Do farmers own their tractors? We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership | WIRED buff.ly/1MWFeM6
Eine neue Studie von statista zeigt, dass seit den Snowden-Enthüllungen im vergangenen Sommer die Anzahl der Suchanfragen in der Suchmaschine DuckDuckGo deutlich angestiegen ist:
Hier ist die Infografik dazu:
Apple drops objections to app visualizing U.S. drone strikes
Wikipedia in Israel
Auch in Israel basteln sie fleißig weiter an der Wikipedia. Ein interessantes Projekt, dass ich noch nicht kannte, ist WikiAir. In Zusammenarbeit mit dem israelischen Zusammenschluss der Flugzeugbesitzer und Piloten werden dort Luftfotos geschossen, die dann zur Bebilderung der Wikipedia genutzt werden
via Christina Burger, Wikimedia Commons Blog
Website ‘Constitute’ enables comparison of constitutions around the world
Are you currently writing a new constitution for your imaginary new nation? Would you like to find out more about similarities and differences between, say, the United States Constitution and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (the Grundgesetz)? Here is a new handy tool for you.
The Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) has recently launched the new website Constitute which enables users to compare the texts of constitutions from around the world.
Constitutional texts can be searched for specific passages or browsed by topics. The search results can be filtered further and downloaded for later consultation.
At the moment (September 2013, the scope of the project encompasses “the constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for nearly every independent state in the world.”
The project is supported by Google Ideas, the Indigo Trust and IC2.
I like the idea that Google supports this project with funding. Unfortunately, as the Snowden leaks have revealed, Google is also among the biggest tech companies subverting the US’s and other nations’ constitutions by enabling the totalitarian surveillance ambitions of the NSA.
Everyone involved in intelligence should use this website and reconsider whether the bureaucracy they are serving actually protects their respective constitution.
App ‘Buycott’ Aids Users In Consumer Boycotts
Consumer boycotts via smartphone
Consumers in the US (and elsewhere) are facing a dilemma: They may politically disagree with the corporations whose products they buy on a regular basis at their local supermarket. Often they do not know who they are supporting financially, because huge corporations own vast portfolios of consumer brands.
A new app called Buycott, available now for iOS and Android (soon) makes transparent who is behind a certain product that you buy in supermarkets. It helps individuals who want to engage in consumer boycotts.
The targeted corporations currently include Koch Industries, Monsanto, and Johnson & Johnson, but the database is being expanded. These corporations are US-based, but they are all huge multinational conglomerates.
The idea for the app was sparked at last year’s progressive Netroots Nation conference and brought to life by Ivan Pardo, an independent software developer from Los Angeles.
“New App Buycott Lets Users Protest Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More.” (Clare O’Connor, Huffington Post, 2013/05/15)
“Buycott: App klärt beim Einkauf auf“. (Heise Online, 18.05.2013)
Provide wiretapping capabilities to hand over your (customers’) data to the FBI or be fined, Google and Facebook
The Washington Post reports on a government task proposal that aims to punish tech companies for not providing wiretapping capabilities for law enforcement officials. The FBI, which is the driving force behind this push for more more surveillance, justifies its demands with the need to counter a “going dark” problem, a “gap between authority and capability” in regards to online surveillance. The FBI mentions not just terrorism, as might seem likely briefly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, but also transnational narcotrafficking and child prostitution.
If successful, this initiative would not only concern Internet giants such as Google or Facebook, but potentially any tech company that collects user data. And that includes practically any new free-to-use online service.
This initiative by the FBI takes place in the context of a much larger secretive push towards extensive online surveillance (see below).
“Proposal seeks to fine tech companies for noncompliance with wiretap orders.” (Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 2013/04/29)
“U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance.” (Declan McCullagh, CNET, 2013/04/24)
“Internetüberwachung in den USA: Strafen für Unternehmen, die keine Daten liefern?” (Andrea Jonjic, Netzpolitik.org, 30.04.2013)
“USA: Mit geheimen Anweisungen das Internet überwachen.” (Andrea Jonjic, Netzpolitik.org, 26.04.2013)
While browsing through the program for the Leipzig Book Fair this morning, I noticed that there is quite a high number of events dealing with various aspects of ebooks. In fact, ebooks are one of the special foci this year.
From end user-centric introductions about ebooks and ebook readers to questions for aspiring writers and publishers, there will be talks, presentations, and workshops throughout the four days.
I am looking forward to attending some of those events, but I have not made up my mind on which ones I will pick. With 44 events in the Category “E-Book/Internet” it will be absolutely impossible to visit all of them. Nevertheless, there will be a mountain of information, I am certain of that.
One question that I hope to find an answer to is whether there will be an affordable ebook reader that can display .pdf documents in A4 format well in the near future. So far I have had the opportunity of briefly checking out Amazon’s Kindle reader at a friend’s place and I found the e-ink display very pleasing to the eye. In my opinion it is definitely better than staring at a laptop screen for a long time. For reading novels or other texts that do not heavily rely on formatting, this is quite good. But when you have to read journal articles, the small size is a disadvantage.
Tablet computers, on the other hand, are bigger but do not have an e-ink display. Especially when you look at a glossy screen, this is becomes rather inconvenient after a while. From a reader’s point of view, I think this is a drawback.
Maybe somebody at the book fair knows whether the affordable A4 format ebook reader is around the corner. I would be tempted to buy one.