This article is going to be controversial. Whether or not you should follow everyone who follows you on Twitter is a topic which engenders strong emotions and heated debate. In fact, just last week I was accused of “game playing” because I have 1600+ people who follow me on Twitter, while I ‘follow’ fewer than 50.
SOPA Activist and RSS author Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit, has been found dead in his Brooklyn, NY apartment, from a hanging suicide. The 26 year-old was facing Federal prosecution for allegedly stealing 4.8 million documents from MIT’s computer networks, as well as from JSTOR, or Journal Storage, a nonprofit organization that offers journals and scholarly books to subsidized institutions. The death came as a shock to Swartz’s parents and girlfriend, who never expected him to hang himself, and they contend that the suicide was as a result of a “criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach.”
Aaron Swartz, a co-creator of RSS , open access advocate, and author of the Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto, and now a researcher at Harvard, has been arrested for hacking into the JSTOR system. JSTOR, which stands for “Journal Storage”, is a system that archives academic journals, and makes them available to institutions and, in a more limited version, to the public.
Imagine our surprise today when, while checking out Slashdot’s RSS feeds (or, as those in the biz like to call it, /. ) we noted a full-colour advertisement exhorting us to check our credit score, and another for Tek Systems. In fact, there is now an advertisement along with every story summary in the Slashdot RSS feed – ads for penny stocks, even ads for Google Chrome.
It’s still winter break in Boulder, and so most of the independent coffee shops in Boulder are closing early until school is back in session. As a result, I found myself all dressed up and with nowhere to go to sit and work over a cup of joe last night. In desperation, I turned to the local Starbucks – even they were closing early, but not as early as the other coffee shops. And besides, I was curious to try Starbuck’s free wifi.