PRIME and Karlstad university

I have a speaking engagement at Karlstad university tomorrow. Should be interesting especially as it is linked to the PRIME EU funded project. PRIME is about building a privacy infrastructure that enables us to have some level of anonymity in our transactions. Well it is much more than this. Anyhow it is about giving you and me the choice and power to keep our personal information private, it is about having the choice to track whoever is collecting our information with and without our knowledge, and pulling this information back if we like. It is about having control over our own identities. It covers all the stuff that I’ve been writing and speaking about!

btw I will have part 2 of the paper Identity Linkage and Privacy -that was originally published by ISSA in April and then reprinted by IAPP in July this year- published in ISSA December issue. This is what I will be talking about tomorrow.

Hello children of the world..

The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child

The concept: if a machine is designed smartly enough, without the bloat of standard laptops, and sold in large enough quantities, the price can be brought way, way down. Low enough for developing countries to afford millions of them — one per child. The laptop is called the XO, because if you turn the logo 90 degrees, it looks like a child.

Applications native to the XO laptop are called Activities. And activities available for download can be found at an activity wiki. What is even more exciting is the social networking that is built into the XO: social and sharing, mesh networks (connecting upto their friends in the area) and Wi-Fi (when Internet is available). It can run on solar and is built to withstand all conditions. Check out a video where this is demonstrated, and makes you cringe a little ;-). The XO has no hard-disk, no CD-player.

While it is booting, the cutest message appears on the screen: “Hello children of the world.” That automatically puts a smile on your face. What OLPC is doing is truly special; for one to say that they want every child in the world to have their own laptop to carry along with their little coloring pencils regardless of race, creed, religion, or background is what true humanity is…..

Those were the days…

I am thinking of designing a mental process state that one must travel before one has the courage and patience to ring the help-desk. You know the help-desk that got outsourced to India?

I plan my assignments and my meetings and prepare myself mentally for these appointments. Now I find myself booking a whole day for when I ring the help-desk, so I can plan for a day on the phone, and I can prepare myself mentally. I must feel in a good mood, positive -after all it’s not their fault that they can’t fix the problem and have to send you somewhere else where you sit in a queue…. yet again… only to speak to someone else that can’t fix your problem and must pass you on… then of course there’s the language….only to find at the end of the day that the only thing achieved is that you have made a conscious effort to fix a technical problem..that has not been resolved but well you tried….and tomorrow is another day 😉

I remember the days when you were friends with the guy that fixed your technical problems and he had the whole picture… and of course there were the days when that person was you or me!

Finland’s tragedy :-(

It was with such sadness that I listened to the tragedy that happened in Finland (Tuusula) yesterday on this mornings radio. It was in Swedish, and I honestly thought I must have misunderstood! It has arrived here too in the Nordic, school pupils coming to school one day and shooting other pupils and teachers. Finland that has the best education record in Europe -I believe?

I am a great advocate of the Internet and the opportunities it gives each one of us to excel and communicate as we like. Web 2.0 encapsulates democracy and freedom of speech. It enables us to find communities within which we can feel a part of even if we feel alone in our physical lives. However, it also gives the capacity to normalise what are in fact non-normal tendencies and activities -paedophilia being one, and violence another- it gives us a sense of purpose and belonging maybe in an otherwise non purposeful existence, and perhaps also feeds our super-ego. Pekka-Eric Auvinen that murdered these children and the principal posted his intent on YouTube upto 2 weeks before. It was premeditated and I would expect the posting gave him the motivation to carry through his promise; seeing it there, watching it over and over again, knowing that others were doing the same. I could speculate that he was active in Nazi online communities over a period of time. This is very sad, I never thought I would hear this type of thing happening in Finland.

I am trying to think of other similar tragedies that have happened elsewhere. I know there have been several in the US. Was there also an incident in the UK? I wonder what are the similarities between them? How many have posted online beforehand? How many have been active in online communities?

A magic phone……

Today, there are 1.5 billion television sets in use around the world. 1 billion people are on the Internet. But nearly 3 billion people have a mobile phone, making it one of the world’s most successful consumer products. Building a better mobile phone would enrich the lives of countless people across the globe. The Open Handset Alliance™ is a group of mobile and technology leaders who share this vision for changing the mobile experience for consumers. And the kids want phones to do just about everything, just take a look at this video, if I had a magic phone 🙂