Articles by date
05 August 2018
The more awesome our technological progress, the more our politicians take refuge in the familiar ideological categories of the 19th century. Last week, Apple became the world’s first trillion-dollar corporation. It, like Amazon and Google hard on its heels, offers products and services that have transformed our lives. These companies’ financial and market powers are staggering. They are the new technopolists. But how are the great things they do to be curated and enhanced and how are the menaces to be contained?
ITU launches ‘Network 2030’ initiative to support emerging technologies and innovation looking beyond 5G advances (International Telecommunication Union)
The International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technology (ICT), has launched a new research initiative to identify emerging and future ICT sector network demands, beyond 2030 and the advances expected of IMT-2020 (5G) systems. This work will be carried out by the newly established ITU Focus Group on Technologies for Network 2030, which is open to all interested parties.
04 August 2018
Abstract: Critical theorists from Scott Lash to Trebor Scholz, software studies adherents such as Alex Galloway, sociologists including Manuel Castells, and science and technology studies (STS) theorist Judy Wajcman — among others — have pointed out that the mobility, speed, responsiveness, and increasingly real-time characteristics of computer and application interfaces have a great deal to do with the social, economic, and political structure of contemporary society.
03 August 2018
Romanian domain name registrations in the .eu TLD surged 28.2% in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest EURid Quarterly Update. And while there were 171,843 new registrations for the second quarter, total registrations dropped from 3,824,289 at the end of the first quarter to 3,790,450 at the end of the second, which EURid attributes some to their abusive domain name suspension efforts and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and .eu.
Registrations for Ireland’s ccTLD, .ie, surged 39% for the year to the end of June, taking total registrations to 252,222 in a record-breaking first 6 months of 2018. As of 3 August there were 253,782 registrations. The surge came on the back of a liberalising of eligibility rules that came into effect on 21 March.
A draft of a sweeping data privacy bill has been submitted to India’s government that, if enacted, will restrict the transfer and storage of information on more than 1 billion people by global technology corporations from Facebook Inc. to Google.
... Apple’s new 13-figure valuation highlights how a group of enormous companies has come to dominate the United States economy. Today, a smaller cluster of American companies commands a larger share of total corporate profits than since at least the 1970s.
02 August 2018
The average Briton now checks a mobile phone every 12 minutes and is online for 24 hours a week, finds an Ofcom study revealing the extent to which people now rely on the internet.
The moment when Facebook's removal of alleged Russian disinformation became a free-speech issue (Washington Post)
Left-leaning political activists accused Facebook of suppressing free speech when the social media giant removed an event listing this week that it said was part of a new disinformation campaign with ties to Russia.
As the world moves online, those who can't afford internet access are being increasingly disadvantaged, experts say.
01 August 2018
Hundreds of people from outside Australia have joined as members of auDA in recent weeks who have no demonstrated link to the future wellbeing of the .au policy and regulatory body. Apart that is from ensuring their employer will be able to direct them to vote as they see fit when required.
The safety of our online lives has become increasingly important. Whether it be interference in elections, attacks by hostile forces, or online fraud, the security of the web feels fragile. Cybersecurity has reached a crossroads and we need to decide where it goes next. The outcome will touch each of us – will we pay more and yet still be less safe? Will we face higher insurance premiums and bank charges to cover the rising number of cyber-incidents? We stand in the middle of a storm – not just a geopolitical one, but a cyberpolitical one. It feels as if no one trusts anyone any more, and suspicion and confusion reign across our delicate cyberworld. Which way do we turn?
Facebook says it has removed 32 accounts and pages believed to have been set up to influence the mid-term US elections in November.
29 July 2018
Who – or what – is Mark Zuckerberg? Obviously he’s the founder and CEO of Facebook, which is, in theory, a public company but is in fact his fiefdom, as a casual inspection of the company’s SEC filings confirms. They show that his ownership of the controlling shares means that he can do anything he likes, including selling the company against the wishes of all the other shareholders combined.
28 July 2018
Time to break up Google and Facebook, says New York attorney general (Washington Post)
New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout promised Wednesday to “explore breaking up” Facebook and Google if she is elected, using state and federal antitrust laws.
When President Trump accused Twitter of “shadow banning” Republicans in a tweet on Thursday morning, it was the latest salvo in a long-running debate over whether social media platforms suppress conservative users because of their political views.
Facebook's Plunge Shatters Faith in Tech Companies' Invulnerability (New York Times)
It had become an article of investor faith on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley: Quarter after quarter, year after year, the world’s biggest technology companies would keep raking in new users and ever-higher revenue. And with that, their share prices would continue to march upward, sloughing off any stumbles.
26 July 2018
From its earliest days, Silicon Valley has been animated by near-absolutist understanding of free speech. Other than exceptions for fraud, pornography or specific threats, the prevailing view among many tech platforms has been to allow pretty much anyone to post pretty much anything. These sensibilities are even enshrined in American law, which gives companies broad immunity from prosecution for what their users post.
Germany is considering laws that would let it respond actively to foreign cyber-attacks, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as he presented a domestic intelligence agency report showing Iran was the latest power to ramp up hack attacks on German systems.
Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges (ABC News)
If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time.
24 July 2018
If you live in an OECD country, it seems that your reliance on the internet never ceases to grow. Whether it's at home, at work, or on-the-go, you’ll be using the internet in all aspects of your day-to-day life.
European finance leaders called for progress on global rules to tax the digital economy at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Argentina on Sunday, putting them at odds with U.S. counterparts.
23 July 2018
ICANN is still fighting its corner living in hope that courts in Europe will accept its ill thought out response to the collection of personal information they require of gTLD domain name registrants following the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
22 July 2018
Mobile phones and cancer - the full picture (The Observer)
Last week the Observer published an article by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie on a disturbing topic – the idea that telecoms giants might collude to suppress evidence that wireless technology causes cancer. The feature was well written, ostensibly well researched, and deeply concerning. Its powerful narrative tapped into rich themes; our deep-seated fears about cancer, corporate greed, and technology’s potentially noxious influence on our health. It spread rapidly across social media – facilitated by the very object on which it cast doubt.
European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager coolly hit Google with a €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine last week, the biggest penalty in the history of antitrust enforcement.