« January 2007 | Home | November 2006 »

Archive for December 2006

Networks versus storage, distribution versus concentration

Posted on Sat, Dec 23, 2006 at 9:05 AM by Andrew Chadwick

The orthodoxy is that networks are significant, but having just seen an ad for a 120GB 2.5" external hard drive for 80 pounds, it reminded me of the fascinating recent article by George Gilder in Wired. The steep decline in the costs of data storage over the last three years are arguably changing the game. The trick may not be in harnessing the power of peer-to-peer networks but of centralized storage.

Blogs about e-campaigning

Posted on Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 5:17 PM by Andrew Chadwick

Alan Rosenblatt from the Internet Advocacy Center has compiled a useful little list of practitioner blogs about e-campaigning.

See also this interesting post by one of the PhD students in my Department, Nick Anstead.

Edited on: Tue, Dec 12, 2006 10:27 PM

UK intellectual property policy: the Gowers Report

Posted on Fri, Dec 08, 2006 at 6:51 PM by Andrew Chadwick

The long-awaited Gowers Review of intellectual property law in the UK has now reported. Based on its finding that the "music industry [is] losing as much as 20 per cent of annual turnover to piracy and counterfeiting", it recommended strengthening the authorities' hand in combating intellectual property infringement. However, it decided against extending terms for copyrighted sound recordings and performers' rights beyond the current 50 years, or, as it is more technically correct to say: it recommended to the European Commission that it should not bind the UK to extended terms.

There's some witty analysis on Bill Thompson's blog, here and here.

Sugata Mitra and 'outdoctrination'

Posted on Wed, Dec 06, 2006 at 5:59 PM by Andrew Chadwick

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a talk by Sugata Mitra at an event organised by the ICT for Development Collective at Royal Holloway (where I work). The ICT4D Collective is a body of researchers, doctoral students and people working in NGOs and development agencies that are all interested in trying to understand the role played by information and communication technologies in the developing world. I am a member of the Collective but have what can really only be described as an 'amateur' interest in ICT4D issues. The chapter of my book on the digital divide deals with these issues but in nothing like the depth that Tim Unwin and his colleagues at Royal Holloway can do.

Mitra is well-known for so-called 'hole in the wall' computers - Internet-wired kiosks that were established in poor urban and rural areas of India in a series of experiments during the early 2000s. He spoke about the history and results of the project in incredibly positive and optimistic terms, but, overall, I was left wondering about the real long-term benefits of establishing hole in the wall style computers without plugging them into real world educational institutions and behaviour.

A webcast of the talk, including the Powerpoint slides, is available at the Cisco website (Thanks to Cisco's corporate responsbility section for sponsoring the event and doing such an excellent job of the webcast).

Update: The 100 dollar laptop project, now gathering pace, is in the same vein, though there are some significant developments in terms of the hardware and software.

Edited on: Wed, Jan 03, 2007 12:19 PM

Web 2.0 surveillance

Posted on Tue, Dec 05, 2006 at 11:07 PM by Andrew Chadwick

An informative article in the New York Times about the changing shape of US anti-terrorism surveillance.

Update: the state department turns to Google.

Edited on: Tue, Dec 12, 2006 8:13 AM

« January 2007 | Top | November 2006 »