2009/02/24

in the middle

Reading Six ways to make Web 2.0 work, in The McKinsey Quarterly. How strange it feels, looking back , only 6 years ago, when I decided to create a space to promote the use of blogs inside the research lab I was working. 

Back then I was a lunatic (since i was not a journalist, neither a politician ;) with strange blogger friends, having to hide beyond b2ob. The editorial stopped making sense for some time: blogs and other social software have their place in organizations (and society), my friends are real great individuals, people can not bare not collaborating, blogs helped me found other worlds (and myself),am not working for INETI... and my name is not Mónica André anymore.

The end of a cycle and the start of a new beginning. In the middle, only transitions.

strange:

I can open my Gmail account with IE, but I can not open it with Chrome?!??!

Smartpen for normal notebooks or Moleskines?

When I saw Smartpen at first, I thought it would solve the transitions from taking notes in paper and then moving to digital. You might think it's a minor problem, but since the majority of people still use hybrid spaces for relating to their information (paper, digital, web), this gadget would be very handy for bridging those spaces.

After checking all the details to buy myself one, found out that "The Pulse™ smartpen works only with Livescribe™ dot paper. Use it to activate all smartpen applications." This means, one needs to buy special dotted numbered notebooks (1 to 8) in order to make the smartpen work, and apart from the «normal» needs of plenty of our gadgets (recharge, data transfer, and supplies), it does not support Linux or other open source variations, althought it works for Windows & Mac.

If you know a smartpen for normal white paper notebooks or moleskines, do please drop me a line. I'll buy it and I'm sure plenty of more people I know will buy it also.

2009/02/19

re-design for a «new internet»

Do We Need a New Internet? by NY Times.com:
"The Internet’s original designers never foresaw that the academic and military research network they created would one day bear the burden of carrying all the world’s communications and commerce. There was no one central control point and its designers wanted to make it possible for every network to exchange data with every other network. Little attention was given to security. Since then, there have been immense efforts to bolt on security, to little effect."
Problems with openness and security belong to different sides of the same coin: we want the right to open and access information (to infrastructures too) but when implementing this rights and disseminating then does not see everyone obliging the same obligations that come with every right.

Some people are arguing that re-designing the internet infrastructures, what they call «a new internet», calls for a proposal of users abdicating their privacy rights. Still don't know if this feeling for a «new internet» comes only from the US, or if more people from different countries are advocating for the same thing, but I have been listening a lot about this lately. Do you think the solution for a better infrastructure passes by abdicating of our privacy? Are we letting others decide by us? Whose to tell what a «new internet» will be like? What are we making about it?

If we lived in a perfect and homogeneous world of equal rights and obligations, these would come as something «natural». But this is not so. We are (still) not born equal, let alone the inequalities of access to resources, to a proper life, to education, jobs, leisure, housing... freedom (and all the responsibilities that come with it). 

Libraries didn't abdicate privacy in the name of their users and they managed to deal with security issues. Isn't this a false pretext for serving other purposes? Imagine all the information each one of us accesses being recorded and crossed with other information. Imagine to whom could this interest? Who would control and have access to that information? Wouldn't this pose other security concerns?

My feelings are not easy on this. I like sharing my information but I don't like sharing all the information. I feel all of us have the right to decide what's private and what's public about us, in different stages. Don't know about the rest of you...