"Speaking exactly 25 years after he wrote the first draft of the first proposal for what would become the world wide web, the computer scientist said: "We need a global constitution – a bill of rights."An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web | Technology | The Guardian
Berners-Lee's Magna Carta plan is to be taken up as part of an initiative called "the web we want", which calls on people to generate a digital bill of rights in each country – a statement of principles he hopes will be supported by public institutions, government officials and corporations."
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Preparing for the Web's second quarter-century
"Amazon has been working on a set-top box for a couple of years now, with most of the actual development happening at the company’s secretive Lab126 R&D unit. Lab126 hired a number of people who previously worked on Logitech’s failed Google TV companion box.Amazon’s TV streaming box to ship with Netflix and Hulu Plus apps — Tech News and Analysis
Unsurprisingly, Amazon is also using Android as the foundation for its TV streamer. But just like with its Kindle Fire tablet, the TV will also be based on a fork of Android. This makes it unlikely that the device will have a YouTube app."
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
A cloud-stakes game (see the full post for extensive details)
"Up until last November, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's baby was mostly used for business applications, like virtualization and acting as an enterprise-level email host. With the Xbox One, though, the company opened up its global server farms to game developers, giving them access to more computing power than could reasonably be stuffed into a $500 game console. Since the Xbox One's debut, Microsoft has been crowing about how Azure would let designers create gaming experiences players have never seen before. Now it's time for the product to speak for itself."A closer look at Titanfall's not-so-secret weapon: Microsoft's cloud
Google’s giving bus rides to poor San Franciscans. Is this what the Google city-state looks like? [The Washington Post]
Excerpt from a multifaceted reality check
"A city-state is set apart from its surroundings in that it exercises legal sovereignty over its own territory. City-states often have their own religion, armies and other distinguishing features of a nation-state. And while the Bay Area is too closely tied to the California economy — not to mention national laws and elected officials — to be considered a literal city-state anytime soon, the fact that Google is stepping in to provide a service that would ordinarily come from the local government is a remarkable move."Google’s giving bus rides to poor San Franciscans. Is this what the Google city-state looks like?
Perhaps someday the trails he blazed will be more widely appreciated
"March 11, 1890: Hypertext Pioneer Vannevar Bush Is BornComputer History Museum | Exhibits | This Day in History: March 11
Pre-World-War II computer pioneer Vannevar (pronounced "Van-ee-ver") Bush is born in Everett, MA.
Bush, who also was deeply involved with wartime computer projects, invented an electromechanical differential analyzer that used mechanical integrators to help solve differential equations. Bush was a co-founder of Raytheon, a military contractor. He also became very interested in information retrieval, which led him to imagine a machine he called "memex" -- an electronic extension of an individual's mind and memory base -- that mimicked human associative linking of information, and anticipated hypertext research. He died on June 28, 1974."
Another timely information responsibility reality check from Edward Snowden et al
"When the ACLU's Ben Wizner joked on stage that Edward Snowden was appearing on the screen behind him routed through "seven proxies," technology journalists from around the world completely missed the joke.The Daily Dot - No, Edward Snowden wasn't behind 7 proxies at SXSW
You see, claiming to be behind seven proxies is one of the oldest jokes on the Internet. According to Know Your Meme, it's been in use since 2007. The sarcastic remark is used to jokingly bait someone who is trying to find your location through the Internet."
Ambiguous pronoun reference of the week candidate ("it" => his oath and/or the Constitution?)
"Mr. Snowden, who was dressed sharply in a white dress shirt and gray blazer for his talk, said he had no regrets about his actions, even though he now faces prosecution and is thought by many to be a traitor, or worse.
“I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution and it was violated on a massive scale,” he said."Snowden Tries to Rally Tech Conference to Buttress Privacy Shields - NYTimes.com
"But is it really cyberwarfare, or just the time-honored practice of psychological operations? Even if the attacks are being coordinated from Moscow, which so far isn’t clear, what’s happened looks, at least to this point, mainly like skirmishing for propaganda advantage, says John Bumgarner, a former intelligence officer in Charlotte, N.C., who now works for the nonprofit U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit and advises governments on security issues. “If Russia really wanted to deal a devastating blow,” he says, “they could have definitely done it.”"Cyberwar in Ukraine Falls Far Short of Russia's Full Powers - Businessweek
Monday, March 10, 2014
Big stakes for Microsoft's Xbox business
"Now those Microsoft bosses hope the game, Titanfall, will win over enough consumers to pump up sales of Xbox One, the company’s flagship gaming console. Xbox One sales are trailing those of a machine from Sony, Microsoft’s main rival.Microsoft Pins Xbox One Hopes on Titanfall, a Sci-Fi Shooting Game - NYTimes.com
There is reason to be hopeful: Titanfall was created by a well-known game designer and has already received critical acclaim. In an unusual move for a major title created by an independent game maker, Titanfall is being released exclusively for three Microsoft platforms — the Xbox One, the older Xbox 360 console and Windows PCs."
Sunday, March 09, 2014
tbd if you can bring your data home after your vacation
"MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. It’s a sweeping reservation and ride planning system that allows for bookings months in advance on a website or smartphone app. Bracelets called MagicBands, which link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information, serve as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit cards; a tap against a sensor pays for food or trinkets. The bands have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips—which critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things."Disney Bets $1 Billion on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors - Businessweek
Looking forward to having FiveThirtyEight back in my daily input list
"We have some news! We're planning to relaunch FiveThirtyEight on March 17, a week from Monday.FiveThirtyEight: FiveThirtyEight to Relaunch on March 17
As with all plans, this one could go awry. We're still completing final testing on the new website, and tweaking the final elements of the site's design. But we estimate the probability of a March 17 launch at 90.617854%."
From Jean-Louis Gassée's latest Apple reality check
"This gets us to Apple’s deeply rooted fixation: From its April 1st, 1976 founding to this day, Apple has been in one and only one business: personal computers. Today, they come in three sizes: Macs, iPads, and iPhones. Everything else Apple creates — iTunes, the App Store, the physical Apple Stores, Apple TV pucks, CarPlay, the mythical iWatch — these are all part of the supporting cast, and they have a single mission: Prop up the volume and margins of the star products."The Apple Game: New Categories vs. Ecosystem Development | Monday Note
The Internet of lonely pets
"So it is not so strange that the connected technologies that are creeping into the lives of humans are doing the same for pets.Every Dog Has Its Data - NYTimes.com
Wearable pet activity trackers keep tabs on Bella’s or Bear’s exercise. Some go further, monitoring dogs’ heart and respiratory rates and tracking locations in case they escape their homes. Webcams allow people who are away from home to monitor, communicate and play games with their pets, breaking up the monotony of lonely days."
Friday, March 07, 2014
Seems like a good reason to impulse-purchase a Ferrari...
"If you want to check out Apple's brand new iOS for the dashboard, then you have to head to the Geneva Motorshow, for it here that the Ferrari FF is on display. The FF is the first car to get the CarPlay system.Ferrari FF is the first model to feature Apple CarPlay - News
This is the meeting of two worlds - Ferrari and Siri. The CarPlay system incorporates features from the iPhone inside the car. What CarPlay does, is connect to a vehicle's infotainment system through the AirPlay media streaming protocol and allows owners to text, call, listen to music/radio and navigate via the Siri-based voice or touch inputs."
From a Forrester "cryptocurrency" snapshot
"So, while bitcoin as a brand may never reach mainstream consumer adoption, incumbents in the global payments ecosystem should consider the emergence of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (the protocol and burgeoning ecosystem) as an early warning siren of more innovation to come. The winds of disruptive change will be felt by players across the traditional payments ecosystem that are responsible for the speed, cost, and risk involved in digital commerce, both for B2B and B2C payments."Bitcoin: Some Parts Brilliant, Some Parts Sure to Bomb | Re/code
Excerpt from a timely big data reality check
"What is the biggest thing that we’re getting wrong or overlooking in the hype around big data?Civis Analytics's Dan Wagner on Data Solutions to Social Problems - Businessweek
The unfortunate thing about the hype is that people are thinking about the process, not about the outcomes. Sometimes the hype is misplaced, in a sense that it feeds this belief in the growth of data as a solution in and of itself. The big question is, what are you going to do with that information that’s actually going to improve people’s lives?
How do you handle information overload in your personal life?
As someone who works at a company that is involved in the Internet, I spend quite a lot of time there. But I try to stay electronically efficient with all my different communication and also try and make sure that I read a lot of books."
Maybe also time to "rediscover" data modeling and data management
"Mr. Maritz, a former Microsoft Corp. leader who oversaw the development of Windows 95 and the SQL Server, says that for the last 15 years, businesses often were content to outsource software development to low-cost providers. Now, companies have the means to collect “lakes” of data about their customers, but must be able to make sense of their currents. That development is too important now to be outsourced, according to Mr. Maritz.Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz Says Companies Must Rediscover Software Development - The CIO Report - WSJ
“We have to rediscover software development,” Mr. Maritz says. “We have to rediscover product development.”"
Serious programming in there somewhere...
"That man versus machine view may be in the minority, however, as more music companies embrace the idea that the vast troves of user data from sources like Shazam, Twitter and Spotify can be tools for talent scouts — known in the industry as A&R executives, for artists and repertoire — and, moreover, that in a competitive environment, using them has become a necessity.The Sweet, Streaming Sound of Data - NYTimes.com
Rob Wiesenthal, chief operating officer of Warner Music, who led the company’s deal with Shazam, said he believed that the new technology could serve as a complement to the trained ear of a music executive.
“There isn’t a substitute for the gut and instinct of an A&R professional,” Mr. Wiesenthal said. “This is art and not computer science.”"