The Great Debate UK
2010 is a great time for the web. Innovation is thriving as new services and content flourish on smartphones and laptops, thanks in good part to industry leaders like Apple and Facebook.
But according to Tim Berners-Lee, - often called “ the father of the web” - the open and democratic structure of the web is threatened by sinister forces trying to redesign the web in ways that make it more closed for their own personal gain. These enemies of the web don't just include totalitarian governments. They include industry leaders like Apple and Facebook.
As the web turns 20, Berners-Lee has written a 3,800-word article for Scientific American celebrating its achievements and documenting threats to its future. Most of his words are dedicated to the threats.
The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.
The motive behind the coalition government’s plan to turn the Olympic Park into a ‘Tech City’ after the games to stimulate the technology industry in the UK is admirable, but I don’t agree with the strategy. If the ultimate aim is to build world-class companies like Google of Microsoft from the UK, a top down approach is not the right way of doing it.
To encourage entrepreneurs and entrepreneurialism, you need to get entrepreneurs together. Shoreditch has already created an organic hub of very early stage companies who all cluster together because there’s an existing creative culture in the area, and there’s access to technical talent. What the government is proposing will not replicate this as it’s more of a corporate hub for established companies.
-Ken Denman is CEO of Openwave Systems. The opinions expressed are his own.-
With the launch of the iPad 3G, the industry is holding its collective breath to see the impact that the device will ultimately have on already overtaxed networks.
The iPad is expected to be a home and WiFi-centric, coffee-table device that people use for reading newspapers and browsing the occasional email. But until users get their hands on the 3G device and start to use it how they want to use it, it is all speculation. What is not speculation however, is that usage of the device is going to put more pressure on networks that are already creaking under the strain of the mobile data overload.
from UK News:
As the three main UK political parties vie for positioning ahead of a general election to be held by June, the Conservatives unveiled their "Technology Manifesto" on Thursday in London outlining the key issues they would address if they form the next government.
Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude presented ideas on everything from improving broadband speeds to making government data accessible online.
As the mobile phone industry puts more emphasis on marketing hand-held smartphones, consumers are finding ways to dodge restrictive model-compatible applications by using Web-based programs.
Unlike single-device applications, mobile touch websites run on most mobile browsers freeing users from reliance on a specific operating system.
The debate over freedom of expression and the impact of social networking on democratic rights in the courts is in focus in Canada after a Facebook group became the centre of controversy when it may have violated a publication ban.
The group, which has more than 7,000 members, was set up to commemorate the murder of a 2-year-old boy in Oshawa, Ontario.
Google’s cyber-complaint is the tip of an iceberg. Coordinated attacks on IT systems are common, yet companies and governments have kept largely silent. The growth of computer services that rely heavily on the Internet means the stakes are growing higher. That may explain why Google spoke up about recent attempts to steal its intellectual property -- and why the U.S. State Department has also taken China to task.
The scope of the recent attacks points to a complex operation. More than 30 companies were attacked simultaneously through an undiscovered software security hole. The incursions appear to have had the blessing of the Chinese government, if not its direct involvement. It is hard to imagine who else would be interested in the email accounts of political dissidents, which Google claims were targeted.
Five years ago the thought that we could be on the move accessing applications such as You Tube or Facebook, or watching TV or listening to music using our mobile phones was no more than a dream – today it’s a reality.
If we take a step back and assess the journey of the mobile phone over the past few years it has been nothing short of epic. It has progressed from a piece of technology for the modern business person to a must-have item.
-Joe White is chief operating officer at Gandi, an Internet domain name registration firm. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Despite the importance of domain names for companies and the extraordinary amount of money many have paid for them, the vast majority of businesses are unprepared for imminent changes to the Internet.
- Nic Newman is Controller Future Media and Technology in BBC Journalism, and former Journalist Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. On September 30, he will speak on the Rise of Social Media and its Impact on Mainstream Media. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The news last week that the Prime Minister’s wife, Sarah Brown, has more Twitter devotees than Stephen Fry, is a further reminder of the onward march of social media