Wednesday, 1. August 2007

flickr-censorship - what to do

I got victimized by flickr censorship. My photos are still there, but I cannot see the photos by Jake Applebaum anymore. Well, not only I, but anybody from China, Germany and Austria. Lucky me, in Hong Kong you get thrown into jail when you look at art photographs done by Jake.

A post by Xeni Jardin on explains how Jake got on the censored photos list:

... I blogged about the case of Oiwan Lam, a well-known blogger in Hong Kong (Links: 1, 2, 3, 4) who's facing the possibility of a year in jail or a $HK 400,000 fine for having linked to an image deemed offensive by authorities. That image (a non-pornographic, artistic nude) was shot and published by none other than Jake Appelbaum, whose work has been blogged here on BoingBoing many times. ...
Oiwan ... blames the photo-sharing site's recently implemented content rating/blocking system in part for the legal situation she now faces in Hong Kong.
Jake believes the program, as implemented, amounts to censorship...

Jake explained the background at said blogpost.

Think global, now the local trouble: I cannot look at the pictures of a person, whom I met personally sometime and who's work I admire. Here is a pic I took of Jake when we were out eating with other friends in Vienna:

And now, when I click on Jake's photos, flickr tells me
ioerror doesn't have any photos available to you. Take me home.

Aeeehhhhmmm. Well, ioerror indeed has photos available for me and I would be interested to see them. So, the social networking website flickr removed the social networking for me. But Gunnar, who sits in office in opposite of me, is not affected by the censorship, because he is Norwegian.
My flickr account will expire tomorrow, and I am so angry about this that I don't plan continue it. But then you won't see my sets and pictures anymore and, alas, out of anger nothing good can come.

Any suggestions welcome, I could shutdown my flickr account and move to zooomr (well, maybe not, its a one-man-show) or to smugmug, I could make a new flickr account using a fake id from Norway, etc etc... whats the right thing to do?

To be prepared, I already backed up my whole flickr account, including all comments and tags of the photos in RDF.
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c (guest) - 1. Aug, 18:53

i think its time for distributed flickr, openID, domain-specific ptsw integration for discovery of new images from friends...

gonna check over that RDF format for the flickr dumps, thanks

leobard - 1. Aug, 23:00

probably is

but who is now going to pay our online bills? webspace is not free, 20$ / year is cheap for gigs of space.

checkout the (outdated) collection of tools:

to make the RDF stuff work on cheap webspace, anything connected to the search terms "PHP Chris Bizer" is worth to check out.
Arne (guest) - 5. Aug, 15:02


I'm fed up with flickr as well (and with Yahoo! in general), I figure that Ipernity (e.g. my account at // as a fairly good rip-off of flickr. Even the flash-based organizer tool looks almost exactly as flickr's...

leobard - 9. Aug, 09:01

thanks for this tip

I collected the options with the delicious tag "flickralternative"


What we need is personalized feeds, that give me the "friend" view on people I know, based on FOAF account information. If I knew your foaf file, I could access your flickr account myself and get your rss feed, while I could do the same with all your online accounts. The most important issue is to stay up to date with friend's blogs, photos, postings, FOAF and services as should be enough for that.
leobard - 9. Aug, 09:03

another year...

I gave up, I need my flickr photos right now to gather a collection for my birthday event, and using the command line interface to browse them was not so great.

So I added another year of money to yahoo/flickr and start working on an alternative.

Bob Mottram (guest) - 24. Aug, 23:19

For a long time for better or worse the web was a domain of free expression. I think what we're seeing here is the beginning of a period in which the state tries to control what people can or can't view on the internet. China has been leading the way in this regard, but it's a trend which seems to be playing out in all countries.

Desktop and Web happily together

Harry Chen blogged about the article Flying machines, desktop software and Web 2.0 by Jay Larock, who compares web and desktop software.

Larock gives three reasons why we will continue using desktop computers and desktop software (abbreviated by me):
  1. it takes time to port software and make the shift
  2. we are not always online, but the desktop still runs
  3. some software works better when eating your local cpu power
I copy all of these arguments, and add a fourth: some people don't trust free services on the web, who may censor your work, suddenly go out of business, or be hacked, and therefore some people keep a copy of their data on their own harddisks and enjoy desktop apps.

Harry then comes to this conclusion:
We shouldn’t ask the question whether desktop software will survive in the age of Web 2.0 (yes, they will survive). But instead, we should ask: how can Web 2.0 applications (and Semantic Web applications) complement the existing functions of desktop software, so that the users can be made more productive?

This question was asked differently by me in 2003 and answered in this thesis:

"If the goal is to have a global Semantic Web,
one building block is a Semantic Desktop,
a Web for a single user. "

After this, Stefan Decker and Martin Frank published their "Networked Semantic Desktop" paper, and you find several implementations that bring Semantic Web technology to the desktop,,,

And lots more that are under the "radar". So, the questions is good, but using the keyword "Semantic Desktop" you easily find an answer. There are many articles about it. If you have more questions, ask the

So yes, its indeed a good idea to combine web 2.0, semantic web and desktop computing :-)
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Dan Connolly on Units

Dan Connolly blogged about units in RDF.

We have the same problem in Nepomuk, but for more practical things like measuring the size of a file (MB, KB, B, b) or the length of a song (1h, 3m 20s, 200s). Actually, we are searching for a solution that will work in normal KDE and doesnt require a PhD to understand, the typical KDE developer will take 10 minutes reading the FAQ and then start using it (note: 10 minutes for RDF, Turtle and the Unit ontology ;-)

Will blog again once I have checked what our status is.
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August 2007


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