Since the dawn of time, the battle between the forces of good and the army of evil has raged, on earth as in the heavens (that’s what they say, at least). It’s a fact and yet, the dualistic cosmology of Manichaeism has fallen out of fashion: Who would be able to clearly separate the good from the bad? Our ways of thinking, our ideologies, are rather passé. Deep down, don’t we all want the same thing? To connect individuals, break down barriers, liberate information…
A documentary about hackers
Wednesday evening, I was at La Bellevilloise in Paris to attend La Prairie des hackers, an event organized around the screening of the film Hackers : les gardiens du nouveau monde (Hackers: Guardians of the New World) by Flo Laval. (You’ll soon be able to practice your French and watch it on Médiapart.) It’s a pretty good piece, useful for anyone wanting to spread or become familiar with a positive vision of those we call hackers. Tinkerers at their essence, and sometimes protectors of a free world, we see in the film especially the involvement of the “hacktivists” coming to the aid of the oppressed of Bachar’s Syria. Although the notion may be ambiguous, the film is less so: there is a great deal of proximity between author and subject. The discussion that followed took place among people of the same opinion and ended up going round in circles. What I took away from it was that it’s stupid to want to disconnect yourself from all the centralized services like Facebook and Google, or you’ll be taken for a radical, cut off from the world, but that it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what is being done with our data.
Extrait Film Documentaire "Les gardiens du... by LESFILMSDUNJOUR
Indonesia: open data saves the elections
Beyond bus schedules and the number of municipal stadiums, open data can save democracy, as this very concrete example shows. In last month’s Indonesian presidential elections, the vote was very close and the two candidates each claimed victory. But, since the results of nearly 500,000 polling stations had been scanned and uploaded, all that had to be done was to create a program to crowdsource the entry of these digitized results into tables, and a first estimation of the election result could be provided before the official results. Technology and citizen participation thus made it possible to avoid conflict and instability.
Reddit: Where the public and researchers exchange
Thanks to this scientific sub-division of the famous discussion site Reddit, science and the general public have found neutral ground, where they can exchange ideas. The researchers submit themselves to the traditional trial of “Ask Me Anything” about their work. The questions sometimes drift into crazy or incongruous subjects, but have made it possible to stimulate a dialogue and spark interest. The biggest success remains a debate between scientists, which did not allow the average internet user to understand anything about the technical terms, but to experience a controversy, a debate among researchers, live.
EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION: You, researcher, you want to know how to share the fruits of your labors without going to too much trouble? Here we offer you the advice of Puneet Kishor, the guy at Creative Commons in charge of promoting open access (that’s all). His message is simple and efficient, at least as much as Abby Tabor’s article devoted to him.
Divya has joined us, Audrey is in London
Our Chief Commercial Officer has been with us (in Paris!) since the beginning of the week. She has lots of people to see and calls to make. Things are heating up at MSW, believe me. The Paris staff, however, remains constant: our irreplaceable Audrey is in London for a few days and, despite the distance that separates us, we remain close. We are connected, the wheels turn. It’s just beautiful.
I have a Lego watch
Yes, I wanted to let you know. It’s about 100 times less expensive than a Rolex, and at least 10 times cooler. Allow me to put in a plug for this great item, just to tell you this: I experienced exactly the same pleasure upon unwrapping this gem as when, in a state of euphoria, I opened my first space base made of plastic bricks, at age 9. It’s as if Proust’s madeleine had been made material by a Star Trek replicator and was being sold in a shopping center. The future is now.