I thought I would post the slides from my P3P talk. I’m not sure if I will write this up into a paper. On the one hand, there’s really nothing surprising in what I’m saying here. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a paper out there that directly addresses the topic, so there would at least be some point in writing it up.
A. Michael Froomkin, Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P): Lessons Learnt for Privacy Standards (Oslo, Aug. 21, 2012).
I’ve also attempted to embed the files, but that doesn’t seem to be working out….
Xmarks is back. I found this on their twitter feed:
We experienced unscheduled downtime, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please try a “repair” for ongoing errors: http://bit.ly/MlqXKf
Which leads you to this ‘perfect storm’ explanation:
Xmarks bookmark sync has experienced unscheduled downtime over the last 20 hours. This morning the decision was made to disable syncing to facilitate recovery.
Xmarks has gone to backups to restore the service for impacted Xmarks bookmark sync users. If you use Xmarks bookmark sync please double check any bookmarks you’ve made over the previous 48 hours from 7/1/2012.
At this stage all users should be back in working order from the server, if you’re having issues we’d recommend trying Xmarks Settings -> Advanced -> Repair first. You may want to consider simply using Upload instead to push your local set up to the server if you notice inconsistencies.
If you use Firefox you can reference the bookmarks backups that Firefox automatically creates: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Backing_up_and_restoring_bookmarks_-_Firefox
A number of issues came together causing Xmarks to experience this problem:
- While our datacenters were not impacted, our staff was impacted by the storms that hit the Washington DC area – leaving many of our employees without power, without Internet, and without working phones.
- Our offices are also without power impacted by the storms so using them was not a possibility either.
- Nearly all of our servers were impacted by the bug detailed by Mozilla here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=769972
- We found that rebooting machines fixed the issue before we found out the true cause (and the above bug report). Rebooting worked but a number of machines failed to shutdown gracefully causing issues bringing back up the cluster cleanly.
We apologize for this issue and thank you for your patience. We will be looking into ways we can further mitigate our risks against threats like these in the future.
That Firefox bug, by the way is ‘Java is choking on leap second‘. That plus a major power outage is very very bad luck indeed. The leap second bug had some nasty effets around the world — grounding Qantas flights and crashing various internet services.
Previously: Xmarks is Down.
My Xmarks bookmark synching service stopped working. I got a whole bunch of different error messages, most of which made it sound like it was either my fault, or the fault of a gateway between me and Xmarks.
But in fact, it seems to be a server problem at Xmarks:
Xmarks experienced a server problem on June 30, 2012. We are working to fix the problem now, we appreciate your patience.
Sounds bad. I can cope for now … but I wish the error messages in my browser had been more accurate and informative. And that they’d put a notice about the problem on their main homepage.
This looks like the sort of internet ‘tax’ you could learn to love:
"Today at Kogan we’ve implemented the world’s first ‘Internet Explorer 7 Tax’. The new 6.8 [per cent] tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan.com by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser," says a blog post from the firm.
via Kogan implements Internet Explorer 7 tax – The Inquirer, who seem to think it’s copacetic.
Kidding aside, though, this isn’t a true tax since since it’s private, not governmental.
Worse, I wonder if this might lead to a new struggle for market share in which some retailers would offer a discount to users who visit with Chrome, or come from Bing. In the long run, this sort of deal would not work to the advantage of open source projects since they don’t have the deep pockets it would take to run that sort of (wickedly effective?) promotion. I wonder if there would be any anti-trust implications…
The UM Law alumni magazine has a short profile of Adam Smith JD ’97. Adam was my research assistant when he was in law school, but went on to much bigger and better things, including being the chief legal officer of Terremark Worldwide, the people who run the NAP of the Americas. Terremark then got itself acquired for a bundle by Verizon.
Time moves fast in the Internet world: Shortly after the Alumni Mag went to press Adam resigned from Terremark/Verizon in search of even greener pastures. I gather he has something new and entrepreneurial in the works.
ProxMate says it is a free plugin for Firefox and Chrome that will allow your to see more of the internet by going around regional content blocks:
– unblocks Youtube Videos!
– unblocks Youtube Channels!
– unblocks Youtube Search!
– unblocks Grooveshark!
– unblocks Hulu (beta!)
– Add your own server!
– No History Tracking!
– On github!
– 100% FREE to use!
I ran into one of those myself not so long ago, but as far as I can tell, adding ProxMate to my browser didn’t fix the problem.
Could it be that the plugin makes it look like you are FROM the US when you are not, but fails to make like like you are not from the US when you are?
One interesting aspect of these TOS is that they have a very American flavor. There seems to have been no attempt to cherry pick law; the Wikimedia Foundation is in the US and it relies on US law, both helpful (CDA § 230) and perhaps less helpful (DMCA).
I did enjoy reading part of it in French. But that didn’t seem to change the substance, which undoubtedly is the idea.