Thursday, November 30, 2006

Internet Archive, DCMA, and the new IA blog

Geemodo writes about Internet Archive's help in eliminating DCMA from libraries, archives, research and scholarship. The article could be found in the links.
While I was there, I noticed that IA also has a new blog where, one could find about what's new at IA. I really do like it. I like to have IA gives me news via a RSS feed. If you have not been there, follow the links, and digest.

Geemodo: Internet Archive Secures Exemption To The DCMA

Internet Archive's Blog

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Do we see these People?

I read two articles today that made me question my self, Do we see these people? The first one was about veterans, the homeless ones, who show up some times near traffic stops here, where we erase our guilt by giving a dollar or some food. I have settled to give my lunch away, 'cos it is hard to see those hungry faces. And I don't know where the money will go if I give a dollar. But you see that here and there but do we really see?
I have no answer but I will direct you to these two articles, so you might find some answers.

1.U.S. vets from Iraq war emerge at homeless shelters
U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.

"When we already have people from Iraq on the streets, my God," said Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. "I have talked to enough (shelters) to know we are getting them. It is happening and this nation is not prepared for that."

2. Poverty in USA
For the fourth consecutive year, the poverty rate and the number of Americans living in poverty both rose from the prior years. Since 2000, the number of poor Americans has grown by more than 6 million. The official poverty rate in 2004 (the most current year for which figures are available) was 12.7 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 2003. Total Americans below the official poverty thresholds numbered 37 million, a figure 1.1 million higher than the 35.9 million in poverty in 2003. (U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004)

Both these resources came from, TCRNews.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Proposed Copyright laws turn all Australian to Criminals

I was shocked to read;
“a family who holds a birthday picnic in a place of public entertainment (for example, the grounds of a zoo) and sings ‘Happy Birthday’ in a manner that can be heard by others, risks an infringement notice carrying a fine of up to $1320. If they make a video recording of the event, they risk a further fine for the possession of a device for the purpose of making an infringing copy of a song. And if they go home and upload the clip to the internet where it can be accessed by others, they risk a further fine of up to $1320 for illegal distribution. All in all, possible fines of up to $3960 for this series of acts – and the new offences do not require knowledge or improper intent. Just the doing of the acts is enough to ground a legal liability under the new ‘strict liability’ offenses.”
$3960 Australian dollars fine for having a birthday party, singing and posting the party video on the net so grandma could watch it! The words comes to my mind cannot be typed here. I am sure this is what might happen here if MPAA and RIAA had upperhand, not that they don't.

I read the article on Internet Industry Association, IIA, which represents a broad range of internet businesses in Australia, in conjunction with the QUT Law Faculty Intellectual Property Research Program, has identified a number of scenarios which could trip up Australians in their everyday use of copyrighted materials.

Said IIA chief executive, Peter Coroneos: “We can’t be sure if this is the government's intent, or whether there has been a terrible oversight in the drafting of this Bill. Either way, the consequences for the average Australian family could be devastating.”

It gets even uglier as you read more on the site; see this scenario, taken from the risks for teenagers due to the new law pdf;

Kate and her classmates, having finished Year 12, spend a night on the town. At the restaurant they break into spontaneous song with a medley of hits, much to the entertainment of the other diners. Ellie captures the performance on her mobile phone’s video feature and posts it to her MySpace page for the world to see. People find the clip hilarious and thousands of people view it.

Depending on whether the restaurant holds a performance license, the girls may be infringing through an unauthorized performance. This is a criminal offence. (Section 132AN). This potentially involves two criminal offences.
The possession of a device for making an infringing copy (Section 132AL) and the distribution of an infringing copy (of the song/s) Section 132AN contains strict liability offence provisions for which maximum fines of $6600 per work (ie. song) applies. Section 132AL carries a maximum fine of $6600 when prosecuted as a strict liability offence. The copying of each song is a separate offence. Section 132AI for the distribution offence/s (as above).

Are you sick yet. You can get all the information at IIA site. If you are an Australian, and you would like to express your concern over the proposed changes, please write to the Attorney-General, the Hon. Phillip Ruddock, at

PO Box 1866
Hornsby Westfield NSW 1635


PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Or call:

Telephone at parliament house: (02) 6277 7300
Telephone at electorate office: (02) 9482 7111

Who wrote those laws, Kangaroos and Dingos?

Internet Industry Association,AU
The proposed changes to the Bill can be found by visitng http://parlinfoweb.aph.gov.au/ then clicking on "browse" > "legislation" > "current bills by title" > "Copyright amendment bill 2006".
Another view

Social networking goes corporate.

Cogmap another web 2.0 application put to good use has come out with a organization chart of organizations, so that sales people could make better sales decisions. It was a brain child of a salesman, Brent Halliburton, who got tired of doing sale in a wrong or uncertain way.
But the idea of Brent seems to be solid. Most of the company and personnel information is public nowadays and yet it is hard to find the right person to make a contact or a presentation.
So what really is Cogmap? according to Cogmap help page;

"CogMap is a tool for sales people, entrepreneurs, and recruiters to understand organizations and keep information up to date. If you are like us, you had some of these things happen to you:

  • Worked at a company without a published organization chart and had no idea who worked for anyone else
  • Tried to figure out who to call at a company and come up empty
  • Bought a list of people to call and had all the information be wrong
  • Met people that all had different titles and been unable to tell who was the decision-maker in the room!"
So go and find out more or put your organization on a Ajax map or add companies that you know of. It is a sharing site so that you may benefit from the others entries as well as you finding information that you need about a company.
Basically, Cogmap is a organization chart wiki. It is a graphical Wikipedia for sales people where everyone shares their knowledge of organizations to make it easier to understand them.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Social Software Symposium for Researchers and Students at UNC

Social Software Symposium will be taking place in UNC-Chapel hill in December 8-9 this year. The topics will cover, areas of social software: folksonomy and social networking websites.
Fred implies that the purpose of this event is to bring together young researchers in the field, to explore research methods and strategies for studying social software. Therefore, if you are a researcher in the field (faculty or currently enrolled student, Masters-level or above) and would like to be involved with such an event, and he encourages anyone who is interested to contact him directly for more details. "meeting of the minds" meeting plans to, discuss methods and strategies for studying social software, and what else do social networking, hopefully walk away with many new friends and research collaborators.
Fred's site and the article is in the link below. You will also find Fred's contact information at the site.

Unit Structures: Announcing the UNC Social Software Symposium
Unit Structures: Call For Participation: UNC Social Software Symposium
UNC SSS (Social Software Symposium)

Monday, November 20, 2006

What happens when second life stops?

Second Life is populated by more than 1.5 million people with Linden Labs advising that the population is growing at around 38% per month. Those 1.5 Million users had a nasty experience this weekend when grey goo infected the virtual lives with golden rings.
Even if your virtual world did not have golden rings, you may have got affected by slowdown of the servers and the ultimate need to take the servers off line.
Some seem to have found it quite funny and interesting, while others were quite angry that their virtual world could be attacked in this manner or could not live virtually for sometime!
According to blog entries posted by Linden Lab, the company blocked users from logging in at about 2:45pm PST in order to manually eradicate the virtual world of the rings. Login capabilities were restored half an hour later.

Are these worms are the only problem that Second Life going to have? No according to some of the SL trackers like New world order or NWN. He brings out a rather interesting question, what happens when SL reaches 2 Million users? The post related to this question is a must read if you have any interest in SL.

Snippet from the post;
"So, how about two million signups, this year?

Well, yes. In 45 days at the time I write this on the 14th, we'll reach 2 million accounts close to New Year's Eve, GMT. The numbers are self-evident-– assuming they remain steady-– and the arithmetic was what they taught me when I was eight. A subtraction, an average, and a division. 45 days.

We crossed the million line about 28 days or so ago. That means a million in 73 days. I can't even have a baby in 73 days. As always, assuming the figures remain steady. Last time they didn't. The signup rate increased, bringing our millionth signup in at least a month ahead of the initially predicted date.

That's about 13,700 signups per day, in case you're wondering. Right at this tick of the clock, we're averaging a paltry 13,464 signups per day.

And the volunteers are pooped. Very few of them are active. The small numbers of Mentors and live-helpers are burned out. Help Islands don't get a lot of love from the Mentors right now. There aren't enough active Mentors to cover them anyway. And there are other reasons:"

So read and save your virtual life, be a mentor, be a volunteer.


New World Order article

SL Blog post grey goo on grid

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Familiar stranger is a social animal!

Shub at myspace, not that Myspace, Shub's is a blog, has written a good article on familiar stranger. Article is a personal view of a person looking back and through social contacts. But what caught my eye was;
"Contrast that with my experience today? What is it that has made us so cynical? Age? Why is it that we're more easily trusting when we're young? Is that the wisdom, and maturity that age brings with us? Or is it cos I'm in foreign land, that I keep distance? I think not. Haven't we all noticed how we're terribly incapable of making eye contact with fellow Indians on the road(more so in a foreign land)? We're constantly on our guard. Why? "

Just take out the last sentenceor ignore th focus on Indians, and it applies very well to everyone. I love children because they are the best people on this earth. No worries, care free, trusting, and most of all color blind when it comes to people. But as they grow, Shub's paragraph comes to play.
I have no answer to the problem as I myself is one of these social animals, who believe that you have to prove to me that I can trust you.
Oh please give me back my childhood.

Shub's myspace

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Post election Voting machine round up

Lest all of us forget about the Voting machine's inabilities, faulty mother boards, vote missing, etc it will be another election coming with the same problems.
I think it is time that we push forward to find a better voting solution, better voting machines for this great social networking or as I would like to call it, mother of of all social networking. So I started crawl the net hunting for solutions. There are many a sites that devotes themselves to uncover the hidden truths in these machines. But this time I will stick to one site, that I became to trust during h Sony rootkit saga, Freedom to tinker.
Freedom to tinker has a collection of articles that tells us the state of voting and the machines right now. I will start with one just before the elections.

1.Diebold Quietly Recalled Voting Machine Motherboards
2.Diebold’s Motherboard Flaw: Implications
3.Unattended Voting Machines Already Showing Up (with a photo as well)
4.Post-Election Review
and end with post election review.

From the article;

"This is supposed to be impossible. Having examined a similar version of Diebold’s software, I know that when the Cast Vote button is pressed, the system is supposed to (1) invalidate the smartcard, then (2) record the vote, then (3) kill the voting screens, then (4) eject the smartcard. This voter saw Steps 1 and 4 happen, but not Step 3. (We don’t know whether Step 2, recording the vote, happened.) At least one voting screen was still there, and that screen was active: something happened when the Cast Vote button on that screen was pressed, but it wasn’t the something that would normally happen.

It’s hard to see how this can happen, absent a subtle, serious bug in this part of Diebold’s software. And by “this part” I mean the part that carries out the four-step procedure that includes recording the vote. Could this bug have affected vote recording for other voters? What other problems could it have caused? We don’t know. We could probably tell, given access to a Maryland voting machine."

I think it is time that we look at all the voting machines, not only just Diebolds, and be ready for the next election.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

2006 Elections On the net

I think elections are on of the best and oldest social networking and we all should take part in it, no matter what your affiliations are.
This year the Internet has taken a major role in the elections, from poll results to Blackbox voting and all to controversies. Remember Makaka.
Anyway I noticed this on BoingBoing;
Internet video coverage of today's US elections
Ajit says, "I am gathering relevant videos concerning the mid-term elections at ticklebooth.com. Already on the list, voter intimidation in Virgina. Congresswoman Schmidt unable to vote on machines she approved."




Blackbox Voting

Monday, November 06, 2006

Social Networking set to be next AD space.

eMarketer has a report out that mntions AD SPENDING ON SOCIAL NETWORK sites is set to top $1.8 billion by 2010, but the network operators need to accommodate the advertisers requirements. The advertisers need to measure the performance of the ADs and sites like MySpace need to develop tools to fulfill these needs.

eMarketer predicted that ad spending on social networking sites this year will be $350 million--an upward revised from the previous estimate of $280 million. Next year, the amount going to social networking sites will reach $865 million, with MySpace.com capturing 60% of spending, according to the report.

At the same time, eMarketer cautioned that social networking sites must develop metrics for their unique marketing offerings--including sponsored groups, or users that add brands as "friends" or "interests." Like you may have a coke friend or you ill have to join Coke group.

"If social networking sites are to capture more than experimental ad dollars, adequate measures of return on investment need to be in place," the report stated. "So far, these are still a work in progress."

As a percentage of total online ad spending, eMarketer expects ad spending for social networking sites to account for 2.2% of the $15.9 billion estimated total online ad spending this year; by next year, such sites will account for 4.7% of the predicted $18.3 billion in online ad spending. By 2010, the report estimates that social networking site spending will account for 8.5% of the projected $25.5 billion in online ad spending.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Is Universal instant messaging for you?

Universal Instant Messaging (Qnext, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ), and add to the list all these, Video Conferencing, Voice over IP, File Transfer, File Sharing, Group Text Chat, Online Games, Photo Sharing and Remote PC Access.
Seems to be inviting and here is the real news!. Since it is platform independant, aka Java based, it will run on all you desktops. Windows, Macs, and Linux. So if you were stuck on windows just because all your friends were on MSN but you really love your Linux desktop, fret no more. Download Qnext and be online.
Fellow blogger Solarion has the scoop on his site. Visit Geemodo read and then catch a ride.
Geemodo: SUN shines on Qnext Desktop Messaging: "Universal Instant Messaging (Qnext, MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ), Video Conferencing, Voice over IP, File Transfer, File Sharing, Group Text Chat, Online Games, Photo Sharing and Remote PC Access."