Category Archives: Planet LiveCD

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Yesterday Metropol opened another hi-tech art installation, this time from Robertina Šebjanič produced by Daša Lakner for Kiberpipa Err0r group with title Pufination. The art piece is about pufies, 4 robots that communicate with each other and try to do everything to attract observers attention.

They blink, change color, wiggle, make sounds and are all together attention grabbing. Overall effect is very good with lots of visitors almost unable to walk away because of sudden emotional attachment.

Puffy II, Puffination Puffy II, Puffination

Here is what artist wrote about her piece:

Pufis represent microorganisms living in an open ecosystem, while the collection of objects functions as a sensitive sensory network. The visitor is subsumed into the artificially produced »biosphere« through active sensor-based interaction. Pufination is incomplete without interaction. There’s no leading role, we’re all just cohabiting. The project thus highlights our relationship to other life as an important factor to every individual’s own survival. In Pufination, we find ourselves inside a simulated projection of our everyday. Decentralised control, close stimulus response and adherence to simple rules – this is what links robots and visitors in the Pufination.

Pufi robots are based on the Arduino platform. They communicate with each other by a wireless network and with people by touch, sound, light and vibration.

IMG00105.jpg Puffy II, Puffination Puffy II, Puffination

Full installation credits:

Idea, concept, design: Robertina Šebjanič
Programming, advice: Luka Frelih
Technical realization: Alojzij Sinur and Janž Verbančič
Production lead: Daša Lakner
Produced by: Cyberpipe (Err0r)

Black / Dark Google for Earth Hour

Having a nice white Google homepage in your browser is somehow reassuring as you know that you just have to start typing in order to lookup the data in the the metaverse.

This all changed when your favorite search engine turned their lights off in order to promote Earth Hour, their initiative to remind us to conserve energy and enable power-sawing modes on our computers and other electronic gadget.

If you are wondering why your Google didn’t turn dark for that one Earth Hour, it is because it’s probably because it is not between 8pm and 9pm maybe your local Google just doesn’t want to play. Here is a quick screen shot how I noticed it on Google UK.

Black Google Earth day

Lessig’s new CC and Slovenia

Lawrence Lessig, founding father of Creative Commons, announced his new initiative – It’s an idea to promote basic reform of United States Congress and fundamental principles that in reality steer it – corporate money. The campaign is using basic technological tools like Google Maps mash-up, together with Wiki’s and pledges to start building public awareness and help keeping track of who said what and how they kept with their promises.

This is an idea that I’m  deeply excited about. Even though hanging US congress does not affect me, I love it for the meme it brings to the world. As with Creative Commons that started as US initiative and then with time ported to most of the World countries, it brings the hope, as collateral damage, also to countries like Slovenia.

While I am not a lawyer or a political scientist, I like to think myself as a hacker and with that it makes me want to build similarly inspiring things in my local environment. It also allows me to take a look what other fellow hackers built and then start asking locals here, how this ideas map to our situation?

My call out to Slovenian and also Europeans (regarding the EU legislation) that are more intimate with political scene:

  • what is our equivalent regarding US PACs and lobbyists?
  • do we have “earmarks” problem?
  • what are local initiatives for more transparent parliament?
  • and how do we compare regarding the public funding of elections?

(adopted from

With some help of a local groups like or, we could firstly map in a wiki-like the differences and then start forming local issues. Hopefully with time people won’t think anymore that our Slovenian government is fully corrupt and bad because thee will be full transparent accountability that is not felt right now.

Listing all keys in S3 bucket using python boto

Source: FlickrWhen using python-boto package to list keys in your S3 bucket, you might hit a limit of 1000 keys when using function call bucket.get_all_keys(). In order to get full list of keys just do something along the lines of

keylist = [k for k in self.bucket]

since as it turns out, bucket has an iterator over key name.

(Discovered through patch of Mitchell Garnaat to Duplicity project).

WebCamp break out session #1 – Adoption challenges (for social network portability) and ways for solving them

Source: dsevilla @ Flickr

Adoption challenges (for social network portability) and ways for solving them;

source: WebCamp wiki

Disclaimer: this is a partly cleared transcript of discussion; I didn’t follow the authors of comments in order to be able to catch as much as I can. Correct me if I quoted someone incorrectly and please don’t be angry with me.

Present at the discussion:

  • Stephanie Booth, 8 years blogging, Freelance social media consultant, interested in blogging, and everything that’s online
  • Gerry Shanahan,, social media things, side of things
  • Sven Latham, IT consultant, used to run blog directory, semantic web and social networking is definitly as one of the interests
  • Paddy Holahan, Mobile blogging, NewBay founder and CEO; looking at this through the eyes of the operator, integrating with all the social operators
  • Jure Cuhalev, Zemanta, wishing to integrate with others
  • Smitashree Choudhury, doing a Ph.D. in Social media, working with media stuff
  • Justin Tomboulian, Microsoft, lives in Kyoto, Japan – responsible for solutions delivery; part of the network that takes care of 80k users ecosystem; trying to solve big-company illness problems; internal private social network and return the learnings to the community
  • John Breslin, DERI, interested in porting of data, SIOC, data portability initiative

The topic is: “Adoption issues”; what prevents people from using new technologies? The discussion turns to the question, why the big guys (FaceBook, etc.) are not adopting these solutions. Can we show that if we have portability, we will have more users.

40% of pictures on MySpace were referenced through PhotoBucket, so this was their biggest weakness when being acquired. So MySpace bought them, but the question is – was this a good thing for users? It means that MySpace killed the data portability of PhotoBucket. If you are looking at the photo that is sitting in photo-bucket, but is embedded into MySpace -> is this real portability or just “view-ability?”

So what portability really is? Should we copy the objects, or just reference it? It embedding YouTube portability of the video?

Quick explanation of aggregation vs. federation. News reader is aggregation -> data is on the web site, and I’m using special glasses to take a look at the data; it’s an aggregated view. Federation Is actually about “moving” data around. “Aggregation does not mean portability”; Reflection from a startup point of view: API’s are part of the discussion about portability, and the question was – why would we let others user precious data that users gave us. “It’s ours”. The point that Stephanie tried to get across: if you make your data available to other services, then this data is more valuable to users since then it will be available as parts of other sites.

The discussion turns into the fact weather FaceBook keeps a copy of your data and if you can get it removed. The right to delete the data is fundamental part of data portability. “Who’s data is this blog post? Just authors or of everyone that was there”. It is also hard from technical perspective. It’s also noted that web pages are cached and it is hard to quickly remove it from Google cache. It can be months, or days. Is it your right to delete your comments on a forum and disrupt the community. There is also a question of deleting blogs and the comments with them. The content becomes “part of community”, and with the deleting of the blog you are also removing other peoples original contribution. Users bill of right is mentioned –

What is the business model of “all these services”? “The because effect” – you do not make money with your blog, but because of it. The business models should turn more into that, instead of locking down the data to their islands.
What can you “bring” with you? Do you “move” -> delete original after copying; making a copy and having two copies; or are you existing in kind of a shared space that gets synced back and forth. Is business model – we are making money “with” the users content, not “because” of it.
If this content is great, then there must be money in that? Is that a good way of thinking about business models? The value of FaceBook is monetized eyeballs; they make money with branding ads since they actually charge according on time users spend on their site. They can’t make money from AdWords, they have to brand. These big sites do not have interest to open up their data until the competition comes. Using other big players in industry is possible for them to leverage their interest to make the data a bit more open.
What users want – is freedom of data; and companies want more face time, so there is no real interest for them to open data. “Is this similar to FOSS vs. proprietary debates”.

Data portability is a lot about business models. As long as business model issues are not solved, you can offer as much technical solutions as you want, you will not get adoption. “Users can vote with their feet”. Amnesty App – enabling users to migrate in one hop to another service. Static data formats are a problem, because we can’t know what will matter in a few years.

Ideal thing is that I have a store somewhere where I have all the information that I can allow others to read it. Who’s going to build it and the fact is that you can not design it correctly for the future. You could turn around it around and charge it to providers or the users, depending on the point of view on your data. What kind of business model is behind that?