Web

Web / Recently Commented

YouTube, the Government, and Privacy

It was just announced that every member of Congress will be able to create his or her own channel on YouTube. Viewers can go to the House or Senate home pages and navigate via a map to find the videos they're interested in. While it is good that citizens will have more insight into what their Senators and Representatives think, the way this is being done poses a serious privacy risk. more

Nortel… The Good News: Web.Alive

Ok, ok - it's pretty hard to ignore the bombshell news that's on front pages everywhere today in Canada. It looks like Nortel is going to seek bankruptcy protection, perhaps as early as today. This may be a minor story in the U.S. business press, but it's a big story in tech/telecom, and a HUGE story here in Canada. You don't need me to tell you what Nortel means to Canada in terms of pride and joy, although that's more of a distant memory these days... more

Google Rolling Out Its Services Over IPv6

While Google admits that offering its services over IPv6 is still in its infancy, the company today announced the option for accessing Google services over IPv6. Last year, Google started offering Google search over IPv6 on IPv6-only websites like 'ipv6.google.com' requiring IPv6 connection, but other Google products have not been generally available over IPv6, says Google. "That's why we created Google over IPv6." more

More Privacy, Bit by Bit

Before the Holidays, Yahoo got a flurry of good press for the announcement that it would (as the LA Times puts it) "purge user data after 90 days." My eagle-eyed friend Julian Sanchez noticed that the "purge" was less complete than privacy advocates might have hoped. more

Google Releases a One-Stop Reference Source to Browser Security

Today via its Online Security Blog, Google announced the release of its Browser Security Handbook aimed at providing web application developers, browser engineers, and information security researchers a "one-stop reference" to critical security attributes of modern web browsers. "Insufficient understanding of these often poorly-documented characteristics is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of several classes of security vulnerabilities," says the introduction to the 60-page document. more

The Web’s Benevolent Dictators

Jeffrey Rosen has a great article in the New York Times Magazine this weekend titled Google's Gatekeepers. In it he deals with the question of whether we are becoming too overly dependent on a few big web companies like Google – and whether it's wise over the long run for us to trust their team of (currently) very nice, well-meaning people who are trying hard to do the right thing when faced with government censorship demands and surveillance pressures. He writes... more

A Link to Eternity

While Google is as secretive about its internal processes and systems as Apple is about product development, every now and then senior people post articles on the official Google blog and offer their thoughts on the development of the web. In the latest posting, two Google engineers, Alfred Spector and Franz Och, look at how search strategies will benefit from the faster computers, greater volumes of data and better algorithms we are likely to see in the next decade, speculating that "we could train our systems to discern not only the characters or place names in a YouTube video or a book, for example, but also to recognise the plot or the symbolism." more

Happy OneWebDay: Celebrations are Underway Around the World

Today marks the third annual OneWebDay (Earth Day for the Internet) and communities around the world are holding events to learn about and advocate the Internet. Gatherings are being held in major U.S. cities as well as Melbourne, London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Singapore, Tunisia and elsewhere. more

Survey Indicates 69% of Internet Users Already Making Use of Cloud Computing

According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center's Internet Project, 69% of all Internet users in U.S. have either stored data online or used a web-based software application. "These users are making use of 'cloud computing,' an emerging architecture by which data and applications reside in cyberspace, allowing users to access them through any web-connected device." At the same time, most of these users are still unfamiliar with the term "cloud computing." more

Google Chrome: Cloud Operating Environment

Rather than blathering on to the blogosphere about the superficial features of Google's new Chrome browser I've spent some time studying the available material and [re]writing a comprehensive Wikipedia article on the subject which I intend for anyone to be free to reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license rather than Wikipedia's usual strong copyleft GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). This unusual freedom is extended in order to foster learning and critical analysis, particularly in terms of security. more

Chrome: Getting Microsoft’s Goat

Historically there has been nothing which gets Microsoft's attention as fast as a platform for applications which threatens Windows dominance. Google's Chrome is obviously such a platform; Google can afford to challenge Microsoft; it's healthy for innovation that it does. Can Microsoft still rise to the challenge? Way back when I was at Microsoft -- 1991 to 1994, Lotus Notes was the threat du jour... Since I was responsible for the development of what was to become Microsoft Exchange, I was in charge of that war for a while... more

Google Set to Launch Chrome Browser Today

Google announced on Monday that it has been working on an open-source browser known as Chrome and that it is going to release a beta version today in 100 countries. News about the launch of Google Chrome (originally planned for announcement after the holiday weekend) was accidentally emailed to outside sources according to reports. The new browser features include "isolated" tabs designed to prevent browser crashes and a more powerful JavaScript engine. Chrome is based on the open-source software Webkit which is also used to build Google's mobile software Android. more

Daily Search Engine Usage Reaching Email Usage

Use of search engines on a daily bases has been steadily rising from about one-third in 2002 to current rate of just under 50% according to a recent report by Pew Internet & American Life Project. With this increase, the search engine use will soon be reaching that of email which is currently 60% of internet users. The study also points out that these "new figures propel search further out of the pack, well ahead of other popular internet activities, such as checking the news, which 39% of internet users do on a typical day, or checking the weather, which 30% do on a typical day." more

Internet Companies in Negotiations for Agreement on Code of Conduct in China

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, in negotiations with other Internet companies and human rights organizations, have reached an agreement on a voluntary code of conduct for activities in China and other countries that censor the Internet. The participants are reviewing the agreement for final approval. more

Open Web Foundation Launches to Push Data Portability

A new nonprofit organization called the Open Web Foundation (OWF) launched today with a mission to be an independent non-profit dedicated to the development and protection of open, non-proprietary specifications for web technologies. "The Open Web needs Open Data, Open Date needs Open Specifications," is one of the statements used in today's opening presentation. With backing from some of the biggest companies including Google, MySpace, Facebook, and Yahoo, the foundation plans to serve as a placeholder for "all the legal dirty work that needs to happen in order for data portability to become a reality." more