WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange

Reading the New Yorker’s piece on WikiLeaks, it’s hard to decide whether I’m reading about freedom fighters, skilled propagandists, or as is often the case, both. Without looking too deeply, I believe in what WikiLeaks is trying to do, but I’m profoundly worried to see here, for example, Tor server traffic mined for data. That’s the sort of behavior Tor is designed to protect people from, not subject them to.

WikiLeaks and Julian Paul Assange

Back to the Internet’s Future

Once in a while, I take a look through some of the links I’ve been saving, sharing, and publishing in the sidebar of my blog, Twitter, and a few other places, and try to scrape the pixelly cream off the top to immortalize (until the links break, anyway) a little bit of the Web, hung in blog post with care, framed neatly by a theme. This is one of those onces in a while. If you like what you see here, follow me on Twitter to get ’em while they’re fresh.

The Internet? Bah!
Published at Newsweek on February 27, 1995.
Clifford Stoll’s 1995 predictions included “…no computer network will change the way government works.”

What the Internet hucksters won’t tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don’t know what to ignore and what’s worth reading.

Anonymous Polk Award Honors Citizen Journalists
Published at The New York Times on February 21, 2010.
The chain of people who moved video of an Iranian woman’s violent death from the street to the Web are honored.

The panel that administers the George Polk Awards, based at Long Island University, said it wanted to acknowledge the role of ordinary citizens in disseminating images and news, especially in times of tumult when professional reporters face restrictions, as they do in Iran. The university said it had never bestowed an award on an anonymous work before.

On foursquare, location & privacy…
Published at Foursquare Blog on February 18, 2010.
The Foursquare team responds to the conversation around and the perceived dangers of sharing your physical location on the Internet.

The truth is you could make something like this without using foursquare at all. Just try searching Twitter for the words “headed to”… The Next Generation
Published at on February 18, 2010.
The Coworking community picks itself up by its bootstraps and raises money to buy the domain. What happens next? They’ll figure it out as a community.

The beautiful thing about the internet is it’s made up of words. Domain names are technically pointers to ideas, and instead of having to remember IP addresses, DNS has allowed us to connect words with ideas.

Expert Labs, ThinkTank, Gina Trapani and our Grand Challenges
Published at on February 17, 2010.
Anil Dash begins to claim territory for Expert Labs as a technology incubator for networking tools to help governments ask and answer big questions.

Today, I’ve been able to go to the White House and help make the case that a better technology platform, connected to the social networks we already use, could have the same transformative effect on policy making that it did on the world of media or business. And they were ready to listen, not just to me, but to our entire community.

Multi-Touch Will Change Everything
Published at on February 2, 2010.
This post comes a bit closer to the way I’d like to see designers and developers think about the iPad. It *is* a completely new interface.

With multi-touch, DIVs are the new fold. Being able to tap on a section to zoom in will allow users to focus only on the content they want to see. This quadrant based page browsing will make skipping over uninteresting content & advertisements much easier.

kleinmatic: First correction issued in a news app?
Published at Twitter on February 9, 2010.
Maybe not the first, but it becomes an interesting question. How long do you leave the correction on the page? How and where do you archive corrections that relate to databases? Is it worth having some sort of microblog — or at least a blog category — for every app to cover notes like this?

Gizmodo’s Comment System: How It Works and Why It’s Better
Published at Gizmodo on February 2, 2010.
A great explanation of how comments work on Gawker blogs, powered by karma, Facebook Connect, and heavy moderation of new commenters before they’re set free on threads.

There are three levels of commenters: Unapproved, Approved and Starred. You basically have to audition for the right to comment, by leaving a smart blurb—if it’s good, you’ll get approved by an editor, one of our moderators, or a starred commenter, and then people can see your comment.

So what do you think? Are all these bits and pieces signs that point to the future of communication, or the past? It’s difficult to look at today’s innovation without looking through the lens of everything that it’s built on, eh? Including, complicatedly, our own habits and biases.

Unscheduled downtime

“Sometimes, you eat the bar. And sometimes, the bar eats you.”

And sometimes, something blows up at a data center in Houston and your cool new Web host has all its servers shut down for 36 hours while fires are quite literally put out and power is restored.

I imagine things might be up and down here today if they have any problems keeping the power on where the database behind physically resides.

And yes, thanks to WebFaction and The Planet for keeping their customers well informed while they work their butts off getting all those servers back online.