On the China – Google row

It’s a moment that those into cyberpunk have been looking for, for a long time – when a multinational corporation whose bread and butter is in cyberspace itself confronts a nation-state. When Google posted to their blog “A New Approach To China” it was historic for many reasons: it was an *Internet company* confronting a *country* over *hacking* (try and digest that for a moment), the first most of us heard about this was from Google’s blog post, and it highlights issues of having to do with intellectual property, with free speech, and access to information.


You can go on and on with questions, thoughts, concerns, and as usual there is a terrific Metafilter: Metafilte thread to check out.


NYTimes: Scaling the Digital Wall in China : “The Great Firewall of China is hardly impregnable.”

When walking to school becomes a political act

NYTimes: Why Can’t She Walk to School? :

Certain realities also shape these procedures, such as the schedules of working parents, unsafe neighborhoods and school transportation cuts.

But when these constraints are mixed with anxiety over transferring children from the private world of family to the public world of school, the new normal can look increasingly baroque. Now, in some suburbs, parents and children sit in their cars at the end of driveways, waiting for the bus. Some school buses now have been fitted with surveillance cameras, watching for beatings and bullying.

Children are driven to schools two blocks away. At some schools, parents drive up with their children’s names displayed on their dashboards, a school official radios to the building, and each child is escorted out.

When to detach the parental leash? The trip to and from school has become emblematic of the conflict parents feel between teaching children autonomy and keeping them safe. In parenting blogs and books, the school-bus stop itself is shorthand for the turmoil of contemporary parents over when to relinquish control.

Terrific happenings in the governing and citizen related Web

Tim O’Reilly: Radical Transparency: The New Federal IT Dashboard (and check out the site itself at it.usaspending.gov)

Data.gov iteratively grows from 47 to 100,000 data feeds (source Atrios)

EveryBlock blog: EveryBlock source code released

Tim Bray: “Hello World” for Open Data – Tim Bray reviews, and is inspired by, happenings in Vancover.

And locally SEPTA has started to work with Google to help riders plan trips online

A huge round of thanks needs to go to the folks behind iSepta for showing just what is possible.

This and more was discussed at this year’s Personal Democracy Forum – which I missed, which I hopefully won’t next year. Sounds like it was a great event.


O’Reilly radar: John Geraci: The Four Pillars of an Open Civic System

Ignite Philly 2: Geoff DiMassi and Paul Wright “Open Source Philadelphia”

“Amusing Ourselves to Death” a comic by Stuart McMillen

A clip of the Amusing ourselves to death comic 

Thought provoking, conversation starting, and probably controversial counting upon who you are, check out the whole single page comic.

It’s important to speak out

louisgray.com: Seeing The Web’s Racist Underbelly Is Saddening and Shocking

Why does everything suck?: Does Anonymity Lead To Social Anarchy?

Sexism Runs Rampant on Reddit (and maybe the rest of the social web)

Wha, that last link threw you a bit? Why is that? Is it that we are more comfortable confronting racism then sexism? And has the Presidential campaign reflected that? Why?

How we go about fighting racism and sexism, while protecting free speech is confusing territory.

I figure the best way is by speaking out loudly, and clearly.

PS – Make a donation to the Thomas Jefferson Center for free speech in George Carlin’s name.