Have you already heard about a search engine called DuckDuckGo? I am aware of it for, I think, far more than a year. And recently I have (subjectively) noticed a rising amount of posts related to DuckDuckGo, especially in the Open and Free Software Aspects (while I was writing this post, Linux Mint announced to start using DuckDuckGo as default search engine). It looks like more and more people are looking for an alternative to Google, which does not track users' data. I have had a critical view on DuckDuckGo before and still have it, though undoubtedly it has some positive facets.
To take away some illusions beforehand: DuckDuckGo is neither free nor open source software, but proprietary, and only some parts are open-sourced. Although i have not had a deeper look into the source, it pretty much looks like that the ranking algorithm e.g. is not open. They only stress the importance of inbound links, which is hopefully not a too strong ranking factor...
Nevertheless, the best way to get good rankings (in pretty much all search engines) is to get links from high quality sites like Wikipedia. Source
QtQt as a cross platform framework has most value for Nokia. Though I am not sure if it is compatible with Windows Mobile 7, it would make sense to develop the compatibility. If only to write applications only once, for Symbian, MeeGo and that Win stuff. Symbian will still be used in the low price segment and MeeGo phones, computers i mean, are not abandoned, yet. Well, you can have your doubts on this :
This has been the last day of a packed congress with amazing people and talks. Let me highlight the session I attented today, before i get to a short conclusion.
Which freedom do you choose?
The very first and excellent session dealt with Political Philosophy in FOSS. Adam Obeng roughly introduced Politics (on power) and Philosophy (on thinking really hard) as well as their combination, which takes the methods of philosophy and the subject matters of politics. The main part followed, in which he discussed freedom as used in the most popular FOSS licenses GPL and BSD on this base. He was very good in making clear how hard it is to find a definition of desirable freedom, because there is always a hook. The GPL on one side uses a "focuses freedom", because it is focused on the people as a group. As a restrictive license there are rules, that need to be followed, like redistributing software under a compatible license (copyleft). BSD, on the other hand, focuses on the freedom of a single person: take it and do whatever you want. For a better comparison the gave the example of "The General Slavery License" where people needed to provide work measured in LOC or time. This could leed to great software, brings forward the freedom of all users, but limits the freedoms of the programmers.
So this has been the third day of 27C3 and as such three fourth of the conference have passed. Absolutely a pity on the one side, on the other i am looking forward to catch up with my sleep demand. At least i have not too much blood in my caffeinstream. Today, i enqueued to the people who toppled down one or two times Mate bottles, which causes the famous and original hacker conference background sound. The talks I attended this day were unlike the day before more society related. But read for yourself:
A look on 2010
The first appearance today made Constanze Kurz, Frank Rieger, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Andreas Bogk from CCC in giving a retrospect of 2010. When they presented the development of member numbers as first thing by tradition, they welcomed the CCC's (basically a German club) first member from India. It followed a long, but entertaining report of the months, including (besides other)
So, today I reexperienced that picking out talks that are more or less above my skill level in combination with a lack of sleep is not an ideal situation here. Nevertheless i am sure i can draw a picture of what has happened, even if not too extensively.
Number crunching with FPGAs
I made it just in time to this talk (problem: with only one consumed cup of coffee). I was rather curious on how things go ("for the masses" in the title gave that impression), but if you have no real knowledge in electro-technics it is a bit like magic. So, what Felix Domke did was to show how a DES cipher could be brute forced in a certain time (~1 week) with a certain budget (~1k €). Usual ways of doing so (e.g. with CPUs, GPUs) are too expensive as loads of them are used to achieve the goal in the specified time. So, what he did was to buy some used boards with FPGAs on ebay and program them. Therefore he made use of the project Copacobana - short for cost-optimized parallel code breaker. Furthermore he is interested in sharing the calculation power. An opportunity is the Dreambox receiver which is fitted with FPGAs and can be used while on standby.
In Berlin's winter the 27th Chaos Communication Congress started again at the bcc, next to Alexanderplatz. Hence the available amount of tickets was a lot higher than demand i am happy that i got a full ticket in the presale. And luckily, i made it through the unusual strong winter from my family, where i spent christmas, back to Berlin in time, thanks to two guys from Duisburg, who offered me a ride.
Just like last year, I want to sum up what i have heard and seen at 27C3 each day.
stylestyle is a command line utility that can analyse German and English texts and gives out a whole lot of statistics. Style differs among the parts readability, sentence info and sentence beginnings. From Camilla's point of view, who introduced this tool to us, the Flesch-value, which ranges from 0 to 100 (except for C language ;) ). This, some other rates and statistic information like number of long and short sentences are given and are useful to stylecheck your documents.
For the fifth time, FrOSCon took place. I think i have been there now for four years now and is has always been a fun and interesting conference. Just like this weekend. Completed with Monika and mcas, we ran the Kubuntu booth, next to our friends from KDE and Amarok.
But a little fraction we distributed all of our Kubuntu CDs, the local user group TroLUG and also KDE took over also good amounts for further sharing. Thus and because of the good conversations, FrOSCon has been a success for the German Kubuntu Community.
When I started in SEO business almost have a year ago, I have been shunt into Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team. Reading his blog articles, i did not only get insights into Google, but also in his person. I got to know, that he starts challenges which would endure 30 days, usually. For one of those, he decided to switch from Windows to Ubuntu, and he eventually he kept using it. The latest challenge was to replace his iPhone with Android based Nexus One, and he does not seem to roll back, too.
In our time, when everything is, goes and is going to be more and more web based, my impression is that many users do not think about where they put their data, how secure the provider is and which control they have. Especially with the rise of software-as-a-service models you need to be sure to know what happens with your data, somewhere in the cloudy somewhat. Who is you email provider and who can read your mails? Are there Backdoors? Should i upload my pictures to flickr? Where can i safely send private and possibly sensitive messages?