Archive for ‘Digital economy’

December 18, 2010

Yes they can

Arabs Target the Internet – Aaron Eitan Meyer (Lawfare Project)
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the entity responsible for assigning domain names on the Internet.
On September 25, 2010, the ICANN board of directors approved the following resolution: “The definition of Continent or UN Regions in the Guidebook should be expanded to include UNESCO’s regional classification list which comprises: Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.” The new “Geographic Region” definition collapses Europe and North America into a single region, while creating a new “Arab States” region.
The change marks a fundamental shift from what are more or less geographical regions to cultural/ethnic regions.
Should the September 25 resolution become applicable to ICANN’s board of directors, it would mean that the “Arab States” region would be entitled to between one and five directorships, while the collapsed “North American and Europe” region would have a maximum of five seats.
ICANN’s board also removed a reference to “terrorism” from the fourth version of its Draft Applicant Guidebook after complaints were received from several Arab individuals and organizations.
Failing to retain the ability to investigate applicants for ties to terrorism would significantly hamper ICANN’s effectiveness, and could lead to a proliferation of pro-terrorist websites.

July 21, 2010

Chart of the week: behind the Times’ paywall

Keeping up with the absurdism of some of our recent charts…

July 9, 2010

Chart of the week: the twittering classes

A little different from our usual fare, this gem from the wonderful Strange Maps charts the topography of London’s “twittering classes”.

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April 14, 2010

COMMENT: Unintended consequences [Modernity]

Digital Economy Bill

Outside of a few politicians and those lobbying for the Digital Economy Bill, it is hard to find anyone that has fully considered the consequences and can still argue for it.


April 8, 2010

COMMENT: Reporters with borders [Lady Poverty]

Financial Times:

For years, the Bush administration whittled away the rules regulating the broadband industry in the belief that booming demand for fast internet service would create a flurry of competition among wireless and cable companies to provide broadband services.
The competition the Bush administration believed would flourish under deregulation failed to materialise.

This might prompt a professional journalist to question whether what the Bush administration “believed” was in fact identical to what the Bush administration said it believed, since other explanations — that the Bush administration was acting on behalf of particular firms within the industry, for example — are also plausible.

In fairness to journalists, they aren’t the only ones duty-bound to dodge the truth, from time to time, in pursuit of successful careers.


April 5, 2010

NEWS: With the financial crisis comes the outsourcing of American academic labor to Bangalore

Lori Whisenant knows that one way to improve the writing skills of undergraduates is to make them write more. But as each student in her course in business law and ethics at the University of Houston began to crank out—often awkwardly—nearly 5,000 words a semester, it became clear to her that what would really help them was consistent, detailed feedback.


April 1, 2010

ANALYSIS: Authoritarianism vs. the Internet [Daniel Calingaert]

In the heady days following the disputed June 12, 2009, presidential election in Iran, images of protests against election fraud were captured on mobile phone cameras and sent via the internet by ordinary citizens to the outside world. While reporters from major international media were forced to leave the country or were holed up in their hotel rooms, short messages sent by Twitter and videos posted on YouTube filled the gap in information. Thus, at a time when the Iranian government was trying to hide the protests from television and newspaper reporters, the internet provided a window for audiences outside the country to see what was going on inside and gave Iranians a way to tell the world at large what was happening to them.


March 4, 2010

COMMENT: BBC cuts [Paul Evans]

Lots of others are saying the things that need to be said about the proposed BBC cuts and I’m a bit too busy to do one of my normal rants. Jon Worth has said things I’d agree with, but then so have dozens of others.

Here are my two observations – ones that I’ve not seen elsewhere.


February 7, 2010

COMMENT: Who owns music? The ‘Men at Work’ case [Strange Times]

The Australian Federal Court ruling in favour of Larrikin Records has raised again the issue of ‘Intellectual Property Rights’. For overseas readers, the case concerns the borrowing or adaptation (or ’sampling’ to use a hip-hop term) of an old riff, written in 1930, from a song about a kookaburra, adapted by the Australian band, Men at Work, in their international hit, ‘Down Under’. The author of the kookaburra song died in 1988 and the song was purchased by Larrikin Records after her death. Men at Work had a hit with ‘Down Under’ in 1981/82.


February 4, 2010

ANALYSIS: Battering Down the Great Firewall of China How the World Trade Organization could open up Internet access in China [Ronald Bailey]

“The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization,” declared Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto. These days, authoritarian regimes of all sorts find such “immensely facilitated means of communication” alarming, most especially the intellectual heirs of Marx who rule the People’s Republic of China. And nothing has facilitated communication more immensely than the spread the Internet across the globe in the past two decades. Now nearly 2 billion people use the Internet, some 400 million of them in China.