Tag Archives: Internet

The Usefulness of Facebook in Evolution or is it just Useful?

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

I am a user of Facebook, but not a real fan. By stating this some may feel it’s pointless to read on. Well let me confess, I have tried to understand our global fascination with Facebook. Why is it so popular? What makes it different than any other platform? Is it just another passing fad or the next MySpace? No, what Facebook represents is the nature of the Internet and technology. We all remember AOL. Did you get one of those CD’s in the mail? Do you know what mail is? Or what a pen is? Do you remember Compuserve? How about the Apple Newton? Sega? Atari? Napster? Netscape? Novell? Palm? A library? Alright, libraries are not dead yet, thankfully. I could go on, but can you see a pattern? All were powerful and amazing, during there time. They pushed limits and moved us forward into a new space. But alas, all good things must come to an end, right?

The virtual space, we call the Internet, is the new world. It’s fluid, dynamic and ever changing; never standing still to allow us to even truly understand what it is. Technology is constantly moving forward, dragging us along with it. We have to evolve. Every 6-8 months there is a new device or new idea for us to master. As we evolve some technologies get left behind. But what about Facebook? Where does it fit in? How is it useful?

I am mesmerised at the things people make public. How we broadcast our addictions and lower our language. Some swear and others do some remarkably strange things. It’s fascinating to see the things we dare not do in public are available online. What is Facebook? It’s that other world, within the world of the Internet. The one that allows us to broadcast who we are, until its dead and gone. We tell all, we connect with others. The odd people are now the ones who are not on Facebook. So is it useful? Of course it is. The question is useful to who? Useful to our species? Is Facebook just a part of the whole? I can’t wait for Google Glasses to take off. I am looking forward to the day when our evolutionary path makes us Betazoids. A marketers dream! But I digress. We we’re talking about Facebook, right?

By: @iammannyj

Is Google GDrive any better than Microsoft SkyDrive?

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator)

Google 的貼牌冰箱(Google refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

So what really makes Google GDrive better than Microsoft SkyDrive? Probably not a whole lot; in terms of drive space. However what Google is achieving is synergy between all of its offerings. With the introduction of Google GDrive you can, in a sense, really live online. Of course there is the issue of privacy and trust, but it seems that people really don’t care. GDrive is available on all devices, with the nagging exception of the Blackberry; which I am blogging from at the moment. With GDrive live will ChromeOS take hold? What does this mean for Apple? Will Dropbox or Box.net get bought out? How about Facebook? The next few months will be interesting indeed!

CRTC initiates proceedings into its regulation of the Internet

Internet Regulation by the CRTC

Internet Regulation by the CRTC

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) this week said it has launched a proceeding in hopes of gaining a better understanding of broadcasting on the internet. CRTC is trying to establish a role for itself in the regulation of what Canadians can and should be able to see on the Internet. In other words, Censorship…

The result of these hearings could result in in the overturning of a 1999 decision that exempted from regulation broadcasters that distribute their video content over the Internet. The hearings will also examine a 2007 decision that took a hands off approach to broadcasters and wireless companies who were sending video through cellphones and other mobile devices.

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Open source in a time of recession

No one questions the fact of recession any more, although we have yet to confirm a single quarter without growth, let alone two. Tech hates recessions, even though tech booms start at the bottom of them. The PC boom emerged from the bottom of a recession in the early 80s, and the Internet boom from another in the early 90s.

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Bell Canada’s packet inspection violates privacy law, group

And you didn’t like Comcast’s TCP resets. Something far more egregious is going on in Canada, where Bell Canada has been engaged in deep-packet inspection of traffic. Bell is using DPI to find and limit the use of peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent, which it says are congesting its network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.

The University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, says Bell has engaged in the practice without customer consent, has failed to show that it even suffers from network congestion, and has violated Canada’s privacy law – the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) in doing so.

In a complaint to Canada’s privacy commissioner, CIPPIC said it was concerned other large Canadian ISPs were doing the same. In a statement (PDF), the group said:

Bell claims it is respecting the privacy of ISP subscribers, but has refused to describe just what its deep packet inspection of subscribers’ activities really uncovers. “Millions of Canadians use the Internet every day,” said Philippa Lawson, Executive Director of the Clinic. “How can they know if their privacy is being respected, if Bell won’t disclose what it is actually doing?”

There is evidence that other large ISPs such as Rogers, Shaw, and Cogeco may be engaging in similar practices, said Lawson. “Our complaint focuses on Bell, but we are asking the Commissioner to investigate all ISPs who engage in traffic-shaping practices.”

“Canada has privacy legislation that Bell and other ISPs must follow,” Ms. Lawson pointed out. “We’re asking the Privacy Commissioner to investigate just what Bell’s use of deep packet inspection involves. Canadians have a right to know who is looking over their shoulders, and why.”

Bell’s retort: “Bell respects the privacy of our customers. We are in compliance with our privacy obligations.”
Bell admitted the practice in March 2008.

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The Windows killer — The coming Google OS?

“And with most of the OS focus this week being allocated to Mac OS X Leopard, it would be nice to take our attention away from that for a moment, and take a look at what the hypothetical Google OS would look like after the company declares war on Microsoft. This OS would take Windows for a ride!

First off, everyone knows that Google has an endless flow of cash at its disposal that effectively allows it to wipe out any and all competitors at the drop of a hat. And because of this huge sum of capital, it can afford to do things that Apple and Microsoft don’t want to do — offer an operating system for free.

That’s right, the Google OS will retail for a low, low price of nothing. And how will it support itself you ask? Through advertising, of course!

Google is the de facto leader in everything advertising. Even better, this company has always been known as the free, “nice” company that won’t do the “evil” things we have come to expect from huge tech companies. And it makes sense: why would Google want to sell its own OS? It would be entering a market with zero market share and would need to find a way to break in. Free would be a great place to start.

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Watching TV on the laptop–and on the cheap

I know this may sound crazy, but I don’t have a television. This isn’t a problem, except when I get glimpses of what I might be missing, like when the New York Mets choked and it was all anybody could talk about in the office that day. I went on a search for some of my old–and new–favorite TV shows on the Internet.

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Are thin clients the solution to all your security woes?

The cure-all solution in the security industry is one of the most ubiquitous forms of snake oil and there simply is no such thing.

Are thin clients the solution?

There certainly is some merit in the security implications of thin clients; but there’s also a lot of merit in handing people electric type writers or VT100 terminal emulators from a security and maintenance point of view. Now I am saying that a modern Sun Ray or thin client device to a type writer or text based computer terminal, just that people do associate thin clients in general with fewer features and a “demotion”. I’ve met a lot of people who think that thin clients are just wonderful until you want to take away their computer and give them a thin client. Thin clients are generally associated with data entry tasks and not office productivity. It’s not that you can’t do those tasks with modern thin clients, it’s just that it doesn’t work the way people have grown accustom to and the flexibility afforded to them by the modern personal computer. Until businesses clamor for the days of the main frame and thin clients, it won’t happen any time soon.

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