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Posts tagged Internet

ITU shows full extent of global population still offline
November 28, 2014 | 4:25 pm

A timely report. the annual Measuring the Information Society Report, from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency responsible for information and comms technologies, comes as a fresh reminder of how far the information economy still has to spread. According to the ITU, although "Internet use continues to grow steadily, at 6.6% globally in 2014 (3.3% in developed countries, 8.7% in the developing world)," the global digital divide remains immense. "Of the 4.3 billion people not yet using the Internet, 90% live in developing countries. In the world’s 42 Least Connected Countries (LCCs), which are home to 2.5 billion...

Amazon gets .book
November 14, 2014 | 10:25 am

all_your_base_by_ultimathegod-d30fu0fHere's a piece of news that will probably gladden the hearts of those who accuse Amazon of being a monopolist: Amazon has just bagged the .book  generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) from the DNS overseer Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) against competitors like Google and Bowker, following a closed auction, according to a report in The Register, as well as the gTLD .pay, but missing out on .cloud. Domain name purveyor Name.com states that: "It may come as a surprise to learn that .BOOK is one of the most contested of the new TLDs. Companies like Google and...

FCC reallocates, reduces funding for schools and libraries internet access
July 16, 2014 | 10:24 am

fcc_thumb.gifThe U.S. Federal Communications Commission has just passed a new proposal for reallocation of resources in its program for support for internet and telecoms access for schools and libraries. However, the proposal has attracted strong and partisan criticism from both Republican and Democrat quarters, as well as independent institutions, and saw its target funding cut from $5 billion to $2 billion for the period 2016 to 2018. According to the FCC's own introduction, "the schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as the E-rate program, helps schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications services, broadband Internet access and internal...

Virtual Unreality looks virtually imbecilic from the cover on in
July 4, 2014 | 2:29 pm

Virtual UnrealityThis is a book non-review, because it's in large part a review of a book cover. And I apologize unreservedly to any genuine worth in the contents that I may have traduced - but I won't hold my breath. Because wouldn't life be wonderful if every book cover in the world, physical or digital, told you unerringly that its contents were crap?  Plus, if you're going to try to stoke a moral panic, you'd better make sure you get it right from the off, or you're likely to wind up looking virtually ridiculous. I is a writer. I tries to be...

I tried to read through Tim Parks’s article on attention deficit and literature, but …
June 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

yawning-puppy-275... my attention wandered when I realized how sententious, hidebound, and just plain unconvincing his argument was. So I went on Facebook instead. And one I'd heard before. Parks's "Reading: The Struggle" in his regular New York Review of Books blog complains of "the state of constant distraction we live in and how that affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction" in tones very familiar from here, here, here, here, and here. (Wow, some of them are over five years old - amazing people had the attention spans to keep coming back to this tired...

If the Internet isn’t responsible for the decline in newspapers…what is?
June 12, 2014 | 3:27 am

Here’s an article from Science Daily that posits that all the claims that the Internet (or, more specifically, Internet advertising) is responsible for newspapers’ downfall are false…but then it doesn’t propose any alternative reasons to replace it. The article cites a research paper by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Matthew Gentzkow, published in the American Economic Review. Gentzkow looks at the differences in rates and views between on-line and newspaper ads. The perception that the Internet is responsible for newspapers’ downfall, Gentzkow posits, is based on the idea that on-line ad revenues are lower than print...

No one is writing good fiction. Except Jonathan Franzen.
May 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

jonathan franzenI'm sure you didn't need telling that. Its so blindingly obvious. But just in case you were in any doubt, here is AdviceToWriters, collecting the "Writerly Wisdom of the Ages" courtesy of Jon Winokur, laying down "Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules for Writers." What greater endorsement could there be? And break them at your peril. Your Time Magazine Great American Novelist cover could be at risk. And how do we know that no one else besides Franzen is doing it right? Well, Rule 8 of course: "It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction." And...

Steady prospects ahead for digital media M&A
April 29, 2014 | 4:15 pm

With speculation afoot about an increasing pace of publishing industry consolidation driven by digital disruption, as well as solid examples like the recent  John Wiley & Sons acquisition of CrossKnowledge, there are plenty of signs pointing to a rising tempo of publishing and digital media M&A. So it's interesting to read a more substantial analysis of the near-term prospects, which could perhaps slightly cool the ardor of eager deal seekers. According to industry research center IBISWorld, "the Internet Publishing and Broadcasting industry has attracted a myriad of new entrants due to exponential growth in internet traffic volume and the increasing number...

Tinder Foundation report details minute costs, massive benefits of bridging Britain’s digital divide
March 20, 2014 | 10:32 am

tinder foundationThe UK's Tinder Foundation, "a not-for-profit social enterprise that makes good things happen with digital technology, established in December 2011," recently released a report, "A Leading Digital Nation by 2020: Calculating the cost of delivering online skills for all," that looked at "the investment needed to get everyone in the UK using the internet regularly with Basic Online Skills." And it turns out that the outlay required to upskill the UK's "11 million people still left without the basics needed to use the web in the 21st century" is comparatively minimal: £875 million ($1.45 billion) to be exact. And, as the...

The smarm debate continued: It’s not about the Internet … or is it?
December 20, 2013 | 10:28 am

The literary feud about snark versus smarm kicked off at the end of this year seems set to splutter on well into 2014. Maureen Dowd, in the New York Times Sunday Review, picked it up in a piece entitled "Bigger Than Bambi," referring to the now-notorious Bambi Rule: "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all." And, she concluded, "such prettifying is consistent with a culture dominated by an Internet concerned mainly with marketing techniques." Although I applaud Dowd's decision to stand by snark against the saccharin surge of smarm, I have to differ on that point -...

The hazards of being skeptical: Clifford Stoll on the Internet in 1995
December 19, 2013 | 5:14 am

crystal-ball-219x300Here’s an amusing little article I just discovered tonight thanks to a friend passing on the link. It involves Clifford Stoll, author of the 1989 book The Cuckoo’s Egg about catching a hacker years before most people even knew what the Internet was, pontificating on this new-fangled Internet thing for Newsweek back in 1995. (His book, Silicon Snake Oil, expanded on these themes.) Drawing on his twenty years of on-line experience, Stoll declared that most predictions for the future of the Internet were overblown, and went on about it in great detail. Consider today's online world....

Jim Duncan, Colorado Library Consortium executive director, speaks out in series on public libraries and the Digital Public Library of America
October 29, 2013 | 4:14 pm

Jim Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Library ConsortiumWhat kind of national digital library system---or systems, plural---should the U.S. create? Read Parts One and Two of a new series where Jim Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Library Consortium delves into the major issues. Is the Harvard-incubated Digital Public Library of America the solution with its “one big tent” approach for public and academic libraries? With museums even included? Or do we need intertwined but separate public and academic systems, so literacy issues, K-12 needs, related digital divide matters, and other national concerns do not fall through the cracks? Could a national digital library endowment, started mostly with philanthropic donations...