Last week Facebook announced that it had decided to up the ante in its fracas with the Australian government and ban mainstream media news on its platform. The move meant that all Facebook users - not just Australians - would not be able to share or view news on Australian news Pages on Facebook. This move by Facebook was in response to the Australian government introducing a new law that would force Big Tech to pay media companies a fee to include their news in their users' news … [Read more...] about SDF 44: Facebook and the robber barons are at it again
Last month, Wikipedia celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the founding of its English-language website, an online encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Today, Wikipedia has more than 55 million articles available in over 300 languages, in addition to the original English. It says that 1.7 billion unique visitors come to its websites every month. For many people, it's the first stop on the Internet when you want the answer to "What is…?", "Who is…?", "Where is...?", "When … [Read more...] about Civilising Wikipedia
Most people would agree that what we have experienced over the past 12 months has changed - in a lasting manner - the ways in which we share information and communicate with each other, whether for business or for pleasure. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated far-reaching change in ways that no one could accurately have predicted in 2019. Communications technology and the Internet are central to all of this and are at the heart of discussion I had in late January with Paul … [Read more...] about The Internet and a brighter future
Releasing his creation for free 30 years ago, the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, famously declared: “this is for everyone”. Today, his invention is used by billions – but it also hosts the authoritarian crackdowns of antidemocratic governments, and supports the infrastructure of the most wealthy and powerful companies on Earth. Now, in an effort to return the internet to the golden age that existed before its current incarnation as Web 2.0 – characterised by invasive data … [Read more...] about Tim Berners-Lee’s plan to save the Internet: give us back control of our data
'Trust' was the major theme for discussion in the January episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast aka FIR 203 that Shel and I recorded last weekend and published on Monday. It underpinned all other topics we discussed as we started the episode reviewing the key analysis in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 - the report concludes that there is a 'crisis of leadership' with a growing trust gap and declines in trust worldwide; and without a trusted leadership source to look to, people … [Read more...] about FIR 203: Insurrection and Sea Shanties
How many emails are in your inbox? If the answer is thousands, or if you often struggle to find a file on your computer among its cluttered hard drive, then you might be classed as a digital hoarder. In the physical world, hoarding disorder has been recognised as a distinct psychiatric condition among people who accumulate excessive amounts of objects to the point that it prevents them living a normal life. Now, research has begun to recognise that hoarding can be a problem in the digital … [Read more...] about Digital hoarders: we’ve identified four types – which are you?
In the first episode in 2021 of our monthly Small Data Forum podcast, Thomas, Sam, and I discussed the big picture of Trump and what's next for him, Joe Biden and America post-Trump, and in the context of our predictions in episode 42 in December. Those predictions weren't that shabby, as it turns out. We considered what social media is: platform, publisher, or leech, which provoked some lively and trenchant opinion. We pondered the consequences and outcomes of the Capitol riots or … [Read more...] about SDF 43: The wearing away of trust
In the UK last November, the most frequent locations people with the COVID-19 virus had been prior to testing positive was supermarkets. Two months on, that may still be the case. It makes sense, then, that if you are going to a supermarket, you wear a face mask for your own protection as well as that of everyone else. Unless you have valid exemption, wearing a face mask when in an enclosed public place like a supermarket is also the law now. It seems straightforward enough, right? But … [Read more...] about The uneasy case for face masks and enforced wearing