(The cast of GikII visit Jeremy Bentham on their way to the obligatory pub visit)

As I mentioned earlier, last week we held the second edition of GikII in London. PDF versions of the presentations can be downloaded from the site so that you can wonder at the geek’s superior PowerPoint and Keynote skills.

As last year, the quality of the papers and discussion was very high indeed, and continuing with the GikII motto, it was like a good conference, but without all the boring papers. I particularly enjoyed Ray Corrigan’s look at the copyfight in medieval Ireland; Jordan Hatcher’s presentation on tattoos and copyright; Daithi Mac Sithigh’s paper on LOLcats and network neutrality (you have to see it, it does make sense); and Judith Rauhofer’s “Privacy is Dead – get over it“.

There was a heavy privacy slant this year, perhaps because we are finally coming to a realisation that there is something indeed creepy about all of the technologies deployed against us. Yet, we are willingly walking into the networked society and accepting the Panopticon with open arms. I was intrigued by the many mentions of some technologies which trawl the Internet for information about you. I had heard and tried some services before, such as Spock, Pipl and Wink, yet I found the information incomplete and inaccurate, nothing that a good Google search would not uncover. Nevertheless, I found to my amusement that there is a 63-year-old Andres Guadamuz living in California.

However, I had never heard of ZoomInfo before, so I gave it a try. Oh. My. God. The website uses intelligent agents to trawl the web in search of information, and what it found was surprisingly accurate, although it is clear that my life began when I moved to the UK. Nevertheless, I was also interested that the system decided to award me with a PhD and a Chair in one go… perhaps I could offer that information next time I ask for a promotion?
“The computer thinks that I am well qualified… give me a Senior Lectureship… Now!”

Update: Jordan’s paper has been BoingBoinged. Well done!


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