1. If access to your research is restricted by a paywall it hasn’t really been ‘published’ at all
  2. One thing that struck me as odd was the absence of a discussion around information quality. We face attacks that are as much about flooding the Internet with information as well as attacks that are about restricting the Internet. These different problems seem to require somewhat different approaches. I think it would make sense to discuss internet freedom and information quality at some stage, but I did not see too much of that. I.e. tools of freedom can easily be turned to tools for propaganda. And that is a hard problem. Just imagine trying to build a propagande detection algorithm
  3. The Oregon data center is now operating at much higher efficiency than industry average and leased data centers, which is good for the environment — 38% more efficient in terms of energy usage and 24% cost savings. This new server technology was built by three people.

    Because Facebook has benefitted from advancements made by other companies in the last ten years, they’re ‘giving back’ by sharing the specifications and design documents used to create this. And, as others improve on this design, Facebook will benefit too.

    Typical data center power goes through transformers that lead to 11-17% loss of power before reaching the server. Facebook’s is using a configuration that loses 2%.

  4. UK citizens can visit the Home Office’s new website (www.police.uk), enter their postcode or address to display the crimes that have been reported in the users area, giving detail down to a range of 12 houses
  5. the trick Facebook has pulled is that it doesn’t feel like a walled-off world on the web. It just feels like the web: a place where users go to see what their friends are up to, take note of any games they’re playing, Groupons they’re buying, restaurants they’re reviewing on Yelp or checking into on Foursquare. Users are dipping their toes in and out of the stream, and they understand and are tolerant of the fact that the stream is generated only because they’ve shared so much data with Facebook to begin with. It feels like a huge added value.

    Google is increasingly feeling like less of a value add. In its quest to be open, it’s stopped feeling like a smart filter that brings the most relevant parts of the web to users of its search, and more like the actual wild, woolly, untameable raw web itself.

  6. Earlier this year, Nike announced a new Web-based marketplace it calls the GreenXchange, where it has publicly released more than 400 of its patents that involve environmentally friendly materials or technologies. The marketplace is a kind of hybrid of commercial self-interest and civic good. This makes it possible for outside firms to improve on those innovations, creating new value that Nike might ultimately be able to put to use itself in its own products.

    In a sense, Nike is widening the network of minds who are actively thinking about how to make its ideas more useful, without adding any more employees. But some of its innovations might well turn out to be advantageous to industries or markets in which it has no competitive involvement whatsoever. By keeping its eco-friendly ideas behind a veil of secrecy, Nike was holding back ideas that might, in another context, contribute to a sustainable future—without any real commercial justification.

  7. Rubin won’t say how many engineers work on Android, only that “it’s much smaller than you would think.” Some of the work is done by HTC, Motorola, and Samsung engineers, who work alongside Google engineers. … A big challenge is making sure that the same open-source model that has led to Android’s rapid growth does not also become its undoing. If phone makers do too much tinkering and customization, Android could splinter into many different versions, none of them completely compatible with the others. Such fragmentation has been the Achilles’ heel of every open-source project. To counter it, Rubin and his team have created a compatibility test suite, a list of things a phone must have in order to carry the Android brand and to run Google applications like Google Maps. Rubin believes this will induce phone makers to keep all Android phones fundamentally compatible.
  8. Just six days after London’s transport co-ordinator, Tfl, announced that it was throwing the gates wide open to developers wanting access to its vast treasure troves of data, and we’ve already got a web-based mashup that plots the approximate position of every single underground train, updated every second or so
  9. In the Android Fanboys’ minds, I had just slandered the latest reincarnation of their savior. They had to respond. And they did. Hundreds of them. It was quite impressive. So why is such zealotry a good thing? Because passion is important. If people actually care about Android that much, Google is clearly doing something right. Windows Mobile has never instilled this type of passion in anyone. Nor has Symbian. For a while, it seemed like the Palm Pre might. But it never did. But Android is.
  10. The Web is the most important platform of our generation,” said Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice president of engineering, who introduced the session on the first morning of the two-day conference. “Because it’s a platform controlled by none of us, it’s the only platform truly controlled by all of us. It’s our duty to move that platform forward.
  11. Ordnance Survey’s geographical data has previously only been available free of charge to small-scale developers, and Ordnance Survey’s “fair use” policy required people to apply for commercial licenses at £5,000 a go once their website reached a certain limit. However, from today, individuals and companies will be able view and copy Ordnance Survey maps for free, and “mash-up” this information with other data to form new products and services.
  12. The Data.gov site has grown from just 47 data sets when introduced in May to more than 115,000 today.
  13. Complacency is the hallmark of any closed system. If you don’t have to work that hard to keep your customers, you won’t.
  14. There are two components to our definition of open: open technology and open information. Open technology includes open source, meaning we release and actively support code that helps grow the Internet, and open standards, meaning we adhere to accepted standards and, if none exist, work to create standards that improve the entire Internet (and not just benefit Google). Open information means that when we have information about users we use it to provide something that is valuable to them, we are transparent about what information we have about them, and we give them ultimate control over their information.