Recordings

Stephen Wolfram on Wolfram Alpha

Stephen Wolfram

David Weinberger interviews Stephen Wolfram on his highly praised “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram Alpha shortly before it was launched publicly for Radio Berkman.

“[…]asking if we look at the world, the universe as it is, and you know,what are the kind of underlying primitives, what are the computational,the simple programs that can potentially drive all of this stuff, andWolfram Alpha it’s sort of the realization that all this knowledge thatis out there in this world […]”

Google Faces Antitrust Investigation for Agreement to Digitize Millions of Books Online

Brewster Kahle

“Google will be able to control the library.”

Brewster Kahle, the founder of the non-profit online library, the Internet Archive, located at archive.org is a prominent critic of Google’s book plan, as he is arguing that one company is going to achieve a monopoly on all the books of the twentieth century.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! has done an interview with Brewster Kahle – the original broadcast at democracynow.org.

Erich Mühsams Tagebücher in der Festungshaft

Johannes Ullmaier

In 2008, literary scholar Johannes Ullmaier was invited to speak at the annual meeting of Chaos Computer Club. As his topic, he chose the personal journal written by German anarchist and poet Erich Mühsam (6 April 1878 – 10 July 1934), and the way it was used against him by the authorities after Mühsam’s incarceration in 1919.

In his talk, Ullmaier interprets the historical facts as foreboding characteristics of a ‘stone age of surveillance’, which allows him to draw parallels to contemporary legislation on privacy and surveillance in Germany.

Keywords: Johannes Ullmaier

Civil rights endangered in 2008 & 2009. Decisions in the European Parliament…

Eva Lichtenberger

MEP Eva Lichtenberger answers questions by Leo Findeisen about the dangers implied for civil rights in some of the upcoming decisions in the European Parliament in 2008 or the voting of June 2009. She outlines several issues that are partly interrelated and give rise for many concerns. These issues are the

  • Telecom-Package which still includes  passages that would allow for searching children’s iPods while checking in at the airport; the so-called
  • French Three-Strikes-model that would e.g. allow private persons, families and businesses to be cut off their internet access; and the
  • ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) process where a lack of transparency about what mandate the European Council has given its diplomats to elaborate – behind closed doors – on rigid laws to enforce intellectual property rights in all developed nations, e.g. by border officials or via online surveillance. 

She also discusses some historical developments that lead to the current state of the...

The Professionalization of Free Software

Shane M. Coughlan

„When I say the professionalization of free software what I mean is doing things the best way we can.“

Shane M. Coughlan is the Freedom Task Force coordinator of the Free Software Foundation Europe. In September 2008 he discussed the future and the professonalization of Free Software with the Viennese Fellows of the FSFE.

Titanic battle for the future of the Internet

Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford, member of the ICANN board speaks on the titanic battle of two groups of people, two competing mindsets on how the Internet should further evolve.

"The trick for me has been to keep standing" - Pamela Jones of Groklaw

Pamela Jones

Groklaw is slang for “to really grasp the world of law”, or in Pamela Jones’s words, a “place where lawyers and geeks could explain things to each other and work together, so they’d understand each other’s work better.”

In this document, a lady well-known in the free world, Pamela Jones, delivers a short message of “thank you” on behalf of thousands of computer geeks and lawyers swarming around their unique online platform, groklaw.net. This sound file is a rare piece of digital history as one will otherwise only find drawings of her or texts by her, she had learned the hard way to be very protective of her privacy.

In 2003, Jones was working as a paralegal, a research assistant, at an US law firm. Being technically minded, she was able to help out fixing problems with the IT infrastructure and was proficient in using both operation systems, Microsoft and Linux. Next to researching cases she had also joined the emergent blogger movement when a major attack on the entire model of Free Software and its legal security was launched: The infamous...

Keywords: Pamela Jones

On Git

Linus Torvalds

In 2005, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, sat down for two weeks to prototype his second major contribution to the Free Software and Open Source world and to the history of computing in general: Git.

This software allows programmers to collaborate on their projects´code in a number of new methods all together. Two years later, Torvalds is invited to speak at Google Tech Talks. He explains the personal, social and technical stories of how the design principles of “Git” emerged in the first place and answers many questions by the programmers of Google Inc.. His talk contains a lot of humourous banter within the Free and Open Source Communites. It has been viewed over 600.000 times online (update December 2011: over 840.000 times; update February 2015: over 1.300.000 times; update December 2016: over 1.670.000 times) making it one of the most influential media files ever that deals with the inside world of todays programmers. It may proove to be just as interesting for social anthropologists and media philosophers alike.

Understanding Software Patents

Hartmut Pilch

“My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.”

Hartmut Pilch of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) gives insights into the history of patent law, the theoretical shortcomings of the concept of software patents and their consequences.

Netzpolitik.org Interview with Yochai Benkler

Yochai Benkler

“It’s that new diversity of ways of creating information and exchanging it, that characterizes the Network information economy.”

Markus Beckedahl from netzpolitik.org speaks with law professor Yochai Benkler about his book “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” and some of his thoughts on the developments and influences of collaborative work and peer production on the net.