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Technology

Broadly defined "technology" e.g. software, water pumps

Debian Circling Drain

Images are fun. A little while ago Mozilla told the Debian folks that if Debian wanted to keep shipping the browser as "Firefox" and use the Firefox art then they have to follow the rules for using the Firefox name and art. These are in place to protect the Mozilla brand and security - e.g. you can't recompile Firefox with a cookie/traffic snooper and still call it Firefox.

Several Debian folks got upset about this because it didn't feel Free enough to them. Interestingly, Debian has a very similar policy about the use of their artwork:

  1. This logo may only be used if:
    • the product it is used for is made using a documented procedure as published on www.debian.org (for example official CD-creation)
    • official approval is given by Debian for its use in this purpose
  2. May be used if an official part of debian (decided using the rules in I) is part of the complete product, if it is made clear that only this part is officially approved
  3. We reserve the right to revoke a license for a product

This morning I was reading stuff from planet mozilla which pointed me to the below photo (original source).



Well, this was frustrating to me. So, I decided to grab a little Debian artwork and have some fun in Inkscape.


Resolution to the Problem

And just so that I'm not another log on the fire - it would be nice if some folks (e.g. Mitchell Baker and Anthony Towns) to say "Enough is enough, we're both great and well respected Open Source projects that have to protect our respective trademarks and we will honor the each other's trademark terms - no hypocritical criticism necessary".

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Paid blogging - Review of ReviewMe, PayPerPost, Blogsvertise (not sponsored)

There are several new companies coming out of the woodwork to help smaller publishers make money from their blog or blogs. I see this as just another step on the path from traditional media to distributed citizen media. It's also a great development in terms of enabling individuals to take control of their financial destiny.

History and Progress

Newspapers, radio shows, and other traditional media have always written favorable articles about advertisers. That is, after all, a big part of the motivation for Consumer Reports - to provide unbiased reviews of products. There are also several watchdog agencies that are pointing out the commercial bias in traditional media as Andy Hagans points out in the ReviewMe Blog. So, this is just a further step in an existing trend. And, as a further step, it's not surprising that a lot of the same contentious issues play out.

If you send a free gadget to a reviewer is that a "pay per review" situation? Martin Varsavsky debates this point but in his case he's lucky to just have a $5 product! But, when jounalists given over $500 worth of multimedia/cell phone kit, can you really expect them to be totally unbiased in writing about Nokia? Some people are bashing this new wave of "paid blogging" as biasing the blogosphere, but it's not as cut/clear of an issue as some

At the same time we've all heard the statistics about people ignoring advertising more and more - so marketers are a bit concerned about how to keep getting their ideas passed along in meme sex.

Review of the Companies

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Spambulance Chaser

I want a personal injury lawyer for spam. For a variety of reasons I have to keep various email addresses that I use public. Some of these are used for work related to my neighborhood in Denver. We consistently get spam on those addresses from all sorts of places, and yeah, I want to sue those folks. But that's pretty hard. They hide and do all sorts of shady stuff that would prevent finding them.

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2FoldStudio: Denver Graphic Design and Art Lessons

Living in Denver's Baker Neighborhood is interesting for me - there are many many artistic people who choose this neighborhood which makes the landscaping, home painting, home architecture really neat. The other benefit is that lots of my neighbors are artists and grahpic designers - handy when I do web development.

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Fonero Router Growth and Density - Has FON Forced the Last Round of Data?

On September 14th I went to get the data for another round of geographic analysis of FON (density by country and Fonero Growth by country). I was surprised to see the maps had been completely redone and the data I need is no longer readily available. Well, a quick visit to the Google cache of the maps overview page gave me the data I wanted from September 7th. So, I've got snapshots from July 14, August 21, and September 7th which makes monthly growth information a little skewed, but interesting all the same.

This month I have three charts - The 10 most dense countries, the 10 countries with the fastest growth in my sample period, and then a larger chart with some more growth and density information for all countries. Germany is perhaps the most exciting country in these since they are in the top 10 of both: they've really grown quickly and their density, while still not at the highest quality, is getting better fast.

Top 10 most Dense Countries with Foneros













CountryFoneros July 14Foneros September 7Growth Last MonthGrowth Since BeginningKM2/Point JulyKM2/Point September
Singapore831009.89%20.48%87
The Netherlands17382,1884.64%25.89%2419
Andorra16249.09%50.00%2920
South Korea29584,70031.80%58.89%3321
Belgium6408088.31%26.25%4838
Switzerland5728797.99%53.67%7247
Spain882410,6494.64%20.68%5747
Germany28916,82322.08%136.01%12352
Italy28504,36113.21%53.02%10669
Taiwan32348513.85%50.15%11174

Top 10 countries with the fastest FON Router Growth













CountryFoneros July 14Foneros September 7Growth Last MonthGrowth Since BeginningKM2/Point JulyKM2/Point September
Hungary7920797.14%162.03%1,178449
Germany28916,82322.08%136.01%12352
Russia40786.85%95.00%426,880218,913
Greece9417215.44%82.98%1,404767
Portugal36864310.48%74.73%251144
Brazil2444089.97%67.21%34,88520,863
Austria33955313.32%63.13%247152
South Korea29584,70031.80%58.89%3321
Costa Rica182812.00%55.56%2,8391,825
Switzerland5728797.99%53.67%7247
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Outfoxed is now Lijit - Yet Another Drupal Site

For a while now there has been the GetOutfoxed community focused around the Outfoxed browser extension.

The company and the extension

A few months ago the project started to get "real" with investors, and office space, and desks, and chairs. They've now relaunched under the name "Lijit" as in "legit" as in "legitimate" as in "what you would say about a page that you think is good". This is an interesting project to me because it uses some of my favorite technology, it's a company in Colorado.

The extension is basically a way to say that something is "good, bad, or dangerous" and you can apply that rating to web pages or domains. Then other people (your friends, family, coworkers) create a trust network listening to your advice and giving you advice (the network connections can be one way if someone trusts you but you don't trust them). It's pretty clear to see that this could be extended from just web pages and applied to other things in life (email senders, operating system processes, etc.) and all of a sudden it's great. It takes a lot of cool products that have been going around takes them one step further. Really brilliant stuff.

Drupal Site - Pretty Theme

Additionally, they've got a really pretty page layout - pretty standard stuff in a lot of ways: The section across the bottom with categories and links within those categories. Right hand navigation. Fixed width site. Fancy 3-d Logo (though it could use a dropshadow). I'm not a super huge fan of the colors, but what I am a fan of is that when you look at the site it's clearly got a designer's hand in the look and feel. Many people complain that it's hard to theme Drupal - and yet there are so many examples to the contrary, this being one.

That's about it - help spread the love, won't you? And Digg the new Lijit site.

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What is google doing with their new features?

People often say "what is google thinking with {insert name of their new serivce}?"

Google and Open Source Project Hosting

At the OSCON this summer they announced Google Code Project Hosting a Sourceforge like open source project hosting environment. It's inline with some of their other projects like Summer of Code, a project where Google pays university students to spend their summers working on open source projects. A system where Drupal got 14 projects (a value of over US$70,000 - listen to a summary of the progress in Lullabot Podcast #23).

Now, when they announced the whole Project Hosting thing it seemed like a nice thing for them to do for up and coming projects - but it also seemed more than a little redundant. If you're a small or medium project then Sourceforge will work great. If you're a larger project then maybe you need to use the OSUOSL (consider donating to them). Either way, it seemed more than redundant for Google to offer this hosting.

Mozilla Talkback

Mozilla has long used a system called Talkback and it uses a closed source, proprietary system that requires a license and is owned by a company called SupportSoft. People complain about this system all the time in forums saying "mozilla should build their own talkback system" to which the response is "why don't you build it as your own open source project and let us use it" to which the repsonse is usually something like "oh, I don't code, you should write it for me on your own time". You can guess how I feel about this exchanges...

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