Four short links: 14 January 2010

Google for Good, Flash in JS, Pop Software, and Scientific Publishing

  1. Four Possible Explanations for Google’s Big China Move (Ethan Zuckerman) — I’m staying out of the public commentary on this one, but Ethan’s fourth point was wonderfully thought provoking: a Google-backed anticensorship system (perhaps operated in conjunction with some of the smart activists and engineers who’ve targeted censorship in Iran and China?) would be massively more powerful (and threatening!) than the systems we know about today. It’s deliciously provocative to ask what the world’s strongest tech company could do if it wanted to be actively good, rather than merely “not evil”.
  2. GordonAn open source Flash™ runtime written in pure JavaScript. (via Hacker News)
  3. Pop Software — great blog post about this new category of software. The people who are consuming software now are a vast superset of the people who used to do so. At one time, especially on the Mac, we’d see people chose software based upon how well it suited their requirements to get a job done. This new generation of software consumers isn’t like that – they’re less likely to shop around for something rather they shop around for anything. These are people who want to be entertained as much as they want to have their requirements met. [...] Apps are not Applications – they are their own things. They are smaller. They are more fun. Pop software has amazing scale, is hit-driven, is a very hard business for developers, and isn’t going away. (via timo on Delicious)
  4. Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted? — an analysis of the scientific publishing world: what roles it serves, how some of those roles can be better served by new technology, and which roles are still mired in traditions and performance plans anchored to the old models. As is often the case, people won’t move to the new system when the amount they’re paid is determined by the old system. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
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