Links for 30th July 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Lost in the Cloud

    "With a little effort and political will, we could solve these problems. Companies could be required under fair practices law to allow your data to be released back to you with just a click so that you can erase your digital footprints or simply take your business (and data) elsewhere. They could also be held to the promises they make about content sold through the cloud: If they sell you an e-book, they can’t take it back or make it less functional later. To increase security, companies that keep their data in the cloud could adopt safer Internet communications and password practices, including the use of biometrics like fingerprints to validate identity."

    Tagged with: cloud-computingdigitalprivacydatasecurityinternet

  2. Virtual worlds are getting a second life with 39% growth

    "The consultancy reports that membership of virtual worlds grew by 39% in the second quarter of 2009 to an estimated 579 million. Not all these members are active but I can't think of anything, anywhere, that has grown so fast in the recession this side of Goldman Sachs bonuses.

    There's another curious thing: Facebook and Twitter are lauded to the skies, but neither has found a way to make money – whereas virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft, Entropia Universe, Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin and Second Life are all profitable because their business models are based on the digital elixir of subscriptions and micropayments, a formula that other websites, including newspapers, would die for. Twitter makes the noise, Second Life makes the money."

    Tagged with: second-lifemetaversesyntheticworldsgrowthsocial-media

  3. What Twitter and Facebook Can Learn From Phish

    "Social networks are still new, but they are much more than fads. They will continue to evolve as we become more dependent on them for information – from where we get our news to sending pictures from your honeymoon. User generated content, whether through blogs or microblogs or status updates or whatever, is what shapes a community, and which in turn, shape society. Social networks played a large part in our political game this past cycle in the US and elsewhere, and will also continue to play its role in shaping how companies participate in the conversation and how they can use social networking as a great customer service tool."

    Tagged with: musicculturesocialmediacommunitynetworks

  4. 51 Conspiracy Theories That Don’t Exist But Should

    "23. The internet is currently run by a 13-year-old Princeton graduate from inside the hollowed out head of Teddy Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore." Heh.

    Tagged with: conspiracytheoryhoaxes

  5. A Copywriter’s Intro to Frame-switching and Nested Storytelling

    Very interesting… even if its author calls himself a "persuasion architect".

    Tagged with: writingcopywritingstorytellingframinganalysistips

  6. Laser Propulsion: Wild Idea May Finally Shine

    "Basic research experiments using high-powered lasers are underway in Brazil, with experts investigating the central physics of laser-heated airspikes and pulsed laser propulsion engines for future ultra-energetic craft.

    At the Brazil-based lab, a hypersonic shock tunnel is linked to two pulsed infrared lasers with peak powers reaching the gigawatt range – the highest power laser propulsion experiments performed to date, Myrabo said.

    "In the lab we're doing full-size engine segment tests for vehicles that will revolutionize access to space," Myrabo emphasized. "It's real hardware. It's real physics. We're getting real data…and it's not paper studies."


    The laser propulsion experiments, Myrabo added, are also relevant to launching nanosatellites (weighing 1 to 10 kilograms) and microsatellites (10 to 100 kilograms) into low Earth orbit." I reckon this last bit's the real commercial plan; the rest may well be PR bluster. Even so, interesting.

    Tagged with: spaceorbitlaunchpropulsionlaserphysicsresearch

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