The three tribes of the internet

Authors Primavera De Filippi, Juan Ortiz Freuler, and Joshua Tan outline three competing narratives that have shaped the internet: libertarian, corporate, and nationalist. “[These narratives] emerged from a community of shared interests; each calls for a set of institutional arrangements; each endures in today’s politics.” » about 400 words

The legal case for emoji

Emoji are showing up as evidence in court more frequently with each passing year. Between 2004 and 2019, there was an exponential rise in emoji and emoticon references in US court opinions, with over 30 percent of all cases appearing in 2018, according to Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been tracking all of the references to “emoji” and “emoticon” that show up in US court opinions. So far, the emoji and emoticons have rarely been important enough to sway the direction of a case, but as they become more common, the ambiguity in how emoji are displayed and what we interpret emoji to mean could become a larger issue for courts to contend with.

From Dami Lee, amplifying Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman’s ongoing research into the role of Emoji in legal proceedings. Lee tells us emoji have “shown up in all types of cases, from murder to robbery,” and the examples in the story include solicitation and a civil complaint. Goldman is especially concerned about how the courts will handle the different rendering of emoji on on different devices.

The problem with economies of scale

Economies of scale quickly become economies of hassle

From Jessamyn, amplifying the exasperation people feel when daily activities are made more complex by poor application of technology. In the example given, the phone app reduces costs for the provider, but doesn’t improve the experience for the customer. People may not expect parking to be delightful, but that’s not an excuse for making it frustrating.

Interconnected, machine readable data, at scale

The NGA provides a free database with no regulations on its use. MaxMind takes some coordinates from that database and slaps IP addresses on them. Then IP mapping sites, as well as phone carriers offering “find my phone” services, display those coordinates on maps as distinct and exact locations, ignoring the “accuracy radius” that is supposed to accompany them.

“We assume the correctness of data, and often these people who are supposed to be competent make mistakes and those mistakes then are very detrimental to people’s daily lives,” said Olivier. “We need to get to a point where responsibility can be assigned to individuals who use data to ensure that they use the data correctly.”

From Kashmir Hill writing on the role of interconnected data in our modern lives. In this case it’s geo IP data, but it’s a story that’s increasingly common and likely in any field.

Two years after MaxMind first became aware of this problem with default [geo IP] locations, its lawyer says it’s still trying to fix it.

You can identify a dog on the internet, but will you bother to?

You can construct any [effing] narrative by scouring the internet for people claiming something. It doesn’t make it relevant. It doesn’t make it true.

From Agri Ismaïl’s media criticism (start here). This isn’t an issue of not knowing the dogs on the internet, it’s a matter of not caring who’s a dog in the interest of either clicks or political interest.

An American iPhone in Europe

By way of update on my earlier post after researching options for AT&T iPhone users in Europe (with an unlocked phone), I ended up not bothering with local SIM cards in either The Netherlands or France. A savvy user should be able to find a local pay as you go SIM plan that’s less expensive […] » about 600 words

Preparing My iPhone For Europe

There’s uncertain talk of a European trip coming up, so I’m making nonspecific preparations for it. One of the questions I have is how to avoid hefty roaming charges from AT&T. In previous trips abroad I’d purchased overseas voice and data add-ons so I could use my iPhone. That works, up to a point. On my […] » about 400 words

Notes To Self: Twitter’s Website Rocks On Mobile Devices

Twitter’s mobile site rocks on my iPhone. Especially worth noting: they’ve figured out how to pin their header to the top while scrolling the content in the middle. They’re also using pushState() and other cool tricks to make the experience feel very native, but the scroll behavior is rare among web apps on iOS. Kent […] » about 200 words

What The Critics Are Missing About Apple’s iPad

It’s doubtful that anybody reading this blog missed the news that Apple finally took the wraps off their much rumored tablet: the iPad. Trouble is, a bunch of folks seem to be upset about the features and specs, or something that made the buzz machine go meh. It’s just a bigger iPhone, complain the privileged […] » about 400 words

Crime vs. Highways. Or, Internet Security Is A Social (Not Technical) Problem

Stefan Savage, speaking in a segment on March 13’s On The Media, asked: The question I like to ask people is, what are you going to do to the highway system to reduce crime. And when you put it that way, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, because while criminals do use the highway, no rational person […] » about 400 words

Is Internet Linking Legal?

You’d think the top search results on the matter would be newer than 1999, but that’s where you’ll find this NYT article and PubLaw item story, both from precambrian times. Worse, both of those articles suggest that my links to them may not be entirely kosher.

The problem is probably that US courts have not spoken clearly on such a case. A Danish court in 2006 did, but I think that no case in the US has gone far enough to actually set a precedent. Another chance at settling this issue was lost earlier this month when BlockShopper settled, rather than continue a costly defense of such a case. The EFF is confident BlockShopper could have won, but that means little when the legal bills come in.

Related at EFF: Kelly v. Arriba Soft and Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Scaling PHP

This two year old post about Rasmus Lerdorf’s PHP scaling tips (slides) is interesting in the context of what we’ve learned since then. APC now seems common, and it’s supposedly built-in to PHP6. Still, I’d be interested in seeing an update. Are MySQL prepared statements still slow?

And that’s where Rasmus’ latest presentation comes in. We don’t learn anything about MySQL prepared statements, but we do learn how to find choke points in our applications using callgrind and other tools. In his examples, he can do a little over 600 transactions per second with both static HTML and simple PHP, but various frameworks — with many inclusions and function calls — can slow that to under 50 transactions per second (I suppose they’d explain that in a TPS report).

Browser-Based JSON Editors

JSONLint, a JSON validator, was the tool I needed a while ago to be able to play with JSON as format for exchanging data in some APIs I was working on a while ago. And now I like JSON well enough that I’m thinking of using it as an internal data format in one of my applications, especially because it’s relatively easy to work with in JavaScript. Or, at least that’s the promise.

What I’ll need is an easy way to manipulate the contents of a simple array, and these JSON editors may give me a start.

The Braincast JSON editor was the first I found, but it doesn’t allow creation/expansion of the JSON. Katamari‘s JSON editor seems to work and has a lot of features and a post 2005-looking interface, but that doesn’t make it simple. Worse, I don’t think it’s available for me to re-use, modify, or extend in my projects. Thomas Frank‘s JSON editor, on the other hand, does have the features I need and a GPL license. That’s the place to start.

Extra: a JSON diff.

Web Application Design Book Recommendation

I’ve learned to ignore contests on the web. Banner ads that promise prizes if I click the right pixel are the least offensive, but the contests that have me creating content (and then force me to give up my copyright to it) for another person’s gain infuriate me. So when I saw author and experience […] » about 300 words

Tidens Hotteste IT-Trends

My presentation for today’s hottest IT trends is nearly completely new, though it draws a number of pieces from my building web 2.0-native library services and remixability presentations. What it adds is an (even more) intense focus on the people that make up the web. Denmark is among the most wired countries of Europe, and […] » about 300 words