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Yee's Pro Web 2.0 Mashups

Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services
By Raymond Yee

List Price: $49.99
Paperback: 603 pages
Publisher: Apress (February 25, 2008)
ISBN-10: 159059858X
ISBN-13: 978-1590598580 

Description: The modern Web is awash with data and services just waiting to be used, but how do you make effective use of all this information? The answer lies in APIs (such as Google Maps, Flickr, and Amazon Web Services) and remixing, or mash ups. Pro Web 2.0 Mashups: Remixing Data and Web Services teaches you everything you need to create useful, dynamic real–world applications using APIs, web services, Ajax, web standards, and server–side languages. All you need to make full use of this book is basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and at least one server–side language (such as PHP or ASP.NET).

What you’ll learn

About the Author: Raymond Yee is a data architect, consultant, and trainer. He is currently a lecturer at the School of Information, UC Berkeley, where he teaches the course “Mixing and Remixing Information.” While earning a PhD in biophysics, he taught computer science, philosophy, and personal development to K–11 students in the Academic Talent Development Program on the Berkeley campus. He is the primary architect of the Scholar’s Box, software that enables users to gather digital content from multiple sources to create personal collections that can be shared with others. As a software architect and developer, he focuses on developing software to support learning, teaching, scholarship, and research.

May 30, 2008 in New Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

W3C Launches Group to Explore Role of Mobile Technology in Bridging Digital Divide

From the press release: W3C invites participation in a new group chartered to explore the potential of mobile technology to help bridge the digital divide. The Mobile Web For Social Development (MW4D) Interest Group will study the issues that rural communities and underprivileged populations face in accessing information and communication technology. [JH]

May 29, 2008 in Web Development | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Women and Social Media Demographics

The BlogHer/Compass Partners 2008 Social Media Study (pdf) provides demographics about women and social media. From the study:

Hat tip to beSpacific. [JH]

May 28, 2008 in Blogosphere | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

On the Real-World Effects of the Web: O'Hara and Shadbolt's The Spy in the Coffee Machine

"Kieron O'Hara and Nigel Shadbolt have offered an engaging and thought provoking roadmap for the emerging field of Web Science. They crisply survey what lies ahead as the Web becomes ubiquitous, and they invite everyone -- not just academics and experts -- to think about how to preserve the Web's magic while avoiding its most unsettling prospects." Jonathan Zittrain,Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford University

The Spy in the Coffee Machine
The End of Privacy as We Know It
Kieron O'Hara and Nigel Shadbolt

List Price: $16.95 
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 3, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1851685545
ISBN-13: 978-1851685547
Sample Chapter (pdf)

Description: The relationship between society and technology is complex, particularly as each has unpredicatable effects on the other.. We, as technologists, can talk until we are blue in the face about what is possible, or will be possible in the next few years. That’s our favourite subject. But what will people want to use? What technologies will ‘fit into’ particular social niches? What technologies will remould society in their own images? These are tricky questions, and the correct answers can make you very rich. Wrong guesses, in a dynamic industry, can kill a firm or a reputation stone dead. Potential is huge, but not all nifty gizmos can define the future.

The need to understand these looping influences between society and technology has led to what is in effect a new discipline: Web Science. The Web is, in effect, a series of protocols defining how different computers talk to each other, but those protocols have massive real-world effects, which in turn create demands for new protocols and technologies. The aim of the recently-created Web Science Research Initiative, a joint venture between the University of Southampton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is to hone the intellectual tools to study these developmental cycles. This book is part of the Web Science programme.

There are two things that technologists can be reasonably confident about. First, given enough history (and the electronic computer now does have a decent history behind it – one of us has recently been privileged to serve as the President of the British Computer Society in its 50th year), we can identify general trends. And second, understanding what is possible will tell us what social norms and attitudes are under threat. If a technology is sufficiently widespread, and becoming more so, then it may be that a particular set of cultural or political assumptions are no longer tenable.

It is our contention that privacy, since the Enlightenment a key pillar of the liberal ideal, is one of these somewhat obsolete norms in the face of the rapid spread of information technology. Information about one can be stored, found and passed around with almost trivial ease, and it is getting increasingly hard for the subject to retain control.

This means a political rethink, for sure. But it is not our contention that we are about to descend into a Nineteen Eighty-Four-style nightmare. It is cultural determinism of the worst sort to assume that society, politics and philosophy cannot adapt to the technology, and outright pessimism to suggest that the technology cannot be brought to heel by a sufficiently vigilant, engaged and educated society.

What is true is that the twentieth-century ideal of the private space will need to evolve, and that, if we truly value our privacy, we will have to play a much more active role in keeping it in place. The technologies that threaten can also be used to protect, and awareness is an important factor in their advantageous deployment. Education is vital; so is a public spirit (some of the gains from privacy accrue more to the community as a whole than to the individual, and therefore sometimes preserving privacy is a matter of altruism or social responsibility). Fatuous claims of the ‘if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ sort need to be resisted just as much as the puerile conspiracy theories that plague our political discourse.

We need debate, but for that debate to be worth having we need a much greater level of awareness of the technology to be diffused throughout society. This book is a small contribution to that task.

About the Authors: Kieron O’Hara is Senior Research Fellow in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and is currently involved in the Office of Science and Technology’s Cybertrust and Crime Prevention initiative.

Nigel Shadbolt is Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, UK, and is President of the British Computer Society.

May 27, 2008 in New Publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack