Welcome to the second episode of the Cyberunions Podcast.
A ‘strike’ against Skype.
As Skype disappears behind Microsoft’s walled garden, Free Software activists are working on alternatives
- Microsoft buys Skype – what will we do?
- Skype alternatives: Ekiga and Jabber/Jingle – Google Talk uses the Jingle protocol
- GNU call
2:10 – Free and Open Source Software, free beer and free speech
- In FOSS nothing is hidden from you
- Microsoft is anti-union and opposed to workplace democracy, and their software is a bloated mess
- We’ll keeping testing FOSS alternatives to Skype
- Escaping the Microserf Gulag – starting out with Linux
- Linux treats you like an adult – use is a learning experience
5:41 – Is Apple any better?
- Better software – it’s Unix based
- Apple also infantilises its uses
- The app store has been a feature of Linux for years
- Linux repositories – in the Linux ‘app store‘, everything is free
- At least Apple mostly works
- Apple controls your computing experience
8:22 First steps in Open Source – were to start
- There’s help and support available
- Linux has got a lot easier to use
- Linux is now easier to install and configure than Windows
- You can run it from a CD or USB to test it first
- Ubuntu is the most popular, but we think Linux Mint is the best place for a new user to start -it’s easier to use and more reliable
- For more advanced uses, we like Debian Testing or Linux Mint Debian Edition, which is Testing neatly packaged by the Mint team
- Ubuntu netbook is great for netbooks
12:02 Social networks – Facebook
- Using Facebook for union campaigns
- Good thing about Facebook – everyone is there
- Low barriers to access – people new to the online environment learn to use it quickly
- Metcalfe’s Law
- Problems: Privacy – Settings are complicated and change often. Facebook does not respect your privacy
- We see more and more Facebook-related cases in white collar workplaces
- Facebook leaks data
- Facebook is a timesuck – it encourages discursive activity and dissipates activism
- Do people actually turn up to your Facebook events?
- Use with caution and have an exit strategy.
- Keep your data on servers you control – build your own website
- A Facebook purge could seriously undermine your campaign
21:45 Alternatives to Facebook
- Some problems with twitter too – being forced to hand over user data
- StatusNet is a growing option – running StatusNet on your own site would give you control of your data
- OStatus is an open standard for social networks – if this is adopted, you’ll be able to communicate with people on other social networks without having to join them.
- With Ostatus, you would be able to interact with friends on Facebook or Twitter from StatusNet or Diaspora
- Diaspora – runs on autonomous pods. Try London Diaspora or Diasp.Org if you need an account. Different pods can communicate with each other. Still a bit of a lonely place, so join us.
- Diaspora aspects are great
- More on Diaspora next week
- Decentralised networks are more secure and less likely to fail
- We’re keeping an eye on Incliq, a new peer to peer social networking service
- Thimbl is developed by the venture communists over at Telekommunisten
30:02 Bringing together two distinct communities with common interests – FOSS and unions
- Union activists should contribute to the FOSS community
- Many programmers and developers don’t like multinational corporations either, and support unions
- We’d love to see a genuine networked and global Cyberunion for IT workers
- The union movement is changing – young activists are getting involved in Wisconsin and London
- Unions should support organisations like ORG and EFF
- Open formats rather than proprietary ones like .doc