Monday, May 10, 2010

One Laptop per Child at GADI 2010

As I had previously mentioned back in March I gave a talk about OLPC in the “ICT and Society” (“Gesellschaftliche Aspekte der Informationstechnologie”) lecture series at Graz University of Technology. A recording of the 45min presentation (which I gave in German) is now available here and if you’re interested in a copy of the slides then please e-mail me.

Excellent article on Facebook

I just stumbled across the Facebook’s Gone Rogue; It’s Time for an Open Alternative article over on and think it’s a truly excellent summary of many of the reasons why I strongly believe that:

“Forget about spam, identity theft, black hats and December 21 2012. Facebook is what everyone today should really be afraid of.“

The reason why I find it so scary isn’t just the site’s ever increasing number of users (more than 400 million at the time of writing – that is more than 5% of the world’s population!). Rather it’s the fact that Facebook will set more than one precedent when it comes to how people use the Internet and think about privacy (online as well as offline) in this 21st century.

Hence to me Ryan Singel’s introductory sentence already make more sense than most of the stuff that all these social media experts normally babble about in the media and at conferences:

“Facebook has gone rogue, drunk on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s dreams of world domination. It’s time the rest of the web ecosystem recognizes this and works to replace it with something open and distributed.“

So next time before you post something on Facebook think about whether you really want a company with these kinds of Terms to own your data:

“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy  and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

Update (2010-05-10): Just stumbled across an excellent info-graphics called The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook by Matt McKeon and I’d really recommend you to take a look at it! (found via @mjollnir)