Data network connectivity developments, networking business news, and related computing items.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Open production: I talked with Brewster Kahle briefly in 2001, and got the idea that the degree of collaboration is a spectrum. At one end is the conventional commitment to play a role in a team; at the other is the incidental activity that leaves a trace that can be datamined in an implicit collaboration. At the implicit end, we see Google mining the links I make as though I were collaborating with all other web authors; and Amazon mines my purchases and makes recommendations on my behalf to similar buyers. Howard Rheingold sees this as part of a broader pattern, and ends up sounding like Buckminster Fuller:
Besides Google and Amazon, "there's open source [software]. Steve Weber, a political economist at UC Berkeley, sees open source as an economic means of production that turns the free-rider problem to its advantage. All the people who use the resource but don't contribute to it just build up a larger user base. And if a very tiny percentage of them do anything at all -- like report a bug -- then those free riders suddenly become an asset.
And maybe this isn't just in software production. .. The dogma is that the two major means of organizing for economic production are the market and the firm. But [Yale law professor] Yochai Benkler uses open source as an example of peer-to-peer production, which he thinks may be pointing toward a third means of organizing for production.
There's also Wikipedia [the online encyclopedia written by volunteers]. It has 500,000 articles in 50 languages at virtually no cost, vs. Encyclopedia Britannica spending millions of dollars and they have 50,000 articles. .. [Rheingold also mentions unliscenced wireless "open" spectrum] ..
If I was a Nokia or a Hewlett-Packard, I would take a fraction of what I'm spending on those buildings full of expensive people and give out a whole bunch of prototypes to a whole bunch of 15-year-olds and have contracts with them where you can observe their behavior in an ethical way and enable them to suggest innovations, and give them some reasonable small reward for that. And once in a while, you're going to make a billion dollars off it." 11:44:56 PM
3D Holograms Detect Fake Signatures
: Scanning handwritten text with lasers can measure the 3D structure of the writing. From that it's possible to infer the pressure and direction of the writing. With those attributes, identification of the author is much better than 2D analysis, approaching 100%. Ancient manuscripts could be easier to identify; and maybe there's new life in the signature as a biometric ID? [Thanks again Roland
! I'm catching up on a whole summer's worth of your excellent work!] 10:08:12 PM
RFID in Japanese Restaurants
: Finally, RFID in the sushi bar -- I've been talking about this for 2 years, finally RFID has gotten practical: At a Tokyo restaurant, under each sushi plate "was a small square shaped bump, barely visible under blue lacquer. It was an RFID chip implanted in the plate. Different chips for different prices. Cool. The tallying up of over 18 plates literally took less than 5 seconds. " 9:49:54 PM
Bluetooth phones are hackable: Recent tests have expanded the list of issues. "Adam Laurie of A.L. Digital Ltd. discovered that there are serious flaws in the authentication and/or data transfer mechanisms on some bluetooth enabled devices. .. Confidential data can be obtained, anonymously, and without the owner's knowledge or consent, from some bluetooth enabled mobile phones. This data includes, at least, the entire phonebook and calendar, and the phone's IMEI. .. Access can be gained to the AT command set of the device, giving full access to the higher level commands and channels, such as data, voice and messaging. " Dozens of models are affected. Combined with new long range antennas, many demonstrations have been done with hundreds of phonebooks harvested, calls made remotely (allowing listening in conversations at a distance), and messages sent impersonating the owner of the phone. The likely fix will be to reduce the time the devices keep Bluetooth open. 9:49:13 AM
Goatse at Defcon:
Nasty wifi attack demonstration (with hilarious and disgusting images). A program running on a machine with 2 wifi nic's can inject responses to HTTP (browser) requests, thus impersonating web sites. New vector for phishing? Linked from Bruce Schneier
. 8:59:47 AM
: Nifty review of electronics in clothing, like wearable displays, fabrics that change color, and medical or other sensors. 7:51:16 AM