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Current Topic: Technology

PdF2008 Talks: Mark Pesce on 'Hyperpolitics (American Style)'
Topic: Technology 9:08 am EDT, Aug 23, 2008

In this keynote talk at Personal Democracy Forum 2008, Pesce situates the current moment of transformation in the context of 60,000 years of human civilization; argues that our innate tendencies to connect with each other, copy behaviors and share ideas are now on hyperdrive; and projects a near-future where "hyperempowered" individuals and networks transform politics. As he concludes: "Representative democracies are a poor fit to the challenges ahead, and ‘rebooting’ them is not enough. The future looks nothing like democracy, because democracy, which sought to empower the individual, is being obsolesced by a social order which hyperempowers him."

The speaker created VRML. Memestreams readers will be familiar with the theme of liberal democracy and high technology being a product of the printing press, and the development of computer mediated communications being a similarly important development which will create similarly important changes.

Ultimately, a nice segway into Virgil's recent work on Wikipedia.

A more detailed discussion is here.

PdF2008 Talks: Mark Pesce on 'Hyperpolitics (American Style)'

posterous - The place to post everything. Just email us.
Topic: Technology 5:45 pm EDT, Jul  1, 2008

Send an email to this thing and it gets posted in a blog created for you. No account setup. Easy as pie. I like the simple design concept. The easier it is to do something the more rapidly it will be adopted. This is one of the core mistakes that we made with MemeStreams. Its too complicated. We're the unix of collaborative bookmarking.

posterous - The place to post everything. Just email us.

ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains
Topic: Technology 1:42 pm EDT, Jun 26, 2008

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has just approved the relaxation of the rules for the introduction of new Top-Level Domains—a move that could drastically change the Internet. The new decision—some calling it of historic importance and others predictable—will allow companies to register their brands as generic top-level domain names (TLDs). For instance, Microsoft could apply to have a TLD such as '.msn' and Apple apply for '.mac'.

"We are opening up a new world and I think this cannot be underestimated," said Roberto Gaetano, ICANN board member. The new rules will allow any public or private organization from anywhere in the world to register any string of letters as a gTLD, which could result in hundreds of new gTLDs registered this year. The decision was taken unanimously on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at the 32nd ICANN Meeting in Paris.


ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -
Topic: Technology 11:47 pm EDT, Jun 17, 2008

In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”

I'd never heard of this guy. Anyone got a link to the original source writings? Anyone read them before? Noteworthy?

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web -

Ak-dl1: The $499 Ethernet Cable
Topic: Technology 12:10 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2008

This really is a $499 ethernet cable. Yes, the stupid little cord you plug into the back of your computer to get online. These, however, are for audiophiles, a demanding client vector requiring the suspension of all faculties of reason. It contains "high purity copper."

This is why we have a housing bubble.

Ak-dl1: The $499 Ethernet Cable

Website Lets You Send a Post-Rapture E-Mail to Friends 'Left Behind' | Threat Level from
Topic: Technology 8:55 am EDT, Jun  4, 2008

For just $40 a year, believers can arrange for up to 62 people to get a final message exactly six days after the Rapture...

The e-mails will be triggered when three of the site's five Christian staffers "scattered around the U.S." fail to log in for six days in a row -- a system that incorporates a nice margin of safety, should two of the proprietors turn out to be unrepentant sinners or atheists.

Exploitive? Yeah, but its still nicely executed.

Website Lets You Send a Post-Rapture E-Mail to Friends 'Left Behind' | Threat Level from

RE: MySpace Suicide Indictment: or TOS violation = crime
Topic: Technology 11:50 pm EDT, May 27, 2008

Acidus wrote:

On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California announced that Lori Drew, now 49 years old, was indicted on conspiracy and hacking charges. The indictment charges Drew, a resident of O'Fallon, Missouri, with three counts of unauthorized access by violation of MySpace's terms of service and one count of conspiracy.

There is a good write up over at The Volokh Conspiracy by Orin Kerr and I highly suggest you read it.

I have a bit of a different perspective on this. I agree with Kerr that this has nothing to do with the TOS, but I still think its fraud.

If you call an operator up on the phone, tell her you're a phone company employee, and ask for some internal bit of telco information, this is telephone fraud, and its illegal.

Replace the telephone with the Internet, the operator with this girl, phone company employee with a cute boy, and the internal bit of telco information with dirt on the perps daughter, and what, exactly, is the difference? You've used a false pretense to con someone out of information. Its a crime, and I think they'll get a conviction on it. I also think people will blow it out of proportion. I don't think it means what everyone else seems to think it means.

RE: MySpace Suicide Indictment: or TOS violation = crime

Memristors, they exist!
Topic: Technology 3:34 pm EDT, May  1, 2008

This is very cool. From way back in 1971 a professor Leon Chua at the University of California (Berkeley) wrote a paper describing four basic passive electrical components: resistors, capacitors, inductors, and memristors. Until this year, the last one of these was only theoretical in nature, but some bright folks have finally cracked it.

Basically, its a substrate that exhibits a permanent(?) resistance change due to past current history. You could use them to make extremely fast, dense solid state storage devices.

Memristors, they exist!

The Walrus - Technology - The Big Log Off
Topic: Technology 8:28 am EDT, Apr  3, 2008

Where do computer files go when you die?

The Walrus - Technology - The Big Log Off

Hackers Publish German Minister's Fingerprint | Threat Level from
Topic: Technology 9:12 am EDT, Apr  1, 2008

To demonstrate why using fingerprints to secure passports is a bad idea, the German hacker group Chaos Computer Club has published what it says is the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's interior minister.

According to CCC, the print of Schauble's index finger was lifted from a water glass that he used during a panel discussion that he participated in last year at a German university. CCC published the print on a piece of plastic inside 4,000 copies of its magazine Die Datenschleuder that readers can use to impersonate the minister to biometric readers.

Good Job!

Hackers Publish German Minister's Fingerprint | Threat Level from

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