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September 24 2013

Four short links: 25 September 2013

  1. Salesforce ArchitectureOur search tier runs on commodity Linux hosts, each of which is augmented with a 640 GiB PCI-E flash drive which serves as a caching layer for search requests. These hosts get their data from a shared SAN array via an NFS file system. Search indexes are stored on the flash drive to enable greater performance for search throughput. Architecture porn.
  2. Gerrit Code Review (Github) — tool for doing code reviews on Github codebases. (via Chris Aniszczyk)
  3. Humanize (Github) — Javascript to turn “first” into a list position, format numbers, generate plurals in English, etc. (via Pete Warden)
  4. Users vs Apps (Tim Bray) — the wrong thing being shared with the wrong people, even once, can ruin a trust relationship forever. Personally, I’m pretty hard-line about this one. I’m currently refusing to update the Android app from my bank, CIBC, because it wants access to my contacts. You know what the right amount of “social” content is in my relationship with my bank? Zero, that’s what.

September 02 2013

Four short links: 2 September 2013

  1. sifter.js — library for textually searching arrays and hashes of objects by property (or multiple properties). Designed specifically for autocomplete. (via Javascript Weekly)
  2. Tor Users Get Routed (PDF) — research into the security of Tor, with some of its creators as authors. Our results show that Tor users are far more susceptible to compromise than indicated by prior work.
  3. Glitch News — screencaps from glitches in video news.
  4. FC4: Persona (Tim Bray) — Mozilla Persona, reminds us just because you’re using a protocol that allows tracking avoidance, that doesn’t mean you’ll get it.
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August 19 2013

Four short links: 19 August 2013

  1. explained (Alex Dong) — Sound is the perfect medium for wearable computers to talk back to us. Sound has a dozen of properties that we can tune to convey different level of emotions and intrusivenesses. Different sound packs would fit into various contexts.
  2. Identity Single Point of Failure (Tim Bray) — continuing his excellent series on federated identity. There’s this guy here at Google, Eric Sachs, who’s been doing Identity stuff in the white-hot center of the Internet universe for a lot of years. One of his mantras is “If you’re typing a password into something, unless they have 100+ full-time engineers working on security and abuse and fraud, you should be nervous.” I think he’s right.
  3. What Does It Really Matter If Companies Are Tracking Us Online? (The Atlantic) — Rather, the failures will come in the form of consumers being systematically charged more than they would have been had less information about that particular consumer. Sometimes, that will mean exploiting people who are not of a particular class, say upcharging men for flowers if a computer recognizes that that he’s looking for flowers the day after his anniversary. A summary of Ryan Calo’s paper. (via Slashdot)
  4. Life Inside Brewster’s Magnificent Contraption (Jason Scott) — I’ve been really busy. Checking my upload statistics, here’s what I’ve added to the Internet Archive: Over 169,000 individual objects, totaling 245 terabytes. You should subscribe and keep them in business. I did.

August 12 2013

Four short links: 13 August 2013

  1. How Things Work: Summer Games Edition — admire the real craftsmanship in those early games. This has a great description of using raster interrupts to extend the number of sprites, and how and why double-buffering was expensive in terms of memory.
  2. IAMA: Etsy Ops Team (Reddit) — the Etsy ops team does an IAMA on Reddit. Everything from uptime to this sage advice about fluid data: A nice 18 year old Glenfiddich scales extremely well, especially if used in an active active configuration with a glass in each hand. The part of Scotland where Glenfiddich is located also benefits from near-permanent exposure to the Cloud (several clouds in fact). (via Nelson Minar)
  3. Who Learns What When You Log Into Facebook (Tim Bray) — nice breakdown of who learns what and how, part of Tim’s work raising the qualify of conversation about online federated identity.
  4. lolcommits — takes a photo of the programmer on each git commit. (via Nelson Minar)

June 13 2013

Four short links: 13 June 2013

  1. The Unengageables (Dan Meyer) — They signed their “didactic contract” years and years ago. They signed it. Their math teachers signed it. The agreement says that the teacher comes into class, tells them what they’re going to learn, and shows them three examples of it. In return, the students take what their teacher showed them and reproduce it twenty times before leaving class. Then they go home with an assignment to reproduce it twenty more times. Then here you come, Ms. I-Just-Got-Back-From-A-Workshop, and you want to change the agreement? Yeah, you’ll hear from their attorney. Applies to management as much as to teaching.
  2. Fixing SigninThe general principle can be stated simply, in two parts: first, give users a trust-worthy way to identify themselves. Second, do so with as little information as possible, because users don’t want to (and simply can’t) remember things like passwords in a secure way. (via Tim Bray)
  3. Retro Gaming with Raspberry Pi (Adafruit) — finally, a clear incentive for kids to work through the frustration of setting up their own Linux box.
  4. Mieko Haire — Apple’s fictious demo lady. Or is she fictitious? This is a new aesthetic-esque glitch, but while most glitches are glitches because you see something that doesn’t exist, this is glitchy because the fictions are actual people. Ok, maybe I need to lay off the peyote.

February 24 2013

"History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East", edited by Philip Wood

Egypte actus's curator insight, Today, 8:23 AM


History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East gathers together the work of distinguished historians and early career scholars with a broad range of expertise to investigate the significance of newly emerged, or recently resurrected, ethnic identities on the borders of the eastern Mediterranean world. It focuses on the "long late antiquity" from the eve of the Arab conquest of the Roman East to the formation of the Abbasid caliphate. The first half of the book offers papers on the Christian Orient on the cusp of the Islamic invasions. These papers discuss how Christians negotiated the end of Roman power, whether in the selective use of the patristic past to create confessional divisions or the emphasis of the shared philosophical legacy of the Greco-Roman world. The second half of the book considers Muslim attempts to negotiate the pasts of the conquered lands of the Near East, where the Christian histories of Hira or Egypt were used to create distinctive regional identities for Arab settlers. Like the first half, this section investigates the redeployment of a shared history, this time the historical imagination of the Qu'ran and the era of the first caliphs. All the papers in the volume bring together studies of the invention of the past across traditional divides between disciplines, placing the re-assessment of the past as a central feature of the long late antiquity. As a whole, History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East represents a distinctive contribution to recent writing on late antiquity, due to its cultural breadth, its interdisciplinary focus, and its novel definition of late antiquity itself.

Oxford University Press, USA, April 1, 2013, 272 pages





Contents via ;


Sophronius of Jerusalem and the end of roman history / Phil Booth -- Identity, philosophy, and the problem of Armenian history in the sixth century / Tara Andrews -- The chronicle of Seert and Roman ecclesiastical history in the Sasanian world / Philip Wood -- Why were the Syrians interested in Greek philosophy? / Dan King -- You are what you read: Qenneshre and the Miaphysite church in the seventh century / Jack Tannous -- The prophet's city before the prophet: Ibn Zabala (d. after 199/814) on pre-Islamic Medina / Harry Munt -- Topoi and topography in the histories of al-?ira / Adam Talib -- "The crinkly haired people of the black earth"; examining Egyptian identities in Ibn 'abd al-?akam's futu? / Hussein Omar -- Forgetting Ctesiphon: Iran's pre-Islamic past, ca. 800-1100 / Sarah Savant -- Legal knowledge and local practices under the early Abbasids / Mathiew Tillier.


Reposted byiranelection iranelection

February 13 2013

"A Crisis Of The State? The End Of The Post-Westphalian Model" by Carlo Bordoni

Carlo bordoniBefore we delve into the reasons for the crisis of the state it is necessary to clarify the meaning of ‘nation’. Nation has a cultural connotation and its distant origins are historically much older than state: it is still recognisable as a nation even when its borders have not been marked out and, at least formally, it is still not a state with its own laws. A population that is recognised as a nation feels free in the territory in which it lives and does not need to set limits on their freedom of movement within that space that they feel belongs to them.

And yet a country can continue to exist only if it exists as a state, that reinforces its identity and ensures precise territorial limits, because while the idea of “nation” is a feeling, the state – more pragmatically – needs a territory in which to take root. According to Jürgen Habermas, on the other hand, “national community does not precede the political community, but it is the product of it” (The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Polity Press, 2000, p. 76). A statement which is partially accepted, if we admit that the idea of nationality can mature only within a state, which, however, does not take into account the presence of a core of national feeling (although not institutionalised) on which to build a state.

State and nation go together and support each other, but something began to change in the late seventies and subsequent decades, in correspondence to the dissolution of modernity.

The anthropologist Arjun Appadurai was the first to report that the concept of nation is entering a crisis (Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, University of Minnesota, 1996), because it is the very cultural identity that is first damaged by the change taking place. What is called into doubt is the idea of the national community, based on the same language, same customs, same religion, same culture.

The opening of borders is preceded by a cultural openness that upsets the age-old certainties. The idea of nation endures while the presence of linguistic, religious or political minorities is “confined” temporarily or geographically in “enclaves” in ghettos, in refugee camps or in shelters. Then, when the diasporic communities begin to see recognition of their rights as citizens with full rights, and then demand recognition of their “diversity” with respect to the obligation to integrate (the customary path towards equality), the ‘unity of the nation begins to crumble.

Already in the nineties, Appadurai talked about post-national states, where diasporic communities are no longer occasional or temporary events, but long-lasting ones built into the system, which have become an integral part of the culture and history of a country. The term post-national better defines the earlier concepts of multinational and international, that remain fairly strongly related to economic, legal and practical dependence with the state as reference, until the entire system is weakened.

We live in a constant state of crisis, and this crisis also involves the modern state, whose structure, functionality, effectiveness (including the system of democratic representation) are no longer suited to the times in which we live.

There are many critical issues facing the modern state and the causes are many: some induced by deep historical and cultural changes that took place between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the third millennium, others by political and economic choices that led to consequences in people’s daily lives, further exasperating the distance from the institutions.

In the first place, the end of the post-Westphalian model. It appears crucial to an understanding of the present condition starting from the loss of meaning of this model of balance between states, which has stood for centuries and has been the cornerstone of international relations. The Treaties of Westphalia (Münster and Osnabrück) in 1648 (then essentially reconfirmed by the statute of the United Nations) have established some basic principles on which to base the rights and limits of the modern state, the new civil system that was born from the ashes of feudalism and that Hobbes represented as metaphoric in Leviathan: a form of monstrous strength made up of all the men who gathered together and recognised each other in a superior unity.

Based on the principle of limited sovereignty, the post-Westphalian model recognises in the modern state absolute and indivisible sovereignty over its territory and ownership in international relations, of which it is the sole subject.

If for a long time the state and nation have been able to live together, united on a historical and legal level by the insolubility of the fundamental principles that modernity assured, it was thanks to the agreements made in the Treaties of Westphalia, at the end of the long religious war, that had shattered Europe for thirty years. Since then, modern states, in the form that we have known for centuries, have standardised the so-called “post-Westphalian model”, which sets down the rules of universal stability and recognises the full sovereignty of a state within its own borders.

In the third millennium, it is the very post-Westphalian model that enters into crisis, dragging with it the crisis of the modern state, which is determined not only by the opening of borders, but by the inability demonstrated in maintaining its commitments to its citizens. In this phase, it is the “internal” boundaries that create problems. Security, defence of privilege, identity, recognition and cultural traditions, which once coincided with the boundaries of the post-Westphalian state, are now altered, uncertain, liquid. They are no longer reliable.

The dissolution of geographical or temporal limits imposed on diasporic communities determines the well-known phenomenon of the turnaround: if in the past it was the majorities that enclosed the minorities in “enclaves”, now it is the same majorities that shut themselves inside the “gated communities”, guarded by private security guards, by electronic control and security systems; jealous of the privacy that is no longer guaranteed on the outside.

Now it is clear how this model entered into crisis with the development of globalisation, whose explosive force has erased the boundaries between states and undermined any claim of absolute sovereignty. But the consequences of globalisation are not limited only to undermining the rules of international relations; they have led to a further upheaval, removing the power and raising it to a higher level. Now it is distant and spread on a global level, thus separated from politics, with which, up to now, it had been intimately linked. Hobbes’s Leviathan, deprived of its operating arm, is reduced to a mutilated body that wallows in its impotence. It gets agitated, argues and proclaims, but can not do anything even when it has made momentous decisions because the operational side is the responsibility of others. This no longer belongs to it.

The separation of politics and power is lethal to the modern state. Especially if it is a democratic state, whose constitution has promised its citizens to let them take part in common decisions that but now are taken by bodies that are non-democratically appointed or controlled from the bottom. The tragedy of the modern state lies in its inability to implement at a global level the decisions taken locally. The citizen, for example, elects their representatives to the European Parliament, who, in turn, elect committees and subcommittees, where executive decisions are taken by the last organisational bodies, formed on the basis of a series of institutional changes, the complexity of which should be a guarantee of impartiality and independence.

If it were just a matter of bureaucracy, complicated by the presence of more than one body, the system would still retain some form of democracy, although there is no direct relationship (no feedback, no opportunity to reply) between the last of the voters of a small European country and the drafter of a Community regulation. The problem is more serious, from the moment when the most important decisions on an economic, financial and developmental level are taken not by institutional bodies, as required by a democratic system, though it be a rather loose network, but by groups of power, by holding companies, multinationals, lobbies and the so-called “market”, that is by a summation of personal actions, technical consequences, emotional reactions, political will and particular interests that overlap in a very confusing manner and determine the fate of millions of people without any liability. Everything seems to happen because this is how the world turns and no one is able to oppose it. Not the people taking to the streets, protesting, whose only result is, at best, to sensitise public opinion that is otherwise distracted by an excess of information. Not even the nation-state, which does not have the instruments needed to operate at global distances and never had, since the issue had never been raised before.

Before being physical, political, legal and economic, in compliance with the post-Westphalian model, borders have always maintained that balance of strength and relationships which now no longer exists.

The crisis of the state coincides with the crisis of the post-Westphalian model, whose certainties have been swept away by the opening of borders, by increasingly more rapid exchanges of communications, by an economy at a global or supranational level and, not least, by a culture which is no longer at a local level, and is deeply influenced by suggestions, information, and comments from all over the world. The global village of McLuhan was created (or is being created) thanks to economic and cultural exchange, but at the expense of system-states that it is no longer in line with the changing times.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

June 11 2012

Big ethics for big data

As the collection, organization and retention of data has become commonplace in modern business, the ethical implications behind big data have also grown in importance. Who really owns this information? Who is ultimately responsible for maintaining it? What are the privacy issues and obligations? What uses of technology are ethical — or not — when it comes to big data?

These are the questions authors Kord Davis (@kordindex) and Doug Patterson (@dep923) address in "Ethics of Big Data." In the following interview, the two share thoughts about the evolution of the term "big data," ethics in the era of massive information gathering, and the new technologies that raise their concerns for the big data ecosystem.

How do you define "big data"?

Douglas Patterson: The line between big data and plain old data is something that moves with the development of the technology. The new developments in this space make old questions about privacy and other ethical issues far more pressing. What happens when it's possible to know where just about everyone is or what just about everyone watches or reads? From the perspective of business models and processes, "impact" is probably a better way to think about "big" than in terms of current trends in NoSQL platforms, etc.

One useful definition of big data — for those who, like us, don't think it's best to tie it to particular technologies — is that big data is data big enough to raise practical rather than merely theoretical concerns about the effectiveness of anonymization.

Kord Davis: The frequently-cited characteristics "volume, velocity, and variety" are useful landmarks — persistent features such as the size of datasets, the speed at which they can be acquired and queried, and the wide range of formats and file types generating data.

The impact, however, is where ethical issues live. Big data is generating a "forcing function" in our lives through its sheer size and speed. Recently, CNN published a story similar to an example in our book. Twenty-five years ago, our video rental history was deemed private enough that Congress enacted a law to prevent it from being shared in hopes of reducing misuse of the information. Today, millions of people want to share that exact same information with each other. This is a direct example of how big data's forcing function is literally influencing our values.

The influence is a two-way street. Much like the scientific principle that we can't observe a system without changing it, big data can't be used without an impact — it's just too big and fast. Big data can amplify our values, making them much more powerful and influential, especially when they are collected and focused toward a specific desired outcome.

Big data tends to be a broad category. How do you narrow it down?

Douglas Patterson: One way is the anonymization of datasets before they're released publicly, acted on to target advertising, etc. As the legal scholar Paul Ohm puts it, "data can be either useful or perfectly anonymous, but never both."

So, suppose I know things about you in particular: where you've eaten, what you've watched. It's very unlikely that I'm going to end up violating your privacy by releasing the "information" that there's one particular person who likes carne asada and British sitcoms. But if I have that information about 100 million people, patterns emerge that do make it possible to tie data points to particular named, located individuals.

Kord Davis: Another approach is the balance between risk and innovation. Big data represents massive opportunities to benefit business, education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, and many other fields. The risks, however, to personal privacy, the ability to manage our individual reputations and online identities, and what it might mean to lose — or gain — ownership over our personal data are just now becoming topics of discussion, some parts of which naturally generate ethical questions. To take advantage of the benefits big data innovations offer, the practical risks of implementing them need to be understood.

How do ethics apply to big data?

Kord Davis: Big data itself, like all technology, is ethically neutral. The use of big data, however, is not. While the ethics involved are abstract concepts, they can have very real-world implications. The goal is to develop better ways and means to engage in intentional ethical inquiry to inform and align our actions with our values.

There are a significant number of efforts to create a digital "Bill of Rights" for the acceptable use of big data. The White House recently released a blueprint for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The values it supports include transparency, security, and accountability. The challenge is how to honor those values in everyday actions as we go about the business of doing our work.

Do you anticipate friction between data providers (people) and data aggregators (companies) down the line?

Douglas Patterson: Definitely. For example: you have an accident and you're taken to the hospital unconscious for treatment. Lots of data is generated in the process, and let's suppose it's useful data for developing more effective treatments. Is it obvious that that's your data? It was generated during your treatment, but also with equipment the hospital provided, based on know-how developed over decades in various businesses, universities, and government-linked institutions, all in the course of saving your life. In addition to generating profits, that same data may help save lives down the road. Creating the data was, so to speak, a mutual effort, so it's not obvious that it's your data. But it's also not obvious that the hospital can just do whatever it wants with it. Maybe under the right circumstances, the data could be de-anonymized to reveal what sort of embarrassing thing you were doing when you got hurt, with great damage to your reputation. And giving or selling data down the line to aggregators and businesses that will attempt to profit from it is one thing the hospital might want to do with the data that you might want to prevent — especially if you don't get a percentage.

Questions of ownership, questions about who gets to say what may and may not be done with data, are where the real and difficult issues arise.

Which data technologies raise ethical concerns?

Douglas Patterson: Geolocation is huge — think of the flap over the iPhone's location logging a while back, or how much people differ over whether or not it's creepy to check yourself or a friend into a location on Facebook or Foursquare. Medical data is going to become a bigger and bigger issue as that sector catches up.

Will lots of people wake up someday and ask for a "do over" on how much information they've been giving away via the "frictionless sharing" of social media? As a teacher, I was struck by how little concern my students had about this — contrasted with my parents, who find something pretty awful about broadcasting so much information. The trend seems to be in favor of certain ideas about privacy going the way of the top hat, but trends like that don't always continue.

Kord Davis: The field of predictive analytics has been around for a long time, but the development of big data technologies has increased accessibility to large datasets and the ability to data mine and correlate data using commodity hardware and software. The potential benefits are massive. A promising example is that longitudinal studies in education can gather and process significantly more minute data characteristics and we have no idea what we might learn. Which is precisely the point. Being able to assess a more refined population of cohorts may well turn out to unlock powerful ways to improve education. Similar conditions exist for healthcare, agriculture, and even being able to predict weather more reliably and reducing damage from catastrophic natural weather events.

On the other hand, the availability of larger datasets and the ability to process and query against them makes it very tempting for organizations to share and cross-correlate to gain deeper insights. If you think it's difficult to identify values and align them with actions within a single organization, imagine how many organizations the trail of your data exhaust touches in a single day.

Even a simple, singular transaction, such as buying a pair of shoes online touches your bank, the merchant card processor, the retail or wholesale vendor, the shoe manufacturer, the shipping company, your Internet service provider, the company that runs or manages the ecommerce engine that makes it possible, and every technology infrastructure organization that supports them. That's a lot of opportunity for any single bit of your transaction to be stored, shared, or otherwise mis-used. Now imagine the data trail for paying your taxes. Or voting — if that ever becomes widely available.

What recent events point to the future impact of big data?

Douglas Patterson: For my money, the biggest impact is in the funding of just about everything on the web by either advertising dollars or investment dollars chasing advertising dollars. Remember when you used to have to pay for software? Now look at what Google will give you for free, all to get your data and show you ads. Or, think of the absolutely pervasive impact of Facebook on the lives of many of its users — there's very little about my social life that hasn't been affected by it.

Down the road there may be more Orwellian or "Minority Report" sorts of things to worry about — maybe we're already dangerously close now. On the positive side again, there will doubtless be some amazing things in medicine that come out of big data. Its impact is only going to get bigger.

Kord Davis: Regime change efforts in the Middle East and the Occupy Movement all took advantage of big data technologies to coordinate and communicate. Each of those social movements shared a deep set of common values, and big data allowed them to coalesce at an unprecedented size, speed, and scale. If there was ever an argument for understanding more about our values and how they inform our actions, those examples are powerful reminders that big data can influence massive changes in our lives.

This interview was edited and condensed.

Ethics of Big Data — This book outlines a framework businesses can use to maintain ethical practices while working with big data.


February 17 2012

Four short links: 17 February 2012

  1. How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did -- predictive analytics moves faster than family communications. (via Sara Winge)
  2. JSHint -- a tool to detect errors and potential problems in JavaScript code. (via Hacker News)
  3. Web Caching Tutorial -- explanation of the technical ins and outs of web caching.
  4. Gatekeeper -- Apple's new app security technology for Mac OS X. Identity, general purpose computing, security, and third-party kill switches all in the one technology. (via John Gruber)

January 12 2012

Identité(s) juive(s) dans l'Antiquité | 2012-01-10

Recueil organisé d’articles qui met en lumière la façon dont l’Antiquité méditerranéenne a perçu le judaïsme et comment ce dernier s’y est intégré. Parmi les différentes enquêtes que mène l’auteur, la première cible les premières représentations que les Grecs se font des Juifs. C’est à la fin du IVème siècle avant notre ère qu’on trouve trace d’une rencontre entre les Juifs et les Grecs. La première désignation qu’utilisent les Grecs pour parler les Juifs est celle de " peuple de philosophes nés " - qui donne son titre à l’ouvrage. Cette première mention des Juifs chez un Grec, en l’occurrence Théophraste, dérive du fait que cet auteur met au centre de ce qu’il connaît du judaïsme leur monothéisme...




// oAnth - original URL --

December 19 2011

Four short links: 19 December 2011

  1. The History of Version Control (Francis Irving) -- concise history of the key advances in managing source code versions. Worth it just for the delicious apposition of "history" and "version control".
  2. BrowserID -- Mozilla's authentication solution. BrowserID aims to provide a secure way of proving your identity to servers across the Internet, without having to create separate usernames and passwords each time. Instead of a new username, it uses your email address as your identity which allows it to be decentralized since anyone can send you an email verification message. It's currently implemented via JavaScript but hopefully it will be built into the browser in the future. (via Nelson Minar)
  3. A Look Inside Mobile Design Patterns -- Sample chapter on how different apps handle invitations, from a new [O'Reilly-published, huzzah!] book on mobile design patterns. (via David Kaneda)
  4. Node Toolbox -- concise compendium of resources for node.js development.

November 01 2011

Demoting Halder: A wild look at social tracking and sentiment analysis

I've been holding conversations with friends around a short story I put up on the Web last week, Demoting Halder, and interesting reactions have come up. Originally, the story was supposed to lay out an alternative reality where social tracking and sentiment analysis had taken over society so pervasively that everything people did revolved around them. As the story evolved, I started to wonder whether the reality in the story was an alternative one or something we are living right now. I think this is why people have been responding to the story.

The old saying, "First impressions are important" is going out of date. True, someone may form a lasting opinion of you based on the first information he or she hears, but you no longer have control over what this first information is. Businesses go to great lengths to influence what tops the results in Google and other search engines. There are court battles over ads that are delivered when people search for product names--it's still unclear whether a company can be successfully sued for buying an ad for a name trademarked by a competitor. But after all this effort, someone may hear about you first on some forum you don't even know about.

In short, by the time people call you or send email, you have no idea what they know already and what they think about you. One friend told me, "Social networking turns the whole world into one big high school (and I didn't like high school)." Nearly two years ago, I covered questions of identity online, with a look at the effects of social networking, in a series on Radar. I think it's still relevant, particularly concerning the choices it raised about how to behave on social networks, what to share, and--perhaps most importantly--how much to trust what you see about other people.

Some people assiduously monitor what comes up when they Google their name or how many followers they have on various social networks. Businesses are springing up that promise even more sophisticated ways to rank people or organizations. Some of the background checking shades over into outright stalking, where an enemy digs up obscure facts that seem damaging and posts them to a forum where they can influence people's opinion of the victim. One person who volunteered for a town commission got on the wrong side of somebody who came before the commission, and had to cope with such retaliation as having pictures of her house posted online along with nasty comments. I won't mention what she found out when she turned the tables and looked the attacker up online. After hearing her real-life experiences, I felt like my invented story will soon be treated as a documentary.

And the success characters have gaming the system in Demoting Halder should be readily believable. Today we depend heavily on ratings even thought there are scads of scams on auction sites, people using link farms and sophisticated spam-like schemes to boost search results, and skewed ratings on travel sites and similar commercial ventures.

One friend reports, "It is amazing how many people have checked me and my company out before getting on the initial call." Tellingly, she goes on to admit, "Of course, I do the same. It used to be that was rare behavior. Now it is expected that you will have this strange conversation where both parties know way too much about each other." I'm interested in hearing more reactions to the story.

Strata 2012 — The 2012 Strata Conference, being held Feb. 28-March 1 in Santa Clara, Calif., will offer three full days of hands-on data training and information-rich sessions. Strata brings together the people, tools, and technologies you need to make data work.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

August 30 2011

It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

Ever since Google launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks like Facebook so it can improve its search results. But there’s a larger motive as well: as chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.

Schmidt’s comments came during an interview with Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio digital editor who has become a one-man newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions. Carvin asked the Google chairman about the company’s reasoning for pushing its real-name policies on Google+ — a policy that many have criticized (including us) because it excludes potentially valuable viewpoints that might be expressed by political dissidents and others who prefer to remain anonymous. In effect, Schmidt said Google isn’t interested in changing its policies to accommodate those kinds of users: if people want to remain anonymous, he said, then they shouldn’t use Google+.

Google+ is primarily an “identity service”

But it was the former Google CEO’s remarks about the rationale for this policy that were most interesting: He didn’t just say — as Vic Gundotra, the Google executive in charge of the new social network has — that having real names maintains a certain tone of behavior that is more preferable to anonymous forums (an argument that online-community pioneer Derek Powazek has also made). According to Carvin, Schmidt said the reason Google needs users with real names is that the company sees Google+ as the core of an identity platform it is building that can be used for other things:

He (Eric) replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.

As Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson noted in a blog post in response to Schmidt’s comments, this is an admission by the company that it wants to be an identity gatekeeper. Others have made similar observations since the launch of Google+. Programmer and online veteran Dave Winer, for example, said when the real-name policy first started to become a hot-button issue that Google’s purpose was clearly to “provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.” In his blog post, Fred Wilson said:

It begs the question of whom Google built this service for? You or them. And the answer to why you need to use your real name in the service is because they need you to.

Real names are more valuable to advertisers

As I tried to outline in a recent GigaOM Pro research report entitled “How social search is changing the search industry” (subscription required), there’s an obvious search-related rationale for launching a social network like Google+, since indexing and mining that kind of activity can help the company provide better “social search” results. But the real-name issue has more to do with Google’s other business: namely, advertising. Users who are anonymous or pseudonymous are arguably a lot less valuable to advertisers than those who choose to attach their real identities, including their age and gender, location and other demographic details to their accounts.

What kind of services is Schmidt referring to when he says that Google is looking at Google+ as an identity platform that could support other services? Dave Winer thinks that the company wants to effectively become a bank — something he also suspects that Apple and Amazon are interested in as well — and that’s definitely a possibility. Apple and Google both seem interested in NFC technology (near-field communication), which turns mobile devices into electronic wallets, and having a social network tied to an individual user’s identity would come in handy. Ross Dawson says Google wants to build a “reputation engine” using Google+ as a platform.

Whatever its specific interests are, Google clearly sees Facebook as a competitive threat not just because it has developed a gigantic social network with hundreds of millions of devoted users, but also because it has become a kind of identity gatekeeper — with tens of millions of those devoted users happily logging into other websites and services with their Facebook credentials, thus sending Facebook valuable data about what they are doing and where they are doing it. And the ubiquitous “like” button provides even more data, something Google is also trying to mimic with its +1 buttons.

Google needs a horse in the identity race

The bottom line is that Google needs to have a horse in this identity race, and it has been unable to create one so far. The growth of Google+ provides a reason for people to create Google profiles, and that data — along with their activity on the network and through +1 buttons — goes into the vast Google cyberplex where it can be crunched and indexed and codified in a hundred different ways. And the more people who decide to do it, the better it gets, both for Google and for its advertising strategy. As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for it, then you’re the product being sold.

That’s the obvious background to the real-name issue, something Eric Schmidt has effectively confirmed with his remarks in Edinburgh. Whether users like the position that puts them in remains to be seen.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Kat B Photography

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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Reposted fromdarinrmcclure darinrmcclure

August 29 2011



(L)egal identity needs to be administrated in the online domain (which, contrary to what NSTIC and others seem to think, is not demonstrably proven), it remains that without the protections outlined in the “dotrights” campaign, the NSTIC effort is an incredibly dangerous movement for state managed identity as well as for citizens/consumers and their rights/interests. But don’t take my word for it, consider carefully the wording and implications of Mr. Messina:

“The last thing that I’ll add — which itself is controversial — is that this whole system, at least at the outset, will be voluntary and opt-in,” Messina says. “That means that if you don’t want the convenience of not having to use passwords anymore, you won’t have to. If you’re okay rotating your passwords and maintaining numerous discreet accounts across the web, that’s cool too. I don’t think a mandatory system would succeed — at least not without proving its security, stability, convenience, and utility over several years.”

I would point out that the current efforts by Google are, in fact, “entirely voluntary and opt-in”.

I would also point out that they have made it exceedingly clear that they are being driven by a yet-unexplained motivation that makes taking a “don’t like it, leave” stance attractive for Google.

I would further point out that Google’s CEO Schmidt himself stated that (paraphrasing), “Google+ is an identity service”; this is also supported by Google’s own site.

My assertions and conclusions at this point are, I think, things that you will find utterly logical:

  1. Google intends to be one (the first? the premiere? the only?) identity service for the USA.
  2. Google intends that their existing hold over users (adoption of services and products and related entrenchment thereto) be the weight brought to bear that ensures adoption rather than abandonment.
  3. Google intends that their ability to demonstrate adoption will allow them to leverage themselves, if not into the position of sole provider, then into a position of an elite few.
  4. Google intends to lobby and support our government in reaching a point of transition at which this “entirely voluntary and opt-in” identity service may become a mandatory one.
  5. Google is counting on YOUR continued use and willingness to adopt and endure any change they make to accomplish this.

Seem far fetched? Why? Messina is obviously thinking about it, the NSTIC is as well, thus Google, our Government, and who knows who else are thinking about it, too. Look at this and understand: There is not that much distance at all between Messina’s statements and the above assertions and conclusions and, frankly, that distance will close rapidly if Google is right about consumer apathy and passive adoption.


The NSTIC, you, and me (and Google?)… | BonnieNadri.Com - 2011-08-29
#Stiegler -

It seems appropriate somehow to think again of Bernard Stiegler’s opening comments in Taking Care of Youth and the Generations after a few days of rioting and endless irrelevant comments in the spectacle about the causes. Stiegler’s underlying proposition is that the spectacle, which he refers to as the culture industry undermines what it is to be an adult. “An adult human being is one recognized as socially adult and thus responsible. Responsibility is the adult’s defining trait; an adult who is irresponsible, stricto senso, loses both adults rights and duties…” Stiegler defines the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible through the Freudian moment, since “…Freud it has been clear that the formation of this responsibility, this becoming adult, develops from infancy through a relationship of identification with parents who educate the child. This is what Freud calls primary identification…” and which enables adulthood and responsibility to be transmitted between the generations.

This might be challenged by those who find the psychoanalytical understanding problematic, perhaps preferring an evolutionary psychology model or a neuro-psychological model,(though the idea of challenging this through such a biologically deterministic model does amuse me). However this would clearly change nothing of significance in Stieglers argument, unless you wish to use such an anti-psychoanalytical perspective to argue against the positive values assigned to adulthood and responsibility. For what Stiegler is raising is that the culture industry, the spectacle is working to subvert the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible… as follows: So that “… this process of identification is precisely what the contemporary culture industry subverts, in diverting and capturing the attention of young minds in their time of ‘brain availability’ passive in the face of demands to consume but increasingly subject to attention problems…” Typically the new stereotypes are used to subvert, short-circuit and infantilize parental authority. The culture industry derides parental stereotypes and in so doing works to place itself in their stead. It is this process which we have seen repeated in the aftermath of the riots…Even in the abbreviated version briefly outlined here I would ask how does this read as yet again we have heard mothers and fathers derided by the political elites and their priests of the spectacle ?

concrete rules, differences & equivalences (#Stiegler -)

August 12 2011

Visualization of the Week: Visualizing the Library Catalog

WorldCat, the world's largest library catalog, has launched a new interactive tool that lets users visually explore the catalog, specifically the relationships between WorldCat "Identities." A WorldCat Identity can be a person (an author or a fictional or non-fictional character, for example), a thing (an animal or a boat, for example), or a corporation.

A screenshot from the WorldCat Identity Network. Click to visit the full interactive version.

The WorldCat Identity Network uses the WorldCat Search API and the WorldCat Identities Web Service to create an interactive map.

Using these Identity Maps, users will be able to see how these subject-based identities are interconnected. For example, they could see relationships between authors and their characters, but also relationships between authors and between subjects. Below each Identity Map, the tool also gives a list of relevant titles found in WorldCat.

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August 02 2011


Eine Geschichte aus einer möglichen Zukunft: Sie sitzen in der U-Bahn einem interessanten Menschen gegenüber. Wie heißt er? Wo arbeitet er? Wofür interessiert er sich? Sie halten kurz ihr Smartphone hoch, fotografieren unauffällig das Gesicht ihres Gegenübers und nach ein paar Sekunden erscheinen auf ihrem Handy all diese Details.

Ferne Zukunft? Im Prinzip wäre das technisch schon sehr bald möglich, sagen die Forscher Alessandro Acquisti und Ralph Gross von der Carnegie Mellon University. Die Wissenschaftler haben in mehreren Experimenten Belege dafür gefunden, dass die Technik funktioniert. Es ist möglich, Menschen nahezu in Echtzeit per Software zu identifizieren - anhand von im Internet frei verfügbaren Fotos.

Acquisti und Gross stellen ihre vorläufigen Forschungsergebnisse in den kommenden Tagen vor, unter anderem auf der Black Hat Konferenz, einem der wichtigsten Treffen von IT-Sicherheitsforschern. 


Bilderkennung: Ich weiß, wer du bist | SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Netzwelt - 2011-08-02
Reposted bydigitalekulturresearchbrightbyteFreeminder23SmokeyTheBeartowserkrekkentspanndich

May 04 2011

A Manhattan Project for online identity

In 1993, Peter Steiner famously wrote in the New Yorker that "on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." In 2011, trillions of dollars in e-commerce transactions and a growing number of other interactions have made knowing that someone is not only human, but a particular individual, increasingly important.

Governments are now faced with complex decisions in how they approach issues of identity, given the stakes for activists in autocracies and the increasing integration of technology into the daily lives of citizens. Governments need ways to empower citizens to identify themselves online to realize both aspirational goals for citizen-to-government interaction and secure basic interactions for commercial purposes.

It is in that context that the United States federal government introduced the final version of its National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) this spring. The strategy addresses key trends that are crucial to the growth of the Internet operating system: online identity, privacy, and security.

Blackberry at White House
Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The NSTIC proposes the creation of an "identity ecosystem" online, "where individuals and organizations will be able to trust each other because they follow agreed upon standards to obtain and authenticate their digital identities." The strategy puts government in the role of a convener, verifying and certifying identity providers in a trust framework.

First steps toward this model, in the context of citizen-to-government authentication, came in 2010 with the launch of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and a pilot at the National Institute of Health of a trust frameworks — but there's a very long road ahead for this larger initiative. Online identity, as my colleague Andy Oram explored in a series of essays here at Radar, is tremendously complicated, from issues of anonymity to digital privacy and security to more existential notions of insight into the representation of our true selves in the digital medium.

NSTIC and online identity

The need to improve the current state of online identity has been hailed at the highest levels of government. "By making online transactions more trustworthy and better protecting privacy, we will prevent costly crime, we will give businesses and consumers new confidence, and we will foster growth and untold innovation," President Obama said in a statement on NSTIC.

The final version of NSTIC is a framework that lays out a vision for an identity ecosystem. Video of the launch of the NSTIC at the Commerce Department is embedded below:

"This is a strategy document, not an implementation document," said Ian Glazer, research director on identity management at Gartner, speaking in an interview last week. "It's about a larger vision: this where we want to get to, these are the principles we need to get there."

Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) highlighted a critical tension at a forum on NSTIC in January: government needs a better online identity infrastructure to improve IT security, online privacy, and support e-commerce but can't create it itself.

Andy Ozment, White House Director for Cybersecurity Policy, said in a press briefing prior to the release of NSTIC that the strategy was intended to protect online privacy, reduce identity theft, foster economic growth on the Internet and create a platform for the growth of innovative identity services.

"It must be led by the private sector and facilitated by government," said Ozment. "There will be a sort of trust mark — it may not be NSTIC — that certifies that solutions will have gone through an accreditation process."

Instead of creating a single online identity for each citizen, NSTIC envisions an identity ecosystem with many trusted providers. "In the EU [European Union] mentality, identity can only exist if the state provides it," said Glazer. "That's inherently an un-American position. This is frankly an adoption of the core values of the nation. There's a rugged individualism in what we're incorporating into this strategy."

Glazer and others who have been following the issue closely have repeatedly emphasized that NSTIC is not a mandate to create a national online identity for every American citizen. "NSTIC puts forth a vision where individuals can choose to use a smaller number of secure, privacy-preserving online identities, rather than handing over a new set of personal information each time they sign up for a service," said Leslie Harris, president for the Center for Democracy and Technology, in a prepared statement.  "There are two key points about this Strategy:  First, this is NOT a government-mandated, national ID program; in fact, it's not an identity 'program' at all," Harris said.  "Second, this is a call by the Administration to the private sector to step up, take leadership of this effort and provide the innovation to implement a privacy-enhancing, trusted system."

Harris also published a guest post at that explored how the national identity strategy "envisions a more trustworthy Internet."

The NSTIC was refined in an open government consultation process with multiple stakeholders over the course of the past year, including people from private industry, academics, privacy advocates and regulators. It is not a top-down mandate but instead a set of suggested principles that its architects hope will lead to a health identity ecosystem.

"Until a competitive marketplace and proper standards are adopted across industry, we actually continue to have fewer options in terms of how we secure our accounts than more," said Chris Messina in an interview with WebProNews this year. "And that means that the majority of Americans will continue using the same set of credentials over and over again, increasing their risk and exposure to possible leaks."

For a sense of the constituencies involved, read through what they're saying about NSTIC at Many of those parties are involved in an ongoing open dialogue on NSTIC at

"The commercial sector is making progress every week, every month, with players for whom there's a lot of money involved," said Eric Sachs, product manager for the Google Security team and board member of the OpenID Foundation, in an interview this winter. "These players have a strong expectation of a regulated solution. That's one reason so many companies are involved in the OpenID Foundation. Businesses are finding that if they don't offer choices for authentication, there's significant push back that affects business outcomes."

Functionally, there will now be an NSTIC program office in the Department of Commerce and a series of roundtables held across the United States over the next year. There will be funding for more research. Beyond that, "milestones are really hard to see in the strategy," said Glazer. "We tend to think of NSTIC's goal as a single, recognizable state. Maybe we should be thinking of this as DARPA for identity. It's us as a nation harnessing really smart people on all sides of transactions."

Improving online identity will require government and industry to work together. "One role government can play is by aggregating citizen demand and asking companies to address it," said Sachs. "Government is doing well by coming to companies and saying that this is an issue that affects everyone on the Internet."

NSTIC and online privacy

There are serious risks to getting this wrong, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation highlighted in its analysis of the federal online identity plan last year. The most contentious issue with NSTIC lies in its potential to enable new harms instead of preventing them, including increased identity theft.

"While we're concerned about the unsolved technological hurdles, we are even more concerned about the policy and behavioral vulnerabilities that a widespread identity ecosystem would create," wrote Aaron Titus of Identity Finder, which has released a 39-page analysis of NSTIC's effect on privacy:

We all have social security cards and it took decades to realize that we shouldn't carry them around in our wallets. Now we will have a much more powerful identity credential, and we are told to carry it in our wallets, phones, laptops, tablets and other computing devices. Although NSTIC aspires to improve privacy, it stops short of recommending regulations to protect privacy. The stakes are high, and if implemented improperly, an unregulated Identity Ecosystem could have a devastating impact on individual privacy.

It would be a mistake, however, to "freak out" over this strategy, as Kaliya Hamlin has illuminated in her piece on the NSTIC in Fast Company:

There [are] a wide diversity of use cases and needs to verify identity transactions in cyberspace across the public and private sectors. All those covering this emerging effort would do well to stop just reacting to the words "National," "Identity," and "Cyberspace" being in the title of the strategy document but instead to actually talk to the the agencies to understand real challenges they are working to address, along with the people in the private sector and civil society that have been consulted over many years and are advising the government on how to do this right.

So no, the NSTIC is not a government ID card, although information cards may well be one of the trusted sources of for online identity in the future, along with smartphones and other physical tokens.

The online privacy issue necessarily extends far beyond whatever NSTIC accomplishes, affecting every one of the billions of people now online. At present, the legal and regulatory framework that governs the online world varies from state to state and from sector to sector. While the healthcare and financial world have associated penalties, online privacy hasn't been specifically addressed by legislation.

As online privacy debates heat up again in Washington when Congress returns from its spring break, that may change. Following many of the principles advanced in the FTC privacy report and the Commerce Department's privacy report last year, Senator John McCain and Senator Kerry introduced an online privacy bill of rights in March.

After last week's story on the retention of iPhone location data, location privacy is also receiving heightened attention in Washington. The Federal Trade Commission, with action on Twitter privacy in 2010 and Google Buzz in 2011, has moved forward without a national consumer privacy law. "I think you'll see some enforcement actions on mobile privacy in the future," Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, told Politico last week.

For companies to be held more accountable for online privacy breaches, however, the U.S. Senate would need to move forward on H.R. 2221, the Data Accountability and Trust Act (DATA) that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this year. To date, the 112th Congress has not taken up a national data breach law again, although such a measure could be added to a comprehensive cybersecurity bill.

NSTIC and security

"The old password and user-name combination we often use to verify people is no longer good enough. It leaves too many consumers, government agencies and businesses vulnerable to ID and data theft," said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke during the strategy launch event at the Commerce Department in Washington, D.C.

The problem is that "people are doing billions of transactions with LOA1 [Level of Assurance 1] credentials already," said Glazer. "That's happening today. It's costing business to go verify these things before and after the transaction, and the principle of minimization is not being adhered to. "

Many of these challenges, however, come not from the technical side but from the user experience and business balance side, said Sachs. "Most businesses shouldn't be in the business of having passwords for users. The goal is educating website owners that unless you specialize in Internet security, you shouldn't be handling authentication."

Larger companies "don't want to tie their existence to a single company, but the worse they're doing in a given quarter, the more willing they are to take that risk," Sachs said.

"One username and password for everything is actually very bad 'security hygiene,' especially as you replay the same credentials across many different applications and contexts (your mobile phone, your computer, that seemingly harmless iMac at the Apple store, etc)," said Messina in the WebProNews interview. "However, nothing in NSTIC advocates for a particular solution to the identity challenge — least of all supporting or advocating for a single username and password per person."

"If you look at the hopes of the NSTIC, it moves beyond passwords," said Glazer. "My concern is that it's authenticator-fixated. Let's make sure it's not solely smartcards or one-time passwords." There won't be a magic bullet here, as is the same conclusion faced by so many other great challenges for government and society.

Some of the answers to securing online privacy and identity, however, won't be technical or legislative at all. They will lie in improving the digital literacy of all online citizens. That very human reality was highlighted after the Gawker database breach last year, when the number of weak passwords used online became clear.

"We're going to set the behavior for the next generation of computing," said Glazer. "We shouldn't be obsessed with one or two kinds of authenticators. We should have a panoply. NSTIC is aimed at fostering the next generation of behaviors. It will involve designers, psychologists, as well as technologists. We, the identity community, need to step out of the way when it comes to the user experience and behavioral architecture.

NSTIC and the future of the Internet

NSTIC may be the "wave of the future" but, ultimately, the success or failure of this strategy will rest on several factors, many of them lying outside of government's hands. For one, the widespread adoption of Facebook's social graph and Facebook Connect by developers means that the enormous social network is well on its way to becoming an identity utility for the Internet. For another, the loss of anonymity online would have dire consequences for marginalized populations or activists in autocratic governments.

Ultimately, said Glazer, NSTIC may not matter in the ways that we expect it to. "I think what will come of this is a fostering of research at levels, including business standards, identity protocols and user experience. I hope that this will be a Manhattan Project for identity, but done in the public eye."

There may be enormous risks to getting this wrong, but then that was equally true of the Apollo Project and Manhattan Project, both of which involved considerably more resources. If the United States is to enable its citizens to engage in more trusted interactions with government systems online, something better than the status quo will have to emerge. One answer will be services like Singly and the Locker Project that enable citizens to aggregate Internet data about ourselves, empowering people with personal data stores. There are new challenges ahead for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), too. "NIST must not only support the development of standards and technology, but must also develop the policy governing the use of the technology," wrote Titus.

What might be possible? Aaron Brauer-Rieke, a fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, described a best-case scenario to Nancy Scola of techPresident:

I can envision a world where a particularly good trust framework says, "Our terms of service that we will take every possible step to resist government subpoenas for your information. Any of the identity providers under our framework or anyone who accepts information from any of our identity providers must have those terms of service, too." If something like that gains traction, that would be great.

That won't be easy, but the potential payoffs are immense. "For those of us interested in the open government space, trusted identity raises the intriguing possibility of creating threaded online transactions with governments that require the exchange of only the minimum in identifying information," writes Scola at techPresident. "For example, Brauer-Rieke sketched out the idea of an urban survey that only required a certification that you lived in the relevant area. The city doesn't need to know who you are or where, exactly, you live. It only needs to know that you fit within the boundaries of the area they're interested in."

Online identity is, literally, all about us. It's no longer possible for governments, businesses or citizens to remain static with the status quo. To get this right, the federal government is taking the risk of looking to the nation's innovators to create better methods for trusted identity and authentication. In other words, it's time to work on stuff that matters, not making people click on more ads.


April 30 2011

Johann Hari: The British Royal Wedding Frenzy Should Embarrass Us All (Democracy Now!) Part 1 of 2 - Up to two billion people around the world tuned in to watch the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, a story which has dominated TV news for weeks. The wedding buzz, however, provides an interesting time to look at the monarchy, Britain's domestic policy, and how its colonial legacy around the word affects foreign affairs today. While all eyes were on the wedding procession and the first kiss, Democracy Now! talked instead with Johann Hari, a columnist at The Independent of London, who says that royal wedding frenzy should be an embarrassment to us all. Watch Part 2: For the video/audio podcast, transcript, to sign up for the daily news digest, and for our complete news archive, visit Read Johann Hari's article in The Independent of London FOLLOW US: Facebook: Twitter: @democracynow Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit
Views: 190
19 ratings
Time: 13:42 More in News & Politics
Reposted fromVideosDemocracy VideosDemocracy

Johann Hari: The British Royal Wedding Frenzy Should Embarrass Us All (Democracy Now!) Part 2 of 2 - Up to two billion people around the world tuned in to watch the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, a story which has dominated TV news for weeks. The wedding buzz, however, provides an interesting time to look at the monarchy, Britain's domestic policy, and how its colonial legacy around the word affects foreign affairs today. While all eyes were on the wedding procession and the first kiss, Democracy Now! talked instead with Johann Hari, a columnist at The Independent of London, who says that royal wedding frenzy should be an embarrassment to us all. Watch Part 1: For the video/audio podcast, transcript, to sign up for the daily news digest, and for our complete news archive, visit Read Johann Hari's article in The Independent of London FOLLOW US: Facebook: Twitter: @democracynow Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit
Views: 166
4 ratings
Time: 08:08 More in News & Politics
Reposted fromVideosDemocracy VideosDemocracy
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