Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%:

Knutson, Boyer and the other Occupy geeks don’t have to build everything from scratch. “These are standards that have been around for a while, and we are not reinventing the wheel,” said Boyer.

For instance, the projects will rely on set of technologies known as Open ID and OAuth that let a user sign into a new website using their logins and passwords from social networks like Facebook, Google and Twitter. Those technologies let you sign up for a new service by logging into a Twitter or Google account, which vouch for you to the new site without giving over your password or forcing you to get yet another username and password to keep track of..

[snip -Ed.]

“I think any type of small or medium-sized group or a team that has one person in eight different cities,” could use it for collaboration, says Knutson. And he sees no reason against spinning off the tech to businesses.

“Every small and medium business owner is a member of the 99%,” said Knutson.

[Sooo let me see if I have this correctly. A system that is being built because the Occupy movement doesn’t want to rely on corporate hosts will… A) Rely on the current corporate identity systems. B) Rely on crafting human agreement that historically has never happened around RDF C)Is trying to solve too large a problem. D)Is willing to spin technology off to business (and says I with some cynicism, vaulting the coders into the 1%? Oy. Despite my “never bet against youth” belief, I don’t think these efforts will come to anything. Either way, building a social network is either about inclusion or exclusion. Neither works in this case.]

Dave Winer had this to say…:

4. Now there are news reports that some people associated with Occupy are taking aim at Facebook. They want to make the Facebook for the 99 percent. Oy. Here we go again. There is no market for that. Facebook is the Facebook for the 99 percent. The goal should be to make something open and non-monolithic that provides many of the most valuable services of Facebook without the silo walls. It should not be something that an individual does, or a small group laboring heroically, rather it should be something that the Internet does.

[I totally agree. He also mentioned the solving small pieces of the problem thing that I spoke about to a couple of you. I wish they would, they’d stand a better chance.]

A hundred little things

A hundred little things:

Sure, you can copy one or two or even three of their competitive advantages and unique remarkable attributes, but no, it’s going to be really difficult to recreate the magic of countless little decisions. The scarcity happens because so many businesses don’t care enough or are too scared to invest the energy in so many seemingly meaningless little bits of being extraordinary.

[It’s really hard to do this even when you plan to create more than one store, shop, restaurant from the outset.]

Source: Seth’s Blog

The Fat Trap

The Fat Trap – NYTimes.com:

The research shows that the changes that occur after weight loss translate to a huge caloric disadvantage of about 250 to 400 calories. For instance, one woman who entered the Columbia studies at 230 pounds was eating about 3,000 calories to maintain that weight. Once she dropped to 190 pounds, losing 17 percent of her body weight, metabolic studies determined that she needed about 2,300 daily calories to maintain the new lower weight. That may sound like plenty, but the typical 30-year-old 190-pound woman can consume about 2,600 calories to maintain her weight — 300 more calories than the woman who dieted to get there.

[This article seems spot on to me. I know I can’t eat like a typical person does. If I do, I will put on weight. For me, the path has been a stair stepped. I lose 10% or more, keep it off for a while, then gain some of it back, then refocus and continue. A times along the way my weight has stabilized and the living is easy. Other times, it hasn’t and I have to work harder and focus more attention. Right now is one of those focus times. But I’m certain that it can be done because I’ve done it. I’m not the hyper vigilant, food logging, portion weighing type, but I am very aware of what I eat, when I eat it, and it’s composition. It’s not always fun or easy, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay for what I hope is increased health. The really hard part is not knowing whether all this work pays off. I hope so.

Makes me wonder about determinism. Namely, I wonder if hiking and biking appealed to me because their long distance nature was “easy” for my body because of that efficiency… so it wasn’t that I like them and as a bonus their effect as exercise is beneficial, but I like them *because* I’m well suited to the slow twitch efficient nature of my body and those activities.]



it would be hard to dispute that a considerable amount of pennies are spent in the direction of carbon fibre these days, probably in similar manner to the rapid spread of microsoft windows in the early days of personal computing. in short, many too many bought windows because pretty much everyone else was doing the same. a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will. thus, when carbon is touted by many as the ultimate frame material, few of us are in any position to disagree. and as a corollary to such wholesale choice of material, the marketing machine has then succeeded in persuading most of us that those skimpy slivers of nano-tubing developed at enormous cost for the stars of the three major tours and the occasional classic, are our personal ideal.

[Always a fund read. The truth is, a good bike can be made from most anything.]

Smoked Out: Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland:

But the sport demands obsession – at least at the level in which I like to write about it. And that makes it impenetrable. And much of what we love about it stems from that impenetrability. You show up for a ride, and right away you get dropped, or you can’t figure out why everyone swings off to the right sometimes and the left sometimes, or how everyone knows to shift all at once without having to talk about it, or how they all just automatically swoop out wide at the same spot before a corner – a hundred thousand little impenetrable acts in a single ride. Maybe you stick through that, then you confront the true, profound impenetrability at the core: When the shit gets tough, all becomes inscrutable.

[Some of the best cycling writing comes from this dude. And some of the best bikes come from the folks that hang out here. It’s a place where magic is born.]

Mocked And Misunderstood

Mocked And Misunderstood:

I woke up thinking about this because before I went to bed last night I watched last night’s episode of Rock Center with Brian Williams. They had a piece on our portfolio company Kickstarter. The piece itself was pretty good. But at the end, Brian Williams discussed it with the Kate Snow (who did the piece), and he said something like “so this is like the guy on the street asking for a handout?”.

[I saw this Rock Center piece as well, and I thought the conclusion was worse because Kate agreed or said that there are nothing to enforce that someone who raised money to do “x” has to do it. I disagree. First of all, it seems like some of the most successful projects are “I can’t make this unless you want it” projects. When people support those projects they’re saying two things. 1) I would like one or more of these items. (A sale!) 2) I’m willing to take the low risk that enough other people will like this that I’m in early. (the risk is low because if it doesn’t fund you don’t get charged). And since you’ve been “promised” a reward in most cases, they have to make the item in order to at least fulfill the rewards. So there is some “insurance” in the social contract. I’m not sure if there is any within the kickstarter agreement.]
Source: A VC

Evaluating alternative Decorator implementations in Ruby

Evaluating alternative Decorator implementations in Ruby:

Recently, decorators have become a big part of my Ruby on Rails life.

We used them heavily in a recent client project, Harold Giménez wrote a great post about them, Avdi Grimm is writing about them in Objects on Rails, and Jeff Casimir has a great presentation about them.

Until recently, I still had some questions, however, such as:

Should I roll my own decorators?
If I roll my own, what are the tradeoffs of different implementations?
Do I care about the “transparent interface” requirements of the Gang of Four’s decorator definition?
Is it good or bad that the decorated object’s class is the decorator instead of the component?

[Good explanations.]

GoDaddy accused of thwarting domain transfers

GoDaddy accused of thwarting domain transfers:

after losing more than 72,000 in five days, things may have changed.

[Is it that ethics is the first thing to go, or where they not there to begin with? (For those of you who don’t know, GoDaddy was supporting SOPA until word got out and people reacted by moving domains away from GoDaddy’s services. Now it would seem that they’re trying to frustrate people into giving up.)]
Source: The Loop

Google and Facebook… they’re never free.

Pusher 2.0:

This also puts the “new business model” mantra in a new light. Remember that the classic business model is a simple monetary trade: the customer gets something of value and they pay money for it. It is fair and easy to understand. The further we go from it, the closer we come to a point where we are forced to choose between going out of business or throwing business ethics out of the window. In order to maintain the illusion that the customer can get something valuable for free, we may have to introduce the illusion that they are getting it for free (while in reality, we collect stuff from them that they may not be inclined to give away). Once you cross that moral event horizon, it becomes much easier to do other objectionable things. I mean, that’s how the new economy works, right?

I’m just thinking out loud and I have no ready-made conclusions to offer, but perhaps we should be a little more hesitant to sing praise of “revolutionary” new ways of doing business. Unless there’s a clear element of trade evident and the terms are set out, chances are that somebody’s getting cheated. Continue reading

[This piece continues my theme that the more convoluted transactions become the more problems they create for our society—Stay close to the source. If I drive to a store and purchase something made by the individual selling it (or at least the person in the shop in the back) that has tremendous social value. And it doesn’t matter if that’s a kitchen knife or software or a bicycle. The longer the chain gets from “I did it” to “you bought it” the chances for negative social effects increases, and happily the positive social effects increase the closer you get to the source. In the case of Google most of us were happy users because of their great search results. That was a long time ago, and they started tracking me long before I paid any attention to them. Facebook’s “sale” takes place when you sign up, with no explanation of the game whatsoever. I recently saw a news program where individuals were asked about the GOP candidates by name. And while I realize it was a produced segment (edited for results) they had no problem finding people who didn’t even know the names of the candidates, never mind anything about them. Considering the barrage of coverage and the endless debates… imagine what people don’t know when it’s actively being hidden from them? ]
Source: The Cynical Musician