links for 2009-06-30

  • On the other hand, a bubble isn't always a bad thing. In fact, Internet pioneer, 3COM founder, and Ethernet inventor Robert Metcalfe, believes bubbles are good things. Metcalfe is involved in green tech these days, and he argues that bubbles mean that a particular technology gets all the investment and attention that it needs in order to thrive. Although some people lose money during bubbles, he says ultimately it's good for the technology and the economy as a whole.

    So will there be a Smart Grid bubble? Most likely, although it's not clear how large a bubble it will be. But Metcalfe is probably right — the bubble means that the grid will actually become reality.

  • “Information wants to be free,” Anderson tells us, “in the same way that life wants to spread and water wants to run downhill.” But information can’t actually want anything, can it? Amazon wants the information in the Dallas paper to be free, because that way Amazon makes more money. Why are the self-interested motives of powerful companies being elevated to a philosophical principle?
  • Isn't it time that we stop talking about the sanctity of marriage in this country and start talking about the sanctity of truth? …If you love two (or more) different people equally, is it morally right to repress your love for one of them? Society says yes, but individuals often say no. Hence, infidelity."
  • case study of how complicated kindle DRM can be
  • The so called ‘Brinkman committee’ was recently assigned with the task of coming up with course of action for the Dutch newspaper industry. Today, they will present their report (download it here, in Dutch). The most important advice will be to put a special tax on ALL internet access subscriptions.

    Every family would pay a 2 euro yearly tax resulting in an extra 12 million a year.

    The resulting funds will be used on innovative projects. These innovative projects might help find a solution for the seemingly unavoidable demise of the news industry.

    As you would expect there are thousands of angry comments on the online articles who reported on the issue this morning. They compare it to paying a ‘car tax’ to save the Horse-Drawn Carriage Industry. Or taxing email to fund the post office because people are sending less paper around.

  • Global Voices Advocacy is a project of Global Voices Online. We seek to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world that is dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online.

    The aim of this network is to raise awareness of online freedom of speech issues, and to share tools and tactics with activists and bloggers facing censorship on different parts of the globe. The network is meant not only to provide support to its members, but also to produce educational guides about anonymous blogging, anti-censorship campaigns, and online organizing. By collaborating with software developers, activists, and bloggers, the network hopes to design new and more appropriate tools to protect our rights on the Internet.

  • Amazon (AMZN) has acquired Lexcycle, the software company that makes Stanza, a popular iPhone e-book reader. Could this be the team that builds Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle app on the iPhone? The Kindle app that Amazon rolled out earlier this year is functional but basic.

links for 2009-06-24

  • The AP’s social-networking policy comes as the media at large begins adopting Facebook and Twitter guidelines during a time of explosive growth in online social media. The News Media Guild, representing about 1,000 AP journalists, says the AP’s policy is perhaps the most restrictive the union has seen.

    “I am unaware of anything else like that,” Tony Winton, the guild’s president, said in a telephone interview. “Parts of the policy seem to be snuffing out peoples’ First Amendment rights of expression by a company that wraps itself in the First Amendment.”

  • New York Times Co., publisher of the namesake newspaper, is likely to begin charging users to access its news on mobile devices before it does so on its Web sites, the head of digital operations said.

    Times Co. is considering paid subscriptions on devices including Apple Inc.’s iPhone because they allow for less advertising than the Web, Martin Nisenholtz said in an interview today in New York following a speech. The publisher hasn’t yet determined whether or how to charge for access to its sites, he said.

    “Mobile offers a better opportunity for paid content,” Nisenholtz said in his remarks. “For publishers to offer their content for free in the mobile platform forever without getting paid very much money, I don’t think it’s going to be tenable.”

  • The extent of Internet censorship in countries like China is regularly tested, but the testing methods used from within a censored country can entail risk for humans. A benevolent worm can be used for testing instead: the worm’s selfreplication, long the bane of suggested benevolent viruses and worms, is shown to be essential here. We describe the design of this benevolent worm, along with some other related applications for it. A full technical, ethical, and legal analysis
    is provided.
  • "A lot of media companies just don’t seem to get social media (i.e. The Wall Street Journal). But the venerable Associated Press seems to have crossed the line by asking its employees to not only control what they say, but what their friends say. Now its employee union is fighting back."
  • If you’ve ever thought that your iPhone had the frictional coefficient of a Slip n’ Slide, you’re not alone. A new report from SquareTrade details the accident-prone nature of Apple’s line of smartphones, reporting that over 20% of iPhones have been damaged in the last 22 months. Cracked screens abound.
  • Talk about burying the lede! This point is at the END of a feature story on polyamory:

    "To many, multiple partners may seem like more trouble than they're worth. But Prather said Kumar brings important elements to his marriage: a different point of view, a companion for Bennett, and another person to turn to in hard times. "He's like family; he's on our emergency contact list," Prather said.

    And if Bennett and Kumar broke up? "I'd be heartbroken," Prather said.

  • For Bay area poly folks who want to participate. I plan to be there. Hell, how often do I get to be in a parade!
  • I don't know how current this info is, but it might be useful

    "This guide article will show you how to download video content from numerous sites (YouTube, Google Video, etc) on Mac using two methods. With this guide, you will also konw how to convert and put YouTube videos to iPod with Mac (including Leopard and snow leopard)."

links for 2009-06-22

  • Forrester Research advises CFOs to take a close look at cloud computing for messaging and collaboration and enterprise applications. The payoffs could be noticeable during the current economic downturn. Microsoft, Google, Cisco, IBM and a number of smaller players are ready to take your money for SAAS solutions.
  • "Simply put, the cloud is the next stage in the evolution of the Internet, though its impact will be far from simple. The democratization of powerful, scalable, industry-standard computing resources coupled with pervasive broadband allows us to store massive amounts of data, then analyze and contextualize that data to create tailored and intuitive services, for both individuals and businesses. In short, the Internet now has memory and something like the ability to reason. This allows us to develop solutions to problems that, if attempted with traditional technologies, would be either too expensive to start or doomed to fail on delivery. Looking across the entire spectrum of information technology, there is one class of solutions for which the cloud is particularly well-suited: collaboration."
  • Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is well known for innovative approaches to government IT. He introduced Google Apps to the city of Washington, D.C. when he was its CTO of back in 2007.

    He's brought with him to the federal government a philosophy that cloud computing could save money, facilitate faster procurement and deployment of technologies, and allow government agencies to concentrate more on strategic IT projects.

    InformationWeek sat down with him at his office last week to discuss his thoughts about cloud computing in government, and what it would take to make cloud technologies easier to adopt in the federal space.

  • more fodder for my forthcoming posts on social media & journalism ethics, policies

links for 2009-06-20

links for 2009-06-18

My proposed session: What’s the Most You Can Do with Crappy Cell Phones?

Today I’m at MIT for the Future of News and Civic Media conference (at which the 2009 Knight News Challenge winners will be announced 3pm ET today).

Part of this conference will feature unconference-style sessions that the attendees are proposing and will run. Here’s my idea:

What’s the Most You Can Do with Crappy Cell Phones?

It seems to me that mobile media is a huge potential channel for community news, information, context, discussion, coordination, and action. But most people have really crappy low-end cell phones — with a bare-bones (or no) browser, little or no data plan, maybe no e-mail access. SMS may be as advanced as many of these phones get.

The people who use these phones depend on them. They also totally freak out when they don’t have them or if they get turned off for non-payment. That indicates the power of this media channel.

What is the most we can do to engage people interactively through low-end mobile technology? What works, what doesn’t, and what needs to be learned? How can low-end mobile be considered FIRST for the development of community/public service media projects?

What do you think of this topic? What areas should I cover? Let me know! Comment below.

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links for 2009-06-17

links for 2009-06-16

links for 2009-06-15