Ramblings & ephemera

Clay Shirky on the changes to publishing & media

From Parul Sehgal’s “Here Comes Clay Shirky” (Publisher’s Weekly: 21 June 2010): PW: In April of this year, Wired‘s Kevin Kelly turned a Shirky quote—“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution”—into “the Shirky Principle,” in deference to the simple, yet powerful observation. … Kelly explained, “The Shirky Principle declares […]

Criminal goods & service sold on the black market

From Ellen Messmer’s “Symantec takes cybercrime snapshot with ‘Underground Economy’ report” (Network World: 24 November 2008): The “Underground Economy” report [from Symantec] contains a snapshot of online criminal activity observed from July 2007 to June 2008 by a Symantec team monitoring activities in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and Web-based forums where stolen goods are advertised. […]

Defining social media, social software, & Web 2.0

From danah boyd’s “Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?” at the Microsoft Research Tech Fest, Redmond, Washington (danah: 26 February 2009): Social media is the latest buzzword in a long line of buzzwords. It is often used to describe the collection of software that enables individuals and communities to gather, communicate, share, and […]

Prices for various services and software in the underground

From Tom Espiner’s “Cracking open the cybercrime economy” (CNET News: 14 December 2007): “Over the years, the criminal elements, the ones who are making money, making millions out of all this online crime, are just getting stronger and stronger. I don’t think we are really winning this war.” As director of antivirus research for F-Secure, […]

Criminals working together to improve their tools

From Dan Goodin’s “Crimeware giants form botnet tag team” (The Register: 5 September 2008): The Rock Phish gang – one of the net’s most notorious phishing outfits – has teamed up with another criminal heavyweight called Asprox in overhauling its network with state-of-the-art technology, according to researchers from RSA. Over the past five months, Rock […]

My new book – Google Apps Deciphered – is out!

I’m really proud to announce that my 5th book is now out & available for purchase: Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop. My other books include: Don’t Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox Hacking Knoppix Linux Phrasebook Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast With Free Audio Software (I’ve […]

1% create, 10% comment, 89% just use

From Charles Arthur’s “What is the 1% rule?” (Guardian Unlimited: 20 July 2006): It’s an emerging rule of thumb that suggests that if you get a group of 100 people online then one will create content, 10 will “interact” with it (commenting or offering improvements) and the other 89 will just view it. It’s a […]

Thoughts on tagging/folksonomy

From Ulises Ali Mejias’ “A del.icio.us study: Bookmark, Classify and Share: A mini-ethnography of social practices in a distributed classification community“: This principle of distribution is at work in socio-technical systems that allow users to collaboratively organize a shared set of resources by assigning classifiers, or tags, to each item. The practice is coming to […]

A game completely controlled by the players

From Ron Dulin’s “A Tale in the Desert“: A Tale in the Desert is set in ancient Egypt. Very ancient Egypt: The only society to be found is that which has been created by the existing players. Your mentor will show you how to gather materials and show you the basics of learning and construction. […]

10 early choices that helped make the Internet successful

From Dan Gillmor’s “10 choices that were critical to the Net’s success“: 1) Make it all work on top of existing networks. 2) Use packets, not circuits. 3) Create a ‘routing’ function. 4) Split the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) … 5) The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds the University of California-Berkeley, […]

How terrorists use the Web

From Technology Review‘s “Terror’s Server“: According to [Gabriel] Weimann [professor of communications at University of Haifa], the number of [terror-related] websites has leapt from only 12 in 1997 to around 4,300 today. … These sites serve as a means to recruit members, solicit funds, and promote and spread ideology. … The September 11 hijackers used […]

A very brief history of programming

From Brian Hayes’ “The Post-OOP Paradigm“: The architects of the earliest computer systems gave little thought to software. (The very word was still a decade in the future.) Building the machine itself was the serious intellectual challenge; converting mathematical formulas into program statements looked like a routine clerical task. The awful truth came out soon […]

A living story, tattooed on flesh

From The New York Times Magazine‘s “Skin Literature“: Most artists spend their careers trying to create something that will live forever. But the writer Shelley Jackson is creating a work of literature that is intentionally and indisputably mortal. Jackson is publishing her latest short story by recruiting 2,095 people, each of whom will have one […]

New communication, new art forms

From Jim Hanas’ “The Story Doesn’t Care: An Interview with Sean Stewart“: I think that every means of communication carries within itself the potential for a form of art. Once the printing press was built, novels were going to happen. It took the novel a little while to figure out exactly what it was going […]

The new American community: affinity vs. proximity

From “Study: Want Community? Go Online” [emphasis added]: Nearly 40 percent of Americans say they participate in online communities, with sites around hobbies, shared personal interests, and health-related issues among the most popular. That’s according to a survey conducted by ACNielsen and commissioned by eBay. The survey was conducted in late September. Of 1,007 respondents, […]

Blogging at IBM

From “3,600+ blogs: A glance into IBM’s internal blogging“: Through the central blog dashboard at the intranet W3, IBMers now can find more than 3,600 blogs written by their co-workers. As of June 13 there were 3,612 internal blogs with 30,429 posts. Internal blogging is still at a stage of testing and trying at IBM […]

Cave or community

From Sandeep Krishnamurthy’s Cave or Community?: An Empirical Examination of 100 Mature Open Source Projects: I systematically look at the actual number of developers involved in the production of one hundred mature OSS products. What I found is more consistent with the lone developer (or cave) model of production rather than a community model (with […]