- Intercepted Drones — The demonstration of the near-disaster, led by Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the UTA’s Radionavigation Laboratory, points to a “gaping hole” in the US’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones, Fox noted: namely, drones can be turned into weapons, given the right equipment. Drones are AI for the physical world: disconnected agents, unsettling because they live in this uncanny valley of almost-independence. Military drones are doubly disconcerting. If von Clauswitz were around today, he’d say drones are the computation of politics by other means.
- Microsoft Censors Its Cloud Storage Service — upload porn, get your accounts (all your Microsoft accounts) frozen.
- Uncle Sam Wants You … to Troll (Wired) — Amanullah has a different view. You don’t necessarily need to deface the forums if you can troll them to the point where their most malign influences are neutralized.
- Wroblewski’s Theorem — “Anything that can be connected to the Internet, will be.”
ENTRIES TAGGED "social software"
Turning Drones, Censoring Cloud, Trolling for America, and Thinging the Internets
Mobile Money, Actors in java, Actors in python, and a Decision-Making Tool
- Mobile Money (The Economist) — Many people know that “mobile money”—financial transactions on mobile phones—has taken off in Africa. How far it has gone, though, still comes as a bit of a shock. Three-quarters of the countries that use mobile money most frequently are in Africa, and mobile banking in some of them has reached extraordinary levels.
- Akka — Apache-licensed Java high-performance concurrency library built around the concept of “actors“. (via Hacker News)
- Pykka — actors in Python. (via Hacker News)
- Loom.io Project — help crowdfund a collaborative decision-making tool. They’re using it as they build the tool, and it’s the implementation of a process they use in real life. I know many organisations who need a free open-source web application that helps groups make better decisions together. You should probably read more about the interesting company Enspiral which is behind loom.io.
Democratic Software, Gesturable Objects, Likeable Fashion, and Crowdsourcing Drug Design
- Liquid Feedback — MIT-licensed voting software from the Pirate Party. See this Spiegel Online piece about how it is used for more details. (via Tim O’Reilly)
- Putting Gestures Into Objects (Ars Technica) — Disney and CMU have a system called Touché, where objects can tell whether they’re being clasped, swiped, pinched, etc. and by how many fingers. (via BoingBoing)
- Real-time Facebook ‘likes’ Displayed On Brazilian Fashion Retailer’s Clothes Racks (The Verge) — each hanger has a digital counter reflecting the number of likes.
- Foldit Games Next Play: Crowdsourcing Better Drug Design (Nature Blogs) — “We’ve moved beyond just determining structures in nature,” Cooper, who is based at the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science in Seattle, told Nature Medicine. “We’re able to use the game to design brand new therapeutic enzymes.” He says players are now working on the ground-up design of a protein that would act as an inhibitor of the influenza A virus, and he expects to expand the drug development uses of the game to small molecule design within the next year.
Wikipedia Fail, DIY Text Adventures, Antisocial Software, and Formats Matter
- The Undue Weight of Truth (Chronicle of Higher Education) — Wikipedia has become fossilized fiction because the mechanism of self-improvement is broken.
- Playfic — Andy Baio’s new site that lets you write text adventures in the browser. Great introduction to programming for language-loving kids and adults.
- Review of Alone Together (Chris McDowall) — I loved this review, its sentiments, and its presentation. Work on stuff that matters.
- Why ESRI As-Is Can’t Be Part of the Open Government Movement — data formats without broad support in open source tools are an unnecessary barrier to entry. You’re effectively letting the vendor charge for your data, which is just stupid.
Text Mining, Unstoppable Sociality, Unicode Fun, and Scholarly Publishing
- Mavuno — an open source, modular, scalable text mining toolkit built upon Hadoop. (Apache-licensed)
- Cow Clicker — Wired profile of Cowclicker creator Ian Bogost. I was impressed by Cow Clickers [...] have turned what was intended to be a vapid experience into a source of camaraderie and creativity. People create communities around social activities, even when they are antisocial. (via BoingBoing)
- Unicode Has a Pile of Poo Character (BoingBoing) — this is perfect.
- The Research Works Act and the Breakdown of Mutual Incomprehension (Cameron Neylon) — an excellent summary of how researchers and publishers view each other and their place in the world.
E-Commerce Analytics, Text Mining on Hadoop, Bozonics, and It's Safe To Write With a Mac Again
- Jirafe — open source e-commerce analytics for Magento platform.
- iModela — a $1000 3D milling machine. (via BoingBoing)
- It’s Too Late to Save The Common Web (Robert Scoble) — paraphrased: “Four years ago, I told you all that Google and Facebook were evil. You did nothing, which is why I must now use Google and Facebook.” His list of reasons that Facebook beats the Open Web gives new shallows to the phrase “vanity metrics”. Yes, the open web does not go out of its way to give you an inflated sense of popularity and importance. On the other hand, the things you do put there are in your control and will stay as long as you want them to. But that’s obviously not a killer feature compared to a bottle of Astroglide and an autorefreshing page showing your Klout score and the number of Google+ circles you’re in.
- iBooks Author EULA Clarified (MacObserver) — important to note that it doesn’t say you can’t use the content you’ve written, only that you can’t sell .ibook files through anyone but Apple. Less obnoxious than the “we own all your stuff, dude” interpretation, but still a bit crap. I wonder how anticompetitive this will be seen as. Apple’s vertical integration is ripe for Justice Department investigation.
Investigating Page Speed, The Web Commons, Community and Popularity, and GPL Enforcement
- Page Speed (Google Code) — an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source browser extension, and is now deployed in third-party products such as Webpagetest.org, Show Slow and Google Webmaster Tools.
- What Commons Do We Wish For? (John Battelle) — trying to understand what the Internet would look like if we don’t pay attention to our core shared values. Excellent piece from jbat, who is thinking and writing in preparation for another book.
- The Trouble with Popularity — this blog post on StackOverflow does a great job of explaining why moderators are necessary, and why it’s not in everyone’s interest to give them what they want. Sad to see this come out just as Yahoo! continues to gut and fillet Flickr, which used to be the benchmark for all things community.
- The Ongoing Fight Against GPL Enforcement — interesting! Software Freedom Conservancy, who have pursued several cases against manufacturers who ship GPLed code but do not release their source and modifications to it, have used busybox as a fulcrum for their GPL code release lever. Manufacturers may be attempting to replace busybox with non-GPLed code to take away the fulcrum. In other news, engineering metaphors are like a massless body at light speed before the bigbang: unknowable.
Computational Science, Bad Patents, Fasterscript, and Secure Social Software
- Computational Science Stack Exchange — q+a site for data-intensive computation-heavy science. (via Gael Varoquaux)
- An Open Letter to our Customers, Past and Future (Luma Labs) — a reminder that poor patent examination hurts innovative startups working in physical goods, just as much as with digital goods.
- Retroshare (Sourceforge) — GPL and LGPLed cross-platform, private and secure decentralised communication platform. It lets you to securely chat and share files with your friends and family, using a web-of-trust to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication. RetroShare provides filesharing, chat, messages, forums and channels. I haven’t tried it, but it’s an interesting premise.
Designing Ubicomp, Online Community, Design Examples, and Ranking Discussions
- Critically Making the Internet of Things (Anne Galloway) — session notes from a conference, see also part two. Good thoughts, hastily captured. For example, this from Bruce Sterling: RFID + Superglue + Object ≠ IoT and the talk I want to see: “A study of how broken, hacked and malfunctioning digital road signs subvert the physical space of roadways.”
- Conquering the CHAOS of Online Community at StackExchange — StackExchange is doing some thoughtful work analysing conversations and channeling dissent into a healthy construction to guide future productive discussion. “We taught the users that it was alright to disagree, and gave them a set of arguments they could reference without every thread degenerating into a fight.”
- Little Big Details — one small detail done right, every day.
- Ranking Live Streams of Data (LinkedIn) — behind the “interesting discussions” report.