All posts tagged open source

3 Posts
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Getting Rid of My iPhone

When angry birds has access to my entire contact list, it’s time to reconsider how great my iPhone is. Why does this extremely popular game have unprecedented access to my personal information? Well, I don’t know. I never explicitly said it was ok, but in the current technology reality we live in, I didn’t explicitly say it wasn’t ok either. Not that I could have. It’s not even that our terms and conditions rule us, I do read the fine print, it’s that they can change at any minute.

computer-crash

Killing Code Can Kill People

How do you effectively document human rights atrocities and not get caught? This is an extremely difficult problem, one that takes experience, ingenuity, and, often unfortunately, trial and error. The consequences can be devastating, but new technologies expand the options for creative people who are trying to make a difference in their societies to be able to do so and stay a few steps ahead of dictatorial regimes.

Unfortunately, software companies often act as mini dictatorships in their own right. Their code and their products are closed and their users ruled and attacked if they use the technology in an unexpected way. On the other hand, there are open source projects that hold democracy as a central tenant. Having opened their code to the public, they are transparent, participatory, and accountable.

Volunteerism For Solidarity Or Social Capital

Clay Shirky opens the evening on stage, explaining that Ushahidi is a system that shows a community what it already knows. What’s interesting about the volunteer effort that developed around in response to the recent earthquake in Haiti is that it soon became something entirely different.

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