Saturday, July 24, 2010

Interview with ITC Security

Carson Scott and I recently interviewed Tom Millar from ITC Security on Tech Report. They've uploaded it on their site, click the image below to watch:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Era of the E-Celebrity

The most interesting aspect in the whole Jessi Slaughter/4chan/Stickydrama saga is Stickydrama itself. It's further proof of the trend towards user-generated content, encroaching on yet another Old Media phenomenon.

Stickydrama is a gossip site about internet celebrities. It's about people who don't have agents and aren't "famous" in the traditional media sense. But they're objects of fascination and notoriety to thousands, even millions, of internet users.

From the Star Wars Kid to Justin Bieber, internet celebrities can and do make the mainstream media, and plenty of them stay there. A day after eleven-year-old Jessica Leonhardt became the victim of cyber-bullying for her expletive-strewn online video rants, the only Google News hits for her were blog-style sites such as Gawker. A couple of days later, and her web name "Jessi Slaughter" generates hundreds of news hits from Fox to the New Delhi Chronicle.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Conquering the Great Firewall of China

No visit to Shanghai would be complete without conquering the Great Firewall of China. It's arguably more challenging - and more satisfying - than ascending the Eiffel Tower, climbing Uluru or scaling Everest.

China's censorship regime comes in for plenty of well-deserved criticism, but the motivation behind the censorship is not always properly understood. While there is some moralistic blocking of adult content, the main aim of the censorship is to avoid social instability. It is less about covering up corruption (though of course it does cover it up) than preventing widespread outrage and public riots that would be very difficult to handle in a country of 1.5 billion people.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Filter Backdown

It's hard to believe that it took a democratic government nearly three years to come up with basic transparency and accountability measures for such a major policy as the internet filter. The fact it took this long, and the lack of commitment to such measures from the get-go, are an outrage.

Sadly, those of us who have witnessed the propaganda, misinformation and outright lies by the Communications minister on this policy, won't be surprised.

Read more here

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Digital Split

There's a growing schism in the world of digital content.

On one side: those that advocate a free, ad-supported business model.

On the other: those pushing paid content.

The paywalls are already flying up in force, but it's going to be some time before the results and the analysis are thrashed out. And both ideologies face significant hurdles.

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