Four short links: 15 April 2010

Obscurely Secure Data, Bio Data Torrents, Open Knowledge Conference, Library of Twitter

  1. Is Making Public Data Available a Threatening Act? (Pete Warden) — Imagine a thought experiment where I downloaded the income, charitable donations, pets and military service information for all 89,000 Boulder residents listed in InfoUSA’s marketing database, and put that information up in a public web page. That’s obviously pretty freaky, but absolutely anyone with $7,000 to spare can grab exactly the same information! That intuitive reaction is very hard to model. Is it because at the moment someone has to make more of an effort to get that information? Do we actually prefer that our information is for sale, rather than free? Or are we just comfortable with a ‘privacy through obscurity’ regime?
  2. BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data — described in a PLoSone article. BitTorrent for bio datasets. (via Fabiana Kubke)
  3. The Open Knowledge Conference — Saturday 24th April 2010 in London. Check out the programme, killer topics and people.
  4. Library of Congress to Archive All Tweets — Twitter is handing the archive of all public tweets to the Library of Congress, with a search interface. I like this new slant on national libraries’ roles as repositories of nationally and historically important digital text.
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