Everything is broken, but yes we can mend it!

A worth read from medium, “Everything Is Broken”

This text just corroborates that we need to get our act together and set up a set of universal procedures to stimulate people to want better digital products, safer and easier ways to use them, lower barriers to update procedures, better understanding of implications of use of digital programmable connected products.

If you do not want spoilers go and read it, here I’ll give away the conclusion

“Computers don’t serve the needs of both privacy and coordination not because it’s somehow mathematically impossible. There are plenty of schemes that could federate or safely encrypt our data, plenty of ways we could regain privacy and make our computers work better by default. It isn’t happening now because we haven’t demanded that it should, not because no one is clever enough to make that happen.So yes, the geeks and the executives and the agents and the military have fucked the world. But in the end, it’s the job of the people, working together, to unfuck it.”

via Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium.

Privacy browser extension by the EFF. A step towards securing privacy

privacy badger EFFHelp EFF Test Privacy Badger, Our New Tool to Stop Creepy Online Tracking

EFF is launching a new extension for Firefox and Chrome called Privacy Badger. Privacy Badger automatically detects and blocks spying ads around the Web, and the invisible trackers that feed information to them. You can try it out today:

Privacy Badger is EFF’s answer to intrusive and objectionable practices in the online advertising industry, and many advertisers’ outright refusal to meaningfully honor Do Not Track requests. This week, Mozilla published research showing that privacy is the single most important thing that users want from their web browsers. Privacy Badger is part of EFF’s growing campaign to deliver that privacy by giving you the technical means to disallow trackers within the pages you read on the Web.

via Help EFF Test Privacy Badger, Our New Tool to Stop Creepy Online Tracking | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The need for a certificate of security and quality for connected programmable objects

occhio che guarda sbarratoJust this morning I read a story about a family that got woken up at night by a voice of a man screaming in their newborn baby’s room.

It was a sick man that had hacked into the wifi surveillance camera used by the parents to watch over their baby and was screaming at the baby trying to wake her up. When the parents arrived in the room, they saw the camera following their path and the man screaming obscenities at them.

This is just an example of what can happen if proper security practices are not enforced.

With a storm of connected objects entering all our spaces, it becomes necessary to have a  Global certificate of security and quality that labels any programmable device.

This certificate has to define the principles, based on free standards, the tests to guarantee the maximum security, the update procedures that must be simple and easily feasible by any person amongst other rules to be defined.

My call is to coordinate and centralize efforts to define such a security label the ethics and the standards associated, and diffuse as widely as possible the fundamental importance of such practices.

This has to be seen in a global effort of re-empowering people joint with a true independent and free internet and connected tools that adhere to the manifesto.

The adhesion to the chart should be in a participative matter, and the principles of security taught in schools.

For a safe and connected future we need to guarantee secure connected objects from phones, to glasses, fridges, dongles or any other programmable connected device.

All input is welcome and needed.

TEDxGeneva coming up bringing some memories of when I first started working

I remember when I started working in 1989, I was developing a diagnostic system for a very high end graphical workstation, working in C and microcode, in a very advanced environment, we had SUN machines back then were the state of the art of computing, when I came across GNU/EMACS.

Wow I was simply going wild, all I could do with that “editor” was just so powerful, but what was even more powerful was the licensing, free software had crossed my path.

I admire the ethics and rightfulness of Richard Stallman, he dedicated his life trying to  make sure that people are protected in their freedom from proprietary systems.

If not for Richard Stallman, probably all software, would have been proprietary and the internet surely would not have existed as we know it today.

So I am really looking forward, to going to TEDxGeneva on the 7th of april where there will be many beacons of freedom.


A walk along the seine. Electronic noses, google now, drones and SEO

Pleasantly walking along the seine, a beautiful sunny day, suddenly an enticing perfume attracts my attention, my sensors immediately recognise the perfume, I receive instantly an offer from the closest shop selling the same perfume with on the spot delivery via drone and a discount if I buy it right away sgrunt!, while my photosensors take a picture of the lady wearing it and bring up all information about her, from health to interests and financial, the wearables give me advice telling me if I should engage or not in a conversation. Of course her system is doing the same about me and we will have a match or not even before being able to say gulp!




SEO is dead Long live SEO. A paradigm shift

SEO as a zero sum game is by definition dead,

One search engine and one top position for each term implies that to be number one, you have to push someone to number two. This action alone is against the foundation of internet, the spirit and soul that gave life and made the web such an amazing place of cohesion, inspiration and sharing.

Google to be meaningful and being a goto solution is trying to contextualize it’s results as much as it can, by getting to know you ever better, by listening to the social stream, to the time of day and hundreds of other parameters, and it is already presenting different results for the same search term, based on what it knows about you.

Eventually the number one position for the same search term WILL BE INDIVIDUAL and totally personal.

SEO becomes therefore ever more a global solution that has to deliver the best meaning for a wide range of situations.



Electronic noses and privacy. Bang in a breath all is known!

electronic noseElaborate artificial noses able to sniff diseases inspired by dogs that can detect people having different types of tumours are being prototyped.

This means that in a few years we will be wearing sniffing devices that will be able to tell us all sorts of information about our environment and the people around us.

One breath and we can analyse the quality of the air, or, imagine this,  you invite a friend for dinner, maybe a romantic dinner, you are all excited, have delicious wine, thanks to your sniffing powers you can appreciate food 100 fold more,  you can visualise the fields where cows producing the milk for your reblochon graze, when suddenly a pungent smell distracts your attention, your friend has arrived, but you cannot take your mind away from this smell, you know, it is the distinct sign of pulmonary cancer! Bang! the good thing is that you can detect it in it’s very early stages therefore treatments will be far more efficient.

Walking down the road you will be able to instantly know all sort of intimate things about people just passing by, are they sick, did they just have sex and on goes the list.

Privacy today seems a difficult issue, but we need to start thinking about when a simple sniff, will reveal all about the persons closeby.

Interesting times ahead.