Decentralization tools – links

By Thursday, April 2, 2015 Tags: 0103, ABCD, Links, Tools Permalink 0

A brief post on additional open-source services, software, hardware, community and art projects we stumbled upon during our ongoing research: (service) enables users to retrieve their Facebook data, anonymize it and sell it back for market value. We’re not sure it’s legit (there’s a security warning while loading the site). It however seems to be the same people behind another service of the sort: (community) is a community-powered free wireless network originating from Germany. (community) is an open, free and neutral telecommunication network built piece by piece (by literally deploying cables and antennas) by the community. The project originates from Spain. (service, community) is a free tool to build and host your website at home. The project seems ambitious as it combines self-hosting hardware standards with a custom-made WYSIWYG webpage builder and a template repository fed by users (all webpages built become open-source templates). (software) is a mobile messaging app for Windows and Android. It uses Bluetooth and the movement of crowds to spread data and suppresses the need for operators, a bit like the Firechat app. It however seems that the project has been abandoned in 2009.

Uncloud (software) is an application that enables anyone with a laptop to create an open wireless network and share information. Users can connect wirelessly while remaining disconnected from the internet.

GoTenna (hardware) is a product enabling users to text and share their location even when there is no telecom tower or satellite coverage.

AirChat (software, hardware) is a free, secure and open-source telecommunication network built by LulzLabs working a laptop and a hacked radio. (speculative design) is a free and secure communications network hypothetically built and maintained by the community.

Project Maelstrom Last but not least, Project Maelstrom is BitTorrent latest proposition to decentralize web hosting through the BitTorrent protocol – We cannot help to ask ourselves: Is it still decentralization if it’s owned by a company?

Project Fi While we’re in the corporate sphere: Google is apparently aiming to take over the front-end costumor away from telecom companies. Perhaps decentralization is becoming just another marketing argument for companies who actually want centralize (read: capitalize on) your data.

We will continue to add links as our research goes forward. In the meanwhile, you can find all the links mentioned in the research project on Delicious under the tag “i&ic_designresearch” (note: also mentioned in this previous post, “Public Survey on Delicious“, within the Resources category on this blog).


For additional and updated resources, a Github is maintained that lists tools:

Heating homes with Clouds – links


Using excess heat generated by data centers to warm homes isn’t a new idea. Earlier in our research we stumbled upon Qarnot, a french company proposing to decentralize the data center into meshed radiators to distribute computing resources across people’s homes (we’re guessing they took their name from Carnot’s Limit ;). They announced a partnership with the city of Paris to heat 350 low-income housings in 2013.

However, they are not the only rats in the race…

EIC / ECIA standards (for racks, cabinets, panels and associated equipment)

And now that the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) has become the Electronic Components Alliance (ECA) and has then merged with the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA), its new name is ECIA, standing for Electronic Components Industry Association. That’s where you can buy (for $88.00 usd) the norm EIA/ECA-310E that regulates the 19″ cabinets standard.

Acting like a building block, this modular standard ultimately gives shape to bigger size data centers that hold many of these racks and cabinets.

Cookbook > Basic instructions to set up a Raspberry Pi

In the context of the workshop being held by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez this week at ECAL, Raspberry Pi’s will be available to students.

The Pi’s have already been set up with a basic layer of software / harware, the OS installed is Raspbian (on 8Gb SD’s for the Raspberry Pi B and 16Gb SDxC for the Raspberry Pi B+), the keyboard system is standard International Mac US and the wifi-dongle enables to access the Pi via SSH from another machine. Here’s how we did it from scratch:

Stockholm 1982: The Hot Line

In September 1982, the youths of Stockholm had discovered a specific way to meet each other: they used a bug in the routing of the city’s phone cabins to communicate through group calls, for free. This story is relevant as an ethnographical example of the influence of communication technologies on the behaviour of social groups, specifically through their misuse.


Via Magnus Eriksson

Reblog > Setting up a Raspberry Pi to run bots

Artist Jeff Thompson has put this comprehensive tutorial on how to run bots on a Raspberry-Pi microcomputer – including the basics of setting up the Pi to run without a screen and programming it remotely by SSH-ing into it from another computer. This is an interesting way to tap into small ressources of the cloud without necessarily consuming vast quantities of energy.


Via Algopop