Thursday, 30-Jun-05 15:22
Social Slashdot Effect

So you think linking to Lehtovaara is a mob in action?

No. This is a mob in action. (Read the comments as well.)

It began in a subway train with a girl whose dog made a mess on the train floor. When nearby elders told her to clean up the mess, she basically told them to fuck off. A nearby enraged netizen then took pictures of her and posted it, without any masking, on a popular website which started a nationwide witchhunt.

Within hours, she was labeled gae-ttong-nyue (dog-shit-girl) and her pictures and parodies were everywhere. Within days, her identity and her past were revealed. Request for information about her parents and relatives started popping up and people started to recognize her by the dog and the bag she was carrying as well as her watch, clearly visible in the original picture. All mentions of privacy invasion were shouted down with accusations of being related to the girl. The common excuse for their behavior was that the girl doesn't deserve privacy.

Scary shit. It's a different thing to attack a public establishment (who did a really stupid thing), which is supposed to be able to handle public critique, than it is to attack a single person that happens to have a bad day (and bad manners). She'll be scarred for life.

And the law does not help here - once the story is out, what can you do? Sue the people who posted the story? Well, assuming that you can figure out who they were, that might get you some money (or not - I mean, if the report is factually accurate, it's not even technically slander, though it might be constituted as an invasion of privacy), but you will still be laughed at years from now. The average person is unlikely to do anything so drastically good that it would offset the googlebalance to his favour, but a company can gain enough good reviews to offset even a nasty googlebombing. So she will be known as "dog shit girl" for the rest of his life.

Think about it: maybe the next time you do something very stupid, and there happens to be a budding net journalist wannabe around with a cell phone camera, you might become the Most Hated Person in the entire country within a week. People will stop you on the street and tell you how stupid you are, send you hate mail, and deface your house. Herkko has received some pretty abusive comments on his blog (and other fora) already how he is such a snotty asscracker who should stay in his home and that the bad treatment at the restaurant was their fault! He is getting the spillovers of hate that come from this internet phenomenon - I'm sure the original posters of the girl's image have received plenty of shit over doing it (deservedly so).

The internet is uncontrollable. This is something that many activists say when they talk about the freedom of speech to old media companies, but they don't really get it. It will eventually hit them back in the face.

From Don's comments: "Thanks to technology, we are able to build a better society in which citizens are the police, prosecutors, and judges."

(Via Boing Boing.)

Oh yeah, I did actually think whether I should post about this and add to the mass hysteria or not, but I figured that this is certainly relevant news due to the Lehtovaara case currently in orbit around the Finnish blogosphere. I think it is important to understand events like these, and be aware that in the near future such things might well be more common - also in Finland. And perhaps it will make someone think about his responsibility as a publisher.

Update: ...and I need to start learning to use preview when blogging...

Monday, 27-Jun-05 22:48
Elisa sends your phone number to every web site

Did you know that if you use the wireless browser in your mobile handset, your operator might be leaking your identity to every single web site you are visiting? I didn't, until today...

I whipped up a short jsp page to show the headers that my phone browser is sending, and lo and behold! there is my mobile phone number in plain text, sent to every web site. Check below for the log file, look for the x-msisdn and x-network-info -fields.

27/06/05 21:00:52 (213.161.40.46): user-agent: Nokia3220/2.0 (03.60) Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1
27/06/05 21:00:52 (213.161.40.46): via: HTTP/1.1 wgw3.radiolinja.fi (XMG 724Solutions HTG BA_PC5_M1_B012 20041105.230426)
27/06/05 21:00:52 (213.161.40.46): x-msisdn: 358505476XXX
27/06/05 21:00:52 (213.161.40.46): x-network-info: GPRS,85.156.35.135,358505476XXX,unsecured
27/06/05 21:00:52 (213.161.40.46): x-wap-profile: "http://nds1.nds.nokia.com/uaprof/N3220r100.xml"

(The XXX is my own doing; the phone number is really fully visible.)

I would tell you if this is true also if you are using your phone as a modem, but as my luck has it, my Mac died this morning (I tried to install Windows 98 under QEmu: it did the Microsoft thing and forced me to reinstall OSX after playing havoc with it, and now the entire computer is dead), and none of my cell phones work with my work laptop (after an upgrade to XP). Or actually, one of them would, if it hadn't just died last week thanks to a flashing mishap. I have now four dysfunctional phones and two dysfunctional laptops. As a personal note, I'm having a really lousy week already. Update. Chris says it's only when you're using the WAP gateway. So modem users are fine.

So, if anyone is using Elisa GPRS or 3G on their laptop, I would appreciate it if you could test it here, drop me a comment here and I'll publish the findings (without your phone number). Other operators are welcome, too. It should work with non-Finnish operators, too.

While sending the mobile phone number is probably not illegal, I still feel a bit iffy thinking that anyone can trivially figure out who I am when I browse their web site. There is no option to turn this off, and Elisa is not publicizing this fact either - in fact, a google for x-msisdn yields 23 results. So this thing is not even very well known. It would also be interesting to know if this still happens if you have an unlisted phone number.

I sent an email to Elisa's customer service and asked about their policy towards publishing subscriber information. I'll let you know if I get any answers. Until then, I would recommend that you are careful as to which web/wap sites you go to with your cell phone. Unless, of course, you don't mind them getting your phone number.

(Thanks to Jaakko Rajaniemi for the tip.)

Update: Saunalahti seems to also leak the phone number.

Monday, 27-Jun-05 02:38
Restaurant Lehtovaara threatens people who don't like them

Herkko Hietanen criticized the Lehtovaara restaurant on-line, ended up in top Google search results, and got a letter threatening to sue him for damages. They want 80.000 € (plus interest) for criticizing a restaurant in public! Herkko, being one of the more known online free speech activists in Finland, is probably going to give them hell for that.

Lehtovaara has been on my no-go list ever since they refused to serve a male friend who just happened to have long hair, and no tie. They did serve the other people in the party (none of whom had ties), but ignored any requests from this guy. That happened years ago, but I'm very saddened to see that they still have the same crappy service. Lehtovaara will continue to be on my no-go list, and I cannot recommend that place to anyone else either.

(Via Visa, who points out that if you comment about this, you should link to Herkko's letter so that it will get a higher Google ranking.)

Update: Taloussanomat picked this one up as well.

Update2: It's now on one of the top Yahoo hits as well: the City magazine review. This thing is spreading fast - so fast it reminds me of this old entry of the Ilkka Pöyry case... It shows how easy it is to lose trust: make one single mistake and you'll pay for it for a long time. But this is no different from how we live our lives anyway: you build a friendship for a long time, and if your friend screws you over once, you lose the trust.

I just hope that when the first "oops, that story wasn't true, we just killed someone's reputation" -thing comes along, the bloggers who wrote about it have enough spine to go back and revise their stories to admit their mistake. After all, that's the advantage that the bloggers have over rumors whispered to someone's ear... After all, usually people don't approach you and say: "You know, the gossip I told you last week... It's not true, and I made a mistake. Sorry. Could you please tell everyone else the right thing as well?"

Update3: Herkko posted the nastygram as well.

Sunday, 26-Jun-05 11:52
Microsoft does copyleft?
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

--Gandhi

So, Microsoft told everyone that IE7 is going to include built-in RSS recognition and that mythical beast, Longhorn, is going to have RSS support built-in. That is good, and it's about time.

But get this: I'm looking at their RSS extensions and realize that they are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license! That is a viral copyleft license, i.e. if you make any modifications to it, you must share it also under a Attribution-Sharealike -license.

And this from the company which has consistently attacked the GNU GPL, the most known viral copyleft license.

Microsoft is a huge company, and the actions of a small part of it of course don't change the direction the entire company is taking, but at least someone inside there is trying. It's a small step, but it's a good step. Companies such as IBM have already realized that the "commons" field (including open source software) is a field that they can play in, and gain something from it - it's nice to see that even the slower corporate behemoths are opening up a bit. Including Nokia.

(Note: Looking for references, I also realized that Larry Lessig has also written about this.)

Friday, 24-Jun-05 01:59
Flickr sees dead people

These two pictures are of a dead man right outside the Helsinki Central Railway Station. Snapped with a cameraphone, and uploaded to Flickr with GPRS, the pictures spread with RSS and tags to people who sit comatosely with their aggregators and browsers, and feed on the information stream.

This is what street journalism is[1]. Whether it is a good thing, or a bad thing, I cannot say. That is up to everyone to decide for themselves.

But you saw it first in the blogosphere.

Update: I blogged this in a bit of a hurry, so I didn't get to say everything that I wanted. You see, photo publishing has become as simple as clicking a button on a phone and sending it as MMS or email to Flickr (you can even ask it to directly post it to your blog, which makes you a moblogger. Or you could any of the dozen other services). This is not journalism as such (it's photo publishing, duh), but there is not a very big step to be made from publishing pictures on-site to publishing small stories, answering the who,why,what,when, etc. And that's borderlining on journalism already.

Now, because unlike big media, these people who publish directly from the street (or in this case, someone takes the photo and someone else writes a story about it - or in this case the emotions evoked by the photograph) have really nothing to lose. They can't lose readership, but yet they have the potential to reach far larger audiences than the traditional media (just snap a good one and have your server destroyed by Slashdot...); they might even make a few bucks if they happen to have ads on their web page. And there will always be some people who couldn't give a shit about journalistic integrity, simply because they don't see themselves as journalists in the traditional sense. They just publish scoops: the same kind of scoops they see on the pages of tabloids. It'll just be about the stuff that they are interested about (as opposed to the latest celebrity gossip).

The reason why blogs have potential also as a citizen journalism platform is their incredible heterogeneity: as publishing becomes cheaper and easier (did you know that you can now upload pics easily to Blogger?), people are able to match the presentation quality of traditional media sites with little effort, therefore moving the competition to content side. In the old days, it was quite a lot of effort to start publishing something like a magazine. Then came desktop publishing, but there was still the problem of getting your publication to the news stands (i.e. distribution). Blogs (and other tools, but blogs seem to be in focus right now) removes even that. The only real problem left is finding content, i.e. advertising. Maybe some tools are already on their way to solve that problem.

Personal publishing will always display both the "light" and "dark" sides of people. I find it very disturbing that people write about how they plan to kill themselves on the internet. I don't find pictures of dead people really that disturbing - I find dead people often less disturbing than live ones. But you can find both pros and cons for either case: and you can easily find an audience for both. And it's really hard to say that one should not write about something, just because it's "not decent" or it's "disrespectful". Sometimes it's news, sometimes it's voyeurism, sometimes it's just something you shrug off as irrelevant. It depends much on the context: the same picture, once you know the background, can cause uproar in the entire world - or it can get you shot and buried in silence.

With something like street journalism, the decision to publish will always be in the hands of a single person - not an editor, or a code of conduct. And with the variety of people out there, there will be things that get a lot of people balking.

There's always someone who ignores every ethical guideline. And it's up to each person to think for themselves, where they want to draw the line.

[#1] Note that I didn't say 'citizenship journalism'.
Friday, 24-Jun-05 01:41
JSPWiki gains podcasting support

...which is the hype way of saying that JSPWiki supports RSS 2.0 and the enclosure-tag in 2.2.27, released about 30 seconds ago.

Essentially, all attachments on a page entries are added as enclosures, if you request a page in blog mode (and add "type=rss20" to the rss.jsp request URL to enable RSS 2.0).

Why podcasting support? Well... Let's leave it a mystery for now, shall we?

Thursday, 23-Jun-05 15:16
IE is crap

KatjaW pointed out that my blog looks like crap on IE these days (both side bars are missing). Well, it does work pretty well on every other browser I've tried (don't use Windows at all at home, so I can't be bothered to check on IE whenever I change the template, and Mac IE is braindead when it comes to CSS most of the time anyway), so frankly, I'm tempted to leave it as-is for IE users. Or maybe just disable the difficult bits, and leave a very plain experience for IE users. According to my statistics, less than half (41% to be exact) of my readers use IE anyway...

Maybe I can be bothered to do something about it someday. Tips appreciated.

Update 24.06: Tweaked the CSS a bit and added some explicit "display:block;" -commands to some places, which seemed to required on IE (boo hiss). It still looks a bit crappy (and the window is too wide), but now at least you can see all the content.

Wednesday, 22-Jun-05 11:28
Get first aid instructions in your cell phone

Finnish Red Cross has made a Java cell phone program ("midlet" for the technically inclined) which contains the most basic first aid instructions in an easy-to-follow format with pictures. The instructions are in Finnish only, but you can get yours by texting "LATAA7 SPR ENSIAPU7" to number 17116. You need to have WAP settings in place to make the download. I took a quick look at it and it certainly seems like something I'm going to keep on my phone for a long time.

(Though, be warned, the midlet costs 7€! Something that which Helsingin Sanomat completely forgets to mention (boo hiss, this is stupid), but that is declared on Red Cross's page...)

Just in time for the holidays, I would say.

(Via Helsingin Sanomat. Lisää tietoa Punaisen ristin sivuilta.)

Wednesday, 22-Jun-05 11:20
No smoking in bars next summer?

A workgroup set by the Finnish ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued a recommendation that all bars and restaurants are to be made completely non-smoking (unless you can provide a glass box in your restaurant for that purpose), possibly even next year.

Some people see this as health fascism, some people see this as necessary, some people are saying that this will kill the restaurant industry, and some point out that that has not happened in other countries who have issued similar legislation. In thinking my own position I've found it useful to imagine if the situation was reversed: if smoking was a new fad, all the bars were by default non-smoking (and nobody has ever smoked in them), and we knew all the dangers involved - would we allow smoking in the bars in the first place? And with what kind of arguments would we speak for and against?

I think we're having this discussion only because people are afraid of change, no matter whether it's for the better or for the worse. It's much the same (though obviously not all) as the opposition of downloadable music by record companies, or open source software by established software houses, or DRM and SW patents by the open source people. It's all changing the status quo, and that is what scares people. Which is also why the opposition likes to think of the worst possible scenario and present it as the inevitable truth: open source will die; millions will lose their jobs as proprietary software houses die; artists starve to death; half of the restaurants will go out of business; and countries will slide to fascism if people are not allowed to kill themselves in boring, smelly and slow ways.

The old serenity prayer says:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The entire media is filled with stories of people "who just wouldn't accept the inevitable", or "went against impossible odds", or "didn't conform". They are all praises of individualism and freedom, and we like to call those people "heroes". But we only talk about the ones that succeed - the ones that go against the tide and fail we call "stupid".

I wish I had the wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday, 18-Jun-05 16:15
Depressed over Daisy

You know, seeing open source projects like Daisy make me just want to stop JSPWiki development altogether. It's simply just too good, and I feel like there's no way I can compete.

Daisy will be a winner.

Update and a bit of soul-searching:

Heh. Thanks for your kind words, Steven. FWIW, I'm not quitting JSPWiki development, but frankly, I was in awe while looking at what Daisy has accomplished. It really fills a gap that has been in the software space, and it has learned quite a few lessons from Wikis.

The thing is, Daisy being Java makes it far more interesting to corporations. Individuals prefer to deploy PHP or other light-weight apps that can be easily installed on web hotels, and so far the JSPWiki niche has been in corporate intranet deployments. Something like Daisy will surely eat into that niche, and it makes me think if I should refocus my attentions elsewhere. Find perhaps a new focus for JSPWiki, or something.

The other thing is that I have quite a lot of ideas I would like to put into reality. JSPWiki's code base is (still) pretty healthy, and there's much life still in it - in fact it seems that jspwiki.org is finally running on its own without my constant watch. There are some professional developers contributing very good quality code, and many people seem to like the whole project. But since nobody is paying me to work on it (any volunteers? :), I am using something like two hours a day on it. Which amounts to quite a lot of work over the years, but I still know that I can't match the power of professionally employed developers working 8/5 on an OSS project. And that sort of makes me sad, because I would like to match the quality - to have an even race, so to speak.

It's kinda like seeing your neighbour buy a new, powerful Ferrari, while you still drive an old, crumbling Fiesta because you don't have any money. You kinda feel happy for him, but you also feel jealous. You kinda want to deride him for it, and want to say mean things, but at your heart you still know that you would do the exact same thing if you could.

Daisy's really good. I'm just a bit jealous at the people who get to work on something like that full-time. In my current dayjob I get to do little hands-on stuff. I mean, it's interesting in every possible way, and I like many things about it, and the people I work with are some of the smartest people I've ever met, and I would have the opportunity to drive many things, but still I find that my heart is not completely into it.

After all, I'm a tinkerer at heart. I get delight on the beauty of code; I enjoy the feeling of making things 'click'. I like to simplify things so that other people find use in them - maybe because that solicits feedback. The beauty of open source for me is that you can't hide anything: when you put it out there, people will see it for what it is really worth. It's like a painting, or sculpture: it's naked and visible for anyone to see and judge - you don't hide parts of it under a blanket and just show the good bits. And getting positive feedback on something like that is one of the few things that can really make my heart tick.

Monday, 13-Jun-05 15:18
Wikimania, here we come

Woo-hoo!

Dear Janne Jalkanen,

Your submission to the first Wikimedia international conference, Wikimania 2005 has been accepted with identification code JJ1.

I'll be talking about the synthesis of WebDAV and JSPWiki, and the Wiki RPC API mess... If you're coming, ping me. We can have a JSPWiki users meeting over a few beers :-)

See you in Frankfurt in August!

Monday, 13-Jun-05 08:40
The Downing Street Memo

I'm just going to drum this one up so that as many people as possible get a chance to read it, as the coverage around the US media is pretty thin.

The Downing Street Memo was leaked from the British officials, and it seems to confirm what quite a few people already suspected: USA had no plan for cleanup after Iraq, and the people were misled to believe that Iraq was a threat:

"It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

"Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action."

(Via everyone.)

Sunday, 12-Jun-05 11:43
European blogosphere tagged

Loïc le Meur needed to put together a presentation about the European blogosphere for his talk at Reboot. He put up a wiki page so that European bloggers might help him out, and within 24 hours, over 40 people contributed data from their specific countries.

It's fast becoming a good overall resource on the paneuropean blogosphere. You can also follow the discussion on the Technorati "european blogosphere" -tag.

Saturday, 11-Jun-05 21:10
Tired and bored

Not feeling too good. So the best way to combat it is to try and make a three-pane layout for the blog on the couch while waiting for Survivors to begin. Hope it works; it ain't too complicated. Notice also the new link icon on the right, if you want to link to my blog.

I also included a list of my latest pictures from Flickr. Today, I've mostly been in the Helsinki Samba Carneval...

Thursday, 09-Jun-05 20:25
JSPWiki 2.2 stable released

Bit the bullet. Released JSPWiki 2.2 stable. Was planning to write a long press release. Don't feel like it. Enjoy.

Thursday, 09-Jun-05 09:52
Creativecommons.fi event

Creativecommons.fi will be launched on next Monday, says Henrik Ingo. The launch event will be held in Mediacenter Lume of the Helsinki University of Arts and Design. Event starts at 1700, and there will be a DJ playing CC-licensed music, and also a live band. More info here.

Tuesday, 07-Jun-05 14:10
Lifeblog on Mac?

Charlie, who used to be in Nokia's Lifeblog team is looking for good people to make a Mac version. If you can code on Mac, go help him out. And if you can't, just spread the message in your blog; I'm sure at least one extraordinarily talented Mac hacker reads this blog (Hi ado! :-)

Tuesday, 07-Jun-05 13:25
A slight error in numbers

Someone mentioned in the comments of the previous entry that there would be a blog explosion in Finland, if the IRC gallery started to offer blogs. Maybe not.

I have to say that I was both thrown off and relieved to read this article (in Finnish), which says that there are now a hundred thousand blogs in Finland, with MSN Spaces hosting a half of these. (Though I think that the estimate of 10k blogs not on any of the major blog hosts may be a bit overstated.)

I, and I believe many others, have been looking too much into blogilista.fi, which has about 2000 blogs listed, and has served as a focal point of discussion (in its previous incarnation) for the Finnish blogosphere for many years. Well, if it lists 2000 blogs, which is about 2% of the Finnish bloggers, then what's the point? Most of the Finnish bloggers don't even know of its existence - or if they do, they don't care. But all of these new blogs support RSS...

A hundred thousand blogs. That means probably at least 50,000 bloggers, all writing their own thoughts and experiences to the internet. That would be one percent of the population, making blogging an equally popular pastime to acting, though not as popular as role playing games (3%, according to this study).

The Finnish blogosphere is doing nicely, thankyouverymuch. It's growing in the underground, not caring about anything, thinking its own thoughts, ignoring us "established Finnish bloggers" and will probably crush us while we're not watching, as an accident. I welcome that day. It will be interesting ;-)

(Actually, now that I think about it more instead of the knee-jerk -reaction, the 75k MSN Spaces users + 17k Livejournalists seems awfully high. I mean, each year about 60,000 people are born. That means that if you assume that MSN Spaces and Livejournal users are say, 12-17 year olds, you get about 360,000 people in that age range. That would mean that 25% of teenagers would be bloggers (assuming one blog per person)... Any teachers out there willing to ask around in their class and confirm this?)

(More thinking: Not all of the blogs are active; this is just the number of created blogs. A Pew study says that only 10% update regularly, so you can still estimate at least 10,000 regularly updated blogs. Which is still a lot.)

Friday, 03-Jun-05 13:38
IRC-gallery steams on

Enter-blogi kertoo, että yli 30% suomalaisista 15-17 -vuotiaista on rekisteröitynyt IRC-galleriaan. Mitähän tapahtuisi, jos IRC-galleria alkaisi tarjota blogeja jäsenilleen?

The Enter magazine blog says that over 30% of Finnish 15-17 -year old teenagers have an account with the IRC gallery. I wonder what would happen if IRC-gallery started to offer blogs to their members?

Thursday, 02-Jun-05 13:24
Anakin was a Switcher

Well, this explains why Anakin went to the dark side: PixelRed has the answer... Look for "Darkside Switch", as there are no permalinks.

(Via Forever Geek.)

Thursday, 02-Jun-05 01:10
World wide blog count 60+ million and rambling on a tangent

...so says this unscientific, but probably not-completely-inaccurate analysis.

MSN Spaces is growing at 100,000 blogs/day. Wow.

Whatever you think of the blogosphere, it probably is not true three months from now. Loïc mentioned yesterday that roughly 20% of French teenagers have blogs. Twenty percent. Think about it.

Well, maybe those teenagers get bored with it. Maybe nobody speaks of blogs in five years, and blogging has become a passé, done only by old farts still clinging to their ancient Wordpress installations. But blogs are significant because they are the first real global way for these young people to express themselves in an easy way. I still hail Mitvit's wisdom on this: "One of the prime functions of blogs is to steal the internet back from the geeks." No matter what the platform is, these people will change the world simply by being themselves and creating. Now they write blogs - in six months everybody may be podcasting. Next year you might start to see vidcasting and personal TV stations.

Most of the created stuff will, of course, be crap. At least when viewed by a member of the general public. But that crap will be good and meaningful to a few people, and those people will gravitate to this stuff. It's one-to-few -publishing; not one-to-many.

Whatever happens, I just can't see that people would suddenly stop innovating and creating new stuff. The channels may change, but what is really behind the "blog revolution" has nothing to do with blogs as such, but the need of people to write, and draw, and compose, and sing, and to create, and also to get feedback for it. To find the few souls in this world that like what you are and what you do, no matter how odd it may seem to others.

To complement my previous post: The problem with 3G is that it assumes that corporations do the innovation. The internet allows people to do the innovation. It has nothing to do with how many bits per second a geek can get traveling on a bus from Helsinki to Ypäjä!

How many successfull cellular services have you seen which have been run by a single person? Conversely, on the Internet, how many discussion boards or fan sites which are the product of a single person in their spare time? There are more cell phone users in the world than there are Internet users (1.6 Billion vs 900 million)! Where are the great fan-run mobile sites? Where are the wonderful SMS services that everybody uses?

There are none. Or if there are, they are very local: specific to a single country, or perhaps an operator. No matter how good an Italian SMS service might be, you can't use it from Finland. That's because there's a walled garden out there: mobile phone services are about value chains and money and corporations making deals with each other about offering value-added services to customers. And operators want control over what happens in their network. And writing software for mobile phones is difficult, and users don't know how to use the services, and optimizing for a small platform is difficult, and... there are many reasons, but the end result is the same: the mobile phone area is really a very hard place to innovate and create new stuff, unless you have the training, the means, and an insane amount of patience. (Look at Russell Beattie's story on how difficult it was to squeeze a movie to a phone - and that guy is an übergeek!)

Anyway... I'm rambling. My point is that the Internet is a place where you can, on your own, create something like Blogger.com, get ten million users in a couple of years, from all over the globe, and get bought by Google for an insane amount of money. In the walled garden of mobile networks - well, you need to be a really serious geek.

Fine. So the internet has been stolen back from us geeks. Now, please steal our cell phones, too!

Update: By sheer coincidence, I listened to the podcast of Clay Shirky's speech at ETech. He speaks of the same thing, but he's far more eloquent than I am.


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