Five short links

Photo by Elod Horvath

An academic wanders into Washington D.C. – Arvind went to attend an IETF workshop on privacy, presenting a one-pager we co-authored (though his contribution was far greater than mine). His experiences of dealing with government people ring very true, and I think he's absolutely right to advocate we all get more involved. As hackers we tend to assume we can code our way around government restrictions, but as everything from Napster to Wikileaks shows, if they get riled enough they can shut services down very effectively.

Glu – LinkedIn have open-sourced their application deployment framework. Not much material here for a sexy demo, but this addresses a problem I see a lot of data companies with large clusters struggling with. A battle-hardened system like this should be a big time-saver for the whole community.

The history of selling personal data – We all know somebody's making money from our personal information, so why not cut out the middle-man and sell it direct? A great run-down of some experiments in this area, including a tantalizing tale of a UK local council contemplating selling data and offering a tax cut in return (sadly with a dead link to the story).

Why Rosetta Stone's attack on Google's keyword advertising system should be rejected – This is one of the reasons technologists should be more involved with the world of government. Rosetta is attempting to prevent Google from showing competitor's ads when users search for "Rosetta Stone". I have issues with how much power Google wields in the search space, but this is an obvious attempt by the language software company to limit user choice for their own benefit. Trademarks exist to prevent confusion, nobody will be tricked into buying a competing product just because their ads appear in this context.

A concise and brilliant peer-reviewed article on writer's block – I've never suffered from writer's block, presumably because my standards are so lax.

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