You are currently browsing the archive for the Links category.

reader-publisher-advertiser-safeadsTake a look at any ad, for anything, online.

Do you know whether or not it’s meant for you personally — meaning that you’ve been tracked somehow, and that tracking has been used to aim the ad at you? Chances are you don’t, and that’s a problem.

Sometimes the tracking is obvious, especially with retargeted ads. (Those are the shoes or hats or fishing poles that follow you to sites B, C and D after you looked at something like them at site A.) But most of the time it’s not.

Being followed around the Web is not among the things most of us want when we visit a website. Nor is it what we expect from most advertising.

Yet much of today’s advertising online comes with privacy-invading tracking files that slows page loads, drives up data use on our mobile devices and sometimes carries a bonus payload of malware.

So we block ads — in droves so large that ad blocking now comprises the largest boycott of anything in human history.

Reduced to a hashtag, what we say with our ad blockers is #NoAds. But even AdBlock Plus (the top ad blocker and the most popular* add-on overall), whitelists what its community calls “acceptable ads” by default.

So there is some market acceptance, if not demand, for some advertising. Specifically, Adblock Plus’s Acceptable Ads Manifesto whitelists ads that:

  1. are not annoying.
  2. do not disrupt or distort the page content we’re trying to read.
  3. are transparent with us about being an ad.
  4. are effective without shouting at us.
  5. are appropriate to the site that we are on.

Those are all fine, but none of them yet draws a line between what you, or anybody, knows is safe, and what isn’t.

In Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff, I draw that line between ads aimed at populations and ads aimed at you (because you’re being tracked). Here’s one way of illustrating the difference:


As Don Marti puts it in Targeted Advertising Considered Harmful, #SafeAds carry a signal that personally targeted ads do not. For one thing, they don’t carry the burden of requiring that every ad perform in some way, preferably with an action by you. He explains,

Richard E. Kihlstrom and Michael H. Riordan explained the signaling logic behind advertising in a 1984 paper.

When a firm signals by advertising, it demonstrates to consumers that its production costs and the demand for its product are such that advertising costs can be recovered. In order for advertising to be an effective signal, high-quality firms must be able to recover advertising costs while low-quality firms cannot.

Kevin Simler writes, in Ads Don’t Work that Way,

Knowing (or sensing) how much money a company has thrown down for an ad campaign helps consumers distinguish between big, stable companies and smaller, struggling ones, or between products with a lot of internal support (from their parent companies) and products without such support. And this, in turn, gives the consumer confidence that the product is likely to be around for a while and to be well-supported. This is critical for complex products like software, electronics, and cars, which require ongoing support and maintenance, as well as for anything that requires a big ecosystem (e.g. Xbox).

In my wheat & chaff post, I said,

Let’s fix the problem ourselves, by working with the browser and ad and tracking blockers to create simple means for labeling the wheat and restricting our advertising diet to it.

So this is my concrete suggestion: label every ad not aimed by tracking with the hashtag “#SafeAd.”

It shouldn’t be hard. The adtech industry has AdChoices, a complicated program that supposedly puts you “in control of your Internet experience with interest-based advertising—ads that are intended for you, based on what you do online.”

Credit where due: at least it shows that advertisers are willing to label their ads. A #SafeAd hashtag (and/or some simple code that speaks to ad and tracking blockers) would do the same thing, with less overhead, with a nice clear signal that users can appreciate.

#SafeAds is the only trail I know beyond the pure-prophylaxis #NoAds signal that ad blocking sends to publishers and advertisers today. So let’s blaze it.

* That’s for Firefox. I can’t find an equivalent list for other browsers. Help with that is welcome.

Here is the current perimeter of the Valley Fire, according to the USGS’ GEOMAC viewer:

ValleyFire 2015-09-13 at 3.10.24 PM_a

As you see, no places are identified there. One in particular, however, is of extremely special interest to me: Harbin Hot Springs. That’s where I met my wife and made more friends than I can count. It is, or was,  one of the most lovely places on Earth, inhabited and lovingly maintained by wonderful people.

I just matched up a section of the map above with Google Maps’ Earth view, and see that Harbin and its neighborhood are in the perimeter:

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 3.12.19 PM

After seeing this picture here, which looks northwest from downtown Middletown…

COyGRRHVAAEwC4w… I suspected the worse.

And now comes news that Harbin is “pretty much destroyed.” Damn.

Other places in the perimeter — or so it appears to me (please don’t take this as gospel):

  • Outer edges of Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake communities
  • Parts of Whispering Pines, Cobb, Holbergs and Glenbrook
  • Areas adjacent to McCreary Lake and Detert Reservoir

Watch here for official information about the fire.


meerkatLook where Meerkat andperiscopeapp Periscope point. I mean, historically. They vector toward a future where anybody anywhere can send live video out to the glowing rectangles of the world.

If you’ve looked at the output of either, several things become clear about their inevitable evolutionary path:

  1. Mobile phone/data systems will get their gears stripped, in both directions. And it will get worse before it gets better.
  2. Stereo sound recording is coming. Binaural recording too. Next…
  3. 3D. Mobile devices in a generation or two will include two microphones and two cameras pointed toward the subject being broadcast. Next…
  4. VR, or virtual reality.

Since walking around like a dork holding a mobile in front of you shouldn’t be the only way to produce these videos, glasses like these are inevitable:


(That’s a placeholder design in the public domain, so it has no IP drag, other than whatever submarine patents already exist, and I am sure there are some.)

Now pause to dig Facebook’s 10-year plan to build The Matrix. How long before Facebook buys Meerkat and builds it into Occulus Rift? Or buys Twitter, just to get Periscope and do the same?

Whatever else happens, the rights clearing question gets very personal. Do you want to be recorded by others and broadcast to the world or not? What are the social and device protocols for that? (Some are designed into the glasses above. Hope they help.)

We should start zero-basing some answers today, while the inevitable is in sight but isn’t here yet.

It should help to remember that all copyright laws were created in times when digital life was unimaginable (e.g. Stature of Anne, ASCAP), barely known (Act of 1976), or highly feared (WIPO, CTEA, DMCA).

How would we write new laws for the new video age that has barely started? Or why start with laws at all? (Remember that nearly all regulation protects yesterday from last Thursday — and are often written by know-nothings.)

We’ve only been living the networked life since graphical browsers and ISPs arrived in the mid-90’s. Meanwhile we’ve had thousands of years to develop civilization in the physical world.

Relatively speaking, digital networked life is Eden, which also didn’t come with privacy. That’s why we made clothing and shelter, and eventually put both on hooves and wheels.

How will we create the digital equivalents of the privacy technologies we call clothing, shelter, buttons, zippers, doors, windows, shades, blinds and curtains? Are the first answers technical or policy ones? Or both? (I favor the technical, fwiw. Code is Law and all that.)

Protecting the need for artists to make money is part of the picture. But it’s not the only part. And laws are only one way to protect artists, or anybody.

Manners come first, and we don’t have those yet. Meaning we also lack civilization, which is built on, and with, manners of many kinds. Think about much manners are lacking in the digital world. So far.

None of the big companies that dominate our digital lives have fully thought out how to protect anybody’s privacy. Those that come closest are ones we pay directly, and are therefore accountable to us (to a degree). Apple and Microsoft, for example, are doing more and more to isolate personal data to spaces the individual controls and the company can’t see — and to keep personal data away from the advertising business that sustains Google and Facebook, which both seem to regard personal privacy as a bug in civilization, rather than a feature of it. Note that we also pay those two companies nothing for their services. (We are mere consumers, whose lives are sold to the company’s actual customers, which are advertisers.)

Bottom line: the legal slate is covered in chalk, but the technical one is close to clean. What do we want to write there?

Start here: privacy is personal. We need to be able to signal our intentions about privacy — both as people doing the shooting, and the people being shot. A red light on a phone indicating recording status (as we have on video cameras) is one good step for video producers. On the other side of the camera, we need to signal what’s okay and what’s not. Clothing does that to some degree. So do doors, and shades and shutters on windows. We need the equivalent in our shared networked space. The faster and better we do that, the better we’ll be able to make good TV.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’ve been quiet here for a bit. One reason is that I’ve been traveling almost constantly, and not always in the best position to blog (or even tweet). Another is that I’ve been liveblogging instead. So here, latest first, is a list of liveblog postings since my last post here:

Most are lists of links: tabs I’m closing. Many contain bloggy additional notes. Some are more extensive, such as my liveblog notes on @janelgw‘s talk in New York on May 6.

I’ll get back to more regular blogging here, while still liveblogging, after I get back in the States from Australia, where I am now. I fly tomorrow (Saturday in Oz, Friday in the Americas).


Somebody at The New Yorker calls office junk (the kind you save until you toss because you’re moving) “accretions of intention.” Same goes for open tabs. So here are my closed ones, accreted now on a blog rather than in my tabs or my brain:

Triangulation 186 | TWiT.TV Recorded yesterday. Good one.
  Why grudges don’t work
   The address book we need today — Medium
   Olympic bid has Boston asking: ‘Huh? What inferiority complex?’ – Metro – The Boston Globe

” title=”\”

” target=”_blank”>”

The True Tragedy Of "American Sniper"
The Tragedy of the American Military – The Atlantic
Public Books — Justice for “Data Janitors”
How Verizon and Turn Defeat Browser Privacy Protections | Electronic Frontier Foundation
"The Internet Would Never Have Existed Without The Copyright Monopoly" | TorrentFreak
Martin Luther King’s heirs milk a legacy: Our view
   Ready for What’s Next? Envision a Future Where Your Personal Information Is Digital Currency | WIRED
Doc Searls Weblog · For personal data, use value beats sale value
The Future of Broadcast Television — Shelly Palmer
Bluegrass on the radio in a commercial place: WFNL, 102.3-FM | On the Beat Blog | NewsObserver.con
The California-Colorado Cannabis War | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Andrew Pearson | LinkedIn
Ernst Jünger and the Problem of Nihilism in the Age of Total War | Antoine Bousquet –
Eris Industries
google maps cell phones – – Yahoo Search Results
Who’s viewed your profile | LinkedIn
scripting/nodeStorage · GitHub
Radio Ink Magazine
Acronym-ity: VRM Are The Three Most Important Letters You’ve Never Heard Of 03/22/2014
Le Cluetrain Manifesto appliqué à la politique ·
Fuori dal Prisma – ilSole24ORE
Charlie Hebdo, Before the Massacre in Vimeo Staff Picks on Vimeo
Search results for "Doc Searls" – Wikimedia Commons
New Clues
A Quick Test
Doc Searls (@dsearls) | Twitter
Edit Post ‹ ProjectVRM — WordPress
Problem loading page
Why we need first person technologies on the Net | ProjectVRM
Evil Sponge Bob and Satan: Inside a Guantanamo Bay Prison Riot | VICE News
There’s Poop on the Moon
Using a list of the 52,131 active medallion taxi… | Vizual Statistix
Vizual Statistix : Photo
Chester Bodkin (Senior Math, Algebra Ii) (Deceased), Bogota, NJ New Jersey
A @United #VRM story with a happy ending | ProjectVRM
New Clues – Traduzione in italiano
A Tale of Two Tweets
New app aims to fix broadband puzzle | Crain’s New York Business
O listicle! My listicle!
Does behavioral economics show people are altruistic or just confused?
Charlie Hebdo, David Cameron encryption: Politicians always think surveillance is the answer.
What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry – Boing Boing
Charlie Hebdo, David Cameron encryption: Politicians always think surveillance is the answer.
Maryland City Announces Groundbreaking Fiber Partnership with Ting Internet | ctc technology & energy
A story about Jessica and her computer. — Medium
4th Party Newsletter
Smartphone obsolescence: How the personal cloud and IoT will disrupt the handset — Gigaom Research
EnGenius Personal Cloud Solutions Extend Powerful Network Capabilities and Applications to Mobile Devices Anywhere – Yahoo Finance
Barack Obama to seek limits on student data mining – Stephanie Simon – POLITICO
Will the Respect Network enable us to take back control of our data and our lives? – Trends in the Living NetworksTrends in the Living Networks
Can ‘User as Owner’ Policy Prevent Need for ‘Right to Be Forgotten’? | Tanis Jorge
How Good are Display Ads at Targeting You?
Indiana Attorney General to Push Web Privacy, Breach Notice Upgrades | Bloomberg BNA
“Long live the open Internet”: Cluetrain authors offer an updated guide to the Web | BetaBoston
Unmournable Bodies – The New Yorker
Cluetrain Manifest: Doc Searls über "New Clues" – Digital – Sü
Gillmor Gang: Kind of Clue | TechCrunch
Internet Under Fire Gets New Manifesto — Backchannel — Medium
‘Long live the open Internet’: Cluetrain authors offer an updated guide to the Web | BetaBoston
Opening Minds to the Spheres Among Us | Linux Journal
Cluetrain at Fifteen | Linux Journal
The Truth About Flight Tracking. How the NY Times Got it Wrong ✈ FlightAware
Give me a clue
Internet Under Fire Gets New Manifesto — Backchannel — Medium
Rebooted Cluetrain Manifesto – Boing Boing
Science fiction | ACCELER8OR
Can we make a machine that thinks like a human?
Facebook New Clues page
e-Trust: Wait! my dreams are being mapped into Reality!
The FTC Warns Internet Of Things Businesses To Bake In Privacy And Security | TechCrunch
Conversational Marketing Versus Market Conversations – Brian Solis
Twitter / Notifications
The Darkness in the Fairytale | illusionsofexistence
Death by Robot –
Top 10 Gmail Labs and Features You Should Enable
Cluetrain evolved –
2014 Best-Performing Cities » map
Science fiction | ACCELER8OR
A Teenager’s View on Social Media — Backchannel — Medium
Exclusive: Edward Snowden on Cyber Warfare — NOVA Next | PBS
Yelp-hating Italian restaurant ups its one-star review discount to 50% | Ars Technica
Horror. Friendship. Determination. | Ricochet
Magic Mirror (Snow White) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(67) New Clues
New Clues
   Cluetrain: The listicle.
New Clues Tweetified – Google Docs
I’m not ready to tell you what I was working on today (There’s a tease, huh?), but I can share the tabs I had open:
Andy Carvin (@acarvin) on Twitter: “Twitter will be @reportedly’s home base. We’re also on reddit at, FB at, medium @” That’s the announcement. A long, somewhat informative volley of tweets follows. (@reportedly) | Twitter That’s its apartment in the Twitter silo. will have no web presence Dave takes a wait-and-see approach. I’m with Dave in giving them some ease to figure it all out.
F2C: Freedom to Connect » March 2 & 3, 2015, NYC David Isenberg’s outstanding conference on topics that could hardly (IMHO) matter more.
Of sharing and millionaires and learning: A Sunday stroll | confused of calcutta Wonderful personal history lessons there.
Data protection reforms: UK government seeks to water down meaning of ‘consent’ Bummer.
Dada Data and the Internet of Paternalistic Things — The Message — Medium A good and scary piece of short fiction set in a future toward which we are clearly headed. By Sara M. Watson.
NY Times eyes deep linking to drive app use – Mobile Marketer – Media On the Times’ own role in the further silo-ing (or perhaps not, sort of) of the Net.
Apps Everywhere, but No Unifying Link – Frames the problem deep linking is supposed to solve. Or perhaps indirectly also cause.
Bay Area DNA start-up wants to assist customers with designing their own creatures Might excite you. Might creep you out.
This is Dish’s Sling TV: an internet TV service that lets you stream ESPN for $20 | The Verge The Great Unbundling is happening. Here’s what I said about it two summers back.
Alison Chaiken’s Embedded Linux Resources Great list of links.
dpr » Blog Archive » GoGo does not need to run “Man in the Middle Attacks” on YouTube An assessment of a high-altitude security fail by one of the Net’s own dads.
PureProfile heading for ASX after $2.5m raising | The Australian A new approach to intentcasting.

Here ya go:

Hats Off to MozillaMy column for the January issue of Linux Journal.
Firefox — Notes (34.0.5) — Mozilla More changes since I wrote the above.
The magic of working together Dave on working with David Weinberger and me on something. (Stay tuned.) BTW, Dave, David and I all have the same first name. We are legion.
Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore – Page 65 – PPRuNe Forums The latest page in a long thread in which pilots discuss what may have happened to the lost Air Asia flight.
The History of the Internet Project Read the bulleted lists. Good and fun project, full of important stuff to remember.
How to Start a Blog – The Free Beginner’s Guide to Blogging A good primer. One additional note: you don’t need to monetize your blog with advertising. Think “because effects” — making money because of your blog, rather than with your blog.
Chris Dixon on Twitter:Nikola Tesla predicting today back in 1926  Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information | McKinsey & Company Why open data is necessary and cool.
Making customer experience a first person thing | ProjectVRM A post of mine at the ProjectVRM blog. Watch for more on the topic there.
Find products on sale by Brand, Site or Product Category – TrackIf Something you could have used before Christmas. But use it anyway.
Aral Balkan —The Camera Panopticon. Nails it. Manifesto What Aral’s about, as so should the rest of us.
The Technology of Us Because I want to give it one more plug.
Context Collapse, Architecture, and Plows — LadyBits on Medium  One in a series by Quinn Norton. Essential reading.
Lecture: Privacy in Consumer Markets: Reversing the Surveillance Business Model (Schedule 31. Chaos Communication Congress)  Reuben Binns speaks.
I Tweet Honestly, I tweet Passionately: Twitter Users, Context Collapse and The Imagined Audience. Alice Marwick and danah boyd, from 2010 and still relevant.
Search and Apps – Give Consumers Back Their Links – John Battelle’s Search Blog In which John calls apps “chicklets.” And he’s right.
How My Mom Got Hacked – Not a bad way to use up one of your ten NYTimes monthly views per browser. (I hate that system, btw.)
Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers ‘is heavy-handed’ – Telegraph Any plan would be.
Oracle Is Getting Ahead Of The Competition When It Comes To Data | TechCrunch Yes, they are.
The Year in Content Marketing and Native Ads | Media – Advertising Age With more years to come.
Digitization of Media Requires New Ways to Measure Marketing’s Worth By Shelley Palmer. Not bad for a sell-side view.
Areas of Coverage – Economic-Value-Report.pdf Cover page for the below, and more.
Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem Important fact: that ecosystem is not the Web, much less the Net. I’m not even sure it’s an ecosystem.
API Security: Deep Dive into OAuth and OpenID Connect Not a bad view into how APIs work.
Who’s the true enemy of internet freedom – China, Russia, or the US? | Comment is free | The Guardian Evgeny Morozov doesn’t offer a solution, but does lay out the problem.
What’s Happening to New York’s Skyline? – Get ready for more “pencil” high-rises, all re-making New York’s profile. (The first of these is already taller than the Empire State Building and the new One World Trade Center, if you subtract the spires of each. And get this: it’s residential.)
Doc Searls Weblog · Snow on the Water An oldie but goodie.

Tags: ,

Some tabs I just closed, with reasons why I had them open…

I just ran across a pile of tabs from November. (Different browser, different pile, both thanks to OneTab.) Here they are:

 FlightAware MiseryMap
 AWC – ADDS Turbulence
 A Call to Israeli Engineers! Adtech Is Not For You. | Aleph
 Newsies, techies and that troublesome term "product." (with tweets) · jayrosen_nyu · Storify
 Cars – Products: Who Should Control Connected Car Data?
 DLD Pulse: Tweet by Andrian Kreye
 WTF is dark traffic? – Digiday
 This terrible CVS receipt shows why Apple Pay has little to fear from retailers – Quartz
 Getting started with Radio3
 One-in-five would pay more for house with fast internet – Telegraph
 Average Peak Broadband Speeds Rise in America | The Connectivist
 Hungary’s Internet tax arouses mass opposition – Boing Boing
 Own Choice — Medium
 Mozilla Launches Firefox Developer Edition | TechCrunch
 Signaling and saving Journalism
 Transcript of the Magliozzis’ commencement address | MIT News
 Modeling a Pandemic like Ebola with the Wolfram Language—Wolfram Blog
 Amanda Palmer: why fans choose to pay artists they love – Boing Boing
 Citizen Four | GreatHouse Stories
 DesigningCX | Human-Centered Design & Customer Experience Innovation Tools
 With bitcoin the internet is now a sovereign state : Bitcoin
 How the Market Ruined Twitter – Justin Fox – Harvard Business Review
 How to get into your Harvard | Educational Blog
 World’s Data Protection Leaders Highlight Internet of Things, Big Data Privacy R… | Bloomberg BNA
 Community Broadband Podcast
 Connected Things
 Why Twitter launched Fabric, in 5 devastating charts | VentureBeat | Marketing | by John Koetsier
 A big reset button on business | Decoding the new economy
 The Ad Contrarian: Finally, The True Value Of A Facebook Fan
 don marti brand advertising sides privacy – Google Search
 Surfacing, not hiding, the creepy?
 Italy Pioneers An Internet Bill of Rights | TechPresident
 Doc Searls Weblog · Table for two
 Jammed — Backchannel — Medium
 Waiting on the Riverbank: Intent Casting in Practice | DISRUPT.SYDNEY.14
 The diaspora* Project
 Peak Password
 Why Are New York City’s Subway Platforms So Hot? | Co.Design | business + design
 The Longest Now
 Our Machine Masters –
 When consumers become media for themselves | ProjectVRM
 Does the FCC really not get it about the Internet? – The Washington Post
 New Tech City: The Other Ed Snowdens: Inside the Mind of Two Privacy Whistleblowers – WNYC
 Tesco’s Downfall Is a Warning to Data-Driven Retailers
 My 15 Minutes of Fame as a B-List Gamergate Celebrity | Brian Keegan
 Doc Searls Weblog · Wallets should be wallets
 The Apple Pay Effect: Companies Get Behind Mobile Payment
 Notes from Cassandra Summit: The Rise of Top Line IT | Planet Cassandra
 Facebook has totally reinvented human identity: Why it’s even worse than you think –
 The future is disappearing: How humanity is falling short of its grand technological promise –
 The Writer Cartoon | Savage Chickens – Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage
 Fed up, US cities take steps to build better broadband | Ars Technica
 Cisco: 13% of North American Cities Have Made Smart City Deployments – Telecompetitor
 Preparing for Climate Change through Energy Internet and eVehicles: High Level Architecture for Building Zero Carbon Internet Networks , ICT products and services
 Open Appointments for Massages, Haircuts, Dentists, Yoga and more – MyTime
 The Invisible Environment – The Future of an Erosion
 Report: Advertisers Threatening To Pull Money Now The Only Remaining Way To Effect Any Change | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source
 Find products on sale by Brand, Site or Product Category – TrackIf
 College Football Fan Map –
 “Oprah” for indie bands: Apple once loved unknown acts—what changed? | Ars Technica
 Why Haters Hate: Kierkegaard Explains the Psychology of Bullying and Online Trolling in 1847 | Brain Pickings
 Kittens & Kierkegaard

Here ya go, all free. (If I had time to turn the URLs into text, I would, but I don’t. Merry Christmas, ya’ll.)

« Older entries § Newer entries »