Archive for the ‘Internet’ category

UK rules out “three strikes”

May 1, 2009

The Article:

Summary: The “three strikes you’re out rule” is the idea that three-time illegal IP-users would be cut off from Internet service. The French government has attempted implement this, but so far parliament hasn’t gone for it. The UK government argues that this issue should not be fought through legislation but, according to IP Minister, David Lammy, through “commercial solutions.”

In the end, the solutions are going to be commercial solutions. They are going to be solutions that are about ensuring people pay for content, but the ease of paying is there,” he said.

My Two Cents: It’s an interesting approach and definitely deserves consideration. The US is always trying to regulate through legislation, which so far hasn’t exactly worked. While I don’t know how it is in the UK, the legislative process doesn’t work too well when you have multi-million dollar ISPs lobbying Congress. The education approach the UK government is taking is admirable, but we’ll see how it goes.


Googling the Next Epidemic?

April 30, 2009

In November 2008, the Google search engine company released a new search capability called Google Flu Trends. The search mechanism allows users to look at the global flu trends, based on the “ebb and flow” of searches for various regions. Currently the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention monitors diseases and epidemics like the swine flu through its own methods. The new search capability may allow researchers and monitors alike to follow global trends towards certain diseases. However, critics are skeptical of the new release, citing that tracking disease trends via searches will not give scientists enough time in advance to respond to a potential epidemic.

Cyberwars: Information Attack!

April 30, 2009

With a war in Iraq and troops in Afghanistan, the United States military is preparing for another war: cyberwar. According to a report assembled by the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. military has been looking into the use of computer technology for warfare. Currently the United States dominates the Internet. However, the Internet’s accessibility and fairly inexpensive, yet destructive, programming allow anyone in any country to terrorize U.S. security systems. Maybe we should start putting our computers in camouflage…

Global Internet Village Unlikely until GDP Rises

April 27, 2009

In terms of membership and traffic, Youtube, Facebook, other large internet companies are doing great in developing nations. Money-wise, not so much. Companies like facebook, which rely on advertising to turn a profit, aren’t able to make much money in developing nations because the GDP of most of the population is not high enough to interest advertisers. In addition, these nations require more servers because of limited bandwidth, driving up expenses. Veoh, a video-sharing website Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa from accessing content, because users were using up too much bandwidth without earning advertising dollars.




Taxing digital goods…

April 16, 2009

The Artcle:

Summary: In times of economic woes, lawmakers are looking for any way to gain revenue, such as taxing digital goods, such as downloads from iTunes. Mississippi is the latest state to enact such a law that, “imposes a sale and use tax on specified digital products–including digital audio-visual works such as movies, digital audio works such as ringtones, and digital books.”

My Two Cents: Understandably, this has sparked a lot of criticism. The tech industry claims that digital goods are more environmentally friendly, and levying a tax would undermine that effort:”The digital economy is growing fast, and the tiny carbon footprint of downloads is something that benefits all of us,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice.

Digital downloads are the most environmentally responsible way to get movies, music and software, and tax policy is one the ways we promote environmentally sound decisions.

In addition, consumers are very adverse to this change. In the economic decline, no one wants to spend more money on things they are already used to for prices. Is this really the way to gain more money, punishing those who are still consuming???

I am Le Pirate

April 9, 2009

Outcries from France’s entertainment industry has prompted the proposal of a Internet piracy bill in the French parliament. The bill seeks to crack down on the illegal downloading of films, music, and TV shows by using government resources to track Internet piracy. After receiving several warnings from the French government, the new bill could also cut off pirates’ Internet access. Special interest groups have erupted over the issue, claiming the new bill creates an unwarranted Big Brother system. French lawmakers are expected to pass the bill.

So Macedonia friended me today…

April 9, 2009

Macedonian officials are outraged after Facebook removed Macedonia’s Ministry of the Interior’s Facebook profile today. According to Facebook Macedonia’s authoritarian government has been using the site for surveillance purposes, keeping tabs on journalists with Macedonian media outlets. In addition: “alleged reasons for canceling the profile included the fact that personal profiles are intended for personal and noncommercial use by individual persons, posting of disturbing photographs on the profile – including post-mortem remains of crime victims, as well as the opportunity for violations of privacy of other Facebook users.”

What type of photos the Macedonian government is posting is baffling to me. However, this just goes to show that authoritarian governments are having a hard time regulating the Internet’s new communication mediums.