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[Freedombox-discuss] towards a business plan

Le dimanche 06 mars 2011 ? 14:59 +0100, Jonas Smedegaard a ?crit :
> On Sun, Mar 06, 2011 at 02:19:17PM +0100, Yannick wrote:
> >Le dimanche 06 mars 2011 ? 12:46 +0100, Jonas Smedegaard a ?crit :
> >> On Sat, Mar 05, 2011 at 07:15:18PM -0800, Thomas Lord wrote:
> >> >Step 1:
> >> >
> >> >Let's pick 5 apps.   I suggest email mailbox hosting, chat,
> >> >instant messaging, blogging and FB-ish "walls".
> >>
> >> What is the difference between "chat" and "instant messaging"?
> >>
> >> If first one is realtime voice chat, I suggest calling it telephony to
> >> avoid misunderstanding.
> >>
> >> And I suggest to aim even lower that for first iterations.  Not because
> >> any of them are weak as selling points, but because not all of them
> >> really exist yet (or are prepackaged in Debian, if that matters yo you).
> >
> >Nowadays, there is no more such difference between Instant Messaging,
> >Voice/video Chat and Telephony. It all converges.
> True for protocols, but not necessarily apps (which is the topic here):
> User experience of texting someone vs. calling them are quite different 
> - even if (as I dislike on this list) we talk about cellphones.
> >Finally, I would say we do not have the source code yet implementing 
> >all of that, but we do have some good clients here and there wich will 
> >need more love...
> ...which nicely demonstrates the potential weakness in the proposed 
> business plan, which I vaguely mentioned as the "tricky part" left out:
> I asssumed the business plan talked about apps existing in Debian, but 
> you are right, Yannick, even this is open to interpretation.
> NB! Please only discuss the proposed business plan in this thread.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Thus I will put it as simple as I can :
from my point of view, the project is not about "something that works",
"efficiency", "open source", "business", etc. Of course this matter. But
the core is "freedom". With means something appealing that works based
upon freedom.

Freedom is not "open source" or "business".

Let's take a few exemple:

* searching the web
Most probably one of the service people use the most. It most of the
time rely on farm of serveurs maintained by really big companies like
goolge or microsoft. At witch point can people trust them ? What if you
live in some country like china ? Will a freedom box just shipping a
nice web browser like firefox be enough for people if they must use such
services for searching the web ? If one of the core goal of this box is
to provide people censorship resistant tools, this has to be care about
too. As far as I know, there is work being done on this topic, still it
will probably need some engineering.

* blogging
In the same way if we plan to put some service for blogging, like a web
server e.g. Nginx+php/mysql support, with a nice tool to start your own
blog e.g. wordpress, what if your ISP provider puts you behind a NAT for
the port 80? How will people be able to read your blog? One solution is
mesh wifi, i.e. everybody being a provider. It will probably need some

* mail server
We do have all the necessary software for this since long now. But, in
my country, France, one of the biggest ISP forbid its user to provide a
mail server. The reason behind this is spamming. This is not a strong
technical reason, just an easy solution. As much people do not have
their mail server at home, very few protested. Is it normal for people,
even geeks like us, to use some central server like the one from google
with a bot reading every email and adding content at the bottom of it?
Will you agree with such if it was for your paper mails? One solution is
mesh wifi, i.e. everybody being a provider. It will probably need some

* Instant messaging/audio and video calls
Most people are stuck with proprietary protocols witch are designed with
the purpose not being able to talk each other because their friends are
already using it. We do have nice software like pidgin or telepathy, but
is it enough to have restricted service just for business reason? Even
more, most if not all those services use central server for relaying
text messages and in some case use censorship. Or will we ship Skype
because it works and really does a good job working around NAT and has a
nice GUI appealing for most people? I hope not. As far as i know, this
will also need some engineering.

Quite frankly the job here is not only creating a nice package of open
source software; there is much stuff needing to be fixed for the sack of
freedom, or at least for internet the way it was designed with
end-to-end connection in mind without a central authority!

Technically put, each freedombox has to be intelligent providing a lot
of services replacing centralized ones, not a stupid terminal relaying
central services like google, facebook, etc. In France we do have a word
for those terminals: "minitel". Today we are on the way to going back to
this. Ask around you, it is where the business is...

This is the reason why i promised to give money to the project, to pay

Best regards,

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