Etech, Bruce Sterling and ALL of the Things I am too Responsible to Consider

PandasandiegoAt ETech.  Prep for Rael, Tim and Bruce Sterling at tonight’s opening sessions. A little history seemed in order.  At a time when I hire anyone under 30 and they have *never* heard of 2600 nor phreakers nor captain crunch – I needed a refresher.  The irony is much of what I learned CAME from folks younger than me.  People with the courage not only to share information, but to share and teach with anyone who is curious regardless of age.

Bruce is the third speaker tonight, so this snippet from Gutenberg seemed appropriate (if bad PR <grin>)

CHRONOLOGY OF THE HACKER CRACKDOWN (from Bruce Sterling – Gutenberg Post)

1865  U.S. Secret Service (USSS) founded.
1876  Alexander Graham Bell invents telephone.
1878  First teenage males flung off phone system by enraged authorities.
1939  "Futurian" science-fiction group raided by Secret Service.
1971  Yippie phone phreaks start YIPL/TAP magazine.
1972  RAMPARTS magazine seized in blue-box rip-off scandal.
1978  Ward Christenson and Randy Suess create first personal
      computer bulletin board system.
1982  William Gibson coins term "cyberspace."
1982  "414 Gang" raided.
1983-1983  AT&T dismantled in divestiture.
1984  Congress passes Comprehensive Crime Control Act giving USSS
      jurisdiction over credit card fraud and computer fraud.
1984  "Legion of Doom" formed.
1984.  2600:  THE HACKER QUARTERLY founded.

Hopefully messing around at the Make session won’t get anyone arrested for phone tampering.

The panda picture?  From the San Diego zoo earlier today.

Sparklines Hit All Tendenci Sites – Massive Amounts of Data in a Little-Itty-Bitty Space

Sparklines, like this one Sparkline

, were created by Edward Tufte.  Sparklines have gone live on all Tendenci association web sites. The image below is a crop from an articles management report, but the actual sparkline is visible to all visitors to any site.  The idea is to accept the fact that the visitor is intelligent and would also like to see the performance of an article among other readers.


The above is an screen shot image, but you can read the articles here, here and here respectively.

One trend visible on other sites with much content locked down for members only is a huge reduction in views of restricted content. This is intuitively obvious.The sparklines help make the case by hitting you over the head with obvious visualization of what the users are doing.

People do not like to be hassled.  They don’t want to go to your site, login and search when they can go to google and search across multiple sites faster.  The result is locking down your content causes it to go unseen for the most part.  Don’t blame the sparklines – they are just telling you the facts.