Google Facebook Yahoo and others form Internet super-lobby.


FROM THE WEEK MAGAZINE MOBI VERSION.
“The two companies join an All-Star team of tech giants to throw their collective weight around in D.C. — which could be a boon for internet freedom.

The tech world is used to seeing Google, Facebook, and Yahoo duke it out in an increasingly bloody battle for online advertising dollars. But this week, the companies showed their cooperative side, joining Amazon, LinkedIn, Monster, Zynga, and eBay to form the country’s first lobbying group dedicated solely to the interests of internet companies. The who’s who of tech luminaries is blandly called the Internet Association, but with its pool of big bucks, the group is sure to make an impact on Congress. Here’s what you should know:

Don’t tech companies already lobby Congress?
Yes, but only as individual corporations or in colloboration with groups that don’t focus exclusively on internet issues. Google has led the way, spending some $9 million in lobbying in the first half of 2012, up from $3.5 million during the same period in 2011.

Why are they joining forces now?
The companies received a wake-up call last year, when members of Congress tried to pass two bills — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) — that were designed to curb internet piracy. Internet companies, however, feared that the bills “would block or punish their sites for containing pirated movies, books, and songs,” says Cecilia King at The Washington Post. The battle pitted the companies against established lobbying groups for Hollywood and the music industry, convincing the tech sector to get serious about lobbying. The bills were ultimately defeated after protests from prominent sites and advocates for internet freedom.

What does the group propose to do?
The Internet Association says it will focus on the issues of piracy, copyright, privacy, and cybersecurity. The group also pledges to keep the internet as free as possible. “It is the internet’s decentralized and open model that has unleash unprecedented entrepreneurialism,” says President Michael Beckerman. “Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity.”

Is this a positive development for web users?
Perhaps. Some believe that the Internet Association will be a key force in preserving internet liberties, which means that it’s not “just another lobby representing the 1 percent,” says David Kravets at Wired. However, “as with any lobby, the Internet Association formed to protect its own interests,” says Natasha Lennard at Salon. The group will almost certainly oppose, for example, “certain privacy regulation intended to protect consumer information.”

Sources: The Hill, National Journal, Reuters, Salon, The Washington Post, Wired”

Crowd Accelerated Innovation: another reason why Google Plus is and will be an important and vital tool


SHORTLINK: http://wp.me/p4njL-8F

Here’s a quote from this article, TED Curator Chris Anderson on Crowd Accelerated Innovation, Wired Magazine Jan. 2011.

BOLD EMPHASIS is mine.

The absurd camp calls YouTube a festering swamp of adolescent distraction: narcissism, kitten videos, and fart jokes. The obvious camp thinks it’s old news that the Internet fosters communities and promotes innovation (and this camp may view online video as a relatively insignificant new contributor to a familiar theme).

Both camps have a point. But they’re missing the big picture. The true significance of online video has been mischaracterized and underreported.

Innovation has always been a group activity. The myth of the lone genius having a eureka moment that changes the world is indeed a myth. Most innovation is the result of long hours, building on the input of others. Ideas spawn from earlier ideas, bouncing from person to person and being reshaped as they go. If you’re comfortable with the language of memes, you could say a healthy meme needs an ecosystem not of a single brain but of a network of brains. That’s how ideas bump into other ideas, replicate, mutate, and evolve.

Several authors have recently taken on this subject. Henry Chesbrough warns companies to adopt “open innovation,” Eric von Hippel speaks of democratizing innovation, showing how, for example, the kite-surfer community outinnovated the manufacturers that were serving it, and Michael Farrell describes “collaborative circles,” demonstrating that throughout history the best creativity has happened when groups of artists, reformers, writers, or scientists connected regularly with one another.

So Crowd Accelerated Innovation isn’t new. In one sense, it’s the only kind of innovation there’s ever been. What is new is that the Internet—and specifically online video—has cranked it up to a spectacular degree.

The way I see it, Crowd Accelerated Innovation requires three ingredients: a crowd, light, and desire. Let’s take each in turn.”

Another reason Google Plus is significant on the world stage

Chrome Remote Desktop HOO HA!


SHORTLINK: http://wp.me/p4njL-8v

Paul Budden, a G+ pal who lives across the country from me, helped me troubleshoot a Google Docs problem using the Chrome Remote Desktop. CRD is still in beta, but it is SIMPLE, FAST and GREAT!

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gbchcmhmhahfdphkhkmpfmihenigjmpp

Chrome remote desktop
Chrome remote desktop

Remember: UPLOAD to Google Docs, don’t cut and paste


REMEMBER: UPLOAD large files to Google Docs, don't cut and pasteShortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-8k

 

When you add to or create any kind of doc to Google Docs, REMEMBER:  IF it’s really small and you want to cut and paste, it’s not a problem. BUT if your file is of any significant SIZE, REMEMBER to UPLOAD it instead. It works like a charm, whereas trying to cut and paste will lead to nothing but grief.                    

ALSO, if you are not interested in anything but the pure content and not the peripheral info (such as formatting, styles etc), then you can use a TWO-STEP process:

1. Copy and paste your data into a text file app such as Text Wrangler to strip out everything peripheral

2. Upload the simple txt file to Google Docs.

Google Plus adds Tweet, Translate and Delicious to its Stream Post options… AND an ALERT to Delicious users.


New layout and functions
G+ New Functions in Posting in Stream

ADDENDUM: turns out this is a Chrome extension. But it’s great.

SHORTLINK: http://wp.me/p4njL-7x

As of this morning, several more functionalities showed up under posts in the G+ stream. Previously there was Plus1, Comment and Share. Now there are 3 more: Tweet, Translate and Delicious.

Apparently, not everyone has this functionality yet (same as with the advanced version of Hangouts). But I’m certain this one will roll our very soon to everyone. My page is http://gplus.to/quickdrawartist

Delicious
Delicious

This is significant on many levels, of course. One being that, as I’ve thought myself, Google+ will replace many things, but not Twitter, unless it buys Twitter. And if it does, it will probably have the same hands-off approach that it uses with YouTube. My perspective has been that Twitter has a special place and set of functionalities that “plays well with others,” including Google+. Twitter is clean, powerful and flexible and very well administrated. I have never been able to fathom why so many folks express the feeling that Google+ would replace Twitter. What was I not getting? At this point, I think it’s a safe bet that Google feels the same way about Twitter.

Very cool right? But Delicious? Why Delicious? Google already owns its own very good google.bookmarks.

DELICIOUS USERS, SEE THIS NOTE**

I think I know why, because Avos (owned by YouTube’s founders) has acquired Delicious from Yahoo and Google OWNS YouTube.*

As a long time fan of and early adopter of Delicious, this is great news on many fronts, to my mind at any rate. Delicious has some significant functionalities that Google.bookmarks does not. On the other hand, Google.bookmarks ties into the rest of your Google apps. So I think we’re going to be seeing a conflation of the two.

Lately, I have been bouncing miserably between Instapaper (it’s so fast and handy), Firefox bookmarks, and lately, with the advent of Google+, Google.bookmarks, while in the back of my mind wondering why I didn’t keep using Delicious. Probably because I’m allergic to Yahoo.

What would really even fantasticker would be for Google to also buy Instapaper and merge its sterling functionalities as well (and improve its folder function too, or replace it).

*http://www.avos.com/delicious-press-release/      YouTube Founders Acquire Delicious From Yahoo!

** This popped up for me this morning, so check it out if you have ever used Delicious: up “To continue using Delicious, you must agree to transfer your account information to AVOS by Friday, September 23, 2011. Click here to transfer now > https://secure.delicious.com/settings/optin

Attention Delicious Users
Attention Delicious Users

Google, Oracle, Monopolies and is/are Google “pussies”? (Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-7g )


Whale and kayaker
Whale and kayaker (see description)

DISCLAIMER:

I’m very “fond” of both Apple and Google. I cd go on for days about how/why they are wonderful. HOWEVER, they are huge entities with tremendous global/historical/political impacts. And in the case of BOTH these companies, they have committed very egregious act. In terms of Google’s “do no evil” well… So in spite of the fact that I love’em and use them and own their stuff, I’m committed to being aware of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Side note: some thoughts generated from Hangout chat today. After 35 years, Microsoftee may have finally wrapped its head around what Apple does as a WHOLE, with Windows 8. I’m an Apple user, but I did look at a Youtube presentation of 8 and it looked very good. Especially in terms of the fact that the whole world is going to go touchpad and voice to text. So it occurs to me that it may not take Facebook 35 years to figure out what Google Plus is doing right. The one thing they will NOT be able to emulate is the fact that Google is looking to tie together its whole panoply of apps into one whole, and Facebook does not have as much to tie together. See/hear http://cinch.fm/scobleizer/282081

In google news today:

Oracle vs Google in court today: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/18/BUOL1L5Q8I.DTL

The anti-trust case against Google: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/09/19/the-antitrust-case-against-google/
Senate hearings scheduled for Wed
Apple (AAPL) is conspicuously absent from the witness list for Wednesday’s hearing on “The Power of Google” before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition and Consumer Rights. Yelp! and Nextag will be represented, but Google (GOOG) has stepped on a lot more toes than theirs to maintain and extend its dominance of the Internet’s sustaining source of revenue — advertising dollars.

The above article has a link to “Google Are Pussies.”

A fascinating article, about which I would love to hear intelligent discourse. Also makes me wonder…”Google ‘are’ pussies?” Should it be “Google ‘is” pussy?” or maybe, “Google is a conglomerate of pussies.” Is “pussy” even the right term? How about we bring back “evildoers?” Why let Bush and rightwingers have all the fun?

Facebook scam fraud alert


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-4W

Over the last few days several “alumni” who say they attended the same college that I attended have asked to friend me. The tip-off that something’s wrong was that they had no other friends. I then checked them out in the online directory of my college and none of them were listed (I have been approached by four “people” so far).

All four of them had only one other piece of information and that was an additional email address (hotmail or aol accts) .

This may be some kind of new scam. So if you have warm-fuzzies about some institution that you have attended, don’t let that be a reason to let your guard down. Don’t let people that you don’t know into your network w/o checking them out first.

How cool is Quora?


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-41

How cool is Quora? Here’s a sample page  with the question and answer to : “How smart is Mark Zuckerberg, academic-wise? Is he as smart as Bill Gates?”

What’s that bumper sticker? ” It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”

Well, it’ll be a great day when people worry as much about the size of their brains as they do about the size of their dicks or tits.

Facebook vs. Wordpress, Naked Emperor Syndrome


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-2u

John C. Dvorak says in “Why I Don’t Use Facebook” that FB is “basically AOL with a different layout and all the same retro problems.” Check out the article for yourself, it’s worth the read.

One quote:

“Facebook is retro because, like AOL, it’s retro by its nature. It’s a closed system. Some people like a closed comfy system and others don’t. I, for one, don’t. If I want a personal webpage with all sorts of information about myself, I’ll go to WordPress.com and make one. By doing this, I don’t turn over any data, control, or information to an onerous third-party to sell, use, or exploit. I can close down the site when I want. I can say what I want. I can pretty much do whatever.”

My two cents. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, and I will continue to use it. But I also think that it’s popularity reflects some of our societal “dark side” as well. It has to do with how our society thinks about “convenience.” For most people “seeming convenience” trumps “real convenience.” The price United Statesians pay for the privilege of consuming (up to now) 80% of the world’s resources is that we pay for this “privilege” with blood and treasure (and our souls, metaphorically speaking). The trade-off  for using something like Facebook may sometimes be parallel. Sure it’s fun, but in Facebook, our comments drift every which way *, we remain insecure about our security, and we get screwed when we try to use their advertising (subject for a later blog) and and and… So yes, I still use it and often enjoy it.

BUT I’m blogging more and then adding links to the blog into Facebook. This way, I can have a safe threaded ongoing dialogue with anyone who cares to join me here. Is it harder to login or register with WordPress? No, it’s about the same, maybe simpler: just make up a username, and add password and email address (worried about security, get a “trash” email address from Gmail). In terms of security, I’ll put my money on WordPress.

Going back to Dvorak’s comments, here’s how I’d put it. WordPress is to Facebook as Gmail is to classic email, as voice mail is to an answering machine, as email is to faxing, as the phone is to a telegram. They are not only better, they are: 1. qualitatively superior, 2. have features that alter the meaning and functionality of the technology (ex. a car is NOT a horseless carriage).

There are always the “early adopters.” What’s interesting is that the “newer” technologies get so bollixed up. That’s why I like Macs, for example (another blog), it gives us a new technology, but tries to save us from a “horseless carriage” mentality about what we can do with a computer. And I think, that’s why I don’t like Facebook.

Speaking of technology evolution. Here’s a phenomenon that illustrates some of these issues very nicely. I moved from Portland Oregon to a tiny town (pop. 240) on the coast in Nov 2009.  The most popular networking tool for the local community is an email system. We’re talking pre-bbs technology here. You sign up and then send anything you want to disseminate to this (very nice) guy who shall remain nameless. In return, you receive anywhere from 15 to 40 emails A DAY that he forwards from all the other members. It’s right up there with shooting geese with a rock. But try and get something more useful going? Good luck with that. Because people have finally wrapped their heads around the fact that email is useful (and not some dadburned newfangled toy) NOW, they won’t budge from there (the First Mover Advantage).

And so we’ve moved from Ning, to MySpace to Facebook. Meanwhile there’s WordPress.

One more thought for now. My guess is that Dvorak prefers Android over the iPhone. He likes “open systems.” Whereas I’m happy to sign over – when the trade-off makes it worthwhile – some of the flexibility that an open system offers (in this case) to the end-to-end simplicity and cohesiveness of the mac environment, whether it iPhone, iPad, iMac etc. WordPress, in contrast to Facebook, however, offers the best of both worlds. It’s internally cohesive, but you can add bells and whistles easily without having to be an IT-class brain.

* Yes, I know about Notes, and I’ve also created several FB pages, some of which have really taken off and meet a need.

See also: interesting article (and comments) on this subject.

Remove your personal data from people aggregation websites (Spokeo, Intelius, Whitepages >.com)


Joe Hage mentioned in Facebook: “There’s a site called spokeo.com where I can see your age, your spouse, the value of your home, etc. Remove yourself by searching your name, copy the URL of your page, then go to the bottom right corner of the page and click on the Privacy button to remove yourself. Copy &… re-post.”

Barry Hurd added: “There are many services like Spokeo. Unfortunately the people-aggregation business model is pretty massive, two local companies actually lead the industry with Whitepages.com and Intelius.com. Most of the techniques they use to gather persona…l data would be questionable in the sense that the common person has no idea where the info came from (estate records, tax info, census, drivers info, hotel lists, phone carrier, etc.). In my mind these services are like the spammy email lists of the 90s.”