The Internet is a Series of Tubes

It’s frightening to see that smart people, e.g. judges, can’t seem to figure out how the web works yet are responsible for establishing legal precedent and making laws.

Even though meta tags are regularly ignored by search engines, and not visible to average site visitors, this ruling says that other company’s trademarks in you meta tags will leave you exposed to trademark infringement lawsuits. Amazing.

North American Medical Corp. v. Axiom Worldwide, Inc. docket number 06-01678 CV-JTC-1 (PDF) doesn’t specifically say if the trademarked terms were in the keywords meta tag, description meta tag or some other meta tag. But the ruling is that Axiom, who used North American Medical Corp’s trademark in their meta tags, is in violation of trademark infringement. The specific keywords were “Accu-Spina” and “IDD Therapy,” and Axiom, at one point, ranked well for those terms in Google.

[From US Court Rules Trademarks In Meta Tags Can Constitute Infringement]

Traffic Cameras for Profit

This is why I am skeptical of any “public safety” argument when it comes to red light cameras. There is no evidence despite repeated studies that traffic cameras make intersections any safer, yet there is ample evidence to suggest that cities other motives for installing them.

Six U.S. cities have been found guilty of shortening the amber cycles below what is allowed by law on intersections equipped with cameras meant to catch red-light runners. The local governments in question have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.

[From Six US cities tamper with traffic cameras for profit]

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NewsGator Twittering

I took note of Evernote the other day when they followed me on twitter... thinking “hey that’s actually a good idea”.

NewsGator Widgets is now on Twitter. Like a lot of people we are in the experimentation phase on this, so I think we’ll target a couple of tactics that help us in our outreach efforts.

  1. Follow people who reference NewsGator and any of our products.
  2. Follow people we consider to be influencers in our space.
  3. Tweet out meaningful updates about our activities, try to stay away from simply rebroadcasting PR.
  4. Tweet out events we will be participating in or attending.
  5. Re-tweet what we consider insightful and interesting stuff from other people.

Thanks to Andrew for the inspiration.

SAP’s Community Experiments

UPDATE: Jevon pointed out that the links require reg… I’ll check into that because I thought that these were all public.

SAP Global Marketing invited a bunch of people to participate in a meatspace and virtual space community event this week. There’s lots of good stuff going on, indeed, I am finding the blog postings, presentations, and other materials to be really interesting.

This is a great example of how a company can use online community spaces to enhance and involve participation from a wide range of people.

In my copious spare time <g> I have been writing a blog on the Plexus site called “A Former Insider’s Guide“.

The Technology Doesn’t Matter

Imagine what the adoption curve for books would be if the conversation about books dealt with typesetting and font intricacies and the compelling features of a particular kind of binding.

Shirky has a remarkable ability to put a skewer through a million things and get to the essence of the broader question that isn’t even articulated: “social tools aren’t interesting until the technology becomes boring.”

As Clay Shirky recently remarked on the Colbert Report, so it must be true, “social tools aren’t interesting until the technology becomes boring.” And more to the point “the social effects are more important than how the technology works.” This might be disconcerting to people in the technology business an hopefully they come realize they aren’t in the technology business. But we are still in the early stages of social software. Case in point is how we still using the rudimentary language of features. Like “wiki” or “blog” or “social networking.” Techcrunch posts and Facebook apps are a constant stream of feature porn.

[From Plexus Beta: Collective Genius: The Technology Doesn’t Matter]

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Potomac Two Step

Protecting the Internet from a terrorist hijacking can’t be done by government alone, he said. The homeland security chief called on Silicon Valley to send some of its “best and brightest” to Washington to work on the effort.

[From Security chief calls on valley expertise for cyber-defense – San Jose Mercury News]

If you want people to get things done then don’t send them to Washington. Chertoff should take the best and brightest in Washington and make them leave that quagmire, send them here to the Valley to GSD.