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Biweekly links for 10/12/2009

by Michael Nielsen on October 12, 2009
  • Math Overflow
    • Question and answer site for mathematics, with quite a bit of serious activity at a high level.
  • Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize
    • How nominations are actually solicited.
  • Building Web Reputation Systems: The Dollhouse Mafia, or “Don’t Display Negative Karma”
    • “The Sims Online allowed users to declare other users un trustworthy too. The face of an untrustworthy user appeared circled in bright red among all the trustworthy faces in a user’s hub.

      It didn’t take long for a group calling itself the Sims Mafia to figure out how to use this mechanic to shake down new users when they arrived in the game. The dialog would go something like this:

      “Hi! I see from your hub that you’re new to the area. Give me all your Simoleans or my friends and I will make it impossible to rent a house.”

      “What are you talking about?”

      “I’m a member of the Sims Mafia, and we will all mark you as untrustworthy, turning your hub solid red (with no more room for green), and no one will play with you. You have five minutes to comply. If you think I’m kidding, look at your hub-three of us have already marked you red. Don’t worry, we’ll turn it green when you pay…”

      … Playing dollhouse doesn’t usually involve gangsters.”

  • Sergey Brin: A tale of 10,000,000 books
    • Brin on the Google Book settlement.
  • Charlie’s Diary: Scottish Independence
    • Charlie Stross outlines a plausible path by which Scotland might become completely independent over the next few years.

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