Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | Electronic Frontier Foundation. A must-read. I am now considering leaving Facebook.


Tim O’Reilly on the future web wars @ david ascher

I agree with Tim that “If you don’t want a repeat of the PC era, place your bets now on open systems. Don’t wait till it’s too late.”  I think he’d also agree that we need to think beyond code and copyright.  That’s like going to war with trucks but no tanks.  For the open, distributed, heterogeneous web to thrive, we need to incorporate thinking from a host of other fields, such as contract law, design, psychology, consumer behavior, brand marketing, and more.  Figuring out how to engage thinkers and leaders in those fields is likely one of the critical, still missing steps.


I can’t resist pointing to this nice follow-up to the Tim O’Reilly post I talked about earlier this evening. I suggest following the link to David Ascher’s post to read all of it.

The War For the Web – O’Reilly Radar

One of the points I’ve made repeatedly about Web 2.0 is that it is the design of systems that get better the more people use them, and that over time, such systems have a natural tendency towards monopoly.

And so we’ve grown used to a world with one dominant search engine, one dominant online encyclopedia, one dominant online retailer, one dominant auction site, one dominant online classified site, and we’ve been readying ourselves for one dominant social network.

But what happens when a company with one of these natural monopolies uses it to gain dominance in other, adjacent areas? I’ve been watching with a mixture of admiration and alarm as Google has taken their dominance in search and used it to take control of other, adjacent data-driven applications. I noted this first with speech recognition, but it’s had the biggest business impact so far in location-based service

Tim O’Reilly offers a good analysis of the coming wars for control of the Web. Scary but unavoidable, I fear. I echo his call, at the end of his blog post, for every one to support open standards on the Web before it’s too late.

Blog changes

Hello, multitudes of readers (for Very Low Values of “multitude”). I thought I’d point out some changes I’ve made to the blog recently. The visual redesign is obvious if you actually visit the blog (but you would have no idea it happened if you only read the RSS feed). But I also added a widget on the right panel that shows the most recent items I have shared via the Google Reader service. Should you want to check out all items I have shared there, the URL is http://www.google.com/reader/shared/ddiamantaras. I find that I use Google Reader more and more to set aside notable tidbits I want to share. My recent discovery of the feedly Firefox extension has accelerated this process, as I now find perusing Google reader and sharing items from there in various ways (the above, but also via Twitter, Facebook and email) much more pleasant.

Geeky: online research tool site

Academics know JSTOR as an online repository for research published in prestigious journals. The repository reaches quite a ways back in the past. The JSTOR project now has an online “data for research” service. From the “about” page to which the previous link points:

Features provided by the site include:

  • Full-text and fielded searching of the entire JSTOR archive using a powerful faceted search interface. Using this interface one can quickly and easily define content of interest through an iterative process of searching and results filtering.
  • Online viewing of document-level data including word frequencies, citations, key terms, and ngrams.
  • Request and download datasets containing word frequencies, citations, key terms, or ngrams associated with the content selected.
  • API for content selection and retrieval.

ADDED: credit for this goes to Amanda French, whose tweet pointed me to the data for search service.