As I write this I'm sitting here in the front row next to Robert Scoble at Microsoft Search Champs listening to a great talk by Microsoft Fellow Gary Flake about the Internet Singularity and today's announcement of Live Labs (a fascinating development which I'll dedicate an article to shortly complete with a podcast of Gary's overview.) Read the brand new Live Labs manifesto here. Update: In case you can't wait, Richard MacManus covered some of the early details on ZDNet.
It's been a whirlwind 36 hours and we've heard so much great information about Microsoft's Live Software initiatives and I'll write more about them as I'm able since they represent Microsoft's rapidly growing online "Web 2.0" software presence.
But the big news these days has been Microsoft's response to the DOJ subpoena for search records. The blogosphere and news cycles have been intense and even vicious at times, but Microsoft does seem to have received the short end of the stick in this case by not being in a good position to repond completely and clearly about their actions.
I won't rehash all the details here but you can find good coverage here at MSN and here at USA today.
Since trust of online software, and the resulting privacy issues, is only going to be an increasingly critical topic like as I wrote about recently with the Washington Post blog brouhaha and the potential use of Identity 2.0 to foster responsibiity and fix some anonymity issues with two-way, social software. All of this has privacy implications, because sometimes anonymity can be highly desirable.
But the fact is, if you go online, or even use a network of any kind, it's likely you have very little privacy about your actions there unless you take preemptive action, like rigorously using anonymizer services (though that just moves the trust boundary to the anonymizer service).
Yesterday, Yusuf Mehdi, Senior VP of MSN Information Services, discussed these search privacy issue with us in depth. Most of us felt that the specific information about their reponse to the DOJ subpoena, if it had been released immediately and completely, would have greatly reduced the resulting furor. Bottom Line: No personal identity data was released, just two columns of data: search terms and search frequency.
Some folks at the Web 2.0 Workgroup asked Microsoft last night to lift NDA restrictions on this discussion so Search Champs attendees could blog about it to the world at large immediately. They graciously agreed that the transparency would be beneficial and granted the release As a result, we then assembled a group of Workgroup members and Microsoft folks late last night, including the irrepressible Chris Pirillo, and had a informative (and sometimes entertaining) discussion about the whole issue including the details MS disclosed to us.
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SYS-CON Australia News Desk commented on 26 Jan 2006
As I write this I'm sitting here in the front row next to Robert Scoble at Microsoft Search Champs listening to a great talk by Microsoft Fellow Gary Flake about the Internet Singularity and today's announcement of Live Labs (a fascinating development which I'll dedicate an article to shortly complete with a podcast of Gary's overview.) Read the brand new Live Labs manifesto here.
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