Month: October 2011

Mobile sexism?

[youtube=] Increasingly, smartphones have become an important way that we keep connected to the digital world. So, what does it mean when a smartphone is labeled as a “female” phone? Granted, HTC’s new smartphone, called Rhyme (available on Verizon), is never billed explicitly as a “female” phone. Yet, the online chatter surrounding the device suggests […]

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LibreOffice: time to reconsider Open Source and power?

[Cross-posted from DSC@KCL Blog] Having been a longtime user I was a little surprised recently when installing the Ubuntu flavour of Gnu/Linux to find that something called LibreOffice was the default office suite. It looked remarkably similar to (which I noticed because I knew exactly where the place to turn off autocompletion of […]

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Trajectories of Microfinance

I was poking around Craig Newmark’s and found an interesting film put out by, an organization that’s crowdsourcing micro-loans.  Kiva itself is an good example of distributed micro-philanthropy ( more of these organizations are popping up here and there) and the graphic visualizes the flow of resources from that kind of participation.  I […]

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Can an algorithm be wrong? Twitter Trends, the specter of censorship, and our faith in the algorithms around us

The interesting question is not whether Twitter is censoring its Trends list. The interesting question is, what do we think the Trends list is, what it represents and how it works, that we can presume to hold it accountable when we think it is “wrong?” What are these algorithms, and what do we want them to be? […]

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