Joho the BlogSeptember 2011 - Joho the Blog

September 28, 2011


Amazon’s pitch for its new Silk Browser describes a client-server architecture from the 1980s applied to the Net. In 1995, when I was VP Marketing at Open Text (1995-6), I tried to get the company to describe the architecture of its Web-based collaborative tools as Client-Surfer.

I’ve been waiting 16 years to re-introduce that pun. Is now the time?


The coffee-shopping of everything

David Strom at ReadWriteWeb notes a trend at hotels to re-jigger lobbies as social spaces in which you can plug in your laptop and hang out, instead of sitting in your disinfected Rectangle of Solitude.

I’d give it a try, especially if free or cheap coffee were involved. I think I might enjoy the company, although if someone actually tried to talk with me, I’d undoubtedly give him the stink eye so I could get back to work. Hey, just because I want to be near other human beings doesn’t mean I want to be your friend.

So, yes, I would want to achieve that refined balance of social and impersonal that is of increasing importance in today’s ever-more-public world, and that is at the heart of Starbucks’ value proposition.


September 27, 2011

Libraries of the future

We’ve just posted the latest Library Innovation Lab podcast, this one with Karen Coyle who is a leading expert in Linked Open Data. Will we have perpetual but interoperable disagreements about how to classify and categorize works and decide what is the “same” work?

And, if you care about libraries and are in the Cambridge (MA) area on Oct. 4, there’s a kick off event at Sanders Theater at Harvard for a year of conversations about the future of libraries. Sounds great, although I unfortunately will be out of town :(

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September 26, 2011

Profile Photo

Just for fun:

Profile Photo

JonJGman has updated his profile photo.

JonJGman thinks his profile photo makes him look boring.

JonJGman has put a yellow background in his profile photo.

JonJGman thinks the yellow background makes his skin look waxy, almost cadaverous.

JonJGman has superimposed “Madame Toussault’s” on his background photo so maybe you’ll think he looks waxy because they’ve made a statue of him.

JonJGman has run the spell checker on “Madam Toussault’s.”

JonJGman has changed the background so he’s now standing in front of the Grand Canyon.

JonJGman can’t figure out how to get “Madam Tossaud’s” erased from the sky over the Grand Canyon.

JonJGman has run the spellchecker on “Madam Tossaud’s” and definitely thinks he’s getting closer.

JonJGman has never been to the Grand Canyon and besides it looks like’s standing in front of a photo of the Grand Canyon with the words “Madam Tussauds” mysteriously in the sky, so he’s thinking about going back to his original photo.

JonJGman can’t find his original profile photo.

JonJGman has accidentally deleted his Trash folder.

JonJGman has downloaded a copy of his Waxy Dead Person Standing in Front of a Picture of the Grand Canyon with “Madame Tussault’s” Still Misspelled in the Skies photo.

JonJGman has decided to brighten his teeth in his profile photo.

JonJGman now has a bright pink, waxy nose in his profile photo.

JonJGman wishes to inform his friends that it’s only due to an incompetent attempt to darken the bright tip of his waxy nose that he now looks like suffers from stage 3 leprosy.

JonJGman has accidentally uploaded a photo of Anthony Weiner’s tumescent underpants that he honestly didn’t even know that he had, as his profile photo.

JonJGman’s new profile photo is Default Avatar #23.

JonJGman randomly chose Default Avatar #23 without realizing that it depicts a pink kitty that is at best age-inappropriate and, as a replacement for the Weiner Party in His Pants photo, is actually pretty creepy.

JonJGman wishes to apologize to his friends for not realizing that they were being notified about every step in this personal odyssey.

JonJGman has now changed his name to JakeTheBear325 and hopes to begin again fresh.

JakeTheBear325 has changed his profile photo.


GlobalVoices on Saudi women

Global Voices curates tweets from Saudi Arabia about the announcement of some small advances in rights promised by the government. Since the King has promised full rights to women “eventually,” I wonder what the monarchy thinks is going to change in the 2-4 years before these reforms kick in to make women — and men — ready for the slightly increased presence of women in the public sphere.

(Here’s a post from 1.5 years ago about my very brief trip to Saudi Arabia.)

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September 24, 2011

Berkman Buzz

This week’s Berkman Buzz:

  • Mayo Fuster Morell publishes a new paper on “The Unethics of Sharing: Wikiwashing”: link

  • AndrĂ©s Monroy-Hernandez considers terminology discussions as probes: link

  • David Weinberger interviews LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding: link

  • Dan Gillmor discusses what the new Facebook means for net freedom: link

  • Stuart Shieber explores peer review: link

  • Weekly Global Voices: “Uganda: Anti-Museveni Author Freed After Five Days”

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September 23, 2011

Tim Spalding on what libraries can learn from LibraryThing

I’m a huge admirer of LibraryThing for its innovative spirit, ability to scale social interactions, and its adding value to books. So, I was very happy to have a chance to interview Tim Spalding, its founder, for a Library Lab podcast, which is now posted.

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September 22, 2011

Two book notes

My podcast interview of Yochai Benkler about his excellent new book, The Penguin and the Leviathan has been posted. Yochai makes brilliantly (of course) a case that shouldn’t need making, but that in fact does very much need to be made: that we are collaborative, social, cooperative creatures. Your unselfish genes will thoroughly enjoy this book.

And, Joseph Reagle has promulgated the following email about his excellent, insightful book that explores the subtleties of the social structures that enable Wikipedia to accomplish its goal of being a great encyclopedia:

I’m pleased to announce that the Web/CC edition of *Good Faith Collaboration* is now available. In addition to all of the book’s complete content, hypertextual goodness, and fixed errata, there is a new preface discussing some of the particulars of this edition.


September 19, 2011

Looping: The Movie

A couple of days ago I was talking with my friend Gianluca Baccanico who was telling me that he enjoys playing the same track over and over and over and over for days. I happened to have my camcorder with me (do we still call them that?):

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September 18, 2011

[2b2k] Gamers solve molecular puzzle

How proteins fold over themselves has a lot to do with how they work. Envisioning such folds is a hugely complex problem for computers that human brains with eyeballs attached happen sometimes to be able to do better. The FoldIt game supplies humans with protein models and asks them to fold ’em.

According to a post by Alan Boyle at “Video-game players have solved a molecular puzzle that stumped scientists for years, and those scientists say the accomplishment could point the way to crowdsourced cures for AIDS and other diseases.” The post is about an article in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology by Firas Khatib et al.

Way to go, human brains!

(I talk about FoldIt in Too Big to Know, which has now gone to press. Ohhh, irrevocably ink-stained paper!)

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