OpenSocial or OpenGadget?

From “OpenSocial or OpenGadget? – ReadWriteWeb“:

Steve O’Hear (who edits our digital lifestyle blog last100) has an interesting post on his ZDNet blog that questions whether Google’s OpenSocial initiative is at all about data portability, or if in fact it really just about widget standardization. O’Hear quotes heavily from a recent article by Marc Canter, who is a strong advocate for open standards and data portability, that ran on CNet.

I see the same issue with Facebook’s JS Client Library.

I love client-side technologies, but I’m increasingly thinking that the propagation of such libraries is calculated by the providers more in terms of securing data and activity custodianship, as an alternative to truly opening one’s data APIs, rather than with scalability and processing decentralization in mind, like some argue.

It’s not a bad thing by any stretch, but I’m not sure associating them with true openness and data portability is entirely appropriate.

Google: Software Engineer, 3D Graphics – Montreal

From the Craigslist ad:

Google is seeking excellent software engineers with a passion for building real-time 3D graphical applications. Here at Google we are always on the forefront of creating revolutionary products. If you have experience with distributed interactive user applications or real-time 3D graphics, we invite you to join our world-class engineering team!

Ready? Polish your résumé… Go!

Blekko: Rich Skrenta's Next Venture

From “The Next Google Search Challenger: Blekko“:

Rich Skrenta, who created the first computer virus (Elk Cloner), co-founded the Open Directory Project, and co-founded online news site Topix, may have bitten off the biggest challenge of his career – taking on Google. In search.

Taking on Google is a statement that is now so cliché, but this is one guy (and team) who might actually have a shot at it.

Google Street View Car, Downtown Montreal?

Hum… I was on my way back from work on Montreal’s Sherbrooke Street tonight when I spotted something in the oncoming traffic that most definitely looked like a multi-lens, 3D capture camera mounted on a standard black car.

View Larger Map

Difficult to miss it, perched 4 feet above the car’s roof and right at eye level for me in the bus.

Knowing that Immersive Media, the company handling most (but not all) of Google’s Sreet View image capture, is from Calgary, I wasn’t exactly surprised. But it definitely got me curious.

Well, it turns out that the bolts of controversy coming from the States have been duly noted by our government and its privacy watchdog. See also: Canada to Google Street View: “Car!”.

Ms. Stoddart’s letters to Google and Immersive are available online.

On my end, I’m equally interested in both parties’ perspectives.

  • As an individual and a Canadian, I do enjoy my privacy.
  • As a geek and having lived in many places, I do want the technology.

Finding an appropriate compromise is the name of the game.

Update: I guessed I had somehow missed the buzz on the always excellent Montreal Tech Watch. That’s definitely the car (see picture). I hadn’t seen the side logo from the bus. Oooooh. Aaaah.

Since I was addressing poor online busin…

Since I was addressing poor online business ethics in my last post, I might as well touch the following, as it came up while I was browsing the upcoming security stories thread on Digg.

I was googling my online trail recently, and was quite stirred that the nickname I use on a lot of online communities started showing up as a registered user of a number of social-networking-flavoured porn sites. Most of them pumping out (pardon the analogy) long lists of sites and videos one allegedly features on their profile as interesting, à la Digg et al.

I thought someone else was simply using the same moniker, but the following article and its author might just have provided me with some valuable insight: Why are my picture and name showing up on porn sites without my permission?

Thankfully, this seems limited to the user name for now, and my real name isn’t returning such search results. But it is definitely of interest to me professionally, since McGill does have, and is looking forward to further develop, people pages. We will definitely have to take this trend in consideration in the upcoming incarnation of the software and content.