Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where Is The Complete Privacy? We Can't Find It! Google Says To A Pennsylvania Family .

I think this should be an interesting story. Can you stop me from looking at your house or anything visible in your house from a public road? (Oh the house is on a private road but visible from a public road!).
But I think if I was living in that blocked section of the road and if I want people to see me on the Google Street View, I might be able to sue Google for discrimination! Wow I love This Country!
As you can see, the street view stops here! It may be possible that Google removed it due to the law suite. Click on the image to goto Google Maps.

JULY 30--Arguing that technology has ensured that "complete privacy does not exist," Google contends that a Pennsylvania family has no legal grounds to sue the search giant for publishing photos of their home on its popular "Street View" mapping feature. Responding to an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by Aaron and Christine Boring, Google has countered that the couple "live in a residential community in the twenty-first-century United States, where every step upon private property is not deemed by law to be an actionable trespass."
The Smoking Gun has the complete article.

Scrabulous Returns As Wordscraper

Scrabulous was taken off line a few days ago, at least in some countries but now the game has effectively returned, but with a redesigned board, a few original play options, a different points tabulation system, and a new name, Wordscraper.

"On Wednesday I spoke to Pete Kinsella, a partner at the Faegre & Benson law firm who specializes in intellectual property, and he gave me his take on the gritty details. "Copyrights are not supposed to protect board games," Kinsella explained. "What copyrights protect is the expression of an idea rather than the idea itself."

Returning as Wordscraper is a way for its creators to keep the game running while avoiding legal complaints. In effect, it's just different enough.

"I think there's a very fine line to walk in this one, and the question is whether Scrabulous went over the line or not in mimicking the colors or everything else," Kinsella assessed (keep in mind that we had this conversation before the advent of Wordscraper), "or whether they could've designed a generic version of the game with the same points system and scoring system, and that would've fallen out of Hasbro's copyrights.""

I learned about this here.

socialmedian Goes Public Beta.

socialmedian Opens To The Public

NEW YORK, New York — July 31, 2008 — socialmedian, http://www.socialmedian.com, a new social news network that is working on solving the information overload problem, opened its website to the public today. The public launch follows a fourmonth invite-only alpha period with more than 4300 participants from around the world. The socialmedian site is a public beta and continues to be a work in progress. The company’s model is to ship new features and enhancements every other day in direct response to user feedback. Interested parties are encouraged to check out the company’s about pages at http://www.socialmedian.com/aboutsocialmedian/ about-socialmedian for more detailed background information or to log onto the site at http://www.socialmedian.com and give it a whirl. socialmedian updates can also be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/socialmedian. socialmedian is founded and led by Jason Goldberg who previously founded and was CEO of Jobster Inc. from 2004 to 2007. Goldberg founded socialmedian in January 2008. The company is backed by Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive and personal investments from Goldberg and leading angel investors such as Allen Morgan (Mayfield fund), Reed Hundt (fmr. FCC Chairman), Gordon Crovitz (fmr. WSJ Publisher), Julius Genachowski (LaunchBox Digital), and Johnny Taylor (CEO of IAC’s Rushmore Drive). Morgan, Genachowski, Crovitz, and Don Baer (Burson-Marsteller, fmr. Discover Communications Executive) also serve as active advisors to the company.

Socialmedian has offices in New York, NY and Pune, India. socialmedian is a user-driven website both in the manner in which it has been developed as well as in the functioning of the site.

The company released its first code to an early set of alpha users in March 2008. Users can submit feature requests directly on the website. More than 350 user-submitted features have

been built and launched on the site during the alpha period. socialmedian aims to help anyone anywhere easily discover, share, and discuss news and information that meets their specific topical interest through collaborative filtering by people with common interests. The site was created in response to peoples’ need for better ways to access the rapidly increasing amounts of news content created daily while at the same time enabling them to easily filter it down to just the most personally relevant content. socialmedian helps solve the information overload problem by enabling people with common interests to highlight to each other what to read and discuss on a particular topic from an infinite number of sources, whether it be from a traditional news outlet or a new media website or a blogger with a great analysis.

Socialmedian’s founder, Jason Goldberg, said of the site: “The name socialmedian itself represents what we believe to be the next evolution of media; as information becomes more universally accessible and people socially can create, share, and discuss it online, what we’re witnessing is a massive democratization of information around the globe as people who share common interests can instantly become newsmakers for each other without any regard to political borders or boundaries. Increasingly, when it comes to news and information, it’s no longer about the have’s and have not’s, we are all the social median.”

socialmedian’s thesis is that people who share topical interests can act as effective filters for each other. Here’s how socialmedian works.;

• Users of socialmedian can create “News Networks” on any topic. A News Network enables a group of people to track, share, and discuss aggregated news on a particular topic. Within a News Network, users can share RSS feeds or submit content to socialmedian via a browser bookmarklet, by email, or directly on the site.

• Users “clip” stories of interest to highlight them to people in their Networks.

• Every user gets a personalized news feed on their socialmedian homepage which presents relevant news clippings from people in their networks.

• Users can also specifically follow other users as their “Newsmakers” This enables one user to effectively get their news through another user, following what the other person is clipping, discussing, and sharing. Users can elect to follow all updates from another user or only those updates relevant to that person’s topical interests. For bloggers, journalists and others opinion leaders, becoming a “Newsmaker” provides a new way to engage with their audience.

Here are some facts on the alpha period:

• Socialmedian’s 4300 users have created more than 1125 News Networks

• The most popular News Networks (http://www.socialmedian.com/network?s=popular) on socialmedian include:

o Web 2.0, 1250 users http://www.socialmedian.com/network/web-2-0

o Social Media Watch, 685 users http://www.socialmedian.com/network/socialmedia-watch

o Twitter, 442 users http://www.socialmedian.com/network/twitter

o Campaign 2008, 305 users http://www.socialmedian.com/network/campaign-2008

o iPhone, 116 users http://www.socialmedian.com/network/iphone

• The most popular Newsmakers on socialmedian already have more than 100 followers. http://www.socialmedian.com/users?s=popular

• The U.S. represents just less than 50% of the alpha users.

Top countries represented on socialmedian thus far:

 U.S. 48%

 India 10%

 UK 10%

 Italy 4%

 Canada 3%

 Germany 2%

 Netherlands 2%

 Australia 3%

 China 2%

 Japan 2%

Also notable:

• socialmedian beta also includes several progressive innovations in areas such as use of the Google Social Graph API and Twitter integrations. • With the beta release socialmedian users can now share

news from socialmedian on Twitter from the socialmedian site • The socialmedian site is built upon the Ruby on Rails web framework along with nginx as a web server proxying to Mongrel instances. socialmedian uses multiple MySQL database servers, and memcached;, a distributed memory caching system, to help withstand high traffic. The company has built an engine for crawling and parsing tens of thousands of RSS feeds using solr, an open-source search server based on Lucene search library.

• Socialmedian recently held a global contest for user experience designers to design the socialmedian iphone application, one of the top user requests. The contest concludes on July 28, 2008 and submissions will be displayed on the company’s blog at http://blog.socialmedian.com in the coming days.

For additional assistance, journalists, bloggers, and analysts may contact Scott Wheaton, Scott@socialmedian.com 1-315-751-4372 or Jason Goldberg Jason@socialmedian.com 1-917-455-1020.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Open Web Foundation Launched At OSCON

Every one knows that OSCON is going on now, but I could not make it to Oregon even though I wanted to do so. But I have been watching reading and hearing about the happenings at OSCON and I got this gem of an information this morning. David Recordon has announced the creation of the Open Web Foundation. The Open Web Foundation is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification, according to a post on the OWF site.

Looking little further, I found at skype journal this is how OWF will assist you and I in the future, bringing out that great ideas that we have been harboring in our heads in fear of big bad wolves.

  • Legal barriers. Great projects have been stalled for many quarters because contributions to their work product (designs, sample code, specification, etc.) were not cleared. OWF will host projects where all contributions are cleared up front. So the final product arrives unencumbered by patents, trademarks, and other claims.

  • Antisocial parents. It's not enough to reveal your great insight to the world. Throwing your newborn specification over the wall usually results in a stillborn flash in the pan. OpenWeb will help innovators foster community around their ideas. So the new product is "owned" by an open community, so it receives diverse and worldly inputs, and learns, adapts, and flourishes independent of its instigators. Ready to survive in the wild.
  • Startup Governance. To incorporate or not? Where? In what form? Who holds our IP? How do we take money? OpenWeb will help with this class of problem by sharing templates for organizing and being a corporate umbrella for select projects.

For those who couldn't be there, here is the presentation:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Walking with Google Maps Walking Directions! In San Francisco.

When I saw that Google Maps has enabled walking directions beta, I set out immediately to check driving, taking Public Transport and walking from Moscone Center in San Francisco to an address on Mission Street. A deed I need to do. Even though I have done this numerous times, I wanted to see what Google maps has to offer.
First Driving the worst case, not just because of fuel cost, but parking in San Francisco cost you much more than a gallon of gas!, if you manage to find one. (Just to be clear, both above locations have public parking) But travel wise this is the longest route;

Then the public transit, which involves a little leg work as well was clear and the departure times were shown togethe with directions.

The final, the walking, which is always good in San Francisco, unless it is a extreme hot day, which we seem to be having more and more (global warming?). But we do have trees you know! the walking directions were clear as well but I have taken a different route but today it will be Google Maps Walking Directions!

Google LatLong: Pound the pavement

Monday, July 21, 2008

MEDDESKTOP: Virtual Patients And Student Dentists In Second Life.

This article explains about dental students following their training at Second life with but of course a virtual patient. Now only if I could get virtual
MEDDESKTOP: Virtual Patients And Student Dentists In Second Life.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

We See Oscar Pistorius

After a year of controversy, legal battles with morons who allows drug infused athletes to get gold medals , and frantic effort, Oscar Pistorius will not be at the Olympic Games next month. Pistorius, a double-amputee sprinter from South Africa who runs on a pair of carbon-fiber blades, failed to meet the qualifying time for the 400 meters in his final attempt earlier this week and, Friday morning, was not selected to join the South African 4x400 meter relay squad.
But he will be competing in Paralympics in Bejing. He is known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs". He took part in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and came third overall in the T44 (one leg amputated below the knee) 100-metre event. Despite falling in the preliminary round for the 200 metres, he qualified for the final. He went on to win the final with a world record time of 21.97 seconds, beating single amputee American runners Marlon Shirley and Brian Frasure.

New York Times

Friday, July 11, 2008

Virtual Yokoso Japan, Tour Japan In 10 Minutes, But Prepare To Spend More!

Japan is very dear country to me fore more reasons than you want to know. About 10 years ago, I traveled extensively, all over the Japan, From Hokkaido to Okinawa. Having a job that required me to travel helped a lot.
But since then, I was able to spend short holidays with my partners family and we were not able to visit more than a place or two.
Then I found this post on LatLong blog! and I felt I was just next to heaven.
You can find it on the Google Map or the actual layer on Google Earth, as above where I am exploring Akita City, one of my favorite places in Japan. I see many people, via photos here.
Google LatLong: Tour Japan in 10 minutes

Down Under, Going to school with Google Is The Norm Now.

According to a post on Google Australia Blog, Australian and New Zealand schools and Universities going gaga over Google services for education. I have been a real fan of Google Apps and saw the value of them early in the roll out. I was always asking myself why do schools pay millions only to tie them into non standard propritary applications when Products like Google Apps and Open Office did meet most of the needs of students.
To learn more about Google Apps Education Edition (which is free to accredited K-12 or higher educational institutions) check out the overview video at Google AU site or get in touch with Google here.
Official Google Australia Blog: Going to school with Google

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Famous Army Medic, Joseph Patrick Dwyer, Passes Away

Warren Zinn / Army Times
The soldier in the photograph above, Joseph Patrick Dwyer has passed away due to an apparent overdose according to various news sources. The photo shows him running cradling an Iraqi boy who got injured during the first week of the war. This photo graph appeared in newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts worldwide. It also showed that human love and caring for small ones, could come out even under enemy fire. I salute you Dwyer, for being human. Dwyer in turn attributed the same quality to the whole unit, who also did similar deeds but did not get caught in camera's eye.
I hate the human cost of the war, any war!

Dwyer died late last month at a hospital in Pinehurst, according to the Boles Funeral Home. He was 31. Dwyer served with the 3rd Squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of Fort Stewart, Ga. He earned the Combat Medical Badge and other military awards.

I am sure the boy will remember him, if he manage to live through bombs and snipers.

Firefox 3 Guinness World Record and Don't Forget To Get Your Certificate.

The Firefox 3 downlod did make it to the Guinness World Record, for the most software downloads in 24 hours. We all pitched in to reach 8,002,530 downloads.
So if you downloaded the Firefox 3 on June 17th, now you are a part of a Guinness World Record, and don't forget to download your very own certificate for helping set a Guinness World Record. I got our group Cert shown above!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Barak Obama's Change may have come form Underware, Brand, Change!

Change and underwear goes along very well but I don't think Barak Obama and underwear does. But this post depicting a beautiful model and change, shows that Barak Obama's Change may have come form Underwear, Brand, Change!. Don't shoot the messenger.
"Obama’s change is on top, and the font, as has been widely discussed in the Times among other places, is Gotham (designed by Tobias Frere-Jones - yes, Sasha’s brother). The Danish underwear’s change does not seem to be Gotham, but it’s awfully close - the ends of the “C” are vertical, the inside hook of the “G” is slightly smaller, and the tips of the “E” are of different lengths. That said, you really do have to line the two up side-by-side to be convinced that Obama didn’t just rip off the design of this Scandinavian swimwear and lingerie company (but if you’re going to rip off design, that’s a good part of the world to pick from)."
you can find more information of the account here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy 4th Of July America!

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming!
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallently streaming!
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there!

Kevin Konnolly, A Rolling View From Ground Up.

Today I saw some photographs that were very unique. I (we) always see the world from 6 feet high or there about and some time crouch down to look at a creepy crawler or a dropped coin. But we never think of living that level, for the rest of your life.
Kevin Connolly did, he had to because he was born without legs. But that minor detail did not stop him from being active in sports like skiing and getting medals for it like at 2007 X-Games. But he also has to answer to questions from various people regarding his legs. Like a small boy asking if his legs were eaten by a shark! I think Kevin answers those questions with a smile filled face.
He also went to school to learn about photography and film. And in 2005 he started to photograph people from ground level, basically from his skateboard that he uses to get around. He takes his photos without looking through the view finder, he shoots from his hip. Kevin has gained wide acclaim for his first professional photo project, "The Rolling Exhibition." For more information on this project, navigate to www.therollingexhibition.com. Kevin currently lives in Bozeman, Montana as a photographer and professional skier. For more information on Kevin's other endeavors, please navigate to www.kevinmichael connolly.com.
Thanks Kevin, for inspiring us!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Powerless Feeling May Lead To Expensive Purchases Of High Status Emenating Goods

The high cost of low status: Feeling powerless leads to expensive purchases

Feeling powerless can trigger strong desires to purchase products that convey high status, according to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research.
In a study that may explain why so many Americans who are deeply in debt still spend beyond their means, authors Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky (both Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University) found that research subjects who were asked to recall times when someone else had power over them were willing to pay higher prices for status-symbol items.
"This increased willingness to pay for status-related objects stems from the belief that obtaining such objects will indeed restore a lost sense of power," write the authors.
In three experiments, the authors asked participants to either describe a situation where they had power over another person or one in which someone had power over them. Then the researchers showed them items and asked how much they would be willing to pay.
After recalling situations where they were powerless, participants were willing to pay more for items that signal status, like silk ties and fur coats, but not products like minivans and dryers. They also agreed to pay more for a framed picture of their university if it was portrayed as rare and exclusive.
"As an analogy, consider two individuals, one a successful millionaire and the other a recently demoted banker," write the authors, "Both might view a Rolex watch as a clear status symbol. However for the millionaire, wearing the watch might not make the millionaire feel any more powerful than he/she normally feels. In contrast, for our demoted banker, wearing the same watch might make the banker feel significantly more powerful."
In a society with a plummeting savings rate and skyrocketing debt levels, this research has broad implications. "It suggests that in contemporary America, people use consumer purchases to compensate for psychological states of insecurity," write the authors.
"Spending beyond one's means in obtaining status-related items is a costly coping strategy for dealing with psychological threats such as feeling powerless."
Derek D. Rucker and Adam D. Galinsky. "Desire to Acquire: Powerlessness and Compensatory Consumption" Journal of Consumer Research: August 2008.

Contact: Rudy Faust
University of Chicago Press Journals