How to see through the cloud, translated


Over on the Mozilla Webmaker site, James Bridle wrote a brilliant piece that explains in very simple terms how to get a better understanding of the web at the most basic level – where the cables and buildings are located, and where our data travels: How to see through the cloud. It’s fantastic!

And since the whole point of the Webmaker project is to allow for quick and easy remixing – and the learning process associated with it – I took the liberty to translate it to German.

We talk about the cloud all the time, the seemingly ephemeral, almost magical place where our data lives and thrives. But only when the system fails and something doesn’t work do we notice that there’s a brick-and-mortar infrastructure that everything runs on. Cables, servers, concrete buildings. Heck, even my mom asked me about the cloud a few weeks ago, and what it looks like.

Well, thanks to James everyone can now just poke around the web and get a better understanding on where the cloud really lives, and how our data travels down the cables hopping from data center to data center.

You can find my translation over on the Webmaker site: Die Cloud durchschauen.

As a side note, if you want to learn in a playful, really not threatening way about how the web works, please go check out Mozilla Webmaker. It’s a fantastic resource and very, very simple to get into.

Popcorn Maker – video of the web, for the web


At Mozfest, the most recent version of Popcorn Maker was launched. Popcorn Maker is a tool to more easily remix and share video on the web, and to make it interact with the web directly & in real time. It’s quite amazing if you think about it – so far, video on the web has been locked into a little rectangle, largely disconnected from what was going on around it. With Popcorn, video re-connects with the web: Of the web, for the web.

At last year’s Mozfest, I got to play around with an early version of Popcorn Maker. Seeing the new version launched now, exactly one year later, it’s mind blowing to see the polished, powerful beast that Popcorn Maker has become. It’s truly a joy to play around with.

Just to get a better feel for what Popcorn Maker is currently capable of, we took it for a spin. Concretely, in a small group we took this video about a potentially quite damaging & dangerous power shift in regulation the web, and translated it to German (current version here, as well as embedded below, but please note it’s a quick demo with plenty of kinks):

With just a bit more time, we could’ve added more or different sources, for example in German, or newspapers that are better known in the country than some of the US-based papers would be.

Seeing Popcorn Maker in action is amazing – huge props to the team.

Take Popcorn Maker for a spin – seeing web video that pulls in Google Maps or a Twitter hashtag search live feels almost like magic. It’s incredibly powerful, and I’m convinced it’ll change our understanding of how video works on the web.