Starting this november, I will be teaching a course in Free Software philosophy and theory at the University of Göteborg. Having received some interest about this course from foreign students, we have decided to give the course in English and invite students from other countries to participate as well. The course is a distance learning course, so students can participate from anywhere in the world.
"The most common format of music on an iPod is 'stolen'" , according to Steve Ballmer.
This is an interesting contrasts to the news of a few days ago that Sony Japan was dropping copy-protection on its CDs. The hardware and software manufacturers may go on about how wonderful DRM will be. But most of us know the truth already; they've already lost.
Eben Moglen has said that we need four things; free software, free hardware, free spectrum and free culture. We have free software. Free hardware means that the hardware should not be encumbered with DRM. We're currently in a state of flux where some new hardware is DRM-encumbered and some is not. I'm confident that with enough information, the consumers will eradicate all traces of DRM by chosing non-DRM hardware.
Free spectrum means our ability to share the spectrum through, for example, the use of WiFi devices. Our ability to be connected to everyone whenever we chose to. This will clear the way for sharing with each other without the possible DRM-encumbered broadband connections or cable TV.
Free culture is on its way thanks to organisations such as Creative Commons. I would argue however that I'm not sure what sense it makes to create licenses to free culture. Free culture can only exist when I, as the author of a work, can give this work to another and he or she automatically receives the freedoms that we associate with free culture. If I, before doing this, have to find, evaluate and decide on a license to use, chances are that 99% of the time, I wouldn't find it worth doing. 99% of the creative power Free spectrum means our ability to share the spectrum through, for example, the use of WiFi devices. Our ability to be connected to everyone whenever we chose to. This will clear the way for sharing with each other without the possible DRM would be lost to legal bureaucracy.
Our aim should be, not to create free culture licenses, but to create a world where such licenses are not needed.
(Imported entry) Together with six coworkers from the department, I've been to Liseberg amusement park and then to dinner afterwards. This, to celebrate the end of this semester and the countdown toward vacation.
On my way home, I was thinking about an article that Mirjam Eladhari pointed to earlier. She's one of the teachers for the Game Analysis and Design course that I'm taking now.
The article tells the story of Karyn, a norwegian girl who logged on to Legend Mud a few years back and quickly built a rather successful guild, getting to know several others on the mud in the process and making quite a lot of friends.
After a year and a half, the guild was falling into disarray because Karyn had not logged on for quite some time. Emails from her friends went unanswered, and eventually someone found her web page with a newspaper clipping telling how she had died together with a friend whilst test-driving a car.
This hit the small community on the Legend Mud quite hard, and some even constructed a mausoleum for Karyn. A dear and beloved friend had passed away.
Several years later, a journalist began to look into the story of Karyn for an article she was writing. It turns out that the girl on the picture on Karyns web page had never heard of Legend Mud before, and was certainly not Karyn.
The newspaper clipping turned out to have been altered, and the girl in the crash nowhere near the age that Karyn would have been. She wasn't named Karyn, either, and preciously few people in Norway are called Karyn.
So it would seem that Karyn never existed. She was a fiction of someones imagination, brought to life on Legend Mud and in some ways carried over into real life. Are the feelings of those who were her friends any less real now?
Not so. The friends we make online are just as important to us as the friends we make in real life. The feelings are just the same, and the fact that something is in a virtual community doesn't make them any less real.
We do not carry our feelings into the virtual world, nor do we carry the feelings of the virtual world into the real world.
They are one and the same, and we are just as vulnerable in virtual space as in real space.
Having read The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, as part of the Game Analysis and Design course, it was easy to wonder how the twelve stage model described by Vogler fit into The Matrix.
I began to work on my own comparision, until I found Christof Wolf's comparision. Christof maps the twelve steps a bit different than what I had done. He claims, for example, that Neo refuses the call in the part where he is not able to get out of the office, and therefore is captured by the agents.
My interpretation would have been that his refusal comes when he is first shown the Matrix by Morpheus (remember the scene when he has been hooked up the first time and "pops"?). This also means that my first act of the movie is longer than the one Christof tells.
From that point onwards, my understanding is pretty close to that of Christof, although I believe that the role of the mentor is something that progresses from Trinity to Morpehus to the Oracle.
For anyone who cares, here's my full interpretation:
"Neo is portrayed in his ORDINARY WORLD, in front of his
computer and at work. He receives the CALL TO ADVENTURE
by Morpheus, when they finally meet. When Morpehus shows
him the reality of the Matrix, Neo is RELUCTANT and
REFUSES THE CALL.
Trinity, in her first role as MENTOR,
encourages him to move forward. Neo CROSSES THE FIRST
THRESHOLD by entering the Matrix and learning how to
interact with it. There are then a number of TESTS,
ALLIES, AND ENEMIES introduces which leads to the APPROACH
TO THE INMOST CAVE, where Neo is introduced to the Oracle
and then crosses the second threshold.
When Morpheus is taken by the Agents, Neo recuses him,
thereby enduring the ORDEAL and the ability to save both
of them is the REWARD that he takes back. They are pursued
on THE ROAD BACK by agents which Neo must fight with, only
to be killed by agent Smith and then RESURRECTED by Trinity
when she proclaims his love for him.
Neo now knows that he's the one, which is his ELIXIR that
he returns with towards the end of the movie."
So it's been more than two years since I posted anything here. In fact, it's close to three years, since the 7th february entry 2002 was just a one line link. So what can one do here? Let's spend some time finding that out.
Two minutes into this I discovered an Advogato bug; the RSS feed bombs out when there's an entry with no content.
Merry Christmas everone!
I wish I could even begin to describe how interesting the past few days has been, but I wouldn't even come close even if I tried.
It all started when an, shall we say, incident, occured at a company I have close connections with. I was outraged that something like that could happen to such a company and I wrote to a journalist aquaintance of mine to tell him to write an article about incident response plans in Swedish Internet companies. Foolishly, I mentioned the company I had just heard about by name. Little did I know what would come of that slipped note!
My aquaintance thought that the article idea was interesting enough to put it in their article database. But even more so, he was interested in that an incident had occured at the company, which shall here remain nameless. Without my knowledge, he wrote a snippet about it on the newspapers newsticker.
The morning after he did so, I got a call from my girlfriend telling me that a certain company president was rather cross with me for letting something like that slipp to the press.
Now, it should be said that I was to an interview to this nameless company about three months ago. I havn't heard from them about a job since then. I'm now perfectly happy at my new job and I hold no disgrunted feelings towards them; quite the contrary actually since a number of my friends work there.
My journalist aquaintance published an updated version of the story where the president of the company was quoted denying that an incident had occured. At least that's what the untrained eye would see. Carefully examined, the quote never denies that something happened. It only denies that any valuable data was stolen, which I never claimed and which I feel that the company can not claim before having evaluated all evidence from the incident.
That would have been the end of it, unless he also went on to claim that, and I quote (translated to Swedish); "The Jonas Öberg, referred to in the article, is, as far as I understand, a technician who recently applied but didn't get, a job here."
That quote completely blew me away! It was so completely unrelated and the only intention he can have had with it is to defame me. He knows perfectly well who I am and how I came into possesion of the knowledge I have about the incident.
Welcome to the sandpit everyone, and enjoy the upcoming new year!
This monday I begun working at the Department of Informatics at the School of Economics and Commercial Law in Gothenburg University. My tasks there involves taking care of their web services and securing the long-term issues related to those services. This suits me rather well since it's something I've been doing for the FSF for a long time.
It also means that I will spend a small amount of my time doing system administration on their GNU/Linux boxes (primarily those running the web server), which also suits me well.
All in all, I'm fairly happy with the tasks and the environment around the university. Much, much, better than Volvo where I used to work. Much more freedom and a much better understanding of what is important.
The only downside right now is that someone seems to be feeding for christmas. Feeding on IP packets that is. Roughly 47% packet loss on the network between two buildings, but hopefully that will sort itself out eventually.
Things have obviously slowed down in the community as christmas approaches. Many I know are taking a few weeks off from hacking and so some things that I thought I would have time to do this week will have to be postponed until after christmas, which probably is a good idea anyway.
It's amazing how much time you can spend christmas shopping. In two days shopping I've bought as many presents, and I'm not even halfway through my list. But it's a great deal of fun, and I've found almost as much stuff for myself as for others in the process! ;-)
I have been convinced again to accept a regular job, this time as an administrator for a departments web services on one of the local universities. The upside of this is that it removes a fair bit of economical stress.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!