Joomla! Wold Conference 2012 Keynote: Changing the world with Open Source

Pascal Finette gave a great keynote at Joomla! World Conference 2012 talking about how Mozilla came to be and what they learned along the way. He shares insights on how to build a competitive product, a healthy community and maybe even a business around it, but developing and governing it the open source way.

Wir haben Dinge gesehen, …

Trotz all ihrer Schwächen hat diese neue Generation mehr als alle anderen vor ihr ein tiefes, inneres Bewusstsein davon, was ihr bevorsteht. Sie ist bombardiert worden mit den lautesten, größten, gleißendsten, stärksten, leckersten, übelsten, besten und schlimmsten Angeboten des Marktes. Und trotz all diesen Konsumlärms, oder vielleicht gerade deswegen, ist diese Generation am empfänglichsten für die sanften, natürlichen, wahren Qualitäten des Lebens. Ihre Imaginationskraft ist atemberaubend kreativ, denn ihnen sind extreme Formen des “edutainment” aufgetischt worden, die weit über das Vorstellungsvermögen ihrer Vorgänger hinausreichen. Ihre Fähigkeit, Vielfalt zu tolerieren, ist enorm und für immer mehr von ihnen ist diese Mannigfaltigkeit der Erfahrungen etwas, wonach sie suchen, statt sie zu bekämpfen.

Joe Firmage über die nach 1980 geborenen – aus Telepolis: Die Geldelite verselbständigt sich

“You’re not anonymous. I know your name, email, and company.”

This is how Websites know your name, email and company even if you didn’t submit any information and weren’t logged in through social media.

The analogy at the end is the point:

A real-world analogue would be this scenario: You drive to Home Depot and walk in.  Closed-circuit cameras match your face against a database of every shopper that has used a credit card at Walmart or Target and identifies you by name, address, and phone.  If you happen to walk out the front door without buying anything your phone buzzes with a text message from Home Depot offering you a 10% discount good for the next hour.


NPO, what do you need cookies for?

If you try to visit any of the websites of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting service you get a pop-up informing about their use of cookies on their site and asking you for your consent in storing data about you in them.

NPO cookie consent pop-up

Well … if you click on the “decline” or “more information” links you are told to reconsider, because the use of cookies is essential for the working of the site (“Functionele cookies zijn strikt noodzakelijk voor de werking van de website”)!?! As a web developer I can say this is absolute bullshit. They also tell you why: because they “need” it for “managing” “web statistics, advertising and social media.” And of course them not being able to accurately (because you can track users without cookies) track you and siphon off your private data and selling your viewing habits, makes it technically impossible for them to serve you videos … see how they are linked?

Oh of course they have the obligatory “but none of the information can be linked to individuals … we value our users’ privacy” bullshit. If they really meant it, they wouldn’t force you to disclose this sort of information for a service that absolutely does not require it.

So it boils down to them denying you to watch TV programs that already got paid for in full (by the dutch tax payers, thank you for that ;), this also means there is no “need” to exploit your users) and forcing you to give up your privacy in order “for them to protect it” again … are you confused? … I am … this makes no sense!

Now I’m short of a media source for having a peek into another language/culture. 🙁

On a side note: despite all my rage I must admit, the reconsider allowing cookies page is really well done and does tell you in a simple way how cookies work and how they put them to use … I wish other sites were as open about it. 😉

War Surgery

There is a documentary on war surgery (be warned: it’s quite graphic) that was brought to my attention. It was produced by the the medical division of the International Committee of the Red Cross and shows general principles of war surgery covering things like wound debridement, lower limb amputations, skin grafting of injuries from land mines and high velocity impacts.

I’ve just come around to watch it and well … it’s not easy to stomach … 😐 Though the documentary seems quite old and not of good audio-visual quality it’s still quite “graphic”. There are basically two levels you have to deal with in comprehending what you are seeing.

The first one is that war is nasty. And it produces some seriously disturbing imagery that stays even when the actual combat action is over … considering mines there, doesn’t even need to be “combat action” any where to result in casualties. People wounded under such circumstances don’t really get medical attention immediately and if they do, it’s most likely inadequate. So when they reach a adequately equipped facility their wounds will be in quite a bad state. But one thing that you begin to realize and that makes your stomach cringe is the realization, that in contrast to (fire, vehicle, etc.) accidents that may produce similarly graphic injuries war injuries are inflicted deliberately! :/

The second thing is the reality of surgery. This might come as a surprise to some of you, but surgeries – especially on non-healthy tissue – look quite nasty in themselves. Some get easily upset from blood or scars on the surface, but the world that is underneath your skin is quite squirmy (if that’s the right word 😉 ). It’s gory, it’s gooey and you might realize that though the person being operated on is unconscious he is quite “alive” inside … and then there is the surgeon cutting, clamping, “soldering” (i forgot the medical term), sewing, etc. … and they are not very gentle at doing that … 😐

So be warned, this is “starker Tobak” as Germans would say. 😉