How to clean the Goo dot gl virus

computer virusThis is an example of an exceptionally false-positive computer virus concern. More accurate: General lack of having a clue.

How to clean the goo dot gl virus when you run it?

The worm spreads on Twitter as a link. Careful with this.

quora query

Computer Viruses: View the question and associated answers on Quora.

Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 4:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Ad hoc text analytics

Twitter 2009

I found an old sentiment analysis application. It has very unglamorous packaging but a  good algorithm under the hood. I ran the Twitter user id’s of the brightest people I know. well, know of, who are active Twitter users. The assessment of “bright” was subjective by me.  All are acknowledged experts or advanced degree holders. Maybe half speak English as a second language, but are sufficiently articulate that their “essence”, well, intelligence shines through.

Guess what: It worked! I don’t know if anyone cares about this sort of thing, that really sharp successful people score well on this sentiment analysis indicator. That doesn’t necessarily mean it would have any predictive value. And no one seems to care much about this anyway. But what I’m saying is that most of these people only have okay-ish Klout scores e.g. 40’s. But they’re not trying to use Twitter for any particular social media purpose. Well, I don’t know that with certainty.

Published in: on February 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm  Comments (6)  
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Twitter Influence System

Twitter flow chart

Twitter influence is subtle and difficult to capture

Twitter influence ranges beyond measuring followers, @ replies and re-tweets. It isn’t trivial to calculate the true reach of an individual’s Twitter updates. Such are the challenges encountered in quantifying influence (perhaps even value) of Twitter users’ activity.

Percentage of Tweets Read

Actual percentage of Twitter content read

This chart shows the percentage of tweets read in relation to the number of people followed. As could be expected, the more people you follow, the smaller the percentage of tweets you actually read.

Both images, Twitter Influence EcoSystem and Percentage of Tweets Read are original work by John V Lane, via Flickr, and reproduced here under Creative Commons License/by-sa/2.0.

Published in: on July 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm  Comments (4)  
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CrunchGear and TechCrunch

I found a recent TechCrunch post about FaceBook and “domain squatting” amusing. Initially. Especially charming was this gem of an insert, which was NOT banner advertising, to buy the domain.

killbook ad

Facebook Tries To Squash 21 Squatted Domain Names

Facebook is trying to gain ownership over 21 domain names that include the term ‘facebook’, including The domain names are all currently owned by Domain Asset Holdings… when you visit those URLs, they are all listed for sale – some even feature the reserve prices ( is priced at $4,000).

When I scrolled to the end of the article to indicate my approval in the reader feedback section, I was reminded that TechCrunch only accepts comments using the FaceBook social plug-in. They recently switched from Disqus comment service. Then I felt irritated rather than amused.

The gadget-specific associated site CrunchGear has very sensibly returned to Disqus comments. Interesting that they broke ranks. By the way, the link to CrunchGear that I provided does not lead to a canned Wikipedia definition. It goes instead to a lightly amusing story about stress testing iPad glass. For your reading pleasure. I think CrunchGear is quite under-appreciated.

UPDATE: Disqus recently made it even easier to comment and give feedback by offering integration with Google accounts yesterday.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 12:18 am  Comments (2)  
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Where are some good places to try when Quora does not have the answer?

  • Aardvark, now owned by Google, is effectively a two-step search process. The first part is done with machine matching, followed by human synthesis and information delivery
  • Ask a reference librarian* or submit an online query, to any large county library, university library or specialty library. Specialty libraries include the regional U.S. Patent Libraries. Other examples are endowed libraries such as those funded by The Annenberg Foundation or The Chemical Heritage Foundation.
  • Ask the Newsvine online community, an MSNBC News property
  • StackOverflow, a programming Question and Answer site which has evolved into an online community with experience and credibility indicators. There are a total of 46 active, topic-specific Question and Answer “stacks” in the Stack Exchange family of sites
  • Ask Pew Research. They have an ongoing “Ask the Expert” series where questions are accepted and then published on site, as a free service. Topics are specific to the seven Pew research projects:
    • People & the Press
    • Excellence in Journalism
    • Internet & American Life
    • Religion & Public Life
    • Hispanic Center
    • Global Attitudes
    • Social & Demographic Trends
  • The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and Microsoft Technet forums are vast and encourage information technology, software development and data security related Question and Answer activity
  • Many forums for Questions and Answers are available within the IBM Social Computing sites
  • The Center for Responsive Politics is non-partisan, and answers questions. They are similar to Pew Research, though more narrow in scope

*A reference librarian’s primary duty is to answer questions, with source citations for context or historical background.

From my answer on web site.

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 11:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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Vestiges of Dutch Colonialism in the New World

Saint Eustatius island

Saint Eustatius Harbor circa 1750

Despite my best efforts at over-dramatization, and some inclination toward satire, I could not bring myself to title this post without any regard for accuracy. I did spin some sensationalist gems that I can’t resist sharing. I discarded these candidate titles due to their obvious discrepancy with reality:

  • Kingdom of the Netherlands: Autonomy or subjugation for vassal states Bonaire, Saba and Saint Eustatius?
  • Landscape of imperialism in the twenty-first century: Historically significant changes in sovereignty in the Netherlands Antilles.

Or most misleading and untruthful of all:

  • Turmoil revisits Dutch West Indies half a millennium after rout of Spanish Armada!

Birth of Nations

In fact, the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist as of October 2010. Curacao and Saint Maarten are now autonomous nations, governing themselves. The three islands Bonaire, Saba, and Saint Eustatius became municipalities in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Residents now have the same benefits and rights as Dutch citizens.

While browsing the GeoNames site a few days ago, I first learned of the transformation of the Netherlands Antilles.  It motivated today’s post, whose primary topic is privacy considerations for social networking. Location sharing (and associated geodata) is part of the privacy issue.

I was evaluating an alternative micro-blogging platform, It is a project. is like that mainstay of micro-blogging, Twitter. The two platforms even have a certain measure of cross-compatibility. In terms of branding, good choices were made: is a partner, or possibly a subsidiary, of is the perfect name for a communication medium restricted to 140 characters or less! is conceptually similar to the highly anticipated Facebook alternative, Diaspora. Both Diaspora and are open source projects. For the user, the relevant issue is that both assure a higher level of privacy. The design model for Facebook, and many other social networking applications, is that very little information will be retained on the client side. Most everything goes to a server-side repository. It is irrelevant whether user data resides in the cloud, or the Facebook data center. Neither is under the control of the user. and Diaspora are different in that they do not require users to relinquish all personal data. One way to do this is by running one’s social network on one’s own server, thus avoiding the concerns of information misappropriation, be it intentional or accidental. Running one’s own server does not sound very feasible for most people, and in fact, the shift to client side is probably more subtle e.g. greater reliance on the user’s browser.

Google Buzz provides an example of accidental over-sharing.  In the early days of Google Buzz, the full power of Open Social API was unleashed without forewarning users. This was accidental, and Google didn’t profit from the mishap. Google Buzz was irresponsible for not first offering opt-out to segregate some or all account contacts from participation.  The issue was promptly remedied. Unfortunately, despite the rapid redress and that there was no revenue stream associated with the disclosure of information (unlike the copious chronology charts of Facebook’s information peddling showcased in the Wall Street Journal), Google’s temporary disclosure of information about users to each other had a very negative impact on acceptance, usage and success of Google Buzz. includes a location identification option using GeoNames data.  Tie-in to the Dutch West Indies follows:

New Countries

Flag of Curacao

Three new countries came into being after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in October 2010… ISO assigned the code BQ to the three BES islandsRead More via GeoNames

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fail Whale’s Second Job

Fail Whale’s Second Job
Originally uploaded by scott_hampson

More scalability angst. Or perhaps a manifestation of the difficult economic environment?

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 7:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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URL Tall Tales

I really enjoyed versus, by Jonah Keegan. It was written in December 2009, about the impact of the new Google short URL service, on link relationships throughout the internet. and A URL Shorter Story?

Jonah indicated that, owned by BetaWorks, was the most commonly used URL short link service. He described how many users were baffled about how to use, myself included! Also, was restricted to Google product pages only, and not for broader consumer use. See image* for details, and please click to view with better resolution.

Google shorter URLs

The demand for shortened URL’s has burgeoned. self-describes as The Bitlyverse! (more…)

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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Failure to Scale

Twitter Dead Bird Error Screen
Originally uploaded by ijustine

Published in: on September 6, 2010 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Fail Moments of Note

Feedback FAIL

Failure to Moderate: Voice of the User Will NOT Be Denied

via FAIL Blog

Published in: on August 22, 2010 at 10:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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