Technology

Be Very Afraid: The Cable-ization of Online Life Is Upon Us

Be Very Afraid: The Cable-ization of Online Life Is Upon Us

Imagine what’s possible from Comcast’s perspective: If you can slice and dice traffic, play definitional chess (“that’s not the internet, that’s a specialized service!”), and be the only game in town, you’ll get to replicate the cable model by making sure that every successful online application owes its success in part to you and pays you tribute.

E-paper watch raises 7 million on Kickstarter

Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android has raised 7 million dollars on Kickstarter. The display is e-ink so that it is view-able in full sunlight. The watch will display the time and text messages from your smart phone.

There are going to be apps on it so someone will make a reader app. I read entire NYT articles on my old cell phone that had an equal size screen to this watch.

See Kickstarter for details.

Inside Washington's high risk mission to beat web censors

Inside Washington's high risk mission to beat web censors
For more than a year, the intelligence services of various authoritarian regimes have shown an intense desire to know more about what goes on in an office building on L Street in Washington DC, six blocks away from the White House.

The office is the HQ of a US government-funded technology project aimed at undermining internet censorship in countries such as Iran and Syria. And so every week – sometimes every day – email inquiries arrive there that purport to be from pro-democracy activists in those places, but which, the recipients are confident, actually come from spies.

Why Clifford Stoll is RIGHT about the internet

Every once in a while the.effing.librarian has a good point....
Why Clifford Stoll is RIGHT about the internet:
Yet for his goofs, Stoll gave me one of the wisest pieces of wisdom, ever. On one television program, he espoused having two computers, one for online and one that never touches an outside network. Because that was the only way to guarantee that your data would be safe. One day, you'll wish you'd listened to him.

The Internet will be a fad with little value

The Internet will be a fad
He thought the Internet had no future. Merely a fad. A passing fancy.
We were reminded of scientist Clifford Stoll yesterday when we posted a photo from when the Internet first came to NPR. MPR News reporter Curtis Gilbert recently stumbled upon a gem from the MPR archives, a 1995 interview with Stoll by MPR host Paula Schroeder. Stoll was promoting his book Silicon Snake Oil (at the same time he also published a Newsweek article titled, "The Internet? Bah!")

"STOLL: I'd say it's not that important. I think it's grossly oversold and within two or three years people will shrug and say, '"Uh yep, it was a fad of the early 90's and now, oh yeah, it still exists but hey, I've got a life to lead and work to do. I don't have time to waste online." Or, "I'll collect my email, I'll read it, why should I bother prowling around the Worldwide Web or reading the Usenet" simply because there's so little of value there."

The Library of Utopia

Over at Technology Review, a look at whether a true digital public library can ever become a reality.

"Google's ambitious book-scanning program is foundering in the courts. Now a Harvard-led group is launching its own sweeping effort to put our literary heritage online. Will the Ivy League succeed where Silicon Valley failed?"

A New News Aggregator and its SciFi Roots

More interesting than the beta launch of a news aggregator called Wavii, is the recap of of such things in Science Fiction novels and stories of the past at Technovelgy.com
"This same idea was first explored in science fiction decades ago. In his 1978 novel The Fountains of Paradise. Arthur C. Clarke described the personal interest profile that could be used to gather all relevant items of information from news feeds."

Do Personal Analytics Make Google Less Creepy?

Do Personal Analytics Make Google Less Creepy?
Unquestionably, there are abuses of user data that go too far. But the truly troubling stories have a halo effect. Early adopter culture is hardening against the idea of any kind of data collection about users. But cultural norms are always changing. Isn't it possible that there are some kinds of data collection that could be valuable to users?

Google itself has begun trying to change the norms around this. It created a new opt-in monthly account activity report that provides Google users with some basic analytics about their Googling habits.

Some Notes on Tweeting for Public Libraries

Some Notes on Tweeting for Public Libraries
I've been thinking a lot about public libraries/organizations and social media lately, especially on the differences between Twitter and Facebook. I wanted to jot down some notes about what I think works and what doesn't, & figured I'd share them publicly so that folks can do anything from heartily disagreeing with them in the comments to potentially benefiting from them. I've had a personal Twitter account and followed libraries with it since fall of 2007, but have only recently started tweeting for a library system (about a month now). I still have a lot to learn, but I've also learned a lot. These notes take the form of advice, and it's advice I stand behind, but I'm not claiming to be an expert (highly recommended, by the way: this Geek Girls Guide podcast episode on The Cult of Social Media, which covers, among other things, how often "social media expert"/guru/maven is invoked and why it is often a misapplied phrase).

With no further ado, some thoughts (gentle and otherwise) on tweeting for public libraries...

Read It Later’s app goes free and gets a new name, Pocket

Read It Later is making its app completely free — no more premium version — and renaming it Pocket to express the fact that users can save any type of content, not just articles. Full article at Paid Content.

I know librarians that say that "Read It Later" is their most used app. I never got around to buying it but downloaded it today now that there is a free version. Slick little app. You can put a button in the toolbar of your browser and when you see a story you want to read on your mobile device you just click the button and the article is on your device. The text formats to be easily read on a mobile screen.

You can sign up for an account at: http://getpocket.com/
After you are registered at the site you are given directions for how to add a "pocket" button to your browser. You can then download the app to your mobile device and login with the account you created at the website.

For heavy users of online content like librarians this is a great app to have.

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