theharmonyguy.com (2012)


Consumer Data, but Not for Consumers

Consumer Data, but Not for Consumers

Information security experts said data brokers might be reluctant to make public access easier lest consumers react by wanting to opt out of the data collection process altogether.

I made this point on Twitter but it bears repeating here: If better-informed users are more likely to opt out of your system, you need to sell the value better or find a better system.


Your E-Book Is Reading You

Your E-Book Is Reading You

Very interesting piece from the Wall Street Journal examining how “Big Data” has come to the world of books:

In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them.


Etsy has been one of the best companies I've reported holes to.

Etsy has been one of the best companies I’ve reported holes to.

Now this is how you do security:

They had detected my requests and pushed a patch Saturday morning before I could email them. This was by far the fastest response time by any company I’ve reported to. Not only that, he told me he had messaged the account I created for the sole purpose of testing.


The Slow Web

The Slow Web

Jack Cheng maps out a positive vision for a “slow” type of web app:

Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information. These are a few of the many characteristics of the Slow Web. It’s not so much a checklist as a feeling, one of being at greater ease for the web-enabled products and services in our lives.


Inside Google's Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever

Inside Google’s Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever

Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic on Google’s Knowledge Graph:

This is one of those human knowledge projects that is ridiculous in scope and possibly in impact. And yet when it gets turned into a consumer product, all we see is a useful module for figuring out Tom Cruise’s height more quickly. In principle, this is both good and bad. It’s good because technology should serve human needs and we shouldn’t worship the technology itself. It’s bad because it’s easy to miss out on the importance of the infrastructure and ideology that are going to increasingly inform the way Google responds to search requests. And given that Google is many people’s default portal to the world of information, even a subtle change in the company’s toolset is worth considering.

And that’s how I found myself on the phone with John Giannandrea discussing mojitos and semantic graphs.

Sounds like another stab at the Semantic Web. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook’s Open Graph actions play out in this space as well.