June 29, 2014 |
Do we have a "right to be forgotten"? Nope. They do now in Europe. But will this "right" cross the Atlantic? Not likely. That doesn't mean people aren't pretzeled with indignation about it. The question is whether we have a right to get search services like Google and Yahoo to delete or suppress information - to "forget" us. On May 13, the European Court of Justice ruled yes. It's been a hot issue for years over there. In 2010, a Spanish lawyer sued to get Google to take down pages showing a 1998 auction notice on his home.
June 15, 2014 |
In four years, the Internet will start to disappear. (Actually, it is already well on its way.) Cisco's authoritative annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) - the company's forecast of who's going to buy what for their networking needs in the future - says that by 2018, about half of everyone on the Internet will connect via laptops and desktops (they still make those?), while the other half will connect via mobile devices, tablets, wearable technology, and other "Internet of things" stuff, like dog collars, thermostats, TVs, and cars.
May 29, 2014
WHEN THE Federal Communications Commission voted May 15 to move forward with a four-month public-comment period on how best to protect and promote an open Internet, there was a whole lotta chatter about the impending end of net neutrality - the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. There was considerably less discussion about what impact new rules would have on small businesses and startups. (The FCC's open Internet rules were struck down by a federal appeals court in January.)
May 27, 2014 |
When Leonard Tau's father opened his dental practice in New York in 1971, attracting business required very little effort. "My dad put a shingle up, and the patients just came," Tau said. By the time Tau started his practice in Northeast Philadelphia in 2007, the Internet had made life anything but smile-worthy for dentists. What are now more than 100 websites that collect and republish consumer reviews (Yelp, Angie's List, etc.) can turn a patient's miserable experience with a root canal into a reputation nightmare for a dentist.
May 21, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY - If more states legalize Internet gambling, they should work toward common ground in regulations, New Jersey's top gambling regulator said Monday at a conference here. If states copy the hodgepodge of models used for the land-based casinos and apply them to Internet casinos, "the industry won't be able to keep up," David L. Rebuck, director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, said during a panel discussion at the East Coast Gaming Congress. "Shame on us if we don't have those discussions.
May 19, 2014 |
The Internet's biggest stories last week - news about the 'Net, that is, not Turkish mine disasters, California wildfires, or the latest lunacy from NBA owner Donald Sterling - unfolded on two continents, thousands of miles apart. But both offered a valuable reminder of something easily forgotten: We're still in the early days of a world-changing technology, and still struggling - often against some mighty interests - to get it right. In Luxembourg, Europe's highest court came down hard on Google over people's rights to have their past misdeeds fade away as they used to, rather than be dredged up forever on search engines at the click of a button.
May 18, 2014 |
Like so much in the communications age, the long-foretold Internet of Things has sneaked up on us. The term Internet of Things (coined by MIT's Kevin Ashton in 1999) denotes a world in which appliances, physical objects, clothing, sensors, and data systems are all wirelessly networked, allowing you to monitor and control them from afar, on the go - and, alas, for them to monitor you. Many people now monitor their houses (temperature, surveillance cameras, crock pot making dinner, fridge, budgie-cage warmer)
May 17, 2014 |
The Federal Communications Commission will take another whack at enacting "open Internet" rules by formally banning Internet providers such as Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. from blocking or slowing Internet traffic. But the issue is fraught - even at this early stage discussed Thursday - with partisan politics and activism. The two Republican commissioners on the FCC opposed new rules as counterproductive and potentially damaging to future investment in the Internet, with one calling the proposal a "regulatory boondoggle.
May 16, 2014 |
Financial innovation was a buzz phrase not so long ago as faith in deregulation helped clear the way for too much risk-taking by large financial companies. The downside of deregulation became clear mostly in hindsight, when we realized how it had fueled a housing bubble and helped crash the economy. Could we also be risking harm from putting too much faith in a deregulated telecommunications sector - in particular, from Washington's failure to set clear standards to keep the Internet from being dominated by a handful of powerful cable and phone companies?