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Current Topic: Cyber-Culture

Rhythms of Social Interaction: Messaging within a Massive Online Network
Topic: Cyber-Culture 1:30 pm EST, Mar  9, 2007

We have analyzed the fully anonymized headers of 362 million messages exchanged by 4.2 million users of Facebook, an online social network of college students, during a 26 month interval. The data reveal a number of strong daily and weekly regularities which provide insights into the time use of college students and their social lives, including seasonal variations. We also examined how factors such as school affiliation and informal online "friend" lists affect the observed behavior and temporal patterns. Finally, we show that Facebook users appear to be clustered by school with respect to their temporal messaging patterns.

Rhythms of Social Interaction: Messaging within a Massive Online Network

A Discussion with danah boyd
Topic: Cyber-Culture 2:40 am EST, Jan 18, 2007

boyd, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information, explores how young people negotiate the presentation of self in online mediated contexts. Her research focuses on how this young audience engages with "digital publics" - connected social spaces such as MySpace, LiveJournal, Xanga and YouTube.

Currently, boyd is a Graduate Fellow at the USC Anneberg Center, and social media researcher at Yahoo! Research Berkeley. Her recent work has explored diverse topics such as the creation of digital publics in (Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace), the design of culturally adaptive software (G/localization: When Global Information and Local Interaction Collide), and the exploration of folksonomy (HT06, Tagging Paper, Taxonomy, Flickr, Academic Article, ToRead).

At Berkeley, boyd is advised by Peter Lyman and Mimi Ito. She holds an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied with Judith Donath at the Media Lab, and a B.A. from Brown University. boyd is frequently cited in top media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR and She even went toe-to-toe with scary old Bill O'Reilly once. boyd blogs at, a must-read destination for those interested in social technology.

This has been in my queue of things to watch for awhile. Danah is the leading thinker in this space. I highly suggest watching this.

A Discussion with danah boyd

ThinkGeek :: HTTPanties
Topic: Cyber-Culture 2:06 pm EST, Jan 16, 2007

Via Acidus:


We thought it sure would be handy if life came with status codes, but since it doesn't, we did the next best thing and printed them on stuff you wear. But not just any old stuff - we had to try something different, and print them on undies. So we bring you HTTPanties for the discriminating woman who would prefer a web-savvy and somewhat-direct approach in the romance department.

Feeling frisky? Well then don the black "200 OK" panties and see where they take you. Alternatively, the white "403 Forbidden" style sends a very different and hopefully clear message. New for 2005 we bring you two more styles: 411 Length Required and 413 Requested Entity Too Large.

And now, in what will surely drive a "Not Safe For Work" flag, your moment of zen.

As some of my co-workers noted, there are many more HTTP code that could be pantified:

300 Multiple Choices
305 Use Proxy
402 Payment Required
406 Not Acceptable
415 Unsupported Media Type
417 Expectation Failed
501 Not Implemented
502 Bad Gateway

ThinkGeek :: HTTPanties

Jason Scott Goatses MySpace
Topic: Cyber-Culture 12:12 pm EST, Jan  5, 2007

Like looking to see if a rifle is loaded by peering down the barrel, your screen can turn from a breathtaking visage of insight into a Gatling Gun of mind-scarring infinity-pain within the literal blink of an eye.


This is a very entertaining and well written adventure.

Consider, then, what was going on here. Myspace, a site which is being used by people who don't know how to host or design, ends up with a gaping ass provided by a design firm which can't understand the nature of hotlinking (or of spelling), who have written to someone who can host, design and spell but are doing so with a demand that this person take action.

And this, my friends, is ass.

I love the analogy Jason makes in the post about pilots, passengers, and users of the Internet. I'd argue that running a site like this is a little like being an air traffic controller, making sure things don't collide mid-air. Taste and security collide with things on a regular basis over at MySpace.

Read more about the incident at Jason's blog.

Jason Scott Goatses MySpace

Welcome to Dragon*Con 2006
Topic: Cyber-Culture 1:14 pm EDT, Aug 16, 2006

Dragon*Con is America's largest, multi-media, popular arts convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film.

A number of MemeStreams users will be speaking at this year's DragonCon, including Elonka, Decius, and likely myself. There are, of course, a plethora of other interesting guests, including EFF attorneys, Ralph Merkle and the Liftport group. I think Palindrome and I will be helping out with Space and Science track this year. Every year is a non-stop party, filled out with hours of interesting discussion, and always some amusing shenanigans.

Welcome to Dragon*Con 2006

Phone numbers stations mystery revealed at DEFCON - Homeland Stupidity
Topic: Cyber-Culture 6:18 pm EDT, Aug  6, 2006

For three months, mysterious telephone numbers have been appearing on the Craigslist classified ad site which, when called, play recordings which sound much like shortwave numbers stations used by certain governments to communicate with intelligence agents in the field who are unreachable by other means. Now the secret behind these phone numbers stations has been revealed.

The numbers stations, placed on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone numbers, were created by several people who attended the Los Angeles 2600 meeting in May of this year, apparently just for the hell of it.

The stations, which used one-time pads for encryption, “were an experiment to try to estimate the size, power, and organizational capacity of the online cryptographic community,” according to a statement on the group’s web site.

The mystery of the numbers stations has been solved..

Phone numbers stations mystery revealed at DEFCON - Homeland Stupidity - Site offers death alerts for baby boomers - Aug 1, 2006
Topic: Cyber-Culture 12:16 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2006

A social networking Web site for Americans aged 50-plus went live on Monday -- complete with an online obituary database that sends out alerts when someone you may know dies and that plans to set up a do-it-yourself funeral service.

Instead of career and school sections, has interactive games to build brain strength, news on entertainment and hobbies for older people, a personalized longevity calculator and tips to live longer.

It also has a nationwide database of obituaries dating back to the 1930s to which people can add photos and comments.

"The death business is growing," Taylor told Reuters, offering figures showing the number of deaths in the United States rose to 2.4 million in 2005 from 2.2 million in 2000, and was projected to rise to 4.1 million by 2040.

In addition to adding photos and videos to obituaries, members of can sign up to receive an alert when someone from a particular area dies or in response to pre-defined keywords such as a company or school name.

First, the wiseass comment.. DeathSter is an idea that's time has come.

This is actually a brilliant idea. I can envision this becoming extremely popular. Current social network sites don't do anything to record history in a useful manor. There is a niche here. Watching the social effects of this will be interesting... 10 years from now, how many boomers will be checking this for their daily dose of death? How many interesting stories and pictures will find their way there, that otherwise would have been lost? How much drama will ensue after someone dies and facts previously known to most start to surface?

I wonder what their troll problem will be like... How many results for "good riddance" will a search bring up? - Site offers death alerts for baby boomers - Aug 1, 2006

YouTube - danah on O'Reilly Factor
Topic: Cyber-Culture 3:49 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2006

danah boyd (who never seems to use caps when referencing herself) was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. O'Reilly played serious softball with her. His voice was even up a few notches toward the beginning of the interview. Normally only crying war widows get that treatment from him. For Danah's sake, I'm glad. She is nice, smart, and liberal. None of which O'Reilly does well with. If MySpace wasn't a News Corp property, O'Reilly would have taken the opportunity to get righteous in the name of defending helpless children, and bitten off her head off. When it come to opinion leaders in the social networking space, danah is the queen bee. If she didn't have so many good things to say about MySpace, or New Corp didn't own MySpace, I'm sure that interview would have gone differently.

YouTube - danah on O'Reilly Factor

Student Protests Echo the '60s, but With a High-Tech Buzz - Los Angeles Times
Topic: Cyber-Culture 9:43 am EST, Apr  1, 2006

Shuffling her feet in her Garden Grove home last weekend, Mariela Muniz stared into the carpet and suffered, as teenagers do, the silent deliberation of her parents. Soon, her father nodded and her mother uttered the words she'd been waiting to hear: "Lo puedes hacer."

"You can do it."

Still, when the tardy bell rang Monday morning, Muniz had no idea what to expect. Teenagers can talk a big game. But would they follow through?

She waited in front of the school. Soon, the doors opened, and scores of students — most of them Latino, but a handful of whites, African Americans and Asian Americans too — joined her. They marched through Garden Grove and Anaheim, picking up students at several other schools as planned through MySpace bulletins. By 1 p.m., they had covered 10 miles. An estimated 1,500 students had walked out. Muniz was a truant — and, to her friends, a hero.

School administrators have since informed her that she'll have to perform community service as penance. Back at her home, a humble ranch-style house with family photographs on the wall and avocados on the dining room table, she said it was worth it.

"Sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in," she said. "We did. And it worked."

Student walkouts, organized by BBS.

Student Protests Echo the '60s, but With a High-Tech Buzz - Los Angeles Times

Post PhreakNIC 2005 - We are drawing the maps for these territories
Topic: Cyber-Culture 10:52 pm EDT, Oct 26, 2005

Sorry it took me so long to post some commentary about PhreakNIC. After a convention, convergence, congress, or whatever term you wish to apply to a con, I feel its important to take some time to put the pieces together and reflect on what happened and what was learned before attempting to express any of it. The point of these things, in my minds eye, is to come together, engage in as much discourse as possible, and take away every bit each individual is capable of maintaining. The focus of my work surrounds building communities, enhancing media, and addressing security threats. It would be a great act of hypocrisy if I did not attempt to apply these crafts wherever possible. That means doing so, failing, and preparing to get it right the next time around.

It also doesn't help that I had no shortage of work to get done in the past few days. I literarily have not had a chance to stop working on things since the weekend. This upcoming weekend, I'm looking forward to some rest.. Anyway, here is my PhreakNIC review. You are forewarned, this is going to be a long post.

During the talks, I was attending to the speaker area on the 9th floor. This may have been the most rewarding place to be at the con. I was very surprised when I showed up to do my part of the AV to find that no one else was tasked with watching the room. It was a vacuum I was happy to fill. All the speakers were great about taking cues to finish up their talks, so the schedule went along as planned, mostly. I'd love to do it next year as well. Everything up there was going pretty smoothly, all things considered. All the talks were good. I was able to catch the bulk of them. There were a few I missed parts of, opting to monitor the situation from the back balcony, and only focus on the beginning, end, and helping with the switch over. I look forward to catching the video of what I missed. Being heavily addicted to smoking cigarettes, I needed some breaks for that. That back balcony made it very easy for me to do this. Not to mention, the view of the city from back there is excellent.

Speaking of the video, Wilpig has already posted the talk video online on his website. Major props. This isn't the first year he has come through on this. I encourage others to mirror his site once all the video us up, and I'm sure several people will. Several people already have, although the only one I know at this time is MaxieZ's mirror. Some BitTorrent files for each of the talks would be a good idea too.

I got up to the speaker area shortly after Dolemite's opening comments when Catonic's "Professional Wifi" talk was underway. This was Catonic's first time as a convention speaker, and he told me afterwards that he had been a little ... [ Read More (2.6k in body) ]

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