- Yet another social browser
Not being a particular fan of Flock, I was going to refrain from comment on RockMelt, a me-too social focused browser-remix. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to link to Glenn Fleishman’s discussion at BoingBoing of the new offering backed by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame, among others. The over the top opening paragraph alone is worth reading Glenn’s post. He also works in mentions of Freedom, a tool designed to deprive you of network access to encourage real work, if that helps you understand from where his remarks are coming.
- Possible future for location based apps from PARC
Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb discusses a prototype app that better fits what I discussed as the potential of location applications in the latest podcast. It isn’t surprising that this example of ubiquitous computing comes from PARC, responsible for so many other innovations in the field of computing.
- Feds admit to storing tens of thousands of body scan images
Xeni at BoingBoing was one of several folks to link to this story. The CNet article freely mixes and matches information from different sources, exaggerating the situation somewhat. Given the cited releases, this story is also not exactly breaking news though perhaps not common knowledge. It does correctly identify the key concern throughout that the scanners can store and transmit scans opening the door for all kinds of problems beyond the scope of their immediate security applications.
- Yet another spawn of Java trying to fix its ills is released, Slashdot
- Self repair manifesto, BoingBoing
- Crowdsourcing surveillance, Schneier on Security
- TV interview with Captain Crunch from 1983
Lauren Weinstein digitized this video from his personal tape collection. This fascinates both for the effort he put into extracting the material from a mouldering medium and the subject of the interview. As Weinstein notes, this was before the term “hacker” had taken on the darker connotations common in today’s media usage.
- New Berkman Center report on circumvention tool usage, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
- Firefox add on to replace Flash with native video playback, Linux Journal
- IP4 address space close to finally running out, Ars Technica
- Google to offer more transparency, control over location data, Google Public Policy Blog
- VoIP attacks in Australia lead to huge bills for victims, Slashdot
- Malware forces Firefox to save passwords, The Register
- HTML5 draws concerns over risks to privacy, Slashdot
- Using location tracking to help fight identity theft, ReadWriteWeb
- Another study revealing poor password practices, Slashdot
- Microsoft patches a record 49 security vulnerabilities, Krebs on Security
- Facebook rolls out security changes, ReadWriteWeb
- Java update closes 29 security holes, Krebs on Security
- Vulnerabilities in Xpdf affect several open source products, The H
- Microsoft looks to courts for botnet takedowns, Slashdot
- Home WiFi network security failings exposed, Slashdot
- New site aims to be iTunes for exploit info, code, Slashdot
- Google rolls out phishing URL alerts for admins, The Register
Alex Howard shares an intriguing Twitter conversation on ReadWriteWeb. Alex usually covers the Gov 2.0 beat for O’Reilly but this topic definitely overlaps with his work there and the range of things covered by RWW. The conversation drew in higher ups from both FourSquare and Twitter, both of which to different degrees have been experimenting with location data and social/gaming dynamics. Anil Dash also chimed in, sharing his usual keen insight for this space.
Might civic badges be next? Keep on eye on Dennis’ feed. And in the meantime, watch Gowalla. As my interview with the Gowalla co-founder Josh Williams on social media for citizen engagement at today’s AMP Summit showed, that location-based social network already has moved into this space.
I will admit that to date I have found very little use for applications that parse and do anything with my location data. I am not blind to how popular these are with my contemporaries and, as Howard identifies, the younger generation. The idea of using social gaming and location data to spark an interest where one has failed to catch before is tantalizing. But I have a concern.
My own civic engagement has been slow to build, and continues to do so. Maybe I am biased by that experience but I think it will take something more than the flavor of the moment to cultivate an active citizen. I could easily see buzz heavy offerings jump starting interest and activity for someone just starting out. But what about the inevitable drop off as enthusiasts more interested in the gaming aspects than the subject of any particular game move on to the next thing? I’d be curious to see the discussion extend into how to turn the instant fascination into a durable and unfolding relationship with civics and public life.
Today, the blogging has definitely slowed as I anticipated yesterday. I haven’t started packing for my trip in earnest but later on tonight I will.
- Open source, renewably powered cell network at Burning Man, Slashdot
- Chrome 7 shows off hardware accelerated effects, Ars Technica
- iFixit adds repair guides for video game consoles, Ars Technica
- Google launches priority inbox for Gmail, ReadWriteWeb
- Historical cell phone location data is ruled to be an intrusion by NY judge, Boing Boing