What Matters Most? (pdf)
Reflections for the Discussions on Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for Human Development, Growth and Poverty Reduction, By Ineke Buskens
BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats. The format has also been used for a variety of other topics, including public transit, health care, and political organizing.
25/03/09 China bans Google
28/02/09 Amazon caves to bullies
Amazon has caved into demands from the Authors Guild that it disable the ability of the Kindle to read a book aloud. This is very bad news.
We had this battle before. In 2001, Adobe released e-book technology that gave rights holders (including publishers of public domain books) the ability to control whether the Adobe e-book reader read the book aloud. The story got famous when it was shown that one of its public domain works — Alice's Adventures in Wonderland — was marked to forbid the book to be read aloud. (Here's a piece I wrote about this in 2001).
Now the issue is back. The Authors Guild has objected because Amazon's Kindle 2 has a function built in that enables the book to be read aloud. So when, for example, you're commuting, you can plug your Kindle 2 into your MP3 jack and have the book read aloud.
17/02/09 Openness and business models
In openness we trust: Can the New York Times make money by opening up its databases?
New research challenges assumption that having research published in open access journals and other free sources leads to more exposure and citations
The results were surprising. On average, when a given publication was made available online after being in print for a year, being published in an open source format increased the use of that article by about 8 percent. When articles are made available online in a commercial format a year after publication, however, usage increases by about 12 percent.
"Across the scientific community," Evans said in an interview, "it turns out that open access does have a positive impact on the attention that's given to the journal articles, but it's a small impact."
Yet Evans and Reimer's research also points to one very positive impact of the open source movement that is sometimes overlooked in the debate about scholarly publications. Researchers in the developing world, where research funding and libraries are not as robust as they are in wealthier countries, were far more likely to read and cite open source articles.
The University of Chicago team concludes that outside the developed world, the open source movement "widens the global circle of those who can participate in science and benefit from it."
When the Wikipedia pages for Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd both say that the men have died (when in fact they haven't) and the changes are reverted five minutes later, is it a public relations disaster for the online encyclopedia or triumph of the communal editing model?
Hardcore Wikipedians are currently working through the answer to that question, and the end result of the deliberations could be a new process for flagging revisions to contentious articles. Wikipedia is no stranger to article vandalism, and it's not as though the world isn't aware of that fact by now (see Stephen Colbert's attempt to rewrite the entry for "elephant," for instance, or last week's episode of 30 Rock). But the edits to the Byrd and Kennedy bios attracted national attention after the Washington Post ran a piece about the five minutes of inaccuracy.
In response, Wikipedia cofounder Jimbo Wales demanded the use of "flagged revisions," a process that would only allow trusted editors to make changes to particular parts of the site—perhaps only to the biographies of living people (BLP), for instance. Unvetted editors could still make changes, but they would have to be approved by a reliable editor before going live for the rest of the world to see.
09/02/09 Google Finds Drones in Pakistan