- Erase and Rewind — the BBC are planning to close (delete) 172 websites on some kind of cost-cutting measure. i’m very saddened to see the BBC join the ranks of online services that don’t give a damn for posterity. As Simon Willison points out, the British Library will have archived some of the sites (and Internet Archive others, possibly).
- Announcing Farebot for Android — dumps the information stored on transit cards using Android’s NFC (near field communication, aka RFID) support. When demonstrating FareBot, many people are surprised to learn that much of the data on their ORCA card is not encrypted or protected. This fact is published by ORCA, but is not commonly known and may be of concern to some people who would rather not broadcast where they’ve been to anyone who can brush against the outside of their wallet. Transit agencies across the board should do a better job explaining to riders how the cards work and what the privacy implications are.
- Using Public Data to Fight a War (ReadWriteWeb) — uncomfortable use of the data you put in public?
- CouchOne and Membase Merge — consolidation in the commercial NoSQL arena. the merger not only results in the joining of two companies, but also combines CouchDB, memcached and Membase technologies. Together, the new company, Couchbase, will offer an end-to-end database solution that can be stored on a single server or spread across hundreds of servers.
Web Memory, Phones Read Cards, Military and Public Data, and NoSQL Merger
Network Neutrality, Open Data, Science Policy, and the Android Army
- A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal (EFF) — a mixture of good and bad, is the verdict. I am ready to give Google credit for getting Network Neutrality back on the regulatory agenda, whether or not this proposal was a strawman.
- Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information (Sunlight Foundation) — We have updated and expanded upon the Sebastopol list and identified ten principles that provide a lens to evaluate the extent to which government data is open and accessible to the public. The list is not exhaustive, and each principle exists along a continuum of openness. The principles are completeness, primacy, timeliness, ease of physical and electronic access, machine readability, non-discrimination, use of commonly owned standards, licensing, permanence and usage costs.
- What If the Web Really Worked for Science? Reimagining Data Policy and Intellectual Property (video) — a talk by James Boyle on IP and science policy.
- Winners of the Apps for Army Challenge — more Android apps than iPhone in the winners. (via Alex)
The Army launches Apps for Army. Contest or harbinger of the hybrid enterprise that combines planning and emergence under one roof? Apps for Army looks to uncork the Army's cognitive surplus and let soldiers start solving their own problems in code without the personal risk of going off reservation to do it.
War Games, Cloud Metaphors, Plain English, and Event Correlations
- Meet The Sims and Shoot Them — America’s Army has proven so popular globally that, with so many users signing on from Internet cafes in China, the Chinese government tried to ban it. Full of interesting factoids like this about US military-created first person shooter America’s Army and other military uses of games. (via Jim Stogdill)
- Most Overused Cloud Metaphors, Sorted by Weather Pattern — headline writers beware: you are not being original with your “does the cloud have a silver lining?” folderol. (via lennysan on Twitter)
- Simply Understand — web site that translates a lot of UK government consultation documents (notorious for pompous and intricate prose) into plain English.
- Simple Event Correlator — small Unix part to find event correlations. It isn’t doing data mining to find correlations in a data stream, but rather you write rules like “tell me if X happens within Y seconds of a Z” and it takes events on stdin and emits correlations on stdout. (via NeilNeely on Twitter)
- How Twitter Works in Theory (Kevin Marks) — very nice summary about the conceptual properties of Twitter that let it work. Both Google and Twitter have little boxes for you to type into, but on Google you’re looking for information, and expecting a machine response, whereas on Twitter you’re declaring an emotion and expecting a human response. This is what leads to unintentionally ironic newspaper columns bemoaning public banality, because they miss that while you don’t care what random strangers feel about their lunch, you do if its your friend on holiday in Pompeii.
- Army To Test Wiki-Style Changes to The 7 Manuals — In early July the Army will conduct a 90-day online test using seven existing manuals that every soldier, from private to general officer, will have the opportunity to read and modify in a “wiki”-style environment. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- Open Data Standards Don’t Apply To The Military — It’s that last particular point that should be the most disturbing to the administration. Apparently all geospatial data being developed and utilized by the USAFA would be unusable without a sole software vendor. This causes concern over broader interoperability with other agencies and organizations, access to important national information, and archivability and retrievability. Expose of the single-source “standard” vendor lockin in US military geosoftware and geodata. (via johnmscott on Twitter)
Copytweet, MacMarket iShare, Open Source Under Fire, and OLPC War Stories
- Are Tweets Copyright-Protected (WIPO) — According to an Internet posting on blogherald.com by Jonathan Bailey, every time a new communication technology emerges, it shifts the copyright landscape, and new copyright issues that do not fit existing intellectual property (IP) standards arise. With Twitter, for example, while its terms of service clearly state that tweeters own anything they post on the service, the 140-character limit to a Twitter post makes it almost impossible for the work to reach the level of creativity required for copyright protection. In the same vein, titles or short phrases usually cannot be protected since their length contributes to their lack of originality, as defined by copyright law. A roundup of the copyright issues raised by Twitter, which is a little like a roundup of the climate issues raised by ants.
- Apple Has 90% Revenue Share Of >$1000 Computers (Ars Technica) — wow. (via publicaddress on Twitter)
- Open Source on the Battlefield — Fortunately, SFC Stadtler knew how to use open source software. Using found hardware, like a laptop pulled from the trash, and wires pulled from collapsed buildings, he was able to establish a wireless network between the towers and the home base. He was able to install freely available voice-over-ip software on this recycled hardware, which turned the computer into a wireless telephone. The soldiers were now able to communicate with each other and the home base. At no cost. (via Jim Stogdill)
- Sweet Nonsense Omelet (Ivan Krstić) — Horror stories from the inside about the shoddy suppliers of OLPC hardware. Thinking back, there’s a hardware incident I remember particularly fondly: one of our vendors sent us a kernel driver patch which enhanced support for their component in our machine. They chose to implement the enhancement by setting up a hole which allowed any unprivileged user to take over the kernel, prompting our kernel guy to send a private e-mail to the OLPC tech team demanding that, in the future, we avoid buying hardware from companies whose programmers are, direct quote, “crack-smoking hobos”.