feeds | grep links > Mobile Cloud, Name Changes and Reputation, Joke Patents at Sun, and More

  • Building a cloud out of smart phones
    Advancing beyond theory, a group of international researchers have cobbled together a proof of concept out of a dozen or so cell phones and a dedicated router. As Technology Review explains, this mobile phone based cloud is capable of driving one fairly typical distributed algorithm, map/reduce. I have to agree with the article that the rational for this, beyond the obvious clever hack value, is a bit lacking, even the possibility of moving computing back towards data, potentially cutting down on message passing. If there is a killer use for the idea, I’m sure someone will find it.
  • danah boyd criticizes Schmidt’s name change idea
    She makes good points on both deflating the implied ease of changing your name and on how reputation is likely to persist through a simple discontinuity such as tweaking the label on all your personal data online. She acknowledges that it is hard to make predictions about how reputation will evolve in practice and how much we may be able to affect it. Mostly she questions what it isn’t we don’t know about Schmidt’s recently expressed opinions both here and on the end of privacy. I like that she gives him the benefit of the doubt, suggesting there might be some puzzle piece we don’t have that could complete a rational synthesis of his opinions.
  • Sun engineers held a contest for goofiest patents
  • Vimeo releases new embeddable HTML5 player
  • Pirate Party strikes hosting deal with Wikileaks
  • All electrical data storage could deliver eight fold improvement in density

Microsoft Did Violate GPL (and Comes into Compliance), Potential Impact of Copyright Termination, and More

  • Microsoft admits it violated GPL, corrects its mistake
    The Register has the details, including a confirmation that an internal investigation did indeed confirm they violated the license. They have corrected their compliance failure by re-releasing the program in question with sources as stipulated by the license. On the one hand, I want to give them credit for acting relatively quickly to comply. On the other this seems to be forming a pattern with them, suggesting they could be doing better in terms of initial compliance.
  • Copyright termination poised to potentially change the landscape
    Eliot van Buskirk at Wired has an excellent piece explaining an issue that I have seen only minimal discussion around. That artists will have the right to reclaim their copyrights from publishers is a given, I just don’t think anyone can predict how many will exercise the right and what that will do to the content industry. It is going to be an interesting issue to follow, regardless.
  • Second Life co-founders reputation system
    RWW sees this as a potential entre into more businesses but I think that may be willfully reading too much into the provenance of the system itself than real world problems it can solve. As far as I know, few reputation systems have gotten very far which simply suggests there just isn’t a huge demand as of yet.
  • The case for more freedom around the iPhone
    The EFF points to two recent rejections that they think strengthens the need for their DMCA exemption petition to allow for jail breaking smart phones. For the Bobble Rep application, Apple has at least relented, but the point remains. Users cannot load whatever applications they like even though they own the devices. I keep hoping Apple’s rivals will turn this into a competitive advantage, like the use of MP3s for digital music stores but there has been little evidence for that as of yet.