Is Linkedin uploading profiles of minors including email addresses?





Note – Overall,  I like what Linkedin is doing including the new publishing platform . I also ‘trust’ Linkedin to upload all my contacts because its a great networking feature. I only have a problem with the specific issue (as a father) as below

Like many people, I uploaded my contacts on Linkedin

Its a useful feature

But ..

I was surprised to find my son’s name (and email address) as a Linkedin profile as ‘People You May know’

My son is aged 10 ..

And is very tech savvy .. Here is a book we are writing together – Python in Schools – A Computer Science perspective – By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar

But as far as I know, he does not have a Linkedin profile

At first, I thought he had created one

The poor child denied it ..

And then I realized that Linkedin is creating dummy profiles from all emails I unload – whether they have a existing Linked in profile or not

Why supposedly respected / corporate sites should use such tacky techniques is beyond me!

And then companies complain when they are under the cross fire of EU regulation

Who ELSE can see my son’s email address I don’t know ..

But behavior like this deserves to be highlighted because its a lack of trust

If minor’s email addresses are visible to others – it could have serious legal and regulatory implications for Linkedin

If anyone in Linkedin writes back I shall update this

See also this post – which I suspect is the same issue.

 How LinkedIn lies to increase its user numbers 

Update from Linkedin

Linkedin has formally contacted me about this. Their response is: They do not store profiles. However, they have no way of being able to distinguish an email address i.e. when they upload an address book, they upload all contacts (including in this case, my son). Apparently, this cannot be avoided.

My thoughts

Its good Linkedin does not expose this email address to others. But still sounds very opportunistic. After all, this is the company that has invented ‘Big Data’ and email addresses can be hacked(as has happened to Linkedin itself). So, all in all, it does not seem to be that bad – but could be improved none the less

My schedule at Mobile world congress – EIF roundtable and Ministerial program






I am at Mobile World Congress and this year for the first time, I am invited to the Ministerial program at Mobile World Congress which deals with Technology policy issues 

This is due to my work as co-author for the European Internet Foundation – Digital world in 2030 program

The High level roundtable for the report is on Sunday which I am also attending

 As always – happy to meet if possible

whatsapp – Ukraine – the individual and the state

An interesting contrast between the individual and the state







Our thoughts and prayers go out  to Kiev and Ukraine today.

Ukraine is making headlines for the wrong reasons but has one reason to be proud of today

whatsapp founder Jan Koum is an Ukrainian immigrant with a rags to riches story

From the above forbes article

Koum, who Forbes believes owns 45% of WhatsApp and thus is suddenly worth $6.8 billion — was born and raised in a small village outside of Kiev, Ukraine, the only child of a housewife and a construction manager who built hospitals and schools. His house had no hot water, and his parents rarely talked on the phone in case it was tapped by the state. It sounds bad, but Koum still pines for the rural life he once lived, and it’s one of the main reasons he’s so vehemently against the hurly-burly of advertising.

At 16, Koum and his mother immigrated to Mountain View, a result of the troubling political and anti-Semitic environment, and got a small two-bedroom apartment though government assistance. His dad never made it over. Koum’s mother had stuffed their suitcases with pens and a stack of 20 Soviet-issued notebooks to avoid paying for school supplies in the U.S. She took up babysitting and Koum swept the floor of a grocery store to help make ends meet. When his mother was diagnosed with cancer, they lived off her disability allowance. Koum spoke English well enough but disliked the casual, flighty nature of American high-school friendships; in Ukraine you went through ten years with the same, small group of friends at school. “In Russia you really learn about a person.”

 This will be the future – individuals will make a difference and the role of the State will be to create the best atmosphere to attract(and retain) their best individuals

Image source: Forbes

Is the whatsapp acquisition an endorsement for the non-advertisement (paid) model?







On a day when whatsapp is acquired – Its worth considering if the whatsapp acquisition an endorsement for the non-advertisement model?

Here is an older Business insider link (emphasis mine) which explains the philosophy of whatsapp founders

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy s*** we don’t need.

“Brian and I spent a combined 20 years at Yahoo!, working hard to keep the site working. And yes, working hard to sell ads, because that’s what Yahoo! did. It gathered data and it served pages and it sold ads.

We watched Yahoo! get eclipsed in size and reach by Google… a more efficient and more profitable ad seller. They knew what you were searching for, so they could gather your data more efficiently and sell better ads.

These days companies know literally everything about you, your friends, your interests, and they use it all to sell ads.

When we sat down to start our own thing together three years ago we wanted to make something that wasn’t just another ad clearinghouse. We wanted to spend our time building a service people wanted to use because it worked and saved them money and made their lives better in a small way. We knew that we could charge people directly if we could do all those things. We knew we could do what most people aim to do every day: avoid ads.

No one wakes up excited to see more advertising, no one goes to sleep thinking about the ads they’ll see tomorrow. We know people go to sleep excited about who they chatted with that day (and disappointed about who they didn’t). We want WhatsApp to be the product that keeps you awake… and that you reach for in the morning. No one jumps up from a nap and runs to see an advertisement.

Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out… And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.

Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.

At WhatsApp, our engineers spend all their time fixing bugs, adding new features and ironing out all the little intricacies in our task of bringing rich, affordable, reliable messaging to every phone in the world. That’s our product and that’s our passion. Your data isn’t even in the picture. We are simply not interested in any of it.

When people ask us why we charge for WhatsApp, we say “Have you considered the alternative?””

I am very much aware that all this may change post-acquisition. But that’s not the point.

The point is – a great business was built on creating value for it’s users with the ethos of not advertising

Its inspiring for @feynlabs

Speaking at the fifth Internet of things European summit


I am speaking at the fifth Internet of things European summit

You can get a 10% discount if you use futuretext10 when registering.

This conference has some great decision makers/participants and IOT has now become mainstream

- 10+ CEOs and Board-level reps confirmed (Telefonica R&D, Libelium, GreenPeak, AlertMe, Weightless SIG, Camgian Microsystems)
- Key EU IoT decision makers (Thibaut Kleiner, Mario Campolargo, Carl-Christian Buhr, Peter Freiss)
- City representatives (Change London, Barcelona City Council)
- US policy (2 U.S. Presidential Innovation Fellows)

If you are there, happy to meet up!

GLOBAL TRENDS 2030 Key Challenges Ahead for the European Union

Will be attending GLOBAL TRENDS 2030  Key Challenges Ahead for the European Union by ESPAS on behalf of European Internet Foundation. If you are attending – happy to catch up

Announcing feynmaps – and keynote at Pi Jamboree











Yesterday I announced the first product - feyncode – i.e. learning to code faster by understanding common patterns 

Pleased to announce our second product feynmaps to be announced at my keynote at the Pi Jamboree 

The Pi Jamboree  is the biggest Pi conference for education and being selected for their keynote is a great endorsement of what we are doing and the problem we are solving

the Pi Jamboree keynote is about this methodology (feynmaps) which will be Open sourced under creative commons. By doing so, we will increase the traction we have already got with the education community globally.


feynmaps: A visual way to unify Computational thinking and Computer Science laboratory experimentation for education 

When we teach Raspberry Pi, Arduino etc (practice) – it is hard to co-relate back to concepts of Computer science.

Hence, the quest to seek an open, visual technique (which we call feynmaps) that bridges the gap between concepts and practice in a single diagram by adding a ‘conceptual layer’ – on top of the Physical process. 

Inspired by feynman diagrams in Theoretical  physics (shown above) , this structure (analogous to Concept maps/ Mind maps) encourages exploration and co-relation between Concepts and practice and encourages Computational thinking.

By developing a universal framework (grammar/vocabulary – if you will) –we encourage the learner to explore existing and new concepts and at the same time, relate back to physical implementations

The American Association for the Advancement of Science for teaching says (Science for All Americans) – “Young people usually learn most readily about things that are tangible and directly accessible to their senses.”. However, concrete learning experiences devoid from the conceptual framework provide little insight into a subject as a whole. So, we need to find a way to unite concepts, concrete examples and provide the relevant context for effective learning

A feynmap is a simple, visual way to represent Computer science interactions to students. It is a tool to encourage computational thinking. Feynmaps incorporate hardware, software and algorithms holistically and unify practice with concepts. Feynmaps take a visual ‘ back of the envelope’, multi –layered approach and facilitate brainstorming to encourage Conceptual thinking and Conceptual building blocks for a process. 

Given physical process (ex -temperature sensor using a Raspberry Pi) – The objective is to create a two sided view – an implementation view and a Conceptual thinking view in a visual, interactive manner.

The process of creating a feynmap starts with Brainstorming the Conceptual elements and Implementation elements. We then create a ‘mapping’ through a lens . The lens is the focus for educators which encourages conceptual thinking

The methodology includes a library of processes (temp sensors) and the lens.

The methodology will be open sourced / under creative commons – hence adds value to educators

please contact me at ajit.jaokar at for more details

Python in Schools – A computer science perspective – By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar.








Hello all

First some background:

a) We have been working over the last year at feynlabs and many more announcements soon later this month

b) I have been referring to this idea before i.e. using patterns to teach programming just like you can improve IQ scores. These ideas form a key part of our work to accelerate the early stages of learning to Program

c) We have also been working closely with institutions in Miami last year to trial these ideas especially at Lab Miami

d) When released in a book form – it will be a book written by me and my 10 year old son – who has been involved in this journey for feynlabs for the last two years and part of the team

So, here is the formal announcement of the book

Launch date is in Miami end May (beta). It will be a book + course. The final book will be launched in Oct (printed copy)


A different approach to learning to code

1) Think of programming as in understanding patterns – Ex like an IQ test .. you can learn to do better by understanding patterns or how a chess master learns by understanding core patterns (According to De Groot, the core of chess expertise is the ability to recognize huge number of chess positions (or parts of positions) and to derive moves from them.)

2) A book / course designed to accelerate the early stage learning of programming – to go from 0 to 60 like a Cheetah

3) If you can read and you can think – you can code

4) format – for each pattern – Read code + Guess what it does + Quiz + see implementation in Python + JS + C

5)  The project will also emphasize reading code

6)  The project will emphasize relating to Computer Science

 7)  Based on trials online and offline with 5 schools and 400 teachers
8) Written by me and my 10 year old son – Aditya :)
9)  The main language is Python – but also JavaScript and C
10) Starts simple but stretches boundaries esp with numpy Django and other concepts
11) Audience – for young people and all who want to learn to code
Python in Schools – A computer science perspective – By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar.
What you will learn ..
If you can read and think – you can learn to Program..
0-60: Accelerating early stage of learning Programming
Learning to program is easy.
What does the Computer See?.

What is Computer Science and why should you study it?.

Patterns for programming

(In each pattern – we take the folllowing approach: Read code + Guess what it does + Quiz + see implementation in Python + JS + C )
Variables. Loops. Initialization. Words. Math – Numbers. Time. Random numbers. Timers. Boolean. Arrays. Dictionary. Read and write to a file. Equations. Functions Libraries. Collections(compound data types).
Built in functions. Libraries Graphics and Turtles. Objects. Event driven programming. Exceptions.
numpy How to read code.flow of execution. Reference manuals
How it fits together – Python – Django – Phonegap – numpy
As always comments welcome ajit.jaokar at

State of the Net Conference 2014 – Issues and Policies for Transatlantic Collaboration




My report on the State of the Net conference published at the European Internet Foundation site 


Net Neutrality – Is the debate maturing?






Depending on your perspective, with recent developments, it’s tempting to think that Net Neutrality has debate has changed radically

But in reality, in the background, the Net Neutrality debate may be maturing

Here is why

I have attended IMS conferences for years and they have been predictably boring

Mostly we see the same faces and the same companies (mainly Operators) who complain of the same issues (OTT).

Absent from the debate are any real web companies

So, I was very surprised to see facebook and Mozilla speaking at the IMS world conference

This is a good development

To me, it shows that behind the rhetoric – we may be actually engaging in real dialogue to create useful services

webRTC plays a big role here – and I am a fan

And the interesting aspect is both facebook and webRTC are platforms

Which is good for wider innovation i.e. not just the players themselves

The sessions are


14.00 IMS and WebRTC: What does it mean and where is it going?

09.35 WebRTC: Because the web is the platform

• How browsers and operators can work together

• End user value of real-time communications

• P2P and privacy aspects of WebRTC

• Case study of how firefox can be integrated into IMS networks

Jean-Baptiste Piacentino, Firefox Director Browser Communications,

Mozilla, USA

 12.05 IMS and RCS integration and next generation carriers expect from Facebook.

• How can we evolve new architectures?

• Is Facebook really an OTT threat?

• Future deployments

Graham Bright, Mobile Partner Engineer, Facebook, Ireland

 We are also seeing a more complex discussion ex Has the FCC Chairman Solved the Net Neutrality Quagmire?

All these are good developments and in the end reflect a growing reality that everyone is ultimately focused on serving their customers in the best possible way