Monthly Archives: June 2003

Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster

Useit.Com: Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster. Information foraging is the most important concept to emerge from Human-Computer Interaction research since 1993. Developed at Xerox PARC by Stuart Card, Peter Pirolli, and colleagues, information foraging uses the analogy of wild animals gathering food to analyze how humans collect information online. [Tomalak's Realm]

Making it tough on digital thieves

Boston Globe Online / Business / Making it tough on digital thieves. PC owners can take simple steps to keep vandals at bay

''Nobody's configuring their routers,'' said Ford, owner of Blue Island Technology, a Somerville-based residential wireless networking company. ''Most don't have passwords.''

Instead, they brought them home, switched them on, and invited the unwelcome attention of any computer criminal within the router's 300-foot transmission range.

Dial-up machines are rarely connected for more than a few hours, offer very slow network speed, and usually get a different digital Internet address each time they log on. But broadband machines offer fast data throughput, and stay connected at the same address for days, weeks, or months. That makes them more useful to their owners, but far more susceptible to attack.

The vulnerability of home machines threatens the security of the whole network. A PC, once compromised, can be used as the launching pad for attacks on other computers. For example, the e-mail security firm MessageLabs said last week that it has found evidence junk e-mailers are using a virus that causes infected computers to pump out spam messages to other Internet addresses.  [Privacy Digest]

I spent several very frustrating hours today wrestling with an Apple software update for my 12 inch PowerBook G4.  The Airport 3.1 update makes my Airport Extreme card somehow incompatible with my SMC 802.11b access point.  The PowerBook can see the access point, but I receive a message that says “An error occurred while joining the selected Airport network.”  I had to reinstall OS X in order to get things working again, as there seems to be no way to roll back the update.

ConsultWeb Newsletter

ConsultWeb Newsletter. Consultant/lawyer Dale Tincher's most recent newsletter is available. One of his clients reports getting an average of 25 new workman's compensation clients from her Tincher-designed web site. Dale is very knowledgeable, and, more important, has very sound judgment. Like myself, Dale believes in the marketing power of focused web sites. A few of his recent examples are the New York Asbestos site, the Trucking Negligence site and the Dog Bite Injury Law site. One of his specialties is the often-overlooked, but critical art of promoting a web site. He provides a good overview of web site promotion. As best I can tell from a cursory examination, Dale hasn't gotten into blogs much yet, but given his savvy, especially about search engines & focused marketing, I expect he will. [net.law.blog]

Sky Dayton Recruits Venues

Sky Dayton Recruits Venues. Sky Dayton recruits venues through Entrepreneur magazine: Boingo CEO Sky Dayton co-authored an article in Entrepreneur's July issue on why and how to become a Wi-Fi hot spot if you're on the real-estate side. Makes sense for them to recruit, because thousands of disparate locations, self-funded using turnkey soutions, provide them more revenue with little cost and create at least the perception that hot spot service is increasing. The article is quite a detailed primer which gives some insight into Boingo's overall approach. If you don't buy into Boingo's world view, then you won't buy into the article, for sure. Craig Plunkett of CEDX is noted in a sidebar. Craig has sought good venues and partnerships, and is a frequent correspondent to this blogger, providing insight into the east coast market. Rick Ehrlinspiel of Surf and Sip is noted in another sidebar. Rick was just a panelist on a the Will People Pay for Hotspot Service? session I moderated in Boston yesterday…. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

Russell on Vacation Time

Russell on Vacation Time. One of the first blogs I began reading was Russell Beattie's Notebook. I don't remember how I found him, but I immeditately like his writing style and the fact that his posts often taught me things or made me think about something. Go read his Vacation Time post. It's good to hear a U.S. citizen's perspective on the European approach to vacation time. They're a lot smarter than we are. … [Jeremy Zawodny's blog]

Wireless Sensor Network Nation

Wireless Sensor Network Nation. Imagine sprinkling tiny sensors on road and fields for surveillance, putting them in buildings and bridges to monitor structural health, and installing them in industrial facilities to manage energy, inventory and manufacturing processes.That's the idea behind the emerging technology of wireless sensor networks (see “Casting the Wireless Sensor Net”). Boston-based Ember is at the epicenter of this field. The MIT spinoff sells radio chips with embedded processors that can organize themselves into networks to manage real-world data from sensors. Ember CTO Robert Poor-whose past life includes stints as a programmer in the computer graphics group that became Pixar and as a guitar technician for the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia-spoke with Technology Review staff writer Gregory T. Huang about his visions of a world filled with wirelessly networked devices. [Smart Mobs]

Nerd Wars: An Echo for RSS

Nerd Wars: An Echo for RSS. I've been humiliated by Dave Winer before. He's a talented writer, and can make you feel really small if he wants to. Big deal; in general, he has a big heart and a generous spirit, he just has occasional lapses like everyone else. The sad thing is that because he pours his heart out in his weblog, you get to see the whole Dave, warts and all. Now he's offended a critical mass of people…

In the past few weeks, RSS and Dave Winer has been tortured because a group of developers disagreed with or were pushed by Dave to develop a new format called Echo. From Tim Bray's comments, it appears that new Echo format is going to look a lot like RSS. Frankly i would prefer an RSS 3.0 spec with Dave's participation instead of an Echo 0.1, but i can see why Dave is staying at the periphery.  [PHP Everywhere]

Not a happy citizen!

Not a happy citizen!.

Secret 'Justice' a Grotesque Notion. Jeff Jarvis, whom I greatly admire, takes me to task for this recent posting in which I pointed at this… [Dan Gillmor's eJournal]

I've been doing some thinking about citizens vs. the state lately which, in my mind, dovetails neatly with the issues Dan is raising.

Something I have an increasingly hard time with is this:

  • By what right does the state keep secrets, any secrets, from the people from whom it derives a mandate to exist?

I find it impossible to sit here an be another happy citizen when the state acts without consideration for my feelings or interests beyond what it thinks will persuade me to it's agenda.  And don't tell me to vote for someone else because the politicians aren't the problem.

I feel that politics today is a symptom and not a cause of my unhappiness.  As a child growing up under Thatcher I grew to hate the Tories and their me! me! value system.  When I got the chance I voted New Labour and rousted them from office.  Am I happy now?

The government I elected (twice) is now eager to:

and so on.  But they didn't seem to eager before they got into office.  Are they just two-faced, chicken-hearted, backstabbers?  Or is something else going on?

I think the problem is that, in Britain and the US, the revolving door between corporate business & the beauracracy has delivered something new.  Politics is the show, like the waving of the stage magicians hands, the dirty business is going on out back.

This is why voter turnouts diminish year on year:  Changing the politician doesn't change the policy.  Collectively we are suffering the principle of learned helplessness.

I want to do something about all this, but I don't know what.  [Curiouser and curiouser!]