- Exploiting Privacy Threats in BitTorrent — INRIA researchers were able to identify big seeders and big downloaders and find downloaders’ IP addresses through Tor. (via Slashdot)
- Google on Internet Censorship — text of a speech to the UN Human Rights Council. I won’t talk at length about the Global Network Initiative, but it’s something that our company and Microsoft and Yahoo have come together with human rights groups to put together, and we have in essence written a code of conduct for how information technology companies should operate in repressive regimes. It’s quite complex, it took a long time to do, you can imagine what it was like to putting those people in a room for two years together, but we have succeeded.
- Facebook’s Privacy Timeline (EFF). Must read–little editorial needed, it speaks for itself.
- Cinder C — a new C++ framework created by The Barbarian Group for programming graphics, audio, video, networking, image processing and computational geometry. Cinder is cross-platform, and in general the exact same code works under Mac OS X, Windows and a growing list of other platforms — most recently the iPhone and iPad.
A request to dismiss is denied, an attempt to end Internet piracy, and a look at reading behaviors.
Updates on the DOJ and antitrust lawsuits against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin; Russian startup Pirate Pay targets BitTorrent file sharing; and Steve Rubel muses on digital media, social sharing and news consumption.
"Pirate's Dilemma" author Matt Mason on BitTorrent.
Pirating your own book may seem like an odd promotion strategy, but that's just what Megan Lisa Jones did with her new novel. Matt Mason, author of "The Pirate's Dilemma," says P2P platforms like BitTorrent are a great way to reach audiences and distribute content.
BitTorrent Privacy, Censorship, Facebook Privacy, AV Programming
Obscurely Secure Data, Bio Data Torrents, Open Knowledge Conference, Library of Twitter
- 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?
- BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data — described in a PLoSone article. BitTorrent for bio datasets. (via Fabiana Kubke)
- The Open Knowledge Conference — Saturday 24th April 2010 in London. Check out the programme, killer topics and people.
- 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.
The DC Circuit didn't tell the FCC to turn back. It has a job to
do–promoting the spread of high-speed networking, and ensuring that
it is affordable by growing numbers of people–and it just has to find
the right tool for the job.
SMS Data Collection, Love of Math, Anti-File Sharing Rubbish, Open Manufacturing
- RapidSMS — a free and open-source framework for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication, leveraging basic short message service (SMS) mobile phone technology. UNICEF’s mobile data collection framework, as used in Malawi and other proving grounds. (via gov2expo)
- Groceries — read this and you will realize that Dan Meyer is the math teacher you wish you’d had. He has the geek nature, and his excitement must be great for his students. The express lane isn’t faster. The manager backed me up on this one. You attract more people holding fewer total items, but as the data shows above, when you add one person to the line, you’re adding 48 extra seconds to the line length (that’s “tender time” added to “other time”) without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you’d rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person! I can’t believe I’m dropping exclamation points in an essay on grocery shopping but that’s how this stuff makes me feel.
- How the UK Government Spun 136 People into 7 Million — a radio show looked into the government’s claim of 7 million illegal filesharers and discovered it came down to 136 people in a survey admitting they’d used it. (via br3nda)
- Idle Speculation on the shan zhai and Open Fabrication (Tom Igoe) — shan zhai have established a culture of sharing information about the things they make through open BOMs (bills of materials) and other design materials, crediting each other with improvements. The community apparently self-polices this policy, and ostracizes those that violate it. Open hardware, business, recovery, and more in this fascinating speculation.
A great free book, dead newspaper dig, movie Torrent wakeup, and money from free:
- Digital Foundations with Adobe Illustrator — CC-licensed book that gets you started using Adobe Illustrator. I’m loving it, and I have the artistic ability of a particularly philistine rock. See also their advice to authors on how to negotiate a Creative Commons license. (via bjepson’s delicious stream)
- How to Become a Death Of Newspapers Blogger — tongue-in-cheek dig at the recent imminent deaths of newspapers being predicted. Point taken about how unproductive these are: The point’s not to fix anything. It’s to describe the problem more dramatically than the next guy. If Steve Outing says newspapers have a “death spiral” and Clay Shirky predicts “a bloodbath,” the point goes to Shirky. Basically, imagine a group of people watching a building burn down and bickering amongst themselves about whether it’s a conflagration or an inferno. It’s like that, but with consulting fees. (via migurski’s delicious stream)
- BarTor, Android BitTorrent with a Twist — take a picture of a DVD’s barcode, it looks up the movie, and sends the torrent file to your desktop to be automatically downloaded. NetFlix should have a legit form of this. If iTunes Movie Store had it, you could have racks of “DVDs” in stores that you could browse and snap to “buy” (giving a cut to the store). This feels monumental.
- Survey of Free Business Models Online — an interesting breakdown of ways to make money from “free” on the web. (via glynn moody)
- Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation Sets Up Its Own BitTorrent Tracker — the money shot is not that they’re using the same code as Pirate Bay, it’s “By using BitTorrent we can reach our audience with full quality media files. Experience from our early tests show that if we’re the best provider of our own content we also gain control of it.”. Finally, a broadcaster realizing that they have to jump into the conversation with customers even though they don’t know how it ends. (via BoingBoing)
- Sita Sings The Blues Released — release of the movie that was mired in copyright strife, now freed under Creative Commons Attribute And No Damn DRM licensing. It still is copyright-entangled: some of the songs in the movie are restricted and if you want to reuse the songs in your reuse of the movie then you’ll have to wrangle with the copyright overlords.
- Crisis of Credit Explained in Infographics — a great 10m movie explaining the whole disaster from cash to crash, with an infographic-meets-Flash-game feel to it. This is the future of educational films. I’ve embedded it below. (via Flowing Data)
- Cowpox Smallpox — very clear essay from Maciej Ceglowski about how the economic dramas and the climate dramas challenge our democracy in the same way. You might know Maciej from Argentina on two steaks a day or Dabblers and Blowhards. Complexity as a result of feedback loops caught my eye, as that’s part of the talk I gave at Webstock, “Better Stronger Failures”: “Feedback loops in the financial world are even worse, since the entities being modeled are aware of their behavior – and aware of the models being used to study them. Investors form strategies based not just on market conditions, but on their perceptions of others’ perceptions of market conditions, and so on in a hall of mirrors effect. Any algorithm that can reliably predict the behavior of a financial market will be used by participants in that market to earn money, altering the system in a way that leaves you right back where you started. In this sense our ability to model economics will always be worse than our understanding of the weather, since we don’t have to worry about a raindrop anticipating that it will hit the ground before it even forms, and taking steps to change the outcome.”
Here are four fun links to set the tone for your weekend: high risk money, productive failure, consumer-grade BitTorrent, and architecture criticism for the rest of us.
- How Porsche hacked the financial system and made a killing — perhaps “hack” is a little excessive, but it’s a readable short account of how Porsche made a lot of money playing “millionaire’s poker” against hedge funds. (via Ivan Krstić, the
author of Apache Securityformer Director of Security Architecture for the OLPC)
- Missteps in Django — a Python programmer documents the mistakes he makes programming in Django. This helps other people as they face similar problems, and shows the Django developers where their expectations differ from those of mortal programmers. I think it’s a great idea because it makes visible the useful mistakes that are how we learn. It also reinforces the idea that it’s okay to make mistakes, we all do it, and they’re as worth of discussion as successes.
- Netgear Unveils TV Torrent Player — consumer device with BitTorrent built in. The easier it becomes for mortals to get files through BitTorrent, the harder it is to ignore unauthorised file sharing through BitTorrent, and the more pressing a solution to the business problem will be. (via Glynn Moody)
- How Buildings Learn — if you haven’t seen this show, you should. On-the-money criticism of architecture and architects, talking about what’s important when you design things for people. (via Kottke)