Category Archives: guest post

OneWebDay: September 22, 2006

The Web has changed millions of lives. Just two months from now, on September 22, we’ll be celebrating the first OneWebDay. OneWebDay is one day a year when we all – everyone around the physical globe – can celebrate the Web and what it means to us as individuals, organizations, and communities. In short, it’s like an Earth Day for the Internet–a day to stop and think about what the Internet means to us.

Add the OneWebDay Button to your site and get together with friends in your town to plan an outdoor celebration with an online component that people elsewhere on the Web can appreciate. Put a link on the OneWebDay wiki In New York’s Bryant Park, San Francisco’s Union Square, in London with the Lord Mayor, near City Hall in Austin, in downtown Chicago, in downtown Portland, Maine, all over Canada, and in Naples (Italy), and Canberra (Australia), OneWebDay will be celebrated for the first time on Sept. 22 — and those are just the celebrations we know about.

The goal of OneWebDay is to make the Web, and our individual connection to it, visible — so that we don’t take it for granted. We make progress when we make things visible. Continue reading

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So Long!

Well I had planned to write a few thoughts about Yochai’s book, but I haven’t finished it yet! Perhaps later, with Larry’s good grace. It has been a great pleasure being here this week — the commentators on this site are really sharp and thoughtful, and it is just a nice platform for writing. Enjoy Who Controls the Internet, if you’ve got a copy, and I look forward to any comments any of you may have…. Continue reading

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Tribute to Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs, the great theorist of all things urban, died recently. It had been my dream to go find her in Toronto but that will never happen. She’s obviously influential to urban planners, but I’ve found her writing tremendously helpful for thinking also about network design. If you aren’t familiar with her work, Jacobs was an enemy of bad central planning. She believed in cities that grew up in a willy-nilly, unpredictable way, allowing new buildings to gradually replace old, or be converted to new purposes. She believed the causes of urban blight were dullness, and hated housing projects, mega-blocks… Continue reading

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WIPO Broadcasting

James Love has an interesting article on the treaty on broadcasting and webcasting rights now under discussion at the WIPO, and completely ignored by nearly everyone. Broadcasters have long wanted yet another form of intellectual property to, yes, provide more incentives to invest in the broadcasting of content. Love suggests that a collection of web firms, like yahoo, are lobbying for a web equivalent — a webcasting right as well. In the meantime, I’d like a property right that gives me more inventives to wake up in the morning and floss my teeth…. Continue reading

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Cell v. Computer

Over the next ten years or so, as others have said, a big platform war may not be as between Windows & Linux, but between computers and (deluxe) cell phones. For Bellheads, the cell phone is in many ways a dream platform. It puts many of the sacred principles of closed infrastructures into place, including: 1. Limits on equipment attachments; (customers use approved cell phones); 2. Vertically integrated content & applications; (ringtones, etc.) 3. Pay-per-use, value added services (like “411 and more!”) 4. General freedom to bill; 5. Limited customizability or programability. So the cell phone platform, if the Bells… Continue reading

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Network Neutrality redux.

So I’ve been in a debate with Christopher Yoo over at legal affairs on the topic of Network Neutrality — Here’s a Snippet: A lot of the difference in Chris and my own views stems from how we think the process of innovation occurs. Chris, rather like the later Schumpeter, believes that large firms — in this case, network operators, drive telecommunications innovation. As the later Schumpeter put it, the “large-scale establishment” is “the most powerful engine of [economic] progress and in particular of the long-run expansion of total output.” Chris thinks incumbents like AT&T will rarely or perhaps never… Continue reading

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The dot-xxx debacle

The dot xxx debate has been back in the news recently, and what I find unendingly puzzling is the sides taken. From first principles, you’d except groups who want it to be harder to get pornography on the internet to want a .xxx domain — followed by a law (like this one, or stronger) ordering ISPs to block porn sites that don’t move to the porn zone. That would make it relatively easier to avoid randomly running into porn on the internet. Yet as everyone knows the positions are reversed. The United States has signaled strong opposition, as have other… Continue reading

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On Piracy

When I was in my teens my brother David and I ran what was then called a pirate bulletin board. We had at the time three computers, an Apple IIgs, a IBM 286, and a Mac we borrowed from school, and we had very different feelings about each. David & I were loyal to the Apple II platform. That the IIgs was, and it pains me to say this, a flawed and doomed product, made us only more loyal. The IBM was a much better machine, yet cold and generic in a way that meant we never grew attached… Continue reading

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New York at Night

From the window…. Continue reading

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Chatrooms from the 1980s

My first experience using a chatroom was in 1988. Some group in Toronto, Canada, set up something called the “Free Access Network,” or FAN. It wasn’t really the internet: it was all dialup, with perhaps 100 phone lines or so. And it was, true to the name, free. FAN was amazing, and still maybe the most addictive thing I’ve experienced in a life with a decent amount of experimentation. After school we’d run home, Lisa, Karen myself, Quaid and others (Onil was always skeptical), 15 year-olds all, and “war-dial” FAN desperately trying to get an open line. I developed a… Continue reading

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