Technology

Collusion Browser Plugin Shows You Who's Tracking You on the Web

Collusion Browser Plugin Shows You Who's Tracking You on the Web
Once installed, Collusion works much like its Firefox counterpart, except with better tracking detection and some UI changes Chrome users will appreciate. The map is completely empty. As you browse, you'll see the sites you visit start to appear on the map, and if they drop tracking cookies on your computer you'll see them in red. Hover over any of the circles on the map to read more about the site, and whether it's a known tracker. If you already have privacy extensions installed, you'll likely see fewer circles on your map. Either way, you'll probably see lots of interconnected circles

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...

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