On Saturday, March 10, Jasmin Melvin published the story “Web Giants Face Battle Over ‘Do Not Track’, Other Consumer Privacy Legislation.” The U.S. government, and governments around the world, have their eyes set on Google, Apple, and Facebook and their current and future policies in regards to internet privacy laws. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was the legislature’s first major attempt at regulating the Internet, and web giants like Google and Wikipedia responded with a day of blackouts, generating “3.9 million tweets, 2,000 people a second trying to call their elected representatives, and more than 5,000 people a minute signing petitions opposing the legislation.” SOPA may have failed, but you can be sure it won’t be the last attempt at regulation. This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to issue new recommendations for Internet privacy and data management policy.
You might think, “What’s the big deal, sure I want my privacy protected from Google, Facebook and the like, this is the United States of America.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. I agree, Google and Facebook can’t afford to get this one wrong: they would risk losing massive numbers of users who opt out, or choose new options that don’t track data or new features such as a “do not track” button. But decisions like this have massive consequences that go beyond personal privacy and data management. Read More »
Tags: ad revenue, ads, Altimeter Group, data, facebook, FCC, Google, internet, internet privacy laws, jeremiah owyang, privacy, social media, sopa, stop online piracy act
2012 is the bicentennial of the War of 1812. You may remember just two things about this period from your high school history class. First, in an act of ignominy for the Americans, the British burned down the capital. Second, the war ended with the resounding defeat of the British by the heroic General Andrew Jackson in January 1815, in what was the war’s only set-piece battle between the opposing sides. Jackson eventually rode this victory into the Presidency.
There is only one problem with this battle. It took place after the war was over. The previous month, in Europe, the two sides had agreed to peace. But in those days, communications was so slow that word of the peace didn’t reach New Orleans until February 1815.
Fast forward, approximately forty-eight years later, to the Civil War. In the period between these two wars, in 1831, Morse thought up the idea for the electronic telegraph. The Union Army had mastered its quick deployment, so that in 1863 while sitting in Washington, President Lincoln could read almost real time reports from the battlefields many miles away.
This was a dramatic increase in the speed of communications. Not all that many decades later, telegraph lines and cables would unite the world. Yet this did not fundamentally change the way people worked or lived or governed themselves.
So consider 2011, when the US Navy Seals got Osama Bin Laden. There was a tweet about helicopters within several minutes, but the author didn’t know why the helicopters were nearby. The first tweet with some confirmation came about forty-five minutes before President Obama made his announcement.
Now think back about forty-eight years before to November 22, 1963 and the assassination of President John Kennedy. The news was out quickly all over television and radio and newspapers. Walter Cronkite famously told the viewers of CBS News that the President had died thirty-eight minutes before.
Unlike the 19th century examples, there was no dramatic speed up in the reporting of these two more recent events separated by roughly forty-eight years. While we may have more sources of information in more places now than in 1963, word doesn’t get out all that much faster. You could argue that the Telegraph had a greater impact on communications than the Internet.
Yet many of us have the feeling that our world has been changed by this communications. Why is that?
I think it has to do with the changing nature of the work we do. In the mid-19th century, more than three quarters of Americans made things or grew food. In 2011, less than a quarter do so and the rest of us provide services — and increasingly intangible services, including ideas, knowledge, entertainment and the like which is delivered digitally. Because better digital communications directly speeds up the delivery of these services, we see the impact more. It’s the increasing availability of high quality communications, in conjunction with these significant socio-economic trends, which will continue to change our lives.
Please share with us how you’ve seen the confluence of these two trends? Reply here and visit the Cisco Public Sector Customer Connection Community.
[picture credit for Battle of New Orleans http://www.frenchcreoles.com/battnozz.jpg]
Tags: broadband, gov20, government, history, internet, network, neweconomy, technology
By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist
Telecommunications infrastructure is so pervasive that we sometimes don’t even see it — one of those blind spots that fade from consciousness due to overexposure. Cables run from pole-to-pole; cell towers spring up; utility boxes on sidewalks, sometimes painted to match the wooden fence behind them — hidden within plain sight.
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Tags: fiber, infrastructure, internet, Service Provider, sewer, superfast broadband
When engineers set out to build the largest machine in the world, did they design the network’s capacity based on traditional product specifications, or was it driven by their mothers’ guilt? In episode 3 of “The Network Effect” Steve Shepard shares some insight.
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Tags: connected healthcare, internet, Mother's Day, The Network Effect, victorian internet
Recently, there have appeared some analyses that point to a shift from traditional human production to machine production.
In a McKinsey Quarterly article (https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Strategy/Growth/The_second_economy_2853
), W. Brian Arthur, a visiting researcher at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, focused on the “second economy”. The subtitle of his article sums up the message:
“Digitization is creating a second economy that’s vast, automatic, and invisible—thereby bringing the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution.” He continues, “we can say that another economy—a second economy—of all of these digitized business processes conversing, executing, and triggering further actions is silently forming alongside the physical economy… human beings may design it but are not directly involved in running it. It is remotely executing and global, always on, and endlessly configurable.” Read More »
Tags: Cities, economy, government, internet, jobs, localgov, neweconomy