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Wikipedia is now drawing facts from the Wikidata repository, and so can you

26 Apr

The Wikimedia Foundation’s first major new project in 7 years is now feeding the biggest project in that stable, Wikipedia itself. But anyone can take structured data from Wikidata, due to its open license.

Gigaom

Wikidata, a centralized structured data repository for facts and Wikimedia’s first big new project in the last 7 years, is now feeding the foundation’s main project, Wikipedia.

The Wikidata project was kicked off around a year ago by the German chapter of Wikimedia, which is still steering its gradual development. For Wikipedia, the advantage is simple and powerful — if there’s a central, machine-readable source for facts, such as the population of a city, then any update to that data can be instantly reflected across all the articles in which the facts are included.

To posit a morbid example: a singer may have dozens or even hundreds of language versions of her Wikipedia entry and, if she were to die, the addition of a date of death to the Wikidata database would immediately propagate across all those versions, with no need to manually update each one (yes, I can…

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Facebook sued over ‘like’ button

16 Feb

See on Scoop.itAll things Internet and Law

Facebook is facing legal action over its use of the “like” button and some other features of the social network.

See on www.bbc.co.uk

BBC Attacks the Open Web, GNU/Linux in Danger

16 Feb

See on Scoop.itAll things Internet and Law

The Web is one of the most dramatic demonstrations of the power of openness, alongside free software, which not coincidentally runs most of it and the rest of the Internet. At the heart of that openness lies HTML, a completely…

See on blogs.computerworlduk.com

Why journalists love Reddit for its brains, not just its beauty

16 Sep

Why journalists love Reddit for its brains, not just its beauty

It’s fair to say that Reddit is having a moment right now. In the wake of President Obama’s decision to make the site part of the campaign trail by doing an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A last month, more and more people are seeing the site for the first time. Traffic is up, and mainstream media outlets are even writing glowing tributes to the site that was once the preserve of the internet’s crankiest community.

But while Reddit’s influence in politics may be growing, and its role in shaping internet culture is already significant, there’s another area of life that also relies heavily on the site: journalism.

Gigaom

It’s fair to say that Reddit is having a moment right now. In the wake of President Obama’s decision to make the site part of the campaign trail by doing an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A last month, more and more people are seeing the site for the first time. Traffic is up, and mainstream media outlets are even writing glowing tributes to the site that was once the preserve of the internet’s crankiest community.

But while Reddit’s influence in politics may be growing, and its role in shaping internet culture is already significant, there’s another area of life that also relies heavily on the site: journalism.

It’s not news that journalists love to get linked by Reddit, which can drive huge amounts of traffic to a site — so much that some even try to game the system. But what’s less widely acknowledged is how much it gets…

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Internet Freedom is Under Attack…

13 Jun

‘Father of the Internet’ warns Web freedom is under attack

“Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf  recently warned that Internet freedom is under threat from governments around the world, including the United States.

Cerf, a computer scientist who was instrumental in the Internet’s creation and is now employed by Google as its “Internet evangelist,” said officials in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are using intellectual property and cybersecurity issues “as an excuse for constraining what we can and can’t do on the ‘net.

“Political structures … are often scared by the possibility that the general public might figure out that they don’t want them in power,” he said.

He sounded the alarm about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), arguing the group is poised to assume the role of global Internet cop.

Cerf said the ITU is likely to try and lock in mandatory intellectual property protections as a backdoor for easy Web surveillance. Even good-faith efforts at Internet policymaking should be viewed with skepticism, Cerf said, because balancing freedom and security “isn’t something that government alone is going to figure out.” He criticised the Cybersecurity and Intelligence Protection Act (CISPA) legislation passed by the House to encourage companies to share information about cyber threats with the government, because it lacks “adequate constraints” on how the information is used. Cerf said he has the “optimistic belief” that attempts by hostile governments to restrict access will be circumvented by resourceful engineers around the world. Cerf also urged vigilante groups such as Anonymous to stop using cyberattacks as a means of activism, saying the hackings are counterproductive.

“I don’t think lawlessness is our friend,” he said.Ultimately, there is a legitimate role for law enforcement on the Web, he said, adding that “it would be bad for us as a community to say … that all the good things outweigh the bad.” “That’s not a credible position to take,” he said. Cerf said activists and regulators alike harm themselves by using terms like “cybercrime” because they suggest that “every bad thing that happens on the Internet is a crime.” “Some are just bugs,” Cerf said, while suggesting a better goal for policymakers should be “cybersafety.”

These are my favorite lines, and are what i beleive as well.

I haven’t gotten to the point of believing that governance work is a complete waste of time yet, but have decided it is time to get my programing skills out of mothballs and get back up to speed. It is not easy talk about freedom, safety, neutrality, cybercrime, IP pirate, CISPA…with different interest… personal interest, national interest… business interest of the stakeholders …

Anything that are not following somebody interest will be bad and sometimes considered as a crime … cybercrime…

“Either you with me or against me…..” Sound familiar?  This is the challenge for the future global dialog, not as easy during the period of cerf when he started the Internet everybody has one goal.

Increasingly Governments are moving towards control of Internet Freedom. Freedom of expression, although debatable, is a fundamental right and is often the center piece of a democracy. However, Governments are sometimes preoccupied with finding ways to protect national security and human rights pertaining to Internet usage. I believe that the mechanisms for enforcement of copyright laws  or illegal content laws through DNS filtering is disproportionate and  is too restrictive. In total, DNS filtering undermines security on the Internet and may block legitimate content from the Internet. Therefore, this negatively impacts freedom of expression.

It is important to note that the blocking of domain names does not actually remove illegal content off the Internet.  As a result, there is need for various human right agencies within the government, private sector, academia and civil society to negotiate the terms and conditions for Internet Regulation.  However, I believe that these agencies should have a basic understanding of the Internet before negotiating Internet regulation. Moreover, Governments need to realize that harsh regulations of the Internet may impede innovation through various ICT tools.

Recently we have seen a few examples pertaining to Internet Freedom see below:

“Iran’s telecommunications ministry has barred local banks, insurance firms and telephone operators from using foreign-sourced emails to communicate with clients, a specialist weekly said on Saturday.  “The telecommunications minister has ordered the use of domain names ending with .ir” belonging to Iran, Asr Ertebatat reported.” See http://j.mp/KDVUWK

In addition, we see that India is pushing for the creation of a forum called ‘Committee for Internet Related Policies’ (CIRP) to develop internet policies, oversee all internet standards bodies and policy organizations, negotiate internet-related treaties and sit in judgment when internet-related disputes come up. The catch is that India’s formal proposal is for CIRP to be funded by the U.N., run by staff from the U.N.’s Conference on Trade and Development arm and report directly to the U.N. General Assembly, which means it will be entirely controlled by the U.N.’s member states. See:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3423018.ece

We can effect change let us bring these issues to the fore at the various (ICANN, IGF, WSIS, IETF etc) Internet Governance meetings.

I have posted vid of this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwtTUMXpxLk&list=PL18388B00C798AEFC

The Internet is the next stage of human evolution. We look at ourselves as separate beings but the reality is that humans are far more interconnected than a hive of bees. The Internet is our collective minds. We are externalizing our collective intelligence. It allows us to collectively comprehend the universe. And since we are the universe – we are the universe contemplating it’s own existence. And it is the Internet that creates the physical structure to allow humanity to this as one and we can contemplate what no single person could ever do.
My 2p worth.

Sharing On Social Networks Triggers The Same Part Of Our Brains As Sex… Sorta

11 May

From Techdirt…

A recent study (pdf) by Diana Tamir and Jason Mitchell at Harvard is getting some press for pointing out that sharing information about yourself is “intrinsically rewarding.” In other words, the reason people use Twitter to tell you about what they’re eating for lunch, is because it feels good to do so. I don’t think that’s a particularly surprising finding, but it might counteract some of the claims about how using such sites are making everyone lonely. Of course, the attention getting line is the part about triggering the same parts of the brain as sex — though the details suggest it’s really the same kind of thing as getting a brief glimpse of attractive members of the opposite sex. In other words, science has proved that talking about yourself to lots of people and seeing attractive people make your brain happy. Case closed.

Humans devote 30–40%of speech output solely to informing others of their own subjective experiences. What drives this propensity for disclosure? Here, they tested recent theories that individuals place high subjective value on opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others and that doing so engages neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with reward. Five studies provided support for their hypothesis. Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system. Moreover, individuals were willing to forgo money to disclose about the self. Two additional studies demonstrated that these effects stemmed from the independent value that individuals placed on self-referential thought and on simply sharing information with others. Together, these findings suggest that the human tendency to convey information about personal experience may arise from the intrinsic value associated with self-disclosure….