Digital Venice: frenzy and dismay

Digital Venice

Huge investments to provide broadband all over the place WHY???? so people can be fed more TV, youtube kittens, google and facebook soup faster???

So that we can be spied upon and controlled better? Is this what Europe really wants?

We need focus, broadband without direction is going to be money wasted with the result of making us even more dependent on closed silos hegemony.

1) Importance of digital: That digital is fundamental is finally understood. What is not understood is that the focus has to be on providing experiences and not technical features, inspiring and not imposing, informing and not overloading with information. The tools we create have to be transparent and enable us to feel super human WITHOUT stealing our data in exchange.

2) Local hubs for innovation and exchange: We need to provide capillary distributed spaces where intergenerational exchange and discovery and information are possible. Sharing success stories both local and global is fundamental, creating sessions in schools where this sharing is cultivated is one way. There is no need for hyperbolic speeds to use a 3D printer, publish a blog or develop an application. Little hubs/incubators interconnected where ideas and innovation are shared and fed are a better way to invest.

3) Global rating for IoT: Create a globally recognized, people driven, certification for any programmable connected object (The Internet of Things or IoT) that comprises, security best practices, easy and safe updating procedures, information of risks involved, ethics (are we controlling the program or is the program controlling us?) A call for an indie people driven label for IoT

4) Silos alternatives: Launch an european ethical alternative to the closed silos that are BECOMING the internet facebook, google, amazon. The only way to do this is to focus on a better experience than existing ones, without vested interests. A very promising way is led by indietech

Having started programming in 1982 and since then being active in the digital world, in various roles, from web development, to communication, entrepreneurship, training and advising in different countries, mostly in europe, I have a broad experience and vision of the digital world.

I want a digital and connected world because I think that it can really make us better people, with more freedom, innovation, and imagination, but we need to move in an organized and coherent way NOW!



Free has a price: Your freedom

When I started making my first web sites, internet was a wonderful space of freedom and creativity, even if in 1994 not many people where on the web, what attracted us was a real spirit of discovery, innovation and also collaboration. This spirit and freedom allowed us to launch a profound revolution that is still ongoing, that of volunteer and collaborative participation to worldwide scale projects.

The ideological movement of free software launched by Richard Stallman inspired several disciplines well beyond just software, we find it in culture, politics, biology, knowledge and we are just at the beginning of the marvels possible thanks to large scale collaboration and sharing. Wikipedia, the sharing economy, the constitution of Iceland, new and better ways to learn any subject and discipline and of course also software which powers most of internet are just some of the examples.

The problem is that other than these systems which are exemplary, there are private proprietary systems which are silos that enclose us progressively, Google, Facebook, Amazon are just some examples that offer free services in exchange of our data, getting to know us better than we do know ourselves and taking over little by little control of our life.

It’s true today these services are very useful and cool so that we do not hesitate to give them our data and accept to become their prisoners as in the future they will be able to do whatever they want with us, because in a world controlled by software and data, either you control it or you are controlled by it.

Apple is a little different as it’s product is not free, on the contrary it’s very expensive, but since the software of Apple’s products and it’s ecosystem is proprietary, that is we cannot see how it works and what it does, nor what is done with data collected, we cannot be sure that their products do not contain spying systems. For example the microphone of the telephones can be remotely activated without our consent to record audio as revealed by Snowden, this also happens in Samsung and other phones.

Therefore we are putting our lives in the hands of private companies that have no interest for the common good but are simply driven by profits, and as we know, profits are never enough for Wall Street and the likes.

Today despite the existence of the free software movement, we do not have alternatives to these closed systems which can deliver us a comparable user experience this is why I use Apple and Google products.

From this observation a new movement is starting, whose aim is to create a really free as in libre ecosystem focused on freedom, design and user experience, to provide a suitable alternative to closed systems with respect of our freedom, privacy and data.

This alternative is and this is a call to join us on the 4th and 5th of July in Brighton where the indietech Summit will be held to declare the indipendence of internet and avoid a future without freedom.

Do JOIN US if you can in brighton, or follow @aral @matemaz to keep updated and help us spread the word.


This is the Starship Enterprise of sea exploration

Je viens de lire cet article sur the verge a propos du nouveau projet de Jacque Rougerie, architecte spécialisé en milieux marins, qui est en train de lancer le projet ©SeaOrbiter, qui vraiment rappelle la starship entreprise des mers. Ca ma fait faire un saut en arrière de quelques années

SeaOrbiter by Jacques Rougerie
SeaOrbiter by Jacques Rougerie

Quand en 1994 j’ai participé à un autre projet de Jacques Rougerie et Guy Delage, avec les Montres Sector, Daniel Jouvance et la ville de Nantes
Guy Delage on Sector Oceanantes
on a construit ce dériveur/sous marin pour faire des observations dans l’océan indien. Un grand projet, on avait plus d’une centaine de scientifiques qui nous ont aidé à réaliser l’aventure, on a dû tout inventer et construire, finalement au bout de quelques longs mois et plusieurs allez retours de paris à nantes, le sous-marin fut prêt.

On à tout expédié à Singapour ou on a fait les derniers préparatifs pour la mise à l’eau.

J’ai travaillé dans le sous marin hors de l’eau sur le port de Singapour pour préparer le système informatique (très complexe) de suivi de l’opération, avec des temperatures de plus de 50 degrés dans l’habitat! J’ai perdu 6 Kilos en 3 jours 🙂

Je me souviens je dégoulinais non stop, pas evident de travailler sur des ordinateurs dans ces conditions.

En tout cas tout était prêt et le jour J pour le départ, mais dans la nuit, Guy Delage fut pris de violentes douleurs abdominales, et hospitalisé pour des calculs biliaires. Etant donné que les conditions idéales pour le lancement de l’opération étaient dans une fenêtre très serré, l’opération à du être annulé.

How can we still be talking about Apple and Microsoft at #TDC14

Hey Wake up everybody!!!

It is soooo uninteresting to be talking about hardware, the only interesting thing, is weather the system is a privacy conscious one and what user experience it delivers.

How they disappear from our conscience and just dematerialise that is what is interesting.

What we can do with it, in which way we are going to be empowered by those tools, how society can improve, how people can interact and exchange, learn and invent thanks to the tools and networking powers that we have now these are interesting subjects now!


Thoughts while reading Glen Greenwald “No Place to Hide”

I have to share some thoughts and parts of the compelling book about Ed Snowden by Glenn Greenwald even before I finish reading it.

One could probably listen to Eric Schmidt advice who said that “if you have something to hide probably you should not have done it in the first place” and think, oh yeah he is right, If I have something to hide, is clearly something illegal, I must have stolen or done something horrible that I want to hide!

This IS NOT SO! here a couple of statements from Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to hide, that will clarify why not.

“Initially, it is always the country’s dissidents and marginalized who bear the brunt of the surveillance, leading those who Support the government or are merely apathetic to mistakenly believe they are immune.”

“A citizenry that is aware of always being watched quickly becomes a compliant and fearful one.”

So many improvements come to society that are initially thought of as illegal, furthermore there are moments which rightfully so have to remain intimate and shared only with whom each one chooses to share them.

Back to reading now.

Thanks and to all Secret agents that are spying on us, please consider that in order to defend freedom and the constitution of democratic countries Edward Snowden’s and Jullien Assange’s examples are the ones to follow.


Thank you
Edward Snowden selfie with Glenn Greenwald, David Miranda and Laura Poitras