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This is the week that was...

by Retired Blogger on ‎06-27-2009 10:07 PM - last edited on ‎09-10-2009 04:50 PM by Moderator

zomb.jpgMJ vs the Internet
They creaked. They groaned. They held.
And no, I'm not talking about the undead from Thriller; Ars Technica has a great wrap-up piece on the effect Michael Jackson's passing had on various internet services:
Google, on the other hand, began receiving so many searches for news about Jackson that it caused the search engine to believe it was under attack. The site went into self-protection mode, throwing up CAPTCHAs and malware alerts to users trying to find news. A Google spokesperson described the incident as "volcanic" compared to other major news events, confirming that there was a service slowdown for some time.

8bitbinary.jpgLobby group dirty tricks in Canadian copyright?
Is Canadian copyright reform being manipulated by special interest groups?
Earlier this week Michael Geist, a Canadian law professor, wrote an amazing post about Canadian copyright lobby manufacturing consenting suggestions and recommendations. The position papers mentioned in his post, drafted by different organizations, put forward similar sounding recommendations, are funded by similar sources, and often cite each others work in their own research.
It is not just that these reports all receive financial support from the same organizations and say largely the same thing.  It is also that the reports each build on one another, creating the false impression of growing momentum and consensus on the state of Canadian law and the need for specific reforms.  Consider the IP Council's A Time for Change, which was released in early 2009.  The very first chapter of the report is titled "Canada's Emerging Consensus on Intellectual Property Rights."  Where does this consensus come from?

sata.jpgDark secrets found in illegal computer waste in Africa
A team of BC students documenting computer disposal uncover classified data.
UBC journalism graduate students shot more than they expected when, while taping a documentary on eWaste from donated computers. The students stumbled upon sensitive government data on a hard drive purchased for $40.00.

"It's pretty shocking," said Blake Sifton, one of three UBC graduate journalism students who purchased the device containing information related to contracts between the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security and military contractor Northrop Grumman. The hard drive cost the students just $40.

"You'd think a security contractor that constantly deals with very secret proprietary information would probably want to wipe their drives," Sifton said Tuesday.

The documentary produced earlier this year ran on this week's PBS: Frontline program.

twi.jpgWhich Twitter client is the most usable?
Usability team gives three top Twitter clients a workout.
Tweetdeck, Twhirl, Tweetr, Twiteroo, and Seesmic Desktop were all put through their paces by 600 usability testers, and there was a clear winner. I won't spoil the read...the report is quite good, but I am disappointed that Mixero wasn't included in the's really got some cool features that rival the others.

illusion.jpgAnd now, I'm going to mess with your brain.
This optical illusion crossed my desk late in the week. And it's likely the best one I've seen that really illustrates (in living colour) that you can't always believe your eyes.
Message Edited by bgrier on 06-27-2009 11:09 PM
Message Edited by ElizabethS on 09-10-2009 08:50 PM

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