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Friday, December 3, 2010

Is The Effort To Hide The Truth More Damaging Than The Truth Itself?

Until now I've not had much to say about the recent round of WikiLeaks vs. the U.S. gov't. This time around the documents being shared are causing a bit of a diplomatic uproar as damning information regarding U.S. diplomat's impressions of foreign leaders have surfaced. It seems as though the American government is feeling the heat over this leak a great deal more than the mostly military leaks that previously hit the site. In the last round WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was publicly criticized and then a character assassination attempted with allegations of a sexual assault linked to him.

In this round the site has been hit by a DDOS attack, then it's temporary host Amazon pulled the plug, and it's domain name service has just given it the boot. All of this and a world wide warrant being placed on Assange by Interpol. It seems as though the powers that be are more willing to silence the detractors than to fess up. No one should be fooled into thinking that due diligence is not conducted by all nations, in the form of intelligence gathering, and that assessments of personal characters is not routine. Perhaps however the U.S. might wish to secure it's documents, instruct and or teach it's diplomats to be, well, diplomatic in their assessments on paper.  While I do not wish to downplay those contents, the act of attempting to silence WikiLeaks and the lengths at which it is going to do so is more damning, at least in my eyes, than the documents themselves. I am sure that there are skeletons in everyone's closet but the U.S. government is going about this the wrong way. Then again perhaps there is more than one government worried about who's closet will be searched next...

Just my 2 cents worth.

p.s. WikiLeaks is still available online, at least for now, at 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Naughty Or Nice?

If you've been naughty this year it's time to kick the nice into high gear and make a real push to the big day as the Jolly Ole Elf is a mere few weeks away. This year as has been a recent tradition, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, will track Santa's progress via it's web site. December 1st marked the kick-off of this year’s countdown at Kids of all ages can play holiday-themed games and get updates from the North Pole as Santa prepares for his big sleigh ride.

Here is a review of his journey last year, courtesy of YouTube.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tweets Hit The Big Screen At Piccadilly Circus

Coca-Cola is spreading Christmas cheer via twitter users and a huge screen located at the busy London thorough fare at Piccadilly Circus. Twitter users who follow @cokezone can direct  their tweet to @cokezone and have it displayed on the screen for commuters to enjoy. We'll assume that because of the open nature of the tweets that there will be some form of moderation.

If you don't happen to drive through Piccadilly Circus the tweets can be viewed live on the brand’s engagement site,, via a webcam set up to film the sign.  

Zoe Howorth, market activation director, Coca-Cola GB, said: "The Piccadilly sign provides Coca-Cola with a unique interactive platform and we're delighted that consumers can use it to spread their Christmas messages this year.
This activation puts our fans at the heart of the activity, allowing them to engage and communicate with people everywhere." 

p.s. If you'd like to run your own twitter to screen campaign check out (my employer).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forget Location... Now There Is Persistent Location!

If Xtify has it's way check-ins will be a thing of the past, before they even became mainstream... Xtify is ushering in the era of “persistent location,” one in which the user’s location is passively used to deliver relevant information. According to GigaOm's Ryan Kim "Xtify is on the cutting edge along with Placecast and others using geo-fences, a digitally drawn radius around a place, to create a landscape in which our movements trigger offers, coupons and messages from companies we have relationships with."

Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin says “There is going to be growing comfort with passively-derived location that will be an asset to consumers, but brands will need to figure out how to take advantage of location without becoming a nuisance,” he said. “Brands will have to decide what is the proper cadence to message users.”

It all sounds a bit like Minority Report-ish to me, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (at least from this geek's perspective). The promise of these  technologies are that they are opt-in and provide fully anonymized user data with no emails or cell phone numbers stored, and that is much more comforting to the average non technical user who's big concern to date with location based services is privacy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

British Police Seek Powers To Close .uk Web Domains

The BBC is reporting that The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has tabled a plan asking for the right to shut down .uk domains if law enforcement agencies deem them to be engaged in criminal activities. The troubling part of the plan is that the officials seem to be seeking the power to shut down sites prior to any convictions.  "If you are going to do this, then fine, but it needs judicial oversight," said barrister and IT lawyer David Harris.

"In a world of online retailing, the ability for a police officer to seize any business, whether that is blocking a domain or seizing the servers - pre-conviction or certainly pre-warrant - would be a dramatic change in the relationship between the police and the internet community," said Nick Lockett, a lawyer at DLL specialising in computer law.

My worry is that such a law be used to silence political movements or opposing views in an effort to control the flow of information. Opening this door could have very serious and lasting consequences.