Dekortage writes: Dr. Larry Brilliant is stepping down as executive director of Google.org. He also suggested on his blog that Google may cut back on funding charity projects that aren't closely aligned with Google's own internal projects, although they remain committed to spending 1% of Google's value on philanthrophy. Google.org will now be run by Megan Smith, who will juggle that job while staying vice president of new business development.
Dekortage writes: The U.S. is not so behind in broadband, at least according to the Connectivity Scorecard. Commissioned by Nokia and Siemens and designed by British economics professor Leonard Waverman, the study ranked the U.S. first of in being "usefully connected," saying: "PC penetration of businesses is excellent, and the country is first overall in terms of secure server deployment... a large proportion of companies buy and sell online, business spending on IT is high, and enterprise telephony also enjoys good penetration." Maybe it isn't size of your bandwidth that matters, but how you use it.
Dekortage writes: "Macintouch has posted a fairly positive review of the $199 EFI-X USB Boot Module, a motherboard add-on which adds a full EFI boot environment to compatible PC systems. Among other things, this means that you can install Mac OS X 10.5 from an Apple installer disk without any "Hackintosh" software mods. Macintouch's review also explores the legal issues surrounding this (including a lengthy discussion of EULAs and thePystarcase), and concludes that EFI-X is not at risk because it is an "implementation of the public specification for the Extensible Firmware Interface... completely independent of Apple, Inc." EFI-X also supports Windows Vista x64, Linux, OpenSolaris, and HP-UX."
Dekortage writes: "Typically, a big election involves each side spreading mis-truths and lies about the other side. This year has been no different. FactCheck.org has done a great job listing The Whoppers of 2008 — and its sequel — to highlight some of the more egregious examples of dishonesty slung by the two biggest U.S. presidential campaigns. If you're still undecided, this may be your last day for objective research before voting tomorrow. What other sites do you refer to for "objective" coverage?"
Dekortage writes: This coming Saturday is the deadline to join Scarlett Johansson, Bono, Desmond Tutu, Elle McPherson, Will.I.Am, and many others in the In My Name campaign. Your goal is to tell world leaders what you think they should do to end global poverty and support the eight Millennium Development Goals; you could be included in a final video shown before the U.N. Not familiar with the MDGs? Check out the campaign's informational videos on the topic, as described by major international nonprofits such as CARE and EngenderHealth.
Dekortage writes: "According to the latest ComScore rankings, YouTube's search traffic for August surpassed Yahoo's. The latter dropped roughly 5% in traffic from July. Among other things, this means that Google now owns both of the top two search engines. AdAge further speculates on Google's experimental "promoted videos" cost-per-click advertising on YouTube, suggesting the obvious: more money."
Dekortage writes: Seven years ago, the United Nations adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for combating poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and more, all by 2015. Today, YouTube and Will.I.Am are teaming up to launch the "In My Name" campaign, asking everyone to submit videos with MDG-related requests of their governments. Even if you are not going to post a video, it is still worth your time to check out the eight MDG introductory videos by major international nonprofits such as CARE, EngenderHealth, March of Dimes, Save the Children, and others, as a quick primer on some of the world's most dire problems.
Dekortage writes: "Although women's issues are rarely discussed on Slashdot, it appears that woman-oriented blogs and sites are growing faster than any other segment except political sites — 35% in the last year alone. Though men are heavy users of the Web, they rarely visit explicitly gender-oriented sites the way women do. Advertisers are taking note, serving up more ads on women's sites than for sites aimed at teens, children, or families. Sometimes the sites get very personal, but that is part of the appeal. As one marketer notes, "Women are more than half the population and they do most of the shopping." Is a woman-oriented Slashdot on the horizon?"
Dekortage writes: "On the heels of learning that some of the televised fireworks were CGI creations, it turns out that the Chinese anthem sung at the Olympics was also faked. 9-year-old Lin Miaoke performed Hymn to the Motherland on stage, but the voice we all heard was actually that of 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, whom the Communist Party's Politburo deemed a better singer, though not as cute. The music designer for the ceremonies said, "The audience will understand that it's in the national interest." Meanwhile, there has been outrage by bloggers and others about this in China, followed by a government-imposed media blackout on the topic."
Dekortage writes: "As today's lawsuit indicates, Hasbro has apparently had enough of Scrabulous, the online word game remarkably similar to Scrabble. Filed in New York, Hasbro's suit is against Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, brothers from Kolkata, India, and asks the court to remove the Scrabulous application from Facebook, disable the Scrabulous.com web site, and grant damages and attorneys fees to Hasbro. Why did Hasbro tale so long to "protect" its intellectual property rights in court? They waited "in deference to the fans" until EA had launched the official Scrabble Facebook app earlier this month. EA's version has netted fewer than ten thousand players, versus Scrabulous' estimated 2.3 million. This was the next logical step for Hasbro after filing DCMA takedown notices against Scrabulous in January."
phlurg writes: "The New York Times presents an amazing article on "the Mundaneum," a sort of proto-WWW conceived of by Paul Otlet in 1934.
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."
eweekhickins writes: "Net neutrality has finally emerged as a campaign issue instead of a sideshow for tech geeks. Presidential candidate Barack Obama said in Iowa that unless net neutrality legislation is enacted, "You could get much better quality from the Fox News site and you'd be getting rotten service from some mom and pop site." Sounds like that prospect doesn't give him the warm and fuzzies."