Category Archives: News

CAPS Project Creating Internet For The People

caps2015photo3On the 8th of July 2015 D-CENT took part at the second International conference organised by CAPS2015 (Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation) in Brussels.

CAPS 2015 is organised by the European Commission through the CAPS2020 project, coordinated by Sigma Orionis. The CAPS projects are leveraging the emerging “network effect” by combining data coming from people, social media and real environments (“Internet of Things”) in order to build public, distributed, and privacy aware collective awareness platforms to address social challenges and present possible solutions.

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BitTorrent behind Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter

[BitTorrent Live is a cost effective method for distributed file sharing for live video. See]

Facebook and Twitter Use BitTorrent Internally to move files around. Ars Technica revealed Facebook’s usage of BitTorrent:

Moving a 1.5GB binary blob to countless servers is a non-trivial technical challenge. After exploring several solutions, Facebook came up with the idea of using BitTorrent, the popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol. BitTorrent is very good at propagating large files over a large number of different servers.

More: Here

Did Child Labor Build Your Smart Phone?

Did Child Labor Build Your Smart Phone?

Michelle Chen on July 11, 2014 – 9:05 AM ET

Big electronics brands often sell themselves as the vanguard of enlightened capitalism, not only solving our everyday problems through technological fixes but also making the world a better place along the way. To polish that image of technocratic progress, multinationals like Apple and Samsung frequently conduct well-hyped “corporate social responsibility” monitoring campaigns—showing that their overseas factories are eco-friendly, and that their supply chains are humane and “sweat free.” But labor advocates say a Chinese supplier factory for Samsung reveals that dirty labor practices are still lurking within these companies’ the ultra-slick assembly lines.

shinyang_graphic_imgA new investigation by the US-based watchdog group China Labor Watch has uncovered numerous labor violations at a Korean-owned Samsung supplier in southern China, Dongguan Shinyang Electronic. The group’s field research and undercover infiltration of the facility revealed underaged workers and punishing labor conditions.

The major allegation is that Shinyang has employed at least several teens under age 16, the legal working age in China, and many more under age 18. They were hired, CLW says, as part of a labor dispatch system in which agencies funnel short-term “student workers” to factories that need surplus labor to handle seasonal influxes in export orders. Student temps are paid at lower rates despite doing comparable work. The New York Times followed up with a report affirming the identity of three girls, aged 14 and 15, who were apparently hired with false identification.


2 Billion Smartphone Users by the End of 2015

smartphone “Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in today’s society and it’s not surprising to know that 1 in 5 people in the world have smartphones. By the end of 2015, there will be 2 billion smartphone users in the world. That means a quarter of the entire human population on earth has the means to be connected to the internet anytime, anywhere.
Smartphones have also become mini-TVs with larger and more high-definition screens. In 2014, 53% of all video was viewed on mobile. That figure will rise to 69% by 2018. People will be on the train watching their TV shows or they will be following the live stream of the Giants vs. Dodgers at AT&T Park. People are now more keen to watch what they want when they want it. It’s the same thing for broadcasters – they can now broadcast video content from wherever they are through their smartphones.”

– source: DaCast Streaming Service

Telematics Harming Workers

“For UPS, whose revenues topped $58 billion in 2014, tracking worker productivity goes straight to the bottom line. Time is money, and management knows exactly how much: “Just one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,” the company’s senior director of process management, Jack Levis, told NPR last year. He appeared on a boosterish episode of the Planet Money podcast titled “The Future of Work Looks Like a UPS Truck.” Levis and other UPS executives have a favorite quip: “We’ve moved from a trucking company that has technology to basically a technology company that just happens to have trucks.”

But UPS trucks aren’t driven by robots—at least not yet—and of the 10 current and former drivers I’ve interviewed, all felt like they were handling packages in the Panopticon. “Data is just a proxy for control,” said Sam Dwyer, 26, a former screenwriter and marketing-industry analyst who spent eight months as a driver last year.

A current driver, who also asked to remain anonymous for fear of getting fired, said: “It’s like you’re fighting for your job every day. They harass you: ‘Why did it take you 10 minutes here? Why did it take you this long there?’… They want you to hate your job and quit so they can hire somebody at half the pay.”

The metrics-based harassment of workers is common, said Tim Sylvester, the president of Teamsters Local 804, when I visited his Long Island City union hall in March. He told the tale of one UPS driver, Domenick DeDomenico, who spent 10 days in a coma after getting hit by a car while delivering packages. A year later, after surgery and extensive physical therapy, DeDomenico was back on the job. When the tracking data indicated that he’d dipped below his pre-accident delivery rate of 13.23 packages per hour, managers threatened to fire him, DeDomenico said at a union rally.”


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