Zuckerberg is not your savior

After the Iranian elections, the Department of State formally asked Twitter to postpone scheduled maintenance so that Iranian activists could continue to tweet each other and the outside world. The internet will, apparently set you free. Now there’s some evidence that early communication between activists in Egypt was facilitated by Facebook and Twitter. The condemnation when Mubarak’s regime shut down the internet was much more muted. It didn’t stop the protests, suggesting that the internet is, at best, capable of being a tool of freedom but far from a necessity.

There are more than a few reasons why the meme of Facebook revolution is silly, not the least of which being that social networking moguls have neither declared nor proven that a fundamental aspect of their tools is to facilitate freedom. Continue reading

Nota Bene #104: Large Marge Sent Me

“Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” Who said it? Continue reading

The smartest shopping cart that ever lived

MediaPost reports this morning on an interesting new survey from TNS, which says that “sixty percent of shoppers across the globe believe that they will be able to pay for purchases using just their fingerprint by 2015, rated top by 25% of shoppers.” Never mind the chill that should send down the spine of anyone who values their privacy – we’ll deal with that another day. For the moment let’s have a look at what people expect from The Future®. Continue reading

Why I am for Obama: It's more than just the man, it's the movement

obama-movement.jpg

By Martin Bosworth

What’s the difference between a skeptic and a cynic?

A skeptic is someone who, when told something, doesn’t immediately believe it to be true and looks deeper into the issue before making their decision.

A cynic is someone who, when told something, automatically assumes it to be false, and doesn’t bother looking any further, because it’s just got to be bullshit.

It’s essential, especially in these times of fear and paranoia, that we maintain a healthy skepticism about what we are told. Continue reading

Will OpenSocial help Google reorganize into the first Galactic Empire?

googlegalactic.jpgBy Martin Bosworth

The big news in the tech world this past week was Google’s unveiling of OpenSocial, a set of programming tools that will enable members of multiple social networks to share files and information across the different platforms, and for developers to create programs that work equally well on LinkedIn as they do on Friendster. Noticeably absent from the alliance supporting OpenSocial were the two 800-pound gorillas of the social networking world, MySpace and Facebook…well, at least for a day or so. It was barely 24 hours later that MySpace announced it would join the OpenSocial coalition, leaving the tech press breathlessly wondering what Facebook’s next move would be, and whether this represents another step in Google’s plan to dominate all of the space/time continuum.

In reading through all of this, and hearing comments from Sam about it, I wanted to cut through the hype and address what this really means for people on social networks and the companies that power them. Let’s go point by point: Continue reading