29 November 2009

Summary of online science

From my Diigo Bookmark this week. Please also feel free to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/Web_Evolution!


Online science has been a big trend on the web and we can observe new trends springing up almost every day. Here are some of the examples of the current online science initiatives.

Summary of online science
These two agendas nicely sum up the issues online science is facing now
(http://www.scienceonline2010.com/index.php/wiki/Program_Suggestions, http://www.scienceonline2010.com/index.php/wiki/Program_Finalization)

Traditional science magazine publishers adapting to emerging online science
-Some science journal/magazine publishers (expecially Nature), having seen what has happened/is happening to the publishing industry after Google came along, are seeking ways not to act agaist them but to adopt to the new trends.
(http://blogs.nature.com/wp/nascent/2009/10/desktop_widgets_naturecom_sear.html, http://www.nature.com/opensearch/, http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/09/new-nature-jour.html, http://www.nature.com/press_releases/naturecommunications.html, http://blogs.nature.com/wp/nascent/2009/10/from_web_20_to_the_global_data.html, http://blog.openwetware.org/scienceintheopen/2009/11/16/nature-communications-qa/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ScienceInTheOpen+%28Science+in+the+open%29&utm_content=Google+Reader, http://precedings.nature.com/, http://www.nature.com/scitable)

Change in science/academic jounrnals
-New players in the scientific journal industry, such as arXiv.org or PLos, are vigorously trying to revolutionize the industry, which is a big threat to the traditional publishers. There are still many problems to be solved (peer review, credibility, reward for scienctists etc. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-02/nsf-oat022009.php, http://bitesizebio.com/2009/09/24/open-access-publishing/). 
 (http://arxiv.org/, http://precedings.nature.com/, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/08/the_future_of_online_academic.php, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2008/11/the_potential_future_of_an_ope.php, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/03/latest_journal_ranking_in_the.php, http://everyone.plos.org/2009/09/14/interview-with-derya-unutmaz-section-editor-for-immunology-at-plos-one/, http://www.jove.com/index/About.stp, http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/09/new-nature-jour.html, http://www.myplick.com/view/93TY-1OoMBF/Lets-Have-an-Awesome-Time-Publishing-Science, http://www.plos.org/cms/node/490 )

Universities adapting to a changing landscape of online science
-Universities, both encouraged and threatened by online science movements, are also trying to adopt to the change in various ways.
(http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/09/new_science_news_service.php, http://futurity.org/, http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/2009/10/york_university_open_access_po.php, http://hul.harvard.edu/news/2009_0914_compact.html, http://www.escholarship.org/about_escholarship.html)

Open access is growing in various academic fields
-The core concept of online science is open access and its importance for further and fast development of science is being actively debated.
(http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.com/2009/09/dramatic-growth-of-open-access.html, http://www.usapr.org/default.aspx, http://www.oacompact.org/, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/10/the_swedish_research_council_m.php, http://www.openaccessweek.org/2009/10/26/california-academy-sciences-science-in-action-exhibit-open-access-and-medical-research/)

Open access and its impact in developing countries
-The scientific materials that have been opened up to the public can be harnessed by those who had not had access to them.
(http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/03/open_access_in_the_developing.php, http://blog.nextbio.com/2009/02/27/a-global-perspective-on-the-open-access-effect/, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2009/10/open_access_day_in_serbia.php)

Science commons
-A new initiative to make open access possible.
(http://sciencecommons.org/, http://scienceblogs.com/commonknowledge/)

Platform for accumulating knowledge
-As the increasing number of people start participating in online science, more and more knowledge is being added and accumulated.
(http://singularityhub.com/2009/10/19/openwetware-the-wikipedia-of-biology/, http://www.eol.org/)

Proliferation of online science/science2.0 is also good for online education/learning2.0
-As a by-product of professionals and experts conducting science and publishng the results on the web, non-experts can also harness the vast resources.
(http://acawiki.org/Home, iTunesU or other videos and documents)

Scientific blog as a main platform for doing science
-Many experts turn to blog for a new platform of their intellectual pursuit. Lively debates among the likes of nobel prize winners and equally intellectual experts are taking place every day.
(http://everyone.plos.org/, http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/Online+Resources, http://openpaleo.blogspot.com/2009/10/paleo-paper-challenge-in-blogosphere.html, http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/, http://scienceblogs.com/evolution/, http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/HomePage, http://blog.openwetware.org/scienceintheopen/2009/11/05/reflections-on-science-20-from-a-distance-part-i/, http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/mathematical-research-and-the-internet/)

Emerging new media/tools for online science
-Twitter, blog, videos, and other new emerging form factors are vigorously sought out for further progress of science.
(http://www.sciencebase.com/science-blog/100-scientific-twitter-friends, http://www.onlinedegreeshub.com/blog/2009/50-useful-iphone-apps-for-science-students-teachers/, http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/56049/, http://friendfeed.com/scienceonline2010, http://www.jove.com/, http://www.scribd.com/doc/21394240/Skype-Journal-Research-Topics-in-Collaboration-2009q4, http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2009/09/13.html#a2439)

Collaborative/open source science between experts
-Some examples of experts conducting science online. Theoretical subjests(pure mathematics etc) are more suited for online science at the moment, but many other subjects are also proliferating. Equivalent to open source projects, where normally only experts participate.
 (http://www.aipuniphy.org/Portal/Portal.aspx, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7266/full/461879a.html, http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/category/2009/10/math_folk_wisdom_in_an_electro.html, http://singularityhub.com/2008/09/06/open-source-project-aims-to-create-human-level-artificial-intelligence/, http://www.opencog.org/wiki/The_Open_Cognition_Project, http://www.walterjessen.com/promoting-open-source-science/)

Polymath project
-The most notable example of experts collaborating on the web.
(http://gowers.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/possible-future-polymath-projects/, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7266/full/461879a.html, http://michaelnielsen.org/polymath1/index.php?title=Polymath1, http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.3926, http://gowers.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/polymath-and-the-origin-of-life/)

Collaborative science between the general public (with some experts)
-Equivalent to social networking. Non experts helping each other with some experts' participation.

Crowd sourcing science/Citizen science
-The power of non experts being harnessed
(http://opendino.wordpress.com/, http://folding.stanford.edu/, http://www.usanpn.org/, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank/index.html, http://jcb-dataviewer.rupress.org/, http://www.thesgc.org/iSee/, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8258501.stm, http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0410/p14s01-sten.htm?print=true, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2009/09/frameworks-and-lessons-from-public.html, http://www.galaxyzooforum.org/, http://www.openaccessweek.org/2009/10/19/harnessing-openness-to-improve-research-committee-on-economic-development-report/, http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2009/10/23/tony-hey-and-citizen-science/, http://urban.cens.ucla.edu/projects/naturalist/, http://diybio.org/)

Problems with traditional science
-Is traditinal science obsolete and in need of renovation?

Data driven science
-If the data driven science, which recently receives great attention, becomes mainstream, then science will be more dependant and supplemented by the web.
(http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/rpi-ter100109.php, http://metamodern.com/2008/10/25/the-data-explosion-and-the-scientific-method/, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/technology/23compute.html?_r=1)

Online Hard Science
-Not only theory developments but also physical science can be done using the web. Not mainstream yet and still a mere speculation, but as more general open sourse hardware initiatives are now being successfully achieved, online hard science might also be possible.
(http://singularityhub.com/2009/10/29/open-hardware-for-molecular-biology-experiments/, http://openwetware.org/wiki/DIYbio:Notebook/Open_Gel_Box_2.0)

Other resources
(http://www.nextgenerationscience.com/science-resources/scienceonline2010-conference-on-science-and-the-web/, http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/garrett_lisis_exceptional_approach_to_everything, http://madscientistjunior.blogspot.com/2009/08/culture-of-internet-is-permeating.html, http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000165, http://www.oaspa.org/coasp/sessions.php, http://ncatlab.org/nlab/show/Online+Resources, http://2020science.org/category/rethinking-science-technology/, http://www.universetoday.com/carnival-of-space/, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8325875.stm, http://twitter.com/michael_nielsen/statuses/5562947162)

Many other articles or studies on various topics can be found through the following links.
Micro Payment
Crowd Sourcing
Open Access

22 November 2009

Summary of this week 16 Nov - 22 Nov

From my Diigo Bookmark this week. Please also feel free to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/Web_Evolution!


infochimps.org — Find Any Dataset in the World

"The first open marketplace for data. For anything from polling surveys to market research to fantasy sports statistics, we can connect your data to a massive audience of customers. You control the terms, you set the price, we handle storage, distribution and billing. "


Welcome - Medpedia

"Medpedia is a collaborative project launched on 17 February 2009. Its aim is to create an open access online medical wiki encyclopedia[1] in association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School, the U.K. National Health Service (NHS)[2] as well as other contributors. (From Wikipedia)"

[Digital Native]

Digital Natives with a Cause? — Centre for Internet and Society

Thorough research on digital natives. Reports are available here and here.


The War For the Web - O'Reilly Radar

Some important quotes of Tim O'Reilly
"It could be that everyone will figure out how to play nicely with each other, and we'll see a continuation of the interoperable web model we've enjoyed for the past two decades. But I'm betting that things are going to get ugly. We're heading into a war for control of the web. And in the end, it's more than that, it's a war against the web as an interoperable platform. Instead, we're facing the prospect of Facebook as the platform, Apple as the platform, Google as the platform, Amazon as the platform, where big companies slug it out until one is king of the hill."
"I agree with you that Google is an ethical company, and is really trying to do the right thing. They aren't monopolists by intention in the way that some other companies are or have been. But the gravity well is growing deeper, and more and more things will be sucked into it."
"That's OK when you're a small company, but it's not OK when you're as powerful as Google is. That was Microsoft's mistake: they didn't realize soon enough that the rules had changed, that they were powerful enough that they had to act with new restraint. It's the spider man rule: "With great power comes great responsibility.""
Another important piece on the intensifying competition among leading web companies, especially focused on Google, can be found here.


Treasury Invites Bloggers to Round Table - NYTimes.com

An example of blogging becoming mainstream as an important media source.
"The Treasury Department opened its doors to economic bloggers this month, and the meeting was productive in at least one respect: as John Jansen of the blog Across the Curve concluded, “After meeting them, I feel I cannot refer to them as Timothy Geithner and his minions” anymore."


Official Google Blog: A new look for Google Translate

Official Google Blog: Automatic captions in YouTube

Google's automatic translation has been seeing very rapid improvement. Some simple experiments reveal that translations from European languages into English have become good enough for English speaking populations to be able to read the texts without being constantly annoyed by the unsatisfactory quality of translation. Similarly, Japanese⇒English, Chinese⇒English and any other language⇒English translations seem quite readable and understandable (It's not necessarily the case the other way round). This fact, combined with Google's newly released automatic captions feature in YouTube, will likely consolidate the dominant position of English as a global web language. Another interesting piece on the importance of translation is available here.


The Argument for Free Classes via iTunes - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

Some interesting statistics with regard to online learning are available.
"Apple now says it has about 250,000 individual classes available to the public. That’s everything from the “The Biology of Autism” from the Stanford School of Medicine to “A Global History of Architecture” from M.I.T. Tuition may be sky-high on those campuses, but on iTunes, the lectures are free."
"Near the head of the class, with more than 375,000 downloads a week, is Open University, a distance-learning institution based in Britain. The school said that last weekend its lectures on iTunes U crossed the 10-million-downloads mark.""

Vol 10, No 5 (2009)

Thorough reviews on online learning.
Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education
From Open Content to Open Course Models: Increasing Access and Enabling Global Participation in Higher Education
The Impact of Openness on Bridging Educational Digital Divides
Open Textbook Proof-of-Concept via Connexions
Peer-To-Peer Recognition of Learning in Open Education
Open Educational Resources: New Possibilities for Change and Sustainability
The Technological Dimension of a Massive Open Online Course: The Case of the CCK08 Course Tools
Incentives and Disincentives for the Use of OpenCourseWare

2009 November | Online Universities

Some online learning resources.


Open Government Laboratories of Democracy | The White House

"Inspired by the President’s call for more open government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched its data catalogue, following in the footsteps of Washington, DC, San Francisco, New York, and elsewhere around the country (as well as cities in Canada and the UK), to provide public access to information by and about government. What makes this exciting is not merely having transportation information available in machine-readable formats, but that professional and amateur enthusiasts can then get together, as they did last weekend, to create new software applications and data visualizations to better enable public transit riders to track arrival times for the next subway, bus, or ferry. Publishing government information online facilitates this kind of useful collaboration between government and the public that transforms dry data into the tools that improve people’s lives. (For another great example, check out what happened when we published the Federal Register for people to use.)"


tecosystems » What’s in Store for 2010? A Few Predictions

Many other articles or studies on various topics can be found through the following links.
Micro Payment
Crowd Sourcing
Open Access

15 November 2009

Summary of this week 9 Nov - 15 Nov

From my Diigo Bookmark this week. Please also feel free to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/Web_Evolution!  


MediaShift . 10 Projects that Help Citizens Become Government Watchdogs | PBS

As the US government opens up its vast amount of data to the public, many initiatives which make most use of it have been developed. Here is the list of 10 most innovative open government and transparency projects.

3.Follow the Money
4.Little Sis
9. GovernmentDocs.org
10.The Foreign Lobbying Influence Tracker


麻省理工學院「開放式課程網頁」 | 主要課程列表

M.I.T. Education in Taiwan, Minus the Degree - New York Times

More than 1,000 contents of the Open Course Ware project initiated by MIT, as well as many other Open Education resources, have been translated into Chinese. A large number of other translation projects are ongoing (including those of TED), and more and more of the greatest knowledge is becoming available and accessible to people in every corner of the planet regardless of which language they speak. Not only text but also videos can now be consumed in any language with relative ease using websites like dotSUB. (e.g. Vint Cerf - The Internet Today available with English subtitles)

Reading Marx’s Capital with David Harvey » Reading Capital

Free Lectures & Courses from Great Universities (Audio and Video) | Open Culture

A great number of thorough open educational resources can be obtained from the above links. Open education (or open access) projects, when combined with translation initiatives observed above, will surely contribute to the enhanced level of education for everyone as long as a good internet connection is ensured.


The Best of BAI Retail Delivery 2009 (NetBanker)

An exhaustive list of innovative online banking initiatives.

[Social Contribution]

Main Page - Hurricane Info Wiki

Not only accumulate collective knowledge but wiki can also function as a platform where real-time information forms an emergency information centre.


Official Google Blog: World Bank public data, now in search

Wolfram|Alpha Blog : Microsoft’s Bing—Introducing One of Wolfram|Alpha’s First Commercial API Customers

More and more data is becoming available, computable and programmable and being vigorously integrated into search engines.

[Open Source]

The Open Cognition Project - OpenCog

Open source approaches are not confined to software development but being applied to many other fields. Other examples are available here and research on how hardware development or design development using open source methods (called open source hardware or open design) can be achieved here.

Many other articles or studies on various topics can be found through the following links.

Micro Payment
Crowd Sourcing
Open Access

08 November 2009

Summary of this week 1 Nov - 8 Nov

From my Diigo Bookmark this week. Please also feel free to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/Web_Evolution!  

[Open Source]

Michel Bauwens's presentation at eComm 2008


The Politics of Peer Production


Essays 2 - P2P Foundation

"Continued listing of key Essays on P2P-related topics."



P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Open City New York: an update by Matt Cooperrider 

"The Open Planning Project (TOPP), one of the organizations mentioned in Ms. Chen’s article, has been a major driver of the open data movement. They have produced useful one-off applications, such as FixCity.org, which crowdsources potential locations for new bike racks thus speeding their installation. They have also acted as stewards of open standards in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) community and, more recently, the Open 311 community. Mayor Bloomberg pioneered the 311 non-emergency telephone-based citizen information service, but has been slow to open up the data for mashups by eager civic hackers. Washington D.C. was the first to move on this, and TOPP is now stewarding the effort at Open311.org to create a standard for all Open311 APIs in any city."
"Another telling example can be found in Ms. Chen’s article. Tom Lowenhaupt has been fighting for almost ten years to bring the .nyc top-level domain to New York City. His vision has been to use the revenue generated from this civic resource to provide digital literacy and civic education through neighborhood-oriented online community spaces. In that time, Tom has built a knowledge base (within a TOPP wiki) that has become a common reference point for City TLD initiatives globally. It contains a wide range of information, including arguments for why a TLD needs to be as carefully planned as city streets, and the potential civic benefits that can accrue through such planning. Tom has worked with parallel initiatives in global cities such as Paris and Barcelona to develop international standards for City TLDs, ensuring that non-English speakers can easily access the city’s resources."


DATA.nsw.gov.au | NSW Government 

"NSW is on the brink of an information revolution

A new attitude towards open government information is shifting the way we think about the information assets of our state.

Making public sector information available not only strengthens democracy by increasing accountability and transparency of government, it stimulates innovation and leads to economic benefits."


The NSW data catalogue provides a single point of access for public sector information which includes publications, spatial information, raw data, audio visual files and web services from agencies across the state.

If you have any comments or questions we would love to hear them, please get in touch."


eGov AU: NSW government launches data.nsw.gov.au with over 400 datasets

"The NSW government has released a catalogue of over 400 datasets at data.nsw.gov.au, making it probably the second largest government data catalogue in the world (after data.gov in the US)."

Online Community Engagement: Promising Practices in Online Engagement

"Another day another resource! This publication by the US based Public Agenda's Centre for Advancement in Public Engagement includes a bunch of pretty well known case studies from around the world. "

Critiquing Matthew Hindman's "The Myth of Digital Democracy" | Personal Democracy Forum

"Hindman is the author of "The Myth of Digital Democracy," which argues that a) the internet is just reinforcing elite voices in politics rather than opening the process to more diverse voices, b) that we live in a "Googlearchy" ruled by search engines that concentrate attention on just a handful of "winner-take-all" sites, and c) that the idea that the internet is empowering more ordinary people to be active participants in the process is basically a myth. You can read shorter versions of his argument in his recentinterview with NPR's On the Media, or this article he wrote for the Berkman "Publius" Project last year. Or read his book. It's well-written and provocative, even if it's basically wrong."
"To conclude, let me just suggest that it is dangerous to make conclusive statements about such a young and dynamic space. Four years ago, YouTube was just starting. Two years ago Twitter was just starting. Now something like 30 million people now have iPhones, and by 2012 the number of Americans with some kind of smartphone will probably be double or triple that. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what happens when you combine real-time web access with location services with tools that you can carry anywhere in your pocket. While Hindman is right to warn us about how information and attention may be concentrated online, I'd much rather see the glass as half full rather than half empty, and most important, a trend that is moving in the direction of greater meaningful participation in the process for more people."

Omidyar Network puts $2.4 million into government transparency abroad | VentureBeat

"“We wanted to fill an information gap in the field of good governance,” said  Nathaniel Heller, a co-founder and managing director. ” These reforms matter and they empower businesses in the developed world. But the data has been — to put it imprecisely — pretty squishy and crummy.”"
"“We’re very interested in the global use of technology to disseminate information about government transparency, so citizens can hold their governments accountable,” said  Stacy Donohue, who is the director of investments at Omidyar Network. “We’re particularly interested in organizations that use scalable technology platforms.”"


Open Source Progress in Malaysia | Open Source Initiative 

"More than 70 percent of Malaysian government offices are running open source software, according to figures released by the country's Open Source Competency Centre."

"The centre was established as part of the 2004 Malaysian Public Sector OSS Master Plan, to guide and co-ordinate the implementation of OSS in the public sector."

"The latest OSS adoption figures, released on 24 July, show that 521 of the country's 724 public sector agencies (72 per cent) have adopted OSS. This is a significant increase from 354 agencies (49 percent) in 2008 and 163 (22.5 per cent) in 2007."


Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Encourages Use of New Media Communications in Pakistan | U.S. Department of State Blog

"But what really was amazing is that she did this while also bringing a new technology and communication forum to this country of 170 million people. At Government College in Lahore, she announced support from the United States for the first free Pakistani mobile phone-based social network, known as Humari Awaz (“Our Voice”). She declared that the United States would fund the first 24 million text messages for people to communicate directly with one another in what she noted is “a service you can use on your cell phone to distribute news stories, to invite people to an event, to share your thoughts and opinions, to report problems that you see, to call for actions to solve those problems.” With more than 95.5 million mobile phone users, many of whom are youngsters, the mobile platform have enabled immense opportunity for wide range of community strengthening and social uplift applications like the one that was launched today."




Visible Banking: 43 Social Media Initiatives Launched by Financial Institutions in November (Twitter, YouTube, Blogs)

"A few months ago, I started to give more visiblity to the financial institutions which engage on Twitter, YouTube and blogs. From now on, in addition to my twitter updates I plan to publish a monthly list of anniversaries on Visible-Banking.com."
"Visible Banking Social Media Watch Series: Tracking over 1,300 initiatives in 40+ countries
To find out more about social media in finance, I invite you to follow me on twitter, and check my four social media watch series:
* Visible Banking Twitter Watch - 800+ accounts / 40+ countries
* Visible Banking Facebook Watch - 250+ pages / 35+ countries
* Visible Banking Blog Watch - 135+ blogs / 15+ countries
Visible Banking YouTube Watch - 165+ channels / 20+ countries"


PayPal X Developer Network: Jive SBS: PayPal X Developer Network

"Launched officially this week at PayPal’s first developer conference in San Francisco, the Adaptive Payments API allows developers to build applications that enable payments from PayPal account holders to anyone with a web presence, be it a mainstream retailer or someone with a widget running on their Facebook page to collect donations."

At the launch, PayPal president Scott Thompson made an important acknowledgement: “The whole world is going digital, and the future of how we communicate, how we get information, and even how we transact, is in the hands of developers”.
" But what if you could tap the collective wisdom of freelance developers that wish to remain independent? PayPal is banking on this strategy, today announcing plans for an inaugural Australian developer program, kicking off in January 2010."
"PayPal says the competition will challenge the Australian developer community to create the most innovative payment application using Adaptive Payments. It says the winner will receive a “substantial cash prize” to help them commercialise their application."

PayPal Seeks New Ways to Use Its Payment System - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

"On Tuesday, PayPal held its first developer conference in San Francisco to officially open its platform to software developers wanting to include payments in their Web or cellphone applications."
"Osama Bedier, the vice president for platform at PayPal, predicted that cash would soon be the payment of choice for only “tooth fairies, drug dealers and senators paying their household staff.”"
"The conference was a big deal for PayPal. EBay’s payments business is driving the company’s growth, and John Donahoe, eBay’s chief executive, reiterated that PayPal would soon be a bigger business than eBay’s marketplaces. To get the crowd as excited as PayPal’s executives were, there were free netbooks for all registered attendees, white-clad violinists to serenade people upon entry and roaming candy carts."
"Mark Glasberg is using PayPal for his start-up, iCents.net, which will offer online publishers a way to charge viewers. “Before today, there wasn’t a way to do this because it would disrupt the user experience if we were always asking you to go to PayPal and type in all your information,” he said."
"Using the new technology, developers can now also let buyers send money to multiple people with one payment. This could be useful on sites like eBay and Etsy, where a shopper might make purchases from several people at once, or for a company using PayPal for payroll. A start-up called Payvment is using PayPal to let shoppers move from one virtual store to the next, add items to their carts at each stop and check out once."


Android’s Impact on eBooks, Reading « Kindle Review – Kindle 2 Review, Books 

    "Why are so many companies taking up Android?
    1. It’s free.
    2. Phone and Netbook Manufacturers can customize it as they like.
    3. It brings the promise of Apps.
    4. It brings the promise of Openness.
    5. Companies are desperate to do anything/something to counter Windows.
    6. Companies are desperate to do something/anything to counter the iPhone.
    7. Windows Mobile has really messed up.
    8. iPhone OS isn’t available to anyone else. "               
    "Which brings us to the possibilities for reading apps -
    Every ebook store can add their own ebook app.
    It’s open so neither the carrier nor Google can block apps (in theory).
    Google does take 30% of revenue on paid apps (like Apple does). However, it’s less than what authors/publishers would pay retailers etc."


    It's a phone! It's a browser! It's a wallet? - Fortune Brainstorm Tech

    "Now, one startup in the nascent world of mobile payments has moved to lower the barrier for merchants to offer mobile payments. Last week, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Zong announced that users would be able to link their mobile number to a credit card, instead of paying through their mobile carrier."
    "Zong claims to have processed payments for more than 10 million unique users in 2009 in virtual worlds like Gaia and IMVU and in games that are played on social networks like MySpace and Facebook. It also boasts the ability to convert shoppers to buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional methods like credit cards.
    “By reducing the cost of transaction we can address an additional 10 billion transactions,” says Zong CEO David Marcus. “For a typical merchant, even if only 15% of customers become Zong Plus users, then that merchant will double their pay out rate.”"
    "With its new offering, Zong may jump ahead of its startup competitors, like Obopay and Boku. The company already has a strong foundation that includes direct relationships with 107 carriers in 25 countries, and partnerships with the major card networks. (Obopay also recently began offering the ability to link your mobile number and credit card but its focus has been on mobile phone person-to-person transfers of funds.)"
    "The bigger question for Zong is whether it stands a chance against payment and ecommerce giants like eBay’s Paypal and Amazon.  At Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference this summer, eBay (EBAY) CEO John Donahoe made Paypal's strategy clear: “Payments is a winner-take-all business.”
    “We’re opening up the platform for all types of innovation and we expect it will happen on a number of devices and that includes mobile,” says PayPal President Scott Thompson."


    Phone Smart - What Your Phone Might Do for You Two Years From Now - NYTimes.com



    Top News - Yale researchers examine online accreditation

    "Online learning is a relatively new thing for lawmakers, so all countries don't know how to deal with it yet," said Shai Reshef, founder and president of the University of the People, which has 179 students enrolled in its two fields so far: computer science and business administration. "We want to … determine the barriers that we need to overcome to operate." Accreditation for online schools, Reshef added, "is a big issue right now."
    "Jack Balkin, director of Yale's ISP, said law school officials partnered with University of the People because both institutions have a foundational understanding that "affordable education is a crucial ingredient for human development and human freedom.""

    "Harnessing new technologies to deliver low-cost education to people around the world is a daring venture," Balkin added. "It is also the kind of experiment that everyone should want to succeed."
    "University of the People has seen an international, although somewhat mild, response to its tuition-free online programs, which are designed by educators and taught by about 800 volunteer professors--about half of whom are American."


    State of the Internet Operating System


    Swedish government promises superfast broadband to all

    "Sweden] The Swedish government is following in the footsteps of the Finns (well almost), as their IT-ministry is now promising that 90 percent of all Swedish homes will have access to a 100 mbit/s broadband connection before 2020.
    The Swedish government is therefore launching a new broadbrand strategy, according to which there needs to be a set minimum level of broadband speed."


    David D. Burstein: The Case for the Internet: A Human Right

    "In a little noticed story, late last month, Finland declared internet access to be a legal right for all its citizens, and come this July, the Finish government will be ensuring everyone in the country has at least a 1 megabit internet connection (and by 2015 the legal right will be to a 100 megabit connection). In addition, France made headlines in June by declaring internet access to be a human right. (Incidentally France also declared that all 18 year olds will get a one year free newspaper subscription for their 18th birthday), although they have yet to figure out how to enforce this. These two examples raise quite an interesting question, is the internet a fundamental human right? I'm going to boldly stand with the Finns on this one and say yes."
    "I might get some angry emails for this, and while today it might be difficult to make the case that internet access is as much of a basic right as food or shelter, in five or ten years, I believe there will be basic agreement on this. Those of us who have internet access now, don't know how we would live without it. Everything we do and everything we want to do is somehow linked to our computer and our internet connection. It's not a joke to say that those who have internet connections now need them to continue surviving. It's how we communicate with our relatives and friends, it's how we find phone numbers and addresses, it's how we get our basic goods and services, it's how most of us work and keep our jobs, and by extension provide for our families, and it's how many people find jobs. Many of us have jobs that would be impossible to maintain without the internet, without the ability to do research or send emails we would be fired in a day."


    The Complete Guide to Google Wave: How to Use Google Wave

    "The authors of this guide have published technology how-to books this way.[2][3] This time, we're trying a different approach."
    "Instead of a locked-in, static text doomed to an early death, this book is a living thing that will grow and change in parallel with its subject, in public on the web."
    "You always have access to the latest and greatest version of this guide's contents in its entirety at completewaveguide.com. In addition to the web site, this guide will be available as a DRM-free PDF (forthcoming) and an independently published softcover print book (coming early 2010). We'll continuously update the pages on the web site as we become aware of corrections and additions to its contents."
    "Because Wave is still very early in its development and adoption, we've committed to four editions of this book that will become available as Wave grows throughout 2010."


    Official Google Blog: Introducing Google Commerce Search: Finding holiday gifts faster

    "The holiday season is right around the corner, so online retailers are gearing up for spikes in traffic. When people go to shop online, search is big part of finding the right product, whether they're looking for a gift or just something for themselves. Today we're aiming to make e-commerce searching as easy as using Google.com with a new enterprise product, Google Commerce Search."
    "Google Commerce Search is hosted in the cloud, meaning it lives online, so e-commerce sites can get up and running quickly. Using a cloud search tool will also help site owners meet the rise in demand from the holiday rush without having to devote extra time or resources to worrying about their capacity or infrastructure. Online retailers are free to focus on their business, while Google focuses on search, and shoppers can find what they need faster."

    Is Enterprise 2.0 A Crock? - ReadWriteEnterprise

    Business Process Optimization

    "More people do not come into the office for work. The virtual office is such a reality that collaboration tools become increasingly important. This is evident with the announcements such as the one from Second Life today about their enterprise offering and similar products from companies like Proton Media.
    But still, for Murray of Booze Hamilton, said It comes down to baby steps. The reality, though, is it would never have seemed likely in 2006 that there would be applications plugging into Sharepoint."

    Intellectual Property/Privacy

    "Data security always elicits fear. It's no different than how security is viewed in any context. Trust is always the big issue but it is also about keeping some form of control. At Eli Lilly, employees, a lot of them who are scientists, are chomping to use more collaborative tools.
    Williams, Eli Lilly: The challenge is mitigating risk. "We have to find a way to herd the cats without putting data at risk.""

    Religious Wars (technology/generational bias)

    "With any movement, revolutionaries have the tendency to make those in power feel a bit uncomfortable. It is no different with enterprise technologies.
    Galinsky of MetLife said that the issue is often about provincial differences. One group may prefer Microsoft while another group is into IBM, while a third may do whatever pleases them. The reality is it just takes time."

    Bottom Line Business Benefits

    "The reality: Enterprise 2.0 technologies are early in the adoption phase but the soft cost savings are mounting. Microblogging is helping people find information faster and people are questioning the viability of email.
    For example, Murray said they did a study of the costs to "reply all," to email. The end savings added up. "It is a toe in the door, an indicator. If I can save that much, what about the big stuff?"
    What's striking about asking questions about all of this is the absence of discussions about the monumental waste in IT spending over the years. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost to IT projects that have gone hay wire. The new world of enterprise 2.0 technologies are lightweight in comparison and a fraction of the cost.
    But the answer is readily apparent. The culture takes time to shift. That shift will occur but it's not going to happen overnight."


    Twitter / Tim O'Reilly: The Unreasonable Effective ...

    "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data :: IEEE Intelligent Systems (March/April 2009) PDF: http://bit.ly/3gcm4J How Google works its magic."


    01 November 2009

    Summary of this week 25 Oct - 31 Oct

    From my Diigo Bookmark this week. Please also feel free to follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/Web_Evolution!  

    A few states are already rising to the challenge. Both Texas and Missouri implemented online models and found the fiscal tracking to be a boon. On the Texas site (http://window.state.tx.us/comptrol/checkup/), according to Governing, “information is updated daily and drills down so far that citizens can find out how much agencies spend on pencils, if they want to know. . . . Anyone can search the site to see what checks were cut to which vendors doing business with the state. ”The Missouri Accountability Portal (mapyourtaxes.mo.gov) features data stretching back to 2000, including the salary of each state employee, as well as business tax credits.
    Not only the U.S. central government but also an increasing number of local governments are gearing toward more open and transparent organizations.

    The Open Planning Project (TOPP), one of the organizations mentioned in Ms. Chen’s article, has been a major driver of the open data movement. They have produced useful one-off applications, such as FixCity.org, which crowdsources potential locations for new bike racks thus speeding their installation. They have also acted as stewards of open standards in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) community and, more recently, the Open 311 community. Mayor Bloomberg pioneered the 311 non-emergency telephone-based citizen information service, but has been slow to open up the data for mashups by eager civic hackers. Washington D.C. was the first to move on this, and TOPP is now stewarding the effort at Open311.org to create a standard for all Open311 APIs in any city. Another telling example can be found in Ms. Chen’s article. Tom Lowenhaupt has been fighting for almost ten years to bring the .nyc top-level domain to New York City. His vision has been to use the revenue generated from this civic resource to provide digital literacy and civic education through neighborhood-oriented online community spaces. In that time, Tom has built a knowledge base (within a TOPP wiki) that has become a common reference point for City TLD initiatives globally. It contains a wide range of information, including arguments for why a TLD needs to be as carefully planned as city streets, and the potential civic benefits that can accrue through such planning. Tom has worked with parallel initiatives in global cities such as Paris and Barcelona to develop international standards for City TLDs, ensuring that non-English speakers can easily access the city’s resources.
    Open data initiatives at the city level are also gaining momentum, which have given birth to a number of epochal applications like the ones mentioned here. 

    This move is obviously a big win for open source. As John Scott of Open Source for America (a group advocating open source adoption by government, to which I am an advisor) noted in an email to me: "This is great news not only for the use of open source software, but the validation of the open source development model. The White House's adoption of community-based software provides a great example for the rest of the government to follow."
    John is right. While open source is already widespread throughout the government, its adoption by the White House will almost certainly give permission for much wider uptake.
    Having the public write code may seem like a security risk, but it's just the opposite, experts inside and outside the government argued. Because programmers collaborate to find errors or opportunities to exploit Web code, the final product is therefore more secure. When you build a vibrant, extensible platform, others add value to the foundation you establish; when you join such a platform, you get the benefit of all those features you didn't have to develop yourself.
    The fact that an organization as complex and diverse as White House has adopted the concept of open source would be a huge boost for both gov2.0 and open source movements.

    The online-savvy administration on Saturday switched to open-source code for – meaning the programming language is written in public view, available for public use and able for people to edit. http://www.whitehouse.gov
    "We now have a technology platform to get more and more voices on the site," White House new media director Macon Phillips told The Associated Press hours before the new site went live on Saturday. "This is state-of-the-art technology and the government is a participant in it."
    It will be a much faster way to change the programming behind the Web site. When the model was owned solely by the government, federal contractors would have to work through the reams of code to troubleshoot it or upgrade it. Now, it can be done in the matter of days and free to taxpayers.
    Under the open-source model, thousands of people pick it apart simultaneously and increase security. It comes more cheaply than computer coding designed for a single client, such as the Executive Office of the President. It gives programmers around the world a chance to offer upgrades, additions or tweaks to existing programs that the White House could – or could not – include in daily updates.

    The mission of OSFA is to educate decision makers in the U.S. Federal government about the advantages of using free and open source software; to encourage the Federal agencies to give equal priority to procuring free and open source software in all of their procurement decisions; and generally provide an effective voice to the U.S. Federal government on behalf of the open source software community, private industry, academia, and other non-profits.
    The mission incorporates three goals:
    • to effectuate changes in U.S. Federal government policies and practices so that all the government may more fully benefit from and utilize free and open source software;
    • to help coordinate these communities to collaborate with the Federal government on technology requirements;
    • to raise awareness and create understanding among federal government leaders in the executive and legislative branches about the values and implications of open source software. OSFA may also participate in standards development and other activities that may support its open source mission.
    Another huge open source initiative in the U.S. Attention must be paid on how this initiative evolves.


    This document is a code of best practices designed to help those preparing OpenCourseWare (OCW) to interpret and apply fair use under United States copyright law. The OCW movement, which is part of the larger Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, was pioneered in 2002, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched its OpenCourseWare initiative, making course materials available in digital form on a free and open basis to all. In 2005, MIT helped to organize with the support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation a group of not-for-profit organizations interested in following the OpenCourseWare model and standardizing the delivery of OCW material. This group of institutions, known as the OCW Consortium (OCWC), has grown into a concern of more than 200 universities worldwide promoting universal access to knowledge on a nonprofit basis. The mission of OCWC is “to advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality educational materials organized as courses.”
    A thorough piece of report regarding the application of fair use of OCW. It sheds light on a number of legal issues involved in making educational materials public.

    [Updated 10/24/09 5:30 p.m. with additional interview material] All 1.6 million books digitized so far by the Internet Archive, the San Francisco-based non-profit dedicated to the universal sharing of knowledge, will be available free to children around the world who have laptops built by the Cambridge, MA-based One Laptop Per Child Foundation (OLPC), Internet Archive director Brewster Kahle announced today at the Boston Book Festival in downtown Boston.
    The Internet Archive operates 20 scanning centers in five countries, where hundreds of workers are manually scanning books from public and university libraries, mostly public-domain works for which the copyright term has expired. It collects these books at its Open Access Text Archive. It also makes them available to people in developing nations via a network of satellite-connected print-on-demand “bookmobiles.”
    One criticism of the Internet Archive’s book digitization effort, which involves the use of optical character recognition software to transform images into digital text, is that the process results in numerous typographical errors. But last Monday, Kahle notes, the Internet Archive demonstrated a Wiki-like system that allows readers to instantly correct typos they find in the organization’s e-books. “This is all the advantage of openness,” Kahle says. (The demonstration was part of a larger rollout of the Internet Archive’s new Book Server project, envisioned as a centralized clearinghouse for e-book distribution that would provide publishers and libraries with an alternative to Amazon, Google, and the like.)
    Not only people in developed countries but rather people in developing coutries would be able to benefit from open education movements. 

    The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere.
    We have 1000+ videos on YouTube covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance which have been recorded by Salman Khan.
    One of the most thorough educational materials provided by an inidividual.  "With just a computer and a pen-tablet-mouse, one can educate the world! Even better, the content never goes old. My (or your) great-great-great grandchildren could learn from the very same videos!" is his words. In the internet era, when what individuals can do has dramatically increased, it might be individuals like him, rather than institutional initiatives like MIT OCW, that can have bigger impact on society.

    Regular updates of open education can be obtained here.

    [Open Source]

    Nowadays open source seems so inevitable, so commonplace, that we are not surprised to find it running everything from the New York Stock Exchange to the White House website. Of course there was a time when the idea of sharing source code seemed radical, but there was a time, too, when ideas like electricity were literally demonized. Now open source is everywhere, and more importantly, the idea that open source can do anything is even more prevalent. The GIMP was one of the first programs to really break free software (and later open source) out of the conventional mindset that open source was just for geeks, and that no open source program would ever have end-user appeal or functionality.
    Open source becoming mainstream with the boosts from White House, NYSE, the U.S. Department of Defence (which is shown below) and the French Government (which is also shown below).

    By now you may have read that www.whitehouse.gov is now running Drupal, the open source content management system. So, too, does the OSI itself. So first I'd like to say "welcome to the club!"
    But the open source wins don't stop there. Drupal is running on top of the LAMP stack based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. On the one hand it's no surprise at all to see one more website choosing open source software in preference to proprietary software for reasons of value, reliability, and quality. But on the other hand, it signals something far more profound: an administration that not only promises greater transparency, openness, and accountability, but also one that is willing to back up those promises with concrete actions. An open source implementation of its most public face demonstrates that this administration means business!
    Web 2.0 guru Tim O'Reilly sums all this up very well in a blog posting titled Thoughts on the Whitehouse.gov Switch to Drupal. Tim is one of the best writers on the web, so I encourage you to read his article. Tim lays out the complex contexts and realities of Washington's procurement systems, unique-in-the-world security requirements, and gives color and depth to the real considerations of using, and contributing to, open source software. No two-dimensional cartoon characters so typical of most industry wags there!

    New Defense Department guidance puts open-source software on the same level as commercial software and urges DOD agencies to evaluate it on an equal basis with proprietary offerings. The guidance also encourages services to share copies of open-source software internally wherever possible
    "To effectively achieve its missions, the Department of Defense must develop and update its software-based capabilities faster than ever, to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements," wrote acting DOD Chief Information Officer David Wennergren, in a cover letter to the guidance, which was issued Oct. 16.  "The use of Open Source Software can provide advantages in this regard."

    I've been holding my breath for so long waiting for this memo that I may not remember how to start breathing again, but here it is. The Department of Defense Deputy CIO Dave Wennergren has signed and released "Clarifying Guidance on Open Source Software."
    On DOD attempting to implement open source.

    The French Government's public finance department will switch 130,000 desktop PC's to Mozilla's email and calendar applications. Mozilla's Thunderbird email service, Lightning Calendar and an open-source groupware will replace IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office.
    About 30,000 city employees will use Gmail and have access to Google Docs.


    The collection is a collaborative effort that combines financial support from Google.org with the editorial independence and rigor of PLoS and the expert opinion of leading researchers from several different disciplines. You can read more about Google.org's involvement in a blog post from Frank Rijsberman. In one of the articles (from PLoS Biology), Gupta et al. discuss Google.org’s vision as a funding agency for how the international community might unite to best take advantage of the new technology for combating infectious disease. The challenges are large and each article ends with a section summarizing what these are and how they might be overcome.
    Many scientific journals produce special issues on a topic of interest for their audiences. However, our open-access model of publishing makes it possible to have such a large multidisciplinary cross-journal collection simultaneously available online for unrestricted reuse, regardless of venue. This collection will add to other “open science” activities that have helped provide insights into infectious disease more quickly than would have been thought feasible only a few years ago. The faster, cheaper, and more openly we can distribute the discoveries of science, the better for scientific progress and public health. As the collection emphasizes, managing the threat of novel, reemerging, and longstanding infectious diseases is challenging enough even without barriers to scientific research. We encourage you to make the most of this collection by sharing, rating, and annotating the articles using our online commenting tools. Better yet, join the discussion by providing your own vision to prevent the emergence and spread of the next rogue pathogen.


    WWL is an ambitious project. Our goal is to make collaborative translation an embedded service that is built into most publishing and web app development environments. If we do this, translation will become a common feature throughout the web, and eventually it will become an ambient service that millions of people use, often without realizing it. It's fun stuff to work with, and could bring a lot of good to a lot of people. So if you'd like to help us make that happen, drop me a line at bsmcconnell /at/ gmail to learn more.

    "This represents one small step for ICANN, but one big step for half of mankind who use non-Latin scripts, such as those in Korea, China and the Arabic speaking world as well as across Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world," Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's CEO, said ahead of the vote.
    The decision comes as the internet celebrates its 40th anniversary. The internet traces its roots to experimental computer networks at U.S. government and university labs in 1969.
    Is there still a possibility that languages other than English could become the dominant language on the web? Rather than all information converging into one single language, will the future be where many local languages survive?


    This may be obvious to many of you, but I was also struck by how isolated the teens seemed from all the cool new tech that Silicon Valley nerds are excited about. None of them owned an iPhone, or any of the newer smartphones. They still used Google for all their web searches and only seemed vaguely aware of Microsoft’s search engine Bing. And while almost everyone I know uses Gmail for their personal email, one teen (a boy) declared, “Hot girls use Hotmail.”
    So how seriously should we take all these comments? Do they represent the future of the web? Well, maybe not — beyond the obvious caveat that these are just five teens, The New York Times has noted that many of the most popular sites on the web have become hits through an adult audience, so the importance of teens may be overstated.
    It is usually adults who are enthusiastiac about new technologies and new future profiles, and it is always doubtful whether those futures can be and will be embraced by children. 

    All the video footages from O'Reilly Web2Summit.

    "Take me to Bob Smith" - If Bob is your friend on Latitude then Google Maps Navigation can take you to him. If Bob moves then GMN could even re-route you. I wonder if they will enable the chase scenario.
    "Drop me off in time for the #48 bus" - Google knows the public transit schedule. So not only can it drop you off at the nearest stop, it could drop you off at the stop that will ensure the shortest multi-modal trip.
    "Show me homes under 500K in Capitol Hill" - Via Google Base, Google has real estate information (it has had neighborhood data for quite sometime).
    "Take me to my next appointment" - If you use Google Calendar and you accurately fill out the location field then this is a snap.
    "Take me to the nearest Winter Coat Sale" - Using Adsense for Google Maps, GMN can easily lead you to local sales.
    "Take me to the bar my friends go to the most" - Using Social Graph API and the new, experimental Social Search to tap into Foursquare, GMN can determine where you friends go, aggregate their destinations and lead you to their favorite watering hole.
    "Take me to the largest event" - Using a combination of Latitude and its new access to the Twitter Firehose (which will soon include location - Radar post), Google can determine where people are.
    "Take me on a tour of the top 10 historical sites here" - Using Wikipedia Google can determine what the sites are and where you should be taken. Alternately, Google could take you on user-generated tour.
    "Take me to the most picturesque place near here" - Several years ago Google bought Panoramio, a location-based photo site. Google can determine which place nearby has had the most photos of it taken.
    "Take me on a tour of the site from Around the World in 80 Days" - Google already geoparses many of the books it scans (just see this map). This routing is quite possible.
    "Take me to the EPA's protected sites" - Government data is becoming more available. This is just one possible governmental query. You could also ask to go on a tour of TARP fund recipients or Democratic donors.
    With that context, go back up and read Brady's post again, seeing just how many amazing data assets Google is assembling and bringing to bear in delivering its next generation internet applications. I love where Google is going, but I also think the future is better with lots of competition, so I'd like to see others figuring out how to go there as well. Few have all the capabilities that Google has assembled, but by working together via federation, there may be interesting alternatives.
    On what might become possible with location aware technologies and Tim O'Reilly's comment on it.

    Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Treasury Department says it wants companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. to resume instant messaging services in countries including Cuba and Iran that remain under U.S. trade sanctions.
    Microsoft and Google cut off the use of instant messages by citizens of Iran, Syria, Cuba and Sudan, saying U.S. regulations prohibit the required downloads. Now the Treasury Department is saying the online communications foster democracy and should be restored.
    After the disputed presidential election in Iran on June 12, opposition organizers used Twitter Inc.’s messaging to organize street protests. The State Department intervened to dissuade Twitter from shutting down for a planned upgrade, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    “We called and said, ‘Please don’t shut down,’ because this is a major communications loop for people on the streets,” Clinton said in a forum at George Washington University in Washington on Oct. 6.

    Thorough study on P2P.