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Congress considers anti-piracy bills that could cripple Internet industries - SOPA and PROTECT IP would harm innovation.

Congress considers anti-piracy bills that could cripple Internet industries - SOPA and PROTECT IP would harm innovation.
By Alex Howard
November 22, 2011

In a time when the American economy needs to catalyze innovation to compete in a global marketplace, members of the United States Congress have advanced legislation that could cripple the Internet industry, damage cybersecurity and harm freedom of expression online.

Four short links: 15 November 2011 - Internet Asthma Care, C Fulltext, Citizen Science, and Mozilla

By Nat Torkington
November 15, 2011

Cost-Effectiveness of Internet-Based Self-Management Compared with Usual Care in Asthma (PLoSone) -- Internet-based self-management of asthma can be as effective as current asthma care and costs are similar. Apache Lucy -- full-text search engine library written in C and targeted at dynamic languages. It is a "loose C" port of Apache Lucene™, a search engine library for Java. The...

You share something, you get something back: How the web is redefining privacy - O'Reilly Media CIO, Jonathan Reichental, speaks at TEDx in Chicago.

By Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D.
October 14, 2011

Combining a mix of freely available public domain information and our own sharing behaviors on the web clearly suggests that we must redefine our view of privacy.

Four short links: 14 October 2011 - Relativity in Short Words, Set Math, Design Inspiration, and Internet of Things

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2011

Theory of Relativity in Words of Four Letters or Less -- this does just what it says, and well too. I like it, as you may too. At the end, you may even know more than you do now. Effective Set Reconciliation Without Prior Context (PDF) -- paper on using Bloom filters to do set union (deduplication) efficiently. Useful...

Strata Week: What happens when 200,000 hard drives work together? - IBM is building a massive 120-petabyte array and Infochimps releases a unified geo schema.

Strata Week: What happens when 200,000 hard drives work together? - IBM is building a massive 120-petabyte array and Infochimps releases a unified geo schema.
By Audrey Watters
September 1, 2011

IBM takes data storage to a whole new level (120 petabytes, to be exact), Infochimps' new API tries to make life easier for geo developers, and the "Internet of people" keeps an eye on Hurricane Irene.

FCC contest stimulates development of apps to help keep ISPs honest - The winners of the FCC's Open Internet challenge provide consumers with new tools to monitor ISPs.

FCC contest stimulates development of apps to help keep ISPs honest - The winners of the FCC's Open Internet challenge provide consumers with new tools to monitor ISPs.
By Alex Howard
August 10, 2011

The FCC Open Internet Challenge stimulated the creation of a new mobile application that enables consumers to analyze the performance of their mobile broadband network. Combined with the other two winners of the challenge, consumers now have better tools to measure their Internet service.

The Great Reset: Why tomorrow may not be better than today - Hard truths about our values, the economy and the outlook for the future.

The Great Reset: Why tomorrow may not be better than today - Hard truths about our values, the economy and the outlook for the future.
By Mark Sigal
July 8, 2011

Mark Sigal says we're entering a period where the promise of a better tomorrow is no longer a generational expectation and our sense of a (mostly) fair and balanced system is being drowned by an elite class.

Citizen science, civic media and radiation data hint at what's to come - The evolution of Safecast is a glimpse into networked accountability.

Citizen science, civic media and radiation data hint at what's to come - The evolution of Safecast is a glimpse into networked accountability.
By Alex Howard
June 29, 2011

After a tsunami caused a nuclear disaster in Japan, a radiation detection network starting aggregating and publishing data. The result, Safecast, shows how citizen science and open data are changing our understanding of the world.

Four short links: 9 June 2011 - MongoDB Subpessimalization, Anti-Intellectualism, Teen Internet Use, Android Internals

By Nat Torkington
June 9, 2011

Optimizing MongoDB -- shorter field names, barely hundreds of ops/s when not in RAM, updates hold a lock while they fetch the original from disk ... it's a pretty grim story. (via Artur Bergman) Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? -- focus is absolutely necessary if we are to gain knowledge. We will be ignoramuses indeed, if we merely...

Four short links: 6 June 2011 - Paper App, Retro Net Simulation, Games Creator, Beginning Large-Scale Machine Learning

By Nat Torkington
June 6, 2011

Turning Receipts into Paper Apps (BERG London) -- I love the idea of the modern web app sensibility bleeding back into the world, the same way classic offline design has informed online. Telehack -- an amazing interactive reconstruction of the early net, part nostalgia part game part simulation. Check out the README for more details. (via Andy Baio) Stencyl...

Four short links: 30 May 2011 - Tables to Charts, Crowdsourcing Incentives, Domain Boondoggles, and Conquering Complexity

By Nat Torkington
May 30, 2011

Chartify -- jQuery plugin to create Google charts from HTML tables. (via Rasmus Sellberg) Designing Incentives for Crowdsourcing Workers (Crowdflower) -- In a tough turn for the sociologists and psychologists, none of the purely social/psychological treatments had any significant effects at all. The gTLD Boondoggle -- ICANN promised back in 1998 that they would bring the world lots of...

At the eG8, 20th century ideas clashed with the 21st century economy - The eG8 shows online innovation and freedom of expression still need strong defenders.

At the eG8, 20th century ideas clashed with the 21st century economy - The eG8 shows online innovation and freedom of expression still need strong defenders.
By Alex Howard
May 27, 2011

While the first eG8 Forum in Paris featured hundreds of business and digital luminaries, some of the the policies discussed should be of serious concern to entrepreneurs, activists, media and citizens around the world.

Four short links: 26 May 2011 - Fibre Horse, Forced Gold Farming, Google Correlate, Internet GDP

By Nat Torkington
May 26, 2011

Draft Horses Bring Fibre to Remote Locations -- I love the conjunction of old and new, as draft horses prove the best way to lay fibre in remote Vermont. (via David Isenberg) Chinese Political Prisoners Gold-Farming (Guardian) -- "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told...

With M2M, the machines do all the talking - Machine-to-machine applications: what they are, what they do, and why they need their own networks.

With M2M, the machines do all the talking - Machine-to-machine applications: what they are, what they do, and why they need their own networks.
By Ciara Byrne
May 20, 2011

In machine-to-machine communications, devices and sensors connect with each other or a central server rather than with human beings. Two M2M experts discuss M2M's applications in this interview.

Four short links: 19 May 2011 - Internet Access Rights, Statistical Peace, Vintage Jobs, and Errata Etymology

By Nat Torkington
May 19, 2011

Right to Access the Internet -- a survey of different countries' rights to access to access the Internet. Peace Through Statistics -- three ex-Yugoslavian statisticians nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. In war-torn and impoverished countries, statistics provides a welcome arena in which science runs independent of ethnicity and religion. With so few resources, many countries are graduating few, if...

Four short links: 17 May 2011 - Sorting Out 9/11, Tagging Text, Unlocking Scientific Publishing, and Internet Archive's Meatspace Branch

By Nat Torkington
May 17, 2011

Sorting Out 9/11 (New Yorker) -- the thorniest problem for the 9/11 memorial was the ordering of the names. Computer science to the rescue! Tagger -- Python library for extracting tags (statistically significant words or phrases) from a piece of text. Free Science, One Paper at a Time (Wired) -- Jonathan Eisen's attempt to collect and distribute his father's...

What did Microsoft get for $8.5 billion? - Microsoft shelled out a lot of cash for Skype. Here's what they'll get in return.

What did Microsoft get for $8.5 billion? - Microsoft shelled out a lot of cash for Skype. Here's what they'll get in return.
By Bruce Stewart
May 12, 2011

Why would Microsoft pay so much for a company that doesn't have vastly superior technology or great financials? Here's five reasons.

A Manhattan Project for online identity - A look at the White House's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

A Manhattan Project for online identity - A look at the White House's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.
By Alex Howard
May 4, 2011

The U.S. government's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace addresses key issues around identity, privacy and security. Implementation, however, will require significant effort and innovation from the private sector.

Four short links: 2 May 2011 - Internet Cafe Culture, Image Processing, Library Mining, and MediaWiki Parsing

By Nat Torkington
May 2, 2011

Chinese Internet Cafes (Bryce Roberts) -- a good quick read. My note: people valued the same things in Internet cafes that they value in public libraries, and the uses are very similar. They pose a similar threat to the already-successful, which is why public libraries are threatened in many Western countries. SIFT -- the Scale Invariant Feature Transform library,...

Let's imagine Steve Jobs is President of the United States - How can our experiences with the Internet and consumer tech apply to government transformation?

By Francis Pedraza
March 28, 2011

Sooner or later, writes Francis J. Pedraza, the same forces that have touched all of our lives through consumer markets and the Internet will give us Government 2.0.

For election info, the Internet reaches a new high-water mark - Pew finds more than 50% of US adults used the Internet for political purposes during the 2010 elections.

For election info, the Internet reaches a new high-water mark - Pew finds more than 50% of US adults used the Internet for political purposes during the 2010 elections.
By Alex Howard
March 22, 2011

New research from the Pew Internet and Life Project on the 2010 midterm elections shows that a majority of U.S. citizens are now turning to the web for news and information about politics.

Developer Week in Review - iPhone gets cracked, Twitter gets picky, and Internet connectivity gets disrupted.

Developer Week in Review - iPhone gets cracked, Twitter gets picky, and Internet connectivity gets disrupted.
By James Turner
March 16, 2011

In the latest Developer Week in Review: the iPhone fell to attackers, Twitter shunned their developers, and the Internet proved not to be as robust as one might hope.

Google Translate in the Wild - How to sell in Mexico when you don't speak Spanish

By Paul Browne
March 8, 2011

I always remember a scene from Saving Private Ryan, in the lull between the action on the beaches and the finale, where US Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) needs to communicate with some German soldiers. Despite not speaking of word of...

Four short links: 24 February 2011 - Network Snooping, Traffic Growth, Data Munging, and Open Interop

By Nat Torkington
February 24, 2011

Charles -- a debugging proxy that lets a developer view all HTTP and SSL traffic between their machine and the Internet. (via Andy Baio's excellent "How I Indexed The Daily) The Rise and Rise of Mobile Broadband -- the Blackberry is now the standard measure of traffic, apparently. The outcome is simple - Cisco estimates that global mobile data...

Four short links: 15 February 2011 - New Copyright Laws Proposed, GMail APIs, Internet Book Roundup, and Chrome Farm

By Nat Torkington
February 15, 2011

White House Will Propose New Digital Copyright Laws (CNet) -- If the Internet were truly empowering citizenry and bringing us this new dawn of digital democracy, the people who run it would be able to stop the oppressive grind of the pro-copyright machinery. There's no detail about what the proposed law would include, except that it will be based...

Four short links: 10 February 2011 - API Economics, Spreadsheet Risks, New York of Things, Pair Programming Fail

By Nat Torkington
February 10, 2011

Instapaper's API -- Marco Arment wanted to prevent people building their own front-ends using the API and thus removing his (advertising) revenue source. He could offer a cripped API, but people scrape to work around that. He could tithe the apps people build on top of his API, but that's hard work to set up and run. His solution:...

Four short links: 8 February 2011 - Web Memory, Phones Read Cards, Military and Public Data, and NoSQL Merger

By Nat Torkington
February 8, 2011

Erase and Rewind -- the BBC are planning to close (delete) 172 websites on some kind of cost-cutting measure. i’m very saddened to see the BBC join the ranks of online services that don’t give a damn for posterity. As Simon Willison points out, the British Library will have archived some of the sites (and Internet Archive others, possibly)....

Developer Week in Review - iOS and Android kick out new SDKs, Microsoft head count decreases by one, and the Today Show struggles with the @ symbol

Developer Week in Review - iOS and Android kick out new SDKs, Microsoft head count decreases by one, and the Today Show struggles with the @ symbol
By James Turner
February 2, 2011

Snowed in, we look at new mobile SDKs, old Microsoft employees, and really old video about the Internet.

"The Web is a Customer Service Medium" by Paul Ford

By RJ Owen
January 24, 2011

I recently ran into an interesting article titled "The Web is a Customer Service Medium" in which the author (Paul Ford) makes a very compelling case that the Web is specifically "for" the purpose of letting people express their opinions. This article has really had me thinking the past few days about the nature of the medium I work in as a web developer, and I wanted to share some of those thoughts here.

The role of the Internet as a platform for collective action grows - A new Pew survey emphasizes the Internet's importance in civil society.

By Alex Howard
January 21, 2011

A new survey released released this week by the Pew Research Center's Internet and Life Project shed new light on the role of the Internet as a platform for collective action. A panel at the State of the Internet Conference discussed the findings, driving home the increasing integration of our online and offline lives.

Adventures in Windows 7 Troubleshooting: Browser-run Apps

By William Stanek
January 20, 2011

Ever had a problem with an app run via a browser window? You're not alone. Here's an entry related to troubleshooting these types of problems using the Sirius XM media player app as an example. The Sirius XM media player...

The State of the Web 2010: Net Neutrality and the FCC

By RJ Owen
December 30, 2010

If the Holiday season has had you too distracted to notice, the FCC made an important ruling that impacts net neutrality last week. The full text of the ruling (warning: big PDF) was only recently made available late last week and so in-depth analysis on the ruling has taken some time. In this post I try to give a quick overview of what those rules were, and then describe the whole net neutrality situation from the perspective of someone who came of age around the same time that the web did.

Four short links: 2 December 2010 - University IP, Apollo 13, LinkedIn Open Source, Crowdsourced Satellite

By Nat Torkington
December 2, 2010

Glasgow University to License Its IP For Free -- while a small proportion of high value University of Glasgow IP will still be made available to industry through traditional licensing and spin-out companies alone, offering the bulk of IP to a larger audience for free adds value to the UK economy. (via Hacker News) Apollo 13 Spacelog -- the...

Hiring trends among the major platform players - The battle for the Internet's points of control requires amassing talent.

By Ben Lorica
November 15, 2010

Consistent with the recent flurry of articles about hiring wars, many platform companies have increased their number of job postings. Winning the battle for the Internet's points of control requires amassing talent.

Livestream from Web 2.0 Summit - Internet leaders discuss "points of control" at Web 2.0 Summit.

By Mac Slocum
November 15, 2010

Leaders from across the Internet Economy are assembling in San Francisco this week at Web 2.0 Summit. Stay in the loop with a free livestream.

Windows 7 Inside Track: Printer, Scanner, and Fax Installation

By William Stanek
October 27, 2010

Let's embark on what I'd like to call "Adventures in Printer, Scanner, and Fax Installation." Last Thanksgiving, I did something I rarely do: I went shopping on Black Friday. Picked up some great buys on USB flash drives, SDHC cards and a fantastic deal on a HP Officejet All-in-one. By now installing new devices, hardware and even entire systems is old hat around my house.

Four short links: 26 October 2010 - NoSQL Experience, Connected Future, Hacktivism, and Mobile UI Guidelines

By Nat Torkington
October 26, 2010

12 Months with MongoDB (Worknik) -- every type of retrieval got faster than their old MySQL store, and there are some other benefits too. They note that the admin tools aren't really there for MongoDB, so "there is a blurry hand-off between IT Ops and Engineering." (via Hacker News) Dawn of a New Day -- Ray Ozzie's farewell note...

The battle for the Internet Economy - Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle discuss "points of control" in a free webcast.

The battle for the Internet Economy - Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle discuss
By Mac Slocum
October 25, 2010

Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle will examine the people, organizations, and chokeholds shaping the Internet Economy during a free one-hour webcast, being held Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET.

What to consider before shortening links - URL shorteners have upside, but they also raise issues around stability, privacy, and performance.

What to consider before shortening links - URL shorteners have upside, but they also raise issues around stability, privacy, and performance.
By Leigh Dodds
October 25, 2010

Link shorteners have become part of the web's social fabric, but is that a good thing? In this piece we take a look at the key issues surrounding shorteners: stability, obfuscation, performance and privacy.

Four short links: 22 October 2010 - Image Remapping, Internet Futures, Ebook Reader, and Open Cloud Computing

By Nat Torkington
October 22, 2010

Historical Images Remapped -- Sydney's Powerhouse Museum released historical images from their collections, and a historical photo site Sepiatown geolocated and oriented them so they can be viewed side-by-side with current Google Street View images of the same place. And then contributed the refined metadata back to the museum. A great example of your users helping to improve your...

Four short links: 20 October 2010 - Bad Game Mechanics, Under NoSQL Covers, the LAN of Things, and the Smithsonian Commons

By Nat Torkington
October 20, 2010

Pwned: Gamification and its Discontents (Slideshare) -- hear, hear! Video games are not fun because they're video games, but if and only they are well-designed. Just adding something from games isn't a guarantee for fun. (via jameshome on Twitter) Redis Under the Hood -- explanation of the insides and mechanisms of this popular distributed key-value store. (via tlockney on...

The growing criticality of taking on human rights issues in the connected marketplace

By Sarah Sorensen
October 14, 2010

We may be on the cusp of some big changes in the way businesses view human rights issues; many may start to take a leading role in increasing the visibility and urgency of critical human rights issues because they realize it is in their best interests and tied more directly than ever before to the sustainability of their organizations...

The distinctions and controversies of net neutrality - A new wiki sorts out network neutrality's signal and noise.

By Andy Oram
September 13, 2010

"Network Neutrality: Distinctions and Controversies" appears to be the first disciplined attempt to distinguish the various definitions of network neutrality and the practices it is supposed to stop.

Why Twitter's t.co is a game changer - Twitter's URL shortener could give marketers a key tool for off-site engagement.

Why Twitter's t.co is a game changer - Twitter's URL shortener could give marketers a key tool for off-site engagement.
By Alistair Croll
September 13, 2010

If Twitter is so inclined, the company could turn the new t.co shortening service into a powerful analytics tool that solves the marketing and tracking issues attached to off-site engagement.

Four short links: 8 September 2010 - Mozilla Updated License Draft, Government Problems, T3h Internets, and Online Voting System

By Nat Torkington
September 8, 2010

Alpha Draft of Mozilla Public License v2 Out -- The highlight of this release is new patent language, modeled on Apache’s. We believe that this language should give better protection to MPL-using communities, make it possible for MPL-licensed projects to use Apache code, and be simpler to understand. (via webmink on Twitter) Challenge.gov -- contest-like environment for solving problems....

Points of Control: The Web 2.0 Summit Map - Internet companies are jockeying for positions that will benefit them for years to come.

Points of Control: The Web 2.0 Summit Map - Internet companies are jockeying for positions that will benefit them for years to come.
By Tim O'Reilly
August 31, 2010

In our planning for this year's Web 2.0 Summit, John Battelle and I have expanded on the metaphor of "the Great Game," as we explore the many ways Internet companies at all levels of the stack are looking for points of control that will give them competitive advantage in the years to come.

Four short links: 19 August 2010 - Satellite-based Forecasting, Design Book, Submarine Cable Map, Brain Science

By Nat Torkington
August 19, 2010

New Big Brother: Market-Moving Satellite Images -- using satellite images of Wal-Mart and Target parking lots to predict quarterly returns. (via Hacker News) Form and Code -- beautiful book on the intersection of code, design, architecture, form, and function. One of the authors is Casey Reas who was also one of the people behind Processing. (via RandomEtc on Twitter)...

Is there such a thing as a business that's not connected?

By Sarah Sorensen
July 27, 2010

When a business course asks 'what are e-organizations doing differently from businesses that are not using the Internet,' I am stumped. I can't think of any businesses that aren't connected in some way. E-organizations are no longer a 'segment' within the business population, rather they are representative of the way business gets done...

Four short links: 26 July 2010 - Maturing Wikileaks, Connectivity as a Right, Music from Proteins, Preserved Source

By Nat Torkington
July 26, 2010

Is Wikileaks Growing Up? -- I linked earlier to FAS commentator Steven Aftergood, who had ripped Wikileaks as irresponsible and dangerous. The latest leaks, however, get grudging respect. "the latest dump deals with a perfectly newsworthy topic and -- judging from my initial glances at the news coverage -- Wikileaks itself has acknowledged the necessity of withholding certain portions...

Three 'Internets'

By Rick Jelliffe
July 16, 2010

I am used to the idea that there is an 'internet' of people (email, blogs, twitter, social media, phones, mail) and an 'internet' of data (WWW, W3C Linked Data/RDF, wikipedia, Atom feeds, HTML, ATM machines, etc), but an EU discussion...


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