This is sort of a New Year's resolution... In no particular order:
Oh, and one more thing: Do the most important duty as a citizen of any democratic country — help to save democracy by killing voting computers.
Yeah, so that makes six things I plan to do in 2007. Sue me.
A bit late, but here are some more random notes from 23C3:
Some observations while on an 8 hour (night) train ride to the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress (23C3) in Berlin:
There's a lot of press coverage about the congress already, so I won't repeat all of that here. Just let me tell you that there's a tremendous amount of great lectures, many of which I have attended (and they're also streamed on the web, as well as broadcast via DVB-T locally here in Berlin, which is great!).
You still got some money left after buying all those Christmas presents? How about donating some of it for a good cause:
Wikipedia is entering 2007 as one of the 10 most visited websites in the world. That's a great proof of our success. However, with this success comes a new set of challenges and responsibilities. As we plan for the future of Wikipedia and all of the Wikimedia projects, our two most important goals now are the reliability of our content and the long-term sustainability of every project in which we are involved.
To meet these goals we have a lot of work to do, so I am asking for your help. In the coming year, the Wikimedia Foundation anticipates dramatically increasing spending to keep up with server and traffic capacity demands, add new staff on the organizational level, improve our software and develop methods to better ensure high quality content, all while making progress toward our goal of giving free knowledge to everyone.
-- Florence Devouard, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation
It's once again time to show your support for Creative Commons. Digital technologies are connecting people in ways that were never before possible – but that network is fragile. Creative Commons needs your support to help enable a participatory culture – a culture in which everyone can actively engage in the creativity that surrounds us. We need your support to assure access to cultural, scientific, and educational content that has been pre-cleared for use by its authors.
Freedom is more precious than anything else we have and we need to protect it while we still can.
-- Eben Moglen in his FSF year end video appeal (OGG, 24 MB)
EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.
Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features.
Or how about some organizations not directly related to Free Culture or Free Software?
Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
The International Red Cross (and Red Crescent Movement) is an international humanitarian movement whose stated mission is to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.
If yes, please consider signing this online petition which asks the government to completely prohibit the usage of voting machines in Germany. Actually, you should sign this replacement petition, as the first one was getting "too big", a.k.a the software or server they use couldn't handle the sheer numbers of recorded votes anymore (ironic, isn't it?)...
Note: the deadline for the petition is today, i.e., November 28, 2006!
Ca. 45.000 people have signed already. If 50.000 signers are reached, there's sort of a guarantee that the government has to formally put this issue on their agenda (or something in that direction, I don't remember the exact details right now).
If you haven't followed the latest news regarding the voting machine issues, I urge you to get informed by reading the recent blog entries of Frank Rieger and Tim Pritlove (for example). The Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has a very good collection of information and further readings. Take a look.