WLAN an der Uni Karlsruhe (DUKATH) mit Ubuntu 8.10

Ubuntu hat inzwischen eine ziemlich gute WLAN-Unterstützung. Lange Zeit konnte DUKATH nur[1] mit einem VPN-Client genutzt werden, inzwischen geht das auch per WPA. Laut Anleitung des Microbit [PDF] soll man ein Skript schreiben um den Zugang zu nutzen. Unter Ubuntu geht es aber auch etwas einfacher:

Auf das Symbol des Netzwerk-Manager-Applet klicken:

Das Netzwerk dukath-??x auswählen.

?? hängt vom Standort ab. Beim RZ gibt es eine Übersicht über die verwendeten SSIDs.

Auswahl DUKATH-Accesspoint

Auswahl DUKATH-Accesspoint

Im darauf folgenden Dialog die richtigen Werte eintragen:

Einstellungen DUKATH

Einstellungen DUKATH

Bei Zertifikat sollte das Deutsche Telekom Root CA 2 Zertifikat ausgewählt werden.

Benutzername und Passwort entsprechen denen bei der Verwendung von VPN.


[1] Der Zugang über das DUKATH Web-Interface sollte nur in Notfällen genutzt werden, da die Verbindung nicht verschlüsselt wird und deshalb einfach abgehört werden kann.

Features are not key to success

At least not for social networks. A blog by Robert Basic about new features at blepper, a German Twitter alternative, got me thinking.

What is the main feature of a social network? Connecting people! And to enable connections between people, you have to reach a critical mass of people first.

There is already a million ways to connect to other people. Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and German services like StudiVZ, WKW, XING…

Most of them are not perfect. But just providing a more feature-rich service than an established competitor is a recipe for disaster. Pownce had to learn this the hard way. Facebook never really took off in Germany, because StudiVZ took the German market first. My experience is that almost every German you find on Facebook, met people abroad. She didn’t sign up for the better photo gallery, but for people.

StudiVZ grew big fast and then sucked for a long period of time. Lots of performance and privacy issues. People stayed.

Twitter grew big fast and then sucked for a long period of time. Lots of performance issues. People stayed.

I simply can’t think of one example where a new social network overtook an established competitor due to features.

How 52 words can cost you your job

With some trolling on a blog, some poor guy causes an incredible shitstorm that changed his life. That’s a story only the blogosphere can write. In this case, the German speaking blogosphere*.

  1. It all starts with astupid anonymous comment on a blog, concerning the authors weight.
  2. The author** grabs the commentors IP adress from the logs and posts the matching domain name, revealing that the commentor didn’t give his real name.
  3. The commentor has the balls (or is stupid enough) to reveil his real name and asks for absolution.
  4. Now, the author could have forgotten about the whole thing. Instead, he posts an open letter to the commentors employer (a PR agency) on his blog.
  5. Two days later, the employer raises his voice, announcing that the commentor will be fired.

52 inconsiderate words made the commentor unemployed and probably ruined his name on Google forever*

And this is where the real discussion starts. Don’t get me wrong, nobody likes trolls. And it’s unfair to pick on inferior people. In this case, inferior meaning the fit guy holding a degree in sports picking on an overweight guy. Trolls, let this be your warning.

Still, the consequences seem a bit harsh. As far as I understand the author wasn’t as much upset about the comment itself as about the fact that it was posted under a false name. But where do you draw the line between posting under a false name and posting anonymously? Sure, the mistake of the commentor was to specify a URL. Posting as John Smith is not the same as posting as John Smith, www.smith.com.

But if somebody is clueless enough to post such a comment from his workplace, can’t you assume that it didn’t come to his mind that somebody might think he really is, in fact, the one John Smith from Smith Consulting at smith.com? In dubio pro reo, I’d say the commentors intention was anonymity, not identity theft.

And this is where the pendulum swings back. Just as it is inappropriate for the athlete to pick on the fattie, it is inappropriate for the internet pro to hunt down the troll. Not feeding a troll is not the same as ruining his life.


* All links in German, sorry.

** Please excuse the whole author/commentor/JohnSmith thing, I didn’t want to make the Google bomb bigger stigmatize the commentor more than it he already is.