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David Weinberger

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Wireless Technology Magazine I got my Droid about five days ago, and immediately took it on the road with me, which meant I didn’t have the quality time I wanted to settle into a nook and read Persian love poetry to it. But, I did get a sense of how it looks to a a rushed n00b. Also, I come to it from a Blackberry 8830, not from an iPhone, so my expectationshave been set rather low in some ways. Here’s an initial report. (And here’s an initial report from Dave Winer, whose new Droidie.com site I’m enjoying. And here’s an initial report from Bijan Sabet.) Positives: It’s an open device. Yay! It’s great for browsing. Fast. Clear screen. The built-in gmail client is pretty good. In fact, if you’re livin’ the Google lifestyle (gMail, gCalendar, gReader, gMaps, gMacrame, gAutoclave,, etc.) it feels like a seamless environment. The turn-by-turn navigation with Google Ma... (more)

How to wreck a nice beach

No, this is not about BP. “How to wreck a nice beach” is an iconic phrase for speech recognition software, just as “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana” is for semantic disambiguation. The first is an automated rendering of “How to recognize speech.” The second consists of two sentences that look similar, but each word (except the indefinite article, I guess) plays a different role in the two sentences. This comes to mind because there’s an interesting post by Repression Jones about a book on the history of the vocoder by Dave Tompkins, along with about an hour o... (more)

Will the gPhone Make a Difference?

David Weinberger's Blog There's a really interesting (free) article by Amol Sharma in the Wall Street Journal about Google's expected cellphone software, and whether Google will be able to do the necessary deals with the mobile carriers. In addition to providing core Google apps (search, maps, YouTube, etc.), the rumor is that the Google mobile operating system will be open to developers who want to use the phone's services, such as GPS data. The article includes this from Microsoft: Microsoft executives question what impact Google will have. "The idea that there are all these t... (more)

Chris Soghoian on Privacy in the Cloud

Chris Soghoian is giving a Berkman lunchtime talk called: “Caught in the Cloud: Privacy, Encryption, and Government Back Doors in the Web 2.0 Era,” based on paper he’s just written. In the interest of time, he’s not going to talk about the “miscreants in government” today. Pew says that “over 69% of Americans use webmail services, store data online, or other use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is in the cloud.” Chris’ question: Why have cloud providers failed to provide adequate security for the customers. (”Cloud computing” = users’ da... (more)

The Government is the New Google

 Jeff Jarvis led a discussion at PDF among 1,000 people about what government could learn from Google, and, more generally, what a bunch of techies would do to make government better. Jeff’s got this rare cross of skills as a writer, teacher, entertainer and provoker. If you haven’t seen him at work, you should grab the next opportunity. And, yes, Jeff is a friend, so I’m biased. But I’m also right. So, here’s a way the government is becoming like Google. Remember how a few years ago, Google was grabbing the best and the brightest techies of every stripe? Every time you turned a... (more)