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”

Google+: Vampire Facebook: Zombie?


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-9e

Very funny and provoking article , ” ‘Steve Jobs: Vampire. Bill Gates: Zombie.’ ” in Oct. 30 Sunday NY Times Magazine got me speculating on further Zombie equations, hence my headline.

It’s a fun game and any number can play.

Send me YOUR equations.

Google+: Vampire Facebook: Zombie?
Anybody have the "If/Then" math equation for this? 🙂

“What happened to Delicious?” and alternative to Facebook? (see freelish and friendfeed)


Shortlink:http://wp.me/p4njL-5p

Reading “What happened to delicious?” is so depressing. Then, on the heels of reading this, I learned about Freelish http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_ideal_delicious_alternative_statusnets_freelis.php .

Also… just learned about friendfeed.com, which looks like a potentially more powerful,  cleaner, safer alt to facebook… Only to learn that it has been purchased by the devil’s spawn, Facebook in 2009.

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.

Is it all over for Gaddafi?


This is an unconfirmed report from AlArabiya news service that Gaddafi is OUT. If it’s true, it’s yet another confirmation of the stupendous power of the Internet remember a Twilight Zone episode from my kidhood, where salesmen and politicians could no longer lie. By that I mean, that with the incredible events of the last two weeks, maybe the people of the world are  now empowered to FIGHT THE POWER.

Forum on best solution for hyper-local networking


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-3A

You are welcome to contact me directly at quickcard at gmail dotcom

This is a proposal for us here in the Neahkahnie area of Oregon, to come up with a FULL-FEATURED, EASY-TO-USE local online network to act as a community bulletin board for the Neahkahnie area. I’ve looked at Neahkahnie.ning.com and BBQ and I don’t believe that they meet criteria discussed here.

Now, WHERE SHOULD WE HAVE THAT FORUM about alternatives?
 I created “Oregon Coast Network” in Facebook a while back. That could be one place. Or you can add your thoughts to this blog…..OR WHAT do you suggest? NOTE: at this point, I’m addressing WHERE/HOW to have the discussion ABOUT creating such a network.

I live in Nehalem, a very small community on the north Oregon Coast. We are neighbors to two other hamlets, Manzanita and Wheeler, also small. One is 2 miles north of us, the other two miles south, the whole are is called “NeahKahnie”. Our most popular “BBS” is called “BBQ” and is run by a very nice man. Here’s how it works, you send an email to bbq@nehalemtel.net and, if it meets the admin’s criteria, it will get emailed out to all the folks who have signed up for it.
 Incidentally, few people use the Oregon Coast Craigslist precisely because it is NOT local enough.

Now the disadvantages of something like BBQ are obvious. At one point I emailed the BBQ admin about the possibility of collaborating on creating something less kludgy. BBQ has asked me not to quote their reply, but the gist of it was, why would I want to have something else when there already was BBQ?

(NOTE: I’m not calling for the abolishment of BBQ, but it since BBQ is the only online community de facto bulletin board, it would be nice if we could at least announce the issue there).

 This was my response, I have edited it for clarity:

“… BBQ is great, and I’m sure it will be around for many more years. For folks who absolutely hate to learn anything “new,” BBQ will be all they will ever use. BBQ has the strength of having been here first and is of great benefit to the community. (but) BBQ, and services like it are basically a central clearing house for thousands of individual emails…It’s as if every time you had something to say to one (or just a few individuals), it had to be broadcast to 300 people, in the hope that those you were addressing would also see it, while 300 other people are doing the same thing. “

I believe that a lot of local people are left flatfooted. They do not like to use BBQ and yet, we cannot announce a FORUM to discuss ALTERNATIVES in the only CURRENT FORUM: BBQ.
Some of the disadvantages of the BBQ “technology”:

  • OVERSTUFFED EMAIL BOX. BBQ is not a listserv, so emails flood users’ email box, unsorted and before you know it, you have thousands of emails in your inbox, instead of their being on an outside SERVER, as in a genuine listserv.
  • SECURITY: If someone hacks into a mediated service, like BBQ, a hacker gets ALL the addresses on the list, and the entire membership is therefor vulnerable to hacking and viral attacks, spam etc. Saying that it has not happened yet is like saying you don’t need to use a safety belt because you’ve never had an accident.
  • Users are at the mercy of the provider taking a vacation, being ill, or just not feeling like forwarding messages that day, or YOUR message specifically. Social Networks (Facebook, Google groups, Ning, Yahoo groups etc)  is AUTOMATICALLY ADMINISTERED, and not dependent on an individual’s health, presence, or mood.

THE ALTERNATIVE, should have NONE of the above disadvantages, and have the following features:

  • Hyper-local (but can be connected to other hyper-local nodes. So “our” hyperlocal would encompass from Manzanita area to Wheeler, for example.
  • Posting is INSTANT and not sent to an intermediary. This is comparable to the difference between having a phone as a party line and just being able to pick up the phone and call someone.
  • Listings can be SORTED during the posting process. You can find what you are looking for FAST and EASY, BECAUSE IT’S INDEXED (“threaded”).
  • LISTINGS ARE ON THE SERVER, NOT YOUR COMPUTER, NO NEED TO PURGE, EDIT, SORT CLASSIFY, USE UP MEMORY ETC

At any rate, in terms of there being a local electronic bulletin board, BBQ was here first, and has become the default superlocal networking site. BBQ has “First-mover advantage” (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-mover_advantage). “First Advantage” is very powerful. In general, no matter how much better the second (or 3rd, 4th) contender is, people tend to stick with the “first-arrival.” eBay is prime example. Not a great company, I can testify to that, but the first one out of the gate.

Missing some of your friends on Facebook?


If you only see posts from people you interact with regularly and want to see all your friends’ posts, change your setting. Scroll down to the bottom of the newsfeed (“the center column of your home page — is a constantly updating list of stories from people and Pages that you follow on Facebook”) and click on ‘Edit Options’, click on ‘Show Posts From’ and change..the setting to ‘All Of Your Friends and Pages’. Click “save.”

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-3x

Hosni Mubarak, no longer living in de- Nile


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-3k

DING DONG THE BITCH IS DEAD!!!!
I predicted he’d do it by Feb 9. I was a little off. Sudan still in the hands of ex-dictator’s right hand man. i dont think the Egyptians are gonna let anything like that happen to them, no mubarak jr, no usa/approved bullshit and whoever leads is NOT going to get Lumumba’d (new wrd).  Inch’allah, there will be no Ford to pardon this asshole, but I don’t care, becos I don’t think he’s gonna be able to fly the coop w/ billions to Switzerland. Hundreds of lawyers and doctors flooding the streets of Cairo, wow, how cool. I made another prediction back when the Internet was a baby, that it was the most important event since the printing press and people looked at me like I was crazy. My hopes have always been that the Net would set the world free. Governments are gonna have a harder and harder time covering their pathetic scrawny ugly butts. The Internet is the AntiBigBrother. Now if we can just figure out global warming, overpopulation and the dying planet, we may look forward to the next 7 generations. VENCEREMOS!

More reasons to use Wordpress vs Facebook


Shortlink: http://wp.me/p4njL-37

So I’m looking for a conversation I had a while back in Facebook. I happen to know it was on Jan. 24 or maybe the day before. But can I search my wall by date? Nope, it just says stuff like “yesterday” or “sunday” …doesn’t tell you WHICH Sunday. And if I scroll down to older posts…guess what, they’re not there. You think you have a record of conversations and great posts, ideas etc? Nope.

Email wrong way to network and do project management, BUT how do you get everyone on board?


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

Email wrong way to network and do project management, BUT how do you get everyone on board?

I’ve posted this question on Quora.com, btw.

For the umpteenth time I’m involved in a project that necessitates online planning and discussion between associates in different states and towns. And for the umpteenth time I’m finding myself fighting a losing battle to get people into some form of network (zoho, facebook…ANYTHING!) vs. having thousands of emails flying every which way. It’s like herding worms…. like trying to explain the superiority of telephone over telegraph. Two question really: 1. I’m looking for some good links that articulate how effing INSANE it is to manage/network a project by email. 2. A good strategy to get people to start USING the network and STOP doing it all by email.
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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.

Facebook friends, please try adding some comments to my blog, thanks.


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

Over the last week, I’ve been posting my “higher priority” thoughts to WordPress and then posting the link to the blog piece in Facebook. My friends have continued to RESPOND in Facebook. My point being that WordPress allows greater SORT/FIND/FILE capabilities. So Facebook friends, why not try adding a comment to my blog post? Thanks.

On national security and Apple’s iPhone lockdown.


Apple tightens link on new iPhone

B. Franklin said “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” That said, I love my Apple computer and iPod (and some of their apps are good, others suck). On the other hand I’m a big supporter of open architecture software and electronics. But Jobs has a good reason for being a monomaniac about keeping Apple “closed,” everything Apple works with everything Apple. Even major tech nerd friends of mine, who can more easily navigate the non-Apple world, like their Apples. So it’s a fascinating gray area, often misunderstood. I know I’m being simplistic, but there you go. I agree w Ben F, but I LOVE Apple and by and large, embrace their policy. If they wanna lock up their iPhone, fine. As to national security vs. security… that reminds me of what Ghandi replied when he was asked what he thought of “Western Civilization,” he said “I think it’s a great idea.”

Short link for this page: http://wp.me/p4njL-S