SpicyBrownMustard writes: Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet. By pushing the play button, you will set off on a trip through Malte Spitz's life. The speed controller allows you to adjust how fast you travel, the pause button will let you stop at interesting points. In addition, a calendar at the bottom shows when he was in a particular location and can be used to jump to a specific time period. Each column corresponds to one day.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Forbes has an article that follows up on the news/hype/buzz/hysteria of the acquisitions of Summly and Wavii and Yahoo and Google respectively. It's a rather comical write up with a rather sad ring of truth to it, especially that we now know that Summly was little more than a collection of existing technologies built by others. Summaries are the "big new thing" apparently. Don't miss out, make your summarization app today and ride that train of gravy!
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Stremor is announcing a new kind of search engine. They call it a language heuristics engine. Truly the “Holy Grail” of Big Data, a system capable of taking unstructured data from emails, web pages, and any document that uses sentences and converts it to structured, minable, normalized data.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Content shortening looks to be a growing trend and now there's a Chrome extension (presumably more browsers in the future) that claims to summarize the content of any online article, email, or content in Salesforce. Forbes writes about it here, Don't Have Time To Read This Article? There's An App For That. The TLDR Plugin is an extension from a company called Stremor and apparently uses a language heuristics backend to automatically shorten content. Forbes also mentions Summly, an iPhone app (that I still can't get to work), that only shows summaries of hand selected news stories for mobile users. I've seen lots online articles bloated with keyword spam often enough to know that this TLDR Pluging could be helpful. What does Slashdot think?
SpicyBrownMustard writes: This week, a company called Stremor released a website, unpartial.com that uses a language heuristics engine to score the credibility of political news. But in an apparent interview with Forbes it looks like the longer term goal is better search. “Liquid Helium, on the other hand, has the ability to fully understand the intent and context of the content on the page. This deep understanding enables reliable audience matching and content discovery methods that ultimately provides the user with timely and appropriate results. As Liquid Helium is largely powered by its ability to vet the credibility of content, it goes one step beyond the current trend of social search.”
SpicyBrownMustard writes: There's no secret to a rising level of "Silicon Valley fatigue" lately, and the new reality show certainly isn't helping. And with hacker hostels packing in twenty somethings fueling the "it's okay to fail" incubator culture that now is actually hurting startups, it's no wonder weariness with the culture is setting in. Forbes.com asks the question, Is Phoenix The Next Silicon Valley (also picked up by Chicago Tribune), covering a startup with a couple names you might know who picked Phoenix due to its much lower cost of living and quality of life. Quoting the startup's CTO, "Wirtz explains that having so much more financial freedom lowers the stress associated with working for a startup, as he can enjoy work/live balance." Their location certainly didn't hurt fund raising as they managed $2 million in seed capital. Are we indeed done with Silicon Valley for tech startups?
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Wire magazine has coverage of the sudden numerous lawsuits filed by Righthaven, LLC regarding the content of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he’s making money." The owner of the LVRJ comments on the strategy and the Las Vegas Sun has extensive coverage of each suit filed. The owner of one site has apparently settled for more than the site has made in six years. Media Matters suspects many if most of the suits may be politically motivated, and violates federal election law.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Righthaven, LLC has acquire the copyright for all content on the Las Vegas Review-Journal and is ignoring established DMCA take down procedures, and filing suit against dozens of small websites for "copying" the content of the LVRJ. The Las Vegas Sun has extensive coverage of the 72 suits filed in Nevada, which include demands for transfer of the domains of the sites they're suing. The owner of acdc-bootlegs.com has apparently settled for more money than he made from his site in the past six years. Mediamatters.org has also been covering the activity, and believes the actions are politically motivated and against federal law. All defendants have indicated they've been sued without any prior contact in the form of a take-down notice. A stop the LVRJ/RIGHTHAVEN witch hunt! Facebook group has started, and some of the recent targets appear to have the means to fight Righthaven and the LVRJ.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: Newly discovered evidence in the form of the Ruby Pipeline project contract ties BP to another environmental catastrophe under way in the western states of the US, the systematic removal and eventual destruction of federally protected wild mustang horses from public land, with the aid of the US Department of The Interior, in violation of federal law. BP is a primary investor in the natural gas pipeline being built through federally-protected wild mustang ranges in western states, resulting in a "Hiroshima" level devastation (as described by a pipeline worker) of the ecology and horses as a result of illegal wild horse roundups by the US Department of Interior. The video investigation covers the collusion of big oil and gas companies with the federal government to destroy a protected species to make way for the pipeline.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: BP has NEVER shown us the main leak: This has been troubling me for several weeks now. I knew there was something wrong with the live feed we were being shown by BP from the gulf oil spill. I just couldn't figure it out until now. They are still showing the PIPE leak from the two smaller pipes, not the actual wellhead leak. To prove it, here is a video from Yahoo of the feed from a couple weeks ago along with the attempt at dropping the dome onto the leak.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: The Anti-Defamation League published a recent report that classifies online political discourse as inciting violence, terrorism, and worse. One site featured in the report, abovetopsecret published a critical analysis titled, Internet Users Have Been Defamed by the Anti-Defamation League, among the most important is that the authors of the report never cited their sources, and sensationalized online quotes that were taken mercilessly out of context. We all know people tend to be much more macho when posting online than in real-life, is this an example of a political group taking advantage of that aspect of the Internet culture in an effort to quell the expression political frustration online?
SpicyBrownMustard writes: A poster going by the pseudonym of "Misoir" reports that his supervisor has threatened to fire him over a web site he visits on his personal time. He writes: "I work weekends at a grocery store called Win Dixie. Yesterday I was on a lunch break and the store supervisor walked up to me while I was sitting on a bench and on Above Top Secret via my laptop and he walked over and leaned against the wall. Then he leaned forward and told me that he doesn't want me visiting these websites because they lie and distort facts. I was stunned and did not reply, and then he started to walk away and told me if he catches me on this website again I will be fired." His full story is related here which brings up a number of interesting questions, including; can an employer rightfully control the online access of workers during break time?
SpicyBrownMustard writes: There's been a great deal written about Representative Rick Boucher's efforts to impose an overt opt-in standard on all websites before showing third-party advertising (AdSense, ValueClick, etc.) to visitors. Boucher's stated claim is that, as the chairman of the House Subcommittee on telecommunications technology and the Internet he's very concerned about our privacy. However, the conspiracy theorists see a slightly different and much more nefarious motive, pulling the "financial rug" out form under independent websites, shifting the power and control back to big media, which just happens to be Boucher's campaign donors. The article by a "mister old school" proposes, "To the average person, this may seem like a drastic but reasonable action to ensure online privacy, in reality, it's a systematic plan of genocide that will destroy independent thought on the Internet." We may not particularly like much of the online ads we see, but the fact is, for sites like Slashdot, it pays the bills. What do Slashdotters think of this? Conspiracy or pandering?
SpicyBrownMustard writes: US Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) is contemplating the introduction of legislation that would essentially put an end to online advertising as we know it today, requiring advertisers to allow website users to "opt-in" before seeing any ads that use or create cookies for optimization or targeting purposes. "If Congress is leaning in that direction, it would mark a big shift in sentiment from last year, when some leading policymakers said that ISP-based targeting should require opt-in consent, but that cookie-based targeting requires only opt-out consent." This would result in a catastrophic shift in the only currently viable online economic model, destroying the ability of millions of small independent websites to survive.
SpicyBrownMustard writes: The person who broke the story on counterfeit routers installed on secure networks is speculating that GhostNet is a "weapons test" for cyber warfare. He writes, again on abovetopsecret: "GhostNet is cataloging potential networks and refining the cyber weapons for the next round of attacks. The activity seen thus far has been proof-of-concept tests of computer take-over software in preparation for larger-scale attacks." This is a startling reminder of the concerns we had over the Chinese counterfeit routers, now coupled with the high probability that GhostNet may have the backing of elements of the Chinese government.