Re: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general

2017-01-28 Thread Damon Sicore
As long as humanity maintains the concept of non-citizen, global suffering will 

I believe the only way to address backup and privacy concerns is to permanently 
dissolve all current systems relying on the infrastructure that corporations 
and governments can touch or see and move to something where absolutely no 
single entity would be able to control any other entity in any way whatsoever. 

However, this goes against some of our fundamental principles and values of 
Wikipedia because our communities embrace authoritarian and autocratic 
processes which enable censorship and persecution. We control what people say 
every time we edit the corpus. Another way to convey my point:  Eliminating 
being a corpus eliminates censorship.   

Also, as WMF has experienced, there is no way you can talk people out of 
powerful positions.  Asking people to stop their behavior, which is enabled by 
a power we give them,  will not produce the desired result. 

Flicked by head hugging plastic rectangular zero and one signal emitter. 

> On Jan 27, 2017, at 4:39 PM, John  wrote:
> United States
> governmental agencies sharing information about non-citizens with each
> other. In the context of the actual document it is referencing sharing data
> about non-citizens who are not legal residents of the United States, who
> are illegally in the country.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Introducing Victoria Coleman, WMF Chief Technology Officer

2016-11-02 Thread Damon Sicore


This is great news!  I believe your talent, knowledge, and insight will boost 
and elevate the WMF community, and I know your positive personality will be 
warmly welcomed.

Yours faithfully,
Damon Sicore <>
6E98 FBFB D192 D325 B85D  D4FF FD2A 20ED DC1D 3975

> On Nov 2, 2016, at 11:22 AM, Katherine Maher <> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I’m excited today to introduce the Wikimedia Foundation's new Chief
> Technology Officer, Victoria Coleman. Victoria’s first day is November 7,
> and she will be based in the Foundation's office in San Francisco.
> Victoria comes to us with more than 20 years of experience in consumer and
> enterprise technology. And as you’ll learn quickly when you start getting
> to know her, she is deeply passionate about the importance of education,
> and how the Wikimedia mission advances education and equity around the
> world.
> When we started looking for a CTO for the Foundation, projects, and
> communities, we knew we were looking for a unique person - someone with the
> experience to lead confidently, and the confidence to embrace open
> collaboration in leadership. We were looking for someone with a track
> record of success leading strategy and execution for technology platforms
> at scale, someone will be an effective mentor and leader for our Technology
> department, and a strong partner to Product teams. We needed someone who
> would thrive in our culture and be an inclusive collaborator with staff and
> community. We agreed that Victoria met these requirements and then some.
> Victoria has deep experience across consumer and enterprise technology
> fields and is a longtime advocate for innovation in education and the
> public sector. She has seen and done many things in her career, from
> mobility platforms to connected devices to cyber security to web services
> at scale. She brings operational excellence in strategic long-term
> planning, execution, delivery, and running large distributed teams.
> Most recently, Victoria served as Senior Vice President and Chief
> Technology Officer for the Connected Home Division of Technicolor, where
> she was responsible for innovation strategy, product management, technology
> roadmaps, and technical due diligence for acquisitions and partnerships.
> Previously, as Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Harman,
> she led the core technology platforms of the Infotainment Division
> including systems and software, media, tuner, navigation, connectivity, and
> advanced driver assist systems. Before this, she served as Vice President,
> Emerging Technologies at Nokia, Vice President, Software Engineering of
> Hewlett-Packard’s webOS global business unit, and Vice President of
> Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology.
> Victoria also has deep familiarity with open source software development,
> having witnessed the rise of the Unix movement first as a student and later
> as an instructor. She has been actively involved in the development of the
> Linux-based LiMo (renamed Tizen). She passionately believes in the power of
> open source and is familiar with how a commitment to open source
> strengthens platforms and products at an integral level.
> Victoria received her B.Sc and M.Sc in Electronic Computer Systems and 
> Computer
> Aided Logic Design respectively from the University of Salford, UK and her
> Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Manchester, UK. She is the
> author of over 60 articles and books (!). She has worked with teams around
> the world, including in Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Finland, Germany,
> India, Israel, Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
> One thing that struck many of us throughout our conversations was
> Victoria's commitment to volunteering her knowledge and expertise outside
> of her daily professional activities, serving on advisory councils in
> higher education and the public sector. She is on the advisory Board of the
> Santa Clara University Department of Computer Engineering, and she is also
> a Senior Advisor to the Director of the  University of California
> Berkeley’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of
> Society. She serves as a volunteer advisor on both Lockheed Martin’s
> Technology Advisory Group and on the United States Department of Defense’s
> Defense Science Board where she offers advice and recommendations on
> science, technology, manufacturing, and acquisition processes.
> As a native of Greece, Victoria is interested in becoming a contributor on
> Greek Wikipedia, and getting to know our colleagues and communities over
> the coming months.
> As many of you k

[Wikimedia-l] Facebook CTO on strategy, Internet access, Wikipedia

2016-08-18 Thread Damon Sicore

I usually don't recommend these things, but this interview with Schrep [1]
[2] is interesting and insightful.  I recommend listening to it instead of
reading.   He discusses FB's ten year plan, AI, VR, Internet access for
all, mentions Wikipedia several times, confirms their insatiable hunger for
structured data, and reveals several details on their innovation approach.
Trigger Warning:  Corporate Speak

Make no mistake, I've nothing but contempt and spite for Facebook, but
having worked with Mike I also know he demonstrates formidable intellect
and is a decent person.  He's incredibly capable in building amazing teams
and predicting (more like sniffing out) the future of tech.  I watch his
moves closely to stay sharp.

He's right about how papers are coming out constantly which augment current
AI tech in interesting new ways.  I believe we're living in interesting
times for computer science and mathematics--computational linguistics and
probabilistic search in particular.   A person can't read the CS and math
papers fast enough in order to keep up with the innovation.  A lot of it is
trivial, sure, but some is quite startling in impact as they combine a few
smaller things which seemed previously innocuous yet when used together
they solve key problems.

When looking into tech and strategy for WMF and the engineers it supports,
I'd be very interested in the direction Facebook is going and the
technologies they plan on investing in, so passing it along.

Yours faithfully,



Damon Sicore
512 963 5126
D192 D325
DC1D 3975
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] 100k articles written with Content Translation tool

2016-07-18 Thread Damon Sicore
Hi Runa and Team,

I'm happy to see this team and project a success.  I know everyone worked
hard to make content translation helpful for the world, and it was this
team's dedication and focus that incrementally created the recipe with
community to get it right.

Solid work.  :)

Yours faithfully,

Damon Sicore
512 963 5126
D192 D325
DC1D 3975

On Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 4:15 AM, Runa Bhattacharjee <> wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> Our barely 1-year old Content Translation Tool just passed 100,000
> translations <
> We've made a video to celebrate the achievement:
> Wikimedia Commons:
> Facebook:
> Twitter:
> YouTube:
> Vimeo:
> You can read more about it on the blog:
> Thanks
> Runa
> --
> Language Engineering Manager
> Outreach and QA Coordinator
> Wikimedia Foundation
> ___
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] Board appointment of Executive Director

2016-06-24 Thread Damon Sicore
Congratulations, Katherine!  Excellent work and great news.  :)

Yours faithfully,

D∀mon Sicor∃
D192 D325
DC1D 3975

On Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 2:15 AM, Patricio Lorente <> wrote:

> Dear all,
> It is our great pleasure to share that during the Board meeting at
> Wikimania 2016 in Esino Lario, we unanimously voted to appoint Katherine
> Maher as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. This is effective
> as of our resolution dated Thursday, 23 June.
> Katherine served as interim Executive Director for the past three months,
> during which time she consistently and repeatedly demonstrated the kind of
> leadership our organization needs. She is deeply committed to our
> movement’s values, and brings expertise in civic technology and
> international development that will be an asset to the Wikimedia Foundation
> and the movement.
> We came to this conclusion after an intensive discovery process led by the
> ED search committee. Our decision was also informed by direct feedback from
> staff and community, and our own experience working closely with Katherine.
> In March, we assembled an Executive Director search committee[1]
> consisting of four Board members¹ who were chosen to represent different
> perspectives and capacities.² Additionally, the Board asked the
> Foundation’s Chief Advancement Officer Lisa Gruwell to represent the
> executive team, and Foundation staff member Katie Horn was selected by her
> peers as someone who could represent staff perspectives. The committee was
> charged with keeping the process on track and on time, engaging important
> stakeholders, and facilitating transparency in communications. Their first
> tasks were to identify a search firm, and define the position description.
> You can review the committee’s updates on Meta.[2]
> The committee recruited Viewcrest Advisors,³ to identify our leadership
> needs and design a hiring process. Kathleen Yazbak of Viewcrest worked with
> the committee to conduct interviews with every Foundation department, the
> executive, the Board, and nearly 20 additional one-on-one interviews with
> staff. Kathleen attended the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, collecting
> feedback from community members and affiliates. The committee launched a
> community survey in June, receiving more than 1,600 responses about the
> qualities needed in the next ED; they also asked for feedback on Meta.[3]
> Taking all of this into account, the transition team developed a profile
> and requirements for the next Executive Director that reflect our values
> and our communities.
> Throughout this process, the Board and the transition team received very
> clear and often unsolicited feedback from both staff and community members
> that Katherine embodies the values of our movement and the traits needed in
> our next ED. This feedback was only reinforced by the latest Foundation
> engagement survey results, which showed a strong shift toward renewed trust
> in leadership. After taking this all into account, and considering what the
> organization needs at this moment of transition, we moved to appoint
> Katherine now.
> In just three months as interim ED, Katherine worked with the organization
> and community to make huge strides in management, execution, and
> transparency. She brought much-needed clarity to our strategic direction,
> and mobilized the organization to clearly communicate that direction
> through this year’s annual plan.
> After her appointment, she worked with the leadership team to swiftly
> identify the organization’s priorities during the transition period and
> execute against them, setting ambitious but reachable targets. Under
> Katherine’s leadership, the Foundation submitted its annual plan to the
> Funds Dissemination Committee, leaving ample time for community feedback
> and discussion.
> Katherine is an excellent fit for our movement. She is longtime advocate
> for global open communities, culture, and technology. She was the
> Foundation’s Chief Communications Officer from April 2014 until she was
> appointed interim ED in March. Throughout her career she has focused on
> freedom of expression, access to information, and digital rights;
> supporting the efforts of people around the world to deepen participation,
> advance transparency, and strengthen their communities through her work
> with UNICEF, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and
> the World Bank.  If you don’t already know Katherine, you can learn more
> about her on Meta.[4]
> With this appointment, we feel strongly that the Foundation has the
> leadership and clarity to move forward. We wish Katherine the very best in
> this role, and the Board looks forward to continuing to work with her.
> We would also like to thank the many community members and Foundation
> staff who actively shared thoughtful, highly valuable feedback. Without
> that, 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Wmfall] Wikimedia Foundation executive transition update

2016-03-10 Thread Damon Sicore
Excellent news!  Katherine demonstrates integrity, has a strong mind for 
community, and she can help give WMF the voice it needs for a positive future.  
I’m personally thrilled to see this happen.  

Congratulations, and thank you for stepping into one of the most difficult 
and—I’d argue—one of the best and rarest opportunities to call everyone back 
together and reestablish good faith as the default.   :)

Yours faithfully,

> On Mar 10, 2016, at 6:59 PM, Katherine Maher  wrote:
> Thank you, Patricio.
> I want to thank the Board for this opportunity, and for their confidence in
> the Foundation. I also want to thank community members and staff for
> continuing to be such committed advocates for our future -- your passion
> and belief in our movement and purpose have been tremendous things to
> behold.
> As a movement, we’ve had some challenges lately. We’ve started on a process
> of change, but as Lydia Pintscher (User:Lydia Pintscher (WMDE)) recently
> reminded us,[1] “Change happens at the speed of trust.” We will need to
> work together over these coming months to build that trust, and open
> critical lines of communication and accountability. I get the sense from
> many people that that’s exactly what they’d like to do: absorb the lessons
> we’ve learned, re-engage with each other, and get back to advancing our
> global movement.
> At the Foundation, we have an opportunity to center around our values, and
> practice open and collaborative communication. During the interim period, I
> want to get things working well and improve transparency and communication,
> both internally and with the communities. We will work to create a
> supportive, fair environment where people can get things done, engage with
> their colleagues and community members, and understand how their work has
> an impact on our mission. This includes delivering on important deadlines
> for the Annual Plan and strategy,[2] filling key roles, and making progress
> on issues raised in our recent engagement survey.
> We are committed to delivering the first version of the 2016-2017 Annual
> Plan no later than April 1st for community and FDC review, and are on track
> to meet this deadline. The WMF 2016-2018 strategy development is also
> underway, with a draft version open for comments until March 18.[3] Over
> the coming weeks, we’ll be moving forward with our Chief Technology Officer
> (CTO) search, and working with the Talent and Culture team to reinvest in
> our culture. As new other emerge, we’ll work together to prioritize them.
> To accomplish all of this, we are going to need your help. I want to hear
> from you about what you would like to achieve in this interim period. This
> includes how we can collaborate together to prepare the organization and
> movement to welcome our next Executive Director. The Foundation is prepared
> to actively support the Board in the search, and we will work closely with
> them to share important information and create opportunities to give
> feedback throughout the process.
> Just a few weeks ago, we marked the 15th birthday of the movement.[4]
> Millions of people around the world shared their love for Wikimedia. It was
> a celebration of why we do what we do, and how much joy the movement brings
> people everywhere. That’s something I try to keep in mind every day.
> Yours sincerely,
> Katherine
> [1] 
> [2]
> [3] 
> [4] 
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 6:55 PM, Patricio Lorente <
> > wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> I’m happy to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation leadership team has
>> proposed an interim Executive Director, and the Board has given our full
>> support. Starting on March 14th, current Chief Communications Officer
>> Katherine Maher (
>> will step into the role of interim Executive Director. We thank the
>> C-levels for their careful consideration in this process, and Katherine for
>> stepping up during this period of transition.
>> In choosing an interim ED, the C-levels started by identifying immediate
>> priorities for the coming months, including building trust, improving
>> communications, and filling key leadership positions. They felt, and we
>> agree, that Katherine is the right person to lead the organization while it
>> addresses these and other 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] In Support of Community

2016-01-12 Thread Damon Sicore
Hi Doma,

These are links to public posts containing cryptographic hash values generated 
from documents that I wrote on or before the dates of the posts.   By posting 
these hash values publicly, I’m proving to the world that I said something 
specific at a specific time.  The world does not know what I said, and only I 
can produce the documents which, when hashed, produce these exact hash values. 

I hope this helps.  :)

Kindest regards,

> On Jan 12, 2016, at 9:17 AM, Domas Mituzas <> wrote:
> Damon, for those who are not native in gibberish, care to translate?
> Cheers,
> Doma
> On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:55 PM, Damon Sicore <> wrote:
>> To All,
>> Just to mark this moment, or maybe remind those who paid attention when I
>> published these, some long before I vanished in silence:
>> I trust James Heilman.  I support the community.
>> :)
>> Yours faithfully,
>> Damon Sicore
>> aka: gnubeard, ex-vp of eng, and briefly head of product, WMF
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[Wikimedia-l] In Support of Community

2016-01-09 Thread Damon Sicore
To All,

Just to mark this moment, or maybe remind those who paid attention when I
published these, some long before I vanished in silence:

I trust James Heilman.  I support the community.


Yours faithfully,
Damon Sicore
aka: gnubeard, ex-vp of eng, and briefly head of product, WMF
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[Wikimedia-l] Engineering Community

2015-02-11 Thread Damon Sicore

Dear Wikimedians,

We are changing our engineering processes to improve how we engage with you -- 
our valued contributors and editors -- around software development.

We are beginning with the collaborative buildout and deployment of 
VisualEditor. We are moving community engagement processes and product 
decisions into earlier stages of development, and making them iterative. In a 
perfect world this process would start prior to feature development, but in 
this case VisualEditor is already in-flight, so your participation now is 
critical. With your participation, we can work together to ensure this new 
process works.

In this new process, we commit to:

• Collectively identify success criteria for each target audience, from new 
editors (simple feature set) to expert editors (complex feature set).
• Ensure success criteria represents the quantified and qualified goals. The 
feature will only be shipped when the success criteria is met.
• Enable the feature for only portions of specific audiences that would best 
benefit (a process known as “incremental roll-out”) at a time.
• Triage and prioritize all bugs and feature requests on a weekly basis to 
ensure they are addressed in a timely fashion. Publicly post responses, 
assessment, and target implementations. This will replace the RFP process and 
ensure we are tracking on all requested features efficiently.

How you can engage:

• Report bugs or enhancement requests in Phabricator:
• Join any of the weekly triage meetings to nominate a release blocker. Please 
see the instructions at:
• Participate in development. You can find the team on IRC in the 
#mediawiki-visualeditor channel on

We are excited to get this long-standing feature to the level of quality and 
success we all want and need. It is a collective effort. You are not only a 
stakeholder, but an active contributor in this work. We want to all to be proud 
of the outcome. Please participate now.

All my best,


Damon Sicore
VP of Engineering
Wikimedia Foundation

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[Wikimedia-l] Call to Action

2014-10-06 Thread Damon Sicore

On arrival I was asked to describe a few leadership principles and
practices I live out.  In my response I included a statement about courage,
honesty, and integrity [1]. These principles are not effective without
applying them.  To succeed, one must transfer these leadership principles,
to a vast number of people, enabling them to be more successful.

I’ve found the best method to teach others is to demonstrate [3].

Effective leaders demonstrate correct behavior and they demonstrate
leadership by acting with courage, honesty, and integrity.  This is what I
expect from myself and from those around me who share our mission.   Here’s
a quote from Ernesto 'Che’ Guevara, a person who's ability to lead is

'One of the great educational techniques is example.  Therefore, the chiefs
must constantly offer the example of a pure and devoted life.  Promotion of
the soldier should be based on valor, capacity, and a spirit of sacrifice;
whoever does not have these qualities in high degree ought not to have
responsible assignments, since he will cause unfortunate accidents at any
moment.'  —Che Guevara, Guerrilla Warfare (1960) p. 90 [4].

We are not soldiers, but we are revolutionaries.  And as revolutionaries
supporting the Wikimedia mission we must consistently demonstrate the
behaviors that maximize our ability to build the software required to
fulfill our mission.  This is important because our users and contributors
are watching us as leaders.  They are watching our demonstration.  And if
we are to support them we must treat them with respect.   If we don't, they
will leave.

Che's policy when asking for help from their community was to always be
courteous, considerate, and just.  He emphasized that food, supplies, and
help from the community should be exchanged for fair compensation.
Always.  He continues:

'The conduct of the guerrilla fighter will be subject to judgment whenever
he approaches a house to ask for something.  The inhabitants will draw
favorable or unfavorable conclusions about the guerrilla band according to
the manner in which any service or food or other necessity is solicited and
the methods used to get what is wanted.  The explanation by the chief
should be detailed about these problems,  emphasizing their importance;  he
should also teach by example.'

Call to action:  Let's renew our commitment to treat everyone with respect
and dignity.  Let's lead by example by choosing our words carefully with
only positive intentions.  Open source requires a healthy community, and
respectful interactions are a sign of a healthy community.   I pledge to
treat everyone with respect and use respectful and inclusive language.
Please join me.

While I'm normally on IRC all the time, this last week has been special as
I'm migrating machines and devices.  Beginning this week I will have a
client on 24-7; however, I will be online for a dedicated IRC Office Hour
on Oct 9, 1-2pm PDT.   I would love to hear your thoughts here or in IRC.

All my best,

VPE, Wikimedia Foundation

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