Digital Divide9/5/2000; 1:37:45 PM 'The digital divide is a delusion because its proponents confuse access with opportunity. The notion that digital access both perpetrates and perpetuates economic and racial disparities would be laughable were it not for the fact that so many solemn-faced pundits and pols insist that it is so. Still, even the best of intentions should not be allowed to substitute for the rigors of genuine thought and integrity.'... The happy reality is that market forces have given more people more computing and telecommunications power cheaper year after year. Digital technology is becoming a mass medium quite independent of public policy initiatives that seek to replicate a "welfare state" ethic in cyberspace.'The American challenge is not "How do we improve access to the growing array of digital media?" but "How do we encourage people to make these media a productive part of their lives?"'
Behind The Curtain
Privacy from Companies
9/5/2000; 1:31:30 PM 'We live in an age when Kmart can tell how many Huggies were sold in its stores across the country 10 minutes ago, but public officials, and hence the public, can't really say why airplanes don't fly. That's not because the data doesn't exist somewhere within the government - it does, spread across a gaggle of different computer systems, no doubt accessible through superhuman diligence - it's just not easily accessible to us. Thus is it easy for chairmen to speak as if the facts were unknown.
'This picture points to the next great hope for the information revolution: that we might be able to learn as much about governments and business as they have learned about us. That this might be the end of their effective privacy, just as it has effectively been the end of ours.'
British Telecom considers legal action over hyperlink patent
Patents9/5/2000; 1:08:24 PM 'British Telecommunications (BT) is prepared to take legal action against ISPs in the US unless they cough up cash for using hyperlinks. 'The patent was granted in 1989 and is only still valid in the US. Patent 4,873,662 expires in 2006.'What amazing chutzpah!For previous coverage of this topic, which I will bravely hyperlink despite the apparent patent issues of that act, I refer you to the iRights coverage: Original coverage, including a[n illegal?] link to the original patent on 6/19/2000, and further commentary on 6/21/2000 and 6/24/2000.
Amazon's new privacy regs may backfire
Privacy from Companies9/5/2000; 12:42:13 PM 'The noble mission to 'empower' on-line consumers reached new heights recently as retail powerhouse Amazon.com released an updated corporate manifesto affecting its American customers and guests, and so blessed us all with firm knowledge that we have no reason to expect any such thing as privacy while doing business on their Web site. 'The on-line advertising and retail industries have long resented slack talk involving such dangerous ideas as the need for federal privacy legislation, vehemently insisting that they can regulate themselves according to market pressures, so it was about time someone cleared up a few lingering popular misconceptions.'Shut up and $hop!... oops, sorry, got carried away there.This is a great article, they take a boring, depressing story and turn it into a joy to read with sarcasm and wit.Update: Amazon also seems they can play pricing games and then deny it. Thanks, Amazon, for proving that when e-commerce sites get big, they'll turn just as evil as other corporations.
Condoms an Unauthorized Circumvention Device, Says God
9/4/2000; 12:23:56 PM 'If I can't protect what I rule, then I don't rule anything.' From SegFault.org.
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