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NET: The Internet Archives

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June 17, 2011

LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman on Data, the Panopticon & Web 3.0

By Joe Katzman at 07:18

Very interesting presentation from South by Southwest (SxSW) 2011. He's pretty candid about the longer-term threats embedded in a data-as-a-platform world, but also very interesting rewarding the opportunities for creating businesses out of data streams. For me, it's been worth multiple playings, even though it's almost an hour (but it works fine as background audio).

Beyond tech, I quite liked his general point about "It wasn't that the future [predicted in the 1960s/70s] wasn't magical, it was just sooner and stranger than we think." The crack about "I flew here on an airplane, courtesy of the Wright Brothers, and customer service, courtesy of Darth Vader" is also a keeper.

But the rest is equally worth your attention. Feel free to discuss among yourselves.


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  • Beard: Been away a long time, and things are getting a read more

November 9, 2010

What Tech Entrepreneurs Can Learn from a Rapper

By Joe Katzman at 02:15

AlwaysOn has an interesting entry from Mark Suster:

"Last night I co-hosted a dinner at Soho House in Los Angeles with some of the most senior people in the media industry with executives from Disney, Fox, Warner, media agencies and many promising tech and media startup CEOs. The topic was "the future of television and the digital living room." With all of the knowledge in the room the person who stole the night wasn't even on a panel. I had called on Chamillionaire from the audience and asked him to provide some views on how artists view social media, why they use it and where it's heading. He was riveting."

Really, his insights apply to anyone in new media.


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November 5, 2010

The Suicide Chatroom Stalker(s)

By Joe Katzman at 18:11

Something interesting from GQ, looking into the cybernetic Wild West:

"f you were desperate and hopeless enough to log on to a suicide chat room in recent years, there was a good chance a mysterious woman named Li Dao would find you, befriend you, and gently urge you to take your own life. And, she'd promise, she would join you in that final journey. But then the bodies started adding up, and the promises didn't. Turned out, Li Dao was something even more sinister than anyone thought."

Ah, but if this is the Wild West, there's bound to be a posse... and therein hangs a tale. Fantastic work by Nadia Labi.


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  • toc3: Ghoulish, to say the least! read more

March 10, 2010

Jeff Jarvis at TED New York: "This is B.S...."

By Joe Katzman at 04:22

By which, he meant the whole TED format, and the format of his own talk. He goes on to draw parallels between that format, the current education system, and the "mainstream" media's failing model. On which topic, see Belmont Club's post about schools trying to ban laptops in classrooms.

I agreed with this from Jarvis:

"Why shouldn't every university - every school - copy Google's 20% rule, encouraging and enabling creation and experimentation, every student expected to make a book or an opera or an algorithm or a company. Rather than showing our diplomas, shouldn't we show our portfolios of work as a far better expression of our thinking and capability? The school becomes not a factory but an incubator."

He also asks this, and here's where we diverge:


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  • Alchemist: I do want to reeiterate that I am not against read more
  • Joe Katzman: Amen to point #9. But what the tests do is read more
  • Alchemist: It's worth noting that these days some amount of standardized read more

February 8, 2010

Google and Your Privacy: The Larger Issues

By Joe Katzman at 00:29

Prof. Sam Liles of Purdue focuses on cyber-security and low intensity conflict. Which makes his take on the recent China hacks, and the larger implications of what Google is creating, timely.

In a riff on Google's "Don't be Evil" motto, he titles it "Evil Google: What you don't know just might hurt you." Very thought provoking, even if you know a fair bit about this stuff already.


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January 13, 2010

Wow (Again). Google Does 'Not Evil' - To Stop Censoring the Chinese Internet.

By Armed Liberal at 01:01

From the Google Blog, Google's infrastructure was just attacked from China:
First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses--including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors--have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

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  • J Aguilar: Applause and support for Google. read more
  • Joe Katzman: I'm impressed that Google has been willing to rethink its read more
  • phantommut: I've long been a Google skeptic, but credit where it's read more

July 14, 2009

Anil Dash on Google's "Microsoft Moment"

By Joe Katzman at 04:33

Anil Dash:

"I'm not sure Google's new Chrome OS announcement is that big a deal, or that the eventual product that gets released will actually have that much impact, but it's a useful milestone in marking Google's evolution towards becoming an older company with a distinctly different culture than they used to have....

Is Google evil? It doesn't matter. They've reached the point of corporate ambition and changing corporate culture that means they're going to be perceived as if they are. Whether they're able to truly internalize that lesson, accept it, and act accordingly will determine if they're able to extend their dominance in the years to come."

Worth pondering, as is his 2007 post about Google's difficulty with Theory of Mind. A fancy term for the kind of understanding which tells you that closing your eyes doesn't turn you invisible (except against the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, of course...).


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  • Joe Katzman: Sharp observations. Thanks, as always. read more
  • Tim Oren: Dash is missing the differences between Google and other business read more

July 10, 2009

MI6, Social Networking and the National Security Sector

By Joe Katzman at 00:25
MI6 FB
James never had
this little problem...

In March 2008, DID's "Sharpen Yourself: LinkedIn & Social Networking Sites" discussed both the career benefits and the security risks associated with social networking sites. Sir John Sawers, the prospective head of Britain's MI6 intelligence agency is probably wishing he had read it. His wife recently leaked dangerously specific information about him on Facebook, and created a controversy about his fitness for the job. Sir John now faces a possible parliamentary probe.

Despite these setbacks, social networking is becoming a larger part of the military, and the industry. In July 2009, Lockheed Martin released its internal company social networking application's underlying code as open source software. Social networking efforts are being explicitly built into PR contracts, and it's becoming one of the information shifts that are changing the battlespace. The Pentagon recently launched an official blogging platform at DODLive.mil, and US Forces Afghanistan launched a social networking strategy that extends to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Followed by orders to bases to stop blocking key social networking sites.

These efforts can make a big contribution toward ensuring that the Pentagon is no longer, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates puts it, "being out-communicated by a guy in a cave." On the other hand, they are not risk-free.


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April 20, 2009

Susan Boyle... and Paul Potts

By Joe Katzman at 00:09

I suspect most of you have seen this already. If not, do yourselves a favor. Visit this YouTube page, and watch an unemployed, 47 year old spinster walk on a Britain's equivalent of American Idol... and just blow the effing house down.

Thanks to the Internet, this was the viral equivalent of a tsunami. Follow-on TV appearances have been frequent, she may be about to record a duet with her singing idol Elaine Page (who was impressed), and it seems like she won't have to be looking for a job any time, well, ever again. The only shame in all of this is that she's been singing in her village, recording local charity albums (listen to "Cry Me A River" from 1998), rather than being on stage in London's East End for the last 20 or more years. Where she belongs. The good news is, some of the people in her village think that what you just saw on "Britain's Got Talent" wasn't even her best singing. Um, wow.

It's a great story. I love the fact that she sang a stage tune to do it. And I love it that someone with that level of talent was able to walk on, demonstrate it, and let that trump everything else. She didn't win a sympathy vote. She's just that good, and she'll rise as high as her talent lets her. To me, that's what it's all about.

Incidentally, 2007's winner was a guy named Paul Potts, now a multi-millionaire who's touring the world. He was a 41-year old mobile phone salesman, who remembers being beaten up at school every day until he was 18. That was excellent training for his subsequent dissertation on the problem of evil and suffering in a God-created world - and for his life's ambition, which was to become an opera singer....


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  • Robohobo: Beard said: ...even if I am unremarkable in some ways, read more
  • juliet: How about them apples, real-life Goodwill Hunting(s) aka Matt Damons? read more
  • Beard: Another thing that I thought was inspiring about her triumph read more

February 10, 2009

On The End Of Privacy And Transparency

By Armed Liberal at 18:41

I had a brief Facebook conversation with a local LA political figure about 'www.eightmaps.com', the mashup of political donation data that's currently generating a little controversy.

Short version: some genius got the idea to take the publicly available donor lists and map them on Google, so that everyone can see who donated to the initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California (note that we still have our "No on 8" poster in the window facing the street...we're diehards).

Predictably, the usualy trolls and idiots have harassed them:
A college professor from the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a $100 check in support of Proposition 8 in August, because he said he supported civil unions for gay couples but did not want to change the traditional definition of marriage. He has received many confrontational e-mail messages, some anonymous, since eightmaps listed his donation and employer. One signed message blasted him for supporting the measure and was copied to a dozen of his colleagues and supervisors at the university, he said.

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  • Andrew J. Lazarus: Except, the idea of a right to privacy for political read more
  • maryatexitzero: The "eightmaps" site was put up by a still-anonymous writer. read more

November 19, 2008

Obama's Web 2.0 Communication Strategy

By Joe Katzman at 02:42

You'd think that the party with a massively biased media dead-set against it might be the one doing the most innovation in terms of new channels and approaches. You'd be wrong, of course. The GOP leadership still sees the Internet as a cheaper way to send pres releases, with partial research materials sent as a concession to bloggers. I have yet to see anything approaching a party communication and mobilization strategy for the GOP itself, let alone outreach beyond its base or input into the communication and policy process.

Obama led in all these areas, and this MarketingVOX piece talks about their continuation into governance, alongside the immediately-available "change.gov."

Marc's startlingly naive election-period posts re: "McCain should have run a better campaign in the face of a deeply slanted media" missed a point that no veteran of politics should have missed. Candidates don't have alternative channels to leverage - and it's stupid to expect that. Parties might have them, if they build and tend them beforehand. The GOP has been remarkably deficient in that area, despite the clear writing on the wall for over 7 years, as part of a much larger disconnect from its base. While the GOP begins to sort out its leadership problems, therefore, Obama will continue full-speed ahead - building on his existing advantage in case his fawning media sycophants ever decide to start, you know, doing their jobs.


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  • Nortius Maximus: PS: As a separate matter, I do think that most read more
  • Nortius Maximus: #77 Mark says: If you think that liberal bias has read more
  • SG: #75: When Obama claimed that 95% of people would get read more

The Next Tech Boom?

By Joe Katzman at 01:34

In "The Next Tech Boom is Underway," Greg Ness says it may be something much more prosaic and fundamental than the clean tech startups attracting so much venture capital money these days:

"Until the current network evolves into a more dynamic infrastructure, all bets are off on the payoffs of pretty much every major IT initiative on the horizon today, including cost-cutting measures that would be employed in order to shrink operating costs without shrinking the network.... even with the simple act of managing an enterprise network’s IP addresses, which is critical to the availability and proper functioning of the network, expense and labor requirements actually go up as IP addresses are added. As TCP/IP continues to spread and take productivity to new heights, management costs are already escalating.... If something as simple and straightforward as IP address management doesn’t scale, imagine the impacts of more complex network management tasks, like those involved with consolidation, compliance, security, and virtualization.

....The cloudplex will utilize racks of commodity servers populated with VMs that can scale up as needed in order to save electricity and make IT more flexible. That makes incredibly good sense, but are we really there yet? No.... For the network to be dynamic, for example, it needs continuous, dynamic connectivity at the core network services level. Network, endpoint and application intelligence will all depend upon connectivity intelligence in order to evolve into dynamic, automated systems that don’t require escalating manual intervention in the face of network expansion and rising system and endpoint demands."

The article as a whole goes into more depth concerning these challenges, as well as some potential winners in this race. Is this the next tech boom? And is it really underway?


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  • hypocrisyrules: Tim Oren is actually correct here. It's a cost-savings, automation read more
  • virgil xenophon: gabriel: The reason companies don't devote sufficient resources to disaster read more
  • gabriel: I see Web 2.0 as sinking good money into meaningless read more
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