Allan will be attending the UNESCO 11th International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST2013) in Tarragona, Catalonia, July 10-12.  He will be presenting the paper authored with Fellow Jeff Shrager and 2012 Intern Alegria Baquero titled Blend me in: Privacy-Preserving Input Generalization for Personalized Online Services (slidespaper).

Back in May, CommerceNet participated in several events at the 15th International World Wide Web Conference in Edinburgh. The conference organizers commissioned series of podcasts interviewing WWW2006 participants professionally recorded and produced by Bright Indigo‘s Peter Croasdale.

On their fourth and final installment, “Business and Society” (program notes, full transcript coming in September), released on August 15th, they interviewed CommerceNet Labs director Rohit Khare about the nature of innovation in Web 2.0, and how to unlock value with ‘mash-ups’ (MP3). In particular, about 20% in, he discussed FlySpy and the kind of disruption its user interface represents by reusing the flight reservations booking infrastructure.

[Update: Slides on Agoric Exploration now available, in Keynote and PowerPoint format also.]

No, it’s not (yet) time for Martian explorers to purchase digital music downloads as the new frontier in e-Commerce. CommerceNet Labs research has been invited, though, to particpate in a Deep Space Communications workshop at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories during the Second IEEE International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Information Technology from July 17-20 at the Pasadena Conference Center.

We’ll be speaking about the potential of market-based control mechanisms for allocating scarce resources amongst competing mission priorities that require choreography of assets across multiple agencies. We wrote a short introductory proposal with Prof. Richard N. Taylor for a NASA resarch program back in 2004, and while we’re far, far from expert at deep space communication, we are excited about 1) agoric control and 2) decentralized software architecture.

While somewhat tutorial in nature, we’ll plan to tailor it to the level of experience our audience has had with concepts such as the economics of uncertainty, prediction markets, markets for workplace decision making (Zocalo), and using event-based architectural styles to synchronize multiple devices/platforms. Other aspects of the problem we hope to point at are: the difficulty of underwriting “units” of currency for diverse assets (some camera time with some bandwidth at the same time vs. some storage and processing (compression) and bandwidth later on), scheduling results from grid computing such as Tycoon, and related efforts in general-game playing (AI) and trading agent competitions.

Next week is EC’06, the seventh annual conference of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce (SIGECOM). CommerceNet is proud to join Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Akamai, CombineNet, and the University of Michigan in sponsoring the premier academic event in our field.

One of the most exciting subdisciplines growing up around this arena is Sponsored Search Advertising, an area we’ve written about before. The second annual workshop is being held in conjunction with EC’06 with a fascinating twist: the first pay-per-click bidding agent competition:

Are you interested in e-commerce / machine learning / operations research / data mining / artificial intelligence? Put your skills to the ultimate test. Enter an intelligent bidding agent in the 2006 Sponsored Search Bidding Agent Competition . Your intelligent agent will need to balance exploration versus exploitation in real-time (the classic k-armed bandit problem), and react intelligently to fickle and potentially explosive changes in customer behavior.

But we’re not just talking about a mathematical exercise. You will have the opportunity to actually bid in the real-world, with real money, and with the chance of making or losing your funds. Through a special arrangement with Microsoft AdCenter – who are providing the auction platform and are offering free funds to teams – and a retailer who is yet to be announced – we are offering you the chance to bid with real money on a real retailer. The winner will be the team that creates the greatest percentage increase in revenue. Are you ready for this challenge? Read on!

Next month, InfoWorld is organizing its second SOA Executive Forum. That is, the second conference this year; that’s how much interest in this area has been ramping up. Of course, it’s not surprising that well-hyped fair-haired technology of a few years ago is only now delivering — once it’s in the shadows of a whole new boom in hype (WWII.0 anyone?)

CommerceNet’s Rohit Khare will be moderating two panel discussions on the Technology Track on Wednesday, May 17th in New York: SOA Meets Web 2.0 and The State of the Stack: Where Web Services Standards are Today.

The first session speaks to the potential of bottling the spirit of MashupCamp and unleashing it within the IT department. The “Web 2.0” world doesn’t use the lingo of Composite Apps, XML, and WS-*; you’d hear mashups, microformats, and REST instead. And please don’t call them ASPs: the cool new kids are all about the ad-supported browser-based hosted services.

Credit for that analogy above about the change in language is due to UC Berkeley professor Robert Gluskho, one of our panelists. Enterprise architect (and author) James McGovern of The Hartford pointed out that, technology buzzwords aside, the more profound change may be in recasting IT services within a larger ecosystem, services whose community of users live on either side of the corporate firewall. That kind of cooperation is key to the a interesting new business experiment headed up by Lew Tucker at AppExchange, where other companies’ apps can be rented side-by-side with their flagship CRM — and those partner apps can run off of the same database and extend each other’s data models. Of course, that kind of deep integration is easy to imagine on a centralized platform, but lots of the data (and services) needed actually reside on other Web servers; that’s why we also invited John Yapaola from Kapow, who sell a powerful visual programming tool for scraping and remixing multiple Web applications in a robust way.

The second session is a topic further from Rohit’s heart: who else could have written as incendiary a panel title as WS-* Considered Harmful? While he’d like to ask why we need a stack at all — the REST approach can be implemented with a slew of loosely-coupled tools, open-source and commercial, we’re fortunate to have some leading lights and actively-engaged practitioners of Web Services as they currently stand to survey the field for us: Real-World SOA blogger David Linthicum and middleware pioneer Steve Vinoski from Iona.

CommerceNet is proud to be a supporter of the second Internet Identity Workshop. This time, it will be held here on the Peninsula, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. It starts on the afternoon of May 1 with some tutorial sessions, and proceeds all day on Tuesday and Wednesday in “open space” style. It should be a worthy successor to the Identity Gang’s inaugural session last year in Berkeley, which CommerceNet also helped support. Come join us — there are still slots available for registration, on a sliding scale from $75 (Student) to $250 (Commercial)…

A note from Chris Hibbert crossposted from The Now Economy, our main blog:

The meeting has been rescheduled for December 2 in order to accomodate more participants.

Collabria, which hosts
discussions on new technologies for collaboration and knowledge
management, will be hosting a discussion on
Prediction Markets in San Francisco on December 2nd. They have a
presence in several
other cities
, and plan to host similar discussions in other
locations. Their modus operandi is to get a small group (~25
people) together, have a few presentations (sans PowerPoint), and
discuss the implications of the ideas.

The San Francisco discussion
features Bernardo Huberman, Ely Dahan, Eric Zitzewitz and me. Bernardo‘s
recent papers (with Tad Hogg) are about techniques to
for some
they’ve identified in small, internal corporate
prediction markets. Ely teaches
marketing at UCLA, and uses Prediction Markets as a replacement for
focus groups to get consumers to
product feature mix
will be most desirable. Eric has written
about how Prediction Markets can
to policy discussions, and demonstrating that the
prices in well-structured markets
correspond to probabilities

I expect to give an
introduction to the idea of Prediction Markets (because I’m speaking
first), talk about how they can be valuable in policy setting and
business planning, and give an update on Zocalo’s status.

TagCamp is coming up in two weeks. At our now-vacated California Avenue facility, we will be hosting an overnight geek-fest from Friday, October 28th through Saturday October 29th. Please bring something soft, since we have lots of open space and office furniture, we still need sleeping bags &c…

Bring your best ideas for tagging infrastructure, business opportunities, and hacks; we’ll provide power, bits, and caffeine…

Our next Thursday Tech Talk will move to Tuesday (at 4PM). We’ll collect our teams thoughts from attending, speaking, and sponsoring the Supernova 2005 conference last week. We will go over conference coverage of the launch of and video interviews by David Weinberger posted at C|Net.

Rohit is helping organize and moderate the closing panel discussion of this year’s Web Conference in Tokyo: WS-* Considered Harmful?. Participants from Amazon (Jeff Barr), Google (Adam Bosworth), Sun (Tim Bray), and Mark Baker — the 4 Killer B’s — will be addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the Web Services movement five years on. Unfortunately, previously scheduled speakers from eBay (Jeff McManus) and BEA (Dave Orchard) will not be able to join us. For more information, please see CN Tech Report 04-05 and Tim Bray’s recent Spring ’05 WS Roundup.