Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

huh?

09 Aug

By

Summer break: Back by August 25

August 9, 2014 | By |

image

Enjoy the summer, and talk soon.

07 Mar

By

Starting an #idea dump

March 7, 2014 | By |

I the spirit of David Friedman, I’m also starting an idea dump. To some degree, I’ve been using this blog to do just that anyway for many years. But moving forward, I’ll more clearly label this under the tag “ideas” for easier searchability. It’s a bucket for all the stuff I’d like to exist but most likely will never get around to building or implementing myself. So please go ahead and build it. I’ll be happy to help.

07 Mar

By

Weekly log: Projects I’ve worked on this week

March 7, 2014 | By |

As an ongoing record for myself, I try to post a brief log of projects I actively worked on throughout the week. (UPPER CASE = code names for not-yet-announcables.)

Actively worked on:

  • ThingsCon
  • UIKonf
  • NEXT Berlin
  • SALAMANDER
  • POINTLESS ALBATROSS
  • SAPIENT PEARWOOD

Not actively worked on:

  • LAND EEL
  • COUNTING PINES
  • HERMIT ELEPHANT
  • ISELIN

Projects stopped or newly initiated:

  • No projects stopped or initiated.

28 Feb

By

Weekly log: Projects I’ve worked on this week

February 28, 2014 | By |

As an ongoing record for myself, I try to post a brief log of projects I actively worked on throughout the week. (UPPER CASE = code names for not-yet-announcables.)

Actively worked on:

  • ThingsCon
  • UIKonf
  • NEXT Berlin
  • SALAMANDER
  • ISELIN
  • POINTLESS ALBATROSS
  • SAPIENT PEARWOOD

Not actively worked on:

  • LAND EEL
  • COUNTING PINES
  • HERMIT ELEPHANT

Projects stopped or newly initiated:

  • No projects stopped or initiated.

05 Jan

By

A quick status update on ThingsCon

January 5, 2014 | By |

Just a quick update on where we currently stand with the planning for ThingsCon. It’s all moving pretty fast, so it seems helpful to occasionally share a snapshot of the development.

Program & speakers

The program is coming together almost by itself – we’re all super excited about the speakers already confirmed and the many more we’re talking to. (And the call for proposals is still going until the end of January, too!)

Currently confirmed speakers:

To all our speakers: Thank you! We really appreciate your trust in us to make ThingsCon worth your time.

On top of these already announced speakers, we have (if I’m counting right) six more that are just about ready to announce, and then there’s the whole call for proposals waiting to be sifted through too – so rest assured that the program will be awesome.

Hardware Day Berlin

For May 2, in addition to being the workshop day at ThingsCon, we’re planning to have a very open (read: no tickets required and everybody can organize their own autonomous events) Hardware Day Berlin. We’re just starting to reach out to the local community. The idea is to provide a framework for the hardware/IoT/connected devices/tinkering/startup/etc. communities to gather and put a big flag in the ground: Berlin can be a hardware hub, and through Hardware Day Berlin we can show it all.

Logistics

We’re just short of confirming locations, catering, wifi setup, and all the other fun things that need confirming. (Should you happen to have access to a location with 4-6 workshop rooms for a total of about 250 participants, let us know?)

Tickets

Currently, there are still some early bird tickets available (EUR 199+tax). Once they’re gone, regular tickets will go at EUR 299+tax. Buying tickets early on helps you make sure you get best value, and it helps us with the planning. So: Get your ticket now!

Sponsors

We work with potential sponsors to make sure that both the participants and the sponsors get maximum value out of a partnership. If you’re interested in sponsoring ThingsCon, please get in touch (thingscon at knowable.org) and we’ll be happy to see where the best opportunities are for you to get involved.

What’s next

So, lots happening! The next steps for us are to look into setting up a roadtrip where we can take Internet of Things folks to German Mittelstand, tech and manufacturing companies & telcos, to get the Hardware Day Berlin off the ground, and to spread the word beyond our immediate networks.

Give us a hand?

The main challenge (once the program is solved) for a small conference that happens the first time is to make sure everybody who needs to know about ThingsCon knows about ThingsCon.

So we really appreciate you spreading the word in your networks – every tweet, blog post and conversation helps. Thank you!

31 May

By

Temporary reset

May 31, 2012 | By |

Just a quick note – my blog had fallen victim to some spammer exploit. Trying to fix it, I broke the database, so for a couple of days the whole thing was down. It’s back up and I think it’s working again, but there might be some hiccups along the way, and the RSS feed might have behaved a bit odd over the last couple of days.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and please let me know if something looks broken to you.

Also, thanks a lot for Matt‘s help fixing my database!

02 Jan

By

What could’ve entered the Public Domain on Jan 1, 2012 – but hasn’t

January 2, 2012 | By |

culture is not a crime

Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain shared a list of works that could have entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012 – under the law that existed until 1987. It features works like Rebels Without A Cause, The Body Snatchers and Tolkien’s The Return of the King, to name just a few.

US copyright law in 1978 protected cultural works for 28 years after publication, with an option to add another 28 years. Now that period has been lobbied to a ridiculous 70 years – after the death of the author.

Think about this for a moment: Instead of making sure the author gets a certain window of opportunity to exclusively exploit their work commercially (in other words: to make some money of their work in order to produce more), that right now extends pretty much indefinitely and can be transferred to an heir or, as far as I know, even a company.

This, of course, is good news for the rights holders. It also means tremendous losses for society, producers of culture, innovation, and any one of us. These works can’t be used, can’t enrich our culture. They are, for lack of a better word, locked away. And a good chunk don’t even have a known author who might profit of their copyright, they’re so-called orphan works – author unknown, work inaccessible.

And here’s some concrete numbers from Duke:

If the pre-1978 law were still in effect, we could have seen 85% of the works created in 1983 enter the public domain on January 1, 2012. Imagine what that would mean to our archives, our libraries, our schools and our culture. Such works could be digitized, preserved, and made available for education, for research, for future creators. Instead, they will remain under copyright for decades to come, perhaps even into the next century. Think of the cultural harm that does. In addition, because most of these works are orphan works — works that are still presumably under copyright, but commercially unavailable and with no identifiable copyright holder — no one is benefiting from continued protection, while the works remain both commercially unavailable and culturally off limits.

Think of the damage. In fact, read about the damage. The Duke article refers to two articles that tell a pretty clear story:

There’s not that much we can do about copyright as it is, except to bring it up with your local law maker of choice. And, of course, to support those who fight the good cause here, namely organizations like the EFF – have you donated yet?

Image by Dawn Endico. Some rights reserved.