Archive for December, 2011

Distributed social networking

December 29, 2011 - 2:47 am

Today I want to share two interesting projects with you I took from the congress on the second day.

The first one is called “social swarm”. It is an initiative with the goal to choose and adapt one of the may open distributed Facebook alternatives and bring it to the masses.

The second one is called “secure share”, which is one of the most promising of those mentioned alternatives. Opposed to others they do not just provide a decentralized server network but aim to create a secure P2P communication system for data exchange. On top of this a social network could be created.

You can find the project pages here:

I briefly want to share my opinion without going too much into technical or political details.

Both projects are very promising and ambitious. I especially like the idea that we can only succeed if we go for a single solution. This is one of the reasons why open projects often fail in favor of proprietary systems. Also the secure share technical approach is well designed with current and upcoming problems mind. Whats missing is something in-between.

The main problem I see is to find out what people really want and need. What could be reasons for them to try a new social network or even switch from Facebook. Political as well as technical approaches must be based on this.  I think they are on a good track, but still far away from a complete concept.

And the second one is the practicability. The technical approach must be usable with current technology. Over the last years you could see a big hype in web-applications and web-service based architectures. The reason for this is that you get HTTP communication through almost all NAT-Firewalls and Proxies. In fact it is desirable to come back to real peer-to-peer communication. But unfortunately this is not possible with our current infrastructure and we cannot rely on IPv6 and a (possible) law on net neutrality. But this is another story…

Nevertheless I hope those projects will very soon be able to come up with something to try out and get visible in the media. I would love to participate, but will only remain as a passive watcher, since other projects are more important for me.

Category: Technical  1 Comment »

CCC – first day over

December 28, 2011 - 4:55 pm

My first impression of the congress was just a bit amusing.

On any other conference you would be handed a leaflet or something, containing the schedule, locations and all necessary information. This congress is different. After entering the conference hall you are completely lost.
The walls are full of scattered information that do not mean much for me, but I was searching for a schedule without avail..

Some of the rooms are named with letters and numbers, the talk rooms are just numbers and there are no direction signs at all. Some rooms have additonal internal names which are not posted on the schedule but are more visible on the door than the others.

The only source of some information is the wiki (also lacking a map). But it is really hard to get connection to the Wifi and the wiki was half of the first day down.

Well, this gently reminds me of the sources I have to read and change all the time. Noone can deny what kind of people organized this conference. ;-)
But since I’m a software developer myself, I found ways to get acquainted with this code – sorry – conference.

Nevertheless, the talks where really great and exceeded my expectations. The main topic seems to be data security as well as surveillance. The session about the “Bundestrojaner” was fun as well as very informative. The group who analysed this piece of software gave an insight into their findings compared with the current legal situation.
They showed some of the history of the “Bundestrojaner” and proved why popular statements of politicians regarding this topic are obviously wrong.

Some talks also showed some really huge problems rising with surveillance and shows how they are already practice in germany.

Another presentation went into some opposite direction.
It was about how can you guess the spoken words in a Skype conversation without hacking the connection just by profiling the packet lengths. Eavesdropping at a very new level.

Category: Technical  No Comments »

Chaos Communication Congress

December 26, 2011 - 11:33 pm

Shame on me – I haven’t written a single post in my english blog for almost one year.

Well, there were not so much noticeable things this year. OFS is proceeding good. Not because of me but thanks to Peter who has improved support for NFS and cleaned up the code a bit.

Nevertheless, one of this years real highlights is just about to take place. I checked in to a Hostel in Berlin today to visit the Chaos Communication Congress starting tomorrow. I’m very keen on what’s ahead, since this is the first time I visit this congress – and the first time I visit Berlin.

Category: Computer, Technical  No Comments »