Recently in The Internet Category

Vortragsfolien "Mobile Webangebote"

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Summary for English readers: The PowerPoint slides from my presentation in Hamburg are now available for download.
Mobile Webangebote - warum sie unverzichtbar sind und wie sie mit wenig Aufwand erstellt werden können, Dr. Horst Prillinger, Universitätsbibliothek Wien

Die kommentierten PowerPoint-Folien zu meinem Vortrag "Mobile Webangebote - warum sie unverzichtbar sind und wie sie mit wenig Aufwand erstellt werden können" vom Deutschen Bibliothekartag in Hamburg können jetzt hier heruntergeladen werden:
Download (PDF, 6 MB) [korrigierte Version 2012-06-01 12:57 CEST]

In Kürze werden sie auch auf dem BIB-OPUS-Server bereitstehen.

Ich habe versucht, den Vortrag als Text auszuformulieren, aber ich hatte nicht ausreichend Zeit und Muße dafür und habe dann mittendrin aufgegeben, weil es stilistisch nicht allzu gelungen war. Wenn jemand den Vortrag für eine Publikation in Buchform haben will, setze ich mich gerne hin und formuliere das aus, aber für die elektronische Publikation muss das hier reichen. Sollten bei den Folien Fragen auftauchen, bitte als Kommentar posten.

Please tell us your name

| 1 Comment | 005.8

Spammers and phishers never cease to amaze me, and it seems that they provide some valuable insight into the psyche of the people they are targetting. Consider for example this mail, which I received today:

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They first address me by my full name, and then they tell me that all they need to send me money is my first name and surname, no additional information required.

I'm assuming that the web page I'm supposed to visit has been designed to install a virus on my computer, but the interesting questions here are:

  • How many people will actually click on the link?
  • Is the fact that the mail is asking to provide information that the sender already knows an oversight,
  • or has it been specifically designed that way because they are assuming that people who don't realize that they're being tricked are also less likely to have anti-virus software installed?
Update: Apparently they're not installing a Trojan, but simply offering a dubious job. Unser täglich Spam has details.

Mobile Services at VU Library

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At somewhat short (but manageable) notice, I received an invitation to speak at the Verbundtag 2011, a convention of Austrian librarians, where the plenary session of the first day was to be on mobile services for libraries. As I recently coordinated (and to some degree also programmed) a mobile version of Vienna University Library's website, they thought that I could add a local perspective to Patrick Hochstenbach's (excellent) presentation on "Mobilising Ghent University".

My presentation went well. It took a little longer than I had expected, but the audience remained surprisingly attentive throughout, despite the prospect of the free lunch buffet that was waiting outside.

I made a few slides to go with my presentation, and this video, which demonstrates the mobile website and catalogue:



Facebook, a phishing harbour?

| 6 Comments | 005.8
Not content with making formerly private information public to all, Facebook now seems to be a phishing harbour too:

Bildschirmfoto 2010-05-15 um 22.47.26.pngThis section, displayed on my, and doubtless many other people's Facebook pages, asks for my mac.com password in order to "connect me to my friends".

If I were to do that and indeed enter my password here, I would grant some unknown entity access to all my e-mails, my iDisk with 10 GB of private files, all my contacts, calendar items, web pages created with iWeb, not to mention all of my computers that are switched on and have screen sharing enabled.

This is potentially the most blatant and outrageous phishing attempt that I have come across in a long time, and it's not done via a dubious e-mail full of spelling mistakes, but rather via an item on a Facebook page that could have been created either by Facebook themselves or a third party. Unbelievable. 

Aber sonst haben wir keine besonderen Wünsche, oder?

| 2 Comments | 005.8
Summary for English readers: This alert window asks me to grant Facebook full read/write access to my computer. Why should I do this?

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Schon ein bisschen frech, das. Finde ich zumindestens. Was lässt die Herrschaften von Facebook eigentlich vermuten, dass ich das ernsthaft erlauben würde?

Excite e-mail has become a total joke

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Remember Excite.com? Together with Lycos, Altavista and Looksmart, Excite used to be a search engine in the times before Google had the search engine monopoly. Also, some time before Google introduced Gmail, Excite introduced Excite webmail.

Back then, I opened an Excite e-mail account simply because I needed an e-mail address that I could use for the hundreds of websites whom I didn't want to give my regular e-mail address when they asked me for one during some registration process. I figured that the Excite e-mail account would work as a spam repository.

As a result, many of my online accounts are now linked to this e-mail address. That wouldn't be a bad thing per se, if two stupid things hadn't happened:

Naja

| 1 Comment | 420.014
Summary for English readers: One thing that doesn't convince me about Facebook is its terminology, which can lead to undesired results, as shown in the example ("Horst: 'Got a rejection' - Pamela likes that").

Eine andere Sache, die mich an Facebook nicht so recht überzeugt, ist, dass durch die recht eigenwillig verwendeten Begrifflichkeiten und/oder merkwürdigen Übersetzungen (siehe auch "Dein Herausgeber") mitunter Dinge entstehen, die (hoffentlich) nicht im Sinne des Absenders waren, wie z.B. das hier:

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Inherent design features

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At the moment, there is a big uproar because Amazon removed some books from users' Kindle devices (see also [1] [2] [3]).

I quote:

This means that all the reassuring talks by Amazon that e-books are just like books, but better is a load of absolute nonsense. You're not allowed to resell them, you're not allowed to give them away, and apparently, you don't even own them, as Amazon can delete them from your Kindle at any given moment. (Thom Holwerda, osnews.com)

But yes, of course. Excuse me for being blunt, but only highly naive technophiles would ever believe that anything other than the above is the case.

The current state of Web 2.0 applications

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As the Twitter hype its currently reaching in Austria (today it's in Falter, so next week I expect it to be in Profil and the week after that in News), I thought I'd take a brief look at some Web 2.0 technologies and see how they're doing these days. These are personal impressions, not factual knowledge, so take this with a grain of salt. Please.

Patient:Blog
Value as a software tool:High. Great to document processes and for networked knowledge building.
Hype status:Post-hype
Hype symptoms:Suffered from the delusion that everybody could be their own journalist at a mouseclick, and even worse, that everyone had something noteworthy to say.
Reason for collapse:Users figured out that writing on a regular basis requires time, effort and dedication.
Current status: Recovering after falling into post-hype depression. Has found many niches where it is put to good use. Remaining webloggers seem to have something to say.
Life expectancyLooking good.

Class struggle on the Internet

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In response to a blog entry by Konstantin Klein, Jörg Kantel writes some "unsorted thoughts", in which he concludes the the Internet is currently the arena for a very specific kind of class struggle, one that takes place between the large media corporations who would like to appropriate as much space on the Internet as possible, and the user communities who want commerce-free public spaces to empower the individual. Governments, Kantel writes, play the handmaidens for the corporations:

[The World Wide Web] did not come into existence out of a social necessity, but by mere chance. ... This was a great piece of good luck because the Internet could develop without the pressures of commercial viability, which in turn led to the structures that we still use today.

It was only when commercialization set in that a Janus-headed net emerged: on one side there are all the nifty tools which we use to be able to turn every recipient into a potential sender of information and opinions, and on the other side there is a phalanx of ... media corporations who regard the net primarily as a distribution channel for their products. ... [The] war against music and film downloads is a mere pretext; their battle is directed against P2P in general as it does not only endanger their monetary interests, but also the hegemony of the (media) corporations over the Internet.

Net blockades [such as the one discussed in Germany at the moment] must be seen in the same context: the fight against child pornography also serves as a welcome pretext to implement censorship structures that protect the predominace of the corporations and are to guarantee their control of the net. [my translation]

The full article (in German) can be found on Der Schockwellenreiter.