Grassroots 802.11

Nicholas Negroponte (co-founder of my fine institution) has been hearalding the future of 802.11 for a few years now, claiming that a grassroots movement could undermine other wireless efforts. I’ve been skeptical in the past, but I can say at the moment I’m pretty happy with the free wireless connection I’m getting from some office across from my hotel. Of course I have to sit in one chair in the corner of my room, being very careful not to move an inch, but hey, I’m not complaining.

Weblogs and adopter categories

The traditional assessment of the dissemination of information assumes that people fall into adopter categories. These classes of innovativeness have become popular parts of our vernacular: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.

My analysis of the blogdex data has shown that webloggers do fall into such neat buckets. over the course of the past five months, very few individuals have been consistent in their patterns of adoption of memes: sometimes a person finds a meme at the head, and sometimes at the tail. Adopter categories are not a useful tool for understanding the community and their dissemination behavior.

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New Google scam!

hmm.. Google is holding a contest to find the best new technology, run on a data set of about 900,000 web pages.

The winner gets: $10,000 hard cash, a “VIP” visit to Google, and the potential to run your idea on the entire data set of over 3 billion pages.

Google gets (fine print): “a worldwide, perpetual, fully paid-up, non-exclusive license to make, sell, or use the technology related thereto, including but not limited to the software, algorithms, techniques, concepts, etc., associated with the entry.”

Sounds like a good deal to me! Every single entry, including the losers, becomes property of GoogleCorp. With 50+ Ph.D’s on staff, you wouldn’t think that they would have to resort to these highly contractual contests. My advice? Go get your own dataset, make your technology, then sell it to Google for a heftier sum of money. (link: webvoice)