We are going to Iowa right now!! And sending video to YouTube!

A big adventure is at hand: I and two friends are going down to Iowa right now. We are going down there to see what is going on and wander around. I just figured out to upload videos directly from my phone, and we will have other tech items to capture the Iowa Caucus scene.

Videos will be posted to YouTube consistently under the username HongPong unless we get bored/and/or thrown out @ . We will also have some updates posted on .

My friend Bobby "the Captain" is a strong Ron Paul supporter. I, Dan Feidt, am suspicious of the whole scene, and Andy French is a renegade philosopher. With one Ron Paul and two agnostics in the mix, what will happen?

Anyone on the scene or having a tip for us, can send us a buzz at or 651-338 7661.

Thanks for your interest!

Ecto beta ate my drafts: that's why it's called Beta, dude

Another riveting tale of Ecto blog software beta testing. Ecto is at Beta 16 now and starting to chug along nicely.

Myahhh... Another day, another pesky beta bug. I don't really think this can be blamed on the developer, though, and certainly when you uses deez Betas, you're gonna take a chance on losing some data.

It seemed that my accounts preference file got tangled up into my instant messenger preferences, which is pretty weird. But it caused the program to jam up after launch without any feedback about what was wrong. Fortunately the ever-verbose OS X Console program told me a corrupt preference file was confusing things.

Moving accounts.plist out of the ~/Application Support/ecto3 folder deleted all my accounts, and blog post drafts, but it also cleared up the situation entirely.

The file had lots of odd text/binary characters in it. Not sure what it all meant. Annoying stuff. In a somewhat fortunate twist it appears that the lost drafts are still hanging around in encoded XML format at ecto3/items , so they are not totally lost to the bit bucket.

As you might imagine, this situation curtailed all attempts at pretty-looking blogging for a couple weeks, while the holidays ran their course.

Everything is pretty cool right now, and now doubly cool because I managed to troubleshoot a naughty application through the Console.

Problem solved. Next time we will tell you how to make Windows Vista Not Suck. Just kidding; that's impossible.

The Second Threat! Evil Research Industrial Complex and its Telepathy-Savvy Schemes of Control!

Admittedly, we're fishing in murky waters on this one. But this stuff is pretty weird. And I am watching the X-Files right now. So there.

The Stanford Research Institute. Their role seems to fall under the totally forgotten second evil complex Eisenhower warned us about! Everyone and their mom knows by now that the 'military-industrial complex' is the root of all the dang problems. I agree with that a long ways.

But recently a different pattern has become apparent: the Doctor Strangelove kind of Establishment Troll. Really, it's an obvious pattern that lacks a name, another shady feedback loop of authority and federal spending that wants to control All of Existence. The Neo-Cons cruise in this sector, but they don't define it.

Eisenhower saw this as a Threat. Let's listen in on that famous speech where he coined "military industrial complex":

.......But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war – as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years – I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road......

Heady stuff. So what would the evil scheme of the scientific-technological elite look like, circa mid-1970s? What utopian vision would secure elite control in all possible futures?

Answer: The Stanford Research Institute's "Changing Images of Man", a 1974 classic! It got around on BitTorrent before, with this description:

Changing Images of Man - Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) released a report in 1974 that has become a classic in the "alternative futures" literature. It has been adopted as a text in non-traditional courses at more than a dozen universities and reprinted repeatedly by SRI. Changing Images of Man explores the reasons why changes may have to take place in the fundamental conceptual premises, laws, attitudes and ethics once suitable for guiding the development of the United States and other highly industrialized nations if a humane (and "workable") future is to be achievable. It discusses the evidence that such changes may be occurring and the possibility that an evolutionary transformation may be underway that is at least as profound as the transition in Europe when the Medieval Age gave way to the rise of science and the Industrial Revolution. SYSTEMS SCIENCE AND WORLD ORDER LIBRARY -- Explorations of World Order 255 pages - 1974, 1982 O.W. Markley, Willis W. Harman (DIGICAM PHOTOS OF ORIGINAL - PDF FORMAT)

Here's the PDF link: DOWNLOAD "Changing Images of Man" (30 MB) in PDF. Check out the site I got it from: “Changing Images of Man” in PDF Format // Skilluminati Research.

There is plenty of weird and creepy stuff in here, but I would recommend seeking out the chapter about paranormal activities to put under control. These guys were doing the research themselves! As some put it, a bunch of evil establishment dudes taking lots of LSD to figure out how to beat the hippies!

Here are some tiny, vaguely menacing JPEGs from the book. I would recommend starting in around Page 80, when the stuff about paranormal ESP and psi phenomenon really gets going. These guys were way into this stuff. (Sorry I can't make these more clear- a software glitch tonight: use your psi/imagination? Or else just go to those barely squintable page numbers?)

See also:

Joe Delgado’s “Physical Control of the Mind” , Willis Harman shows up in the darndest places and Scientists on Acid: The Story Behind “Changing Images of Man” which quotes from something called "Mind Control, World Control":

One associate of Hubbard's was New World Order theorist Willis Harman at the Stanford Research Institute. SRI had earlier recieved grants from the US Army to research chemical incapacitants. When visited by a representative of the underground press at SRI, Harman told the man, "There's a war going on between your side and mine. And my side is not going to lose."

This sounds suspiciously like The Big Lebowski: "THE BUMS LOST!"

Hubbard was specifically assigned to the Alternative Futures Project, which performed future-oriented strategic planning for corporations and government agencies. Harman and Hubbard shared a goal "to provide the [LSD] experience to political and intellectual leaders around the world." Harman acknowledges that "Al's job was to run the special sessions for us."

As a bonus, today's post includes the profoundly elitist "The Crisis of Democracy; Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission" by Samuel Huntington and other suspicious eggheads. I have to throw in some more nuglets from those dang Skilluminati: PDF: DOWNLOAD "Crisis of Democracy" -- 1975 Trilateral Report

The Democratic Challenge to Authority

The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to the existing systems of authority, public and private. In one form or another, this challenge manifested itself in the family, the university, business, public and private associations, politics, the government bureaucracy, and the military services. People no longer felt the compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character and talents. Within most organizations, discipline eased and differences in status became blurred. Each group its right to participate equally -- and perhaps more than equally -- in the decisions which affected itself.

A Question of Vision

What is in short supply in Democratic societies today is not consensus on the rules of the game, but a sense of purpose as to what one should achieve by playing the game. In the past, people found their purposes in religion, in nationalism, and in ideology. But neither church, nor state, nor class now commands people's loyalties. In some measure, Democracy itself was inspired by manifestations of each of these forces and commitments.

Protestantism sanctified the individual conscience; nationalism postulated the equality of citizens; and liberalism provided the rationale for a limited government based on consent. But now all three gods have failed. We have witnessed the dissipation of religion, the withering away of nationalism, and the decline -- if not the end -- of class-based ideology.

The Dangers of Freedom

The democratic spirit is egalitarian, individualistic, populist and impatient with distinctions of class and rank. The spread of that spirit weaks the traditional threats to democracy posed by such groups as the aristocracy, the church and the military. At the same time, the pervasive spirit of democracy may pose an intrinsic threat and undermine all forms of association, weakening the social bonds which hold together family, enterprise, and community. Every social organization requires, in some measure, inequalities in authority and distinctions in function. To the extent that the spread of democratic temper corrodes all these, exercising a leveling and homogenizing influence, it destroys the bases of trust and cooperation among citizens, and creates obstacles to collaboration of any common purpose.

Now that's what I call some authoritarian discourse! So apparently all this utopian stuff comes from a bunch of Theosophists, the mysterious super-religion invented by Madame Blavatsky...

Anything about Theosophy gets pretty weird. It's like Scientology minus the lie detectors and Applied Satanism? But Scientologists were running the remote viewing programs at SRI too apparently... I think I'll stop there....

In any case, I found this stuff to be a classic angle on the exact evil Second Complex of Scientific-Technological Elite and their plan to dominate public policy! Which Eisenhower warned you about, and all your acid-dropping Hippie Professors forgot to teach you about too!

The plan has a second face, indeed, General Eisenhower!

NAFTRACS Strategic Objectives: You're FUcked!

This, people, is from about four pages of One PDF file. Of which I have just gotten about 600 I think. Yes, 5 minutes into this stuff, we're already inside a huge all-encompassing grid of control run by Lockheed Martin. It's like Minority Report, see?

We'll cut our eyes out to escape the "prescence" provided along Interstate 35.

Wow that was quick eh?



by the way: I bet hillary knows.

The cell phone cube of silence; Feds get yr location data without warrants; banned 9-11 blogger KillTown goes too far, scares the RAND Corporation

Boston artist Nick Rodrigues developed a cell phone box that you wear. Pretty awesome. Video here. Old news apparently, but sweet. The auto-loader harness that pops it onto your back is nice. Here is another booth made of fabric, not quite as nifty a construction.

[via technabob and notcot]

On the other hand, it turns out that the Feds are tracking you via your cellphone without a warrant. Interestingly, such stuff seemed to be among the deep tinfoil hattery of one whats his face....

On an unrelated subject, is the new thing in geo-blogging, as in Minneapolis. Storming the News Gatekeepers was pretty funny, but i guess it proves i'm not 31337 enough, because i found via the Washington "lame" Post.

Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request -

Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request

Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause

By Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 23, 2007; Page A01

Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers.

In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives.

Such requests run counter to the Justice Department's internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.

The issue is taking on greater relevance as wireless carriers are racing to offer sleek services that allow cellphone users to know with the touch of a button where their friends or families are. The companies are hoping to recoup investments they have made to meet a federal mandate to provide enhanced 911 (E911) location tracking. Sprint Nextel, for instance, boasts that its "loopt" service even sends an alert when a friend is near, "putting an end to missed connections in the mall, at the movies or around town."

With Verizon's Chaperone service, parents can set up a "geofence" around, say, a few city blocks and receive an automatic text message if their child, holding the cellphone, travels outside that area.

"Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."

SHIT! Cell phones are essentially spies in your pocket. And now cops don't need a warrant to use them. | The Agonist

At this point I have to hand it to the so-called Tinfoil Hat crowd, but I can't remember if it was Stew Webb or Tom Flocco. One of these guys is hawking damper bags that can suppress all signal from the NSA scheme that's listening to your mic. For bonus points, here are some random paranoia links of the classic style, sure to entertain the Reynolds Wrap fans. So here are some fun links

Stew Webb. I don't know what happened to Flocco? Tom and his IN BRIEF ARCHIVE

PROFITS OF DEATH--INSIDER TRADING AND 9-11. Acxiom Had Data on 11 of 19 Hijackers

Killtown: Is Barbara Olson still alive? from Killtown, a 9/11 blogger who's keeping it so real that he/she got kicked off practically every big 9/11 blog. Stay black bro!

I seriously have to roll my eyes at how the supposedly open-minded conspiracy crowd has already decided what goes. I mean it could have been holograms and space lasers. Not really very likely, but is it that much less likely than other widely accepted conspiracy theories? I find it funny that they are drawing up these rules against poor Killtown:

Killtown: Banned at AboveTopSecret, public execution style, Killtown: Banned at 911Blogger, Harassment of 9/11 Truth Activists | related. :: View topic - Drone 767 fired missile a split sec B 4 hitting South Tower, Killtown: Banned at Loose Change forum, Killtown's: WTC Crash Videos.

After watching Loose Change: Final Cut in a packed theater, I have to say that sideshow fights like this are a perfect example of everyone missing the forest for the trees. The forum admins should fuckin' chill out a little. Killtown appears to have parsed out all kinds of weird video anomalies. Those deserve their own examination, without bias. Could fake videos ordered up from the Mysterious Cheney Bunker have painted stuff onto America's networks? Sure, why not? See my ramble bits: Internet Radicalization Thought Crimes, Centers of Orwellian Excellence & Strategic Communication Laboratories: What Modules are in the OpCentre?

I almost forgot to add the piece de resistance: Killtown's website got put up alongside 'Al Qaeda' websites as examples of evil internet radicalization. KEEPING IT REAL. Definitely. The Alex Jones Krew noted: House Subcommittee Presentation Equates 9/11 Truth With Terrorism, and here:

To paraphrase Chomsky or HS Thompson or something: You're not really fighting the system till you're on the RAND Corporation's shit list!

Flashblock speeds Firefox by jamming ugly Flash garbage

I like to have way too many tabs open. But Firefox for OS X doesn't respond too well to that. It tends to get really pokey and start to lock up the whole computer. The CPU meter gets really high when I've got too many tabs.

Here's what's really going on. Many of the pages I'm at have embedded Flash animations. (Many banner ads, and Google Video embeds, etc, are really Flash.) Even when the tab is not in front (selected/in focus), they are still running, absorbing CPU and RAM. Firefox starts to crawl, and I can't even type fast.

So there is an Firefox addon called Flashblock, and it works great! Awesome, way to go. If you want to run the Flash on a site, just click it on.

Right now Firefox has more than a couple dozen tabs and it is still keeping CPU at 12%. That is savings you can bank on. Firefox is much more responsive and the whole computer seems happier.

MinnPost tackles Loose Change; penniless surfer develops Theory of Everything!; Other random stuff

I saw Loose Change a week ago at the Riverview Theater and I was definitely impressed: they took out the dumber stuff about 9/11, and replaced idle speculation about media clips with quality interviews. The graphics are great, the music is good, (although I liked some of the old music more), and overall it was a much stronger film than Loose Change 2.

This is not a full review; I'll cough that up later. Suffice it to say, Loose Change is a lot more fun to watch in a packed theater.

Anyhow, the new MinnPost operation offered up a relatively positive review from Rob Nelson: MinnPost - Rob Nelson: Spare 'Change'? Film panhandles for 9/11 outrage. Way to go Rob.

This surfer dude apparently defeated string theory with a great and simple theory which places all subatomic particles on a 248-point structure dubbed E8. This is great because the theory can easily be proven: missing E8 particles should be discoverable:

Telegraph, U.K. Telegraph, U.K. - An out-of-work surfer with a Ph.D. in astrophysics has published a paper entitled An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything that has caught the attention of the scientific community as a possible explanation of the four basic forces of the cosmos. Physicists from Einstein and on have long sought a "theory of everything" but have been stymied by the inability to include gravity in a simple, workable approach.Garrett Lisi, 39, of Nevada, believes he has uncovered a model that not only incorporates gravity, but also requires no complex mathematics and relies on only one dimension of time and three of space, corresponding to the dimensions humans experience in daily life. Standard cosmological theories of the universe, especially string theory, require ten or more dimensions of space that are difficult to imagine.

The mathematics behind Lisi's model are based on a geometric structure known since the 19th century as E8. The structure of E8 consists of 248 points, and the formulas necessary to understand the interrelationships among these points were recently worked out in detail. Lisi believes all sub-atomic particles fit on these points and that the observed groupings of these particles correspond to defined sections of E8. His theory posits new sub-atomic particles that allow his theory to be tested, much like Einstein's General Theory of Relativity provided certain tests that could be determined in nature as a means of proving his theory.

Several prominent cosmologists have lauded Lisi's paper, though the bulk of the scientific community remains skeptical and cautious. Even Lisi cautions that his theory, while beautiful in construction, has many hurdles to overcome. If correct, the theory would not only overthrow the work of scientists for the past three or more decades, and upset the current Standard Theory, it would like the General Theory of Relativity be another major physics breakthrough that comes from an outsider and loner in the scientific community.
Lisi spends his time surfing and snowboarding, and conducts hiking guides for a living. Lisi's theory was first published in New Scientist. Popular notice of his theory has arisen because of an article published by the science editor of the U.K. Telegraph.

More about that here: Penniless Surfer Devises Intriguing Cosmological Theory of Everything | The Agonist.

Obama has a really good technology plan, which supports net neutrality and other awesome ways to open the government to public participation via the Internets! having public comment threads for legislation. Awesome!! This alone is prolly enough to swing me over to Obama at this stage. VentureBeat » Exclusive: Barack Obama to name a “Chief Technology Officer”.

You can get a gold-plated MacBook Pro. Really. When you've got that Marie Antoinette kinda feeling. MA896LL/A-GOLD | 24 Karat Gold MacBook Pro: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 15.4" TFT display | PowerMax.


Some interesting stuff from The Agonist if you're interested in quality international affairs coverage. The "Hitler Comparison". On the one hand, Bush started killing people a lot faster than Hitler did. On the other hand, he doesn't really seem to throw his full lot in with it. But rationalized annihilation runs strong with both these figures, and the political movements they head definitely both have some fascist traits, which I won't elaborate on here.

Time to drop the U.S. militarized economy meme. I added a positive plan to shut off the military industrial complex:

existing military-industrial job conversion is best

In Chalmers Johnson's Nemesis he talked about how the U.S. is headed for bankruptcy because of 'military Keynsianism.' i.e. juicing the economy by pumping in the mil cash. But unlike regular keynsianism, where you quit adding so much money on the boom side, with military keynsianism it's a perpetual motion machine, with the consequent expanding of foreign wars.

the best solution is to tally up all the jobs salaried from the machine, and make a goal of no Net job loss, while splitting up and non-profitizing the corporate entities like Boeing. You convert the profit war jobs to non profit green energy institute jobs, preferably at a 1:1 ratio. The result is that all the whizbang stuff is devoted to finding new sustainable energy stuff, and therefore you would be able to capitalize on new tech methods and provide a legitimate, economically viable foundation for the future. (while avoiding the dislocation from mass firings and Falling Down Michael Douglas psychos running the streets.) All these salaries could still be paid straight outta debt like they are now, but at least produced widgets would be economically productive!

The Biofuels Situation Hits Close to Home. Benazir Bhutto: Grade-A Scum. No Immunity In the FISA Bill. That's all for now!

Trent Reznor misses his favorite music BitTorrent site, OiNK

How about this? A surprise from and being trumped around the UnderNet.

What do you think about OiNK being shut down?

Trent: I'll admit I had an account there and frequented it quite often. At the end of the day, what made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store. Pretty much anything you could ever imagine, it was there, and it was there in the format you wanted. If OiNK cost anything, I would certainly have paid, but there isn't the equivalent of that in the retail space right now. iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up.

I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc. Amazon has potential, but none of them get around the issue of pre-release leaks. And that's what's such a difficult puzzle at the moment.

If your favorite band in the world has a leaked record out, do you listen to it or do you not listen to it? People on those boards, they're grateful for the person that uploaded it — they're the hero.

They're not stealing it because they're going to make money off of it; they're stealing it because they love the band. I'm not saying that I think OiNK is morally correct, but I do know that it existed because it filled a void of what people want.

Rumor: Ultra-thin Mac Laptop at Macworld Expo 2008

One of my secret agent types sent me a note that Apple will release a super-light laptop, perhaps with a kind of Flash-drive based hard drive (NAND style). AppleInsider reports it and rounding it out with other field reports, Mac Rumors: Ultra-Portable Mac Expected at Macworld Expo 2008. Nifty.

For novel networking node noodling (k)nolledge, try Twine beta?

Side note: Ecto 3 Beta 7, the nifty blogging tool for OS X (and earlier tools) just came out. I keep noting this because this version seems to incorporate a feature I asked for in the feedback forum: a default plain text style option. And getting the "add link" a keyboard shortcut again: ⌘-U. Ok maybe it wasn't really my big idears that got it in. But I am trying to help!

On a completely unrelated subject, Kanye West's mom was killed by plastic surgery. Another horrible sign of the times. A tough lady who evidently told her son about a few tricks of language:

After 31 years rising through the teaching ranks to chair the English Department at Chicago State, Donda West retired in 2004 to manage her son's burgeoning career. She also headed up Super Good, the parent company of the emcee's fast-growing business empire, which includes apparel, accessories and other lifestyle products, and was the chairwoman of the Kanye West Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to increasing literacy and preventing youths from dropping out of school.

TWINE: Here is an interesting one for people to see. Twine is in early development stage. It is an attempt at "web 3.0" but perhaps remains at "Web 2.5" in the judgment of experts. Here is what their About page says:

Twine Ties it all Together: Twine is a new service that intelligently helps you share, organize and find information with people you trust.

Share more productively. In Twine you can safely share information and knowledge, and collaborate around common interests, activities and goals. Twine helps you better leverage and contribute to the collective intelligence of your network. Use Twine to share more productively with friends, colleagues, groups and teams.

Get more organized. Twine provides one place to tie everything together: emails, bookmarks, documents, contacts, photos, videos, product info, data records, and more. And, because Twine actually understands the meaning of any information you add in, it helps you organize all your stuff automatically. Finally, you can search and browse everything and everyone you know, about anything, in one convenient place.

Find and be found. You are like a snowflake – you are totally one-of-a-kind. Twine recognizes what makes you special: your unique interests, personality, knowledge and relationships, to help you find and discover things, and be found by others, more relevantly.

Who is Twine For?

Friends. Colleagues. Groups. Teams. Anyone who needs help dealing with the growing array of information and relationships on the Web today. Whether you just need to organize and share with friends, or you need to collaborate better with teams, Twine provides the smartest way to tie it all together.

How Does Twine work?

We thought you’d never ask! Well, in a nutshell Twine uses the Semantic Web, natural language processing, and machine learning to make your information and relationships smarter. But if that’s all Greek to you, just think of Twine as your very own intelligent personal Web assistant, working for you behind the scenes so you can be more productive.

Here is Radar Networks' list of articles about Twine. Basically you can put in all your stuff and RSS feeds, etc, and the website pulls out all the keywords. Then you can share with your friends/team etc and everything works nicely. So far the gurus are a bit skeptical because the front page is really not exciting. This was a thoughtful review of the potential. Here is one from Tim O'Reilly, the big guru of the O'Reilly tech books and related schemes. I signed up for the Twine beta review, and will check it out.

On a related note, there's a good review of Web2.0 vs Web1.0 and what Google is trying to do in the Big Picture, now with this new "Open Social" protocol. They say it's a 'kind big brother' for providing services, and that is a little bit questionable.

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