Articles by date
26 July 2018
From its earliest days, Silicon Valley has been animated by near-absolutist understanding of free speech. Other than exceptions for fraud, pornography or specific threats, the prevailing view among many tech platforms has been to allow pretty much anyone to post pretty much anything. These sensibilities are even enshrined in American law, which gives companies broad immunity from prosecution for what their users post.
Germany is considering laws that would let it respond actively to foreign cyber-attacks, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer as he presented a domestic intelligence agency report showing Iran was the latest power to ramp up hack attacks on German systems.
Children mining cobalt in slave-like conditions as global demand for battery material surges (ABC News)
If you have not spared a thought for cobalt since high school science, then it might be time.
24 July 2018
If you live in an OECD country, it seems that your reliance on the internet never ceases to grow. Whether it's at home, at work, or on-the-go, you’ll be using the internet in all aspects of your day-to-day life.
European finance leaders called for progress on global rules to tax the digital economy at a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Argentina on Sunday, putting them at odds with U.S. counterparts.
23 July 2018
ICANN is still fighting its corner living in hope that courts in Europe will accept its ill thought out response to the collection of personal information they require of gTLD domain name registrants following the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.
22 July 2018
Mobile phones and cancer - the full picture (The Observer)
Last week the Observer published an article by Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie on a disturbing topic – the idea that telecoms giants might collude to suppress evidence that wireless technology causes cancer. The feature was well written, ostensibly well researched, and deeply concerning. Its powerful narrative tapped into rich themes; our deep-seated fears about cancer, corporate greed, and technology’s potentially noxious influence on our health. It spread rapidly across social media – facilitated by the very object on which it cast doubt.
European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager coolly hit Google with a €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine last week, the biggest penalty in the history of antitrust enforcement.
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran has welcomed the commercial launch of the new trans-Pacific Hawaiki cable that improves and enhances New Zealand’s international connectivity.
20 July 2018
Facebook says it will start removing posts that may lead to violence (Washington Post)
Facebook will start removing misleading and inflammatory posts that may trigger violent attacks, the social network said Wednesday, as it faces criticism over its response to sectarian conflict in countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
Facebook was once the most nimble company of its generation. The speed at which it adapted to every challenge was legendary. It needed only about a decade to go from a dorm-room start-up to the largest and most influential communications platform in the world.
Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp is rolling out a global test measure to rein in messages forwarded by users, the messaging app said, after the spread of rumours led to several killings in India and sparked calls for action from authorities.
For more than two years, a small and stealthy group of engineers within Google has been working on software that they hope will eventually replace Android, the world’s dominant mobile operating system. As the team grows, it will have to overcome some fierce internal debate about how the software will work.
What Europe's Google Fine Means for Android Users (New York Times)
You may have heard that the European Union punished Google with a record $5.1 billion fine on Wednesday for abusing its power in the mobile phone market.
19 July 2018
DDoS Attacks Get Bigger, Smarter and More Diverse (Threat Post)
Distributed denial of service attacks, bent on taking websites offline by overwhelming domains or specific application infrastructure with massive traffic flows, continue to pose a major challenge to businesses of all stripes. Being knocked offline impacts revenue, customer service and basic business functions – and worryingly, the bad actors behind these attacks are honing their approaches to become ever more successful over time.
The European commission has fined Google £3.8bn for anti-competitive behaviour regarding its Android mobile operating system. It’s looking to force the company to cede some control, but is it too little too late?
How to Combat China's Rise in Tech: Federal Spending, Not Tariffs (New York Times)
At the heart of the trade war between the United States and China lies a profound and unsettling question: Who should control the key technologies that will rule tomorrow?
What Android users should know about Google's fight with the E.U. (Washington Post)
The European Union slapped Google with a $5 billion fine Wednesday, alleging that the tech giant has acted in an uncompetitive manner by pre-loading apps and its services, such as Google search and the Chrome browser, onto Android phones. But as the specifics of the complaint are being pored over, it’s not clear how this will affect the more than 2 billion people across the globe who use Google’s Android operating system every month.
18 July 2018
Europe penalizes Google with a record $5 billion antitrust fine for the way it bundles its apps on Android smartphones and tablets (Washington Post)
European regulators on Wednesday fined Google a record $5 billion and ordered changes that could affect which Google-owned apps appear on smartphones and tablets running its Android mobile operating system.
17 July 2018
Communist-run Cuba has started providing internet on the mobile phones of select users as it aims to roll out the service nationwide by year-end, in a further step towards opening one of the Western Hemisphere’s least connected countries.
Google is set to face a record-busting EU antitrust fine this week over its Android mobile operating system but rivals hoping that an order to halt unfair business practices will help them may be disappointed.
Bots of the Internet, Reveal Yourselves! (New York Times)
A bill in the California legislature would regulate bots by making them disclose their automated nature. But how?
16 July 2018
Google is no stranger to regulatory standoffs with Europe. But this time, Brussels is playing for keeps.
Here's how many followers Trump, Obama and others lost in Twitter's purge of locked accounts (Washington Post)
Several of the most popular Twitter accounts, including Barack Obama and Katy Perry, lost millions of followers starting Thursday as the company began culling suspicious accounts, the latest effort to clean up the social media platform.
In 1979, Douglas Hofstadter, an American cognitive scientist, formulated a useful general rule that applies to all complex tasks. Hofstadter’s law says that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law”. It may not have the epistemological status of Newton’s first law, but it is “good enough for government work”, as the celebrated computer scientist Roger Needham used to say.