An interactive exploration of the methods that could be used to add an extra star to the American flag.
Privacy, Facebook and 170 Options
Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking
Given Facebook’s release of a slew of developer tools and APIs, providing Web sites the world over with the ability to access the user data of Facebook users and the ever (d)evolving changes to Facebook’s privacy settings, it’s no surprise that there’s an outcry from individuals and privacy groups. The New York Times has published a great set of infographics laying out the “50 settings with more than 170 options” that a user has to work with to control how their information is used.
The accompanying article, Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking is well worth a read for anyone unfamiliar with the issues at stake.
- The Evolution of Privacy on Facebook
- Auto-Logging Into Facebook Could Get You Arrested
- Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol from a Web Developer’s Perspective
Images from the New York Times
Electoral Prediction: 353 Obama – 185 McCain
I’ll go out on a limb here and throw out my prediction for tonight’s election. As Noted in the post’s title, I think Senator Obama will hit 353, while Senator McCain will gain 185 electoral votes. The odds of my numbers being exactly right probably aren’t prefect, but I think I’ll be close. We’ll see.
I created this map with the Pick Your President tool from The Washington Post. It was a convenient way to visualize my picks and tinker with the results of the states that are hard to call (I put North Carolina in Obama’s column, but gave Missouri to McCain). I tinkered with the color values in Photoshop as the original map were a bit muted.
This Ain't Right: Fight the Orphan Works Act
Jeffrey Zeldman pointed out the dangerous Orphan Works Acts making their way through Congress. This act has far-reaching implications for everyone, but the impact is even larger for those who work or publish on the ‘Net. Ultimately Congress is attempting to reduce your rights as a creator (whether you write, draw, design Web sites or sing), by allowing the infringer to make the distinction as to whether or not they tried hard enough to find the owner of the work and reducing the rights of the artist, designer or author.
As noted by Mr. Zeldman, so called “orphaned” content “will be made legally available for use by commercial interests, even when the copyright holder is alive, in business, and licensing the work.”
That strikes the very heart of our society. You work hard to create something, you have every right to maintain ownership and be compensated for that work. If someone steals from you, you have recourse.
It’s Easy to Fight this Law
Luckily there is an easy way to contact our representatives in Congress to educate them on the dangers of this law and to inform them that we expect each and every one to oppose the bad legislation: Go to the Legislative Action Center tell them where you live (so they can match you with your representatives) and choose a letter that you want to send – click and go.
Here’s a snippet of the letter I sent to Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison and Representative Lloyd Doggett:
I am told that the Copyright Office conducted a study of Orphan Works and that these bills are based on that study. I understand that an orphan work is a work whose owner can’t be located. I am alive, working and managing my copyrights. I can be located. My clients locate me all the time. But that does not mean that anyone anywhere can find me. And frankly, why should the failure of any one person to find me be the measure of whether or not I can be found?
What if 10 people can find me but one can’t? Why should that one person get a free pass to use my work? Won’t that give infringers an incentive not to find me? And why should I be obligated to go into court to prove anything about the diligence of the searcher or the value of my work? What if the same work is found an orphan in one legal proceeding and not in another?
Join the list of groups opposing this bill, spend three minutes to protect the basic rights of those who create what you enjoy.
Your Billion Dollar President
It’s estimated that the 2008 presidential election process will exceed $1,000,000,000 when all is tallied up. NPR has a new set of specials “crunching the numbers with you over the next few months on public radio and on this website.” The specials, and the daily morning shows, which will start in early ’08 are “designed for an audience interested in real dialogue, up-to-the-minute news, global perspectives and engaging conversation on and off the air. I really enjoy the clips asking folks of all ages (including children) and levels of expertise (normal citizens and political scientists) how they would redesign the election process.
The National Archives provides an amazing resource in their new site the Charters of Freedom. High-resolution images of key U.S. historical documents have been made available to the world, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.