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

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!


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


We have such a high standard of living. Why aren't we more positive?

Here I am standing looking out of the window, listening to electronic chillout music from Google Play Music, sipping a green tea from thousand miles away and getting ready to play on my PlayStation 4. All while I have time to think about life.
We have such a high standard of living. I'm really wondering why leaders of the countries that live a life in luxury still waging wars and people seem pretty unsatisfied. I could understand if this would only apply to regions where the people are living in bad conditions and having a very low standard. But it seems that this isn't even is a thing.
We should altering our focus and be grateful to having such a good life and stop spreading war all around the world. Instead we could part our overall wealth.

But I'll guess it's always the same. You have much, you want more. But in the 21st century we should quickly learn to be satisfied with what we have achieved in regards of life standards. At least as a basis to improve necessary progression for the future. Not more is the key, less with more efficiency is inevitable. Before it's too late.


A Life Without Twitter is Great!

So, after 1 week off Twitter, I won't come back so quickly. Automatic posts from my blogs will appear there, but I'm out participating.

On April 18th I followed the move from Ron Gilbert (yes, it's the Secret of Monkey Island programmer *sigh*). I didn't think that I would resist using Twitter so long. But after 3 Days it felt like a big relieve. And now I'm out. And not only that. All private social media activities will be shut down. There are still my blogs and websites (comments are mirrored to Google+, so it appears that I'm still commenting on Google+ via my blogs). I will also shut down reading comments on news sites. It doesn't make any sense or difference.
Reading comments about news is a guaranteed way for anger. Why should you do this? To proof the majority of society is a piece of crap? Don't need social media for that, just check real life.
Don't get me wrong. I was very early participating in social networks. But it all changed in the last 2-3 years dramatically from a role-model for the future to a total pile of garbage.

A real place on earth. Social networks have no meaning anymore.
And here we are at the reason why. It's not because of that "Facebook scandal". It's no scandal, it's common business. Everybody is doing that, every fricking political party, and it#s an essential business model for all social networks. So, I don't give a crap about that.
No, it's the waste of time. The meaningless bullcrap we put out everyday and read it. And how dare you not reading it?
And you have to have a common opinion on everything, or you're a troll. Eff this hypocrite pile of society crap. I once thought the Internet if a relieve for mankind, because they can speak their opinion freely. Social networks pretty much ruined it now. Twitter censors the crap out of people if you have a different approach to problems, and thinking they are the savior of the world by forcing silicon valley's will on people world wide. Eff them.
But no, that's not the only reason. It's because PEOPLE are actually fallen for their crap! Yes, instead of keeping values like freedom, free speech and neutrality, they actually are a horde of hatreds that would sacrifice everything for a few clicks. Or, even worse, they actually believe that bull they were taught by the networks.
In short: Participating is a complete waste of time. On social networks, real life is not mirroring, it is trying to influence, but miserably fails in real life society. That's why, if you read the tweets, you could think that is the world. It's not. Not even close. It's a sick, distorted picture of a few without merit. You'll see that easily if you shut down your computer & phone and visit the many places.
Social networks are also a complete time killer with endless and useless discussion about problems you probably wouldn't care about without it.

You see, I'm not willing to waste my time on complete senseless, and much worse, very angering crap that I read the whole day any longer. No. I don't care anymore for the social networks, because they don't care about the real life. The REAL life you know. Not what some super-hipsters with bags full of money from weak people are telling you it is.

That means I will tone down all social network activities to a bare minimum with a complete shutdown of Twitter & Co. I was not active on Facebook for years, so...
And now I'm my own social network. Love it, or leave it !