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John Midgley - OpenCola. The AntiSocial Network

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  • number6
    Content in above has been altered:
    Oxblood Ruffin will be unable to attend DEF CON, and has been removed as a speaker. (Previous content still show with HTML markup for strike-out allowing it to remain searchable as text.)
    John Midgley will continue without Oxblood Ruffin.

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  • number6
    started a topic John Midgley - OpenCola. The AntiSocial Network

    John Midgley - OpenCola. The AntiSocial Network

    John Midgley & Oxblood Ruffin - OpenCola. The AntiSocial Network

    John Midgley, Hacker, He/Him
    Oxblood Ruffin, Cult of the Dead Cow He/Him

    Presentation Title:OpenCola. The AntiSocial Network
    Length of presentation: 45 minutes
    Demo, Tool

    The internet, as it stands today, is not a very trustworthy environment, as evidenced by the numerous headlines of companies abusing personal data and activity. This is not really surprising since companies are responsible for optimizing revenue, which is often at odds with user benefit. The result of these incentives has produced or exacerbated significant problems: tech silos, misinformation, privacy abuse, concentration of wealth, the attention economy, etc. We built OpenCola, free and open source, as an alternative to existing big-tech applications. It puts users in control of their personal activity and the algorithms that shape the flow of data to them. We believe that this solution, although simple, can significantly mitigate the challenges facing the Internet.

    John Midgley was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He studied computer science at the University of Toronto where he earned a B.Sc. and a Masters in Computer Vision. His first job out of school was building the search algorithms for openCola, an early peer to peer collaboration tool that was arguably 20 years ahead of its time. Not being able to afford a time machine, he busied himself by working at a string of startups and then a couple larger companies (Microsoft and Netflix). From 2011 to 2021 he worked at Netflix on Facebook integration, search, video ranking, content promotion and ended up managing the personalization organization, responsible for the systems and algorithms that construct the Netflix experience. Now that it’s 20 years later, the world may finally be ready for a new and improved version of OpenCola.

    Laird Brown - also known by his handle Oxblood Ruffin - is a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) collective, and founder of Hacktivismo, the hacktivist wing of the cDc. He was born in Canada and educated as a classical musician, attending the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto where he studied electronic composition. Laird began his career at UN headquarters in New York as a researcher/writer, and worked as a consultant on the UN General Assembly. For the past twenty-five years he has worked in public interest technology in North America, India, and the European Union. His first startup was OpenCola where he invented the brand and met John Midgley. Laird lives in Berlin where he is Chairman & Strategic Counsel of polypoly Foundation, an organization facilitating data cooperative growth internationally.

    openCola (of the 2000s)
    How Cambridge Analytica Sparked the Great Privacy Awakening
    Frances Haugen takes on Facebook: the making of a modern US hero
    John Oliver on online data brokers: ‘What they can buy is pretty troubling’
    Google faces $5 billion lawsuit in U.S. for tracking 'private' internet use
    Datomic Database
    SQLite Database
    Lucene Search Engine
    ZeroTier - Global Area Networking

    Last edited by number6; July 26, 2022, 00:38.