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Posts tagged with ‘tech’

saved.io is a small-and-simple new bookmarking tool

Anthony Feint, the guy behind pen.io, has also created saved.io, a minimal bookmarking tool.

I like the ability to tag bookmarks, and the inclusion of a note field. 

The bookmarks can be created in several ways: 1/ by bookmarklet, 2/ Chrome extension, or 3/ by prepending ‘saved.io/’ to the URL in your browser. Alternatively you can prepend ‘xyz.saved.io/’ to add a bookmark to the ‘xyz’ category.

It’s too bad that I can’t add tags to the URL in some way. I have to do that on the saved.io page.

HTML sort-of works in these notes, although there is a bug that leads to escaping HTML quotes and double quotes. I hope he fixes that.

There’s no way to share these links, but in general I am conserving these for my own research purposes, and when I get to the point where I want to share I move to this blog or Gigaom Research, anyway.

Nothing can compete with the shimmering immediacy of now, and not just when seismic events take place, but in our everyday lives. We are sponges and we live in a world where the fire hose is always on.

I Think Twitter Should Buy Nuzzel Immediately, Before Yahoo or Flipboard Does

I got access to Nuzzel today, and it is going to immediately join Flipboard as one of the few apps I religiously use everyday to make sense of my Twitter flow. Nuzzel cross-tabulates my incoming stream of tweets, and yields the stories that a whole bunch of my scene are talking about in Twitter. Nuzzel is the best social news feed I’ve seen, to date.

image

This is a much better realization of what I have been using Flipboard to do for me with my Twitter feed there. This aggregates dozens of tweets about a hot story — like Jennifer Bell’s Journalism startups aren’t a revolution if they’re filled with all these white men — and allows me to wander through aggregation from my friends — those who I follow directly — and from my friends of friends — which truly is my social scene. (I’m betting that swarm is something like a few hundred thousand to a million people, based on each of the 1500 folks I follow following a few hundred people each.)

Nuzzel also suggests stories I might have missed, and keeps track of what i have read — just that last feature along is a product I need regularly.

Check out my public Nuzzel feed at nuzzel.com/stoweboyd.

Krantzberg’s Six Laws Of Technology

  1. Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
  2. Invention is the mother of necessity.
  3. Technology comes in packages, big and small.
  4. Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.
  5. All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.
  6. Technology is a very human activity - and so is the history of technology.

An Idea For Outlines To Squeeze Email

I got a pitch from PointDrive today, and the software employs an outline kind of approach to partition a sales pitch.

It made me think about outlining in email, as a way to make email easier to read.

Imagine if all (or many) email tools shared a common understanding of something like markdown, and if we could create emails that could be scanned in a compressed mode and otherwise expanded — either one piece at a time or all at once — to make the triage of email easier.

So Imagine that I sent an email with this as the body:

Dear Carla -

With regard to the recent call, here’s some thoughts:

* I could come to SF the week of 17 February, but it would be difficult.

** I have several commitments that week, and also have visitors coming to town, and all of those are difficult to move. 

** I know I said this was possible, but it is no longer a good option.

* the week after, the 24th, is also out.

** Different reason: I will be in London at a conference, speaking, and staying for some meetings. Might be in France for part of that week, too.

* Looks like the first time I could get out there is in March. The week of the 3rd is good all week, the early part of w/o 10th is open. 27-28 Feb I will be in Ottawa.

** That Ottawa trip is a Future of Work workshop, FYI

Let me know what works for you.

- Stowe

Carla, when opening this in a outline-smart email tool, and if her default was ‘compressed’ mode, would see something like this:

Dear Carla -

With regard to the recent call, here’s some thoughts:

* I could come to SF the week of 17 February, but it would be difficult.^

* the week after, the 24th, is also out.^

* Looks like the first time I could get out there is in March. The week of the 3rd is good all week, the early part of w/o 10th is open. 27-28 Feb I will be in Ottawa.^

Let me know what works for you.

- Stowe

I am using ‘^’ as place to indicate that the outline element has children.

Carla might be happy with this level of detail for the purposes of scheduling. If she wants more info, she can click on a line, and the children pop. For example, the first outline element:

Dear Carla -

With regard to the recent call, here’s some thoughts:

* I could come to SF the week of 17 February, but it would be difficult.

** I have several commitments that week, and also have visitors coming to town, and all of those are difficult to move. 

** I know I said this was possible, but it is no longer a good option.

* the week after, the 24th, is also out.^

* Looks like the first time I could get out there is in March. The week of the 3rd is good all week, the early part of w/o 10th is open. 27-28 Feb I will be in Ottawa.^

Let me know what works for you.

- Stowe

Note that the outline could be arbitrarily deep, although these examples are only two deep.

In any case, perhaps some email company will implement this and we can see if it’s helpful. Or someone could hack a Chrome extension, perhaps.

I settled on a title for my book, Leanership: A New Way Of Work.

sign up for the mailing list.

The Core Dilemma Of The Social Web, Today

John Naughton digs into the challenges of living in an open, liberal society when everything we do, say, or feel is being stolen by governments or monetized by the services that provide what we have come to consider our collective public space:

John Naughton, Here’s how data thieves have captured our lives on the internet

Some years ago, when writing a book on understanding the internet, I said that our networked future was bracketed by the dystopian nightmares of two old-Etonian novelists, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. Orwell thought we would be destroyed by the things we fear, while Huxley thought that we would be controlled by the things that delight us. What Snowden has taught us is that the two extremes have converged: the NSA and its franchises are doing the Orwellian bit, while Google, Facebook and co are attending to the Huxleyean side of things.

In The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, his magisterial history of the main communications technologies of the 20th century – telephone, radio, movies and television – the legal scholar Timothy Wu discerned a pattern.

Each technology started out as magnificently open, chaotic, collaborative, creative, exuberant and experimental, but in the end all were “captured” by charismatic entrepreneurs who went on to build huge industrial empires on the back of this capture. This is what has become known as the Wu cycle – “a typical progression of information technologies: from somebody’s hobby to somebody’s industry; from jury-rigged contraption to slick production marvel; from a freely accessible channel to one strictly controlled by a single corporation or cartel – from open to closed system”.

The big question, Wu asked, was whether the internet would be any different? Ten years ago, I would have answered: “Yes.” Having digested Snowden’s revelations, I am less sure, because one of the things he has demonstrated is the extent to which the NSA has suborned the internet companies which have captured the online activities of billions of internet users. It has done this via demands authorised by the secret foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court, but kept secret from the companies’ users; and by tapping into the communications that flow between the companies’ server farms across the world.


The internet companies offered us shiny new “free” services in return for our acceptance of click-wrap “agreements” which allow them to do anything they damn well please with our data and content. And we fell for it. We built the padded cells in which we now gambol and which the NSA bugs at its leisure. - John Naughton


The reason this made sense is because so much of our communications and data are now entrusted to these internet giants. Tapping into them must have seemed a no-brainer to the NSA. After all, Google and Facebook are essentially in the same business as the agency. Its mission – comprehensive surveillance – also happens to be their business model.

The only difference is that whereas the spooks have to jump through some modest legal hoops to inspect our content, the companies get to read it neat. And the great irony is that this has been made possible because of our gullibility. The internet companies offered us shiny new “free” services in return for our acceptance of click-wrap “agreements” which allow them to do anything they damn well please with our data and content. And we fell for it. We built the padded cells in which we now gambol and which the NSA bugs at its leisure.


This is the central dilemma of the social web. If we are to connect with others, we need to share our emotions, habits of mind, heart, and body, and through this sharing we can attract those that we wish to connect with, and they reciprocate. However, those providing the services through which our sociality is mediated access the catalog of what we read and gaze upon, our yearnings, actions, and our dark desires. They tap that emotional flow like a Swiss bank account, and drain it to pay for the servers, fiber, and acqui-hires behind it all. - Stowe Boyd


In our rush for “free” services, we failed to notice how we were being conned. The deal, as presented to us in the End User Licence Agreement, was this: you exchange some of your privacy (in the form of personal information) for the wonderful free services that we (Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype, etc) provide in return. The implication is that privacy is a transactional good – something that you own and that can be traded. But, in these contexts, privacy is an environmental good, not a transactional one. Why? Because when I use, say, Gmail, then I’m not only surrendering my privacy to Google, but the privacy of everyone who writes to me at my Gmail address. They may not have consented to this deal, but their email is being read by Google nonetheless. And before any lawyer (or Sir Malcolm Rifkind) pops up to object that having machines read one’s communications is not the same thing as having a human being do it, let me gently inquire if they are up to speed on machine-learning algorithms? The fact that Mark Zuckerberg is not sitting there sucking his pencil and reading your status updates doesn’t mean that his algorithms aren’t making pretty astute inferences from those same updates – which is why Facebook probably knows that two people are going to have an affair before they do; or why one can make interesting inferences about the nature of a couple’s marriage from inspection of their network graphs.

And this is where the interests of the NSA and the big internet companies converge. For what they have both managed to do is to abolish the practice of anonymous reading which, in the good old analogue days, we regarded as an essential condition for an open, democratic society. In a networked world, the spooks and the companies know everything 
you read, and the companies even know how long you spent on a particular page. And if you don’t think that’s creepy then you haven’t been paying attention.

This is the central dilemma of the social web. If we are to connect with others, we need to share our emotions, habits of mind, heart, and body, and through this sharing we can attract those that we wish to connect with, and they reciprocate. However, those providing the services through which our sociality is mediated access the catalog of what we read and gaze upon, our yearnings, actions, and our dark desires. They tap that emotional flow like a Swiss bank account, and drain it to pay for the servers, fiber, and acqui-hires behind it all. Because everything is a market, and there is always a way to make a market on human desire and our need to find out who we are — and what it all means — through connection with others.

This is a dilemma, however, not some problem that can be solved, like a jigsaw puzzle. A radical curtailing of how Google, Facebook, and Twitter access and analyze our social exhaust may lead to the death of how social works. I fear that like Rilke feared treatment for his schizophrenia:

If you rid me of my demons, my angels might take flight, too. 

With one major exception: we can certainly force our governments to end their headlong quest to create a global surveillance state in the name of the endless war on those opposed to open, liberal societies. (Which means we would wind up where we are: at war with ourselves.)

If we each personally want to trade privacy for connection, to opt to live in a new world dominated by radical openness, a state of publicy, well, that’s our choice. If you dislike how Facebook defines its rights, drop the service (I don’t use it). But, as I said, that’s a choice: to live with the dilemma — inside the dilemma — and extract from it as much (or more!) than it demands from us in exchange.

Nick Bilton On Smart Watches, But It's Mood Detection That Interests Me →

Nick Bilton via

Benedetto Vigna, a general manager at STMicroelectronics, a company that creates sensors for mobile devices, said 2014 would be when we would start to see mood-detecting sensors in phones. Imagine playing a video game that determines your excitement level and adjusts the experience accordingly, he said.

And of course our mood states will be harvested, and the pairing of content and mood will become the high-water mark for media companies. Your phone — through a smartwatch perhaps — can send information to the TV network whose program you are watching and they can select the right ad at the right breakpoint based on aggregated analysis of millions of viewers. And soon, once we get past the cable and move TV onto the internet, they can send different commercials to different people, based on individual mood.

Hungry? Here’s a food ad. Thirsty? Beer. Angry? A subscription to a progressive magazine, or a Fox News show, depending on how you swing. 

And the political operatives could tap into the future fire hose of emotions to craft which words should go into new week’s debate answers, or what color clothing suits Elizabeth Warren best.

Mining emotions will be a new job category: ‘Senior Emotion Hacker, fulltime, for our New York City operations.’

Why I Will Never Post A Comment On Huffington Post Again

Tim Mcdonald, Huffinton Post’s director of community, has announced that posting comments on HuffPo henceforth will require a Facebook identity, unless you apply for permission to post anonymously:

Tim Mcdonald, Turning the Page on Anonymity: The Future of HuffPost Comments

Now, as Arianna Huffington announced earlier this year, we’re going a step further to evolve our platform — which has always been about community and engagement — to meet the needs of the grown-up Internet. On December 10, after weeks of fine-tuning our commenting technology and platform, we are pulling the switch in a way that will keep the best parts about commenting on HuffPost while bringing more civility and accountability to the experience.

Here’s how to get started under this new system. When you log in to your account and go to make a comment, you will be prompted to link your commenting account to your verified Facebook account. Then, choose how you’d like your name to be displayed. You can either display your first and last names, or your first name and last initial. This is the only information that will be viewable to the community at large, and you will have control over your private information via Facebook’s privacy settings.

verified account

If you do not want to link your Huffington Post account to Facebook, you can still log in to your account and fan and fave other users and their comments. And if, for whatever reason, you fear posting a comment under your name — if you are a whistleblower, or fear harassment, or any other reason — you can apply for the right to comment anonymously by filling out this form.

Oh, yes, how very grown up! You must use only this one identity, and at all times and in all contexts, and we’ll put that power in the hands of a company — Facebook — that has proven itself incapable of putting the interests of people ahead of corporatism.

Now that Zuckerberg and co. are turning the Facebook news feed into a daily newspaper, maybe Facebook will acquire AOL and integrate HuffPo into the user experience directly.


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