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Friday, July 30, 2010

What's Next?

Not much time to write this morning so I'll leave you with this video of Flickr cofounder and cofounder of Hunch, Caterina Fake, and her thoughts on where we are going with technology and the future of the recommendatioin engine (credit Wired).

Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Much Fuss Over Facebook File Being Torrented

A lot of press over the past 24 hours regarding a file that has been made available for download via torrent sites. The file contains the publicly viewable profile information of approximately 100 million Facebook users. Firstly let me say that I am not a huge Facebook (the company) fan, nor for that matter am I what you would call an avid user, but I do have a Facebook account and it does suit a particular purpose for me... mostly serving up feeds of this blog. I do think however that a great deal of hype is surrounding this story unnecessarily and it's probably got more to do with the number of users and the sensationalism that a number like that can generate when being tossed around.

A "security consultant," Ron Bowes, used a piece of code to scrape Facebook profiles, collecting publicly available data and published the file on the internet. His motive was apparently to highlight privacy issues according to the BBC. While Facebook has been the target of much criticism over their privacy policies in the past, this type of attention is probably doing more for Ron Bowes, and his motives should be called to question. The information that you've made public via Facebook is what helps others using the service to connect with you, and if you are truly concerned perhaps you might like to reconsider joining such networks in the first place, or at least tweak your profiles to reflect your concerns. Ignorance is an excuse and not a defense, read the terms of service, limit what you share to what you are comfortable with, and pay attention to the notifications from the service providers. Just my thoughts....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dirty Politics?

It's no secret that politics is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for you if you don't want your dirty laundry aired in public. The latter is what is being played out in a judicial race in McClain County  Oklahoma where a lawyer, John Mantooth, is facing a great deal of opposition from his daughter and son in-law who have created a website in an attempt to inform the voters of their opinion of the candidate. It seems as though daughter Jan Schill has had an unpleasant past with her father and perhaps her husband Andrew has other motives. Though Andrew Schill is quick to point out "We are shocked both by the extent and the nature of the media coverage this story has generated.  And we completely agree with Mr. Mantooth that the voters should look at his experience and record when deciding how to cast their vote for District Judge.  It is our sincere hope that you will examine this record for which we’ve provide the limited examples available to us and make an appropriate and informed decision."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Working Collectively Into The Night

A trend is popping up that involves people who tend to work late into the night, mostly alone, who are now forming groups of night owls and getting together to collectively and cooperatively pursue their pet projects or just catch up on things they can't accomplish during the day. The New York Times gives credit to Allan Grinshtein and Amber Lambke for forming "the New York Nightowls, a sort of study hall for entrepreneurs, freelancers and software developers who gather at 10 every Tuesday night and stay as late as 4 a.m."

Ms. Lambke, a creative consultant, says “The goal is to come, get inspired, meet new people and get work done,” and that “It’s six hours of uninterrupted, productive time where you’re surrounded by other creative people doing awesome things.” 

Personally, I've long been aware of the concept of Third Tuesdays, where generally tech savvy ilndividuals or at least those interested in technology get together once a month to socialize and learn from each other. I've long felt that our community would benefit from such a group, but now I'm liking the night owl concept even more. 

Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorder Center at the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx says “Our circadian timing of sleep is affected by genetics, and people all differ,” and “If it fits in with their lifestyle, it can work very well,” he said. “A large part of their waking day is when things are quieting down.”

Now if we could only find a  place to meet and get stuff done... hmm.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Life In A Day Project - Google & Ridley Scott Team Up

Sadly I missed this project some how... It seams as though Google (YouTube), Ridley Scott, Kevin Macdonald, LG, the Sundance Film Festival have teamed up in an open project that's aim was to document what life was like on earth on July 24, 2010. The Life In A Day project asked for submissions of video captured on July 24th from anyone interested. The work will be compiled and edited over the next several months and the documentary screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. It's not too late however to submit your video, if you captured any yesterday, as the project is accepting submissions until July 31st.