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The New York Times on Data Convergence and Privacy Concerns

As more of day to day life and communications takes place on IP based networks, and as the regulation  surrounding that convergence removes barriers to owners of those networks providing information gleaned from those communications to third parties (including the State) without fear of tort or criminal  reprisal, it becomes more and more clear that tomorrow's world is one with much less privacy than that envisioned during, say, the writing of the Federalist Papers. The New York Times just published a discussion on the topic that is worth perusing (even if you are not particularly a fan of the Times).


I recently came across this funny and insightful note on the issues admins face selling changes to their users. Originally aimed at online gaming communities, the same relationship management issues pop up when you update a webmail interface, introduce a VPN or really add any features to a long-standing and actively used tech product. A big hat tip goes to Wilhelm of TAGN for this. "If your community was currently being dragged from place to place in a wooden box lined with broken glass, and you told them you were going to replace the box with a hovercar lined with fur, you would have [to] pry half of them out of the box with a crowbar. And some of them will be complaining years from now that riding in the box built character, and fur makes them sneeze." -The Metaverse Mod Squad (Sanya Weathers) on Making Community Changes Without Pain

A New Trend in Games - Sell Broken and Unfinished Games, Lie to Your Customers (Part 1)

I'm a fan of video games. While being a grown up means I don't have a chance to play them as frequently as I used to, I still enjoy decompressing on the weekend with the old XBox and try to do it as much as I can. That said, I would rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than pay $60 for a newly released console game. No matter how much I take home, its difficult for me to justify that  sort of expense. Every once in a while there are some titles that pique my interest and that at least tent me to break that rule. However, a disturbing trend among game developers has just about ensured that will never happened. I am referring to the trend in which a video game is released to the public without being finished. I could go on for quite some time listing examples, but two particularly egregious examples have been well publicized recently. The first, Aliens: Colonial Marines. Take a look at the brief YouTube video below for an example of standard game play that custo

Richard Garriott - Insult and Injury

The one-time designer of Ultima is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. He has raised over a million dollars to add to his own personal fortune to finance a new gaming project. Richard lives in a castle and has gone to outer space . The public entertains his tasteless compulsion to refer to himself as "Lord British" and to name his house/castle "Britannia Manor". Most people in his position would have some nice things to say about the industry that has made him rich and that has coddled his adolescent fantasies for decades. But not Richard. During a recent interview with PC Gamer , Richard Garriott was quoted as saying "most game designers really just suck". Specifically, he said: "You know, I go back to the day when I was the programmer, I was the artist, I was the text writer, etcetera. Every artist we've ever hired ever is infinitely better at art than I ever was. I was never a good artist, or audio engineer, or composer. I

Starting a New Barcamp

Barcamp is a DIY series of regional tech conferences. The Barcamp organization as such provides a template for organizing, and tech-interested people all over the world use it to organize events, speakers and guests to get together and talk about computers over the weekend with a few beers. You can read more about Barcamp on their website and their wiki entry . The events are a lot of fun and a way to talk to some really interesting industry people that you wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to chat with, and I've been involved with speaking at them and helping companies fund them all over the east coast. Recently a good friend and former colleague let me know that he is going to be getting a new Barcamp started in Huntsville, Alabama. If you are in that area, plan on being in that area soon, you are interested in getting to know more people in the Huntsville area, or you represent a company looking to raise your profile with tech people in Alabama, reach out to me so