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douglas kastle drunken pirate MySpace online identity polar rose ReputationDefender Stacy Snyder web 2.0

The woes of web 2.0


Yo ho Yo ho A pirates life for me!
Originally uploaded by 0range County Girl.

The rise of web 2.0 has been an amazing thing. I wish it was around when I was a teenager, however in some ways its just as well it wasn’t. Working in a technical arena I have become very aware of maintaining a distinction between your professional identity and online interaction. Googling someones name is de rigour these days and there are stories of companies googling prospective new employees. This is turning out to be some what of a problem for generation 2.0 that have posted portions of their life that seemed a good idea at the time but has come back to haunt them, take the story of Stacy Snyder for example :

College Sued Over “Drunken Pirate” Sanctions

She, for better or worse, posted a picture of herself posing with a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup with the caption “Drunken Pirate” all harmless fun. That is until she was supposed to graduate from teaching college. According to the TSG “Despite good grades and solid performance evaluations, Snyder claims that school officials improperly denied her a bachelor of science in education degree and a teaching certificate” this article goes on to say “A university official told her that the photo was “unprofessional” and could have offended her students if they accessed her MySpace page.”

While this is terrible we are only going to see more of this in the future. This case is a little simpler than it will be in the future, in this case it was her own fault, she posted the picture of herself to MySpace so ultimately she put up the picture and also had the ability to take it down any time she wanted (and I’m sure now she wish she did) it was also easily connected to her as it was her MySpace page linked to her professional name.

The more problematic cases are when your mates take pictures of you during your hedonistic youthful excursions (one of the reasons why I’m glad digital cameras weren’t really around when I was in University, phew!) and they post their pictures of which you may have little or no control. While these pictures maybe as hard to find as a specific leaf in a forest new applications like polar rose face scanning technology might be the google of face search.

All it would take is a one positive hit for your face and a pass through flickr, MySpace, zooomr and all the other web 2.0 services and your online life could be laid bare for a prospective future employer.

As in physics for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction, a recently setup company ReputationDefender have realised there is a business model in helping new minted adult clean up their past, wired covered this in July of 2006 :

Delete Your Bad Web Rep

They describe ReputationDefender work :

“Any web citizen willing to pay ReputationDefender’s modest service fees can ask the company to seek and destroy embarrassing office party photos, blog posts detailing casual drug use or saucy comments on social networking profiles.”

It may be too late for Stacy Snyder, will maintaining your digital online identity accompany a conversation a parent has with a pre-pubescent child before they have the parent filters taken off the family computer. It will certainly be interesting as more and more computer savvy kids start coming through the system over the next few years and to see the woes of their past return to haunt them.

Categories
climate change CO2 douglas kastle global warming

Climate change – a different perspective


Step it Up Seattle
Originally uploaded by serakatie.

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about global warming and climate change. I recently saw Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth and the evidence presented seemed pretty damning. While graphic and long (but not unnecessarily long) the case, as I see it boiled down to this :

  1. The average measured temperature is going up and we can prove this (fine by me)
  2. The average measured content of CO2 in the air is going up (also fine as well)
  3. CO2 is responsible for the increase in average temperature (whoops, there you go)

Not let me say from the outset I agree with climate change and that we as tenants of the planet will be affected by climate change but there are not too many people stopping and saying is this the correct diagnosis. What if instead of CO2 causing climate change it is actually a symptom?

Huh! Well let me explain. With the exception of nuclear power, every other source of electrical or motive energy comes from or came from the sun. So in addition to all the radiant energy that hits the planet every day. Energy that was stored in the little batteries we call fossil fuels, which were millenia in the making, is also been pumped back out into the atmosphere. We are consuming energy at a phenomenal rate (and going up) and maybe this is what is causing the average temperature to increase, and guess what one of the biggest side effects of the energy generation and consumption is CO2, but it is exhaust.

So there is a lot of talk of reducing CO2 emissions, carbon sequestration is a big one, which I imagine will be a failure if all you are doing is removing the symptom and not the cause of global warming that that is energy consumption. In fact moving to nuclear to reduce CO2 emissions actually make the problem worse. At the moment at least all the energy we are using is or was sun generated. Nuclear isn’t and that could push even more energy into an already unbalanced system.

Don’t forget the rise of the black death was because people though that cats were carrying the disease so they killed all the cats. It turned out that it was rats and they had just killed they’re possible saviours.

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australia douglas kastle in car wave road rage sydney

Road Rage in Australia


Road Rage. Montevideo, Uruguay
Originally uploaded by willposh.

The SMH has a very interesting article on road rage in Australia :

Road rage rules in Australia

I have been living in Sydney for nearly 5 years now. I grew up in Ireland and lived (and drove) in America for 2 years. I don’t know what happened or is happing in Sydney but the inconsiderate driving that I see every day either driving or cycling to work always blows my mind. Cars driving behind other cars at 60-80 KPH with mere inches separating them. Selfish driver racing up the inside of a merging lane and then barging in.

The biggest thing I missed is the death of the in car wave there used to be a time that if you oblige some one, let them out from an intersection when traffic was busy, you’d get the one handed wave, not any more.

I briefly thought that it might just the way western society in general is going, consumerism is making people more and more selfish. However on a recent trip home to Ireland I was surprised to see that the in car wave and a more general air of courtesy was there. This especially surprised me in Dublin which has traffic much more chronic than Sydney, current cross town driving speeds are slower than walking. I would love to know what it is about Sydney or Australia that has made driving like this but I guess it is something I’ll just have to endure.

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douglas kastle DRM EMI ipod music open letter steve jobs

Is Steve Jobs a big fat liar?


stevenote
Originally uploaded by marble2.

OK liar is a bit harsh, how does less than truthful work? I like every body was taken a back recently with Steve Jobs open letter on DRM Link. It definitely seems timely and must have had some impact as EMI seemed to have signed up for a DRM free service from iTunes (but in an interesting move the DRM free songs cost more and are supposed to be of higher quality). DRM is also getting thrashed arround the head with the various hacks been found to the new HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats :

AACS Cracked Again

However over the weekend I was thinking, what if Steve Jobs stated reason for wanting to move away from DRM was not for the reason stated in the open letter, some thing along the lines that the music exists in the world already DRM free, thanks to CD. What if there is a chronic or fatal flaw in the FairPlay system? One that can’t be software or firmware fixed and old Steve there is containing and spinning the situation to push companies like EMI into a DRM free world before a flaw in the scheme does it any way. I suppose it is a very pessimistic view of the world however any plot or scheme to move to a DRM free world, however to get there works for me.

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douglas kastle

Australian Solar Power

I’ve lived in Australia for 5 years now, original from an island off to the edge of Europe. My plain complexion doesn’t react well with the native sun, which is a problem as it is sunny nearly all the time. Which is why it breaks my heart when I read an aticle like this :

How solar ran out of puff

Australia of all places should be at the vanguard with the deployment of solar power, both thermal and electrical. It should happen some day when it is demanded. I spent a bit of time at Lucent. What was interesting back then, in 1999, everyone was looking for bigger internet pipes. As we all know now fiber became big as a result, less known is that a lot of the transmission research was done on fiber way back in the 80s. At the time they didn’t have a worthy application as a result the work was put on a shelf to be found 15 years later and eventually used. Maybe only a chronic energy crisis will be significant enough to kick start cost effective solar panel production (not research)

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douglas kastle John Seigenthaler puppy reputation wiki wikipedia

Wikipedia Reputation

It seems like every month there is a slashdot article on the validity and trustability of wikipedia

Wikipedia and the Politics of Verification
Is Wikipedia Failing?
A Wikipedia Without Graffiti
Long-Term Wikipedia Vandalism Exposed

It took me a while to find it again but way back in september 2006 Tom Cross posted a very interesting article, in First Monday, on a possible reputation systems to limit the effects of vandalism on public wikis. It was very informative then and I think that something like this is even more relevant now :

Puppy smoothies: Improving the reliability of open, collaborative wikis

The slashdot post is here :

Could a Reputation System Improve Wikipedia?

The gist of the research is that on each wiki page the content of the page is colored coded to mark the freshness (or age) of the all the text on the page. The older the text the longer it has survived unedited and the greater likelihood that it has survived many eyes looking at it.

If I could add at all to this excellent piece of research it would be that there may be a way to color code relative to the user that edited the text. Imagine a rating system that measures every edit a user makes versus the number of corrections made to that user’s edits. This is somewhat similar to the ebay model of buyer and seller feedback. However instead of trying to get a edit positively feedback (Fast payment, super customer. Thank you.) it is just the survivability of an edit that is positive feedback and should someone change your edit, even for spelling, then you rating should go down by the proportion of changes to the original edit size. So if some one correct 20% of the original edit the postive effect of the original edit is only 80% the effect of an uncorrected edit.

This mechanism, I believe, should flag trolls and vandals a lot easier as if they do nothing but contribute negative content then they will have a negative rating, which if color coded corrected will come scream of the scream in red.

This might have had a little effect on the John Seigenthaler case :

Wikipedia Hoax Author Confesses

as I’m guessing the hoax author wasn’t very prolific in valid unedited articles elsewhere in wikipedia, should some one have gotten to this page what turned out to be questionable content on this page could have been flagged with a color to indicate content from an immature (in terms of contributing to wikipedia) user as they have yet to get a high rating in wikipedia.

Any way it’s just a thought.

Please Do Not be alarmed., originally uploaded by Thorin.