Thursday, September 29, 2011

Links of Interest

Pig vs Dragon, improving Google, Cloudflare makes censorship easy, Facebook fixes crazy surveillance flaw, Modern Pulp, "Goverments don't rule the world; Goldman Sachs does." The Occupation of Wall Street, how to kill an aircraft carrier

I'm now looking forward to this movie.

Staring at the cave bear straight in the eyes: mass movements and decision taking in modern society | Energy Bulletin: Ugo Bardi discusses how to create societal change, and makes a good point about how the availability of information via the internet - information that can be readily disseminated and critiqued by a community - plays in to the formation of mass movements based on solid rationales.

Search engines are evolving rapidly and the ways they work today will be obsolete soon. What we need is structuring the Web in such a way that searches will be more likely to return high quality information rather than poor quality information. So far, this kind of structuring doesn't exist; just think how the best quality information we have, peer reviewed scientific journals, exist mainly behind paywalls and as a consequence are not available for decision makers.

iSucker: Big Brother Internet Culture - By Yasha Levine - The eXiled: Cloudflare sounds like a company worth keeping an eye on. It says it monitors nearly 1/5 of all Internet visits, but ...

CloudFlare doesn’t just passively monitor internet traffic: [it] works like a dynamic firewall to selectively block traffic from sources it deems to be “hostile”. ... The whole point of CloudFlare is to restrict access to websites from specific locations/IP addresses on the fly, without notifying or bothering the website owner with the details. 
And here is an added bonus for the paranoid: Because CloudFlare partially caches websites and delivers them to web surfers via its own servers, the company also has the power to serve up redacted versions of the content to specific users. CloudFlare is perfect: it can implement censorship on the fly, without anyone getting wise to it.

As Yasha Levine says, "It all boils down to a question of trust: do you trust a shady company with known intel/law enforcement connections to make these decisions?"

Nik Cubrilovic Blog - Facebook Fixes Logout Issue, Explains Cookies: Kinda self-explanatory, but the negatives on this story seemed to have meme-legs, so it's probably worth reporting on how Facebook's addressed the problem

"I wrote a post two days ago about privacy issues with the Facebook logout procedure which could lead to your subsequent web requests to third-party sites that integrate Facebook widgets being identifiable and linked back to your real account. Over the course of the past 48 hours since that post was published we have researched the issue further and have been in constant contact with Facebook on working out solutions and clarifying behavior on the site."

I've started a thread on to try and figure out what are the modern-day equivalents of 1930s pulp stories (think Raiders of the Lost Ark): [Setting Riff] Modern Pulp

This comment from a trader about the realities of the global economic meltdown may be monstrous, but it's also (a) rare to see someone speak so candidly, and (b) strangely altruistic in the way he's trying to help people think about how to behave in a down market / crash:

It is, however, possible this is a hoax (despite the BBC fact-checking).

Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for American Revolution: The Occupation of Wall Street is another exciting citizen movement, and apparently it's spread to Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.

Here's Michael Moore addressing the crowd using a technique I'd never heard of ('The People's Mic):

The War Nerd: China Joins the Yacht Club - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled: Gary Brecher, the War Nerd, discusses the implications of China's acquisition of an aircraft carrier

"It’s about national pride, not military usefulness. The Chinese [have come up with] a real weapon that totally neutralizes the US carrier fleet, a weapon that could sink all 11 of the US carriers in a few minutes, ... a long-range ballistic missile specifically designed to kill carriers and other oversized surface targets. This missile, the DF-21, has a 900 mile range and drops down on the carrier from directly above.

There's more links of interest (John Paul on rugby, Helen's poetry, the Emissions Trading Scheme) at my Google Reader Shared Items page.

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