Monday, August 23, 2010
Hot off of the internet...
It is long past time for a new traunch of our fantabulous, magically amazing, interesting links. If you are interested in looking at our old interesting links posts click here and scroll down. Most of these links over the years were compiled from reader submissions, so if you have neat-o links, please send'em our way...
Up first, we offer a link about an internet social networking system that we briefly mentioned last month in our article about Twitter, Chat Roulette. Chat Roulette is a website that pairs random people from around the world together for webcam-based interactions. Chat Roulette is going viral and taking off with the younger set. In doing so, it is pulling the popularity of Skype along with it. The teens of today grow up with a mindset that considers the "video phone" routine. Visitors to the site randomly initiate an online chat with another site visitor. Either user may leave the current session and initiate another random conversation at the push of a button. Read an interesting article from New York Magazine about what's up with Chat Roulette here. This link was sent to us by the latest edition to our Durham salon.
Our next interesting link is also about on-line social networking. It goes to one of the stickiest things about social networking, the reality and unreality of folk's on-line personas. How much of what we tell each other about ourselves on-line is real? How complete is the picture? Back in the day, MySpace used to allow users to create accounts for things like their pets and plants, if they so desired. A popular dog in the Chapel Hill area had more followers than some people. In an interesting twist on this premise, Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser have been writing a serialized novel on Slate.com that takes place in part on Facebook and Twitter. The authors created and are maintaining a fake Facebook page for their main character, a sixteen year-old named Natalie Pollock. Read all about here in the New York Times.
This next link highlights a more insidious possibility that these false on-line personas raise. Hundreds of people in the information security, military and intelligence fields were recently fooled by Thomas Ryan, the co-founder of Provide Security. Mr. Ryan used photos and imagination to create a fictional persona named Robin Sage on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. She was portrayed as an attractive, flirtatious, computer geek, with a degree from MIT and a prestigious prep school in New Hampshire. Many of her on-line "friends" freely shared their personal information and photos. Some invited the fictional threat analyst to conferences and asked her to review documents. Some "friends" at multi-national companies, including Google and Lockheed Martin, expressed an interest in hiring her. Mind-boggling (except for the part about her being hot). Read the whole article here in ComputerWorld.
We have one final technology related link for you, dear readers, although we will spare you, for now, any more thinking about the narcissism and other dangers of social networking. This link is a far more positive story about the future of computing. Last month the government of India unveiled a prototype of a touchscreen, tablet computer which it is going to sell for a mere thirty-five dollars! The device runs on a variation of the Linux operating system. It has no internal memory for storage, however it is able to store data on a memory card. It has a built in word processor, video conferencing capability, and a web browser. Even more remarkably, it can run on solar power! How's that for good news about the future of computing? While it is starting in the third world, the cost and capabilities are likely to have it migrating quickly west as part of the thin client, cloud based, computing model of the near future. Read the whole story here in PC World.