Wikipedia

17. January 2012 07:09 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

Tomorrow Wikipedia will be unavailable.

Founder Jimmy Wales announced on Twitter that Wikipedia will protest against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). Jimmy Wales said that these laws would change the free internet in something like they have in China, Malaysia and Iran.

Official statement:

To: English Wikipedia Readers and Community
From: Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
Date: January 16, 2012

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECTIP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or, if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place—many do!—but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA—and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States—don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation seeking to regulate the Internet in other ways while hurting our online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

Sue Gardner,
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation

New TweetDeck Hell no!

8. January 2012 20:44 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

Tweetdeck has become a Twitter company and now Twitter is in charge, in this case the takeover is probably going to be the exit for TweetDeck for many people…

I have to say I only had the 1.xx version on my desktop for a view minutes before I reinstalled the old 0.38.2 version.
TweetDeck has become a horrible program to work with, The most important changes that gone bad:

  • When you want to send an update you get a popup, they should know by now that popups are not done.
  • When you actually want to send the update you can not hit ‘Enter’ like before but you need your mouse to point and click.
  • The link shorten options have been reduced to 2 standard options, both are very slow and I prefer my own service.

That did it for me, de-installed TweetDeck and reinstalled the old one.

If you also like to get the old TweetDeck you can use this link

Installed Android 4.0.1 on my Cortex A9 (First impression)

3. January 2012 20:59 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

The Cortex A9 I bought comes with Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) but that is not really a tablet OS. Google did not
release the source code for Android 3, the tablet version, so there is no Chinese tablet with this version available.

Zenithink, the manufacturer of the ZT-280 C91 (the official name of the A9) released a Beta version of
Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0, is the first hybrid Android OS. It can be used on phones and tablets. I could not
wait to install it and test it….

So I did:

I charged the tablet fully and started flashing it with the 4.0.1 image. After installation, takes about 2 minutes, it
boots up with the known blue Zepad screen.

After booting I had to complete the setup wizard and enter my Gmail account to complete it.

The locked screen looks a bit different from the previous versions:
You have to swipe the lock to a position that is shown when you touch the lock.

As you can see the information bar is now at the bottom of the screen, with the previous versions it was at the top of the screen.
shot_000002

 

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The home screen is similar to what we know, icons on the background. The icons are a bit bigger and you can not but them at the edge of the screen but it  still looks nice.

The icon to go to the drawer is at the right top.

 

Inside the drawer the icons are also a bit larger and widgets can not be found by holding your finger at the home screen but can be found in a tab in the drawer.

Also a shortcut to the market can be found at the right top corner of the drawer.
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shot_000005 The markets looks just as before on the tablet.

 

 

The settings tool looks a bit different, better.
as you see on the screenshot it keeps track of your data usage, can come in handy..
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shot_000008 I took it of the charger 11 hours, 42 minutes and 32 seconds ago and still I got 69% left.
Today I used it to communicate with MSN, read some mail and installed some software.
Just an average day you could say.

Not too bad for a cheap ass tablet.

 

Update:

I left the tablet standby during the night and turned it on at 6:35 this morning.
As you can see it has now 19% power left after 21 hours, 51 minutes and 34 seconds.
shot_000001

Looks good after one day, not sure if I found any bugs…

Happy 2012 for everyone

1. January 2012 15:20 by Ron in   //  Tags:   //   Comments

2011 was the year of the Tablet Computer (TC) and Android. Not sure what next year will bring but lets hope that it will be just as exciting as last year.

In 2011 I have tested some Chinese build, very cheap, gadgets and next year I will do the same.

I hope you all enjoy reading about these cheap Chinese goodies and see it as a cheaper alternative for the, mostly expensive, American and European gadgets.

Have fun all,

 

Ron