Joho the BlogJanuary 2008 - Page 3 of 6 - Joho the Blog

January 24, 2008

Facebook apps and control

Jonathan Zittrain, of the Oxford Internet Institute and the Berkman Center (this is sort of like Al Gore winning both the Oscar and the Peace Prize in the same year), points out that apps written on top of social networking sites (or other such Web service providers) are subject to different regimes of control than general-purpose computer apps. Very interesting. If these walled gardens become the Web’s new infrastructure, Jonathan’s right that there will be big changes in authority, liability, and control — and the norms, techniques and policies we use to enforce them.

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January 23, 2008

At this quite new site you can post your favorite rules of thumb and rate others. For example:

“When youre playing blackjack, assume that any unseen card is an 8.”

“The crossbar on your bicycle frame should come just to your crotch when you straddle the bike with your shoes off and your feet flat on the ground.”




I just came across smARThistory. Here’s how Beth Harris and Steven Zucker describe it:

We had both developed quite a bit of content for our online art history courses, and we have also created many podcasts, and a few screencasts for our smARThistory blog. So, it occurred to us, why not use the personal voice that we use when we teach online, along with the multimedia we had already created for our blog and for our courses, to create a more engaging ” web-book” that could be used in conjunction with art history survey courses. We are also interested in joining the growing number of teachers who were making their content freely available on the web.

It’s interesting, multimedia, good looking, free, and nicely voiced, although I personally would like to see them push it further, especially with regard to incorporating students and other readers. (Easy for me to say.)

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January 22, 2008

The NYTimesoverse

The New York Times has proclaimed Twitter a phenomenon in a piece redolent with all the smug, self-referential authority it can muster. Journalists are using it! One twittered something that made it into the NY Times! Twitter therefore matters!

Why is journalistic innovation happening last at the newspapers? [Tags: ]



…is faux turkey! I just got it!

(What is tofurkey?)

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January 21, 2008

John McCain vs. Chuck Norris

Oh please let Chuck Norris continue to continue to criticize John McCain!

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he pushes the earth down, but when John McCain does a pushup it hurts horribly because he was tortured as a POW.

When John McCain uses exercise equipment, he is exercising, not shilling some crappy product, like Chuck Norris.

Underneath John McCain’s wrinkles there is actual experience of the world, not like Chuck Norris.

When John McCain is a hero in a war, he’s a hero, not a D-rate actor profiting by merchandising violent, adolescent fantasies about war.

John McCain tells jokes, but he is not himself a joke, unlike Chuck Norris.

I’m not going to vote for John McCain but not because of his age or his character.

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When all you have is a hammer, nobody looks for Maslow

My friend Bob Morris at UMass Boston, in a message to a mailing list, points out how few posts attribute “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” to Abraham Maslow. Bob found the attribution via Google Groups, which pointed him to Google Books. In fact, a search at Google Books for Maslow as the author and for hammer and nail turns up the relevant snippet of Maslow’s 1966 The Psychology of Science, in which he writes: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” The folk process seems to have sharpened the aphorism.

Bob notes that the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs only traces it as far back as a NY Times article.

Bob also points out that Google Books does not give page references for the Maslow book, which unnecessarily limits GB’s utility as a tool for scholarly research.

That aside, all hail Google Books! [Tags: ]


January 20, 2008

Moi moi moi

Doris Obermair interviewed me at the Picnic conference in spring 2007, and now has posted an edited version in which I talk about the effect of the miscellaneous on business. (With Spanish subtitles.) (By the way, I list videos here.) [Tags: ]

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When IP goes bad: Berkman retaliates against cyberlawâ„¢ & Apple patents ordering from a menu

Item #1

A cyberlawyer named Eric Menhart has trademarked “cyberlaw,” according to slashdot.

In response, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law is changing its address from to, will rename its annual conference to the EricMenhart conference, and is petitioning Google to do a search-and-replace on the 75,400 pages containing harvard berkman cyberlaw.

All your EricMenhartâ„¢ are belong to us.

[Legal notices: I don’t speak for the Berkman Center. And one of those jokes was Ethan Zuckerman‘s.]

Item #2


Inventors: Fadell; Anthony M.; (Portola Valley, CA)
Correspondence Name and Address:

P.O. BOX 70250

Assignee Name and Adress: Apple Computer, Inc.

Serial No.: 485142
Series Code: 11
Filed: July 11, 2006


A processing system is described that includes a wireless communication interface that wirelessly communicates with one or more wireless client devices in the vicinity of an establishment. The wireless communication interface receives a remote order corresponding to an item selected by at least one of the wireless client devices. A local server computer located in proximity to the establishment generates instructions for processing the remote order received from the wireless communication interface. The local server computer then passes the processing instructions to an order processing queue in preparation for processing of the remote order.

Yes, Apple is patenting using a cellphone to order food.

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January 19, 2008

SpeedDial for Firefox

The SpeedDial add-on for Firefox brings the useful Opera thingy to FF. Its a page of thumbnails of pages you want to get to quickly. Ah, add-ons What cant they do? Thanks to Ev for the tweet.



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