David Kirkpatrick

November 19, 2009

HTML5 at least two years away

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:43 pm

I’ve blogged about HTML5 before and covered its support in Chrome 3.o. Here’s the latest news about the web language.

From the third link:

While the language itself is almost fully baked, HTML5 won’t fully arrive for at least another two years, according to one of the men charged with its design.

“I don’t expect to see full implementation of HTML5 across all the major browsers until the end of 2011 at least,” says Philippe Le Hegaret, interaction domain leader for the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), who oversees the development of HTML5.

He tells Webmonkey the specification outlining the long-promised rewrite of the web’s underlying language will be ready towards the end of 2010, but because of varying levels of support across different browsers, especially in the areas of video and animation, we’re in for a longer wait.

July 8, 2009

The internet — to the stars and beyond

Via KurzweilAI.net — This is just cool.

Interplanetary internet gets permanent home in space
New Scientist Space, July 6, 2009

The interplanetary Internet now has its first permanent node in space, aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

It could one day allow data to flow between Earth, spacecraft, and astronauts automatically, using delay-tolerant networking (DTN) to cope with the patchy coverage in space that arises when spacecraft pass behind planets or suffer power outages.

NASA aims to have the DTN protocol ready for use on future spacecraft by the end of 2011.

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February 6, 2009

Job loss and the internet

Seems as though the internet is providing some distraction and solace for those who are out of work right now.

Online gaming is huge (it’s always been a distraction for me, but I work out of my home office in front of a computer most of the day), social networking is popular and the involuntarily idle are blogging, tweeting and IMing with abandon.

Sounds like all this activity is a good thing given our current economic situation.

From the WSJ link:

Internet games, gambling and other forms of online entertainment have seen significant surges in use in the several months since the economic downturn deepened. Social-networking services like Facebook, blogs and discussion forums — all well-known time sinks even during good times — are also seeing strong growth. Some purveyors of online entertainment say business has never been so good for them.

Robert Kraut, a professor of social psychology and human computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says games and other forms of entertainment can provide escape for people steeped in anxieties about the economy. “There’s evidence these distractions have a psychological benefit because they prevent a downward spiral of rumination,” says Dr. Kraut.

The trend echoes the escape mechanisms that people turned to during the Great Depression in the 1930s. At the time, people paid a nickel to spend entire afternoons and evenings watching films featuring Charlie Chaplin and others, cartoons and newsreels, says Gary Handman, a director at the Media Resources Center at the University of California at Berkeley.

December 28, 2008

Great Aussie Firewall

Very disappointing news from the land down under.

From the link:

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government – mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

“This is obviously censorship,” said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.

The list of prohibited sites, which the government isn’t making public, is arbitrary and not subject to legal scrutiny, Smith said, leaving it to the government or lawmakers to pursue their own online agendas.

“I think the money would be better spent in investing in law enforcement and targeting producers of child porn,” he said.

Internet providers say a filter could slow browsing speeds, and many question whether it would achieve its intended goals. Illegal material such as child pornography is often traded on peer-to-peer networks or chats, which would not be covered by the filter.

“People don’t openly post child porn, the same way you can’t walk into a store in Sydney and buy a machine gun,” said Geordie Guy, spokesman for Electronic Frontiers Australia, an Internet advocacy organization. “A filter of this nature only blocks material on public Web sites. But illicit material … is traded on the black market, through secret channels.”

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy proposed the filter earlier this year, following up on a promise of the year-old Labor Party government to make the Internet cleaner and safer.

November 29, 2008

Canadian internet access?

Filed under: Arts, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:11 pm

Not so much.

Here’s an informative post from Cory Doctorow at boing boing titled, “Canada’s Internet is crap.”

Good thing a Democrat won the Oval Office this year or all those hippies who’ve been threatening to move north for the last eight years would have to deal with sub par net access.

From the link:

Every time I think about moving back to Canada some day, I remind myself of how miserable the national Internet infrastructure is — and how awful the big telcos are, and how weak-kneed and ass-licking the telcoms regulator is — and I realize I can’t possibly move home. The Internet’s where I live, it’s how I earn my income. Living on Canada’s Internet would be better than living on China’s Internet, say, but that’s a pretty low bar to hurdle.

1. Last week the CRTC sided with Bell against a group of small Internet Service Providers who want to offer their customers unthrottled connections where what they download is their own business and not subject to interference.

November 26, 2008

Obama and the internet

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:59 am

After deftly harnessing the web during the long campaign, it’s expected the Obama administration will continue its groundbreaking political use of the internet. During the campaign Obama garnered a half a billion dollars from over 3 million donors and utilized the net for all manner of organization (you can find a blog post of mine on his campaign’s tech here.)  

From the first link:

With the campaign having learned what kinds of results you get from social-networking sites, viral videos, email lists, and text-messaging, it’s not hard to imagine that this administration will operate far differently than its predecessors. Sure, it’s not clear what shape it will take: how much YouTube, how much social-networking, how many email blasts from the White House or from proxies. Getting it right will be tricky. But clearly, Obama’s recent “radio address” on YouTube is a taste of things to come. I spoke yesterday with Thomas Gensemer, managing partner of Blue State Digital, the company that set up the social networking tools for the campaign (and which supplied the numbers above). He said: “My biggest outsider claim is this: The way the campaign helped inform critical decision-makers of the value of digital assets, means [these assets] will have a significant role in the ongoing administration.”

October 16, 2008

Spam operation busted

Filed under: Business, et.al., Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:19 am

I knew my spam pretty much disappeared, and here’s the reason. Kudos to all law enforcement enforcement involved. Thank you.

From the link:

Steve Baker, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Midwest Region announces that the FTC has shut down one of the largest spam operations in the world Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008, at a news conference in Chicago. The complex network involved countries from New Zealand to China to the United States. Spammers sent out billions of e-mails encouraging people to click through to professional-looking Web sites, which allegedly used false claims to peddle prescription medication, “male enhancement” pills and weight-loss drugs, the FTC said.

August 20, 2008

The dumb side of Web 2.0

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:04 pm

Not all Web 2.0 sites out there are useful. Some it could be argued are nothing more than solutions looking for non-existent problems.

CIO.com served up the 14 most ridiculous sites they could find:

Alas, not every Web 2.0 site is a winner. Many are vague, pointless, or just plain silly. As Web critic Nicholas Carr notes, “If I were called in to rename Web 2.0, I think I’d call it Gilligan’s Web,” after the goofy ’60s sitcom.

How do you identify a dumb Web 2.0 site? First, the site’s mission statement must be impenetrable. (“Spotback is a personalized rating system that recommends relevant content based on personal rating history using collaborative filtering and aggregated knowledge technologies.” Huh?) Second, the site must solve a problem that has been solved a million times already or didn’t need solving in the first place. Third, its name must love the letter “r” but eschew vowels ( Drivl, Grazr, Hngry), or be a refugee from “Jabberwocky” ( CurdBee, Egghub, Humyo, Jiffle).

Here are 14 of the silliest and most redundant, tasteless, or mystifying Web 2.0 sites. Warning: Visiting these sites may impair higher brain functions.

June 23, 2008

Parsing the future of the World Wide Web

Filed under: Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:16 pm

Here’s cool bit from Technology Review with short responses from a number of luminaries when asked where the Web will be in five to ten years.

A sample of the responders:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and inventor of the Web; Cambridge, MA

Vint Cerf
Vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google and co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet; McLean, VA

Richard Stallman
Main developer of the GNU/Linux system and founder of the Free Software Movement; Cambridge, MA


June 12, 2008

The internet is changing our brains

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:24 am

Just read Nicholas Carr’s piece in the July/August 2008 print Atlantic Monthly, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The article raises some very interesting points, most importantly bringing into sharper focus the relatively new neuroscience idea that our brain continually changes, improves and otherwise re-wires itself. This is counter the long-held belief that once you reach adulthood, your brain is permanentlyset. Sort of like concrete poured into a mold. Instead the medium a malleable, and the mold is constantly refiguring itself.

The larger concept is the internet, and its unique structure, is affecting the way we access and process information. Certainly true. I’ve included an excerpt from the article about how acquiring a typewriter affected Nietzsche’s writing.

I completely understand this idea. When writing for business or media I use the computer keyboard, but when writing fiction I often will write in longhand. It’s a different experience and it slows my thinking down forcing me to contemplate each word a bit more. Sure I do some fiction at the keyboard, but much of that writing is done with pen set to paper. And my journal of many years is one hundred percent longhand. Something about the pen, or pencil, scratching across the page still appeals to me. Plus I like looking at the large stack of spiral-bound notebooks holding my thoughts dating back twenty-plus years.

From the article:

Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page.

But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. “Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,” the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his “‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.”

“You are right,” Nietzsche replied, “our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.” Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler, Nietzsche’s prose “changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.”

The human brain is almost infinitely malleable. People used to think that our mental meshwork, the dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that’s not the case. James Olds, a professor of neuroscience who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University, says that even the adult mind “is very plastic.” Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. “The brain,” according to Olds, “has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly, altering the way it functions.”

April 21, 2008

Putting a thumb on the scales …

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:25 pm

… a bit, AT&T?

From KurzweilAI.net:

AT&T: Internet to hit full capacity by 2010
CNET News.Com, April 18, 2008

AT&T has claimed that, without investment, the Internet‘s current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010, due to the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.

“In three years’ time, 20 typical households will generate more traffic than the entire Internet today,” said AT&T vice president Jim Cicconi, and that a new wave of broadband traffic would increase 50-fold by 2015, driven by high-definition video, which is 7 to 10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today.

He said that at least $55 billion worth of investment was needed in new infrastructure in the next three years in the U.S. alone, with the figure rising to $130 billion to improve the network worldwide.

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