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“Clipart of the Month” for October of 2009

“Clip Art of the Month” honors for October of 2009 go to raulxav for his unique spin on the RSS feed icon.

Regular internet users know that RSS feeds can significantly reduce time spent finding new content on your favorite web pages.

Visit to read the full article!

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#FREEBASSEL Campaign: Help Us Free Bassel

#FREEBASSEL is a campaign to bring about the immediate release of our beloved friend Bassel who is currently being detained in Syria. Please help us spread the word by using the following channels: and #freebassel.

We appreciate your efforts.


From the Press Release:

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

Bassel Khartabil, a Palestinian-born Syrian, 31, is a respected computer engineer specializing in open source software development, the type of contributions the Internet is built upon. He launched his career ten years ago in Syria, working as a technical director for a number of local companies on cultural projects like restoring Palmyra and Forward Syria Magazine.

Since then, Bassel has become known worldwide for his strong commitment to the open web, teaching others about technology, and contributing his experience freely to help the world. Bassel is the project leader for an open source web software called Aiki Framework. He is well known in online technical communities as a dedicated volunteer to major Internet projects like Creative Commons (, Mozilla Firefox (, Wikipedia (, Open Clip Art Library (, Fabricatorz (, and Sharism (

Since his arrest, Bassel’s valuable volunteer work, both in Syria and around the world, has been stopped. His absence has been painful for the communities that depend on him. In addition, his family, and his fiancée whom he was due to marry this past April, have had their lives put on hold.

Bassel Khartabil has been unjustly detained for nearly four months without trial or any legal charges being brought against him.

We, the signees of the #FREEBASSEL campaign, demand immediate information regarding his detention, health, and psychological state.

We urge the Syrian Government to release the community member, husband-to-be, son to a mother and father, and celebrated International software engineer Bassel Khartabil, immediately.

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10by10by10: Support the Libre Graphics Meeting!

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10by10by10: Support LGM2010!

The Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is the annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. The fifth edition takes place 27-30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards.

LGM2010 has launched a fundraising campaign called 10by10by10 to raise $10,000 USD from grants, $10K from corporations and $10K from the community. The funds raised from granting organizations, public, and corporate partners will allow participants who have no other means of sponsoring their travel to Brussels to attend the event.

You can contribute to 10by10by10 at:

All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers. For larger donations from corporations and individuals, please contact us directly at

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2nd round Sharism this year in Beijing!
Please click the links above to Join US!

Sharism is growing. Now its time for us to fix it in the line.

As you may know, the ideal for sharism is sharing. the more your sharing, the more your gain. from the last discussion, Isaac, Jon and me get a conclusion: Sharism should be sharing (as a direction), contenting (similar to TED), spreading (seeking on the deep co-op in many fileds including location), regular (with funding). We need you to paticipate in this sharism for brain storming together, to see what we can get for a sharing future.
This year we already got a Poland Sharism, a Amsterdam Sharism, and a Beijing one and a Shanghai Sharism.Please join us on 17th to share the idea of the growing Sharism.

Time: 7-10pm, 17th Nov.
Location: Chao Wai Da Jie Yi No.6, Chaowai Soho, room A-229

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AcaWiki Presentation at FISL12 in Brazil

One of my duties on the Fabricatorz client project, AcaWiki, is to present when possible about the project. We are supporters of AcaWiki and are actively growing the academic summaries and community. Below is a presentation I made at FISL12 in Porto Alegre, that provides an overview of the problems the AcaWiki project addresses, and the solutions its provides. Its very general, and for explaining the project’s drive and goals to get more people involved. Please do give your feedback and use the slides freely:

(Use your keyboard arrows or click on the image to advance the slides. You need the Droid Serif font to properly view the slides.)

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AcaWiki Seeks Summaries of Top 100 Academic Papers

Cambridge, MA — Thursday, 16 June 2011 — The AcaWiki project has announced their summer drive to gather summaries for the top 100 academic papers around the world. The AcaWiki website ( features an updated logo and theme that brings it into alignment with Wikipedia and other popular Wikis. AcaWiki continues to make strides in improving global access and exposure to academic research and scientific findings. When completed this new list of top papers, along with the over 500 summaries already available, will provide a solid base to fill the needs of many students and academics doing research.

“Our goal for this summer is to collect a clear set of summaries of the top papers from every field,” explained AcaWiki’s founder, Neeru Paharia. “This is a huge task, and one that we will not be able to achieve without the active participation of students and academics from every discipline. While AcaWiki has a growing collection with well over 500 Creative Commons licensed summaries of academic papers, we want more coverage in fields such as economics, psychology, sociology, business, and computer science. In order to do this, we need leaders, and readers, in all major fields of research to join us.”

The AcaWiki project addresses two key problems in the public access and understanding of modern academic research. While the overall volume of significant, cutting-edge research is growing apace, the dissemination of important findings and results is mostly limited to traditional, subscription-based publishing outlets and peer-reviewed journals. Even research that is publicly funded is often not made readily available to the general public, while universities in developing countries are often cut off from access to knowledge by exorbitant subscription fees for standard journals. Since a lot of academic research is couched in jargon that can only be understood by experts, the problem of limited access to knowledge is compounded by a very real deficit in communication between academia and the general public, as well as between academic disciplines themselves.

AcaWiki offers a workable solution to both of these problems by making use of social software and leveraging a community of graduate students, academics, and citizens, to write summaries and long abstracts of academic papers. Contributors are encouraged to write two-to-three paragraph summaries of academic papers and contribute them to the AcaWiki pool. Unlike the original articles themselves, the copyright for these summaries belongs to the contributor. AcaWiki stipulates that all entries on the site be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license, so they are free for international distribution via the Internet or in hard copy. Other contributors can annotate, comment, or append information to the original entry, adding greater nuance or clarity.

Along with community leaders Mike Linksvayer, Jodi Schneider, Reid Priedhorsky and others, the open production company, Fabricatorz is improving AcaWiki and growing the project. “By updating the AcaWiki logo with the great design by Aleksander Stachurka, we hope to crystallize the reality of the project,” said Jon Phillips, Fabricatorz Founder. “And, by switching to the default MediaWiki theme, as seen on all Wikimedia Foundation Wikis, we are making it easier to be compatible with the majority of real Wiki communities and developers. We want to collect more high quality academic summaries and to encourage more students and researchers to use the site and help us achieve our goal.”

The project has released a public roadmap for the next three to six months on its website at: Beyond summarizing academic papers, the Roadmap is an open plan for others to help by filing bugs and developing plans for making AcaWiki a better resource and community.

Targeted List of Disciplines

* Anthropology
* Arts and Literarure
* Astronomy
* Biology
* Business
* Chemistry
* Clinical Research
* Computer Science
* Economics
* Education
* Engineering
* Geosciences
* Health
* Mathematics
* Medicine
* Neuroscience
* Philosophy
* Physics
* Psychology
* Sociology

For More Information


About AcaWiki

AcaWiki is like “Wikipedia for academic research” designed to collect summaries and literature reviews of peer-reviewed academic research, and make them available to the general public. AcaWiki is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with seed funding from the Hewlett Foundation.

Press Contact

* Jon Phillips,, +1.415.830.3884

Press Kit

* Release as PDF
* Release as ODT

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Access2Research: Supporting A Great Initiative To Foster Innovation, Research, And Education

Congratulations to the Access2Research campaign, and a special thank you to all the petition signers for taking action on what you believe.

Access2Research Petition over 25,000 signatures

Starting with John Wilbanks “John Hancock”, the Access2Research crew has successfully gathered 25,630 signatures to petition President Obama to “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research.” Now since at least 25,000 people have signed the petition before June 19 2012, it will be placed in the Executive Office of the President for integration into policy.

“We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.

The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process, and we urge President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research.”

Fabricatorz congratulate YOU for supporting and sharing the initiative for open research, innovation, and education. Feel free to sign up and add your signature to the Access2Research petition until June 19th, 2012. Keep learning more about Consent To Research and Access2Research. For more information on the context of the petition see Access2Research’s site and Mr. Wilbanks’s blog DEL-FI.

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Aiki Framework & The Open Clip Art Library Dominate End-Year Releases!

The Fabricatorz are firing on all cylinders as an eventful year is wrapping up. Today sees the fruition of several projects lead by the Team.

Aiki Framework kicks things off with it’s latest: Version 0.7. A renewed focus on usability and speed highlight much of the development cycle. With some great contributions from Roger Martin, project lead (and Fabricatorz Developer) Bassel Safadi presents back-end systems that have been revamped and polished to deliver content at lightning speed. Pretty URLs, a hotly requested feature, has made it’s way into the new Release, complete with documentation. Developer control continues to drive bug fixes and revisions. Once system-dependent, Aiki Alert messages have been retooled to allow complete handling, via CSS.

Aiki’s leading site, The Open Clip Art Library is showing no signs of slowing down with it’s 2.8 Release. Fabricatorz Developer Brad Phillips brings in a new “Collections” feature, in which registered users can create sets that contain the clip arts of their choosing! The process begins by finding the perfect image and selecting “+Add to Collection” on the right-hand side of the details page. Created Collections are displayed on each user’s profile page. This Release is marked by an update of the site to use Creative Commons latest CC Zero Public Domain Dedication tool. Jon Phillips says of the new Dedication:

“Open Clip Art Library is used all around the world by Wikipedia, teachers, artists, and plain old Mom’s as a key source for graphics. By updating our licensing tool, we are in compliance with the latest Creative Commons recommendation for releasing works into the public domain globally, and leading on the net with trying to increase sharing. This type of sharism is crucial to the open web.”

For more information about the latest Aiki Framework and Open Clip Art Library offerings (including new themed content), check out the Official Press Release. To get involved and help bring these projects to even greater heights in upcoming releases, take a look a look at the Launchpad blueprints for both Aiki Framework and The Open Clip Art Library.

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Aiki Framework 0.9.0 Released with Our New Installer

Along with Open Clip Art Library 3.1, we released Aiki Framework 0.9.0, “Infrastructure for the Future” release. Aiki Framework is a software invented by Bassel Safadi to power the Open Clip Art Library and other database heavy sites, that need collaboration on the web. Fabricatorz and Aiki Lab use this software where possible to solve client problems and to make the platform better so it becomes easier to make sites each time.

In this Aiki 0.9.0 release, we fixed 76 bugs and added 23 new features. The highlights of the release are a new installer, and lots of developer-centric infrastructure for the future: multi-languages, multi-views, multi-sites and more! Get it while it’s hot!

Aiki keeps getting better. Have you tried it? Join us! If you want a fast website that is scalable, hire us.

Check out the new installer below (a big thanks to rg1024 and jcubic for working so hard on this release too):

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Aiki Framework Version 0.8 Hits the Web

Today, the Fabricatorz announced the Release of Aiki Framework 0.8, an ultra-fast and intuitive open web development framework that serves as the foundation for much of our finest work. The Announcement highlights many notable improvements to the software:

Helping to further bridge the gap between development and live site results, an SQL Query test box has been added to the top of Aiki’s Admin interface. Here, site architects can run database queries and test their results before committing code to a widget.

To learn more about how Aiki Framework can increase your web productivity, have a look at the Official Press Release and download the software.

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Amnesty International Joins #FREEBASSEL

Dear #FREEBASSEL supporters,

Last week Amnesty International joined #FREEBASSEL by calling for the safe and immediate release of Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi). In the report new information about Bassel’s detainment has come to light that reinforces the need for further, timely action. Alongside Amnesty International, we urge all of you to write letters to the Syrian authorities and your local diplomatic representatives. (Amnesty has already provided the Syrian addresses for you.)

To help build the momentum and support of the #FREEBASSEL community we also encourage you to send a photo of your signed letter(s) to, where a collection will be hosted on the website. And if you’re on Twitter, please tweet your photos directly to @freebassel.

The film industry recently helped Free Orwa, a Syrian filmaker, with the help of letters, phone calls and videos. What will the #FREEBASSEL community do to help Free Bassel?

In other #FREEBASSEL news, now has an “Interviews and Stories” section that includes interviews with Giorgos CheliotisJon Phillips and Oussama Al Rifai (Bassel’s uncle). If you have a Bassel story and would like to contribute, please get in contact.

Thank you for your support.

The full Amnesty International report, in English, French and Spanish:

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Amnesty Taiwan Takes Urgent Action to Free Bassel

Last night, Amnesty Taiwan took urgent action in support of our friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil, who has been in detention in Syria since March 15, 2012. At the gathering, we discussed Bassel’s life and the situation in Syria, and wrote letters to the Syrian authorities expressing our concerns for his well-being.

The event came on the heels of a significant report from Amnesty International on Bassel Khartabil (also available in Chinese), which includes important details about how to write a letter of support for Bassel. We hope that you might consider doing so.

You can find more about our campaign at Photos and reactions from last night’s event are here.

Special thanks to Daisy Lin and Sean Su for organizing the event, and for all those who attended and took action to help free Bassel.

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An Open Web Book Launched in Berlin

We announce the publishing of An Open Web today. After working for an super-intensive 5 days on the book project, Fabricatorz Christopher Adams, Jon Phillips, Bassel Safadi and Barry Threw all contributed to this project, along with Fab affiliates Michelle Thorne and new friend Alejandra Perez Nuñez, Mick Fuzz, and Adam Hyde.

The book delves into the sharism/freedom stack in more detail from content, software, hardware, and free network services we learned a lot about how to fight for the open web, and the possible pitfalls in an accelerating integration of software and hardware browsers. In retrospect and after some quick viewing, I realize that this book is very connected to how the Fabricatorz are spending our time and projects we are pushing quite hard. Please share more about the book. There are some easter eggs left in the book and some points that need to be challenged massively.

An Open Web Cover

From the official announcement:

An Open Web

The Web was meant to be Everything. As the Internet as a whole assumes an increasingly commanding role as the technology of global commerce and communication, the World Wide Web from its very inception was designed to be a free and open medium through which human knowledge is created, accessed and exchanged. But, that Web is in danger of coming to a close. This book shows what is happening and how you can play an important role in keeping the web open.

An Open Web was written in 5 days by 6 collaborators. Zero to book in 5 days. It was an intensive process and loads of fun. The collaborators met 9 am Monday with no more text written than the title and 5 days later published the book. This process is known as a ‘Book Sprint’, its fast, its fun and it takes place partly in real space and partly online.

An Open Web was mostly created by Alejandra Perez Nuñez (Chile), Christopher Adams (USA), Bassel Safadi (Syria), Mick Fuzz (UK), Jon Phillips (USA), and Michelle Thorne (DE) with Sprint Facilitation by Adam Hyde (NZ).

This web is not only about the Open Web but it was made by the Open Web. Open Web publishing at its best – written in 100% free software and open for anyone to contribute – including YOU.

Read the book online, download the free EPUB (for mobile devices and ereaders) and buy the beautiful paper book. All available from :

Improve the book and and keep it alive! (see below for details) – all edits are welcome!

An Open Web available NOW :

For Information about the Free Software platform this book was written with please see:

The Book Sprint was held in Berlin January 17-21 2011, sponsored by Transmediale and FLOSS Manuals and the CHB.

Open Web Book Sprint transmediale.11 from Barbara Mürdter on Vimeo. Fast forward to ~ 1 minute to hear a debate on a contentious @rejon statement with @thornet.

UPDATE: Added the PDF of the Press Release: An Open Web Launched at Transmediale 2011.


Art Basel – Miami Beach

A few of us made it to Miami Beach this year for the hoopla that is Art Basel. It’s always nice to drop in occasionally to see what the art world is up to, and glean what it deems hot or not. Not surprisingly, vulgarity still reigns large. But as I’ve noted elsewhere, hyper-superficiality can provide a breath of fresh air: making snap judgments based on whether or not something simply looks good is comforting in the same way that spending a December weekend in 80 degree weather is comforting.

Art Basel is definitely the most glamourous of all the art fairs that set up tent in Miami Beach, but several others created a strong buzz. Nada Art Fair, the free fair that focuses on smaller, independently-run galleries, is the younger, hipper and more tech-savvy alternative to Art Basel. The art at Nada wasn’t exactly impressive, but their events were far more eventful and exciting than those being hosted at Art Basel. I was able meet the people who run Bad At Sports, a dynamic group of people who do podcasts on contemporary art and had built a makeshift hut inside the lobby of the hotel where Nada was staged.

Almost as entertaining as crashing private cocktail parties that weekend was watching Miami Beach return to normal after everyone packed up and returned to their own private corners of the globe. Minus the influx of well-heeled visitors and sensational party buzz, Miami Beach felt almost as drab as the mannequin pictured above—blank and confused after being disrobed of all the designer garb.

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Art Density: A Survey Of Vienna Austria

I have never visited a metropolitan area more creatively dense than Veinna, the sheer volume of cultural activities in such a small area is profound.

Spring Flowers Near Rathaus - Vienna, Austria

The city is walkable, there’s great public transport, an easy rental bike system, and in spring the flowers and trees are going bonkers, bursting with life…

Parks are filled with folks soaking up the sun and spring energy.

Small Girl With Dog - Vienna, Austria

I visited the Leopold Museum where they exhibited a reconstruction of Gustav Klimt’s studio, a quaintly minimalist space influenced by Japanese culture surrounded by his art. In addition, the curators had placed 400 postcards written to Klimt’s fashion designer and friend Emilie Flogue in glass cases that snaked through the series of galleries. The cards read like a Twitter feed in 1900’s…I remember seeing as many as 3 a day.

 Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait) © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 465
Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait) © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 465

At the end, I was absolutely emotionally blown to bits by Egon Schiele’s Self Portriat which is on the first floor on display in the permanent collection.

Inside Quartier 21 there was a free-entry tribute to John Cage entitled “Wanting to say something about John” sponsored by the TONSPUR_library.

On the back side of Mumok (where I saw the Claes Oldenburg retrospective) there is an artist in residence studio program and a HUGE variety of information on Austrian art and cultural institutions. I’m definitely applying for that opportunity at MuseumsQuartier, as the studios are contemporary spaces with amazing natural light directly in the center of the action.

Erwin Schrodinger Sculpture In University of Vienna Courtyard - Vienna, Austria

Down the street is a bust of one of my favorite scientists in the central plaza of the University of Vienna. Dr. Schrödinger (who I know for his cat thought experiment) is one of my go-to philosophers along with Albert Camus when it comes to absurdity and uncertainty being the right way to look at solving problems…artistically, creatively, or otherwise.

Academic opportunities abound in the arts like the University of Applied Arts Vienna where the assumption is that the students will explore art and research together.

IMG_9170Photo by Máirín

One of my favorite pieces is Stefanie Wuschitz’ “Looped Scroll” which reinterprets Carolee Schneemann’s Interion Scroll from 1975. In addition Stefanie has established Miss Baltazar’s Laboratory Female-centric hacker space also located inside the MuseumsQuartier.

Nagy  Anna & Vasja  Watzing, Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 - Vienna, Austria

I visited Schleifmühlgasse 12-14 what drew me in was Ping Pong by Nagy Anna
and Vasja Watzing. In addition Breakable Structure followed the second day.

I’ve already begun a list of places to go next time: I want to visit MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art. and the Vienna Secession.

So if you’re looking for a massive infusion of art and culture make sure to visit Vienna the next time you’re in Europe. I highly recommend a week or more in this fine city.

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Artists at Laoban Soundsystem 1.0 Beijing

A couple more artists are now a part of the event tomorrow night, Friday, December 12 from 8-12 at CPU798 in Beijing, including Xu Tao and video artist Cai Kai:

We want new people to come out to this event each time we do it and feel free to mix into the media and social situations of Laoban events. The event is not a party nor art show, but more a context for interaction, testing out ideas, and discovery. And remember, art shows (or rather the people that attend them) possibly might hate low-end bass and partygoers into cutting edge music don’t have too much time for treble, discussion, wine and cheese — both love to have a drink, consume, produce media and co-locate together.

Come on out and get out of the cold! We invite you to come mix into the event, learn how to build your own Laoban Soundsystem and meet a lot of HQ people.

Also, a big thanks to those who have given this a good response and Ed from CPU:798 who is hosting the event. Buy art from them!

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