Odyssey Online

Entries from October 2010

Firesheep

October 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on Firesheep

Firesheep is a Firefox add-on.  Now, Firefox add-ons are generally good, utilitarian, useful things…this add on however allows anyone to hack someone else’s Facebook account and pretty much do whatever they want with it.  A man named Eric Butler created it saying he did so to illustrate the security vulnerabilities of social networking applications.  It strikes me that there is a “take pride in your work” issue when it comes to software that will do your hacking automatically for you, but leaving that for the moment here is other commentary on Firesheep’s implications:

Fear the sheep…

Tags: Computer Security · Facebooked · Yikes!

Burying Yourself in Google

October 20th, 2010 · Comments Off on Burying Yourself in Google

…an interesting piece in the Huffington Post by Peter O’Dowd on ways companies and candidates bury themselves in Google. That is, folks such as eMarketer who will help you not only maximizes your Google presence (there are dozens of books on this kind of Google hack) but minimize at least part of your Google presence so unflattering accounts of your company or candidacy will be well down a Google results lists.  On a certain level this kind of manipulation really is just a day at the office, but it makes the days of information wants to be free seem far away…

Tags: Blogging · Computer Security · Google · Yikes!

Lessig on Teaching Mashups

October 18th, 2010 · Comments Off on Lessig on Teaching Mashups

…as a follow up to this summer past’s blogging on the Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig has an article in the Huffington Post–a rambling article which includes commentary on being misquoted in the great othersphere known as the Internet–in which he calls for remixing to find its place in the school curriculum, or, at least, that kids should be taught that the remix is a creative skill akin to writing or drawing.  That one could really get them going in the teacher’s lounge…

Tags: Creative Commons · Essay on Technology

National Virtual Library

October 14th, 2010 · Comments Off on National Virtual Library

Robert Darnton doesn’t trust Google. That is to say, he doesn’t trust Google to necessarily behave in the best interest of the public trust.  He is the author of The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future and in a recent New York Times editorial, he echoes a call he makes in the book for a National Digital Library.  This would be a collection of e-texts drawn from books essential to American Democracy.  It’s an interesting contemplation of what public institutions are and should do in compliment and contrast to Google…

Tags: Books · Essay on Technology · Google · Research How-To

Google and the End of Privacy?

October 6th, 2010 · Comments Off on Google and the End of Privacy?

Atlantic Magazine recently pointed to a number of articles in which top executives at Google (such as CEO Eric Schmidt) have made statements that suggest they see Google applications so thoroughly embedded in people’s lives that any real sense of privacy, if privacy is defined as the ability to control information about oneself, disappears.  These articles are:

Now Google isn’t the only online company in the world with privacy issues (think Facebook), but vision of human computer interaction here is one that makes one pause over what Google could possibly mean by “evil” in their famous slogan…

Tags: Computer Security · Essay on Technology · Google · Yikes!

Facebook as Fiction

October 5th, 2010 · Comments Off on Facebook as Fiction

…Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe writes an interesting piece on Facebook today, as she argues that when we are on Facebook “we’re buying into a collection illusion.”

Tags: Essay on Technology · Facebooked

Friday Blogging, Term Paper Mills

October 1st, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Term Paper Mills

…an interesting little note on Term Paper Mills. With the advent of the Internet a fear arose that Term Paper Mills, those folks who, for a fee, will write you a paper, had been given the perfect delivery mechanism.  A few years ago this fear on campus was palpable, and there was even services one could avail oneself to to create libraries of student work on foil these online paper mills at their own digital game.  Dan Ariely, a professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, did an experiment this fall to text the quality of the product produced, which he concluded is “best described as gibberish.” His argument is that the papers are so bad intellectually and technically that an student submitting one would rue the day…one less worry?

Tags: Computer Security · Essay on Technology · Research How-To · The Academic Internet