Tag Archives: internet

As Social Sites’ Shares Fall, Some Hear Echo of 2000 – NYTimes.com

28 Jul

Is “social media” hitting a wall? Like maybe it’s not very deeply social?

Several companies that were supposed to be the foundation of a new Internet era plummeted this week as analysts and investors downgraded their dreams. There were instant echoes of the crash of 2000, when the money stopped flowing, the dot-coms crumbled and Silicon Valley devolved into recriminations and lawsuits.

Shares of Facebook stumbled to a new low Friday after its first earnings report revealed a murky path to any profit that would justify its lofty valuation. The heavily promoted $100 billion company on the eve of its May debut is now a $65 billion company and persistently headed south.

via As Social Sites’ Shares Fall, Some Hear Echo of 2000 – NYTimes.com.


Europe Moves to Protect Online Privacy – NYTimes.com

5 Feb

The Netherlands is considering a bill that would require Internet users to consent to being tracked as they travel from Web site to Web site. And last month, the European Commission unveiled a sweeping new privacy law that would require Web companies to obtain explicit consent before using personal information, inform regulators and users in the event of a data breach and, most radical, empower a citizen of Europe to demand that his or her data be deleted forever.

“Europe has come to the conclusion that none of the companies can be trusted,” said Simon Davies, the director of the London-based nonprofit Privacy International. “The European Commission is responding to public demand. There is a growing mood of despondency about the privacy issue.”

Every European country has a privacy law, as do Canada, Australia and many Latin American countries. The United States remains a holdout: We have separate laws that protect our health records and financial information, and even one that keeps private what movies we rent. But there is no law that spells out the control and use of online data.

via Europe Moves to Protect Online Privacy – NYTimes.com.

After the Battle Against SOPA—What’s Next? | The Nation

31 Jan

…For the first time ever, the Internet had taken on Hollywood extremists and won. And not just in a close fight: the power demonstrated by Internet activists was wildly greater than the power Hollywood lobbyists could muster. They had awoken a giant. They had no clue about just how angry that giant could be.

The real question now, however, is whether this community recognizes the potential it has. Ours is not a Congress that has made just one mistake—almost passing SOPA/PIPA. Ours is a Congress that makes a string of mistakes. Those mistakes all come from a common source: the ability of lobbyists to leverage their power over campaign funds to achieve legislative results that make no public-good sense.

The (Internet) giant has stopped this craziness—here and now. But the challenge is for the giant to recognize the need to stop this craziness generally. We need a system that is not so easily captured by crony capitalists.

via After the Battle Against SOPA—What’s Next? | The Nation.

In Piracy Bill Fight, New Economy Rises Against Old – NYTimes.com

19 Jan

…the legislative battle over two once-obscure bills to combat the piracy of American movies, music, books and writing on the World Wide Web may prove to be a turning point for the way business is done in Washington. It represented a moment when the new economy rose up against the old.

“I think it is an important moment in the Capitol,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and an important opponent of the legislation. “Too often, legislation is about competing business interests. This is way beyond that. This is individual citizens rising up.”

It appeared by Wednesday evening that Congress would follow Bank of America, Netflix and Verizon as the latest institution to change course in the face of a netizen revolt.

via In Piracy Bill Fight, New Economy Rises Against Old – NYTimes.com.

Welcome to the “augmented revolution” – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com

6 Nov

Simply put, the terms “real” and “virtual” to describe the physical and digital worlds are inadequate: Facebook is real as the rest of the world grows increasingly virtual. It is this massive implosion of atoms and bits that has created an augmented reality where properties of digitality — information spreads faster, more voices become empowered, enhanced organization and consensus capabilities — intersect with the importance of occupying physical space with flesh-and-blood bodies.

via Welcome to the “augmented revolution” – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com.

Freedom Box: Cyberspace for You and Me

28 Feb

While the internet has been very important in recent protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt, the internet is also vulnerable to central control, as when the Egyptian government all but shut down the internet within Egypt. We need an online world that’s genuinely free. Eben Moglen, a professor at Columbia Law School, has been advocating the need for a Freedom Box, a little server you could plug-in to a wall socket that would allow us to conduct online business outside the confines of Facebook, Google, and the rest. Here’s a New York Times story about Moglen and his idea. Here’s Moglen’s Freedom Box Foundation, and here’s the Kickstarter project that’s getting it funded. If you want to volunteer to work on the Freedom Box or follow the work, go to this wiki at debian.org.