All of the world’s knowledge should be made available to anyone on earth regardless of their language, geographical location, or financial status.
That is the mission of my latest project, Esplori. I've been quietly working on this for a long time, and I'm truly excited to officially start.
We are looking for the best developers, designers, community managers, partners, investors, and passionate individuals to make this project a reality.
If you are awesome, and you care about any of those things, you should contact us.
Last week, Bill Gates previewed his fourth annual letter and invites students around the world to submit their own letters addressing what they think is the world's most pressing issue. Students can submit their letters to email@example.com through February 2nd, 2012.
I'd like for us to set the Microsoft talk aside and focus on this. I'm taking his message seriously, so here's my letter to the foundation.
Dear Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,
my name is Federico Pistono, I'm a computer scientist, author, and social activist.
I think the issues that need to be addressed swiftly are: access to clean water, food sovereignty, and education. All of them are enabled by access to the Internet. Here's a very brief overview of my plan:
- Millions of OLPC ($80 each, http://one.laptop.org) and Raspberry Pi ($25 each, http://www.raspberrypi.org) to developing countries, with OSS software, Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and other educational resources preinstalled/preconfigured.
- Finance Open Source Ecology (http://opensourceecology.org), improve it and fine-tune it according to different locations and resource availability. Scale it and apply worldwide.
- Cost-effective water purification and desalinisation through fresnel lenses and other cheap DIY technology (I'm working on it as we speak). Open Source all designs.
- Free and unrestricted access to the Internet to developing countries through projects such as Buy This Satellite (http://buythissatellite.org) and WiMAX high-power antennas.
- Study, develop, and educate people about permaculture and hydroponics/aquaponics systems. Use each according to resource availability to achieve maximum efficiency. The goal is food sovereignty with as little labour as possible.
These five points require an in-depth thorough examination, which I am happy to explore if I have the chance to. There are also many more ideas that I would like to develop, as I study and learn more about the world.
Thank you for the attention and the work you do, I hope you consider the ideas presented in this letter to make the world a better place.
As you probably know, yesterday was the day of the great Internet blackout, in protest of the upcoming SOPA and PIPA legislations, which instead of protecting the rights of authors and artists, they look more like draconian laws of a dystopian world where websites could be taken down for no reason and people could go to jail for streaming some music. I'm not making this up, it's all in the bill, just read it.
As always, the Khan Academy offers an excellent explanation of what SOPA and PIPA are all about:
And here Kirby Ferguson has an animated version.
Yesterday, this blog, among other 75,000 sites, was blacked out, and not accessible for 24 hours. People were encouraged to call congress and stop this madness. It was a huge success. TorrentFreak reports that SOPA / PIPA Co-Sponsors Drop Like Flies As Millions Protest, millions of people mobilised to keep the Internet free.
This isn't the first time they try to censor the Internet, and it won't be the last.
Stay strong, stay united.