Herding Cats: Diaspora, ICANN and the Rest of the Best of 2010


Image Courtesy of ICanHasCheezburger

I thought 2009 passed quickly, but 2010 was my first full year as a college-graduated, job-having adult–and it blazed by even faster. I feel old. But enough of my melancholy observations on temporal speed–it’s time for your end-of-the-year Best of Herding Cats post! Gizmodo: Say Goodbye to Unlimited Wireless Data Plans (March 12) – The inevitable extinction of all-you-can-eat data plans will not be pleasant for anybody but America’s ruling wireless oligopoly (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile). Personally, I think this is a huge consumer story, because it will render us totally unable to enjoy the wonders of the coming 4G revolution over the next few years. Verizon’s LTE network is especially exciting in theory, but be prepared to pay through the nose if you want to stream large amounts of music and video through that nifty little broadband USB dongle.

Consumerist: See The Fortune 500 Magazine Cover That Was Too Brutally Honest To Run (April 28) – This wasn’t a big story or trend by any means, but I absolutely loved this rejected piece of artwork. If you haven’t read a lot of my Herding Cats posts and are thus unfamiliar with my feelings toward Wall Street and Big Business, let’s just say I would probably have been a guillotine operator during the French Revolution. *SLICE!* *ROLL*

WalletPop: Inside L.A.’s Food Truck Phenomenon (May 12) – Nothing has transformed life in the City of Traffic this year quite like the roaming armadas or gourmet food trucks that camp out at key spots during the workday. From Santa Monica to downtown, you can be sure you’re not too far from awesome mobile food. I think I can speak for most, if not all, Savings.com employees when I say that I don’t know what we’d do without the lineup of delicious trucks that await us at Olympic and Bundy when lunchtime rolls around.

StreetGiant: Leroy Stick – The Man Behind @BPGlobalPR (June 2) – The BP oil spill was undoubtedly the biggest American news story of the year, and “Leroy Stick” was one of the best things that resulted from it. His notorious BP Twitter feed isn’t as relevant as it was during the actual spill, but you can tell from the 181K+ follower count that Leroy was a big deal in 2010. In this coming-out rant, he offers some great lasting advice to a country of consumers battered and bruised by greedy corporations: “Don’t let people forget what has happened here. Don’t let the prolonged nature of this tragedy numb you to its severity. Re-branding doesn’t work if we don’t let it, so let’s hold BP’s feet to the fire. Let’s make them own up to and fix their mistakes NOW and most importantly, let’s make sure we don’t let them do this again.”

Engadget: Seven Physical Keys Serve As The Internet’s Horcrux (July 28) – I picked this article not just because it’s really weird to think that seven mysterious people spread across the globe control the internet’s entire rebooting process, but because ICANN is soon to become a key player in our government’s war of futility against online piracy. With the recent passing of the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,” our Justice Department is essentially planning to mobilize Marina Del Ray, CA based ICANN as the de facto executioner of any domestic or international domain that the RIAA or MPAA complains about. Frightening, indeed…we’ll see how that goes over the next year or two.

Wired: Open-Facebook Competitor Diaspora Sets Sept. 15 Launch Date (August 26) – This pro-privacy Facebook rival raised a ton of donation money in 2010, and their developers are still hard at work bringing a public Alpha release to the masses (it’s already over three months late, so I’m hoping it’s going to be that much better when it finally goes live). Facebook has done a decent job of improving user privacy settings over the past few months, but I’m still excited to give Diaspora a try.

They’ve banned Sn00ki from Times Square, so let’s just hope that someone volunteers to put her inside that crystal hamster ball and drop her out of an airplane without a parachute or something. Have a healthy and happy 2011, everyone!

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