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Thursday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 16-December-2010  16:36:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is Time's Person of the Year for 2010. Time says it chose Zuckerberg "for connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives". Discussion here.

Some people are surprised that Julian Assange didn't win that award, while closer to home the feeling is that he did not break the law in Australia. Media law experts, including Holding Redlich managing partner Ian Robertson, have said it appears to him that Mr Assange had operated as many other media outlet would by releasing the cables. It was clear a crime was committed when someone took the material without authorisation from a US military computer system, he said. But it was most unlikely any offence had been committed by those who published the material online or in newspapers.

An OCAU member has appeared on A Current Affair in a story about his dramatic weight-loss success. 170+KG to 83KG in 12 months is a pretty good effort - congratulations, Mal! Discussion here.

iiNet have a Top Geek competition. At iiNet we've always known that geeks are awesome but now that 'geek is chic' is mainstream, we want you to help us prove that not all geeks are created equal. That there can be only one Top Geek. There's some interesting entries already.

If you're in Newcastle and you've been having internet problems lately, this guy might be to blame. A 50-year-old Newcastle man has been charged with allegedly unearthing over $110,000 of Telstra's copper cables from pits and manholes over a two month period.

Back to Facebook, and they've produced an image showing the global connections between their users, thanks Adam. When the data is the social graph of 500 million people, there are a lot of lenses through which you can view it. One that piqued my curiosity was the locality of friendship. I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends. I wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them. More here and a big version here if you want to make it your desktop.

Telstra have lost their appeal to copyright White/Yellow Pages info, thanks Sniper. Although Genesis took more than five years to develop, costing more than $300 million, computer-aided creation of the directories required no "creative spark", nor "the exercise of the requisite skill and judgment", the Court found.

There's a worrying claim of FBI backdoors in OpenBSD, thanks Callan. OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt has received an email in which it was revealed to him that ten years ago, the FBI paid several open source developers to implement hidden backdoors in OpenBSD's IPSEC stack. De Raadt decided to publish the email for all to see, so that the code in question can be reviewed. Insane stuff. Discussion here.

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