Things I said on 2010-02-28

  • Devo cambiare operatore mobile, ricaricabile, traffico dati a kb (no tempo). Consigli? #
  • #spam on #skype is alarmingly increasing. Time to abandon it, for good? #
  • Disservizio sanitario nazionale: attesi 20 giorni per una visita, medico malato, rimandata visita fra 10 giorni. Nessuna alternativa fornita #
  • I'm so *ing tired of people forcing me to fix things they screwed up! The bank lost €466 from my account but I'm working to get'em back #
  • Massive #HP #fail: Scanning is no longer supported when using Mac OS v10.5 with wife's PSC 1200 Upgrade to #GNU #
  • Don't you hate not being able to buy a one-way airplane ticket? It seems such a waste #
  • vendo la mia Pentax P30n: un'occasione di accaparrarti un pezzo storico analogico #
  • A bad day for #google EU Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google ( and Italian judge makes a mess #
  • ♺ @nico_mar: you know #Italy is skewed to geriatric when a 33-year-old photographer is "young" in promo copy #
  • ♺ @edschepis: I will be giving a talk @Better_Software in May: #
  • ♺ @galoppini: Diffusion of Open Source Innovation (in reply to @DanaBlankenhorn ) #
  • ♺ @fabricapo: Picture taken on an elevator at the Fiumicino airport in Rome (on your way to the Hilton hotel) #
  • Very interesting legislation to create jobs ♺ @fabricapo: The startup visa might make life easier to the future funamboli in reply to fabricapo #
  • Ah, se i giornalisti italiani scrivessero così: #
  • Book Review for "Funambol Mobile Open Source" from Rick Wagner #
  • ♺ @mozilla: Thunderbird 3.0.2 update is now available for download #
  • ♺ @Symbian: #Symbian presents Nokia’s UI Extensions for Mobile (Formerly known as Orbit) #
  • #Funambol #demomeeting started. Last demo before stabilization phase, next major version is getting close #
  • highlight of new #Funambol community edition: #Mac OS X sync client and #Android Sync Client #
  • #Funambol #android client is entering stabilization (feature freeze) next week #demomeeting #
  • #Funambol server team is adding support for newer phones #demomeeting #
  • Are you a developer with some expertise on #Thunderbird Drop by #Funambol #mozilla project #
  • Il grande capo Estigazzi è una delle cose migliori di Radio2! 🙂 un grande filosofo #
  • Finalmente sono riuscito ad entrare nel mio cassetto fiscale con la carta regionale dei servizi, da GNU/!Linux. Ottimo. #
  • ♺ @webmink: Oracle exec confirms continuing commitment to OpenSolaris: #
  • #Funambol won the SPIFFY award for “best communication solution.” That's such a cool name for an award #
  • Do Microsoft programmer know how to generate casual numbers? It seems they don't (or are they playing tricks?) #

La sottile voglia di regime che attanaglia l’Italia

Leggendo i vari commenti degli editorialisti italiani sulla sentenza contro Google colgo solo una gran voglia di regime. Non ho letto da nessuna parte che i ragazzini che hanno pubblicato i video ignobili sono già stati puniti e chissà se hanno imparato la lezione (suggerimento per un servizio da fare). Però tutti i difensori della sentenza invece si accaniscono a chiedere regole! Internet non può essere un far west. Bisogna prendersi la responsabilità di ciò che si dice. Ma si dimenticano che ce ne sono già abbastanza di regole in questo paese e non passa giorno senza una nuova proposta di legge?

Non ho più pazienza per provare a spiegare perché questa sentenza è indifendibile (e comunque lo stanno facendo tanti e molto bene). Ai vogliosi di regime mi vien voglia di rispondere con le incomprensibili parole dell’immortale Pasquale Ametrano:

Wikiedia Crowdsourced its strategic planning process

I’m a firm believer that non-profit organizations need to have a strategy, too. Maybe even more than for-profit ones, because of the constant lack of resources. I’ve been watching without commenting the development of the five-year strategic plan for Wikimedia Foundation: fascinating. The process has entered the last phase, synthesis. There is lots to learn from it. I hope I’ll find time to blog about this later.

Some background info on HBR.

Things I said on 2010-02-21

  • Altroconsumo ricorre alla Commissione europea contro la pappetta Bondi-SIAE per l'equo compenso #
  • pagliarini su #radio24 tralascia di menzionare #Funambol tra le aziende italiane presenti al #mwc 🙁 #
  • sul sito di #radio24 non c'è un modo facile per contattare i giornalisti o la redazione di un programma. Sito appena rifatto: molto 1.0 #
  • #FIAT exploring ways to help its dealers make a big leap into the future with #MIP #Politecnico (my business school) #
  • ♺ @cdaffara: As much as I like Nokia and Intel, the merged MeeGo does not solve Moblin and Maemo's problems. Being OSS is not enough. #
  • Pedoterropirati, censurati: la sentenza della Cassazione apre le porte alla censura cinese sulla rete italiana #
  • Blog post: Three reasons to follow #Mozilla #Thunderbird development #
  • I keep not getting it: why add a trackpad to a touchscreen? #htc #android #
  • Metti un funambolo in Silicon Valley: serata organizzata da #alumnimip con il ceo di #Funambol #
  • Ma un annuncio del genere in Italia sarebbe tipo "cercasi fancazzista internettaro"? #obama #
  • #gwibber should keep a log of the sent tweets so that I can recover them in case delivery fails 🙁 #
  • ma quanto odio la ritenuta d'acconto! è una maledizione che spero faccia venire mali orrendi a chi l'ha inventata #
  • un funambolo in silicon valley sta per iniziare al #mip #
  • Roman announced a new release of #syncml client iPhoneSync for jailbroken iPhones: syncs calendar, too. #
  • #Funambol is getting close to the release of version 8.5.0 community edition: today is the last day of the iteration #
  • Updating #Funambol Phone Sniper tests. Undecided what to test for push/sync email: must be simple yet meaningful. Any ideas? #
  • Four Ways of Looking at Twitter #hbr #
  • Opted to test Install, Get, Send, Uninstall #Funambol Email client for new #phonesniper program. Comment on the testplan #

Eben Moglen’s Freedom in the Cloud Talk

I watched Eben’s speech but now I can quote it too thanks to the transcript done by the friends at Software Freedom Law Center. Talking about the problems of the cloud services, Eben hits Facebook hard with his rhetoric:

The human race has susceptibility to harm but Mr. Zuckerberg has attained an unenviable record. He has done more harm to the human race than anybody else his age. Because he harnessed Friday night, that is, ‘Everybody needs to to get laid,’ and turned into a structure for degenerating the integrity of human personality and he has to remarkable extent succeeded with a very poor deal, namely ‘I will give you free web-hosting and some PHP doodads and you get spying for free all the time’. And it works.  How could that have happened? There was no architectural reason. Facebook is the web with, ‘I keep all the logs, how do you feel about that.’ It’s a terrarium for what it feels like to live in a Panopticon built out of web parts. And it shouldn’t be allowed. That’s a very poor way to deliver those services. They are grossly overpriced at ‘spying all the time’, they are not technically innovative. They depend on an architecture subject to misuse and the business model that supports them is misuse. There isn’t any other business model for them. This is bad. I’m not suggesting it should be illegal. It should be obsolete. We’re technologists we should fix it.

As Nicole says, Facebook is Internet for the lazy people that don’t know or want to setup a blog on their own and learn how to use search, RSS or even email. And there are many of those.

So what do we need? We need a really good web server that you can put in your pocket and plug in any place. It shouldn’t be any larger than the charger for your cellphone. You should be able to plug it into any power jack in the world or sync it up with any wi-fi router that happens to be in this neighborhood […]
This is stuff we’ve got. We need to put it together … I’m not talking about stuff that’s hard for us. We need to make a free software distribution guys.[…]
Great social networking, updates automatically, software so strong you couldn’t knock it over if you kicked it, and you know what, you get ‘no spying’ for free. We can do that …

A small, personal, portable device, connected to the Internet with a simple and easy way to receive updates via a push mechanism and sync data between different sources. Something similar to what Funambol’s CEO said in Five Reasons To Care About Mobile Cloud Computing and I sketched earlier thoughts about the same topic. We’re facing interesting and busy times ahead.

Read there rest of Highlights of Eben Moglen’s Freedom in the Cloud Talk – Software Freedom Law Center.

Three reasons to follow Mozilla Thunderbird development

Since Mozilla Messaging launched Thunderbird 3 I started using it to see if this new version is better than GNOME Evolution, the email/calendar application I used in the past 4 years. Evolution is a decent email and calendar client and I love the integration in GNOME, but it stopped evolving and its GUI has many annoyances. I’ve used Thunderbird 3.0.1 for a couple of weeks and here are three reasons to choose it and why I decided to postpone the adoption.

Search and indexing: Thunderbird 3 indexing is fast and very good. The interface for searching and drilling your mailbox is fantastic, very well done and fast. Check the screenshot.

Tabs: I like to be able to read messages in different tabs. Lightning calendar and tasks conveniently open in a tab and it’s also possible to run Google Wave in one. This shows the power under the hood of this client: it has the potential to become a messaging hub for all services.  It’s annoying that Addressbook and compose new mail open in a new window instead of tab though.

Add-ons: just like Firefox, there are many ways to add functionalities to Thunderbird. The first add-on I installed is Funambol in order to test it and help its development. Then ThunderBrowse, in order to avoid opening Firefox only to check a link in an email and EnigMail to add GPG/PGP support. Nothing mind-blowing yet, but I hope somebody will develop a replacement of the Addressbook with more ‘social’ features. A topic for another post 🙂

Bonus reason: finally! There is an “Archive” button: once you’re done with a message or a thread, and you don’t want to delete it, you hit a button and the message goes into the archives (archiving criteria can be specified). A neat solution for Capo’s problem 🙂

The Addressbook, on the other hand, is pretty lame. It doesn’t contain enough fields, it still has space of a ‘pager number’ (anybody  still using them?), it opens in a window and not in a tab. I hope it’ll improve in next version.

I’m still using Evolution as my main source of data, especially address book and calendar. Even if Funambol add-on for Thunderbird 3 works decently, it’s still unstable and it has other small issues (if you want to help, Funambol offers Code Sniper grants).

Newlyweds: Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin

This is good news for mobile free software (or open source, as you wish to call it): Maemo and Moblin joined forces today.  I had lots of expectations for Maemo, but so far Nokia hasn’t pushed it enough. This merge of the two project may give it a new life.  Now the issue is only to have more mobile devices and phones out there that use this platform, without getting tempted with proprietarization (like evil Motorola is doing –hint: don’t buy a Milestone).

MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo projects at the Linux Foundation to create one open source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI and more.

Why should you pay attention to this announcement? With MeeGo you have the world’s largest chip manufacturer and the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer joining forces to create an incredible opportunity for developers who want to reach millions of users with innovative technology.

via Bringing the Magic to Linux with MeeGo |

Things I said on 2010-02-14

What Symbian is risking by freeing its code

I honestly cannot understand the fear of forks that is spreading within the Symbian community. Since Symbian Foundation released the full source code of the operating system under the Eclipse Public License I’ve read few comments like the following:

I sincerely hope that we don’t see various manufacturers forking the code, and thus creating a veritable zoo of Symbian variants.

But then I ask: what can be worse than the current variants of proprietary Symbian? Even Nokia uses at least three Symbian versions, largely incompatible between each other.  Proprietary Symbian is a nightmare for developers, and I cannot see anything in the free software Symbian that can make things worse. The only risk I see for Symbian is to be successful at this point and win the hearts of the developers. What do you think?

via The risk of opening Symbian – All About Symbian Feature.

Choose a good license and manage well the community

Some of the things that Mike Tienman said in this interview with I could have said myself.

I have come to believe that a license alone is neither a secret to success nor an absolution of sin.

Exactly: choosing a free license is a moral choice but that alone won’t secure neither commercial success nor any other success of the project.

“It’s a lot easier to bring tools to the community than it is to bring community to the tools,” Tiemann said. “I think that the importance of community cannot be overestimated.”

How can I agree more? My job as community manager is to facilitate the community on the path to such tools.

“I do believe that licensing is a key component that underpins a successful community effort,” Tiemann said. “The license, in a sense, dictates how the community can or should be expected to behave.”

Basically, you need to choose a free software license and to manage the community in order to enable success.  Do you see why I could have said all this myself?

via LinuxPlanet – Interviews – What Matters to Open Source: Licensing or Community? – More to FOSS Than Licenses.