Both a conversation and a document, Google Wave is truly amazing! It won't replace email, instant messenger, and online collaborative document editing tools, but when you need all three at once, it can't be beat.

For instance, Catherine Devlin and I have been collaborating on the InForm source code for "Penguicon The Text Adventure" and I think Google Wave is an ideal space for it. So I would like to move our collaboration there.

The first Wave I have received was a group of roleplayers brainstorming how to run a roleplaying game as a Wave.

I'll also use it for game design documents, because it can import images and videos, and has wiki-like revision control.

It's perfect for collaborating on refining the Lojban language standard and automatically having a record of why each document got to where it ended up.

It's ideal for convention sign-up sheets, once enough of the population have their own Wave accounts. And proofreading a convention schedule in a Wave? Absolutely!

I'm sure to find far more uses for it.

Let me know if you would like an invite. However, I only have a few.
[ profile] wolfger invited me to StumbleUpon, so I joined. My username is MattArnold, so if you're on that service, let's please join networks! It does a lot of what I had hoped would do: Find other web surfers who like a lot of the same web pages that you do, and use that to channel-surf the best-reviewed other sites they like.

Although eventually tacked on a rudimentary feature for finding cool new pages through serendipity effects (by the way, I'm Matt_Arnold on so let's please join networks there as well), it's first and foremost a way to make and save bookmarks on the web, and add tags to them. It seemed to me that as long as so many people were doing this, it should be possible to search the data of everyone's tags and bookmarks and find people whose recommendations I would like. But instead the service focuses its excellence on helping you get to your own bookmarks from any computer, subscribe to anyone's bookmarks as an RSS feed, and conveniently tag pages with metadata for findability, better than StumbleUpon does.

That's why I was so pleased that I could import all my tagged sites, complete with their list of tags, into StumbleUpon. It now has a lot of information about my tastes, with which to automatically correlate me to others.

Although you may add buttons to your Firefox navigation bar that would bookmark and tag the page you're viewing, or bring up your bookmarks page, is a web service that works fine without those conveniences. StumbleUpon, by contrast, requires that you install a plugin for giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to pages, and doesn't work without it.
I don't speak on behalf of Penguicon and I'm not claiming the views expressed here are representative of anyone else running it. That's as it should be. Penguicon is all about 1. Fun, 2. More Fun, and 3. Keep Fun First. It's not about ideology. But Penguicon has two incidental side benefits that get me excited and are very fun for me. One is spreading Free and Open Source Software to fans of science fiction, fantasy, games, anime, and comics, who aren't technically skilled. The other is to use the political and social visions of science fiction to interest some of those hackers who are not yet interested in Hacktivism. I want to get them excited about how the fight for “knowledge goods”-- not just code alone-- benefits hackers, how non-engineer users benefit hackers, and how damage to the knowledge ecology harms innovators first like canaries in a coal mine. Specifically, I want to get more hackers interested in contributing to software for non-engineer users, and keeping non-engineer users around with volunteer tech support.

Read more... )


Sep. 1st, 2006 01:05 pm
I've been waiting for this a long time. AllPeers is a method of file transfer that lets you set up your own private network of peers with whom you can send and receive files of unlimited size. There's no more need to email a bulky file and wonder whether it's going to get through. Add friends and family members who also use AllPeers in the Firefox web browser, and decide what files you want them to be able to get from you. Click here if you have Firefox, to go to the download page for this extension.

Supposedly they're going to eventually open the source code. Also, supposedly this method is much faster than sending files through email or an instant message client, because it incorporates BitTorrent technology.

Just one neat example of a little trick you can do with this, is instantly share a screen shot with a peer who's online... such as a tech support scenario.

My username is MattArnold. Add me to your networks!
I have higher Google PageRank than any other Matt Arnold on the web except for the fictional character in "Big Trouble". Ironically, by linking to this, I'm exacerbating the situation.

Surfing the search results far enough, you will come to a piece of amateur avante-garde experimental music with a title that happens to contain my name. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: "Disaster In Matt Arnold's Pants" by MC Iedh.
When we had Chris DiBona from Google as Penguicon's Guest of Honor, I hoped to have a panel about Google in science fiction. For instance, there is a piece of Flash animation science fiction about Google's next ten years. "Turing's Cathedral" is a non-fiction essay by George Dyson about his visit to the Googleplex, and it gets very science fictional at the end. One of the pieces I remembered but could no longer find was this one-page super-short story: The Nine Billion Names of God by Kathy Kachelries. It shares the same name as a classic tale by Arthur C. Clarke.
The social bookmarking service became even more social by introducing a feature that I've wanted for a long time. They call it networking, but what it amounts to is just like a Livejournal Friends List, except it's for your latest bookmarked web links instead of blog entries. The "social" aspect of used to be that you could give other people a link to your bookmarks, like this: But now you don't have to visit all your friends' pages because they can all be listed like an LJ friends page. I've networked with [ profile] netmouse and [ profile] rikhei, but if you have a account too, let me know and I'll subscribe!
nemorathwald: (I'm losin' it)
Good gravy, I am swarmed with chat messages from my friends who have simultaneously discovered that Gmail is porting Google Talk directly into their Gmail browser window. I knew about it first, but no matter how often I refresh my browser, the feature hasn't propagated to my account yet. In the middle of a huge Gmail chatfest, I'm still using the desktop client.

The nice thing is, though, that they will finally get on Google Talk! I love Google Talk. One of the unfortunate things about other instant message clients is that I don't have the same archived messages on one computer that I do at another. Google Talk is now archived and searchable from within Gmail.
Today I wanted to make some corrections to the HTML of one of my old web pages to make it compliant with the standards of the Firefox web browser. So I saved the webpage on my Linux computer. I opened the HTML file in Text Editor and was pleased that it made the markup tags a variety of different colors. This visual aid made the work go much faster.

I looked in the Applications menu and was surprised that I didn't see an FTP client with which to send the file to my web space. So I looked in Synaptic Package Manager. The closest thing to what I wanted seemed to be this:
Read more... )
There are many programs and web applications that will syndicate your blog as a feed. Livejournal is one of them; you don't even have to set it up. It creates a special document in formats such as RSS or Atom. I'll bet a lot of you didn't even know your blog did that. It's great that you don't have to mess with it. Anyone who wants to subscribe to you can point a piece of software called a feed aggregator at your Livejournal, and their aggregator will go out and fetch your entries and deliver them automatically, instead of your readers having to check your blog to see if you updated it lately. Since the Firefox web browser implemented this as a "live bookmark" in the toolbar, that's become the main way I surf the web.

The situation is not so good for podcasting. A podcast is just an audio file that's distributed by a syndication feed so that it's downloaded onto your desktop or digital music player automatically; but so far I have found no software that will update the RSS or Atom document for me. So far I'm doing it by hand in Notepad text editor, but it's complicated.Read more... )
PC Turnoff Organization wants us to turn off our computers August 1 through 7. Their website features articles like "Give Your Kids The Gift Of Boredom." I am not making this up. For a moment I thought it was a parody, but it's not.

I can hardly wait five years to carry a computer with voice recognition in a hip pack, wirelessly connected to a heads-up display and headphones embedded in a pair of glasses. Through augmented reality, networking with each other would no longer involve staring through a window into another "cyberspace" reality. Computer-mediation is coming out of the screen, and layering over our entire environment.

I'm all in favor of getting up from a desk to interact with the world around us. I'll do that more often after wearable computers with augmented reality have made the two worlds become one and the same. Lose the ball and chain to the location, not the computer.
Kevin Kelly writes a fascinating article titled "We Are The Web" in the August issue of WIRED.

"But looking back now, after 10 years of living online, what surprises me about the genesis of the Web is how much was missing from Vannevar Bush's vision, Nelson's docuverse, and my own expectations. We all missed the big story. The revolution launched by Netscape's IPO was only marginally about hypertext and human knowledge. At its heart was a new kind of participation that has since developed into an emerging culture based on sharing. And the ways of participating unleashed by hyperlinks are creating a new type of thinking - part human and part machine - found nowhere else on the planet or in history."

What follows is a great summary of examples of internet culture-- which is now the culture-- is created by the audiences that are consuming it. Over the span of the article he grows more and more rhapsodic and science fictional about the next ten years. I'd place my bets on his predictions.
"There are over 8 billion web pages. Most of them suck." --Outfoxed

[ profile] brendand noticed in my last post that I applied tags to it. Tags are important. Google succeeded because they realized you can't hierarchically categorize the web like Yahoo tried to do. Unfortunately Google is getting inundated with people cheating its page-rank system. The web will soon depend on metadata, which usually takes the form of descriptive keyword tags. But the only people who can possibly apply them to 8 billion webpages is... everybody.

Who here does social bookmarking? Post here with your bookmark page so I can browse it. Mine is at is a service that lets you apply keyword tags to your favorite sites the way that Flickr has tags for pictures. You can browse the most popular bookmarks on the internet from day to day.

You can even set up the popular list as a drop-down menu from your bookmark toolbar in Firefox. (What? You're still using Explorer? No wonder your computer is infested with spyware/adware/viruses. Get Firefox! It is a thing of beauty.) Just like the web changed from something you browse into something you you search, now feeds are changing it to streams of delivered headlines that you subscribe to. Firefox has a feed-reader built-in: on a page that offers a feed, just click the orange button on the lower right corner of the browser to subscribe.

Another form of social websurfing is the Firefox extension Outfoxed. You get a new button on your interface that will let you rate a web domain as good, bad or dangerous. Your browser will access the reports of your friends who have the extension, so that a global network of votes and comments emerges.

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