Face Book and the Creepy Ex-CoWorker + Yahoo and PDF Adds!!!

Columnist Cory Doctorow describes how Facebook and other social networks have built-in self-destructs: They make it easy for you to be found by the people you’re looking to avoid.
…..ON Information Week

From SlashDot

A new channel (is being) opening up between advertisers and our eyeballs: PDFs with context-sensitive text ads. The service is called “Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo” and it goes into public beta today. The “ad-enabled” PDFs are served off of Adobe’s servers. The article mentions viewing them in Acrobat or Reader but doesn’t mention what happens when a non-Adobe PDF reader is used.

To both of you I say…

Scientists must give up privacy rights

I just found this in SlashDot - quite disturbing…

“Wired is reporting that all NASA JPL scientists must ‘voluntarily’ (or be fired) sign a document giving the government the right to investigate their personal lives and history ‘without limit’. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists this includes snooping into sexual orientation, mental & physical health as well as credit history and ‘personality conflict’. 28 senior NASA scientists and engineers, including Mars Rover team members, refused to sign by the deadline and are now subject to being fired despite a decade or more of exemplary service. None of them even work on anything classified or defense related. They are suing the government and documenting their fight for their jobs and right to personal privacy.”

Monday isn’t just for ‘newbies’

Just to clarify – monday at IIW is “not just for newbies”. All are welcome to the introductory track – I am sure you will learn something about the projects in the community and have a chance to ask questions about those one pagers that are all online.

At 4PM we are all together – the whole community – everyone to get IIW rolling. We have some good thought provoking activities planned. Please be there and join us for dinner.

If you are in an existing working group and have been to IIW before and you want to get some work done while folks are listening to the ‘laws of identity and such’ you are welcome to just let us know you want to have a meeting or add yourself to the wiki.

Giddy about IIW & Monday is Free

I am Giddy with excitement about IIW. Really – I have been bouncing off the walls all day. Almost* all my ‘identity’ friends are coming together and some new friends are showing up to meet you all. New people I don’t know will be there and adding to the mix.

We are experimenting with a new way to do monday with our introductory track being lead and choreographed by Phil. Each of the working groups/ major projects will have one-pagers for everyone to get a clear picture of the different activities. (BTW you still have time to get your one pagers to me).

Monday’s Introductory Track is going to be Free for folks who want to ‘check it out’ to come by. If they want to stay for dinner they are welcome if they chip in. If they want to stay for the conference they can register for it.

Joseph has written a great post about ‘why’ IIW has been really valuable to him and Plaxo.

Sean Ammirati has a great post just posted on Read/Write Web highlights why user-centric identity is important and how it fits into some of the themes discussed on RWW.

I hope we do get ‘slammed’ because it would be great to have more people who really want to engage. As a producer I get really worried about this because we ordered food for 150 people. So I will take a deep breath and hope it all works out.

So…The MC ‘position’ for the Untalent Show is open. If you would be interested in doing this let me know (Eve Maler who has been the MC before is not going to be at this IIW). Prepare your talents’ it could be anything – really. We are a friendly bunch….You can also do hybrid creations – we often have a few verses from a popular song – reauthored to reflect the community’s unique perspective on things.

IIW is a Community event and there is basically “no staff” (There are some students who are there to help ‘extra’ but that is not staff.)
This year my goal is to actually have enough ‘space’ to attend 50% of sessions (I only really attended one last time). So we are going to have a volunteer sign up opportunity so many people can do a few small things to make our event go well. So look for this if you would like to help. ALSO each person taking responsibility and doing the little things like putting your lunch plate in the trash helps make our space nice.

Oh and this IIW we are going to do compostables. So all of our plates, knives, forks, clear cups for juice will go to compost. (The coffee cups are brought by Rich and as far as I know are not compostable)

If you want to BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE MUG you could be trash free for IIW.

I can’t wait – it is going to be great!

* Bob Blakley is not going to be at IIW – some important other thing he has to do for us all.

Neflix anonymous data De-anonymization

Wow! This is a different kind of data breach.

In October last year, Netflix released over 100 million movie ratings made by 500,000 subscribers to their online DVD rental service. The company then offered a prize of $1million to anyone who could better the company’s system of DVD recommendation by 10 per cent or more.

Of course, Netflix assured everybody that the data had been anonymized by removing any personal details.

That turns out to have been a tad optimistic. Arvind Narayanan and Vitaly Shmatikov at the the University of Texas at Austin have just de-anonymized it.

They go on to explain how they did it.

As one of the comments highlights the part they gloss over is that they can only find out who you are if you had an account on Netflix and IMDB.