Gary McKinnon Case: Extraditing the 'Extraterrestrial' Hacker - Yes or No?

Mckinnontrafalgarsquare The case of Gary McKinnon has attracted the attention of everyone from Sting to Stephen Fry, he's been discussed in the House of Lords, NASA, the FBI and if your favorite forum hasn't at least mentioned him there's a good chance you're imagining it.  He combines information age politics, US foreign policy, the hunt for aliens, conspiracy theories and mental illness in the most perfect way possible, at least until Michael Bay makes a movie about a lovable handicapped kid accidentally inventing anti-gravity drives.  (And no, we're not talking about 1985's "Explorers").

Continue reading "Gary McKinnon Case: Extraditing the 'Extraterrestrial' Hacker - Yes or No? " »


Google Bans the Internet

Google_bot_logo The internet was initially intended as a distributed network able to continue functioning even when partially destroyed.  It's an interesting idea that engineers once built systems with the condition "Will this still work if half my country is nuked?", and luckily one that no longer applies - because if anyone ever targets the Googleplex in Mountain View the whole thing could come crashing down.

Continue reading "Google Bans the Internet" »


Is Wikipedia an Unwitting Political Prediction Engine?

092607govpalinfish There will be those out there, I’ve met a lot of them, who believe that Wikipedia is the bane of the internet’s existence; a prime example of all that makes the internet wrong and troublesome. However I will not be swayed, because I know the type of mind that edits Wikipedia, and if a fact is wrong, neither hell nor high water will stand between that person and the correct information being presented.

However a new function of Wikipedia has been beginning to bloom of late, and that is, an unintended short-range tool to predict the future.

Continue reading "Is Wikipedia an Unwitting Political Prediction Engine?" »


The Future of the Web

Internet2_2 "We" magazine (which you've probably never heard of, and you'll discover why shortly) has been looking at the future of the Internet, and one thing seems sure: it's going to suck.  Here we look at their implications, and why you might want a blindfold for some of these future visions:

1. The Pragmatic Internet

The writer gushes about the idea of a browser that always knows exactly where you've been, what you're doing, and what you're likely to do next - which you might recognize as the wet dream of online advertisers, and by "online advertisers" we mean "the people who are doing their level best to destroy everything good about the internet." 

Continue reading "The Future of the Web" »


Twitter Hijacks Scoop on Tim Russert's Death

Russert2 The tragic news of NBC newsman Tim Russert’s death was always going to create a press bonanza. In a fantastic look behind the scenes of news broadcasting, there is an unwritten rule that news of such a death is to be broken by the respective station, and only after the family is first informed. This was NBC’s intent, after Russert collapsed in the NBC newsroom, but the internet did its best to make it all for naught.

Continue reading "Twitter Hijacks Scoop on Tim Russert's Death " »


Intellectual Technology -Pundits Ask: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"

Shutterstock_2744622_1_2 Web pundit Nick Carr asks the question, "is Google making us stupid?"

There is a continuing trend in academia to try and make yourself best known through racy and controversial articles and papers. The latest, riffing off his new book entitled The Big Switch, Nick Carr will see an article of his published in the July issue of The Atlantic. There is no doubt that the article exceptional and provocative, that much is clear, but is he in any way right?

Continue reading "Intellectual Technology -Pundits Ask: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"" »


Twittering From Mars -NASA's Tiny URL

Mars_2 Social networking has started spreading through space.  The Phoenix Lander (which I suspect you may perhaps have heard of) has its very own Twitter account, and thousands are already following its far flung messages.

Twitter is status-message network, stripping down the entire web community scene to the simple message "What are you doing now?"  And if anybody has a more interesting answer to that than the Phoenix they're either lying or on fire.  The 140 character limit enforces sharp, interesting updates (countering the endless verbiage that plagues sites like livejournal), while allowing links to other interesting content - like, for example, brand new images of the Martian surface.

Continue reading "Twittering From Mars -NASA's Tiny URL" »


Red & the Green: The Future of the Internet & How to Stop It

Future_of_the_internet_2 Jonathan Zittrain believes that gadgets such as iPhones and Xbox’s threaten the future of the internet. His  book, entitled The Future of the Internet – And How to Stop it, has stirred up fierce discussion across the internet.

In his book, Zittrain, an American and a fervent hater of anything regulatory, believes that there should be two types of computers, or more to the point, two types of operating modes: red and green. In the green zone the system is locked down, and users would be unable to run programs that weren’t previously approved.

Continue reading "Red & the Green: The Future of the Internet & How to Stop It" »


Twitter Emerges as Key Communications Channel in China Quake

Earthquakes772531_3 Towards the end of last year, when California suffered one of its worst wildfires in recent history, Twitter became a lifeline for many people. A regular stream of updates, coordinated with a simple tag so that anyone could search for them, provided people quick and vital information.

Now, in the wake of the 7.8 earthquake that hit Chengdu, a major city in China, Twitter has once again been called in to action to be more than the random mini-blogger it started out as.

 

Continue reading "Twitter Emerges as Key Communications Channel in China Quake" »