Category: Technology

Three Diaspora Tutorials to Get You Started Right

Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Thu, 10/13/2011

I found that I was posting this too much and it was annoying copying and pasting all these links, so here is a funkly little static page that has all the funkly little linkies that you can simply short-link and tweet to your buddy and your gramma.

Hope it adds value to your life and helps you win friends and influence people:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAoAZgw4r6A

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F1gOHUmUnk

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD1pE0XJTcE

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Diaspora – Social Media that Actually Excites Me

Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com at Sun, 10/02/2011 – 21:09

Finally.

After what seems like years, I got my invite to sign up at Diaspora. The coolest thing to me is that you probably don’t even know what it is yet. Don’t worry – people like me will spread the news quick. In a few words, it’s a dumbed down version of Facebook, Twitter and Google + (dumbed down is actually a good thing, by the way, if you didn’t know) and, get this –

YOU OWN YOUR OWN CONTENT! *

*if you want to set it up that way

Did you catch what I just wrote? This is the thing so many people have been waiting for. Why did I kill my Facebook account a year or so ago? Because I just didn’t like the way Facebook was starting to own our social lives. Like everyone else, I don’t mind actually posting about my life and seeing what everyone is up to, but I started to think about the trail this kind of stuff leaves. Then, I went to delete my account to find out that… it didn’t really seem to delete. In fact, I bet if I went there today and just tried to enter my old username and password that it would spring back to the condition before I ‘deleted’ my account. I haven’t tried that though, so I might be wrong. Point is this: If I start posting personal things I want to, as much as possible, be sure that I can erase that content forever and not leave some kind of ‘social trail’ behind me.

Diaspora is awesome. If I wanted to, I could set up a computer just for my family and install ‘my own social media website’ just for us. I could post photos of my daughter, my wife, even a picture of my gross farmer’s tan… and no one in the public would ever know (unless a hacker hacks in but that’s always a risk). It’s just… perfect. But, you don’t have to be that exclusive. You can set it up just like Google + (I kind of wonder if Google actually stole this concept from Diaspora…) with the ‘circles’ concept except they are called ‘aspects’ in Diaspora. You can stay pretty open about hooking up with people, and then just maintain your privacy via your ‘aspects’ and who you share your content with.

So, yeah. Remember when Facebook was pretty simple and didn’t have farm animals harassing you? It’s like that.

I know this isn’t a very cohesive blog but I just wanted to bang out a shout-out for the crew at Diaspora who has finally done something worth getting excited about. I’m already working with some local folk to set up our own pod. Here are some quick ideas I’ve already thought of where Diaspora might be useful:

1. A private way to network employees (large enterprises with high security)
2. Political party members (they want to discuss things totally off the public radar, I’m sure)
3. Family pod: a pod just for the family that will never host any other users other than actual family members so you can share extremely private information if need be without risk of content ending up in the wrong hands
etc
4. Education: teachers and students… somehow?

I mean check out their dumb-simple homepage:

https://diasp.org/

I love these guys.

If you want to join, you could ‘try’ to get an account here by filling out a request (it’s still Alpha release):

www.joindiaspora.com

…Or, you could beg me to send you an invite by following us on twitter @seymourblenz and I might find it in my heart.

See you in there…if you’re lucky

Oh yeah! One last thing: It works well.

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If you Care about Freedom, Ramp up your Ham

I think it’s interesting how most people who claim to care about freedom don’t have a ham radio (amateur radio) license, especially you folks in open source.

You reject and rebel against the Monopolists in Redmond and the Fruit Devices from Cupertino recognizing that they are dictating how you will and will not use the thing you are spending all your money on.

You recognize that it’s freaky and weird to give all the power of your privacy and information over to a company.

You think it’s insane that someone would participate in something where not paying a license fee could jeopardize a business or the functionality of someone’s day-to-day.

You relish and brag about your freedom – and rightfully so.

You are a warrior in the battle against the Man and the eyes of Big Brother.

Have I puffed you up enough?  Very well, then. Get ready to be brought low.

If you don’t have a ham radio license don’t come around calling yourself a man.  You are a pansy-boy, sissy-girl.  And if you’re already a girl, you’re a flaky fan-girl – a Barbie Doll at best.

Real men have hams.

Real women have call signs.

Real men speak to real women with their ham radios.

The service on your cell phone (except for a 911 call) is merely leased to you by likely one of a few mobile service monopolists.  If they had their way, they would also charge you for that 911 call.  Until the Ubuntu Phone was announced a couple of days ago, even the operating system on that smart phone that you pack with you is owned by someone else – and the data on it – don’t kid yourself.

So don’t tell me you love freedom that much.

“Oh, but I use a dumb phone,” you say.

Nice try.  Let’s see how well your dumb phone works during an earthquake or if you don’t pay your bill.  But really, nice try.

A ham radio requires a little studying, but once you get it, you’ve got yourself a ‘free cell phone forever’ – if you can find someone to talk to.  And that, in essence, is the root of the problem.

The only people who seem to have a ham radio are wearing Depends, on serious medication or are serious geeks – and I mean serious.  That’s why I always went alone.  I didn’t want anyone to find out that I hung out with these people and liked what they liked.

But lately I’ve been thinking about it.  It’s almost like the whole system we live in is Anti-Ham.  The test isn’t that hard… so why aren’t more people doing it?  In Canada you get free custom license plates for your car with your call sign! Isn’t that reason enough?  Nope.  Still no one does it. You can make a free call to your family if they have licenses – unlimited airtime – for free. Not good enough.  You can connect to the internet with it and speak to ham radios all around the world: you could speak to your ham-buddy climbing a mountain in South Korea from  just like he’s around the corner – for free.  Still not good enough.

It’s almost as if the entire system is Anti-Ham and we shouldn’t be surprised.

Ham radio gives power to the people – like Ubuntu, unions or voting.  To put it in perspective, you can take away my cell phone and I can still remain connected to the world – while mobile.  That’s a power I’m assuming the mobile service providers don’t want you to know or think about.  I’m assuming they are not rushing around trying to help promote ham radio.

My parents have a cabin where only one cellular network works.  Instead of taking my advice and getting licensed and throw a killer ham radio in their car and cabin (maybe $500-$750 capital investment?) they will likely spend well over $2400 over the next five years to get suited up with a monthly mobile plan on that network.

Hams own their own network!

Enough about this already.  You get the point.  Get licensed and track me down on the ham waves.

My call sign is VE7CAK (that’s Charlie Alpha Kilo” to you)

“Be a man.  Do da light fing.” – R. Peters

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The Ubuntu Phone (U-Phone)

I don’t usually get excited much these days because all advancements in smart phone technology seem to be coalescing to a very dangerous point – monopoly of your life and complete control over your privacy.

In Randall’s article he announced the first thing that excited me in this arena since Angry Birds – The Ubuntu Phone. He explains well about why it’s awesome.  However, he only hints as to why it’s important but I wanted to make sure people started thinking about the ‘why’ right away.

No one can deny that there are currently really only two options out there for people who want to own a smart phone: Bondage Bot (Android) and Fruit Devices (Apple products).

Symbian (Nokia) seems dead.  Rest in peace, by the way.  You were the best before this U-Phone announcement.

Microsoft is laughable.  Actually, it’s more like an uncomfortable laugh –  like when you politely laugh at the socially-awkward person who inappropriately blurts something weird out as they try desperately to fit in to what’s happening.

Blackberry is App-less in Arizona (that looks like ‘appless’ without the dash which is weird, eh?).

I don’t think we need to worry too much about the latter three, but the former two do concern me.

The Fruit People from Cupertino seem to want to control their victims by telling them how they will or will not use the hardware (that they paid way too much for) and by making them think they are cool.

Team Bondage-Bot seem to make the most useful and addictive tools for our daily lives while subtly buying every small company under the sun and gathering every last piece of information about you and storing it on their servers.

Both options are freaky and I no rike it.

So, a big thank you to all the people out there in Ubuntu-Land who have given me something to be excited about again – a smart phone that leaves me with the freedom we deserve.  This is Ubuntu Gangnam Style

 

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