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July 03, 2005

Obscure but secure

If you're too damn mean to shell out a measly $4,400 to join those manly TED guys in Oxford, five pounds ($9) buys you access to Open Tech 2005 in London on 25 July. Organised by NTK (Need To Know), this event is about "technologies that anyone can have a go at, from Open Source-style ways of working to repurposing everyday electronics hardware". Among the programme highlights are Yahoo Troublemaker Jeremy Zawodny and "a look at the Dirac open video compression algorithm". If you know what the hell that is you'll presumably be impressed. Speaker Danny O'Brien explains: "On the Net, you can go from obscurity to slashdotting to global fame to obscurity without making a penny. You can have privacy or influence, but not both. You can be famous for fifteen people, but not keep a forwarded email a secret". O'Brien talks about "the decoupling of fame and fortune, and the new security of obscurity".

Posted by John Thackara at July 3, 2005 08:55 PM

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