The Great Debate UK

Does the Internet empower or censor?

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What if the Internet is not really a utopian democratic catalyst of change?

The Web is often seen as a positive means of instilling democratic freedoms in countries under authoritarian rule, but many regimes are now using it to subvert democracy, Evgeny Morozov, a contributing editor at “Foreign  Policy“, proposes.

The Internet can actually inhibit rather than empower civil society, Morozov, argued in a lecture on Tuesday at London’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Social media platforms are being used by certain governments to create a “spinternet” to influence public opinion. They are also being used as part of a process of “authoritarian deliberation” to try and increase the legitimacy of authoritarian rule, he said.

Morozov spoke with Reuters after the lecture.

Managing change in the creative industries

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Nathalie Harrison- Nathalie Harrison has worked in the broadcast and media industry for over seventeen years. A specialist in business change management in the media industry, her work has included major technological and production transformation projects for clients across the globe. Nathalie is currently Senior Business Consultant in the Professional Services division of Sony Professional in Europe. The opinions expressed are her own. -

The current economic climate has led an increasing number of businesses to seek new ways to improve business efficiency and function through change. When combined with technological advances, the media industry is one sector that has experienced record levels of change and faces some unique challenges when it comes to change management.

Do you know what people are saying about you?

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conniebenson-Connie Bensen is Director of Community Strategy and Architecture at Alterian, working cross functionally to provide strategy and best practice in social media. The opinions expressed are her own.-

It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners, terrestrial TV took 13 years, the internet took four years… In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users. We are in the midst of a digital revolution that is shaping the way we communicate and these social media technologies are continuing to grow a pace in 2009. Now more than four out of five online users are active in either creating, participating in, or reading some form of social content at least once a month.

Heads in the Cloud? Forecasting the future of enterprise IT

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joe-baguley- Joe Baguley is Chief Technology Officer, Europe, for Quest Software. The opinions expressed are his own. -

‘Cloud computing’ essentially describes an approach whereby IT resources are provided as services via the internet.  Instead of purchasing physical servers, databases, middleware and applications separately, organisations will be able to order these services over the internet in ‘virtual’ form, as demand dictates.

from The Great Debate:

Forget Microsoft, Yahoo’s value is overseas

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

eric_auchard_columnist_shot_2009_june_300_px2The fate of Yahoo Inc has become intertwined in the public's imagination with the success or failure of its dealings with Microsoft Corp in recent years.

That's despite the fact that as much as 70 percent of the value investors put on Yahoo's depressed shares are tied up in its international assets or cash holdings -- factors that have nothing to do with Microsoft.

Apple – stop defacing dictionaries and reread Orwell

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- Mic Wright is Online News Editor at Stuff. The views expressed are his own -

When Amazon got rightly torn to shreds for remotely killing copies of 1984 on the Kindle, I thought it would be the most idiotic tech story of the year. But I was wrong. Apple’s just upped the ante by banning rude words from a dictionary application – stripping us of the virtual equivalent of looking up obscenities in French class.

Ninjawords Dictionary, a dictionary app from the creators of the excellent website of the same name, is available from the iTunes Store for £1.19. When you go to download it you will be faced with a warning that it “might contain material objectionable to children under 17″. Based on conversations I overhear on the train daily, I think that’s unlikely.

Google calls time on the Age of Windows

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-Tom Dunmore is Brand Director & Editor-in-Chief at Stuff magazine – Stuff has over 1 million readers worldwide. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Google announced on Wednesday that it was developing its own computer operating system. It will be secure, fast, lightweight and – most of all – free. And it presents the biggest challenge yet to the long-standing dominance of Windows.

from The Great Debate:

Bracing for black shoots in tech markets

Eric Auchard-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Pundits have been talking endlessly about the possible green shoots of recovery in the ravaged world economy.

But early shoots are not always green. They might want to consider the problem of black shoots. These false starts are familiar to lily growers, when a temporary rise in soil temperature occurs after a cold period.

from The Great Debate:

Advancing global Internet freedom

Leslie Harris -- Leslie Harris is the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology in Washington, DC. The views expressed are her own. --

In the wake of troubling reports as recently as last year that Western companies were assisting China with Internet censorship and the unmasking of cyber-dissidents, governments around the world seemed poised to regulate the conduct of Internet companies. Lawmakers appear to have stepped back from those efforts, but the challenges of advancing global Internet freedom remain.

from The Great Debate:

Silence is no defense for Euro tech executives

-- Eric Auchard is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

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A man keys in a message onto a mobile phone in a Milan bar March 3, 2006. REUTERS/Daniele LA Monaca When on trial, any attorney will tell you, the best defense is to stick with what you know and speculate about nothing.

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