Anonymous members speak out about WikiLeaks’ fundraising tactics

anonymous

In the past, Anonymous has been among the most supportive of WikiLeaks and the mission behind it — which is still halfway true, but since everything seems to have funneled off into the ‘one man Julian Assange show,’ the majority of the hacktivist group no longer embraces the site.

AnonymousIRC released a statement on Pastebin yesterday, shortly after announcing their withdrawal of support for WikiLeaks via Twitter:

The end of an era. We unfollowed @wikileaks and withdraw our support. It was an awesome idea, ruined by Egos. Good Bye.

WikiLeaks is funded entirely through donations — which is fine, according to Anonymous, but the problem is how it began demanding users to donate money in order to access any content at all.

Since yesterday visitors of the Wikileaks site are presented a red overlay banner that asks them to donate money. This banner cannot be closed and unless a donation is made, the content like GIFiles and the Syria emails are not displayed.

That’s a great way for any donation-driven service to pull in a ton of donations in a short amount of time, but like Anonymous has already said, it clearly demonstrates that WikiLeaks’ primary focus has changed from releasing information and serving its users, to just another money-making scheme.

“The idea behind WikiLeaks was to provide the public with information that would otherwise be kept secret by industries and governments. Information we strongly believe the public has a right to know,” the statement said.

“But this has been pushed more and more into the background, instead we only hear about Julian Assange, like he had dinner last night with Lady Gaga. That’s great for him but not much of our interest. We are more interested in transparent governments and bringing out documents and information they want to hide from the public.”

I think I’ll have to agree with the group’s Pastebin statement — I’m all for establishing an online business or service and monetizing it to no end, but certainly not if you’re a not-for-profit organization who’s mission statement is to “bring important news and information to the public.”

Any organization – especially non-profit groups – needs funding to survive, but in the case of WikiLeaks, a fee shouldn’t be charged in order to access content — not if it wants to keep its credibility and supporters, anyway.

The banner has since been taken down, and Anonymous already made it clear that it still supports the original idea, and that it is completely in opposition to any legal action being taken against Assange;

It goes without saying that we oppose any plans of extraditing Julian to the USA. He is a content provider and publisher, not a criminal.

This whole ordeal could definitely cause some turbulence for WikiLeaks – a fair amount of content is believed to have been submitted by Anonymous in the past (including the recent Stratfor email cache).

So if Anonymous is cutting off ties to the organization, that could mean less information-leaks, and thus, less content for WikiLeaks.

QR Code Reader for iPhone

So, what’s a QR Code matrix code you ask? Well, wait no further — just look, at the square image on the right… side of this post!

Patrick Reilly's Blog

Patrick Reilly’s Blog — QR Code

Well, that there my friend is a QR Code. (The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”) it is a two-dimensional bar code developed by Denso-Wave way back in a magical time know as 1994.

Originally, the standard bar code replacements were designed for tracking parts in manufacturing situations, but the use of QR codes has gained popularity in consumer space in recent years as a way to encode meta-data like; various URLs, contact information, mobile numbers, etc. This act of linking from physical world objects, is typically known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks… Unlike, the standard basic bar code of yesteryear, which I’m sure you’re totally familiar with if you have ever been shopping at a retail establishment in your life, QR Codes contain information in both the horizontal and vertical axis. This fact contributes to its capability of storing much larger amounts of raw data in both numeric and alphanumeric, as well as binary form(s).  If you’re interested in learning a bit more, feel free to check out the QR Code site provided by Denso-Wave for additional details and implementation techniques.

So, to honor this posts title don’t forget to download, “Barcodes” from the iTunes Store don’t worry my cost conscience friend it is, “Free”.  Also, for the true geeks in the room here is the link to the SVN repository that holds the source to the iPhone Xcode project, definitely worth a peek.

hoity-toity a.k.a. hotty toddy – now who is playing the fool with the Valley of the Heart’s Delight

So, for what it is worth, “Hotty Toddy” is simply the best damned fight song in the history of college sports; it can be heard at any Ole Miss football game.

I’m the geeky (and damn, I am a geek!) left coast tech consultant who bent Nicholas’ ear yesterday– it was my first time deep into SOHO, and I just wanted so much to fit in, when really, I never should have left my basement yesterday morning…. but hey, I gave him the headline for his story!

Yes, I attended both the Lunch 2.0 in San Francisco and the event at TheLadders.com (did you know they are hiring – if you know Java and live in NYC give them a call – really nice looking place) yesterday here in New York City.

Yes, a “Hot Toddy” is the name given to a mixed drink that is served hot. Although it originated in Scotland, there are many variations; the essential elements are as follows: a spirit base such as brandy, rum or whiskey a hot liquid — hot tea, coffee, cocoa, water, etc. and last but not least a sweetener, such as honey, sugar or syrup.

Damn, I’m loving NYC already….. Free DRINKS on me for next month’s event!
Or, maybe the fine folks running Lunch 2.0 should do Happy Hour 2.0 and we can try some common “Hot Toddy” variants – click here for a sneak peek.

But, in common speech, “hoity-toity” is an adjective used with disdain to refer to the pretentious, those who put on a show of pretending to possess refinement and sophistication (similar to “highfalutin” is that even a word).

The expression “Hoity-toity” comes from our penchant for creating rhyming phrases such as “loosey-goosey” or “helter-skelter,” and in this case its base is “hoit,” a 16th century verb whose meaning is “to play the fool” or “to indulge in riotous and noisy mirth.” (”Hoity-toity” was more commonly used to describe those who engaged in thoughtlessly silly or frivolous behavior before it became more of a synonym for “pretentious.”) Attempts to find the word “haughty” an ancestor of “hoity-toity” are equally specious.

So, no disrespect to your coast – but, what was meant to be expressed is that there are indeed cultural differences between the two coasts. Not that one is right and the other is wrong or anything like that, but I do feel somewhat more connected having experienced both coasts intimately and currently living a bicoastal lifestyle.

Silicon Valley was originally called “The Valley of the Heart’s Delight” and in 1971 a journalist dubbed it Silicon Valley. But, to be fair if it were to be named accurately again today, it probably would be called “The Valley of the Virtual Community” because that truly is what Social networking web properties (e.g., Facebook, Tagged, MySpace) are really all about.

This other guy Lenin said that we have to keep the revolution forever young, and that’s is very, very hard to do these days. There are a lot of companies that die. So, one way of approaching renewal is to start all over again with a new company – that’s something that America seems to be quite good at. (This is a cornerstone of our economic infrastructure.) It’s a precious national asset, and policy-makers have to be careful not to get in the way of our free market ways.

We, as the emerging leaders of the Web 2.0 revolution, continually have to make strategic decisions that take a lot of courage to stick with. It becomes not so much a test of IQ points—because let’s face it you don’t get to this level if you’re not smart—but a test of character and the courage of your own convictions. Courage with regard not just to ethics but to strategy. So, I meant no disrespect to my new-found fellow New Yorkers by acknowledging the differences between coasts, although I now realize that it makes a far better punch-line for journalists just wanting to act cool, or stick to the shtick. Rather, it was meant to highlight the differences in order to emphasize the importance of playing to our strengths. New York’s Lunch 2.0 doesn’t have to be the same as Terry Chay’s to be successful.

viva la’ chay!
[To Be Continued…]

Extroverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

So, by actually taking the time to learn more about my own personality, it has lead me to a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and what it takes to make me happy professionally.

When trying to find one’s place in the world, or just trying to find out if you’re moving along the right career path, it’s important to truly understand yourself and the unique personality traits you possess (e.g., things which will impact your likeliness to succeed or fail at various chosen careers).

It’s equally important to understand what is really important to you as well. When you are accurately armed with an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of what you truly value, you are in an excellent position to pick a good career (one which you will actually find rewarding).

So, it appears that I’m an ENTJ… hmm, who would have thunk it.

The “ENTJ” personality type is one of the sixteen personality types that can be indicated from the Myers-Briggs Type Indictor (MBTI) a well-known system based on Carl Gustav Jung’s (a Swiss psychiatrist) work in the field of analytical psychology.

“ENTJ” – MBTI cognitive functions – break-down:

* Dominant Extroverted Thinking (Te)
* Auxiliary Introverted Intuition (Ni)
* Tertiary Extroverted Sensing (Se)
* inferior Introverted Feeling (Fi)

The following quote seems to be an accurate portrait, “ENTJs have a natural tendency to marshall and direct. This may be expressed with the charm and finesse of a world leader or with the insensitivity of a cult leader. The ENTJ requires little encouragement to make a plan.” – Joe Butt, University of Virginia

ENTJs generally exhibit the following characteristics:

* Driven to turn theories into plans
* Highly value their knowledge
* Future-oriented/Forward looking
* Natural leaders
* Impatient with inefficiency and incompetence (can you say, @tychay)
* Want things structured and orderly
* Excellent verbal communication skills
* Dislike routine, detail-oriented tasks
* Self-confident
* Decisive (for the moment)

ENTJs are especially well-suited to be leaders and organization builders. They have the ability to clearly identify problems and find innovative solutions for the short and long-term well-being of an organization. But, the downside to this set of traits is that with having this strong desire to lead, they’re not likely to be happy as followers or minions. ENTJs like to be in charge, and actually need to be in charge to take advantage of their unique blend of capabilities and gifts.

The following is a list of professions built on the impressions of careers which would be especially suitable for this personality type:

* Corporate Executive Officer (CEO)
* Entrepreneur
* Computer Consultant
* Lawyer/Judge
* Business Administrators and Managers
* University Professors and Administrators

So, what personality type are you?

php|works is now over – back to work

Well, it started off a little weird – Paul Reinheimer was a total tard to me (just kidding man – glad we worked through that stuff). Note: Should totally learn to speak Canadian one of these days… maybe Sean Coates offers a small course to those south of the Canucks’ border.

Chris Shiflett’s keynote, “PHP 4 is dead! Migrate your code” was short but, sweet – although I think Shiflett’s Mom was a bit confused by it. [ But, I am sure she was proud of her little baby. ;-) ] But, to be totally honest the nightmare that night wasn’t cool – the image of Wez Furlong as a zombie was hard to shake and that crazy White Russian with the Edward scissor hand action was a bit hard to handle as well.

Terry Chay did such a wonderful job with his, “Finding Art in the Software Architecture” talk it really isn’t funny – he so reminds me of a young Guy Kawasaki (no offense Guy…). I really felt that it would have been better suited as a keynote. It didn’t really have much technical content unless you count the fact that he provided a description of viral growth using the exponential function  !, x(t)=x_0 e^{kt} — (e.g., exponential growth…). Not bad for a south bay kid with a masters degree in something like Theoretical Particle Physics from University of Illinois.

LHB got to have a little East Coast festive occasion at a nice little spot conveniently located in mid-town Atlanta called Sutra Lounge — we now have an additional sixteen or so Andrei Zmievski and random unicode fan photos to post (stay tuned).

In closing, the final keynote was a cool concept – nicely executed – hope Paul/Sean still have a job… when they get home.

All I can say is good work to the entire php | architect crew… it was a good educational event for all in attendance. Looking forward to their spring conference – if you missed this one you totally owe it to yourself to attend their spring conference in Chicago.

The real secret of a successful web application

The amazing thing about “Flickr” is that nobody uses the service to upload pictures.
Nobody says to themselves. I need to upload me some pictures.
Instead, they’re satisfying some other need in their lives, like showing off the new kid to relatives.

Or, showing their friends how their latest trip to Europe went.
Or, letting their co-workers in on their latest conference activity.
All of these things have to do with their life, their relationships, their everyday activities that aren’t centered on the Web, but are made much easier by it.
If we look closely, that’s what most successful web apps do: they make our offline lives richer.

The emergence of a new hyperlocal paradigm

If the last decade was about information technology, the coming decade will be all about connectivity. After the infrastructure is being built on a global scale – and still growing strong – one can see the emerging connecting activities in the most unimaginable ways. The technological revolution started as an enterprise-driven venture, but ultimately empowers the individual, as connectivity is a fundamental social behavior and therefor deeply human driven. The impact of this development will be as dramatic as with earlier industrial revolutions like the beginning of mass production and cannot be underestimated. We just see the beginnings of the dramatic changes and for a lot of citizens it is hard to predict or even understand the profound consequences of change on business processes, cultural achievements, economic shifts, personal participation and society as whole.

Globalization as an expression of connectivity raises a lot of concerns among the developed countries, but is ultimately inevitable – the world is turning flat again. But by focussing on that aspect alone, people tend to underestimate the power of individual or in other words local connectivity that could act as a balancing power on the pressuring force of global competition.

The decisive paradigm from the age of mass production was culminating in the claim “think global – act local” – the view of international brands and enterprises, conquering markets worldwide and batteling with salesforces for the dominance in each region on a global scale.

The emerging paradigm from the coming age of connectivity shows a totally opposite point of view, expressed by individuals with the claim “think global-act hyperlocal”.