Roughly two weeks ago, the popular e-book lending site LendInk was taken offline thanks to a group of terrified authors who couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print. LendInk was a website dedicated to helping book lovers lend books to each other through features implemented by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The site’s only purpose was to serve as a front end — it hosted no e-book files, linked no torrents, and never directed users to a file locker.
From tech site <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/15/3244003/watch-this-kids-1995-internet-PSA">The Verge</a> Back in the early-to-mid 90s a lot of people remained unconvinced by the internet's potential — perhaps not surprising, given the spartan nature of early web pages. The fifth-grade students at Ray Bjork Elementary School in Helena, Montana knew better, though, and put together this PSA that not only details the internet's many uses in 1995 but also predicts its future.
If most websites can’t get password storage right, you can also bet they can’t get storage of the actual content you are trusting them with right, either. The private documents that you stored with your favorite cloud service are probably not encrypted in a way that only your account can decrypt, if they’re encrypted at all. The mobile app or website you use to access those documents may send your password and your files “in the clear,” enabling that shady-looking person on the other side of the café to snoop on you. They may advertise that they use encrypted connections but then disable verification in the mobile app so as to “not complicate the interface.” Someone could hijack your connection and the app would never notify you of the error. I have seen all of these problems in real-world cloud apps used by thousands of people.
The Rise of the Virtual-Plagiarist
With that, I have found a new genre of copying that I would like to call virtual-plagiarism. Virtual-plagiarism is where a book is sold with the appearance that it is for the most part original content; yet the buyer often doesn’t know or realize they are buying free content.
Wikipedia and other open source providers have made the world a better place with their free content. But with all that beneficence, there are those who have found a way to misappropriate it.
Art cannot be created or destroyed — only remixed. In a convincing talk from TEDGlobal 2012, director Kirby Ferguson explores the challenges of originality and freshness in a world where creativity takes root in what has come before. Without previous inventions we would not have the iPhone, the Model T Ford, Star Wars, Warhol’s soup cans, or the electronic musician Girl Talk. Ferguson highlights that remixing, referencing and reproducing previous innovations allows artists to engage in a cultural dialogue and allows art, technology and society to continue evolving.
How Google Organizes the World: Q&A With the Manager of Knowledge Graph
In May, Google launched a major overhaul of its search results. The Knowledge Graph on the right-hand side of the page displays facts and images about the subject of your query alongside the usual Web results. Google is moving away from basic keyword matching and toward recognizing real-world things and their relationships. We sat down with Emily Moxley, Google's lead product manager for the Knowledge Graph, to learn how Google is tackling this challenge.
We're now in the long run: the end of the first era of social media, Web 2.0's middle age. Among tech types, disruption tends to be the word. But what Wikipedia now requires is the careful, curatorial work of stewardship. We're about to see whether the web, so good at novelty, can also succeed at TLC.
Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques
There are plenty of Google search cheat sheets floating around. But it’s not often you get to hear advice directly from someone at Google who offers you his favorite search tools, methods and perspectives to help you find the impossible.
Here are some of my favorite tips shared by Russell at the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors conference. Some of these techniques are powerful but obscure; others are well-known but not fully understood by everyone.
Story in the NYT has this tease line: Nicholas Longo, the director of Geekdom, says usage-based billing would worsen an economic barrier between some Americans and the Internet. "It's like locking the doors to the library."
Full article: Sweeping Effects as Broadband Moves to Meters