New Web 2.0 Shopping List for Burglars?

New gadget site gdgt, a wiki and social network for the gadgeterati, looks promising in many ways. It has instant gadget-geek cred from founders Peter Rojas, founder of Gizmodo and Engadget, and Ryan Block, former Engadget editor-in-chief. And it seems a well architected and executed site that’s fun and easy to use.

One feature of the site got me thinking about potential concerns: on your profile, which is publicly viewable, you can list what gadgets you have or want.

gdgt widget

A friend of mine tweeted a link to his profile, asking if others were using the service. Looking at his profile and list of gadgets he has, I realized it would be fairly easy for someone looking at the leave-in-your-home gadgets to not only find his address but also know when he wasn’t home—the perfect opportunity for a burglary.

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Statistics are neither Lies nor Damned Lies!

Mark Twain photo

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Imagine the news headlines that today’s media might run in covering this quote popularized by Mark Twain, (originally attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.)

  • “Twain Cleverly Skewers the Twisting of Statistics”
  • “Twain Calls Statistics the Worst of All Lies”
  • “Man Hiding Behind False Name Claims Some Lies are not Lies”
  • “Twain Declining Mentally: Makes Logically Inconsistent Statement”

We’re all familiar with how statistics can be interpreted in various ways to make very different claims. We’re also familiar with how news headlines can be written to generate the most interest, or may indicate a bias or (gasp!) even an agenda by the author or publisher. I was reminded of this recently when looking at a series of headlines from Google News about Apple’s performance in the American Customer Satisfaction Index for Personal Computers.

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Wallace & Gromit Meet Google Street View

Okay, neither Wallace nor Gromit are in this. It’s a cute piece from Google Japan about how they protect people’s privacy in Google Street View. It’s very engaging, the animation associates Google with a number of positive emotions, and the robotics are a perfect fit for the Japanese audience.

Well done.

Typography Gets a “-pedia” that’s Special

Typedia logo
Do you ever have the feeling there are some incredible typefaces that you don’t know about or just can’t find? Do you have some of your own you want to share? Or are you looking for a better place to express your innermost disgust feelings for  Comic Sans? Then Typedia may be just what you’ve been waiting for.

But wait, there’s more! Typedia is more—well, let’s say ‘different’—than a basic wiki. As the founder, Jason Santa Maria, describes the Typedia site:

Because typefaces aren’t just pretty letters alone, but pieces of art that have distinct criteria, a more specialized tool is needed. The site is a wiki with structure, a “swiki” if you will. We’re dealing with similar subjects and shared parameters, so we can organize the form of that content, as opposed to a freeform essay-style site like Wikipedia.

Whoa! Hold on there. Yes, Typedia has added to the basic wiki framework. Any wiki has structure to it, though, even beyond the obvious parts of ‘pages with titles’ and ‘links among pages’. And his example of a "freeform essay-style site", Wikipedia, is riddled with structure.
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