Archive for the 'IT/Comm' Category

Will today’s innovations stop future innovations?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

This excellent piece by Jonathan Zittrain explains very nicely the potential downsides of how cloud computing is developing these days. (“Cloud” here refers to having all our data reside out there on others’ machines instead of on our own devices.)

A few quotes, but as we like to say, read the whole thing.

The crucial legacy of the personal computer is that anyone can write code for it and give or sell that code to you — and the vendors of the PC and its operating system have no more to say about it than your phone company does about which answering machine you decide to buy. Microsoft might want you to run Word and Internet Explorer, but those had better be good products or you’ll switch with a few mouse clicks to OpenOffice or Firefox.


The iPhone’s outside apps act much more as if they’re in the cloud than on your phone: Apple can decide who gets to write code for your phone and which of those offerings will be allowed to run. The company has used this power in ways that Bill Gates never dreamed of when he was the king of Windows: Apple is reported to have censored e-book apps that contain controversial content, eliminated games with political overtones, and blocked uses for the phone that compete with the company’s products.


When we vest our activities and identities in one place in the cloud, it takes a lot of dissatisfaction for us to move. And many software developers who once would have been writing whatever they wanted for PCs are simply developing less adventurous, less subversive, less game-changing code under the watchful eyes of Facebook and Apple.

On a related note, this post seems like an appropriate occasion to link to this great cartoon, which the artist created over 10 months ago.

Facebook and grades revisited aka peer-reviewed publication at record speed

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Facebook thread illustrationFollowing up on my blog post from a few weeks ago, a couple of colleagues and I have published a formal response to the media frenzy covering the study that claimed a relationship between Facebook use and lower grades.

Back when the story broke, most media outlets ran with the claims made in the original press release or even took it to a next step by suggesting a causal relationship between Facebook use and lower grades. Only a few outlets took care in reporting, among them the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the last few days, the BBC has had a piece considering the various perspectives.

By the way, this is the quickest turn-around I’ve ever experienced with an academic publication. Below the fold is a bit more describing how it came about. Read the rest of this entry »

Sneak preview of Wolfram|Alpha today!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The following should be really neat. Today at 3pm ET, the Berkman Center will host a sneak preview of the Wolfram|Alpha search engine or “computational knowledge engine”. I saw a preview of it by Stephen Wolfram a month ago at Foo Camp East and was mesmerized. Stephen Wolfram will be talking about the system with Jonathan Zittrain at today’s event. Join the live Webcast, participate remotely using the Berkman Center question tool, by interacting with its Twitter account or on IRC.

UPDATE (4/29/09): The video of the session is now available here.

ZOMG! Facebook use and student grades

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It started last night: links showing up on Twitter and elsewhere to articles about how Facebook users do worse in school. It’s not hard for people then to jump quickly to the conclusion that Facebook use results in worse grades (e.g., Study: Facebook Hurts Grades). Unfortunately, I know of no data set out there that could help us answer that question. The few people who have relevant data sets could establish correlation at best. I myself have not found such a connection in my data, but let’s back up a bit.

Reading the press coverage about this recent study from a researcher at Ohio State and one at Ohio Dominican University, it’s difficult to get enough information to offer a careful critique. All we’re told is that the findings concern “219 U.S. undergraduates and graduates“, but no idea as to how they were sampled or how the survey was administered. Additionally, there is no detail given in these articles as to how either Facebook use or grades were measured. Is this good and responsible reporting? Hardly.

Doing a search on the AERA’s annual meeting Web site for study author Aryn Karpinski brings up the abstract of the paper “A Description of Facebook Use and Academic Performance Among Undergraduate and Graduate Students”. It’s reasonable to assume that this is the study upon which the press coverage is based as the articles mention AERA. The abstract for a poster to be presented this Thursday reveals a bit more information about the study than the press coverage: a survey was administered to 71 undergraduate and 43 graduate students. It’s not clear how that adds up to 219 respondents as per the press coverage. Perhaps this is the wrong abstract, but I don’t see anything else that would fit the description better. Perhaps the study has been updated since the abstract was initially submitted. Nonetheless, this doesn’t help with transparency about the project.

The abstract suggests that the study is comparing the GPA of users vs non-users without regard to amount of time spent online. Comments by Karpinski in the press coverage, however, suggest measures of amount of time spent on the site: “Our study shows people who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying.” Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time a researcher gets misquoted in the press so not clear if the researcher really said this (or perhaps the abstract doesn’t include everything that’s covered in the piece). Alternatively, “more time” here is simply meant to refer to “any time at all”, not exactly how I’d talk about having “any use” data, but I guess technically any use is more than no use. Point being, we’re not any closer to understanding the study’s scope and the extent to which we should put much faith in its findings.

Having done related work, I didn’t recall any such relationship between Facebook use and grades so I went back to my data set this morning to check. Indeed, based on data about 1,060 first-year students at the University of Illinois, Chicago collected on a paper-pencil survey in Winter, 2007 (data set described in detail here), I find no relationship between whether someone uses Facebook and self-reported GPA (collected in categories, not in specific grade-point average terms). Additionally, I also have data on number of times the respondent used a social networking site the day before taking the survey and there is no correlation between that measure and grades either.

It is also worth noting that an important finding of my study was how Facebook use is not randomly distributed among participants (e.g., parental education, race, ethnicity predicted adoption) so it’s helpful to look at the relationship of various factors such as grades (or whatever else) to Facebook usage while controlling for other variables.

There are lots of reasons why one may or may not find a relationship between Facebook use and grades. I won’t get into that here, it could make for a very long essay. The point of this post is mainly to suggest a careful approach to what we see in the press and at conferences.

A caveat: I woke up this morning with a million immediate things to do and happy that I’d finally get to do them. Then I realized this story had kept spreading since last night and some people asked me to blog about it. I may have missed some relevant resources in my search for background material and others may show up after I post this. Feel free to post updates below with relevant information.

Mickey’s Law and other assorted EFFing matters

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

EFF smileyI haven’t exactly been ROFL in response to the trying-to-be-funny material floating out there today, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation‘s newsletter did impress me. Since it doesn’t seem to be on EFF’s homepage, and since they’ve explicitly stated that we can repost the whole thing, I’m doing so after the jump. (I hope they won’t mind my playing with their logo either.) Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Survey data on Internet uses

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

New Pew Internet & American Life site

The Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIP), a very important source on data about Americans’ Internet uses, has completely revamped its Web site. Among other things, it is now even easier to download their data than before. These are made available in SPSS format only. I use StatTransfer in such cases (for conversion to Stata), any other tools that have worked well for folks?

They also have a handy tool for searching their data base of questions. We’ve been working on something similar in my lab for a bunch of Internet-related surveys although stopped the process due to lack of funding. Pew was smart to work with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UCONN on this since they have so much experience in this domain. Perhaps worthy of note is the fact that a search on the same term on the Roper and the PIP sites does not yield the same results. While some Pew data seem to be available through the Roper site, these seem to originate from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and not from PIP. That’s something to keep in mind when looking for Internet-related data.

For those not interested in accessing the raw data directly, PIP’s full reports continue to be easily available by topic on the site as are some stand-alone figures from these. Overall, the amount of material PIP is making easily available is a wonderful resource so many thanks to the great folks there!

Recently released resources on online privacy and security matters

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I’m back at NU for a few days with about 20 (no, really, I counted) meetings in the next two days so no time to comment at length on the following, but I thought they were definitely worth a mention. Here are two recently released resources from a couple of great organizations:

* The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a resource on Surveillance Self-Defense.

* The Berkman Center for Internet & Society (my host for the year) has released a 2007 report on circumvention tools.

Both are carefully-written, interesting and helpful documents worth a look.

Am I blocked or not?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society just launched Herdict Web, “a tool that employs the distributed power of the Internet community to provide insight into what users around the world are experiencing in terms of web accessibility.”

Depending on where you access the Internet, the frequency with which you run into inaccessible Web sites varies. The OpenNet Initiative has been documenting cases of Internet filtering for years (see resulting Access Denied book). Herdict Web’s ultimate goal is similar, but the methodological approach is different: it relies on users’ reports from across the world to display a real-time picture of user experiences with Web site accessibility. Read more about it.

And be sure to join the herd! (Rest assured that everyone on the project realizes that a group of sheep tends to be referred to as a flock.) Congrats to Jonathan Zittrain and the entire Herdict Team on a great site and service!

How free is free?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

One of the many perks of being at the Berkman Center this year has been to learn about all sorts of interesting and important legal matters that otherwise would either not make it on my radar or would be hard for me to understand without background and context. The New York Times now reports on an issue that Berkman fellow Steve Schultze first introduced me to last Fall: the complexity involved in accessing unclassified government documents online that are theoretically free to the public, but in reality can be quite hard to access. The article identifies some major problems with PACER (the government-run Public Access to Court Electronic Records system) and also discusses some important efforts to make the material more accessible to the public. Included is work by (and an interesting photo of:) Crooked Timber commenter Aaron Swartz.

Steve’s blog points us to Show Us the Data whose purpose is to “identify the 10 Most Wanted Government Documents”, that is, “unclassified documents or data that .. exist–on paper or in government computers and databases–that would be of value to the public if posted and regularly updated on an agency’s Web site.” Check out Steve’s blog and that voting site for more on truly freeing up free government documents.

Amazon’s price discrimination

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

[UPDATE: An email from Director of Strategic Communication at Amazon, Craig Berman states the following (quoted with permission), which I thought was important to note here: “Amazon is a marketplace of many sellers, and while sellers are free to set their own prices for items they list, every customer pays the same for every individual offer.” I’m happy to hear that there is no price discrimination per se. I stand by my concerns though and consider Prime Shipping a shady product. I don’t recommend enrolling in it.]

Amazon's price: $17.13Amazon is quoting me a higher price than it’s quoting my friend, on the same product. I knew this was theoretically possible, of course, but I didn’t realize online stores engaged in these practices much these days. After all, is it really worth annoying customers when they find out? After a bit of experimentation, it seems to me that what’s going on here is that those with a Prime membership are being quoted a higher price. Ouch. So the thanks I get for paying for the Prime membership and shopping at Amazon a lot is higher prices. No thank you.

I was about to buy a Canon Digital Rebel XSi and some lenses (in sum, a $1K+ purchase) when I saw the link to an 8GB storage unit (the Transcend 8 GB SDHC Class 6 Flash Memory Card TS8GSDHC6) and decided to check it out given the size of photos I may be taking with a 12 MP camera. I clicked on the link and saw that the card cost $10 plus change (I have no screenshot of this as I didn’t realize I’d want one later). I then clicked on Add to Shopping Cart at which point I realized that I was logged on under a friend’s account who’d been using my computer earlier in the day. I logged out and logged back in using my own account. I went back to the same product’s page and noticed that the unit was now $17.13. (See screenshot here.) That’s annoying, after all, who likes to be charged 70% more than others? I logged out and did a search for the product without being signed on at all. Now the product came out costing $14.14 (screenshot). I logged back on using my own account to see what I would get now, and back I was at $17.13.

I have another Amazon account for other purposes so I decided to see how that would be treated. That account was quoted $14.14. The account I had tried first is the one I use the most. It is a Prime account. Prime means that for a payment of $79 a year, I get unlimited 2-day shipping on items that are eligible for it (which includes quite a few items). It also means that I have an incentive to shop at Amazon, because 2-day shipping is included on many things so I don’t have to worry about additional shipping costs.

As I was looking around the site for an explanation of the different prices – I found none, shocking, I know – I learned that it was possible to share my Prime membership with other members of my household. I decided to share the membership with my other account to test whether it was the Prime membership that was giving me the higher price quote. Indeed. Once I signed up for Prime with my second account, that account was now also being quoted $17.13 for the item.

When I initially sat down to use Amazon, I was going to spend well over $1,000. I walked away spending nothing. Additionally, I have no intention of continuing my Prime membership (I disabled the auto-renewal for it immediately), unless I get some explanation and the chance to buy items at prices others are being offered them. I sent Customer Service three notes already, but nothing helpful has come back so far. (The first response was outright offensive as the person either didn’t read or completely misunderstood the point of my email and sent back a canned response having nothing to do with my situation. I resent the query with what I hoped was a clearer explanation of the situation and still didn’t get anything addressing the question. I am waiting for the third response, but not holding my breath. Really, what I’m waiting for is for someone to tweak my account so I’m being charged what others are.) Of course, by not renewing my Prime membership, I’ll have much less incentive to shop at Amazon period (after this experience, it certainly won’t be the first place I go to look for things anyway). I guess most Prime members probably don’t realize this is going on or they don’t care about the differential so perhaps this practice doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But it matters to me, more on principle than based on the $3 differential (although 21% could amount to a lot depending on the price) .

I’m curious to know what price quote others get on that product when they log on. If you’re a Prime member, do you see $17.13? If not, do you get $14.14 or less? Do you have other examples of such differentiated pricing at Amazon based on user account?

By the way, to read about the practices going on here, I recommend Joe Turow’s book on Breaking Up America. (No, of course that’s not a link to an Amazon page, I don’t plan on supplying those here anymore, not unless this gets cleared up.)

The real world

Friday, December 19th, 2008

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to go to DC and meet with some people on the Presidential Transition Team. I got to talk about my research on Internet uses and skills with people who seemed genuinely interested in what we know about this topic and how it might apply to future initiatives. It was an exciting experience.

It is great to see an administration again that cares about information technologies (see related comments in Obama’s weekly address from two weeks ago). However, it’s important to realize that achieving a knowledgeable Internet citizenry is not simply a technological problem and thus cannot be resolved by a solely technical solution. There is plenty of research now that shows how mere access to the Internet does not level the playing field when it comes to achieving universal Internet literacy. Rather, coupling technical access with education about uses is an important part of the puzzle. Of course, even if one accepts all this, solutions are far from obvious. I got lots of really good questions from the people in the room and was thrilled by the conversation.

Afterward, walking down the hall, I saw on the doors the names of lots of people who have been in the news recently. It’s wonderful and encouraging to see the number of smart and knowledgeable people on this team.

Public Spheres, Blogospheres

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Public Spheres Blogospheres Flyer I’m on my way to UC Irvine to participate with some very cool folks in a meeting called Public Spheres, Blogospheres hosted by UCI’s HumaniTech. I’m on a panel about Blogging and the Academy.

I suspect the question of whether or how junior faculty should blog will come up. While it’s a topic I’ve pondered here numerous times and it may make some people yawn at this point, I believe it’s still worthy of discussion with some points that haven’t been considered sufficiently yet. More on that when I get around to organizing my thoughts about it (this conference would be a good opportunity for that, hah). Academics from different fields will be represented at this meeting, which may lead to different takes on the topic. I look forward to the conversations.

My department is hiring!

Monday, October 20th, 2008

My department has several positions and given the interdisciplinary nature of our program (hires from the past 5 years have PhDs representing 6-7 fields), it’s important that we distribute the ad widely so that we reach people from multiple disciplines. Thus the posting on EBlog (i.e., no, we can’t just advertise on a couple of standard academic mailing lists as we’d miss potentially relevant candidates). Although I’m on leave and so not involved with the day-to-day logistics of the search, I’m happy to answer questions about the program. (Related, see my post earlier this year on CVs for the academic job market.)

Tenure-Track & Open Rank Positions in Media, Technology, and Society
@ Northwestern University

The Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University’s School of Communication seeks to hire three tenure-track appointments beginning September 1, 2009. Two positions will be at the level of assistant professor, and one will be open as to rank.

We are looking for candidates who can work in a strong interdisciplinary program and advance a vital area of research. Possible areas of expertise include but are not limited to: media industries, institutions, publics, and policy; digital media; media and social networks; technology, work, and organizations; computer-mediated communication, human-computer interaction, global media, information infrastructures, and history of communication and information technologies.

The Department of Communication Studies supports a popular undergraduate major and graduate programs in Media, Technology, and Society, Interaction and Social Influence, and Rhetoric and Public Culture. Scholarship includes leading work on new media, technology and society, social networks, and the cultural determination of the public sphere. Through special resources for research support and scholarly event programming, the department is able to offer rich opportunities for scholarly development.

Northwestern University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent on eligibility to work in the United States.

Applications should be sent to Professor Noshir Contractor, Chair, MTS Search Committee, Department of Communication Studies, Northwestern University, 2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3545. Applications should include a CV, evidence of teaching effectiveness, and three letters of recommendation.

Initial review of applications will begin on October 31, 2008, with continual reviews of subsequently-received applications until all positions are filled or a final review deadline of December 31, 2008 is reached.

The Wikipedia deletion game

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Can anyone help me understand why some people are so vehemently opposed to certain people (or topics) having entries on Wikipedia? Why do people get so worked up about the mere existence of certain entries? Currently, an entry for Joe the Plumber is being debated. Does it really dilute the value of Wikipedia to have entries like that? I remember when some people contested my entry (I wasn’t the one to put it up), it felt like some amateurish tenure review, except with not quite the same consequences. Would anyone care to defend the practice? I’m eager to understand the motivations better.

At Berkman

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I’m on leave this year as a Fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Berkman is an amazing community of people working on important and exciting projects concerning the social and policy aspects of the Internet. In just three weeks of affiliation, I’ve already participated in countless wonderful conversations with people who share my passion for studying digital media and have learned lots about related issues. My main goal for the year is to write a book on Internet use and social inequality. My biggest challenge will be staying focused on that task instead of starting up numerous collaborations with my colleagues given the many areas of overlap in our interests.

Berkman sponsors some great events that are open to the public. This Tuesday evening will be one such event: a talk and reception celebrating the recent release of the book Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser. I’m still working on a separate post about the book, but wanted to post a note now given the date of the event. This will be a great opportunity to meet lots of people affiliated with the Digital Natives project upon which the book is based.

One Web Day is this Monday

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

There are lots of activities going on across the globe this Monday in celebration of One Web Day. What is it, you ask? From the site:

OneWebDay is an Earth Day for the internet. The idea behind OneWebDay is to focus attention on a key internet value (this year, online participation in democracy), focus attention on local internet concerns (connectivity, censorship, individual skills), and create a global constituency that cares about protecting and defending the internet. So, think of OneWebDay as an environmental movement for the Internet ecosystem. It’s a platform for people to educate and activate others about issues that are important for the Internet’s future.

The project wiki has a list of physical locations where events are taking place. NYC is starting early with events going on today, Saturday as well.

OWD also has lots of suggestions for getting involved online.

UPDATE: Here’s an idea for celebrating OWD here. On Monday, I’ll put up a post about one of my favorite Web sites, a Web site that has had real implications for my everyday life. I invite others to think about which Web sites mean a lot to them and to share these on Monday in honor of OWD.

Digital Media and Learning Competition

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

As some of you know, much of my recent work has been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through their Digital Media and Learning Initiative. Last week came the announcement about a new competition for projects on participatory learning. Compared to last year’s competition, it’s an expanded initiative thanks to a new Young Innovator’s Award for those ages 18-25 with grants up to $30,000. The Innovation grants will be up to $250,000. The Web site lists last year’s winners, a fascinating mix of projects by academics and non-academics alike. This year, institutions and organizations from some countries other than the U.S. are also eligible (Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, UK).

While it is obviously great to get funding for work one wants to pursue, being a MacArthur grantee has come with other benefits. First, the people at the Foundation are very knowledgeable about the areas they fund so they are an important source of information about the substantive questions of interest to one’s work. Additionally, they do a remarkable job of connecting people. Thanks to the folks at MacArthur, I’ve not only made numerous important professional connections, I’ve also developed some wonderful friendships over the years.

Note that MacArthur isn’t administering this competition directly, it’s an initiative of HASTAC. See details here.

The spread and tweaking (?) of misinformation

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

UPDATE (8/13/08 11:23am CST): Google’s cache of the original Information Age piece makes it clear that the report had been altered considerably without any indication of this. (See screen shot here in case link no longer works.) Take-away: Information Age made considerable changes to its piece without indicating this anywhere in the post. That seems problematic. [Thanks to Bigcitylib for finding the cached page.]

Have you heard?! Google removed cities in Georgia from Google Maps! Or so were the claims that started making rounds on the Interwebs yesterday so you may well have heard it. But did you believe it? This incident has been a fascinating example of how quickly some folks will believe and spread something without further reflection. To be fair, random tweets were not the only means by which this information started spreading, more established outlets posted about it as well (see some links below with additional context). Still, how likely was it that Google would do something like this?

When I saw the post about it on the social news site Reddit yesterday (a post supported enough by readers of that site to make it onto a top page), I clicked through to look at the map. While interesting to note that the amount of information on Georgia was much less than many other countries, looking around on Google Maps made it clear that some parts of the map are simply less detailed than others. I also thought about the assertion for a moment. It didn’t sound very plausible. While Google may do all sorts of things that annoy various constituencies, it has been quite consistent in not wanting to block information even when people’s preference is that it would do so suggesting the claims to be unlikely. (Yes, I’m fully aware of some blocking in some specific cases on search engine results pages depending on local laws across the globe. Those are not incidents of this type though.) Short wrap-up: the details from the maps hadn’t been removed, they were never there to begin with. Interestingly, that idea did not occur to the many folks who reposted the information.

Here is an additional intriguing aspect to all this that I came across as I was looking at sites while writing this blog post. Might one of the reports about the incident been updated without any indication of an edit to the original report? I’m not making any accusations (it would be pretty ironic to do so in this post in particular), I’ll just post what I have found and welcome feedback. This Foreign Policy blog post about the Google Maps Georgia depiction references this piece in Information Age about the incident as follows:

As if Georgia didn’t have enough to deal with, yesterday the country’s cities and transportation routes completely disappeared from Google Maps. Reportedly wanting to keep its cyber territory conflict-neutral, Google removed all of Georgia’s details from its maps, making the war-torn nation look like a ghostly white blob flanked by Russia and Turkey. Georgia, though, isn’t the only country going blank on Google: neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan–who have their own ongoing terrorital dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region–are coming up empty too.

An NYTimes Bits post also links to that IA piece. (So you can see what these sites looked like when I linked to them, I have posted screenshots of the FP post, IA piece and NYTimes Bits post.)

However, curiously, the IA piece doesn’t refer to tinkering with the maps, rather, it suggests that such reports were incorrect:

Meanwhile, reports that the company removed details of Georgian civil infrastructure from its Google Maps were inaccurate, it said today.

“We have never had local data for those countries and that is why local details such as landmarks and cities do not appear,” a company statement said.

But would writers at both the Foreign Policy blog and the NYTimes Bits blog have linked to this piece as a source for the tweaking if all it had stated was that the reports were inaccurate? Curious. I’m left wondering if an update had been made to the IA piece without any indication of it.

In the end, the ruckus about Georgia’s depiction on Google Maps was big enough that Google decided to respond with a post not only on its LatLong blog, but also the Official Google Blog (with about half a million feed subscribers).

What have you been watching on YouTube lately?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I am rushing off to meetings, but this is disturbing news and I figured folks around here would want to know about it.

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation by Kurt Opsahl (posted July 2nd):

    Yesterday, in the Viacom v. Google litigation, the federal court for the Southern District of New York ordered Google to produce to Viacom (over Google’s objections):

    all data from the Logging database concerning each time a YouTube video has been viewed on the YouTube website or through embedding on a third-party website

    The court’s order grants Viacom’s request and erroneously ignores the protections of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), and threatens to expose deeply private information about what videos are watched by YouTube users. The VPPA passed after a newspaper disclosed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental records. As Congress recognized, your selection of videos to watch is deeply personal and deserves the strongest protection.

    Rest of EFF post

Various MSM sources are just starting to roll out their own coverage (e.g., BBC).

I guess those – must be many – who watch YouTube without a user ID or without logging in to the service have less to lose, but forget the privacy of the more avid and loyal users.

As to the source code, Google does get to keep that. It’s interesting to see which news item (the user ID issue vs source code) is being covered where.

Videos on the tubes of the internets

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Time Sink!

If you have some time to kill or need to introduce someone to Internet memes then take a look at this timeline. [Link no longer works.] Zoom in for some of the less visible videos. Any of your favorites missing?
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t last long. A commenter notes that the page is no longer accessible. Here is a screenshot. Use of Dipity for this was interesting since showing all this on a time line adds something to the list.