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Is the Web a “Communications Medium”?

I've been having a short Twitter exchange with Paul Downey (@psd), someone who I hold in high intellectual and personal regard. I've made an assertion that has Paul snorting his coffee back up through his nose and into his keyboard: that the Web is not a communications medium. Justifying this claim can't be done in 140 characters. Now, there is a sleight of hand I'm pulling off here. You can build communications media on the Web, but my claim is that the Web itself is not one, and that has subtle but significant consequences. more

How the End of IPv4 Affects Email and Hosting

Anyone who has been watching the technology industry for more than a couple of years quickly learns to recognize FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. FUD is (apparently) widely believed to be an effective marketing technique, especially when it comes to security, privacy, or scarcity. But the FUD often falls flat. Scarcity, in particular, is rare on the internet -- even rarer than privacy or security. There's constant FUD about scarcity of bandwidth, but the pipes get upgraded. Attempts to impose artificial scarcity through paywalls or other devices inevitably fail in the face of free alternatives. Even the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, which have indeed run out at the top, hasn't affected end users at the bottom yet -- and probably won't, for a long time. more

Domain Dialing

The emergence of generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) allowed the internet browsing to become much easier and intuitive. After all, from the user's perspective, it is so much easier to remember a domain instead of an IP address... The IP addresses replacement by domain names helps the Internet to become this global phenomenon that we know. Unfortunately, this revolution that had occurred in the domain market was not followed by other markets. more

China Won’t Repeat Protectionist Past in Digital Realm

Google may have unnecessarily provoked a fight with China, but the Middle Kingdom better keep its wits, lest it repeat a sad protectionist history. Early last millennium China was the world's richest civilization and technology leader. It famously invented gunpowder, iron casting, paper, porcelain, printing, and gigantic nine-masted sailing vessels. Between 1405 and 1433, the great Muslim Chinese explorer Zheng He led seven expeditions in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, reaching the coast of East Africa. China's naval fleet grew to 3,500 ships... more

Google Beats Facebook in Popularity Because it Supports More Languages (For Now)

John Yunker co-founder of Byte Level Research and author of The Web Globalization Report Card writes: "The big story this year is that Facebook and Google finished in a numerical tie. But because Google supports more languages (for now), it edged out as the winner. ... Even as we look across all 225 web sites, the number of languages continues to increase. Although the rate of language growth slowed over the past two years -- due in large part to the global recession -- growth continues. This year, the average number of languages increased to 22, up from 20 languages in 2008." more

Google Sued for Trademark Infringement Based on Third-Level Subdomain

It's no surprise that Google has been sued again for trademark infringement, but the basis of this lawsuit is surprising. Rather than another lawsuit over the sale of trademarked keywords to deliver ads (along the lines of the GEICO, American Blinds, Rescuecom and JTH Tax cases, or the dozens of international lawsuits), this lawsuit is based on a Blogspot blog URL. Because of its comparative novelty, this lawsuit raises some complex and unsettled legal issues. more

Digital Culture Wars: Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and China’s Social Credit System

We are on the cusp of a grave risk where unscrupulous groups with various agendas are using digital technologies to wage cultural war to stamp out dissent and gain control and power. The two most prominent recent examples are Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) and China's Social Credit System (SCS). The following piece was prompted by work on the UDHR and Internet Governance series, for CircleID to deal with UDHR Article 27 and the role of culture, arts, and science in the life of the community.  more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 6: Articles 18-19

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs guiding principles from which policy making, and acceptable behavior, are derived. Identifying the fundamental principles to guide Internet ecosystem policy making around digital citizenship, and around the integrity of digital practices and behavior, can and should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). more

Implementing Natural Language Processing in Your SMB Organization: Now or Never!

If you have already adopted AI in your small or mid-size organization, congratulations. If not, the urgency of adopting should be a top priority. You will become a laggard and most likely obsolete given the supercycle of innovation we are currently in. Implementing AI is quite different from other organization-wide strategies because it involves highly specific characteristics and expert resource pools that SMBs might not be able to access. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

The Internet is Dead - Long Live the Internet

Back in the early 2000s, several notable Internet researchers were predicting the death of the Internet. Based on the narrative, the Internet infrastructure had not been designed for the scale that was being projected at the time, supposedly leading to fatal security and scalability issues. Yet somehow the Internet industry has always found a way to dodge the bullet at the very last minute. more

Cuba Getting Faster YouTube Access in Next 24 Hours, Thanks to Deal Signed in December

In the December of last, Cuba singed a deal with Google to enable faster access to content served via its popular platforms such Gmail and YouTube. more

Brand Top-Level Domain and Brand Value

Brands are an asset and have a value for organizations, as they generate revenue: Customers are happy to pay a premium for a brand they love. They will show a preference and be loyal to a brand they trust. There are various ways to estimate the value of a brand. An excellent point of reference is Interbrand, which for many years has followed the top 100 brands and publishes their value based on a combination of three factors. more

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more

Early Data Suggests New gTLDs Perform Well in Search Environment

Internet addresses registered in new gTLDs are holding their own against -- and in some cases outperforming -- comparable addresses registered in legacy domains like .COM, according to new data that provides the best window yet into the operational functionality of new gTLD addresses. A question on everyone's mind in the run up to new gTLDs was: how would new domains perform in the wild against legacy domains on the key criteria of search? more