emotisys on asteroids!

 

Recently, I moved my entire online household to a new infrastructure and a new provider. I felt I was reaching the limits of my old one, e.g. in terms of mailbox size, and–what was more important to me– functionality like server side mail filtering and security features like ssh/sftp access. During my most recent research project (part of SASER) I learnt quite a bit about server security and -attacks, which gave me decent motivation. Then again, I didn’t want to maintain nor pay for a full blown server. And I wanted to keep “my stuff”, such as emails, under German privacy law and with a trustworthy provider. Quite a shopping list. I’m very confident that I’ve found the perfect match for me: uberspace.de

logo-trans-2012

Here are some reasons:

Human

When I visited their website for the first time, I was immediately struck by the colloquial but informative language they used. You never feel like being in a tech shop although you get every technical detail explained if you want. They managed to find an informal tone, the right length of explanations, the right examples where you need it, and to sprinkle subtle humor on top. I read half of their instructions even before I signed up, just because it was an easy read! This is a very rare thing if you look into most of your manuals. And you can just write them and get help very quickly in the same supportive tone. Since it’s the “technical staff” writing the texts, you get a feeling for their attitude. Being accessible and personal contributes to trust.

Experts

If you want to manage private data online, it’s not enough for the service provider to have good intentions: their competencies must allow them to run state-of-the-art technology in a way that keeps your data safe. As the thorough documentation shows and also the team portraits tell you, the people behind uberspace know what they are doing. They also tell you (better: everyone)  about the limits of their service and that they are not without fail–s.th. that I find an important part of “expertise”. Of course, no service is without fail (due to humans and software) but most of them will give you a false sense of security and hide the details in fine print. Credible expertise is a basis for trust.

Transparent

When you look at the most popular/best marketed webhosters, their offers are full of superlatives but also *-links to the fine print. What looked like a great offer will become actually quite pricy 6 months later. uberspace make it very clear what you get and what you can’t. They tell you about their technology, their services, and their calculation (!). Actually, you can decide yourself how much you want to pay but with their transparent calculation they give you a good understanding of what will be fair. And since they obviously treat you fair, you are inclined to do so in exchange.

They will explain how they made all of these choices. Along the way, you’ll learn quite a bit about webhosting, including how secure your data can be. They also have terms of service, although they are called house rules. Again, they are not in dry and “exact” judicial language but lay out situations that require, e.g. interventions by uberspace staff and explain what will happen.

You get the impression that they have a reason for everything they do–if they don’t, they won’t do it. Best example is the personal data required to start an uberspace: zero. There is no reason for them to record it, they don’t need to contact you, they don’t need your bank account (if you don’t pay by yourself, they’ll simply close your webspace. Fair deal). Not recording not essential data is obviously very simple, noone needs to tick any privacy statements, and it’s just good practice of privacy. Data they don’t store can’t be misused, get stolen, or required to be handed over by law. Clear business models, clear dos and don’ts, clear data policy: transparancy builds trust as little else.

Challenging and Encouraging

In short, uberspace is for autonomous users. People who already know or want to learn about web hosting technology, want to take a look behind the scenes, so that they are in control of their scripts and data. uberspace do a great deal to help you with that, including a more or less subtle push towards the command line interface. This again is a sign that uberspace take their users serious: web technology isn’t Lego but you can learn it, too. The more you understand, the more you are in control.

 

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structure and questions

A hybrid version between an outline for my thesis and a collection of thoughts and questions in particular is now available as foldable structure (as it came out of FreeMind)

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absolviert

diplomausstellung - Plakatausschnitt
Endlich ist es wieder soweit: Die Absolventen in Mannheim stellen aus. Nach einer längeren Pause installieren sie zum Sommersemester 06 die Ausstellung wieder als wichtige Veranstaltung. Die Studenten können sehen, was letztendlich aus ihrem Studium werden kann, händeringend nachwuchs-suchende Personalchefs finden frische Ideen auf dem Präsentierteller – und die Absolventen wollen ihre Arbeit natürlich auch nicht für die Schublade produziert haben.

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tell


Jede Art der Kommunikation über elektronische Medien hinterlässt heutzutage ihre Spuren auf irgendwelchen Server-Systemen. Der automatisierten Überwachung und Kontrolle großer Bevölkerungsschichten ist damit die Tür geöffnet. Freiheit und Kommunikation schließen sich in letzer Konsequenz aus. Wie könnte die Welt aussehen, wenn sich die Menschen für die Freiheit entscheiden und fast alle elektronischen Kommunikationsformen abgeschafft sind? Das tell-Projekt mischt Film und Theater um dieser Frage zwischen Science und Fiction nachzugehen.

Trailer des tell-Projekts

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