Categories: Portfolio

Presentation on FreedomBox and Pokemon Go at ActivateTO

On 17 October 2016, I gave a presentation at ActivateTO, a Toronto-based non-profit that hosts a speaker series. It was located at Toronto City Hall which is a very nice venue, very organized with great audio/visual gear (projectors and mics). My presentation included FreedomBox.

The topic that night was Pokemon Go and its implications for society, including its impact on personal privacy, ethics and responsibility of the game developers to their audience, and how game players interact with one another.

My presentation covered community-building alternatives like Loomio and privacy protection like Signal and the FreedomBox, a suite of software for the Raspberry Pi (and other hardware). The idea is that Pokemon Go encourages people to form small communities but that they’re all within the service of one commercialized game development company that has profits as its overriding goal. I pointed out that Pokemon Go had, within a month, started to explore how to inject more advertisements into the game and I predict, at some point (maybe during the winter months) when player engagement drops and there are fewer people playing the game, that they will be look at selling data to marketers and advertisers.

presentation by Rudolf Olah on FreedomBox, Loomio and Signal related to Pokemon Go

The presentation was great to give and there were quite a lot of people in the audience and I hope I enlightened them as to the other possibilities that exist out there.

I also made a few choice remarks about the ethics and responsibility that software developers have to their users/audience and how in 2016 we can’t ignore basic privacy implications in the code that we create. We have to be far more responsible and communicate more with our users to ensure that we’re doing the right thing.

Categories: Portfolio

Did a talk at Software Freedom Day in Toronto on “Open Source, Open Allocation”

Click here to see more information about software freedom day in Toronto.

The talk was on 19 September 2015.

Open allocation: people get to decide what to work on and how. Gives people an opportunity to contribute to strategy, business objectives, etc. It’s bottom-up in terms of organization hierarchy.

Closed allocation: people get to decide how to work on something, they’re given the what by their boss, other department, client, etc. This is the typical way things work at a job and in most jobs this will continue to be the case.

Open source projects are open allocation; the maintainer or developer decides what they want to create and then creates it. There’s no external incentive making them give up control over what they want to create.

I’ll be writing more on this subject and hope to do a few more presentations to clarify the ideas, but basically open allocation is the future of (most) work. Our productivity levels are high enough that we can let people have 20% time to think of new projects and to work on them. At a typical company you’re losing value if you don’t let the employees on the front-lines make contributions to the strategy or business objectives of the company.

Categories: Portfolio, Software Development

Presentation: Why PyCharm

Just created a short presentation for work about why I’m checking out the PyCharm IDE.

I wrote an article about trying out PyCharm for Python development. I learned to use it when working with Django (though I have used Emacs for web development usually). PyCharm has a lot of advantages and what I like about it, and RubyMine, is that you can use Ctrl+Click (on GNU/Linux and Windows) or Command+Click (on Mac OS X) to see where a method or class is defined or to find where it is being used in the code base.

Update: found a nice post by a VIM user who switched to PyCharm and found it awesome how integrated everything is.