Miscellaneous

07 July 2014

Why 2014 could be the year we lose the Internet Salon

Net neutrality is dying, Uber is waging a war on regulations, and Amazon grows stronger by the day

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04 July 2014

Researchers asked 1,400 experts to describe the biggest threats to the Web. Here's what they said. Washington Post

What are the biggest threats to the Internet in the next 20 years? According to experts canvassed by Pew, the biggest threats aren't a rise in hacking attacks or new waves of Internet crime. They're government and big online corporations.

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27 June 2014

Amazon accused of 'bullying' smaller UK publishers BBC News

Amazon is facing a battle with UK publishers as it seeks to secure more advantageous terms in its latest round of contract negotiations.

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Google's Brand Is Not What It Once Was The Atlantic

Maybe it is the Snowden revelations. Maybe it is Google Glass. Maybe it is the creeping realization that Google is a megacorporation, and not just some quirky guys who help you find webpages.

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Google's Grand Plans: A Conversation With Larry Page and Sundar Pichai New York Times

Shortly after Google's keynote presentation at the company's developer conference on Wednesday, I was ushered into a green room backstage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

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F.C.C. Issues Snapshot of U.S. Internet Service New York Times

The number of homes in the United States that subscribe to Internet service has grown at a 15 percent annual rate over the last decade, to 85 million. But as much as 30 percent of households do not have a connection faster than dial-up speed, according to government figures released this week.

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26 June 2014

Watching Google's Many Arms New York Times

One way to think of Google is as an extremely helpful, all-knowing, hyper-intelligent executive assistant. Already, it can remind you about your flight, open up your boarding pass when you get to the airport and offer you driving directions to your hotel when you land.

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Google, Microsoft and Others Delve Deeper Into Cloud Storage for Businesses New York Times

File cabinets -- the digital kind -- may be the technology industry's next big battleground.

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Submarine cable company SubPartners urges Tasmania to get connected [includes maps of underwater internet cables connecting Australia and world] ABC News

The company building part of a huge underwater digital cable network that will come within 170 kilometres of Tasmania has warned the State Government costs will go up the longer it delays investing in the project.

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24 June 2014

How Australia connected to the internet 25 years ago The Conversation

It is a quarter-century since Australia first connected to the internet, but this technological breakthrough had a long gestation. What is now a global phenomenon was once the property of an exclusive community.

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22 June 2014

Google considering investment in new subsea cable Reuters

Google Inc is considering an investment in a new cable across the Pacific Ocean, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

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How far can Amazon go? It has upended industries and changed the way the world shops. But it should beware of abusing its power The Economist

When Jeff Bezos left his job in finance and moved to Seattle 20 years ago to start a new firm, he rented a house with a garage, as that was where the likes of Apple and HP had been born. Although he started selling books, he called the firm Amazon because a giant river reflected the scale of his ambitions. This week the world's leading e-commerce company unveiled its first smartphone, which Amazon treats less as a communication device than an ingenious shopping platform and a way of gathering data about people in order to make even more accurate product recommendations.

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17 June 2014

Microsoft Unveils Machine Learning for the Masses New York Times

Microsoft has a new strategy to win cloud business: A supposedly comprehensive predictive analysis service -- and all you have to do is store your data in Azure, the Microsoft cloud.

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11 June 2014

Small business is missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution by Jim Minifie, Productivity Growth Program Director at Grattan Institute The Conversation

Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

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08 June 2014

A new piece of technology makes it possible to use a browser for video calls The Economist

It has been possible for a while to use a web browser on a computer or mobile device for a video chat, but this has required downloading a plug-in with additional software. For some people that is too bothersome or tricky to install, and others have worried about introducing unfamiliar software to their devices. Now a new standard makes it possible to make video calls through a web browser without any shenanigans.

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06 June 2014

Amazon Boycott Gets a Helping Hand From Stephen Colbert New York Times

Stephen Colbert went after Amazon Wednesday night, literally giving the retailer the finger on his Comedy Central show. Twice.

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03 June 2014

Amazon's scorched-earth campaign: Why the Internet giant started a war Salon

Here's what monopoly power means: If you're Amazon, you can ignore the public relations hits that come with blistering front-page stories in the New York Times and stinging opinion pieces, and continue blithely about your business.

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29 May 2014

Google Releases Employee Data, Illustrating Tech's Diversity Challenge New York Times

Google on Wednesday released statistics on the makeup of its work force, providing numbers that offer a stark glance at how Silicon Valley remains a white man's world.

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26 May 2014

Info wars: why it's time for Google & Co to come clean The Guardian

The recent decision by the European Court of Justice, that EU citizens should have a "right to be forgotten" from Google search results, has picked the scab on a much deeper cultural issue; who defines the limits of free speech? American and European approaches to it could not be more divided. This has in the past been only a matter of passing curiosity, but now with US technology companies and social platforms shaping global speech and publication, the regulatory and commercial restraints on free expression are going to be a dominant theme of information policy in coming years.

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24 May 2014

Amazon Flexes Its Muscles in Fight Against Publishers New York Times

Amazon's power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.

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07 May 2014

Google's Uber power play is reminiscent of the big bad Microsoft Salon

Google Maps just told me to "Get an Uber." OK, perhaps it is more appropriate to say that Google suggested that I "get an Uber." But there's the rub -- is Google being its usual helpful self, or has the company crossed the line into domineering behavior modification?

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27 April 2014

The Economist explains: The backlash against big data The Economist

"Bollocks", says a Cambridge professor. "Hubris," write researchers at Harvard. "Big data is bullshit," proclaims Obama's reelection chief number-cruncher. A few years ago almost no one had heard of "big data". Today it's hard to avoid -- and as a result, the digerati love to condemn it. Wired, Time, Harvard Business Review and other publications are falling over themselves to dance on its grave. "Big data: are we making a big mistake?," asks the Financial Times. "Eight (No, Nine!) Problems with Big Data," says the New York Times. What explains the big-data backlash?

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20 April 2014

Why Facebook and Google are buying into drones The Observer

Back in the bad old days of the cold war, one of the most revered branches of the inexact sciences was Kremlinology. In the west, newspapers, thinktanks and governments retained specialists whose job was to scrutinise every scrap of evidence, gossip and rumour emanating from Moscow in the hope that it would provide some inkling of what the Soviet leadership was up to. Until recently, this particular specialism had apparently gone into terminal decline, but events in Ukraine have led to its urgent reinstatement.

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18 April 2014

The Apple Chronicles New York Times

So they're at it again, Apple and Samsung, fighting over patents in a courtroom in San Jose, Calif. They had a similar fight in 2012, in the same courtroom, which Apple won. Samsung has also won its share of these legal battles, including in Australia.

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06 April 2014

Technology's Man Problem New York Times

Elissa Shevinsky can pinpoint the moment when she felt that she no longer belonged. She was at a friend's house last Sept. 8, watching the live stream of the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon on her laptop and iPhone. Entrepreneurs were showing off their products, and two young Australian men, David Boulton and Jethro Batts, stood behind the podium to give their presentation. "Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits," Mr. Boulton began, as photographs of women's chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him.

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