Why I won't join Openbook

There it is a new, trustfully, clean and security based social network, funded by the people, for the people without ads. Sound like the perfect place to be.

But there will be the same problems as always. It's not YOUR place, it is a place run by someone else, with their rules and yet still unclear measurements when a dividing or critical topic comes up. You know, Twitter was that place in the beginning. Even Facebook was, in the early days, kind of a light bringing savior for free speech. But for all of those, there came a moment when you discover that you have to play by the rules of the dominating communities at the beginning (and I read a press article where the team already explained that reports from people will then lead to your article being deleted and even your account probably removed), followed by governments, and then eyed by the press and all kind of activist groups from all directions. Then you have the same problem. What do you do? Uphold free speech at all cost? Giving away that right to play nice? Or just close?
I don't believe in public social networks anymore, because they all fall under the same rules in the end.

The only good thing to do is having your own place, your site where only you decide what you do or not with all consequences. THIS is freedom.
I already mentioned how to keep connected in a after-social network world, done by millions of people in some parts of the world already. Where no credible government have the right to snoop or even can snoop into: Your privacy.

I wish Openbook all the good and success for their honorable intentions.
It's just coming a bit too late in my opinion. The fight for free speech on a larger scale, has already been lost. And sadly, mostly the users are to blame for this.


I'm one step away from being a Hikikomori

hikikomori (countable and uncountableplural hikikomori or hikikomoris)
  1. (uncountable) A Japanese phenomenon whereby an individual becomes a recluse from society, typically confining him- or herself to the house or a single room for a very long period.
  2. (countable) A reclusive person of this kind.

Well, with that f-uped society outside, it's an logical conclusion for me to back off as much as possible from normal life outside.
I feel that I can't stand the violent, reckless and disrespectful society more and more. Driving with the car is infuriating these days. People don't care for anything, speeding, and bringing other people in danger. And they don't even care.
People talking about freedom and will take free speech away from anyone whose not having their own view.
People want to be tech their savior (that it is!) but whining about big data.
People talk about protecting the environment and hugging pets, but still participate in mass-killing of animals for food.
Our society is gone highly illogical and are a threat to theirselves and others. And I can't go outside without getting angry, because I'm not looking away. No I'm not just carelessly walking by an idling car polluting the environment.

So, I stay at home more and more. The route to being Hikikomori fortunately, is still blocked by some positive things. I like nature. I'll go outside in the forests geocaching or just walking around. But I always hope that at best, I see no other people while walking. So I'm still looking forward to go outside feeling mother earth. Edit: Oh and playing Pokémon Go. I like this.

But at home, it's not really perfect either. Too much noise, voices and reckless people who think it's okay to play music and party at home in the protected-by-law rest periods. That's exactly what I mean. Nobody seems to care about the others anymore. So I'm going to build myself a soundproofed space to sleep. And to be honest, if I had enough money, I would buy a house far away from any population, and made a fortress out of it with a gym to go even less outside. And food? Well, Amazon & Co. would do it... at least if you have too much money at your hand. Those prices are ridiculous...


Wikipedia in Germany calls last chance for freedom with shutdown

Today Wikipedia in Germany is shutdown. If you visit it, you only see a site telling you that this is you last chance to retain freedom.

In this protest, it's the first time for Wikipedia to shut down completely in Germany since they are online.  The most controversial parts of this try to rebuild a new copyright law in the EU, is article 11 and article 13 which are basically a demand for websites to censor content form users when uploaded before it is showed. This will lead to so-called upload filters. Together with a new EU-wide right for publishers to get money even from small snippets, this will effectively lead to the end of the free internet in Europe.

I warned about it over and over again. This EU copyright directive is made by people that don't understand it, fueled by lobbyists of the big media companies, and supported by people that only recognize their own "creativity" and totally see that the internet made us all creatives.


Dissenter will change the Internet forever [Updated: ... or not]

Yes it's one of those moments. Not by a single company, but by the mere idea of it. Commenting about anything on the web, every site, every article, without having this site a chance to manipulate or delete it. It's genius!

Simple. I'm not even sure if Dissenter.com had this idea first, or if there is anyone who tried it before. It's a very bold move. Uncensored comments by anyone. Not that you couldn't do that with your blog or your own feed anywhere else, but if you copy the URL of any page on the web into the form at Dissenter, you see if other people made a comment on the page and enable you to comment on your own. No need to find a blog somewhere on the web with no connection to the site. There is also an add-on for Firefox and Chrome to comfortably see comments when you visit a site by clicking the add-on icon.

I don't care much who made this tool, because it doesn't matter at all. It's YOUR comment. If sites like Engadget come up with populist titles to describe Dissenter there is only one reason for it: Fear! Fear that people have free speak with no control over it. Live with it!
The good thing is that with a tool like these, the company that publish it, have no power to push for a certain direction.

It also will help circumvent bloggers and site owners in the EU, where you can be held responsible for any comment on your page, making it impossible offering comments on articles without 24/7 monitoring. You want to comment? Just use Dissenter. Since the site owner have no way to restrict you from making comments there, they are not responsible.

I don't know how to put it, but because everyone can comment, it's making no sense to call it biased. Of course one thing is sure: Only those who participate can give their views and sides for other people to read. So if you think there is something not correctly in the comment, you need to tell it. There is also a discussion, replies and likes for the comments. So you'll have all tools needed to agree or disagree and to put your view out.

Now tell me, how can this be a bad thing? It can't be. At least if you believe in a free and open internet, in freedom of speech and in the right to express it. It's up to you what you express.
And make no mistake. It can't be stopped. Maybe Dissenter can be censored and suppressed some day, but the idea is born. It's over!
You have to deal with the right of other to express their opinion about your site or article. Live with it!

Update 2019-04-11:  Okay, so I've stopped using Dissenter. First of all their plugin keeps requiring more and more rights to access websites shown in the browser. While I don't see an abuse of this, I have get no real benefit out of discussing things in dissenter with the lack of people participating in my region and language, and on my topics I'm interested in. So I see no sense wasting my time with another service.
If necessary I can use the dissenter website without any plugin, but I do not see traction catching on at things I'm really interested in.


Social Networks are slowly dying

It's no secret. Social Networks as we know it are dying. Slowly but constantly. And that is not only tied to exotic things like Google+ which will be closed 31st March 2019. I wrote about it in a short notice before and my transfer to a Line Messenger Group. And here are the signs and reasons for it.

People are fed up by false friends and wrong behavior
We all came to that moment after using those big networks. People follow people for getting followed from other people. False friends that having no interest in you. I'm not saying that you can't have very good friends on those networks, but to be fair, those are rare. Most people connect to others in their surrounding, while others use social networks to reach out for the masses. For the latter ones, I'll come up to their problems now and in the future later. Those people that want to connect to their real friends begin to ask why they are using things like Facebook and Twitter for that. There is no real reason anymore to pump your private stuff on a network and wait for the next breach or mistake to leak your stuff.

The time for free speech is over on social networks
And it might not coming back easily. There are now a lot of triggers around the world. Different in each country. In the beginning it mainly was tight to the country in which the service was hosted. That time is long gone. If any country is upset or even a poor, frustrated human being are not okay with what you're saying, chances are higher and higher every day that your thought, content or sometimes even your account is gone quickly. Censorship is everywhere on those networks. It gets worse and worse everyday. And even in so-called "free countries" there are more restrictions every day. It's over.

If you are a company you need your own property
So many companies already learned that you can not rely fully on the service of those networks for different reasons. Again, you should be able to say what you want as a company on your own site. Others learned it's not a good idea to pump out more and more data to a third party. In some countries restrictions have been put in place what you are allowed to give away. Especially in Europe. You can be held reliable. So keep the data on your property. Plus for the networks are in decline, you should also focus on your target audience. The big old social sites are no longer a place to reach younger audiences. The same for higher educated people. More and more of those pull out. For a reason.
And that's why you need your own place to pump your stuff out. You can still share it via every network you like. But be aware if you go "Facebook or Twitter only", you will miss more and more people. Having to force people to go to Facebook is a no-go. A lot of people won't go there for you.

Conclusion and solution
As always the "swarm intelligence" are looking for solutions. And they found it. If you are looking to connect to your friends or a little "broader friend-sphere", there is a new star: Messengers with Groups. Like Line Messenger (big in Japan and Taiwan) or Telegram. Those can hold a decent amount of Users. Line has 500 Member per group. Make as much Groups as you like. Those are private. That means you need an invitation. Telegram has public groups, but those face the same restrictions indirectly than you would on any social networks.
The power of your private group is incredible. In most countries there are much more possible if you're non-public. In addition the problem is mostly not even materializing. I feel free to share things, that would probably be subject to a Shyster looking for the quick money. You are more secured. Of course it depends on the trust of people you invite to the group. But all in all, it is much much better for your privacy. No company like Google or Facebook have access to the group content. In case of Line groups, they are fully encrypted (letter sealing). Same for non-public Telegram groups as far as I know. Share photos, videos, make calls, go live (yes fricking live broadcast in the group) and so much more.

For someone that want to reach the public, use your website, your blog, your CMS. At least YOU decide what will be taken down or not. You know, I only respect one authority: The Law! And you should too. Not the opinion of the shareholders or moral police of a multi-million dollar company that makes money from your content.

Update 2019-01-21: Just came in from Reuters: WhatsApp is limiting sharing to 5 contacts to "fight misinformation and rumors" a.k.a. as free speech [Reuters news article].
Don't use WhatsApp, a Facebook product, but use things like Line Messenger. If you absolutely need to do so, you can circumvent the limitations by taking a screenshot or copy/paste the text to a new message, sharing with more people. Don't let companies shut you down. Rather you should shut them down.


EU-Japan Trade Deal negotiated! Finally!

A rare occurrence. The EU is doing something right.
I hope for custom free imports and less expensive trading with Japan. That would be great!

The EU has finalised negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan.
EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year.
But European firms face trade barriers when exporting to Japan which make it hard for them to compete.
The trade agreement with Japan will:

remove these barriers
help us shape global trade rules in line with our high standards and shared values
send a powerful signal that two of the world's biggest economies reject protectionism.
 source: European Commision