Archive for June, 2007

June 11th Final Class

June 22, 2007

As everyone on the civic activism class rolled in their presentations it is interesting to hear each other take on the content created and the take-home from the class.

Everybody brought their own life experience in the final presentation – including Tom and Gary that actually went even further by presenting a whole biography. –

I think any of us got a renewed interest about activism and I noticed that our discussions sometimes gravitated towards activism postings we saw on the main building bulletin boards, some of them propmted us to research and then add the site (if there was one) to our chicago activism site: more bulletins are appearing and I believe those boards are a very good source for local activism.

We talked about “Tweets” as the “mini-me” of Blogs; small version of blogs that contain impromptu thoughts and observations – well ok, sometimes they contain pure drivel and nonsense, but sometimes we need to read that to snap out of our seriousness and have some fun. –

We learned about creative ways to get the word out there – sometimes even if it is illegal or a copyright infringement – when we heard that someone put into song lyrics the hexadecimal codes that make up the signature of a program to break Blue-ray DVD encryption.

Comments abounded about how to implement a timeline for the activism blog and how could that be used to trace and research organizations that did, are doing or will do something to foster change in our society. Change that hopefully will bring progress and better living to everyone.


June 4th tech

June 11, 2007

Blogging Revolution on WIRED

April 2nd class tech

June 4, 2007

Here is an interesting blog a British newspaper about free speech – or the lack of it –

The Guardian Unlimited

April 23rd class tech

June 4, 2007

The “Macaca” video.

I found a blog talking about the video posted on u-tube; here it is:

e.politics on Allen’s “Macaca” video

May 14th class tech

June 4, 2007

After watching countless websites about blogging my window-close reflex stopped just milliseconds after positioning the cursor on the “close tab” righ-click menu.
This is the page I was reading at the time: This site discusses a subject very close to blogging: the use of wiki oriented sites. These sites in syntony with the web 2.0 “quick” (wiki means quick in Hawaian) pattern allow a group of people to share and edit content easily online.

Explore the site and navigate around to know more about wikis; here is an excerpt from the site:

Pioneered by Ward Cunningham, and named after the Hawaiian word for ‘quick’, a wiki is a website that makes it easy for anyone to contribute pages, and link them together.

May 4th class tech

June 4, 2007

Still thinking and struggling about what was said in last week class. It was about the military blocking blogging and sites like myspace from the soldier’s field computers connected to the internet.

My past tells me it was a very good idea, although I am not sure if the blocking extends past the events in time. Posting a picture of a soldier in a camp with a background image of the surroundings can give a pretty good idea where the camp is and that can be pretty dangerous for the people still there.

Perhaps they – the armed forces – should filter the content and allow the soldiers to blog, but then deliver it later when it is not deemed a “leak” anymore. I guess the problem then is who decides when to release the “offline” blog or website content.

Here is an article about Colby Buzzell, a former U.S. soldier in Iraq, who won a prize for a book he published later based on his blog entries that were censored at the time; find the article at

May 21th class tech

June 4, 2007

Interesting piece of news about the Internet and Plagiarism in this blog: MetroBlogging Lahore.

We look at a big “information jar” out there to put your hands into. With so many people who are now a source of information — how valid we don’t know. Every tidbit of information is a sweet cookie (a real one, not the kind your browser digests) for everyone to include in their information porfolio. Given the fact that your information porfolio can be very profitable, when it attracts readers to read the ads in your web page or log, how many people will fall into temptation and how many will be caught with their hands in the jar?

It’s hard to tell; we can only hope people will genuinely want to put their ideas out there and not someone else’s. And when they do at least give credit to the source and have some sort of sportsman’s honor code.

Fortunately this article brings forward at least one tool to come to the author’s aide: Copyscape. You can find it at

How many people will be caught with their hands in the jar? We still do not know, but we do know tools are being built to “turn on the lights in the kitchen.”

June 4th class

June 4, 2007

Phew, loooong time no blog.
Actually not much of anything that was not strictly related to kids and work. It has been two VERY long weeks. Frustration comes in abundance when your time seems to shrink down to nothing.

Well at least I am now feeling well and I am happily writing my class blog and going around to clean up all the class materials, find new entries for the Activism Blog and editing the powerpoint presentations.

Today in class we discussed more about the activism site and soem thoughts came about about the internet in general. We use this mean to do all this stuff and we never question its availability and existence. What if someone would “privatize” the Internet? it seems a very far fetched hypothesis, but there is in fact the possibility of such an event to occur. Talking with class members and browsing the net news and rss feeds we found some old articles about Google trying to purchase “black fiber” cables – optical cables that allow a greater bandwidth that were layed down a while ago (1995)  in the Internet boom and then never used commercially – and make their own private internet backbone from where to deliver exclusive content to paying subscribers.

Today – we discussed – we already pay for Internet service, so what is the difference? Most of us today pay for the connection and some of us for services provided  through the Internet; the Internet per se’ is an interconnection of networks that as been so far free for use and free to move content around.

There are countries – and perhaps the USA is not immune – that have governments that limit the content usable and viewable on the Internet; expecially all the content that resides on the world wide web. Larry pointed out that with the situation about terrorism in the US there are some governemnt agencies that might want to control content here too to “prevent” such actions. THe whole team agreed that perhaps they should use the Internet to learn more about this violent acts and prevent them by informing people so that such events could be prevented.

With all this information available it makes no sense to remove content; we should actually read and learn from it so that we won’t hear anymore one agency telling they were not told by another and so they couldn’t act. There will be no more excuses: the information is there for everyone to know.

Lynda brought up a very good point about the fact that even if the terrorists knew that we knew: that mere knowledge we knew what they were up to would have sent them cancelling the plan and try to find something else; something else that of course will be discovered and made public. People will not be caught by surprise then and thereby the greatest advantage of terrorism will be removed.