Remembering Aaron Swartz

“One of the things the Web teaches us is that everything is connected (hyperlinks) and we all should work together (standards). Too often school teaches us that everything is separate (many different ‘subjects’) and that we should all work alone.” —Aaron Swartz, April 2001. So Aaron is gone. We were friends a decade ago, and […]

Mirrors and Prisms: robust site-specific browsers

Mozilla (amongst others, see Chris Messina’s writeup of the trend, also Matt’s) have been exploring site-specific browsers through their Prism project. These combine aspects of the Web and Desktop environments, allowing you to have a desktop app tuned for browsing just one specific Web site. Prism is an application which, when run, will generate new […]

Twitter Iran RT chaos

From Twitter in the last few minutes, a chaos of echo’d posts about army moves. Just a few excerpts here by copy/paste, mostly without the all-important timestamps. Without tools to trace reports to their source, to claims about their source from credible intermediaries, or evidence, this isn’t directly useful. Even grassroots journalists needs evidence. I […]

The House that Jack Built

<Farmer> <sowed> <Corn> <kept> <Cock> <woke> <Priest> <married> <Man> <kissed> <Maiden> <milked> <Cow> <tossed> <Dog> <worried> <Cat> <killed> <Rat> <ate> <Malt> <in> <House> <builtBy> <Person foaf:name=”Jack” /> </builtBy> </House> </in> </Malt> </ate> </Rat> </killed> </Cat> </worried> </Dog> </tossed> </Cow> </milked> </Maiden> </kissed> </Man> </married> </Priest> </woke> </Cock> </kept> </Corn> </sowed> </Farmer> FOAF super-connectivity daydreams from […]

Cross-browsing and RDF

Cross-browsing and RDF While cross-searching has been described and demonstrated through this paper and associated work, the problem of cross-browsing a selection of subject gateways has not been addressed. Many gateway users prefer to browse, rather than search. Though browsing usually takes longer than searching, it can be more thorough, as it is not dependent […]

Problem statement

A Pew Research Center survey released a few days ago found that only half of Americans correctly know that Mr. Obama is a Christian. Meanwhile, 13 percent of registered voters say that he is a Muslim, compared with 12 percent in June and 10 percent in March. More ominously, a rising share — now 16 […]

Opening and closing like flowers (social platform roundupathon)

Closing some tabs… Stephen Fry writing on ‘social network’ sites back in January (also in the Guardian): …what an irony! For what is this much-trumpeted social networking but an escape back into that world of the closed online service of 15 or 20 years ago? Is it part of some deep human instinct that we […]

Google Social Graph API, privacy and the public record

I’m digesting some of the reactions to Google’s recently announced Social Graph API. ReadWriteWeb ask whether this is a creeping privacy violation, and danah boyd has a thoughtful post raising concerns about whether the privileged tech elite have any right to experiment in this way with the online lives of those who are lack status, […]

Microblogs and the monolingual

Twitter-like microblogging seems a nice granularity for following thoughts expressed in languages you don’t speak. In 1988 I passed my French language GCSE exam; it’s been downhill all the way since. A year ago in Argentina, I got to the stage where I could just about express myself in Spanish. But it’s been fading. Nevertheless […]

Bottles and teargas in Piazza Navona

I’ve just posted 100 or so photos from the anti-Bush protest in Rome last night. Zac and I were on the way to a restaurant when we stumbled into the protest in Piazza Navona, just by the Senate where Bush apparently was in meetings. We wandered around the square taking photos of the protesters, then […]

Observer Review: Barbara Ellen meets the elusive Mr Brown

Observer Review – Barbara Ellen meets the elusive Mr Brown: What people are being asked to remember is that we are all part of one universe, that we have responsibilities to each other. OK, he supported the unforgivable Iraq War, but this quote (and interview) does make me think I could potentially vote Labour again. […]

Inside the Murky World of Make Poverty History

Indymedia UK – Inside the Murky World of Make Poverty History, article by Stuart Hodkinson (reposted from Red Pepper). Make Poverty History would seem an unprecedented success story. Uniting trade unions, charities, NGOs and a stellar-cast of celebrities, its cause is dominating media coverage while the campaign’s white wristband is being worn the world over. […]