Thursday, 19 August 2010

online privacy - chanel 4 news

Dylan Sharpe from Big Brother Watch and blogger Ollie Olanipekun have a chat about online privacy on Chanel 4 News, in response to comments from Eric Schmidt about young people changing their identities to avoid embarrassing things they posted online.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

danah boyd and Jeff Jarvis debate privacy

Interesting discussion on privacy featuring danah boyd and Jeff Jarvis, talking at the Supernova forum -

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Google's widening reach.

This is quite neat, over at the Wall Street Journal, an animated graphic of Google's use of information from it's various sources for targetting adverts. Go have a full look. From a data visualisation perspective, the circular form is a bit exaggerating (it suggests Google is using more information as time goes on because the width of the segment increases), but it looks nice.

Contemporary Violence

I'd like to make a plug for a new book by Dr Cerwyn Moore, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Birmingham. Contemporary Violence: Postmodern War in Kosovo and Chechnya is published by Manchester University Press, and will be available from October.

Disclosure: Ces Moore was the Principle Investigator on the project I worked on whilst I was at Birmingham, and I had the good fortune to read advance drafts of this book and get an insight into the publication process.

The book draws upon some of the detailed fieldwork that Ces conducted in the Balkans and in Chechnya, and makes use of some very contemporary theories in criticial international relations.

The most important aspect of this book is the use of narrative approaches to international relations to show the importance of stories, myths and foundational narratives in contemporary violence, something often ignored in theories of 'new wars'. This adds a level of complexity to international relations accounts of conflict.

Monday, 9 August 2010


Digizen is a website, created by Childnet International. It features some quite handy resources and pages. It's a bit more engaged that some of the hyperbolic 'fear the internet kids' material that's out there, and might encourage a bit of critical thinking. At least, that's the aim:

The Digizen website provides information for educators, parents, carers, and young people. It is used to strengthen their awareness and understanding of what digital citizenship is and encourages users of technology to be and become responsible DIGItal citiZENS. It shares specific advice and resources on issues such as social networking and cyberbullying and how these relate to and affect their own and other people's online experiences and behaviours.
On the site you can create your own 'digizen' a little icon that you can embed with some hopes for digital citizenship. It's aimed at young people primarily, but there's no harm in experimenting.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

EPSRC funding call

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council had put out a call for participants in a research 'Sandpit'* entitled 'Who do You Think You Are?' as part of the 'Global Uncertainties' research strand. This one hopes to:

Develop new research concepts to address problems associated with establishing and maintaining confidence in identity.

“Who do you think you are?” will investigate the problems associated with the ever-increasing range of media (such as video, voice, the internet and other data networks) which allow people to interact with each other or with devices and systems of varying complexity. The interactions these media support may be face-to-face, but increasingly they are carried out remotely. Indeed, remote interaction may often be the only way in which we deal with someone or something, or through which we can access a service of some kind.
The establishment and maintenance of confidence in identity is important if a service is to benefit all and be free from abuse. The key question to be considered at the workshop is how we both establish confidence in the identity of the person or entity with which we are interacting and, just as importantly, how we maintain that confidence over time.
I can't currently apply, not being elligable to be an EPSRC primary investigatory (I'm on a fixed term contract). Which is a shame, because I think I could have contributed.

*Sandpits are a type of event where they get lots of people from different fields together in a hotel or something similar for several days and get them to come up with outlines for collaborative research projects, pretty much then and there. Both the Reslient Design, and VOME projects that I've worked on came out of these type of events

Link to the call here
global uncertainties here