“One Technician Unplugged The Estonian Internet”

In all the hoo-ha about the Arab Revolutions some interesting WikiLeaks cables seem to be slipping through the net. Like this one from 2008 about Estonia’s view of the cyberattack on Georgia. Estonia had learned some tough lessons from Russia’s cyberattack on its defenses the previous year, so was quick to send cyber-defense experts to …

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Facebook’s ‘Locality of Friendship’

This visualization by Facebook intern Paul Butler illustrates what he calls the locality of friendship. I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends. I wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them. It’s a magnificent effort and scores …

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Twitter in Indonesia

Interesting to see how Twitter is catching up on the main news [Google Trends data] portal in Indonesia, detik.com. (Although actually detik.com has the largest number of followers in Jakarta, at least according to twitaholic. (With only 87,755, that doesn’t sound right somehow. Surely there are more popular Indonesian twitterers out there?) Twitoaster, which collects …

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Today’s twin bombings in Jakarta—their implications for Indonesia aside—should bring home to conventional media that social media is a multifaceted force, one that is evolving so quickly it’s fast becoming the primary channel that users tune in to for urgent news. Some conclusions to draw from Jakarta (or are reinforced by the sad episode): Social …

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South Ossetia: The First Cyber/Physical War?

BBC picture Wikipedia is doing a good job of chronicling the war in South Ossetia; its mention of several apparent cyberattacks on both sides makes me wonder whether this is the first instance of a physical war being accompanied by a cyberwar? All those listed on Wikipedia are not parallel attacks, i.e. they are not …

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What Price Tranquility?

It struck me, as I lay on a chaise longue at the Conrad Bali trying to filter out the drone of the jetskis, that hotels are selling a complicated product. My wife, for example, loves the clean, crisp white sheets and thick feather pillows of a king-size bed. Others go for the food, some for …

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Reforestation, Google Earth Style

Here’s a very cool way to mix technology and environmental stuff, via the Google Earth Blog. (Interest declared: It’s part of the NEWtrees project, the brainchild of my publisher and friend Mark Hanusz): The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) offers you the opportunity to buy a tree which will be planted in a rainforest in Sebangau …

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How Technology Shrinks and Amplifies Distance

Two pieces in the NYT/IHT that weren’t about technology, but kind of are, illustrate how technology can shrink distance but also grow it. First off a piece by Geoff D. Porter,  an analyst in the Middle East and Africa division of the Eurasia Group, explores how African would-be immigrants to Europe are now making their …

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Foleo, Foleo, Where Art Thou?

Caption competition: “Is this a dagger I see before me?” “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio” Now you see it, now you don’t Photo from BusinessWire It has the grim predictability of a company that doesn’t seem sure of what it’s doing, and what people want. Ever since Ed Colligan unveiled the Foleo — …

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Sit Still, I’m Trying to Steal Your Hair

A Jakarta pickpocket tries to steal a woman’s hair to make keyrings: Hair today, gone tomorrow for victim of mane mugger The hazards of riding the city’s public buses are many — pickpockets, gropers, drivers who stop in the middle of the road, wandering musicians plunking away on ukuleles in the hopes of annoying a …

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