(NP6) The ‘new power’ of distributed software systems: 2nd FLOSS4P2P Conference in London

Floss London











Don’t miss the opportunity to meet other software developers for P2P value creation in the direction of the #Synthecracy.org movement: March 16 and 17th 2015 in London: http://www.p2pvalue.eu/2nd-floss4p2p-workshop

I hope that on stage the following systems will be shown too:

* FireChatApp , see: https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/np2-with-firechatapp-we-are-the-network/

* Maelstrom browser and distributed website storage, see: https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/np4-websites-hosted-in-the-crowd-not-the-cloud/

* Tribler, see:  Tribler_quick_folder_using_TF_article2

Jaap van Till, theConnectivist

Posted in betwiener, FLOSS, Synthecracy, Van Till's Principle, Wealth creation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

(NP5) The New Power of Crafters is Growing

Big book of Maker skills

Yes, the work of craftsman and craftswomen, who together are called “Crafters”, is getting successful. The things they do cover a very wide area of tinkering in garages, FabLabs of the “Maker Movement”, sharing and growing food on roofs (NL: #daklandbouw), coworking spaces, painting classes, energy sustainability neighborhood learning and construction groups, etc. for DIY, household, and village selfsupport and prosumer mutual assistance. It now also includes the low cost 3D printer operation and shareware, lasercutter TNC programs, Arduino microcontroller electronics & sensor/actuator cards and Raspberry Pi computer programming. Away from mass produced junk for consumers. Enter sharing of high quality foods and stuff for self supporting communities. The demand side of society is getting organised !

Roof green

Kids love it !! And older craftsmen retired from factories enjoy to show their skills and tacit knowledge (tips and tricks you have to learn while doing).

And yes there is also a revival of appreciation of high quality hand made tools and durable  products from the crafters. They sell very well. An example of that is the online store ManuFactum.com with stores in big German cities, with things from all over the world.



Another example is the UK and USA based Crafters Companion Trade for “arts and crafts” tools and products.

My key points to get these movements moving are:

1. The core of all such crafters and crafter-groups are a few single top skilled and experienced “masters“. They REALLY know how to do it and can get things in hardware/software/telecom working. They have a trackrecord of reliability. You can trust them to perform and you should honour and pay them in money and respect. They DO, know unwritten tricks, and besides excell at what they do they teach and publish, so they can be found through networks of recommendations and ‘btwieners’ that can point you in their direction. Remember that it usualy has taken them years and years of apprenticeships, their own toolmaking and successes& failures to get at the skill level they have and maintain now by learning all the time. No it is not always rocketscience what they do, they can just be extremely good at one thing!! I know a young man who bakes French bread and baguettes in Rotterdam. A huge success. And a young man who after having been trained as a surgeon now does workshops in sausage making in Amsterdam.

2. Beyond single function/ skill master-apprentice learning by doing, the key to even more success, beyond DIY making for self consumption, is to join forces, in a location and network, with other masters who have complementary skills. Combinations/ synthesis of their crafts will then result in synergy and spectacular new creative crafterships.

Jaap van Till, theConnectivist for the coming Synthecracy

Posted in Demand side, flocking, Maker Movement, P2P Commons, P2P Power, Wealth creation | 1 Comment

(NP4) Websites Hosted in the CROWD, not the Cloud


Project Maelstrom: Another fine example of “New Power” where users and their computers/ smartphones flock together (#Synthecracy)  to organize something bigger and with synergy, than just a sum of its parts. A real P2P commons where value is a result of abilities of contributors multiplied ( Van Till’s Law networking effect).

The new structure which runs with the Maelstrom Browser is developed by the same people that developed BitTorrent and is described in the MIT Tech Review (  on Twitter ). See the article “BitTorrent Tests Websites Hosted in the Crowd, Not the Cloud”  

More about Project Maelstrom : http://blog.bittorrent.com/2014/12/10/project-maelstrom-the-internet-we-build-next/

They are now testing the Maelstrom browser from which you can access “the People Powered Web

Very important for the future Internet !!!

jaap van till , theConnectivist

Maelstrom 2

Posted in Demand side, Exponential growth, flocking, Internet success, P2P Commons, P2P Power, Uncategorized, Wealth creation | Tagged , | 1 Comment

(NP3) Broadband Fiber Access? #SOTU2015: Breakthrough Power to Municipal Community FTTX projects, (updated)


(Published January 21. Updated January 26 with an article dated January 22, 2015, see below)

1. In his very inspiring “State Of The Union” (#SOTU) speech President Obama said one sentence which represents a breakthrough for the USA ‘Internet Infrastructure’, which will influence and improve the lives of many millions of US Americans.

” I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.” Full text see [1], video fragment, see [2].

This one sentence has not been noticed by most of the press and media, and it may sound rather vague and ‘well intended, but toothless’ but it is not. Behind it is a remarkable change in policy which has been carefully researched and prepared by many from the local communities, small enterprises, schools and internet users in smaller towns and rural areas, eager to get a better internet connections. The unblocking policy change is to overrule the blockade many state laws and regulations, installed over decades by telcos, cableTV network services, cellphone mobile providers and ISP access network services; to prevent MUNIcipal community cooperatives to construct and provide better and cheaper internet access themselves.

President Obama made a statement during the preparation of the SOTU to announce why this excecutive act of unblocking the Fiber-to-the-Home/ Business/ Farm rollout is necessary.

Obama on local broadband

Here is the video shot in the Oval Room to explain that:  Broadband de-blocking [3]

And the speech he gave in Cedar Falls (text) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/remarks-president-promoting-community-broadband . (video, see:) http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2015/01/14/obama-cedar-falls-high-speed-internet-broadband/21765287/

The press reacted immediately, saying that such a policy act would be very controversial and hard to get through legislation, FCC and other agencies, see  [4]  and NY Times [5]. What these press articles have missed is the root cause of the Presidential Action is that the present (and planned) broadband network access is of bad quality, slow and very expensive; compared to other Internet access networks in the world. The further local rollout of these network infrastructures with fiber optical cables has been systematically obstructed, stopped or delayed by the supply side of the network market. In countries like S-Korea, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands low cost 1 Gbits/sec symmetric FttH networks are available to the businesses and households, 100 times faster than the average network access in the USA, and much lower cost/month.

2. Background information on this Presidential Policy Broadband Breakthrough
- The Whitehouse published a “Community-based Broadband Solutions” report [6] in which the present broadband situation in the USA is presented and compared to other countries. Also is indicated what effects improved broadband will have on the communities, jobs and businesses. And how urgently citizens (bipartisan) need it for their schoolchildren, work at home and education. Christopher Mitchell and others of the Cook Report discussion group  have provided much material for this report. The address of Chris is:
      Christopher Mitchell      Director, Community Broadband Networks   Institute for Local Self-Reliance  http://www.muninetworks.org    @communitynets
- Prof. Susan Crawford recently published a shocking report about the shameless blockade I mentioned.
The American Internet Access providers throttled internet traffic, kept the network capacities scarce and expensive,
despite sinking cost of equipment and cables due to Moore’s Law. This is robbing customers and hindering their activities, more formally called “market failure by invisible monopolies and kartels”.

– Bruce Kushnick, Director of the New Networks Institute, published a book “The $300 Billion Broadband Scandal” how the telecom and network providers got over decades huge sums of money from the US Government to do the rollout of Broadband access networks and just DID NOT DO THAT, while putting the money in their coffers.

3. So now to break this rather embarassing blockade the President of the USA gave the green light to the Muni initiatives to go ahead and do it themselves, and regain on the stagnation and backward position as compared to other countries for the benefit of economy society and future value creation and new jobs that are knowledge and information based.
4. Why should this USA policy breakthrough concern us in Europe? Well, while in many countries we where able to introduce competition and break the stranglehold of the national tele and cableTV incumbents and liberate companies and people from telling us what is good for us, it is an ongoing battle since the supply side is very powerful and well organised. Mrs. Neelie Kroes the former EU Commisioner responsible for the Digital Agenda often ran into a brick wall when trying to slowly improve price/quality of (mobile) network services. This liberation is a long and hard process.
The network conditions in  Europe  can be broadly characterized as from North to South: Liberal to rather backwards.
And the national regulations and providers are still different country by country. The FTTH Council Europe has an active lobby.
FTTH council
The Scandinavian countries are best, but have a relatively small population. The Netherlands is densely populated (17 million) and very well wired and well connected with fiber, thank you.
But in NL the cheapest price for cellphone service 4G (LTE) is 30 Euro/ month (10 GB max) as compared to Sweden where it is 40 Euro/month for 100 GB at 40Mbps wireless. So the difference is roughly a FACTOR 5 for  a country which is 13 times bigger & with half of the population! So there is still much to be done in Europe too to liberate us from network companies that must maybe be dis-intermediated for the obstacle they pose. I hope that our governments see that too.
5. In fact the big shift in market power, from which the USA Presidents deblocking act is a part,  is from SUPPLY SIDE to DEMAND SIDE, that is getting organized. In MUNIcipalities but also on Twitter and P2P Commons, like in the Maker Movement.  This big shift from supply- to demand side power in the Network Society has been described by me in a recent post about “The New Power” on this blog NP1 :
6.  A very recent example of this New Power by cooperating users is the FireChat App used by the demonstrators in Hong Kong, Moscow, Paris and during the visit of the Pope in Manila to coordinate their actions with smartphones that can network without network services that breakdown under congestion in the huge masses that where assembled.
Rather frightening for the authorities :-))
7.  Examples of very successful “demand side power” bundling in The Netherlands are SURFnet for the Research and Education population (1,5 million smarties) and NDIX a distributed Internet Exchange in NL and Germany, connecting 60 municipalities; and the telecom user procurement cooperative BTG Foundation of the big companies in the NL (associated with the INTUG (International Telecommunication User Group). None of these groups are very new but they have persistently improved  network infrastructures and conditions by being assertive.
I wish you all good connections !!
PS. The crux of this story is that “We the People” must realize us that Digital Bandwidth (capacity) and Electro Magnetic Frequencies (analog bandwidth) are no longer scarce resources that must be dished out parsimoniously : expensive and low quality. We must stop believing those fairytales. Since the invention and continuous innovation of:  fiber optical cables (40 years ago !), cellular wireless, Wi-Fi both fixed and wireless capacities are abundant and can be scaled up. The supplyside providers buy these resources for lower and lower prices and keep selling them at nearly same prices to the demand side and prevent others to enter the market with lower more realistic prices. I am happy that the White House has now got this message of the blockades too.
 Jaap van Till, the connectivist
[4]  Press reaction 1 http://tcrn.ch/1C2mTpL
[7]  Susan Crawford, October 24 2014 : “The Cliff and the Slope” The proof is in: Detailed report shows how U.S. Internet access monopolies punish rivals and catch innocent bystanders in the crossfire—legally.
Update: very good article in the Mother Jones Journal: “City wifi: Fast, cheap, and no you can’t have it” .
Susan interview cyfers fiber
A must-see video is included with an interview with Susan Crawford, which is quite revealing.
She tells why you can not get good broadband access in the USA  AND at a affordable price. And what must be done to get it.
Susan Crawford interview
Posted in #SOTU2015, bandwidth, Obama, Optical Fiber Cables | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

(NP2) With the #FireChatApp WE ARE THE NETWORK

Instant Soc network((updated- post scripta on Feb.11 2014)) The FireChat smartphone App worked like a charm during the #umbrellaMovement demonstration in HongKong and during the #JeSuisCharlie demo for Freedom of Expression in Paris. In both cases hundreds of thousands of civilians stood together, packed shoulder to shoulder, on full squares or blocked roads. About 1.5 million people in Paris (total in France approx. 3.1 million)  that day.


and 50.000 to 150,000 in Hong Kong depending on the day.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 13.28.08

Yes, the cell phone networks broke down under the load of people trying to phone or text eachother, but those who had pre-installed FireChat on their smartphone (notice the lightApp on their screens, above) could chat together or in Chatgroups. Without the networks of the providers. Much to the surprise and maybe shock(!) of the Authorities. The same authorities that Charlie Hebdo and his collegues, may they RIP, used to criticize and mock :-)

Firechat voorb

“Look Ma No Networks !!” With the app you can start and follow, nearby or far away, a number of (group)chats, which where used mainly to coordinate the crowd by self-organization. Congestion & flow situations where shared and medical facilities/ food/ water/ waste where set up for those in need. In HK the crowd could very quickly and orderly respond without violence to police attacks that that where tried to break up the demonstration. And they could organize cleaning-up teams, food distribution and first aid. Many of the participants had pre-installed FireChat because they anticipated that the city authorities would take out the cellphone networks to de-fuse the demonstrators power.

You can download this free App from https://opengarden.com/firechat  for either iPhone or Android phones.

1. What is the communication problem, to prevent for instance wild mob behavior which can lead to crushing (i.e. the New Year stampede in Shanghai) and deaths, in such cases of mass gathering? Loudspeakers and chanting do not really work, since it may escalate panic or create avalanches like in stadions. Central control by a hierarchy of police officers and sportsclub menders can do only so much to calm the audience, including organized tribes of hooligans. The problem is wireless network congestion.


There is not much the mobile network providers can do about that since by design a certain maximum amount of “phone traffic” can be handled by the basestations in each cell. This installed equipment and backhaul lines to collect the basestations is a tradeoff between average number of people & calls they make vs. the cost of installation etc. The providers already struggle to handle the recent increased use of data volumes and connect-duration on 3G (UMTS) and 4G (LTE-adv). During mass gatherings they can bring in extra basestations and install extra Wi-Fi access points to offload the very high amount of (data)calls. But this turns out to be insufficient, for instance at New Year events in cities, so people have to wait for minutes or hours to reach their relatives,

Fortunately the “emergency services” like for police, ambulance crews, firebrigades and security personell have their own mobile systems based on the TETRA standard (France Tetra-Pol?). These services must be able to manage the crowds and act to prevent harm to people and stuff. But even they can do only prevent mass accidents up to a certain point.

It is therefore wise that before the visit of the Pope this week in the Philipines media companies there: Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) and GMANews (www.gmanetwork.com/news/ ) have encouraged the people who want to attend to bring FireChat on their smart phones with them so they get up to date information and can inform each other of the situation.

2. How does ‘the network without a network’ work? The solution is that the smartphones are used with both Wi-Fi and BlueTooth wireless On. The FireChat app makes contact through either one, with the nearest other smartphone running Firechat. The short distances of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radiation links (60 meters / 30 meters) are not a problem, but an advantage since the FireChat apps  build automatic daisy chains and mesh networks between the phones of the people standing near eachother.


It should be known that besides texts and photo’s which can be exchanged in the (group)chats this app and mesh network are unfit for telephony or exchanging large datafiles.

FireChat constructie

There are a couple of extra tricks build in I guess. And the app is improved based on the things learned in the field. This is a clear example of User Side “New Power” which is taking off, see my NP1 blog.

The fundamental shift we can watch is from Supply Side to Demand Side dynamic growth. I will comment further on this in my next blog (NP3, about Obama’s State of the Nation speech, today: unleaches Muni FttH broadband)

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

PS.1 OpenGarden could see the following numbers in Manila: 11,000 people and 280,000 (!) chat sessions in 5 days, which was below their expectations.

PS.2 Youtube video about what the FireChat app is and does:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaxRp3JuM5k&app=desktop

PS.3 User instructions will be published on the website that Open Garden is preparing.

PS.4 LIFESAVING ! In for instance football stadiums there can be a special “ALARM chat” on FireChat to notify the medics that somebody has fainted/ fell in the public. As long as there are enough people using the app so that the mesh works. And as long as this specific chat is followed by the medics and stewards. And only when the AlarmChat is not misused for non alarm messages.

Posted in coordination, Demand side, flocking, Internet success, P2P Power | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Tzolkin Spiritual Compass

Tzolkin Cosmology

I recommend you take a look at this recent publication ( eBook for 20$ ):  http://tzolkincosmology.com/

Rohaan Solare has reconstructed and interconnected this useful Tzolkin Cosmology from a number of sources of ancient Maya knowledge. Fascinating guidebook on how your daily Reality unfolds!! Example from the book:


And I wonder if and how TC can be ‘connected‘ to another source/ fundament of wisdom and language descended from cosmologies I know, from EurAsia: The Alphabets of Life, see: https://theconnectivist.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/alphabets-of-life-great-book-about-our-roots/

jaap van till, connectivist

Posted in Corridoria, Megaregions, Tzolkin Cosmology, Uncategorized, Wealth creation | Tagged | 2 Comments

What is Peer-to-Peer ( P2P ) ?


A ‘relational dynamic’, as defined by Michiel Bauwens on the website of the P2P Foundation:


On January 3, 2015, Rohaan Solare commented: ” This (P2P) is the foundational principle behind the emerging global culture.”


P2P logo











Further information on their site: http://p2pfoundation.net

jaap van till, p2p connectivist

Posted in P2P Commons, P2P Power, Uncategorized, Wealth creation | Tagged | Leave a comment