Snap! Hey! The time! Oh my god. Damn. Shit shit shit! Why didn’t we set two alarm clocks!? – Poor Claudia is missing the first hour of her course today…
I’m back… It was a lot less stressful than the previous time, and we even had some time to ourselves… Enough time to eat in a Japanese restaurant on Calle de la Reina close to the metro station Gran Vía, enough time to stroll through the two quarters Chueca and Malasaña twice, enough time to stay late into the night in a pub near the Alonso Martínez metro station, and on the day I felt really tired we just went to the Chinese restaurant around the corner. Very nice. The meetings themselves were a success as well.
While I blog this, fetchmail has finished fetching 387 gnu.org mails and 102 emacswiki.org mails…
Top 8 Reasons to Reject the EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive:
Later, they write :
If you then try to contact McDonald’s in the United States :
Later it worked, I chose ⟶ Social Responsibility Efforts  ⟶ Employment Practices and got:
And when you choose the form:
Sometimes it really does feel as if they do it on purpose.
And the investigation continues …
Als EU Doppelbürger (Österreich und Frankreich) werde ich mal den österreichischen Abgeordneten eine Mail von mir schicken.
Als Grundlage für mein Mail verwende ich folgende Quelle: http://www.ffii.org.uk/ip_enforce/andreas2.html
Darauf gekommen bin ich wegen folgendem Text: http://www.ipjustice.org/CODE/
Die Email Adressen einzelner Parlamentarier findet man hier: http://wwwdb.europarl.eu.int/ep5/owa/p_meps2.repartition?ilg=DE
Für Österreich fand ich die folgenden Adressen:
Herr Bösch email@example.com, Herr Swoboda firstname.lastname@example.org, Frau Flemming email@example.com, Herr Hager firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Ilgenfritz email@example.com, Herr Karas firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Martin email@example.com, Herr Prets firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Rack email@example.com, Herr Rübig firstname.lastname@example.org, Frau Scheele email@example.com, Frau Schierhuber firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Sichrovsky email@example.com, Frau Stenzel firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wahrscheinlich könnte man die fehlenden Adressen aufgrund der Namenskonvention leicht erraten…
Sehr geehrter Herr/Frau …,
Am 9. März werden Sie, gemeinsam mit weiteren Parlamentsmitgliedern, mit den Beratungen beginnen und schlussendlich einen Entschluss fällen.
Ich bin Österreicher und lebe in der Schweiz. Ich beschäftige mich Nebenberuflich mit dem Urheberrecht im Rahmen eines Vereins hier in der Schweiz. Die vorgeschlagene EU Richtlinie zur Durchsetzung von geistigem Eigentum darf so nicht angenommen werden!
Die Richtlinie ist zu breit gefasst. “Geistiges Eigentum” umfasst verschiedene Gebiete wie Patente, Marken und Urheberrecht, deren einzige Gemeinsamkeit das “geistige” ist – die Gesetzesgrundlagen sind völlig verschieden! Die Richtlinie soll nur das Urheberrecht erfassen. Die Vorstellungen von “geistigem Eigentum” unterscheiden sich zudem noch von Land zu Land, was zu weiterer Rechtsunsicherheit führt.
Im Artikel 2.1 soll aufgeführt werden, dass nur die Verletzung der Urheberrechte mit kommerziellem Hintergrund Gegenstand der Richtlinie sind, denn nur in diesem Fall kann von einer “Harmonisierung” bestehender Gesetze gesprochen werden. (Und diese ist ja schliesslich das Ziel der Richtlinie.)
Die Richtlinie ist unverhältnismässig und einseitig, denn normale Bürger werden genau gleich wie grosse, kommerzielle Raubkopierer behandelt, selbst wenn es sich nur um kleine Vergehen ohne kommerziellen Hintergrund handelt. Selbst wenn zu unrecht beschuldigten Bürgern anschliessend eine Entschädigung zugesprochen wird, ist klar, dass kein Bürger ein Interesse an derartigen Hausdurchsuchungen, Verfahren und Klagen hat, solange es sich nicht gegen grosse kommerzielle Organisationen richtet.
Der Artikel 8 gehört vollumfänglich gestrichen. Dieser Artikel erlaubt Hausdurchsuchungen auf blossen Verdacht hin, und dies selbst für kleinste Vergehen ohne jegliches Gewinnstreben. Dies gilt sogar, wenn noch zu gar keinem Vergehen gekommen ist, sondern wenn blosser Tatverdacht besteht! Das ist unverhältnismässig.
Generell gilt es, statt von den entsprechenden Instanzen (competent judicial authorities) von Richtern und Gerichten (judge or court of law) zu sprechen, damit nicht jeder Polizeihauptmann derartige Hausdurchsuchungen anordnen kann.
Der Artikel 10 gehört vollumfänglich gestrichen. Die Artikel erlaubt das Einfrieren von Bankguthaben auf blossen Tatverdacht hin. Die Einschränkung der “kommerziellen Grössenordnung” (commercial scale) ist zuwenig klar: Wer tausende von unerlaubten Kopien geschützter Werke besitzt, hat natürlich sehr viele Ansprüche verletzt; in diesem Fall aber gleich Bankguthaben einzufrierern ist unverhältnismässig.
Generell gilt es, von “kommerzieller Grössenordnung und kommerziellem Hintergrund” (commercial scale and commercial purposes) zu sprechen, damit Bürger durch das reine Kopieren von geschützen Werken nicht automatisch auf die gleiche Stufe wie das organisierte Verbrechen gestellt werden.
Der Artikel 9.2 gehört gefährdet in der jetzigen Form den Datenschutz: Rechtsinhaber können auf blossen Verdacht hin geschützte Daten sammeln und auswerten. Von Zweckbestimmung keine Rede. Von den Daten zu unrecht beschuldigter Bürger ist auch keine Rede. Das ist unzumutbar.
Eine Richtlinie von solcher Tragweite sollte keinesfalls in kürze und nach einer ersten Lesung verabschiedet werden!
Falls Sie weitere Informationen zum Thema wünschen, werde ich Ihnen gerne behilflich sein.
Mit freundlichem Gruss, Alexander Schröder
http://www.openlaw.ch – Openlaw - Plattform für Recht und freie Software
I bought a three comics each of Calvin and Hobbes , Buckles , and Sherman’s Lagoon . All three appear in a local cheapo newspaper . I can keep chuckling and laughing for hours while reading Calvin and Hobbes. Buckles is ok, I smile a lot.
Sherman’s Lagoon just arrived today. Gotta go.
I’m considering to go to Web Based Communities 2004  in Lisbon from March 24 to March 26. Anybody else going?
Not my intuitive interpretation of freedom of speech. Oh well… This is older news from 2004-02-24, actually….
People sit at the table. One of them is the game master. The other are townfolks. The game master prepares a set of cards, one for each player. The card tells the player whether he’s part of the Mafia or not. The game starts at night. Everybody closes their eyes (head down on the table, maybe), and then the Mafia members look up and decide to kill one of the innocent. During the day, everybody argues and shouts and finally all of the players decide to lynch amongst them. During the day, nobody knows who is part of the Mafia and who is not! Then night falls again, everybody goes to sleep, and the Mafia picks another victim… Sinister!!
Awesome idea for lots of players.
Reminds me of the 1000 Blank White Cards games I mentioned on the GameReviews page.
Yesterday I spent about two hours doing the above. Yuck!
To all who might be worrying about me, because I told them that I would be spending some time in Madrid from time to time: I am safe and sound in Switzerland; I was not in Madrid when the bombs went up. One of the stations hit was one I visited only a few days ago…
I’ve started playing Beyond Good and Evil for the Playstation 2. At the moment I am enjoying the aspect of photographing animals and things instead of shooting them. I like that idea.
I shall bring a Gnus mug along for AadityaSood…
I’m expecting to have the summer months off: No work in June, July, and August! Claudia says mid-July to mid-August would be perfect, because the studio where she has rented her room will be doing a special summer session. harscha123 says it is the rainy season…
I think I should get a book as soon as possible.
March 8 passed me by… I’m usually not really confronted with sexism as part of my daily life, so it doesn’t worry me that much. When talking to Claudia, however, I often feel like I’m the more “feminist” in our relationship; thinking about the various subtle ways she is being restricted compared to me is scary.
Today I read the Debian Weekly News  and found this item:
How sad that it doesn’t even work in FreeSoftware projects.
And to think that I chuckled at pages such as WomenAndMenAndWiki on CommunityWiki, thinking that there was not really anything I could do… I must search for ways to better integrate women in my online experience.
Claudia is doing pretty well with her website  and some of her friends have expressed their liking of such a simple and friendly website. I’m happy to see that 1. Claudia shares my views on WebDesign, and 2. other people share our views on web design, eventhough they did not at first. One of Claudia’s friends, for example, got her own website done by a graphical artist. 
For another case story on female hackers, see Raven Alder’s rant about a mail to Starla Pureheart. 
I’ve been working more on the @media print section in my Wheat theme . Getting this right so that the screen rendering and the print rendering look both ok is harder than I thought if you think of the print section as “some changes to the screen section”. It got much easier when I moved all the old color and font-size stuff into its own @media screen.
Played some more Beyond Good and Evil on my PS2.
Thought angry thoughts because I cannot beat the Metroid Prime monster with the four mirrors on the Gamecube.
Didn’t practice any Arabic.
Also eine neue Mail an Herr Bösch email@example.com, Herr Swoboda firstname.lastname@example.org, Frau Flemming email@example.com, Herr Hager firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Ilgenfritz email@example.com, Herr Karas firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Martin email@example.com, Herr Prets firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Rack email@example.com, Herr Rübig firstname.lastname@example.org, Frau Scheele email@example.com, Frau Schierhuber firstname.lastname@example.org, Herr Sichrovsky email@example.com, und Frau Stenzel firstname.lastname@example.org. Diese Mail habe ich nun aber schon abgeschickt.
Sehr geehrter Herr X oder sehr geehrte Frau Y,
Ich bin Österreicher und lebe in der Schweiz. Ich beschäftige mich Nebenberuflich mit dem Urheberrecht im Rahmen eines Vereins hier in der Schweiz.
Die Annahme der Richtlinie in der EU ist finde ich besorgniserregend.
Haben Sie Antworten auf die folgenden Fragen, welche von verschiedenen Organisationen auf dem Internet direkt oder indirekt aufgeworfen werden?
Was gedenken Sie nun in dieser Hinsicht zu tun?
Mit freundlichem Gruss,
Openlaw - Plattform für Recht und freie Software
I’m going to Web Based Communities 2004! 
I’ll be in Lisbon from late evening Tuesday March 23 to early afternoon Saturday March 27.
If you want to meet up with me, let me know.
. . . and so on, 29 questions in total.
Interesting things: People’s lives have generally improved (we hoped it), security is bad (we knew it), they believe that most important tasks should be handled by the Iraqi government (I agree), many think the US should not leave until the new government is in place (I agree), measures to help are “creating job opportunities for the unemployed, training and hiring more Iraqi local police, transferring all political authority to an Iraqi government” (yay!). When it comes to the occupation forces themselves, reactions are often split equally.
In general I’m happy about the rather positive reactions!
Anyway, it feels good to read some Iraqi blogs again.
TelePolis writes again (in German) about the bad image the US has in the rest of the world: Ansehen der Bush-Regierung weiter gesunken.  This is based on a report (in English) by the PEW Research Center: A Year After Iraq War: Mistrust of America in Europe Ever Higher, Muslim Anger Persists. 
Only 13% of the people asked in the US believe that the USA overreacted to the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York. In all other countries investigated except for Russia and Great Britain, the majority think the USA overracted. And the report goes on…
The report has a few interesting snippets at the very end, too:
While searching for the exact name of the Ministry of Information in George Orwell’s 1984, I found a very cool lecture on the web talking about utapias and dystopias. 
The author believes that the books is not a prophesy but an observation of the current trends at the time, and that seems plausible enough (since 1984 was written during and after World War II). He also mentions Orwell’s reaction to socialism – he was a socialist where it meant human decency, but he was strongly opposed to the actual proponents of socialism he met.
Living in the days of neoliberalism and evil globalisation, it is hard for me to share the sentiments expressed in the closing paragraph. How could a welfare state be such a bad idea?
Claudia is afraid of 10m of rain in one month… The travelguide also recommends November… I got to talk to her again. I loved the rainy season in Bangkok at the time.
TelePolis quotes Bush:
Uh… who ignored the United Nations? Who imposed the sanctions? And do you really think that people in the Middle East are looking to Iraq with any kind of longing? Who helped Iraq in its weapons program? Who spreads violence, aggression, and instability in the Middle East?
Yes, a powerful United Nations unfettered by veto-wielding superpowers would be interesting. Yes, no more sanctions is a good thing. It’s a good think the weapons production stopped. No thanks to the US, Germany, France, Switzerland, and all the other former Saddam Hussein friends. 
And Switzerland, too… Switzerland was one of the first countries to declare the second war in Iraq “over” – even before Bush said that the hostilities had ended – because there was a major arms-deal at stake, and Switzerland is not supposed to sell arms to warring countries…
As for receiving aid – I sure hope that the US is not stealing Iraqi oil to pay for the aid they’re giving back to Iraq… Or are they?
Don’t get me wrong: I think that pulling out immediately would be a bad decision. It would give people the worst of both worlds: First bombs and flaming death, and then poverty and crime. What needs to stop is lying and spinning. What needs to happen is some honest work in the field. Do something for their safety. Just look at the recent poll I read to see what the priorities should be. 
The self-righteousness is revolting.
Well, there seems to be good news, too… The order 137 that was to introduce the Sharia was limited. Existing civil rights cannot be taken away from you for religious reasons. 
The sadness continues. 
One founding member of the Hamas killed without a decent trial. Three suspected criminals killed without a decent trial. Five innocent bystanders killed. Hello? Fair trial? In dubio pro reo? Human Rights? Anybody? Geneva Conventions? Ring a bell?
Nation Building, Peace Keeping, Sucess Stories!?
We really got some hard thinking to do. I really appreciate getting involved, I do want to oust dictators and murderers from power, I do want to make the world a better place. But we give people the worst of both worlds: First bombs and flaming death, and then poverty and crime.
They also have an English article  by John Horvath on the failure of nation-building by “military intervention.”
A 100% job in Switzerland is 40-45h per week, with 20 days of paid holidays. Some companies give 25 days for the very young and the old, some companies (eg. mine) give 30 days for people higher up in the pecking order.
Overtime is compensated with free time or money, unless you have a very high ranking job. The company I work for believes that my job is such a high ranking job, but I disagree; there have been some court cases where this claim was overthrown. “High ranking” according to Swiss law are lawyers, medical doctors, department heads, etc. That’s not me. Usually you get paid 125% or 150% if you work overtime because your boss orders you. These days that rarely happens (as you’re “flexible” to do it when you want). So effectively you always get compensated 100%.
I asked alephnull from India on the EmacsChannel: The contract says 45h, with compensation, but usually people work for 60h per week without compensation. 22 days of paid holidays, but people rarely take more than 15 days.
The company I work for is exceptionally flexible: I can come at whatever time of the day I want (usually around 11:30) and leave whenever I want.
I have a 60% job, Fridays off, and extra days off in chunks.
First day of conferences… There was an interesting paper by Michael Mackert, the founder of http://wotmania.com/, a website about the Wheel of Time series (terribly long series that never seems to get anywhere…). The title of the paper was Internet Habit and Addiction in the Context of a Community Website. He devised a survey to try and find addicted users and habitual users in his community and found about 100 of each, plus several hundred that were neither addicted nor habitual users. Very interesting!
How do you know you’re addicted? Read the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition – at least that’s what he did. In short, three of the following seven criteria must apply (edited for brevity):
He then used a few questions from the Internet Addiction Tendency Scale (Song et al., 2002) to find addicted users. He also created a few new questions for a Custom Habit Scale to find habitual users amongst the non-addicted ones. He also used Short Imaginal Processes Inventory based on studies done on TV addiction to investigate positive constructive daydreaming, guilt and fear of failure daydreaming, and poor attentional control.
The main result is that addicted users turn to the Internet in order to distract themselves away from excess negative thoughts and unstructured time.
Os meus recados de Lisboa! Yes it is true, I am currently in Lisbon… How strange to be here on “business.” This is Web Based Communities 2004.
Thursday morning had no sessions. How weird! I wasn’t too sure so I arrived about 3h before the opening session, registered, and started reading in the proceedings. As far as I can tell, nobody wrote about wikis. There is some research by Spanish bloggers on linking and powerlaw issues ussing the hispanic blogging community blogalia.com by fernand0 and atalaya.
|Instruction (boring, fast)||Integration (goal driven, but providing the necessary tools to do the job)|
|Immersion (free form, playful)||Construction (free form, goal driven, may be frustrating)|
That was interesting. I think at the time I was teaching in Instruction mode because I felt there was little time to let the students do independent exploring. I promise to do better next time.
I also sent him a mail asking about the use of wikis and mentioning SoftSecurity because he had talked about vandalism and trust on the website he uses for his students.
Other ideas in visualization: The two spanish bloggers mentioned above were putting blogs in a Cohonen map, essentially a 2D projection of the n-dimensional feature vectors of “how often does this blog link to every other blog”. I wonder if we could do the same to wiki pages, thereby creating a 2D map of all the pages and how they relate to each other. A true sitemap!
Another interesting visualization was done by Mohammed Rehman, where he showed how they were trying to visualize summaries of a bulletin board with threads of conversation (building on work by JudithDonath): What threads are active, who participated, etc. It doesn’t scale, yet (less than 50 people) but they’re going to try expanding in autumn. I wonder if we can visualize RecentChanges to help newcomers get a “feel” for the site. Who is active (trust) and who is not? What topics are “hot” (editing) and what is not? What is popular (reading) and what is not? Clearly this is also stuff that goes against the WikiNow… I wonder what it all means.
He also had another interesting idea: Leverage the browsing history of visitors by highlighting in each users browsing history how many other people have visited the same page recently. This essentially tries to leverage the lurker’s knowledge of the site (since they read what is hot and popular) without us having to determine it…
Later I met Lilia Efimova and we strolled through town; later we met the two Spanish bloggers and some other people (14 in all) and ate dinner at the Tasca du Manel. I should link to the people I talked to in length, but I didn’t get business cards from them all! If you talked to me that day and didn’t give me your card, please mail me.
[2004-03-25T23:10+0100] <koyote> well, yeah. <anaran> .seen kensanata <birny> I've never seen kensanata before.;→ Have fun in Lisbon – AdrianAichner
Read an interesting paper by Ken Newman on “non-linear narratives.” (Using a non-linear narrative framework in an online community, Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2004, p. 83-90) He used it to solve a health-care problem: Engaging hospitalized kids in a web-based community arround a teddybear that travels the world. In order to be interactive, the story he tells about the teddybear must be able to be integrate different viewpoints (his account, the account of the people he met, the role-playing of community members, and spin-off stories). What are the important issues?
This might explain why most collaborative story-telling efforts that try to connect one scene to the next seem to have failed in online communities. In that sense, playing on a MUSH with other people is far closer to what Ken talked about:
Two other speakers, Christopher Andrew Priebe and Philip Laird had written a community web application to help them bind their university and its students closer together. It seemed like a typical application, with pictures, hobbies, friends, messages  and a graphical chat! It looked like a Southpark drawing of their campus, where you had your little Southpark character in a kind of gold-cart, and you could drive arround, from building to building, and chat with people. Nobody was online when it was demonstrated, so I don’t know how well it works in practice: Does it scale to 50 people in the same room? In a MUSH, more than five or six people talking in the same room is a mess; you need to be able to talk with your friends in a separate room. IRC, on the other hand, showed very well how you can have more than a hundred people in the same room, as long as there are not too many people talking at the same time. But IRC clients have lots of specialized features to help you deal with short-term InformationOverload.
Coming from Europe, all this “bonding” of students and universities looks like fundraising ploys. I liked their idea of “Universities as Lifelong Learning Communities” – but their community seems rather closed: Can you move your profile when you join another community at another university? Aren’t you raising your students to remain dependent upon their university counselors, coaches, and peers. Of course, connections, networking, and friends are good. But if the application is not open in some sense, then you’re actually having a lock-in situation.
What kind of openness are we talking about, then? Just the kind of openness we’re expecting from free software service hosts (and not always getting): When we’re moving our project from SourceForge to Savannah, we want to move not only the source, we want to move bugreports, histories, newsgroups, developer profiles, project memberships, etc. Yes, there is no perfect solution, and no, that’s not the end of it. We need to do more research in this area: Data mobility, openness in terms of data exchange (connectivity) and legal framework (CopyrightTrap)…
At the end of the conference, the message was passed around again – today at 19:30 at the Praça da Figueira, for food and Salsa. First we went to the Casa do Alentejo, which looked fantastic (and expensive). They had something big going on however, and wouldn’t take 17 hungry tourists… We ate nearby, in a typical tourist joint for €20. We had great fun…
Late at night a small group of us went to hear some Fado (traditional melancholy music from Lisbon and Coimbra) in the Clube do Fado in the Alfama (the old moorish part of town, right below the Sé). Andreas Bischoff, Fabrizio Rozzi, Francesca Menegon, Vaggelis Igglesis, and me… (gotta find the links and post some pics!)
Andreas also has more pics. 
What do I think of Web Based Communities 2004… Hm… I just read about WTF:
And the way they organize it:
Gotta write down some of the networking stuff I did at the conference tomorrow.
Lilia also commented on the conference… 
Been improving the Oddmuse:Calendar_Extension by adding a collect action. Now you can use it to dynamically collect all the pages whose name match a certain pattern – ideal since I categorize my entries by appending a category to the pagename…
I also added the possibility to add an entire year worth of calendar. See Calendar for an example.
I also wrote a new rule to be able to link images to URLs. See “piclink” in the config file .
“Spass an der Arbeit” – aus eigener Erfahrung kann ich bestätigen, dass die Arbeit an freier Software mehr Spass macht als die Arbeit im Geschäft. Doch warum? Könnte man im Geschäft die Arbeit nicht so strukturieren, dass sie auch Spass macht? Würde die Arbeit im Geschäft auch noch Spass machen, wenn es sich um Freie Software handelt, welche wir gegen Geld als Dienstleistung für Kunden entwickeln würden? Ich fürchte der Spass wäre dann auch weg. Der Spass entsteht vermutlich, weil ich alles selber entscheiden kann, weil ich die Software wie einen Diamanten perfekt polieren kann, weil ich nicht nur zufriedene Kunden sondern dankbare “Kunden” habe. Das heisst, Freie Software ermöglicht den Spass, bewirkt ihn aber nicht. Ich muss noch etwas darüber nachdenken… Ich diskutiere solche Fragen auf alle Fälle in letzter Zeit öfters mit Freunden.
forcer suggests The Future of Money: Creating new wealth, work and a wiser world by Bernard Lietaer on the EmacsChannel…
Usability problems abound – not only on the web but everywhere. Jakob Nielsen has a good piece about navigation aids in cars and remote controls. 
I can personally identify with remote control issues. I like to listen to music when I go to bed. Most of the time I’m using the remote control, it’s essentially dark in my room. And there not many positions I am willing to memorize on my remote control. The sleep button is one of them. But sometimes I also want to find stop, next or previous! But guess what? I need to find the light switch first. One simple solution would be to put the five most important buttons on a row by itself, a row that you can find in total darkness. Those I might be able to memorize.
And if they’d be willing to hire me, I’m sure I could spend a few more minutes on this in order to help them improve usability by another 2000%.
The same goes for personal experience in mobile phones. I asked arround. All my friends recommended I buy Nokia because they are the “easiest to use.” And I did. And I never looked back. In fact I once tried to send a text message using a Motorola mobile phone and gave up after a few minutes. Hell!