October 1, 2014
"As throngs of pro-democracy protesters continue to organize in Hong Kong’s central business district, many of them are messaging one another through a network that doesn’t require cell towers or Wi-Fi nodes. They’re using an app called FireChat that launched in March and is underpinned by mesh networking, which lets phones unite to form a temporary Internet."

Elsie Hu in all tech considered at NPR. How Hong Kong Protesters Are Connecting, Without Cell Or Wi-Fi Networks

October 1, 2014
"So while smartphone encryption could make police investigations a bit more difficult, the broader trend has been in the other direction: there are more and more ways for law enforcement to gain information about suspects. There’s no reason to think smartphone encryption will be a serious impediment to solving crimes."

Timothy B. Lee at Vox. The government says iPhone encryption helps criminals. They’re wrong.

October 1, 2014
"20 years ago, “Clipper” (a proposed mandatory US government back door, supported by the NSA) died on the vine thanks to a concerted effort by industry to show the risks inherent to such schemes. For two decades we’ve had the tide on the side of those who believe it’s more important for individuals and companies to be able to protect information than it is for security agencies to be able to monitor it. I’m glad that today, you are more likely to get into trouble if you don’t encrypt sensitive information in transit on your laptop than if you do. I believe that’s the right side to fight for and the right side for all of our security in the long term, too."

Mark Shuttleworth here be dragons. Fixing the internet for confidentiality and security

September 27, 2014
"Making social networking a common commodity could remake the world, like the world wide web, or vaccination did. But like the world wide web and vaccination, they aren’t ever going to let Paul Budnitz become Cornelius Vanderbilt or Mark Zuckerberg. He’d have to settle for the hope that a lifetime of hard work and enough money to live could let him be Tim Berners-lee or Jonas Salk."

Quinn Norton at Ello.

Also in The Message at MediumWhat Does Ethical Social Networking Software Look Like?

September 24, 2014
"I first observed a possible connection between the mid-twentieth century theories and applications of cybernetics, which arose out of World War Two, primarily in the USA, where they answered a perceived need for a more controlled society, and our current world of online social media and what is referred to as Web2.0. The link was feedback, as in cybernetic feedback loops, with a potential outcome not only of human connectivity and autopoiesis… but also of governmental control."

Suzanne Treister interviewed by Andrew Pickering at  MetaMute.  CYBERNETIC MAGIC

Following two exhibitions of Suzanne Treister’s multimedia project HEXEN2.0 at the Science Museum and Work Gallery this Spring, cybernetic historian Andrew Pickering delves deeper into the work’s dense web of connections, tracing open-ended relationships between militarism and counter-culture, science and sorcery

September 12, 2014
"But that is part of the ideological mission of Big Data, to get us to accept black-box algorithmic filtering as reflecting what would have chosen to see, had we been given the choice. In other words, the common understanding of “personalization” has been stretched to leave out the will of the actual person involved."

Rob Horning at Internal ExilePrompted by the callous statement from OKCupid’s data scientist

September 7, 2014

There are two debaters, Alice and Bob. Alice takes the podium, makes her argument. Then Bob takes her place, but before he can present his counter-argument, he must summarize Alice’s argument to her satisfaction — a demonstration of respect and good faith. Only when Alice agrees that Bob has got it right is he permitted to proceed with his own argument — and then, when he’s finished, Alice must summarize it to his satisfaction.

The first time I saw one of these debates, it blew my mind.


Robin Sloan in The Message at Medium. The Steel Man of #GamerGate

September 6, 2014
"But the bigger loss will be the networked intelligence that prizes emergence over engagement and interaction above the retweetable— which gets very boring very quickly."

Zeynep Tufekci at Medium. Why Twitter Should Not Algorithmically Curate the Timeline

It’s the Human Judgment of the Flock, Not the Lone Bird, That Powers It

September 3, 2014
"In fact, as concerns interactivity, one of the web world’s waving flags, the techies don’t want to know that reading a book is the ultimate interactivity, where the reader’s life flows through the sentences, as through an electric circuit, animating those sentences, bringing them to life in the mind—so that it is only when a book is read that it is completed. Nothing else is as interactive as that. And a book is written in silence and read in silence, another advantage in our noisy world—an integrity of the mind is maintained with the ability to live in an extended discourse."

E. L. Doctorow in The Nation. The Promise—and Threat—of the Internet

Who will rule our virtual world—government data miners and the corporations in step with them, or everyone else?

August 24, 2014

Project Gutenberg eBooks are a permanent part of the Internet and the eBooks have been all along.

eBooks come and go from other eBook sites, other eBooks sites come or go from time to time, but Project Gutenberg has always been there.

The big reason is Project Gutenberg is for the benefit of everyone in the world equally, not more for anyone than anyone else, me included.



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