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Two Projects Aim To Decentralize The Internet

Here are two ambitious projects that aim to create a decentralized internet: Bitcloud: A group of Bitcoin developers want to create a decentralized internet, where peers are compensated for their contributions MaidSafe: A Scottish company has been developing a decentralized file storage system for the last eight years

Decentralized & Transparent Tools

I’m currently researching technologies that are decentralized and/or transparent. They are not prone to censorship, and mostly free of the whims of profit. Some or all of these tools may be flawed, but what is important for me, is that they are working examples of decentralization and transparency. These tools are decentralized: Bitcoin (digital cash) Bittorrent (file transfers) Bittorrent Sync …

User-Empowering Software I’m Currently Researching

I’m currently researching: Twister: A fully decentralized P2P microblogging platform that uses the free software implementations of Bitcoin and BitTorrent protocols. See also this news story on Twister. YaYc: A decentralized web search application Peercoin: A cryptocurrency that claims to be more secure than Bitcoin, and to “reward users in more sustainable ways” Marble: An open source virtual globe and world atlas …

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How To Make Your Searches Private, Ad-Free And Uncluttered

Google search has become pretty awful — you get huge block of ads on top, and ads to the right. You have Google services being promoted before other more relevant results. Perhaps most disappointing is the privacy issue — all those keywords you type are archived at Google, and at the NSA, and who knows where else. But buried under …

Elementary OS Luna: A Linux Distribution Similar To Apple’s OS X

Elementary OS Luna is a Linux distribution that closely resembles Apple’s OS X. It was first released in November 2012. According to reviewers, the OS is stable and efficient. The Luna developers say they were motivated by a “desire to create a Linux-based OS that championed consistency and great design”, and their design focuses on providing a concise and consistent …

The Fairphone: An Ethically-Produced Smartphone

The Fairphone is a smartphone designed and produced in Amsterdam with the goal of creating “minimal harm to people and planet”. According to the company, the main goal of the Fairphone was to develop a mobile device which does not contain conflict minerals (gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten), and to ensuring fair labor conditions for the workforce along the supply …

Glulug X60 Computer Gets Certified As “Fully Free”

The Free Software Foundation recently awarded “Respects Your Freedom” certification to the Gluglug X60 notebook computer. It was the first notebook to receive this certification, and indicates that it meets FSF’s standards in regard to users’ freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The FSF has had a call out for a laptop sold with a free OS and free boot …

Books That Cover The Real Issues Of The Global Internet

Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers Into Collaborators by Clay Shirky With Cognitive Surplus, Clay Shirky reveals how new digital technology is unleashing a torrent of creative production that will transform our world. For the first time, people are embracing new media that allow them to pool their efforts at vanishingly low cost. The results of this aggregated effort range …

Calibre: A Free eBook Converter and Manager

Calibre is a free and open source ebook manager. It is a great tool for converting ebooks into other formats, and sending ebooks to devices like Kindles, Nooks and iPads. It allows you to bypass the time-consuming methods of ebook tranfers that Amazon and Apple support. For example, if I download a book in the open EPUB format, Calibre allows …

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How To Download Media On iPhones and iPads

Apple devices are quite restricted, making downloading media difficult. For example, there are no Torrent or Usenet apps available. However there are some ways to obtain media easily: Get a Easynews subscription. Easynews provides a web interface to the Usenet, with search capabilities (if you don’t know what the Usenet is, see our previous article). You can log into Easynews using Safari, …