Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

google's news

Several google-related items of note. Where to begin...

Frist, An interesting article from Salon: The google backlash.

Second, Aaron talks about the google AdSense program here and finds it interesting.

Third, reports on the recent moves by Microsoft and concludes that Microsoft and Google may go head to head. Well, now, that's an original conclusion. MS goes after anything that is a big market, end-user, and with low "revenue scalability requirements", and, more importantly, anything that threatens the Windows Platform. As Google does. (Anything on which you spend too much of your time does). Aside from the ultra-obvious conclusion, the article has some interesting information in it.

And, last but definitely not least, Google has release the new Google Toolbar 2.0 beta with --surprise, surprise-- a quick "BlogThis!" link. I'm sure it's only the first of many features that will tie blogs more deeply into the fabric of google. It's Blogger-only though, which isn't so great. Sidenote: The "autofill" feature sounds simple, and something the browsers already do. It's not. I'll talk more about its ramifications later...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 8:47 PM

decentralized media, contd.

Related to my previous discussion on "decentralized media", Grant posted a followup with many good comments and Rahul, in the comments, added a link to his BlogNN idea.

And--what do you know. Today William Gibson (only two days ago I was commenting on the excellent Pattern Recognition...) has an op-ed in the New York Times that is about other ramifications of this topic: The Road to Oceania. Quote:

Orwell knew the power of the press, our first mass medium, and at the BBC he'd witnessed the first electronic medium (radio) as it was brought to bear on wartime public opinion. He died before broadcast television had fully come into its own, but had he lived I doubt that anything about it would have much surprised him. The media of "1984" are broadcast technology imagined in the service of a totalitarian state, and no different from the media of Saddam Hussein's Iraq or of North Korea today technologically backward societies in which information is still mostly broadcast. Indeed, today, reliance on broadcasting is the very definition of a technologically backward society.

Elsewhere, driven by the acceleration of computing power and connectivity and the simultaneous development of surveillance systems and tracking technologies, we are approaching a theoretical state of absolute informational transparency, one in which "Orwellian" scrutiny is no longer a strictly hierarchical, top-down activity, but to some extent a democratized one. As individuals steadily lose degrees of privacy, so, too, do corporations and states. Loss of traditional privacies may seem in the short term to be driven by issues of national security, but this may prove in time to have been intrinsic to the nature of ubiquitous information.

While his article is more tilted towards privacy, the discussion on decentralized media meshes with it. Ramifications can probably be found for most things, although information dissemination and privacy are the most pressing matters at the moment (only until we've gotten used to the new situation though :)), and this is a consequence of Media being not just an ever-growing part of life but, in some cases, or for some people, more important than life itself. And if you don't think that's possible, consider how media (before, during, and after the Iraq war) has affected people's lives beyond their involvement, even beyond their knowledge.

Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 5:20 PM

standards at internet speed

On the Echo Project (I was mentioning earlier -- that's right, the consensus for the moment seems to be that Echo is the way to go). I've been checking consistently through the day (and commenting when I can add something I think is useful) and tons of things are getting done. For example, check out this minimal entry of Echo which, as of this morning, didn't exist. :) Of course, a lot of things remain to be defined, even some items in that entry will probably change, and eventually we'll have to move on to other "missing pieces" (e.g., the EchoAPI). But it's happening.

Btw, Jon Udell has something to say about it, too.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 4:42 PM

ashton tate and SCO v. IBM

Regarding the SCO/IBM lawsuit (previous comments here and here), Robert X. Cringely has (as usual) a few interesting and well informed things to add. Quote:

Ashton was a macaw that lived in the lunch room at George Tate's software company, Ashton-Tate, home of dBase II, the first successful microcomputer database. There is a lot about that long-gone company that was unusual. There was the macaw, of course, which was named for the company, not the other way around. There was George Tate, himself, who died at his desk when he was only 40, but still managed to get married two weeks later (by proxy -- please explain that one to me). And later there was Ashton-Tate's copyright infringement lawsuit against Fox Software that pretty much destroyed the company when it became clear that Ashton-Tate didn't really own its database. NASA did, which meant that Fox had as much right to dBase as did Ashton-Tate. All this came to mind this week while I was thinking (still thinking -- this story seems to never end) about the SCO versus IBM lawsuit over bits of UNIX inside Linux. There is a lot SCO could learn from the experience of Ashton-Tate.
Great article.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 1:10 PM

NGOs or GOs?

Naomi Klein writes for The Guardian on the pressures that USAid is putting on NGOs. Weird.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 12:43 PM

echo or pie?

The Wiki for the "conceptual model of a log entry" that Sam Ruby started a few days ago (as I was mentioning here) has been gathering speed. After reading through most of the material I started contributing some of my thoughts today (after all, this is exactly what I wanted).

Here's an article by Tim Bray in which he talks about the effort, why it's needed, and where he'd like it to go. Another interesting piece of information in it is that Sam told him that he'd gotten permission from IBM to work on it full time, which is great news.

And, both Six Apart and Blogger support the effort.

Sam has said that he'll be discussing one topic a day on his weblog in detail. Current topic is linkage.

Finally, the name: there's an ongoing poll in the wiki. The options for the moment are Pie, and Echo. I like Echo better, plus eventually we can use something like "EchoFeed" for, well, feeds, "EchoAPI" for the API, and so on. (Echo is for now just the name of the project, nothing else).

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 25, 2003 at 8:34 AM

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