I had the great pleasure to see Tim O’Reilly speak in person at an open government event I attended years ago. Everything Cory relates in his expansive and glowing review of O’Reilly’s new book both rings true and makes for a compelling endorsement. This seems like a book that is both a bit overdue and very much primed for this particular moment.
Any east coast tech conferences I should be thinking about, especially in the mid-Atlantic? Linux, Rust, programming generally?
Nitasha Tiku at Wired has a fascinating look at a potential shift in competition law with regards to technology, fueled by trends in privacy and big data. Lina Khan, a former colleague of mine, is quoted extensively, offering some very sharp opinions and questions. Well worth a read.
First a warning that this blog post contains not safe for work language, in the form of a few expletives here and there. For anyone like me who has ping-ponged between engineering and management over the years, this is worth thinking about: a suggestion that this is a valid career trajectory. Charity makes a good argument, that aligns well with other solid advice I’ve read on being a lead and being a manager.
Whitney Quesenbery at The Atlantic discusses research at the Center for Civic Design. The article is a good case for why “if you don’t include a wide range of people in the design process, the richness and variety of their experiences are not considered in the final product.” Good lesson for civic technology and technology in general.
I linked to James Boyle’s discussion of Obama’s first year with regards to copyright. This was in the post where I also pointed out Ed Felten’s broader discussion of his progress on technology policy.
Boyle has re-posted his article which I was peripherally aware was behind a partial pay wall. If you had trouble access his article, follow the link for the full text, available directly on his own site.
James Boyle has a pretty good write up of the mostly poor performance of the Obama administration on issues of copyright in its first year. He admits that their reversal before WIPO on the treaty that would grant an exception for reason of access by those with disabilities is praiseworthy. But he reminds us that this is a small victory indeed and mostly seems larger because of the constant push towards an absolute copyright.
Worse, the participation of the US in negotiations as part of ACTA far out shadows such a meager win for limits and exceptions. It is all the worse considering how the US has been complicit in the secrecy surrounding this trade agreement.
Ed Felten has a survey of how the administration has done more generally with technology policy in the same span. Despite the US role in ACTA, otherwise he rates Obama’s administration well on transparency. The rest of the landscape is not so rosy–the plans to provide universal access are too immature to judge progress, the cultural gap between policy makers and technologists persists, and the cyberczar post was largely gutted of effectual power by internal squabbling.
It seems odd to me that transparency, which hinges on access to information and innovative thinking, hasn’t provided cause to think hard about copyright and technology policy since they also depend on similar values. Perhaps it is too early, yet, for them to realize this connection. Maybe it will prove a fruitful angle to exploit in the years to come to try to shift these areas in need of the same sort of positive attention.
If you listened to the Technology: Podasting’s Rocket Fuel panel audio from Balticon 43, you’ll have heard Chooch and I discussing an experiment in automatic transcription using Google Voice. Wouldn’t you know that Chooch actually tried it out and documented his results. It doesn’t look like he was entirely successful but he is open to suggestion for alternatives that may work better. I still would like to see Google open up their transcription capabilities further so that we could see a more capable audio search engine as well as other novel applications for audio and video podcasters.
This is a feature cast.
In the intro a reminder that the 4th anniversary episode of the show is coming up, June 24th. Please send me any recollections, thoughts, or well wishes you’d like me to share on that show.
There is no listener feedback this week. There is also no hacker word of the week due to the length of the feature.
There are no detailed show notes this week.
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