So – The first thing I did this morning on reading this New York Times article on Google’s new plan to use users’ data (+1s, etc…) on their own ads  was hunt around for how to opt out, which I have now done. To do the same visit your Google+ settings and change the setting for “Shared Endorsements” (nu-speak for “paste my face all over your ads on the web and don’t pay me anything for it.”). Since posting this, a some good discussion has been going on in the google+ comment trail.

Read this great article in The Verge today on the voice behind Siri. I’m finding myself using #Siri more and more these days, especially for quick tasks that would otherwise take multiple steps and involve unlocking the phone. For example, checking the weather (or checking the weather in another city), setting alarms, changing settings (“set do not disturb”) or location-based alerts (“remind me to check the gas meter when I get home”) which are pretty magical. I’ve even used Siri for dictating texts, but only short messages. IOS 7 Siri is definitely better (though still not perfect) at understanding you even with background noise present. All in all, it’s pretty impressive. She still can’t do “Tea, Earl Gray, Hot” though. Update: Some further thoughts: Although Siri is great, does it represent another form of walled garden? I will note that I can ask Siri to make a restaurant reservation for me (though not in the UK) but it will only do so through OpenTable. I can get Weather info but I can’t configure it to get weather info from BBC. The lack of an open API for Siri is a bit troublesome. Shouldn’t I be able to plug in to Siri as an app (or a Web App for that matter) and as a data source in a more straightforward way?

This strikes me as a good example of “good patents” but where the patent system none-the-less is failing to protect innovators – i.e. here is a company, Dyson, that has come up with some revolutionary new technologies, which they have patented, and which are incorporated into their products which they bring to market. However, they are a small company so when a big company (Samsung) with lots of lawyers copies their design, they have limited recourse. Contrast to some of the press on patent trolls who buy patents, produce nothing themselves, and then use them to quash innovation in by companies.

I’m proud to be a part of an activity called “The Open Agenda” as part of my work at +Telefonica Digital. It’s a combination of blog posts, video interviews,  panels and media and events that will all focus on the topic of openness in technology, starting with a topic that is close to my heart, the open Web. We kicked off with panel at +Campus Party Europe yesterday ( which will be followed up with content at and other events and activities in the coming months. Have a look at my blog on the official Open Agenda site and get involved in the discussion by using hashtag #TheOpenAgenda. The Open Web is under threat -we need a debate about its future. Telefonica Digital’s Daniel Appelquist shares his thoughts.

Hello Google+ peeps! It's shameless self-promotion time, I'm afraid. I've put a panel submission into next year's South by Southwest #sxsw  panel picker and I would really appreciate your support in voting it up. Personally I think this panel is going to kick ass – and I don't use language like that lightly. We've got +Dave Shea (of CSS Zen Garden fame), +Andrew Betts (of FT labs) and +Dominique Hazael-Massieux (from W3C) lined up to explore the latest on the Web on mobile – responsive design, APIs, off-line operation and more. How is the Web closing the gap with native apps – what's the state of the art and where is it going? If you have a second, please log into the panel picker at the link below, register if you are not already registered, and vote my panel up. You will be doing me a favor, but more importantly you will be doing a favor for the future of the Web. Thanks! #blogthis   #mobileweb   Putting the Web Back Into the Web. This panel will focus on multi-device, responsive web, web technologies that bridge the divide between apps and web such as device and system APIs, advanced web browsers on devices and techniques that put webapps on a level playing field with native apps.

Another instalment of the video series I recorded with +Christian Heilmann on #FirefoxOS  – this time touching on developer tools, responsive design and some of the elements that developers need to worry about on mobile – e.g. touch events. (Also see +Peter Paul Koch‘s wonderful presentation on touch events from this year’s #Mobilism  conference. In fact, anyone interested in responsive design topics would do well to watch all the presentations from Mobilism –, especially the “Mobile Web Design Anti-Paterns” talk by +Dave Shea) #blogthis In the third instance of our Firefox OS – the platform HTML5 deserves video series (part one and part two have already been published here) …

So I read with some interest a tech note from Google on the impeding use of a transforming proxy server for Chrome for IOS & Android. The idea is to speed up the Web on mobile devices where network bandwidth is constrained. If I understand correctly, the proxy will first of all route all http traffic over a single #SPDY  connection. It will compress images to WebP on the fly, minify code and move DNS resolution to the proxy. All of this holds the possibility to greatly increase browsing performance – essentially giving you Opera-Mini like performance but with a “full web” experience. I’m excited about that.  I’m also glad that they’ve explicitly excluded https traffic from the proxy – although increasingly more and more services are redirecting users to https versions of their pages by default (including, amusingly, the page on that describes the data compression proxy). I do have a few questions that don’t seem to have been addressed in the brief.  First of all, what options do I, as a content developer, have to deactivate the features such as image compression? One example of where I might want to do this is if I am trying to transfer a file (rather than display an image) or I want to make sure that an image is sent at its highest resolution and clarity – for example, if I am trying to enable a doctor to examine an X-Ray image). A few years ago, the Mobile Web Best Practices working group developed a set …

Content Transformers 2: Dark of the SPDY Read more »

Can We Stop the Tracking Already? I cannot believe this nonsense is still going on. I had to check my watch – yes indeed, it's now 2013, and we still don't have a viable do-not-track specification. This should have been one of the simplest pieces of work that W3C has ever engaged in. Instead it has been drawn out into an ever-deepening vortex of conflicting interests, back-stabbing and bad-faith behavior from which there seemingly is no escape. Do-not-track preferences are now built into all major browsers so many consumers might thing this is a solved issue – it's not, because nobody can agree what "do not track means." I say "nobody" but what I mean is that advertisers don't agree. Pretty much everyone else agrees – it means "do not track." Advertisers seem to think it should mean "go ahead and track" but "don't show me targeted ads so I don't feel like I'm being tracked." Some advertisers who have joined W3C and joined the Tracking Protection working group have done so with the explicit, cynical goal of torpedoing do-no-track. The question advertisers need to ask themselves is: what are they so afraid of? Surely, if Web users find advertising-supported sites and targeted context-aware advertising so useful, then they will be happy to have their Web surfing tracked for the purposes of targeting this advertising and providing these services. If users feel they are getting a fair shake for the information they are providing to advertisers, they should not then object to being tracked. Or is …

Wrangling Over ‘Do Not Track’ Read more »

This great article neatly skewers Apple’s claim that iMessages are encrypted “so no one but the sender and receiver can see ore read them.” This was  claim I as immediately sceptical about when it was made so it’s nice to have some expert opinion backing up that scepticism. #crypto   #blogthis

Overall a very good program of talks this morning at +LeWeb London focusing on the "Sharing Economy." I think the idea of the sharing economy aligns well with the core values of the Web. But one thing no speaker has addressed yet is how to deal with "bad actors" in the context of the sharing economy. How can I participate in this sharing economy and avoid being phished, or spammed, or pwned? How can I participate in the sharing economy and also maintain my privacy? How can we stop airbnb becoming a micro-culture like eBay that is impenetrable and hostile to newcomers? How can we use the transparency of the Web to combat our own darker natures? #LeWeb #SharingEconomy #blogthis