Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gr33nData! What the heck does it mean!?

Well, since ... hmmm ... I can't remember since when ... but let's say since the Internet was invented and I am calling myself gr33ndata. My original blog, my twitter, flickr, and even this blog is called not gr33ndata. So what the heck does this weird name mean!?

I came out with this name, because you know, in old movies like Hackers and The Matrix, geeks and hackers used to use PC's with black background and green text on them. Black terminals with green text were so cool then, and that's why I chose the colour "Green". And then I added the data part to refer to, you know, since we were using the Internet, then we are supposed to be geeks, and the word "Data" looks like Information Technology and stuff.

And once more, the geek factor made me replace the letter 'e' in the handle to '3'. H4x0r jargon and nerdy stuff, right!?

And here we go, Gr33nData or gr33ndata was born.

Sometimes, I try to look smart and come out with other interpretations for the name, like Green is the Colour of Egypt, and Data refers to using IT in order to improve my country. Or may be nowadays, I can say that I'm using such handle to support Green IT initiatives. But you know, all of those interpretations are nonsense. Because when I came out with this handle none of them even crossed my mind. And you know what, I am not sure I like being called a geek after all these years. Yet, I just love this nickname, and I guess I'll continue using it for a while.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who Owns The Photos!?

You know you are addicting to blogging, when you prefer to discuss problems between you and your friends via blog posts, instead of discussing them face to face.

Isn't it ironic when you receive a couple of SMSs and more than one Email form one of your friends asking you in a very rude way to delete some of the photos you've uploaded to your Facebook account because he/she happens to appear in them, and he/she considers it a big violation to his/her privacy, and then you find out that there are dozens of photos out there uploaded by different people with him/her in them, and it gets really creepier when he/she starts tagging himself/herself in even more photos!? Isn't it ironic that when I were in Chile last week, many strangers in the streets there had no problem with me photographing them, and some others even urged me to shoot them, and then a friend - I still insist on calling him/her a friend anyway even thought we almost stopped talking to each other - is mad at you because he/she happens to appear in some of the photos you are publishing!? Isn't it ironic that his/her privacy becomes really important, when you are the one who uploads the photos, and he/she starts yelling at you, however his/her privacy doesn't seem to be that important when other strangers are uploading similar photos!?

Ah, before I end this post, I'd like to say that the main reason for me writing this post, is that I was wondering about who owns a specific photo. Is it the one who shoots it, uploads it, or the one who appears in it? People are discussing Facebook privacy issues thoroughly nowadays, and in fact I believe the whole privacy issue is out of our control now. Everyone out there happens to have a cell phone with a built in camera, and most of them happen to have accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Twitpic, you name it. So would you please tell me, what is the point of making your photos private on Facebook in order for people not to know how you look like? Yeah, sometimes you might consider some photos embarrassing and then you might not like the idea of sharing them publicly, but this is a different issue, as I am mainly talking here about those who freak out and have problems with their real identity (How they look like? Where they are/were? Who are their friends?) being disclosed. Would you please tell me how are you going complete strangers not to upload photos with you in them? And even if you can technically prevent them from tagging you in those photos, they still can just write your name underneath the photo!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

GV2010 - The People

I had loads of fun during last week in Chile, where I attended Global Voices Summit, GV2010. In fact, I might write a separate post about the trip, Santiago, and the extremely helpful and pleasant people there, but I prefer to dedicate this post to the GVers I met there during the summit.

We first met Gaurav Mishra and Aparna Ray in Sao Paulo on our way to Santiago. And that was enough to make us really enjoy our five hours stay in the airport. Then when we arrived to Santiago we met Laura Vidal who helped us a lot in translation, finding a transportation to the hotel, and tracking our bags which have been lost in Germany. Then later on, we were forced to go shopping to get new clothes till we get our lost baggages. So Renata Avila went with us, and showed us the nearby malls.

During the last week I was able to refresh my Spanish, and I had no problem dealing with people in streets and shops in Spanish all the time, especially that it's hardly to find people who speak English there. Yet, having conversations with Laura Vidal, Marianne Díaz, Issa Villarreal, Catalina Restrepo about everything from politics, to literature, to music and Spanish language made me interested in restarting to learn Spanish again in order to be able to read Spanish blog posts and literature. The Spanish and Latin American blogosphere has always been very interesting to me, and knowing the above people as well as Eduardo Avila, Firuzeh Shokooh Valle, Gabriela Garcia Calderon Orbe, Yesenia Corrales, Juan Arellano, and Julián Ortega Martínez made it even more interesting.

I also was able to make real new friends during this summit. It was really happy meeting Awab Alvi, Muhammad Karim, Sana Saleem, Satee Hamza, and Sarah Standish with whom I had spent a very nice time.

Sometimes a short conversation with someone is more inspiring than a long speech or a book, and even if I have to admit that I do not have Sarita Moreira's courage, I was really inspired by how she left her job to do what she likes and help poor people in distant countries far away from her home country. Also it was ironic to know from her about an Egyptian-born novelist - Albert Cossery - whom I have never heard of before.

Before going to the summit, I wasn't very comfortable to the idea of sharing my room with someone else, but Lova Rakotomalala was just the best room mate I'd ever have. I am even sad that I didn't have chance to get to know him more. And above all, I really want to thank Lova for the amazing note he left to me in the room before leaving.

It was also nice to meet people whom I've met last summer for few minutes, or only know online like Jillian York, Eduardo Avila, Sami Ben Gharbia, Hisham Almirat, Ayesha Saldanha, David Sasaki, Deborah Dilley, Ivan Sigal, Paula Goes, Solana Larsen, Suzanne Lehn, Sylwia Presley, Tomomi Sasaki, Ethan Zuckerman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Janet Gunter, Vilhelm Konnander, Rosario Lizana, Namita Singh, Jules Rincon, Jeremy Clarke, Dan Braghis, Katerina and Diego Casaes although I wish I had more chance to get to know them even more as well as many others in the summit.

And finally, I want to thank Jillian York, Renata Avila, Pauline Ratzé, Eduardo Avila, Elia Varela, Paula Goes, Bijoy Majumdar, Awab Alvi, Muhammad Karim, Suzanne Lehn, and Lova Rakotomalala for these. And I have to admit that I used to be an active volunteer in GV, but a very lazy reader, however after this summit, I became much more interested in reading more about different regions and places other than the Middle East and North Africa which I used to only read posts about them.