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Links for July 25th through August 7th:

  • Pinger makes good things for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
  • Op-Ed Contributor – Hiroshima and the Art of Outrage – – In Edward W. Said’s last book, “On Late Style,” he gives many examples of artists (composers, musicians, poets, writers) whose work as they grew older contained a peculiar sort of concentrated tension, hovering on the brink of catastrophe, and who, in their later years, used that tension to express their epochs, their worlds, their societies, themselves.

    As for me, on the day last week when I learned about the revival of the nuclear-umbrella ideology, I looked at myself sitting alone in my study in the dead of night . . . . . . and what I saw was an aged, powerless human being, motionless under the weight of this great outrage, just feeling the peculiarly concentrated tension, as if doing so (while doing nothing) were an art form in itself. And for that old Japanese man, perhaps sitting there alone in silent protest will be his own “late work.”

  • On the Web’s Cutting Edge, Anonymity in Name Only – – n fact, [x+1]'s assessment of Mr. Burney's location and Nielsen demographic segment are specific enough that it comes extremely close to identifying him as an individual—that is, "de- anonymizing" him—according to Peter Eckersley, staff scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy-advocacy group.

    Mr. Eckersley does research in the field of de-anonymization, the mathematics of identifying individuals based on a few specific details from their life. In the jargon of the field, Mr. Eckersley says, all that's needed to uniquely identify one person is a total of 33 "bits" of information about him or her.

    Calculating "bits" gets complex, as some facts about a person are more valuable—and thus have more "bits"—than others. ZIP codes and birthdates, for instance, are extremely valuable when zeroing in on individuals.

  • shopkick
  • Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy – – What's more, even if consumers turn the feature on, Microsoft designed the browser so InPrivate Filtering doesn't stay on permanently. Users must activate the privacy setting every time they start up the browser.
  • The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets – – Clearspring, based in McLean, Va., says the 55 Flash cookies were a mistake.
  • Personal Details Exposed Via Biggest U.S. Websites – – If "you were in the Gap, and the sales associate said to you, 'OK, from now on, since you shopped here today, we are going to follow you around the mall and view your consumer transactions,' no person would ever agree to that," Sen. George LeMieux, R-Florida, said this week in a Senate hearing on Internet privacy
  • Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring | Danger Room | – “The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases,” says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science.

    Which naturally makes the 16-person Cambridge, Massachusetts, firm attractive to Google Ventures, the search giant’s investment division, and to In-Q-Tel, which handles similar duties for the CIA and the wider intelligence community.

    It’s not the very first time Google has done business with America’s spy agencies. Long before it reportedly enlisted the help of the National Security Agency to secure its networks, Google sold equipment to the secret signals-intelligence group. In-Q-Tel backed the mapping firm Keyhole, which was bought by Google in 2004 — and then became the backbone for Google Earth.

    Read More

  • FTC Looking Into Do-Not-Track Option for Avoiding Behavioral Ads – 2010-07-27 20:52:04 | Broadcasting & Cable – That recommendation could be part of a report the FTC is planning to release this fall.

    Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) said he wanted to be kept abreast of the do-not-track option consideration. Leibowitz also said other FTC recommendations would likely include getting businesses to "bake in" best practices for information protection and data sharing notice and consent, and ways to make information consent sharing policies clearer and available at the point of decision rather than several clicks away and buried in fine print. Leibowitz said that in most circumstances, opt-in privacy policies were best, but always when a policy is being changed or when the information is sensitive material like social security numbers, medical info or bank records. He said that given the FTC's limited rulemaking authority and lack of civil fining authority, the commission would continue to work with industry, ..

  • Twitter Under Crisis: Can we trust what we RT? | Yahoo! Research – In this article we explore the behavior of Twitter users under an emergency situation. In particular, we analyze the activity related to the 2010 earthquake in Chile and characterize Twitter in the hours and days following this disaster. Furthermore, we perform a preliminary study of certain social phenomenons, such as the dissemination of false rumors and confirmed news. We analyze how this information propagated through the Twitter network, with the purpose of assessing the reliability of Twitter as an information source under extreme circumstances.
  • Buzz by Google Research – For several years, Google has been analyzing television set-top box data to measure audience response to specific TV ads. This paper presents how similar techniques can be applied to online video advertising on YouTube. As more and more video programming is made available online, it will become increasingly important to understand how to engage with online viewers through video advertising. Furthermore, we find that viewing behavior is even more effected by specific video ad creatives online than it is on TV. This suggests that online viewing can become a valuable source data on viewer response to video ad creatives more generally.
  • Suggesting Friends Using the Implicit Social Graph, – Although users of online communication tools rarely categorize their contacts into groups such as "family", "co-workers", or "jogging buddies", they nonetheless implicitly cluster contacts, by virtue of their interactions with them, forming implicit groups. In this paper, we describe the implicit social graph which is formed by users' interactions with contacts and groups of contacts, and which is distinct from explicit social graphs in which users explicitly add other individuals as their "friends". We introduce an interaction-based metric for estimating a user's affinity to his contacts and groups. We then describe a novel friend suggestion algorithm that uses a user's implicit social graph to generate a friend group, given a small seed set of contacts which the user has already labeled as friends. We show experimental results that demonstrate the importance of both implicit group relationships and interaction-based affinity ranking in suggesting friends.
  • Works of Art and Home Décor From Snapshots – – STRETCHING ONTO CANVAS Some companies offer the option to print onto a stretched canvas. The effect is instant art, ready to be hung. Canvas Pop ( specializes in taking everyday photos, including candids snapped with a camera phone, and blowing them up without losing detail. Company technicians work on each image to ensure that an iPhone photo looks as good stretched across four feet as it does on a 4.5-inch screen. When comparing two shots, one from an iPhone and the other by a professional with a digital single-lens reflex camera, the difference in quality had more to do with each camera’s (and photographer’s) abilities than the printing technique. Canvas tends to work well with images that have a little motion in them, since the material’s texture softens the movement rather than making it glaringly obvious as it would on a glossy print.
  • perspikace’s twitter, compte and journaliste Bookmarks on Delicious – List of .ft journaliste on Twitter (not sure why this was not just a Twitter list)
  • Graphs – chris dixon’s blog – Graphs can be implicitly or explicitly created by users. Facebook and Twitter’s graphs were explicitly created by users (although Twitter’s Suggested User List made much of the graph de facto implicit). Google Buzz attempted to create a social graph implicitly from users’ emailing patterns, which didn’t seem to work very well.

    Over the next few years we’ll see the rising importance of other types of graphs. Some examples:

    Taste: At Hunch we’ve created what we call the taste graph. We created this implicitly from questions answered by users and other data sources. Our thesis is that for many activities – for example deciding what movie to see or blouse to buy – it’s more useful to have the neighbors on your graph be people with similar tastes versus people who are your friends.

  • – screnshots your desktop and blogs it.
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