The demise or otherwise of social bookmarking service Delicious has set tongues wagging across the Internet. Does it mean we can't trust cloud services? Or nothing of the sort? In reality I think this story shows us nothing new, it is just another manifestation of an age old problem. As the old saying goes “if you want something doing, do it yourself”, but you can't do everything yourself so you have to trust other people at some point and that is where risk comes in. One way to reduce that risk is to have alternatives that you can switch to easily (and consequently this is why vendor lock-in can be so dangerous). Fortunately with Delicious there are a number of ready to go alternatives and one I have been experimenting with a self-hosted solution called Scuttle.
In the first ever guest post on greenhughes.com my friend and colleague Dr Elpida Makriyannis explores the role of open source and openness in climate change science. Elpida is a Research strategist on social and environmental change and recently attended the COP15 summit in Copenhagen.
While leaders from more than 190 countries gathered at Bella Centre for COP15, the science behind climate change was being questioned after the publication of hacked or leaked emails. “Climategate” is a wake-up call for many different reasons. It presents a unique opportunity to discuss scientific practices in the 21st Century. It also strengthens the argument that scientists should show their workings. Open practices in science, secure public trust and help create an open, participatory, sharing society of educated and active citizens. From a 400 TB Linux-based database with information about changes in the world’s climate, to an open technology prototype service for forest monitoring, reporting and verification, to open source land surface climate station records and code and many others, scientific institutions and researchers worldwide are starting to embrace the open science paradigm.
Fun? Video chat? Google Wave? That's right, the Wave is not just about collaborative Wikis and seeing what the other person is typing. A really interesting feature of the platform is the ability to add extensions, one of the first of these is 6rounds, an extension that plugs in a full video chat facility to the platform, but not just that, it also provides the ability to perform tasks together. Interestingly, the extension has its roots in Speed Dating, but it looks like it has a great deal of potential, and like many Web 2.0 applications is built using open source technology.
Today I got my Google Wave invite and was able to activate my account. There has been a lot of hype about this product (to say the least) so it was interesting to be able to finally have a go at using it, so I thought I would type up my first impressions based on only a few hours use, so treat it as a raw first impression rather than a highly considered opinion! This is a tool that I think has great potential for people collaborating on projects, especially if they are located in different time zones and cannot meet face to face very easily, but to use it effectively though does mean climbing a learning curve.
On this day last year I wrote my very first blog post, prompted into action by a link from Martin Weller's blog to my then largely empty blog! I'm glad I became a blogger, I've already explained my reasons for blogging and the last year has no doubt seen some quite dramatic changes in the technology world.