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autonomo.us · Franklin Street Statement on Freedom and Network Services
Franklin Street Statement on Freedom and Network Services

July 14, 2008 in statements by Benjamin Mako Hill | 89 comments

The current generation of network services or Software as a Service can provide advantages over traditional, locally installed software in ease of deployment, collaboration, and data aggregation. Many users have begun to rely on such services in preference to software provisioned by themselves or their organizations. This move toward centralization has powerful effects on software freedom and user autonomy.

On March 16, 2008, a workgroup convened at the Free Software Foundation to discuss issues of freedom for users given the rise of network services. We considered a number of issues, among them what impacts these services have on user freedom, and how implementers of network services can help or harm users. We believe this will be an ongoing conversation, potentially spanning many years. Our hope is that free software and open source communities will embrace and adopt these values when thinking about user freedom and network services. We hope to work with organizations including the FSF to provide moral and technical leadership on this issue.

We consider network services that are Free Software and which share Free Data as a good starting-point for ensuring users’ freedom. Although we have not yet formally defined what might constitute a ‘Free Service’, we do have suggestions that developers, service providers, and users should consider:

Developers of network service software are encouraged to:

Use the GNU Affero GPL, a license designed specifically for network service software, to ensure that users of services have the ability to examine the source or implement their own service.
Develop freely-licensed alternatives to existing popular but non-Free network services.
Develop software that can replace centralized services and data storage with distributed software and data deployment, giving control back to users.

Service providers are encouraged to:

Choose Free Software for their service.
Release customizations to their software under a Free Software license.
Make data and works of authorship available to their service’s users under legal terms and in formats that enable the users to move and use their data outside of the service. This means:
Users should control their private data.
Data available to all users of the service should be available under terms approved for Free Cultural Works or Open Knowledge.

Users are encouraged to:

Consider carefully whether to use software on someone else’s computer at all. Where it is possible, they should use Free Software equivalents that run on their own computer. Services may have substantial benefits, but they represent a loss of control for users and introduce several problems of freedom.
When deciding whether to use a network service, look for services that follow the guidelines listed above, so that, when necessary, they still have the freedom to modify or replicate the service without losing their own data.
software  legal  free  comp.history 
13 days ago
mps-youtube
Terminal based YouTube player and downloader
youtube  music 
16 days ago
How Much Money Do You Save by Cooking at Home?
We found on average, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home. And if you’re using a meal kit service as a shortcut to a home cooked meal, it’s a bit more affordable, but still almost three times as expensive as cooking from scratch.
cooking  data  economics  food 
20 days ago
Freeman Dyson: "I kept quiet for 30 years, maybe it’s time to speak."
I’m thinking a lot about evolution at the moment.
It happens that I corresponded with two heretics on the subject of evolution. Motoo Kimura who was a Japanese biologist and Ursula Goodenough, an American biologist. Both of them had heretical ideas about evolution which I think were probably correct.
I’m preparing a talk which discusses the idea that Darwin was correct up to a point but he didn’t tell us the whole story.
Because the biologists are very defensive about Darwin. If you say anything critical about Darwin you’re regarded as an enemy. It’s a very dangerous subject to tread on. I kept quiet for thirty years so maybe it’s time to speak.
Just to clarify here for our readers, obviously, you’re poking holes in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution but you’re saying it only tells the story up to a certain point. What do you mean by that?
Well that he believed that evolution was driven by selection. That’s essentially Darwin’s contribution. And it’s true for big populations, but it has limits.
The limits are you need big populations in order for selection to be dominant. If you have small populations, then random drift is actually more important than selection. That’s the Kimura theory. Kimura called it the neutral theory of evolution and he wrote a book about it which was widely ignored by all the orthodox biologists.
But I think he was right. And in fact, it happens that small populations are very important in evolution. In fact, you have to have a small population to start a new species, almost by definition. So small populations have a controlling effect on starting new species and also in the extension of old species.
So this neutral regime where the selection is not important may, in fact, be the real driving force of evolution when you come to a new species. And of course, if that’s true, it changes the picture in many ways.
What do you think Richard Dawkins would make of this?
I mean let him speak for himself, but he is generally very dogmatic that selection dominates, and he talked about the selfish gene which is correct of course if you have a big population. If you have small populations, not so much, genes come and go mostly by random chance.
Darwin understood the difficulty. He asked the question “why is nature so diverse?”, he asked, “why do we have millions of species?” Darwin asked the question, in a beautiful way, “why did God love beetles? There are half a million species of beetles, why did God make so many?”
And it’s hard to understand that on the basis of selection. If selection were dominant, then you’d expect that there would be a few species of beetle which would prevail. They would be the best adapted and the others would disappear.
But  in  the  real  world_  you  have  this  enormous  richness  of  species_  many  kinds  of  beetle  and  there  are  birds  of  paradise  and  there  are  all  sorts  of  weird  peacocks  with  peacock  feathers  which  seem  to  be  peculiarly  unfit.  all  those  weird  creatures  which  have  prevailed  for  reasons  that  Darwin  couldn’t  explain.  He  understood  that  there  was  a  problem  and  I  think  that  the  neutral  theory  of  Kimura  really  does  help  a  lot  to  understand  that.  from iphone
5 weeks ago
Funny story, in 15 years of professional software development I never experience... | Hacker News
Funny story, in 15 years of professional software development I never experienced the sense of imposter syndrome until very recently when I decided after 12 years at one employer (on many satisfying projects) I needed to consider expanding my employment options. AKA I started looking for a new job. Once I got a whiff of the putrid state of hiring in our industry today holy hell...

Sure, I’ve been successful at this for 15+ years, delivering at or above expectations at almost 100% rate with some great individual excellence tossed in for good measure. But I am 99% sure I’d never pass an interview for a new job doing exactly what I do now. Am I even a software engineer developer programmer whatever?

It has been a very disconcerting experience.

Anyway, I figure the feeling of being an imposter is just a natural subconscious reaction to what seems like an entirely alien definition of what my job is vs. what other employers seem to expect from someone doing my job. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed this disconnect as so many links/threads on HN allude to.

It certainly has given me a good deal of anxiety, though, I don’t really see what choice I have but to accept this nonsense and try to prepare for it. Luckily I haven’t been feeling any depression or burnout or any other obvious mood impact from the whole experience, but, I could see that happening if I had less confidence in my ability to fill in my knowledge gaps, even if it’s for nothing beyond an interview.
psychology  impostersyndrome 
11 weeks ago
How a Top-Flight Trainer Discovered the Most Important Exercise Every Athlete Should Do
How a Top-Flight Trainer Discovered the Most Important Exercise Every Athlete Should Do
Given Ryan Flaherty’s reputation as one of the most tech-savvy trainers at the highest level of professional sports—a soft-spoken metrics whiz who once pocketed $2,000 off Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel for correctly predicting the quarterback’s 40-yard dash time down to a tenth of a second—I expected to see a much cooler gym setup from him.
After all, when the owner of Prolific Athletes, based in Carlsbad, CA, isn’t training the NCAA’s top football prospects for the NFL combine—the league’s yearly predraft data fest measuring all things strength, speed, jumping, and agility—Flaherty is drawing up quant-based workout programs for tennis superstar Serena Williams, Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Götze (who scored the deciding goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final), USA Rugby speedster Carlin Isles, and countless Major League Baseball players and USA Track & Field Olympic athletes. This is the guy who once told a reporter that, when he watches athletes play, he “sees in numbers” only, as if he looks past their flesh and directly into their biological machinery.
So when I arrive at Flaherty’s latest ultra-exclusive six-week NFL combine camp one chilly January morning in San Juan Capistrano, CA, I’m surprised to discover no million-dollar bio-monitors with electrodes sprouting off athletes in gleaming, full-body supersuits, no glowing screens flashing columns of numbers that pour down ad infinitum. Nor is there any space-age machinery scattered about, processing heart rates, speed, acceleration, intensity, or power figures.
Frankly, I’m not certain I even see a Fitbit.
It’s just your standard gym where guys are lifting free weights and running sprints while listening to music. And had those guys not been top NCAA prospects, like quarterbacks Jared Goff of the University of California and North Dakota State’s standout Carson Wentz (who “took the NFL combine by storm” and may be “the biggest star” of this year’s NFL draft, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King would later write), I would’ve thought I’d taken a wrong turn and ended up at some high school’s early-ball conditioning session.
But no, I’m in the right place. And as I learn, Flaherty is even more obsessed with quantitative analysis than I’d previously thought. He just doesn’t need sci-fi equipment to gather his data, and his workout philosophy and training process are so disarmingly simple and effective, it’s hard to believe.
Over several years of refining his approach to helping star athletes build power, explosiveness, and speed, he has developed a proprietary formula that yields a single crucial metric that informs everything he does.
He calls it the “Force Number.”
(Trainer Ryan Flaherty watches linebacker Reggie Northrup from Florida State.)
With that one piece of data, he says, he can predict with 99% accuracy “any athlete’s 40-yard dash, vertical leap, even a 10K run time.” What’s more, improving an athlete’s number is not only possible, it’s also largely accomplished with the help of a single hardcore power lift. (More on that later.)
So if you’re an aspiring professional athlete looking to take your body to the next level—and, say, sprint like DeSean Jackson, jump like Julio Jones, or explode off the line like J.J. Watt—you pay Flaherty upward of $20,000 for one of 12 spots at his camp to learn your figure and improve it.
Yes, it sounds pretty cool, like some crazy stuff straight out of Star Wars. But unlike that metaphysical force, Flaherty’s number actually exists. Believe me, I know.
I’m here because he’s going to tell me mine.
(Flaherty and Nick Vigil, linebacker from Utah State.)
The Secret to Running Like the Wind
I meet Flaherty and his clients on a high school football field with a backdrop of low, dusty hills. As his colleagues lay out a set of neon cones in a grid, a handful of agents—all middle-aged white guys in polo shirts—stalk the sidelines and take hushed phone calls. Flaherty, 33, is tall, with an athlete’s sure-footed presence. He’s also talkative, with colorful opinions on fitness springing rapid-fire from his mouth.
And if you spend time with him, you’ll discover he has a knack for explaining just about anything, no matter how complicated, using a single number. For example, when Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil, at 6’2″, 230 pounds, sprints by, Flaherty first pokes fun at him—“Nick, you have the steps of a circus midget, dude”—before singling out the number 11. Flaherty ambles over to the starting line and turns and paces out 11 yards, repositioning a bright orange cone. “When I’m watching [the 40-yard dash at] the combine, the only thing I’m watching is this 11-yard line,” Flaherty says. “Based on where your step is at that line, I know your time.”
If a football player wants to run a blazing 40—clocking in at 4.5 seconds or less—Flaherty says, his seventh step needs to land at or past that 11-yard line. Period.
(Jared Goff, quarterback from the University of California.)
Step counts, Flaherty has learned through thousands of hours of research, are an incredibly reliable indicator of race results. When you adjust for height, he says, the athlete who takes the fewest steps during any race will win because longer strides indicate an athlete is generating more force per step than his competitors. Over the course of a race, that extra distance per stride compounds. In a 100-meter sprint it could mean the difference of a step or two at the finish line; in a marathon, with about 20,000 strides taken, that extra three inches per step puts a runner a full mile ahead of his previous pace—exactly what Flaherty observed in 2014 after training pro distance runner Meb Keflezighi, who won the Boston Marathon just two weeks shy of his 39th birthday.
No matter what, he tells the group, the goal should be hitting that seventh step at the 11-yard cone. Vigil steps up to the line for another go.
(Nick Vannett (running), tight end from Ohio State.)
“These guys are focusing so much on the start, they’re tensing up, which shortens the steps,” Flaherty tells me. “If they relax and focus on long, powerful strides, they’ll start running faster.”
Sure enough, the times start falling immediately, even though the athletes aren’t trying as hard. Many clock their fastest times of the day. “Form has almost zero to do with speed,” Flaherty says. “Speed has everything to do with how much force you create. The two main factors in speed are stride frequency and stride length, and both are products of how much force your body creates with the ground. So if I can improve the amount of force an athlete creates on every step, in turn I’m going to greatly affect his or her speed.”
And the surefire way to create more ground force, he says, is to attack one power lift really, really hard.
(Ejiro Ederaine, linebacker from Fresno State.)
The Most Badass Lift in the Gym
Flaherty’s long journey to becoming an elite trainer began when he was a young athlete growing up in Los Angeles, which is where he discovered that speed is something that can be taught.
As a boy he was strong, coordinated, athletic. There was only one problem: He was glacially slow. But when, at age 10, he started working with a track and field coach who improved his form and stride, he quickly found himself the fastest kid on every team he played for. “Even at that age it was obvious that speed is a skill,” he says. “Most people think it’s just something you’re born with, but it’s actually something you can learn, something you can train. I was the product of that.”
Flaherty attended Utah State University on a football scholarship, playing wide receiver. His athletic career ended there, derailed by chronic ACL injuries. He moved to San Diego, where he earned an undergraduate kinesiology degree with a master’s in biomechanics from San Diego State University. He started training and observing local track athletes and became obsessed with the question of what makes one athlete faster than another.
“I noticed that very few of the trainers I’d worked with collected much data,” he says. “A lot of them were just applying philosophy. But when I asked, ‘What are the results you’re getting; what are the average improvements?’ they didn’t know. It was, ‘We’re getting a few tenths off the 40-yard dash, some improvement on the vertical, and the bench press is going up.’ I realized that if I wanted to separate myself, to have accountability for the programming I was doing, I was going to keep data on every athlete.”
In those years Flaherty spent untold hours accumulating data on elite sprinters, using high-tech video-analysis software and a sophisticated and obscenely expensive piece of equipment called a “force-plate treadmill” (essentially a treadmill that also measures ground forces). “At first I thought that running was all biomechanical,” he says, “but it wasn’t until I started looking into all this data from every race that I realized it always came back to peak ground force—I can take someone and make him the most perfect biomechanical sprinter in the world, but if he doesn’t have a very good strength-to-weight ratio he’s not going to go anywhere.”
That ratio is the basis for his Force Number. Flaherty originally discovered this during a 2005 study of sprinters running on a force-plate treadmill. To explain, he shows me a series of slides on his computer illustrating the study data: The athletes, marked A through H, are ranked first by peak ground force generated, then by body weight, then again by the relationship between the two. (Mathematically speaking, that’s the Force Number: your peak ground force divided by your weight.)
(UCLA offensive lineman Jake Brendel.)
It should be noted that the highest Force Number doesn’t come from the athlete with the highest peak ground force, but the athlete with… [more]
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11 weeks ago
fsk comments on Am I being entitled for wanting to pull my application to a company that sends a coding challenge as a first step, before even speaking to a human?
If you expect to have only a 1% chance of getting hired, they aren't asking for 3 hours. The amortized cost to you is 300 hours.
career 
april 2018
EWG’s Sunscreen Guide: | EWG's 2017 Guide to Sunscreens
Despite a growing awareness of the dangers of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, and a multi-billion dollar sunscreen industry, melanoma rates have tripled over the past three decades.
skincare 
april 2018
My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment - The New York Times
One week after the end of the experiment, though, a final skin swab found almost no evidence of N. eutropha anywhere on my skin. It had taken me a month to coax a new colony of bacteria onto my body. It took me three showers to extirpate it. Billions of bacteria, and they had disappeared as invisibly as they arrived. I had come to think of them as “mine,” and yet I had evicted them.
skincare  paleo 
april 2018
software engineer - CALC Search
Use this when I have to negotiate work again.
software  negotiation  work 
april 2018
Elon Musk Answers Your Questions! | SXSW 2018 - YouTube
@36:00, Elon predicts that by the end of 2019, self-driving will consist of almost all forms of driving, and be 100-200% safer than a person.

"Mark my words: AI is far more dangerous than nukes. *Far*."
prediction 
march 2018
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