trust foundation upon which global society is building a network that empowers everyone, we can begin to understand the brilliance of its design and why its first application is an open source mineable currency.

With a cap of 21M, Bitcoin has a fixed monetary policy. This design seems deflationary in fiat economy terms, yet Bitcoin’s infinite divisibility (8 decimal points and more if consensus is reached) makes it possible to accommodate any level of economic growth. Some view this design as an inherent flaw, arguing that it rewards early adopters and encourages hoarding, yet this element has played a crucial role in the development of the blockchain. It provided a way of building a global public asset ledger through integrating a reward structure by means of increasingly difficult proof of work tied to network capacity and value expansion.

This all functions as an incentive for volunteerism by creating the Swarm, which creator of Netscape and early web browsers Marc Andreessen characterizes as “a four-sided network effect”, namely “four constituencies that participate in expanding the value of Bitcoin”. Andreessen explains these 4 participants as “(1) consumers who pay with Bitcoin, (2) merchants who accept Bitcoin, (3) “miners” who run the computers that process and validate all the transactions and enable the distributed trust network to exist, and (4) developers and entrepreneurs who are building new products and services with and on top of Bitcoin”. This design, combined with unparalleled flow and infinite divisibility creates an open source network effect – not just squared, but cubed.

The Bitcoin incentive structures have shown to be very effective. Bitcoin is expanding infrastructure with ATMs and exchanges and improved POS interfaces. When people are invested enough in something, it motivates them to solve challenges that come along the way. In fact, it has generated enough incentive to make people keep the network decentralized and avoid the issue of a 51% attack (the phenomenon of concentration of a hashing majority and temporary takeover by one mining pool). Each member of the global mining pool has a strong incentive to strengthen and maintain the integrity of the system.

Many early adopters put resources into creating new start-ups to support the ecosystem. After becoming the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin globally, Overstock announced it would donate four percent of cryptocurrency revenue to foundations that promote the use of digital currency in the world. A new Bitcoin Exchange in Norway is reported to donate 5% of their profits to charities fighting poverty.

Bitcoin is an open source project that is self-organized and crowd-sourced by all who are involved in it. Early adopters are like shareholders who also can take responsibility for maintaining the system. Although justification of the percentage of reward accruing to them may be debatable, if we look at how vital their role was in building the system and the risk they took early on in supporting the innovation, it looks different. One should also note that their accumulation of bitcoin was not made through cheating, manipulation and exploitation like with fiat and debt ownership, so we may be compelled to draw more nuanced conclusions about this perceived inequality.

Genesis Block and the Network of Affinity

So what was the idea encoded in protocol that set this in motion? Bitcoin is a neutral technology, yet the genesis of the idea is not neutral. It had clear political implications. The Bitcoin protocol emerged during the financial crisis of 08 and the creator was aware of how badly governments were handling monetary policies. The first block of the Bitcoin blockchain known as the genesis block includes the following quote in its metadata. “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” Although this might have been intended to be just a timestamp, his choice of this Times of London article as a date of proof might give a sense of his background motivation.

Satoshi’s white paper pointed to the “inherent weakness of trust based model” of the existing financial system and proposed “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof” as a viable alternative. The Bitcoin open source protocol was a response to the crisis of the existing centralized financial system. Over time, this has created a network of affinity through voluntary association and mutual aid based on trust in the common person.

In this network, individuals out of themselves turn their computers into mines. Out of themselves they create start-ups and test the system. Some might be driven to earn bitcoin or build a cutting edge business, while others are motivated by a principle and vision of a decentralized future and redistribution of power. Whatever the motives driving users, miners and innovators, by choosing to be a part of Bitcoin network, they are all bound by one shared idea – that of supporting and maintaining the integrity of the public ledger for all the world to use.

This may remind us of what fueled the Occupy Movement. In fall of 2011, people from all walks of life came together in lower Manhattan. There were socialists, libertarians, housewives, anarchists and teachers. Those whose houses were foreclosed, students with onerous debt, businessmen – all came together because they could see how the system was rigged against them. They were not willing to put up with the current hierarchical financial and economic system that is run and controlled by the 1%. Their shared frustration became a network of affinity bringing people together to engage in efforts to solve problems of corrupt hierarchical institutions and false forms of representation. Through activating trust in one another, they attempted to create a peer-to-peer decentralized network. They were willing to work together and abide by this particular protocol of consensus and egalitarian form of decision-making.

Bitcoin is a similar social movement empowered by decentralized consensus decision-making processes. While the Occupy movement was crushed by a brutal police force as it tried to build decentralized networks on existing centralized corporate occupied territory, with Bitcoin, a whole new network is built upon a distributed trust platform that is structurally autonomous and out of reach of any private third party authority. We now have an alternative to over-centralized social forms that were programmed to manage wealth and resources for the rich and powerful and can enter into a network of peers impervious to these forces of control.

As noted, some see and criticize the existence of privilege within this Bitcoin network of affinity. Yet the issue of equality disparity was brought up even within the 99%. Concerns surfaced within Occupy that it was not truly addressing issues of racism and class divides. In the U.S, the Occupy movement arose mostly out of white middle-class issues such as mortgages and student loans, while for people of color in US cities like Oakland and Detroit, the oppressive issues were more about police brutality, not having grocery stores in their community and lack of the basic work and means to fulfill the needs of everyday life.

The same thing might be said about the Bitcoin network, as it is potentially composed of people of different backgrounds, nationalities, cultures or economic classes, within which there is clear inequality. This is really a reflection of our current social structure that carries a long history of colonialism in the form of Western hegemony. Despite all the differences, there is one thing in common. Participation in the blockchain network is voluntary. Both with the Occupy network motto of “In Each Other We Trust” and with Bitcoin, those who are in it choose to join because they see what an improvement it is over the current system and how it could at least offer benefit beyond monopolized rent seeking for oligarchic powers.

Whatever incentives bring people into the network, by joining they are working to build on the genesis idea that brought them together. It is to eliminate the need for central authority and replace hierarchical third party based representative forms of governance with a truly peer-to-peer decentralized trust network. They do this by each person simply participating and becoming the change they wish to see in the world.

Beyond Levers of Control

Perhaps in transitioning into the Bitcoin ecosystem, the biggest challenge we face is the limit of our ability to imagine. Corporate colonization has not only created vast inequality of wealth by way of an economy based on exploitation and wars, but its real damage was creating a poverty of the mind that cuts humanity off from its connection to the earth. It captured the imagination into materialistic economy of exploitation and extraction and many no longer think with the earth as the First Nations used to do.

We are now so used to centrally planned and hierarchically organized societies, it is difficult for many to imagine how a truly decentralized society might work. People are conditioned by the old paradigm and tend to look for levers of control even where there are none. They cannot even imagine a system that does not create such points of control. So when faced with the idea of a Bitcoin 1%, so called early adopters, it is easy to automatically apply the current reality of the 1% that can print money at will, create debt slavery and rent seek at every choke point. Some fail to understand how radically different the Bitcoin ecosystem is from the existing centrally controlled economy and forms of governance.

Let’s examine this more closely. The existing fiat world is organized by physical and social confinement of populations within nation-state boundaries, where sovereignty of nations ostensibly determines currency and monetary policy. Creation of currency has been enforced by monopolies by means of taxation. This central authority creates levers of control that are now mostly co-opted by corporations. These levers prevent ordinary people from fully counting themselves in as the true source of legitimacy. It creates a chain of command where institutions and professionals can gain power to coerce others to serve the interests of those at the top of the hierarchy and make people work against their own interests.

In this environment, accumulation of money can be easily translated to power and corruption. We see how this has panned out in history. Those who have money can control the flow, get to the top of the system, buy politicians and even take over governments. As a result, we now have a massive inequality where a tiny percent of the population, 0.001 percent controls access to the majority of the wealth and transactional flow of the entire world.

In the last few decades, this corruption reached an extreme level after taking the dollar off the gold standard, with the Federal Reserve and other private central banks (private corporations) using this power to print money out of thin air. With this and the monopolization of banks and payment systems, they maintained massive power to fund divisive resource wars and debase currency through inflation. This is now destroying the middle class and slowly turning the whole population toward a medieval-like debt servitude. Bitcoin completely challenges this system of control through enabling a decentralized network that cuts out third parties that create monopolies and insidious levers of control.

Money as Flow

In the Bitcoin distributed trust network, there are no choke- and checkpoints. Currency gains its true meaning – pure flow. What would it be like if currency functions as flow rather than a form of control? As we move into a more decentralized future, the current hierarchical institutions and central authorities lose power. In the Bitcoin network, accumulation of money is not easily translated into power over others. All that those 1% Bitcoin adopters can do with their acquired money is to spend it. They cannot interfere with or undermine the integrity of the value transfer network. They cannot print more and debase the whole system and they can’t rent seek each transaction.

So let’s imagine a scenario where they try to buy up all the media, lobby politicians and buy real estate and land. With new blockchain based social media and forms of crowd-funding and micro-payments, it will become harder for big media organizations to own the airwaves, to control and dictate narratives. Also, it would be difficult for individuals and corporations to buy up politicians, as their transactions are transparent in the blockchain and private agendas would be harder to hide. Besides, politicians will themselves become increasingly irrelevant as taxation is completely transformed in a Bitcoin world.

In a Bitcoin ecosystem, the familiar world crumbles. It is an entirely new world. A 1% here looks a lot different than the 1% in the current fiat world. This is a world where people interact through voluntary association rather than coerced will. The current monopolies seen in the existing financial system would become difficult to maintain. It makes the government more transparent and eventually more accountable.

Perhaps the larger ramification of the blockchain invention is the potential of code to facilitate an equal application of law that ensures the principle of consensus. If a Bitcoin 1%er wants to buy land from farmers or even buy whole cities, the land owners would have to be willing to sell. People won’t as easily be manipulated and forced to act against their will. In a Bitcoin decentralized society, farmers and others have a choice to say no and this ability of each person to decide what to consent to defines personal power.

In the world created through this two-way voluntary participation, accumulation of money or goods means isolation. If one wants to create a society of control and domination, it would have to be a little pond kingdom where one can maintain an illusion of control. But the same rules of consensus apply and the participation in this pond is also voluntary. Everyone can freely choose what kind of community and people they wish to associate with.

As the two worlds interface at this early stage, some voice concern about the current 1% trying to buy up bitcoin. But if they do this in order to maintain the current power which they gained in the fiat world, they will shoot themselves in the foot. They cannot buy out the system, but can only buy into the new network just like everyone else, which would only lead to expanding and strengthening the decentralized network and accelerating the demise of the fiat system itself and the illegitimate authority that goes with it.

New Sovereignty

The Bitcoin network creates decentralized consensus at a large scale without anyone in the middle. Can we really understand the significance of this and imagine what a future created through a truly peer-to-peer network looks like?

With the invention of the blockchain, we are entering into a new era. Security expert and technologist Andreas Antonopoulos describes how up till 2008, sovereignty created currency. He notes how the world of sovereign currency ended in 2008 and that after 2008, currencies could be created by individuals. When broadly adopted, these currencies create their own sovereignty and purchasing power.

The current sociopolitical system is built on a long history of colonization. Western civilization has a dark past of violence, brutal subjugation of indigenous people to enforce domination and resource extraction. This unredeemed shadow is carried on even now as a force that has morphed into a pervasive globalized corporate power with its privatization and financialization of everyday life.

While the concept of sovereignty in the current nation-state paradigm is based on a colonial mentality where independence of a country was attained through conquest of others, the blockchain invention opens a door for a new kind of sovereignty, one that is not based on the logic of control and domination, but through mutually shared ideals and voluntary association.

Bitcoin is the world’s first stateless currency that transcends borders in a similar way as the Internet. Its unmediated flow delivers more power to the periphery. As a result it could dissolve the hegemony of U.S. empire and end the monarchy of the petrodollar that controls flows of oil, finance and global geopolitics. This could potentially shrink the wealth gap between the Global South and the North. For the first time in history, humanity has the option to really heal the wound of long history of brutal colonization; to end major wars, transform poverty and inequality and move toward a more humane world. Humanity has a chance to embark on a new path, where technology of Western society is used to serve for the wisdom of indigenous cultures and together create a new civilization.

If we let the imagination follow its natural current freely, it leads into a future where collective creativity can solve the centralized problems of the old world. Even if Bitcoin as money dies tomorrow, that will only happen because a better designed blockchain cryptocurrency has come to replace it.

We don’t know exactly where this will go, as this kind of thing has never occurred before. But one thing is certain: The invention of the blockchain has already changed the world forever. No one can think of this world in the same way as before. The blockchain has already unleashed the flow of radical imagination, becoming the waves of uprising of a decentralized future.

 

The post One Perspective: The Liberating Potential of Bitcoin appeared first on P2P Foundation.

Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Google publica guía de cómo pasar contenidos de iOS a Android

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 11:00

Tras lanzar los últimos iPhone, la gente de Apple publicó una guía de ayuda para los usuarios de Android que si quisieran mudar al nuevo terminal, y ahora Google, también pocos días después de presentar nuevo smartphone y versión de su sistema operativo, ha decidido imitar la jugada (bueno, realmente a finales de 2013 ya hicieron algo parecido) con la puesta a disposición del público de otra guía, esta destinada a aquellos que estén pensando o ya se hayan pasado de iOS a Android.

Entrando en detalles, la han denominado “Get going on Android” y en ella proporcionan información detallada de cómo trasladar toda la información importante contenida en un iPhone a un smartphone que corra Android sin volverse loco en el proceso, que en principio no es complicado pero sí puede generar dolores de cabeza a los menos puestos en estos temas.

Concretando un poco más, la mentada guía está dividido en cuatro apartados. En el primero explican cómo transferir fotos y vídeos almacenados en un iPhone o iPad a Android utilizando Google+ y cómo hacer lo mismo con la biblioteca musical de iTunes; en el segundo se centran en explicar la manera de pasar los contactos guardados en iCloud o de forma local de una plataforma a otra; el tercero versa sobre el asunto de qué hacer para configurar en Android el correo electrónico de iCloud, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook u otros servicios; y el cuarto va de aplicaciones y realmente es un brindis al sol, ya que como no es posible sincronizar apps entre iOS y Android vienen a decir lo único que pueden: que el ecosistema de aplicaciones de Android es muy rico y todas las disponibles para iPhone también lo están en Android.

Por último, cerrando el círculo, a lo visto suman un enlace final el cual lleva a otro apartado en el que se desgranan las bondades de la nueva versión del sistema operativo, Android 5.0 Lollipop, y enseñan algunos de los terminales del mercado que lo utilizan o utilizarán (Nexus 6, Nexus 5, HTC One M8 y Moto G).

En definitiva, una guía básica que seguro a más de uno le vendrá bien. Eso sí, no es tan completa como la lanzada por Apple, y otra diferencia entre ambas es que la de estos últimos se encuentra disponible en varios idiomas, entre ellos el español, y la de Google únicamente en inglés (imaginamos que en no mucho tiempo la traducirán a más idiomas).




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 10:55
darylb writes "The NHTSA's safercar.gov website appears to be suffering under the load of recent vehicle recalls, including the latest recall of some 4.7 million vehicles using airbags made by Takata. Searching recalls by VIN is non-responsive at present. Searching by year, make, and model hangs after selecting the year. What can sites serving an important public function do to ensure they stay running during periods of unexpected load?" More on the airbag recall from The New York Times and the Detroit Free Press.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Ebola Vaccine Candidates Centre Of Attention; Clinical Trials, IP Negotiations Start

IP-Watch - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 09:57
Today, the World Health Organization gave a press briefing to update journalists on what to expect in the near future on Ebola treatments and vaccines.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Criminalizar el enlace en Internet es un error de la nueva LPI

Asociación de Internautas - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 09:50
Gestión de la privacidad; lucha contra la piratería o búsqueda de una norma que gestione nuestra propiedad intelectual son algunas de las causas que provocó la puesta en marcha de la Asociación de Internautas hace dieciséis años en un entorno en el que Internet ha cambiado por completo. \"Es fundamental que el usuario se autoregule a nivel de privacidad y se dé cuenta que nada es gratis en la red\", comenta Víctor Domingo, presidente y uno de los fundadores de esta entidad. Con él hemos conversado del desarrollo de Internet, sus riesgos y la normativa que llega: \"Las leyes deben resolver problemas no generarlos.  Ya es una aberración que se incluya el canon digital en una partida de los Presupuestos Generales del Estado.  No tiene ni pies ni cabeza y esta reforma es una sin razón que no sabemos por qué están tan interesados en sacar\", comenta.  A su juicio Gobierno y grandes corporaciones manejan mucha información de particulares \"No sabemos para qué quieren esa información y lo que queda claro es que nuestra privacidad queda comprometida. El problema del internauta es que es muy confiado. Debería tomar más precauciones sobre este tema y no dar tanta información así de golpe\", subraya.
Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Review of “Digital Depression: Information Technology And Economic Crisis”

IP-Watch - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 09:44
Information and communication technologies (ICTs), and in particular the internet, have revolutionized and disrupted all aspects of human activity, and even behaviour. This has resulted in many academic publications and much discussion, including in intergovernmental bodies, regarding various issues, including how best to govern the internet.Dan Schiller’s book helps us to understand the background of these events, which have affected economic and political power relations, and how US policies have consistently favoured capital over labour, and have resulted in transfers of vast sums from developing countries to developed countries, writes Richard Hill.
Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 09:34
countach44 writes that (in the words of the below-linked article) "Chicagoans are costing the city tens of millions of dollars — through good behavior." The City of Chicago recently installed speed cameras near parks and schools as part of the "Children's Safety Zone Program," claiming a desire to decrease traffic-related incidents in those area. The city originally budgeted (with the help of the company providing the system) to have $90M worth of income from the cameras — of which only $40M is now expected. Furthermore, the city has not presented data on whether or not those areas have become safer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Facebook demanda a los abogados que la demandaron

ReadWriteWeb España - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 09:30

En 2010 Paul Ceglia, un empresario neoyorquino, presentó, con la asesoría de varias importantes firmas de abogados, una demanda de miles de millones de dólares contra Facebook y su fundador, Mark Zuckerberg, al que acusaba de deberle una participación en la compañía que, supuestamente, le había prometido tiempo atrás.

La reclamación de Ceglia fue desestimada por un juez federal, que encontró evidencias de que los documentos presentados por éste estaban falsificados y manipulados. Ahora el equipo de Facebook, convencido de que los abogados de Ceglia sabían que sus acusaciones eran falsas, ha decidido demandarlos a ellos y a sus firmas.

Según recoge Bits, el blog sobre tecnología del New York Times, Facebook ha presentado una demanda este lunes en el Tribunal Supremo del Estado de Nueva York, sito en Manhattan, en la que afirma que el equipo legal de Ceglia continuó en el caso aun después de que una de las firmas que lo formaban descubriera que sus argumentos eran falsos e informara al resto de ellos.

La versión que Facebook da de la historia en su demanda asegura que el bufete Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman descubrió la falsedad de las pruebas aportadas por Cegliela y se dispuso a informar al tribunal de ello, pero sus miembros fueron finalmente convencidos por otra de las firmas que participaban en el caso para que guardaran silencio.

A pesar de ello, aseguran desde la red social, las firmas y abogados de Cegliela continuaron en el litigio, tanto en los tribunales estatales como en los federales, y también en los medios de comunicación.

Según los responsables de Facebook, estas firmas siguieron adelante porque esperaban extraer un beneficio sustancial de un litigio contra una firma tan potente como la suya.

El caso fue desestimado ¿por qué Facebook sigue adelante?

DLA Piper, una de las firmas involucradas en el caso, a la que Facebook acusa de seguir adelante tras saber que las acusaciones eran falsas, se ha defendido alegando que sus abogados solo trabajaron en el caso 78 días y que después se retiraron. Su consejero general, Peter S. Pantaleo, considera que estas acciones legales de Facebook forman parte de una táctica estudiada para intimidar a los abogados y evitar, así, que en el futuro se enfrenten a la poderosa red social en los tribunales.

Zuckerberg y Facebook no consideran suficiente el descrédito obtenido por Ceglia en los tribunales y fuera de ellos después de que se conociera la falsedad de sus acusaciones, y han querido seguir adelante con su demanda por lo que consideran “una cuestión de principios”. “DLA Piper y el resto de las firmas legales sabían que el caso se basaba en evidencias falsas, pero decidieron continuar pese a ello. Por eso, deben responder de sus actos”, ha explicaod en un comunicado Colin Stretch, consejero general adjunto de la red social.

Foto cc: clasesdeperiodismo

 




Categorías: Cultura libre [es]

Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Slashdot YourRightsOnline - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 08:12
HughPickens.com writes: CNNMoney reports that Facebook has sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration demanding that agents stop impersonating users on the social network. "The DEA's deceptive actions... threaten the integrity of our community," Facebook chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote to DEA head Michele Leonhart. "Using Facebook to impersonate others abuses that trust and makes people feel less safe and secure when using our service." Facebook's letter comes on the heels of reports that the DEA impersonated a young woman on Facebook to communicate with suspected criminals, and the Department of Justice argued that they had the right to do so. Facebook contends that their terms and Community Standards — which the DEA agent had to acknowledge and agree to when registering for a Facebook account — expressly prohibit the creation and use of fake accounts. "Isn't this the definition of identity theft?" says privacy researcher Runa Sandvik. The DEA has declined to comment and referred all questions to the Justice Department, which has not returned CNNMoney's calls.

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Categorías: Free Culture [en]

Sobre los 30 años del CD, seguridad del Estado y privacidad, regulación del crowdfunding y el posible cierre de Google News en España

Asociación de Internautas - 21 Octubre, 2014 - 08:04
El presidente de la Asociación de Internautas, Víctor Domingo conversa con Jaume Segalés director del programa PRIMERA HORA en Gestiona Radio, sobre la seguridad del Estado con la incursión de las nuevas tecnologías, cómo se ve afectada la privacidad, los 30 años desde el primer CD en España, la regulación del crowdfunding y el anuncio de cierre de Google News en España en respuesta al canon Aede impuesto por el Gobierno del Partido Popular.
Categorías: Cultura libre [es]
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