Reading Around on October 5th through October 6th

A few interesting links collected October 5th through October 6th:

  • Why I give marijuana to my autistic child. – Last spring, I wrote about applying for a medical marijuana license for my autistic, allergic 9-year-old son, J., in hopes of soothing his gut pain and anxiety, the roots of the behavioral demons that caused him to lash out at others and himself. After reading studies of how cannabis can ease pain and worry, and in consultation with his doctor, we decided to give it a try
  • Teen-Age Dope Slaves

    Teen-Age Dope Slaves

  • Have You Gotten Your Google Wave Invite? – Google Wave – Lifehacker – “So far the only people I know who’ve received their invites were people who were in the dev preview, people who were invited by someone at Google, and the rest of those who were part of the very early 100,000 invite pool. Which is to say, I don’t believe that anyone who’s been invited by another Wave user has gotten their invitation yet. I quickly sent out my Wave invites to my fellow Lifehacker editors as soon as I was in, but as of now none of them have received an invitation.”On a related note, I still have a couple unclaimed invites to Google Wave. I sent out several of the eight as soon as I signed up, but nobody has gotten their invite yet that I know of
  • iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive – iSinglePayer available in the App Store Thanks everyone for raising this issue publicly. Over the weekend Apple approved iSinglePayer and it is now available for download in the Healthcare and Fitness section of the App Store. I am glad that the app got through, and I hope that Apple will not be rejecting any more applications because they are politically charged. Thanks again, all!

A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web

Will be curious as to how this shakes out.

Taking a new hard line that news articles should not turn up on search engines and Web sites without permission, The Associated Press said Thursday that it would add software to each article that shows what limits apply to the rights to use it, and that notifies The A.P. about how the article is used.

Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.

[Click to continue reading A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web –]

Alternative Google

Websites like Google are going to be in for a bit of a dustup

Search engines and news aggregators contend that their brief article citations fall under the legal principle of fair use. Executives at some news organizations have said they are reluctant to test the Internet boundaries of fair use, for fear that the courts would rule against them.

News organizations already have the ability to prevent their work from turning up in search engines — but doing so would shrink their Web audience, and with it, their advertising revenues. What The A.P. seeks is not that articles should appear less often in search results, but that such use would become a new source of revenue.

Right, there is a simple addition that webmasters can add to their site that tells Google’s automated indexing software to “go away”:

The robot exclusion standard, also known as the Robots Exclusion Protocol or robots.txt protocol, is a convention to prevent cooperating web spiders and other web robots from accessing all or part of a website which is otherwise publicly viewable. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize and archive web sites, or by webmasters to proofread source code. The standard is unrelated to, but can be used in conjunction with, sitemaps, a robot inclusion standard for websites.

[Click to continue reading Robots exclusion standard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Not a Good Sign

If A.P. did that, they would lose search engine generated traffic, but that isn’t really what A.P. wants. A.P. wants traffic, and to be paid for the traffic. I doubt it will happen as seamlessly they want, but we’ll soon see. Newspaper executives also don’t like blogs much:

Executives at newspapers and other traditional news organizations have long complained about how some sites make money from their work, putting ads on pages with excerpts from articles and links to the sources of the articles.

but I don’t know if that particular genie could ever be crammed back into its bottle; the bottom of the bottle is missing, and digital content flows wherever it can, instantly.

and this is puzzling:

Each article — and, in the future, each picture and video — would go out with what The A.P. called a digital “wrapper,” data invisible to the ordinary consumer that is intended, among other things, to maximize its ranking in Internet searches. The software would also send signals back to The A.P., letting it track use of the article across the Web.

If someone cuts and pastes an A.P. article from some other site, how is this magic technological bullet going to still be attached? Either there is more to the process than the A.P. admits, or else they are really deluded1.2

  1. not that it matters, but John Gruber, always an astute observer of these sorts of matters, agrees with me []
  2. corrected the URL, oopsie []

Reading Around on June 15th

Some additional reading June 15th from 08:19 to 13:13:

  • Et Tu Google – Pay the artist, simple as that. “So, one of the things I hear constantly from my wife is her…annoyance at people who think they can get weeks of work out of her, but in lieu of cash, they’ll give her “exposure”.”Exposure” is a barely nicer way of saying “I’m not paying shit for your work, but maybe someone who isn’t a cheap douchebag will see your art and throw you a bone. Besides, aren’t artists against money?
  • Oklahoma Highway Patrol finally releases video of trooper attack on paramedicBefore the encounter is over, [Officer ] Martin has assaulted the paramedic, frightened the patient, and created a neighborhood scene that is so unprofessional that it’s just about unbelievable. Enraged, he calls for backup, repeatedly threatens the unit’s operators, curses, chokes and slams White up against the ambulance several times–an action the patient later said rocked the unit, frightening her. He also keeps screaming “you insulted me.” The trooper later says that Franks made an obscene hand gesture as Martin passed the ambulance, a charge Franks denies. Martin plans a press conference on Monday, according to Fox 23. Martin, who had his wife in the patrol car with him for an as-yet unknown reason, later declared that he’d recently come back from service in Iraq
  • Troubleshoot your Internet connection – some good tips
  • Q and A: eMusic CEO Explains Controversial Price Increase, Sony Deal | Epicenter | – “artists with albums soon to be sold on eMusic as part of the deal include Captain Beefheart, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Kate Bush, Miles Davis, The Clash, Miles Davis, Franz Ferdinand, Robert Johnson, Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Psychedelic Furs, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Spiritualized and the Stone Roses”

Gmail IMAP and iPhone Deleting Options

For some reason, I never realized that when I deleted an Gmail email message off of my iPhone, that Google actually deleted the message1. Not the behavior I wanted (I swear that deleting an email used to just remove the message from the iPhone, and leave in my Gmail inbox, but maybe that was on my BlackBerry which I used up until April of this year.).

Changing the preference was fairly easy: I logged on to my Gmail page, created a new label (which is the same as a folder) called iPhone read for lack of a snazzier title. Hopping over to my iPhone, under settings / Mail / Gmail account / Advanced Settings/ Deleted Mailbox I chose my newly created label//folder iPhone read. Simple solution, but I had to think about it for a second. Google hints at the solution at their IMAP tutorial page, but they don’t have all the relevant details, nor a strategic solution.

I lost any email that I deleted off my iPhone longer than 30 days ago, but I don’t think I lost anything extremely important. Most work-related email also is downloaded via POP3 to Eudora running on my Mac Pro, I lost Twitter-related messages, Google news alerts, Flickr alerts, and the like. No big loss that I’m aware of. Perhaps this will teach me to pay closer attention to details.

Update: as clever as my strategy is (or isn’t), it doesn’t apparently work. Items deleted off of my iPhone still end up in the Gmail trash. Hmmm. Let me noodle on this for a second.

Seems as if the setting changed itself back on the iPhone, defaulting to its original behavior of moving deleted mail to the Gmail trash folder. Weird. I see that the correct folder is checked on the iPhone, but when I go back, it has reverted. The preference won’t stick for some reason. Irritating.

Another update:

apparently, Apple in its wisdom has somehow altered the iPhone IMAP behavior so it acts illogical. In order to be able to specify which folder messages are moved to, you have to delete the supplied Gmail setup options, and use “Other” to manually add Gmail as an account. The main difference I see is that you have to manually type in your SMTP information and so on, as described on this Google Help page. Seems to work, though I find it irritating that Apple forces iPhone users to do extra hoop-jumping to make this minor change.

  1. well, put it in a folder that keeps the message for another 30 days before finally deleting it forever []

Reading Around on February 15th

Some additional reading February 15th from 09:57 to 21:10:

  • Having It Both Ways: Republicans Take Credit for ‘Pork’ – In Stimulus Bill They Opposed | Crooks and Liars – Rep. John Mica was gushing after the House of Representatives voted Friday to pass the big stimulus plan.

    “I applaud President Obama’s recognition that high-speed rail should be part of America’s future,” the Florida Republican beamed in a press release.

    Yet Mica had just joined every other GOP House member in voting against the $787.2 billion economic recovery plan.

  • Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.” – Facebook’s terms of service (TOS) used to say that when you closed an account on their network, any rights they claimed to the original content you uploaded would expire. Not anymore.

    Now, anything you upload to Facebook can be used by Facebook in any way they deem fit, forever, no matter what you do later. Want to close your account? Good for you, but Facebook still has the right to do whatever it wants with your old content. They can even sublicense it if they want.

  • Grasping Reality with Both Hands: Michael Isikoff: Yoo Disbarment Proceedings Now Visible on the Horizon – Torture Report Could Be Trouble For Bush Lawyers: An internal Justice Department report on the conduct of senior lawyers who approved waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics is causing anxiety among former Bush administration officials. H. Marshall Jarrett, chief of the department’s ethics watchdog unit, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), confirmed last year he was investigating whether the legal advice in crucial interrogation memos “was consistent with the professional standards that apply to Department of Justice attorneys.” According to two knowledgeable sources who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, a draft of the report was submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. It sharply criticized the legal work of two former top officials—Jay Bybee and John Yoo—as well as that of Steven Bradbury, who was chief of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the time the report was submitted, the sources said.
  • Gutless Wonders: Specter Admits GOP’s Political Calculus On Stimulus Bill | Crooks and Liars – DCCC head Chris Van Hollen puts it into perspective (if only the media would actually frame it this way):

    “Americans will hold House Republicans accountable for just saying no to saving and creating three to four million jobs and the largest tax cut in American history.

    “House Republicans are fast becoming party of No-bama. Americans will hold Republicans accountable for being the party of no – no to President Obama’s economic recovery, no to children’s health care, and no to equal pay for women doing equal work.”

  • Talking Points Memo | The Big Disconnect – But there’s a very big problem with this strategy above and beyond the absurdity of the argument. “Congress” may be really unpopular. And the Democrats now control Congress. But politics is a zero sum game. At the end of the day, in almost every case, you’ve got to pick a Republican or a Democrat when you vote. And if you look at the numbers, congressional Democrats are pretty popular. And congressional Republicans are extremely unpopular. If you look at the number, the Dems are at about 50% or higher in most recent polls, while the GOP is down in the 30s.

    The city remains wired for the GOP. Not that it’s done them a great deal of good of late. But it remains a key part of understanding every part of what is happening today.

  • Google Jumps Into Organizing Smart Meter Energy Data « Earth2Tech – “Just as Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt hinted over the past few months, Google is moving from managing the world’s information to managing your personal energy data. On Monday night Google tells us it is developing an online tool called “PowerMeter” that will allow users to monitor their home energy consumption. For now Google is testing the web-based software with Google employees, but the search engine giant is looking to partner with utilities and smart energy device makers and will eventually roll out the tool to consumers.”
  • Energy Information – “Google PowerMeter, now in prototype, will receive information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provide anyone who signs up access to her home electricity consumption right on her iGoogle homepage. The graph below shows how someone could use this information to figure out how much energy is used by different household activites.”

    Oooh, I want one of these so-called smartmeters

  • MyDD :: The Beltway Games Don’t Really Matter – “Perhaps more than ever, there is a real divide between what the chattering class inside the Beltway is saying and what the people of this country are saying. We saw the beginnings of this during the campaign, when despite the fact that John McCain was deemed to be winning the news cycles — indeed, his campaign seemed to care more about winning “Hardball” than it did about reaching 270 electoral votes — Barack Obama nevertheless continued to lead in the polls, both nationwide and in the key states. Now we’re seeing it again, as the establishment media focuses on the less meaningful back and forth while at the same time overlooking the larger picture being grasped by the public — that is that President Obama is succeeding, in terms of both moving forward his policy agenda and bringing two-thirds of the country along with him in his effort.”

Google gives Life magazine images new life

Incredible news, actually, if you hadn’t already heard

Millions of never-before-seen photos from the dusty archives of Life magazine will soon be unearthed and immortalized online, thanks to a new initiative from Google Inc.

Yesterday, the search engine kingpin announced that the Life magazine photo archive will now be available through Google’s Image Search feature. The collection is estimated to consist of more than 10 million photos, many of which were never published in the magazine and only exist as negatives, slides and etchings.

“This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” Google software engineer Paco Galanes wrote on the company’s official blog.

“This collection of newly digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by Life dating all the way back to the 1750s.”

Life was first published in 1883 as a general-interest magazine and for more than a century was the pre-eminent magazine for American photojournalism. It went through several incarnations in the latter half of the 20th century, was rescued from closing several times and eventually ceased publishing in 2006.

[From Life magazine images find new life on Google]

So much history contained therein. Only a small percentage of the collection is currently available, but more is going to be added in the upcoming months.

From the official Google announcement:

The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you’ll see in Google Image Search today.

We’re excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.

[From Official Google Blog: LIFE Photo Archive available on Google Image Search]

A veritable boon to photography buffs, historians of all stripes, and students of the 20th century. Awesome. Search/browse for yourself using this link

Squatters: Obama’s In-box

This cracks me up.

July 27, 2004, a friend invited Guru Raj to create a Google e-mail account. A recent graduate of the University of Virginia, Raj, then twenty-one, was watching the Democratic National Convention on a television in his parents’ basement, in Norcross, Georgia. The beta version of Gmail—available by invitation only—was less than four months old at the time, and largely unproved, but Raj’s U.V.A. e-mail account was set to expire in a few weeks, so he decided to give Gmail a try.

At first, Raj tried to create an address using his own name, but, remarkably, both and were already taken. So he tried the name of the young senator from Illinois who was giving the Democratic keynote address on TV. To his surprise, it worked, and, moments later, was quietly born. “I’m not some cute little Indian boy who grew up in America with political aspirations,” Raj, the first in his family to be born an American citizen, said recently. “I just thought it would be kind of funny to create an e-mail address based on a random senator whose name no one could spell.”

Over the next four years, as Gmail became the third most popular Webmail provider in the U.S. and Obama became a serious contender for the next President of the United States, Raj used the account for his personal e-mail. In the fall of 2006, he received, for the first time, a message intended for the Senator. By February, 2007, when Obama formally announced his candidacy, Raj was daily receiving dozens of misdirected notes from all over the world.

[Click to read more of Squatters: Obama’s In-box: The Talk of the Town: The New Yorker]

I’ll bet a lot of crazy stuff gets sent to that email address.