Thursday, February 28, 2008

Google Adds Google Sites To Google Apps

If you are in a collaborative mood, for your team, you small business or your enterprise, Google has released another component in to it's Google Apps collection.
Google Sites was known as JotSpot a while ago and Google folded it in to it's wings and was never seen again. But after what seems like a decade in Internet time, it is back. and I am glad.
Here is a video explaining Googles Sites. See you there.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Online Community Effectiveness Study, Would You Care To Share?

If you care the completing this survey takes about six minutes. Also this is targeted towards people who are actively involved in managing or overseeing a community - not community participants. There are three sections to the survey and the first section asks about your community’s performance, the second section asks for basic information about your community, and the third asks for a few demographic questions, which will help with our analysis of the results.
This project is sponsored by Deloitte, Beeline Labs, and the Society for New Communications Research.

Press Release;
There’s a lot of buzz about online communities, but how much business value are they providing – and how are companies measuring success? If you're involved in managing online communities for your organization, you are invited to participate in the 2008 Online Community Effectiveness Study, sponsored by Deloitte, The Society of New Communications Research and Beeline Labs. To take the online survey, go to: http://www.communityeffectiveness.com.

The purpose of the study is to assess the effectiveness of online communities and learn how organizations are measuring the success and progress of their online communities. A presentation of the early findings will be shared in a special presentation at New Communications Forum in April. Results of the survey will be freely shared in May to all who are interested in this subject.

For more information:
Lois Kelly, Beeline Labs
lkelly@beelinelabs.com; 401-333-5464
Francois Gossieaux, Beeline Labs
francois@beelinelabs.com, 617-899-1698

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Monday, February 25, 2008

YouTube Taken Over By Pakistan!

YouTube, a favorite socializing place for a lot of people was dark for untold number of people yesterday. This was caused by Pakistan Government issuing orders to block YouTube from Pakistanis but extended the ban to most of the Internet. Here is what happened according to AP.

NEW YORK (AP) — Most of the world's Internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours Sunday after an attempt by Pakistan's government to block access domestically affected other countries.

On Friday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered 70 Internet service providers to block access to YouTube.com, because of anti-Islamic movies on the video-sharing site, which is owned by Google Inc.

The block was intended to cover only Pakistan, but extended to about two-thirds of the global Internet population, starting at 1:47 p.m. EST Sunday, according to Renesys Corp., a Manchester, N.H., firm that keeps track of the pathways of the Internet for telecommunications companies and other clients.

Two apparent errors allowed the outage to propagate beyond Pakistan, according to Todd Underwood, vice president and general manager of Internet community services at Renesys.

Pakistan Telecom established a route that directed requests for YouTube videos from local Internet subscribers to a "black hole," where the data was discarded, according to Renesys. Pakistan Telecom's mistake was that it then published that route to its international data carrier, PCCW Ltd. of Hong Kong, Underwood said.

The second mistake was that PCCW accepted that route, Underwood said. It started directing requests from its customers for YouTube data to Pakistan. And since PCCW is one of the world's 20 largest data carriers, its routing table was passed along to other large carriers without any attempt at verification.

"Once a pretty big network gets an error like that, it propagates to most or all of the Internet very quickly," Underwood said. As he put it, Pakistan Telecom was impersonating YouTube to much of the world.

The greatest effect was in Asia, were the outage lasted for up to two hours, Renesys said.

YouTube confirmed the outage on Monday, saying it was caused by a network in Pakistan.

"We are investigating and working with others in the Internet community to prevent this from happening again," YouTube said in an e-mailed statement.

Misrouting occurs every year or so among the world's Internet carriers, usually as a result of typos or other errors, Underwood said. In a more severe example, a Turkish telecom provider in 2004 started advertising that it was the best route to all of the Internet, causing widespread outages for many Web sites over several hours.

While most route hijacking is unintentional, some Yahoo networks were apparently taken over a few years ago to distribute spam.

"To be honest, there's not a single thing preventing this from happening to E-Trade, or Bank of America, or the FBI, or the White House, or the Clinton campaign," Underwood said. "I think it's a useful moment for people to decide just how important it is that we fix problems like this."

Associated Press writer Sadaqat Jan contributed to this report from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Complete AP Report here.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hitlar's Nazi Era Law Still Alive And Well In Germany, hindering Childrens Progress.

Perhaps the out spoken Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, should correct her own country's short comings aka wash her own underware before trying to correct other countries human rights violations, or trying to punish Israel. The little people are people too.

A 1938 law designed to ensure state control of all children has provoked a family exodus to Britain.

Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed in 1938. Hitler wanted the Nazi state to have complete control of young minds. Today there are rare exemptions, such as for children suffering serious illnesses or psychological problems. Legal attempts through the courts - including the European Court of Human Rights - have so far failed to overturn the ban.
In 2006 the UN sent a special rapporteur to assess Germany's education system. He reported that necessary measures should be adopted to uphold parents' rights to educate children at home where necessary and appropriate.
Gaurdian Education.
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PicLens, Lets You Really See Your Photos.

I ran in to PicLens and I was hooked. I am not a professional photographer but I take a lot of photographs. Managing these photographs has been a pain as I like to keep them near me at hand (I have a image server running at home) but most of them are either on Picasa or Flickr. But I am seeing a different perspective of all these since I started playing with PicLens. I am seeing many a possibilities and new ideas for photography presentation.
I installed the Firefox plugin of PicLens and Cooliris Preview (That is another story !) and have been getting to know them, a lot.
PicLens to images is what Google to the web.
PicLens plugin transforms your browser, Firefox, IE or Safari into a full-screen 3D experience for viewing images on PicLens enabled sites across the web. But big sites like Google, Yahoo, SmugMug, Flickr, Photobucket, and DeviantArt are supported directly. I have installed PicLens Lite and adding my photos. The new interactive "3D Wall" lets you effortlessly drag, click, and zoom your way around a wall of pictures for an extraordinary viewing experience. The new search box lets you search the Web in full-screen using Google, Yahoo, SmugMug, Flickr, Photobucket, and DeviantArt. Just type a query and view all the results in the PicLens wall.
Super work PicLens team!
This will keep unsocialized for a while I get to know the society photographically.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

If Social Media Had commandments!

I found ten commandments for social networking and living the online life by Sonia which I found to be very interesting. So I am following the commandment #9 and directing you to read her post.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Google's Social Graph API, Go Find Yourself And Others.

Google code is giving ideas to intelligently connect all the people and sites that matters to users and providing an easier path for developers to give users what they want. The following describes it better than I ever could. Please follow the link below to visit the site and learn more about Social Graph API.
There is also sample applications (3) and I spent a quite long time exploring them. Now to use the API to some real work.
"The public web is made up of linked pages that represent both documents and people. Google Search helps make this information more accessible and useful. If you take away the documents, you're left with the connections between people. Information about the public connections between people is really useful -- as a user, you might want to see who else you're connected to, and as a developer of social applications, you can provide better features for your users if you know who their public friends are. There hasn't been a good way to access this information. The Social Graph API now makes information about the public connections between people on the Web, expressed by XFN and FOAF markup and other publicly declared connections, easily available and useful for developers."
Social Graph API

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DVD Jon Launches doubleTwist

SAN FRANCISCO and OSLO – February 19, 2007 – doubleTwist Corporation, a company devoted to helping consumers liberate their media, unveils its initial product offerings and announces the close of its Series A venture funding from Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures.
Founded in March 2007 by Monique Farantzos and Jon Lech Johansen (also known as DVD Jon), doubleTwist’s mission is to enable consumers to enjoy their digital media on the widest possible range of devices. Although the explosive adoption of CE devices has enabled any consumer to create and consume digital media, the process of sharing and moving media between the desktop and various devices such as mobile phones, gaming platforms and set-top boxes has become increasingly painful.
doubleTwist is addressing this pain point by empowering consumers to easily share, consume and sync audio, video and photos regardless of device, file format or social network.

“When you receive an email, you can read it on your Blackberry, web mail, or Outlook. E-mail just works. With digital media such as video from a friend’s cell phone or your own iTunes playlists, it’s a jungle out there. It can be an hour-long exercise in futility to convert files to the correct format and transfer them to your Sony PSP or your phone” said Monique Farantzos, co-founder and CEO of doubleTwist.
“The digital media landscape has become a tower of Babel, alienating and frustrating consumers. Our goal is to provide a simple and well integrated solution that the average consumer can use to eliminate the headaches associated with their expanding digital universe.”
doubleTwist is introducing a complete solution for sharing media between between friends and family as well as syncing content to popular devices. The initial doubleTwist product offerings include doubleTwist desktop, an application featuring an intuitive interface for sharing, consuming and syncing personal media; and “Twist me!," a social network application that allows users to share media directly from their profile pages.
The beta release enables consumers to share media with their Facebook friends and provides sync support for the Sony PSP, Nokia N Series, Sony Ericsson Walkman & Cybershot phones, LG Viewty, and Windows Mobile smartphones such as those from HTC and Palm. Apple iPhone users will soon be able to view content they receive from friends by accessing doubleTwist from their phone’s Safari browser.
The desktop application, which currently works on Windows XP or Vista, is available as a free download at www.doubletwist.com. A Mac OS version of the desktop application is expected in Q2 2008. Support for additional devices will be added to doubleTwist desktop on a regular basis and consumers are encouraged to request integration with their favorite devices at doubleTwist.com
With doubleTwist desktop, sharing content is as easy as dragging and dropping files to friends. Users simply select the friends they want to share photos, audio or video with and doubleTwist transparently uploads the files and notifies recipients of their availability.
doubleTwist has developed a “plug and play” solution for transferring and syncing media to supported devices. When a user connects a digital camera, mobile phone or PSP, media files are found and displayed on doubleTwist desktop. Users select the media they wish to transfer and the application
transparently handles any necessary format conversions. The application also integrates with iTunes, allowing users to sync their music playlists and iTunes music purchases with their Sony Ericsson, Sony PSP, Windows Mobile, LG Viewty, Nokia N series phones and Amazon’s Kindle.
“We’ve built a format agnostic solution that handles the complexity of file and device compatibility so consumers don’t have to.” said Jon Lech Johansen, founder and CTO “We are exited about our partnership with doubleTwist,” said Index Ventures Partner, Neil Rimer. “doubleTwist has created a simple yet powerful solution for a growing consumer issue. Consumers will no longer tolerate having their digital media tied to a single device or platform. We believe they want the flexibility of managing media using their preferred tools, purchase content in the store that offers them the
best value, and enjoy their media on the device that offers the best playback experience. doubleTwist's ability to liberate every consumer's media should make it a hugely popular application”.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blogger Get Updates and Fixes!

We See People mostly through blogs. Since I am a Google Blogger! I usually get to see Blogger Buzz stuff whenever I login to blogger.
So today I see that blogger has expanded the language selection, Transliteration is now available in Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu as well as Hindi. Although I don't know any of the above languages, closer to billion people in India and else where who knows those languages, will be happy to blog in their languages.
You know the OpenID, I guess you answered yes. Blogger has expanded the OpenID service providers to include most popular ones. If your provider is not there, I am sure in near future they will appear.
So what else? Ha if you are a successful or controversial blogger and if you get more than 200 comments, they could appear spread over multiple pages.
There are other improvements and bug fixes that you will find in the post. Click the link below to see the buzz.

Blogger Buzz: Updates and Bug Fixes for February 12th

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Semantically Yours, Reuters to You

ReadWriteweb has an article about Reuters new open API, Calais (available at www.opencalais.com). The writeup is not just what it does but what the true impact of this type of tools has for year 2008, the year which semantic services expected to rise.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Is facebook Shareing Too Much?

Slashdot is having a discussion based on; "Remember the Facebook News Feed privacy uproar? What about the Beacon scandal from late last year? Privacy activists are rallying around yet another major issue at Facebook, in which the company is secretly sharing user data with third parties. Researchers from the University of Virginia recently announced that in a study of the top 150 Facebook applications, more than 90% were given access to information that was not needed to function correctly. That Scrabble or Superpoke application you really like? Its developers get access to your religion, sexuality and home town.
Slash dot article

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OpenID Foundation Gets Five Technology Leaders As Board Members.

OpenID Foundation announced this morning that it has five new coporations on the board. They are bigwigs and I am very happy with this development as this will further the vision of OpenID.

Following is the press release;

CORVALLIS, OR--(Marketwire - February 7, 2008) - The OpenID Foundation today announced that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) and Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) have joined as its first corporate board members.

With these companies' deep expertise in Internet and security technology, the OpenID Foundation strengthens the industry-wide effort to empower users with portable Web identities, or OpenIDs. This effort helps ensure the evolution of an open and interoperable Internet that helps people take control of how their personal information is shared on-line and aids on-line businesses to attract and retain more users by simplifying and securing the management of digital identities.

The OpenID Foundation was formed in June 2007 to support and promote the technology developed by the OpenID community. Members includes individuals, students, non-profits, startups and industry giants that have come together to develop and promote open identity management on the Web.

OpenID is free technology that simplifies the on-line user experience by eliminating the need for multiple user names across Internet sites, enabling individuals to take more control and ownership of their digital identities. This user-centric digital identity technology helps users reduce the pain of managing dozens, even hundreds of user-names and passwords, and provides more control over what personal information they share with Web sites when they sign-in using an OpenID.

Today, more than 10,000 Web sites support OpenID log-ins, and an estimated 350 million OpenID enabled URLs currently exist.

"With this support from the new company board members, the OpenID Foundation will be able to continue to promote and protect the technology and its community moving forward," said Bill Washburn, Executive Director, OpenID Foundation. "The community has clearly expanded since the inception of the Foundation and these companies will help bring OpenID into the mainstream markets."

The industry collaboration supporting OpenID extends not only to the technology itself, but also to the establishment of the OpenID Foundation as an open forum to promote, protect and enable the OpenID technologies and community. The OpenID community has matured rapidly from its inception as a loose coalition of volunteers to the establishment of the OpenID Foundation with a strong mission and intellectual property structure that enables all to participate in developing and implementing OpenID technology. This progress has been made with donations of legal resources by Microsoft and various contributions from Google, IBM, VeriSign and Yahoo!.

"Google shares the OpenID Foundation's vision of a Web that's easy to use and built on open standards available to everyone," said Brad Fitzpatrick, a software engineer at Google who created OpenID while at Six Apart in 2005. "OpenID was always intended to be a decentralized sign-on system, so it's fantastic to join a foundation committed to keeping it free and unencumbered by proprietary extensions."

"Privacy concerns have been escalating rapidly because of repeated incidents involving unexpected personal information loss and user identity theft," said Anthony Nadalin, IBM Distinguished Engineer and chief security architect, IBM Tivoli software. "As a leader in identity, access and federated identity management and open standards-based software, this is an important step in IBM's collaboration with other industry leaders to continuously enhance open source projects for user-centric identity. This effort is intended to provide users with more control and to help them better manage and protect their digital identities."

"The OpenID community is a key constituency in solving the digital identity problems Internet users face, and will benefit from being represented by the OpenID Foundation," said Kim Cameron, Microsoft's Chief Identity Architect. "Since Bill Gates and Craig Mundie announced our collaboration with the OpenID community last February at RSA, Microsoft has played a leading role in establishing the Foundation's open policy framework that allows everyone to participate in the development and use of OpenID specifications. Now, we look forward to working with the community to refine and drive adoption of the specifications."

"OpenID enables consumers to take control of their online identity, which in turn will drive trust, privacy and security on the Internet," said Nico Popp, vice president of Innovation at VeriSign, Inc. "Networked identity and authentication services are core elements of VeriSign's current and future service offerings. Because of this, we applaud the creation of the OpenID foundation and we look forward to contributing to its mission."

"Yahoo! believes that a truly open Web is the key to the next-generation of Internet experiences; OpenID furthers this cause by delivering a free, standards-based solution that the entire industry can embrace," said Ash Patel, executive vice president of platforms and infrastructure at Yahoo!. "Over the last year we have worked closely with the OpenID Foundation to develop the organization's intellectual property framework, finalize the OpenID 2.0 specification and to adopt OpenID for all 248 million active registered Yahoo! users worldwide. We look forward to collaborating with the OpenID Foundation, its board and community to further simplify the consumer experience of the Web and empower users to take control of their online identity with OpenID."

OpenID Technology

With the increased use of the Internet to conduct business and the rise of new types of on-line interactions, such as social networking and user-generated content, innovative kinds of digital identifier technologies are necessary to sustain the "open Web." OpenID enables individuals to convert one of their already existing digital identifiers -- such as their personal blog's URL -- into an OpenID account, which then can be used as a log-in at any Web sites supporting OpenID.

Wide adoption of OpenID reduces the frustration of repeatedly having to register username/password accounts and then later recalling log-in information for an ever increasing array of Web sites. For on-line businesses, these efforts can lower password and account management costs, help reduce the overall risks of security breaches by limiting the amount of customer personal information businesses need to store and protect, and increase both new and return user traffic by lowering the barriers to Web site entry and reentry.

To learn more about the OpenID Foundation, please visit http://openid.net/foundation.

To learn more about the OpenID, please visit http://openid.net.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How Safe Are Social Networking Sites To Children?

Despite the recent focus on restricting access to social networking Web sites to protect children, researchers have found that victimization online is more likely to occur through instant messaging and in chat rooms.

The Growing up With Media survey asked nearly 1,600 Internet users between the ages of 10 to 15 about their online experiences over the past year. Fifteen percent reported an unwanted sexual solicitation in that time, with about one-fourth of those occurring on a social networking site. Thirty-three percent reported online harassment, with about one-fourth of the incidents occurring on a social networking site.
Among targeted youth, solicitations were reported to be via instant messaging (43 percent of incidents) or in chat rooms (32 percent of incidents). Harassment was more common in instant messaging (55 percent of incidents). The authors suggest that parents should focus on children’s online behaviors and psychosocial issues rather than on restricting use of social networking sites.

They also recommend that policy aimed at reducing children’s victimization on the Internet focus on mental health interventions for vulnerable youth, and broad Internet safety education.

The research information is available from
the February ssue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MySpace Gives You YourSpace WIth MySpace Developer Portal

Since they announced and as expected, MySpace has launched a new site and released code that will allow developers to build applications around the MySpace API. This will allow individual applications a use MySpace service and/or provide services to MySpace.

The new MySpace Developer Platform site will let developers build and test applications for a month in a live environment before the applications become public in March.

The site includes Google OpenSocial with MySpace extensions to enable JavaScript and HTML; action scripts that allow Flash to communicate directly with MySpace APIs; and Representational State Transfer, or REST, APIs to speed up applications.

I in the process of testing some of the demo applications provided by MySpace Developer team and the dream has my brain on it.