Archivo | noviembre 2012

Blogger’s Code of Conduct

Tim O’Reilly, an author, online publisher and conference producer, was quoted in a BBC article about “Blogger’s Code of Conduct “in reply to a sequence of disturbing comments which appeared to come from cyber-bullying weblogs. A week later O’Reilly decided to put forward a draft to which people could subscribe to. Finally, the lecturer came through, with a summary of the main points of the discussion.

In regard to his very first intervention, after discussing about this matter, lecturers came up with some ideas about what a code of conduct should include.

First of all they talked about the fact of taking responsibility not just for each one’s own words, but for the comments we allow in our blogs. This is not about promoting censorship but about distinguishing acceptable and unacceptable content, and behaving responsibly on any blog we participate.

Apart from that we find the idea of labeling our tolerance for abusive comments, by suggesting every blogger to specify their level of discourse in advance, in order to avoid as many offensive comments as possible.

The next step, would be considering the fact of eliminating anonymous comments, as there is a huge number of people who say things that they would never dare to say when they are identified. Related to this, we have the rule based on ignoring trolls and avoiding controversy  as some times those people  don’t even deserve to stand up to them. In addition to this, taking the conversation offline, and talking directly or finding an intermediary would be a great solution, so as to solve confrontations or misunderstood. We should bear in mind, that writing comments in a public forum is a horrible way to have a discussion full of emotions.

It would not be a bad idea either, telling badly behaved people, about their  nasty attitude towards someone else and therefore not remaining silent. Last but not least, we cannot forget about not saying things we wouldn’t say in person. We should simply have to control our anger and frustration, in order not to see us in the duty of having to apologize for our disastrous attitude.

In regard to “Draft Blogger’s Code of Conduct”, Tim mentions six principles which should be carried out, with the purpose of encouraging both personal expression and constructive conversation.

He insists on taking responsibility for our own words, not saying anything online that we wouldn’t say in person, connecting privately before doing it publicly, taking action when we believe something is unfair, not allowing anonymous comments and ignoring the trolls.

To finish, O’Reilly summarizes all on his “Lessons Learned so Far”, dividing it into 6 points. The first one is based on the poor choice of “badges”, it’s important to put as much attention to images as to texts, as these can also contribute to a negative reaction by many people.

Secondly, he affirms, that the “code of conduct” needs to be much more modular, it is not just about the image transmitted, but the assertions and associated images, which actually led to express values, that a site would not like to express.

Thirdly, he suggests some moderation mechanisms instead of policies, to promote or demote comments, and therefore make a difference between valuable and invaluable comments.

Fourthly, he affirms that anonymity has certainly a place, but that place will necessarily need to be designed carefully. After this, he insists on the fact that a code of conduct should be revised by lawyers.

And finally, he remembers, that civility still matters. He emphasizes that even if we love intense and passionate discussion, we should not give space to insulting or no substance comments.





Mandarin Chinese: Business Language

Most Useful Business Language After English

By John Lauerman

Mandarin, China’s official tongue, is also the top language worldwide for business other than English, according to Bloomberg Rankings.

Mandarin, spoken by 845 million people, scored highest in a ranking of languages, excluding English, based on business usefulness. The ranking scored languages according to the number of speakers, number of countries where the language is official, along with those nations’ populations, financial power, educational and literacy rates, and related measures.

French, spoken by 68 million people worldwide and the official language of 27 countries, was ranked second, followed by Arabic, which is spoken by 221 million people and is official in 23 nations. Mandarin is unlikely to supplant English soon as the primary language of business, said Leigh Hafrey, a senior lecturer in communications and ethics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

“In much the same way that the dollar remains the preferred currency, English will remain the preferred language for the foreseeable future,” Hafrey said in a telephone interview.

Mandarin speakers can gain an advantage in doing business in China, Hafrey said.

“Speaking the language confers a huge advantage for anyone who wants to do business in a non-English-speaking country,” he said. “It gives you flexibility, knowledge that you need, and personal connections that can make a difference in the speed and effectiveness of your negotiations.”

Spanish, the official language of 20 countries and spoken by 329 million people, came in fourth, the rankings showed.

Spanish was the top foreign language studied in U.S. college classrooms in 2009, according to research from the Modern Language Association in New York. Chinese tallied seventh by the number of U.S. students enrolled in classes that year, after Spanish, French, German, American Sign Language, Italian and Japanese, according to a December 2010 report by the association. Arabic was eighth.


The New York Times



The New York Times (NYT) is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 108 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization. Its website is the most popular American newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million unique visitors per month.

The print version of the paper remains the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States; it is the third largest newspaper overall, behindThe Wall Street Journal and USA Today, though its weekday circulation has fallen since 1990 (as have other newspapers) to fewer than one million copies daily. Nicknamed “the Old Gray Lady”, and long regarded within the industry as a national “newspaper of record”, The New York Timesis owned by The New York Times Company, which also publishes 18 other newspapers including the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe. The company’s chairman is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896.

Costs of Shoring Up Coastal Communities

Though reports are still preliminary, coastal researchers say that when Hurricane Sandy came ashore, it washed enormous quantities of sand off beaches and into the streets — or even all the way across barrier islands into the bays behind them.

But even as these towns clamor for sand, scientists are warning that rising seas will make maintaining artificial beaches prohibitively expensive or simply impossible. Even some advocates of artificial beach nourishment now urge new approaches to the issue, especially in New Jersey.

Readers Respond: Password Hygiene and Headaches

My article on Thursday about password hygiene prompted many e-mails from readers, some detailing their own struggles with online security, others ready with tips the experts missed.

One reader, Sean Hulbert, e-mailed to say he had spent 20 years in the security industry and occasionally “taunted hackers” to crack his passwords. “To this day, I have not been hacked,” he wrote. His secret? The Alt key.

In addition to the experts’ tip that a long passphrase — such as a song lyric or movie quote — should be used instead of a password and using only the first letter or letters of each word in the phrase, Mr. Hulbert said he makes his password stronger by translating the result using the Alt key. For example, assuming the site allows passwords with special characters, he might take this line from the film “The Princess Bride” — “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”— and convert it into the 15 character password: “HmNiImYkMfPtDie.” Holding down the Alt key (on a Mac) as you type would make that password: Óµ˜ˆˆµÁ˚ƒ∏†Îˆ´.

Hack that!

Another reader, Roger Bohl, wrote to say he memorizes the same basic password for every online account but tweaks it for each account by adding two or three letters based on his own simple algorithm. For example, he may start with “HmNiImYkMfPtDie” as his password for every account. Then he may add three or more letters based on the name of the vendor but amended slightly — maybe three letters down from the alphabet. So for Amazon, he may convert Ama to Dpd (“D” being three letters down the alphabet from the letter “A”, “p” being three letters down from “m” and so on) to make it: HmNiImYkMfPtDieDpd. For Chase, it might be: HmNiImYkMfPtDieFkd.

“Not unbreakable,” Mr. Bohl conceded. “But better than using a common password and easier to use than a list — and you don’t have to carry it with you.”

Many readers expressed frustration with the suggestion that they needed different passwords for every single site.  “Your suggestion to never use the same password twice is impractical,” wrote Daniel Dunn. “Why not, instead, reuse the same password in contexts where it really doesn’t matter if I am hacked?”

Indeed, while many experts advise against it, some concede that they will use a “throwaway” password for sites that do not store personal or financial information, like a recipe forum.

“I use a common browser/e-mail/password combination for what I perceive as low or no risk uses,” wrote Steve Patriquen. “I then ratchet up on complexity of my security based on the escalating risk.”

David Ziegelheim appreciated the tip about using different Web browsers for different Web activities, but thought it could be taken one step further. “It should really be coupled with a recommendation to delete all cookies on a regular basis,” Mr. Ziegelheim wrote. “For a browser dedicated to financial transactions the cookie should be deleted minimally every time the browser is closed.”


Those most critical of the article were — unsurprisingly — password protection software vendors like AgileBits, which sells 1Password software. A

gileBits took issue with the fact that both cybersecurity experts cited in the story, Jeremiah Grossman and Paul Kocher, said they did not trust password protection software because they did not write it themselves, and because if their computer is stolen, hackers could access all their passwords.

“There is a very, very small

handful of people who can get away with saying that they will only trust a password management system that they build themselves,” the company wrote in a blog post. “You should definitely not trust a password management system that you develop yourself.”

As for what happens to passwords if a computer is stolen, AgileBits said it designed its 1Password software with that possibility in mind. “We’v

e made it very, very difficult for password cracking systems, such as John the Ripper, to recover your Master Password.”

The only people more angered by our password guide than AgileBits were devotees of Bruce Schneier, the security technologist and author.

“I remain skeptical of any article in t


his space that doesn’t quote or at least refer to Bruce Schneier,” one reader wrote on Twitter. (Indeed, it should be noted that Mr. Schneier designed Password Safe, a password management software that, like LastPass, SplashData and AgileBits, stores passwords in an encrypted file that you can unlock with one master password.)

Finally, many readers (and even my editor) said that after hearing aboutmy own harrowing experience with my computer’s webcam, they too were now covering their webcam’s lens with masking tape.


Twitter Professors

Never before in history has it been easier to glean from the knowledge of others who will give it away to you for free. It’s equivalent to getting higher education. I’m talking about Masters level stuff. And it’s all available right there on Twitter. I call the people I follow who contribute above and beyond the basic answer to “what are you doing?” my professors of Twitter.

Many of them don’t even know it and that’s the beauty. There is no course outline, no costly tuition (yet anyway), no declared major, and you can take as many electives as you want. There’s also no hard and fast list of required experience to be my personal Twitter Professor and tenure is non-existent. I do have very simple guidelines I keep in my head when designating my Twitter Professors:

1) RT really smart stuff from the people they follow saving me from sifting through even more of a stream of Tweets.

2) Have insightful Tweets in and of themselves (not just links).

3) Inspire me to engage in conversation with them or with others.

4) Write really great articles/blog posts on subjects I want to learn about or point to interesting articles I would never have read otherwise.

5) Expand my world experience through their stream of Tweets.

Usually, it’s a combination of many things and there is no way to quantify it, there’s no real formula and there’s no one particular Tweet that I can pull from to summarize their contributions. I just feel out the people I like to follow most.