My latest Guardian
column, "Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work," warns that now that the British state has assumed responsibility for maximizing the profits of entertainment companies, it will have to take ever-more-restrictive measures against its own people:
And because once the state decides that it has a duty to police the internet to maximise the profits of a few entertainment companies (no matter what the public expense), it sets itself on a path of ever-more-restrictive measures. Once disconnection drives downloaders to make use of SSL-based proxies, watch for Big Content to inveigle their friends in parliament to enact laws prohibiting the use of virtual private networks - never mind that these are the best practice of anyone trying to safeguard a corporate or organisational network.
Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work
Once the Act drives downloaders to use SSL-encrypted services that are harder to monitor, watch for the entertainment lobby to ask for great swaths of the internet to be blocked by the Great Firewall of Britain that the Act also provides for.
Once you swallow a spider to catch a fly, you're on a course to swallow a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, and so on until you swallow a horse - and every toddler knows that happens next.
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is one of the world’s largest private jailers; it runs prisons and immigration detention centers across the USA (and is diversifying into halfway houses, mental health center, and surveillance for poor neighborhoods). Mother Jones’s Shane Bauer went undercover at CCA’s Winn Prison in Louisiana, the state with the highest incarceration […]
Steven Levy is in characteristic excellent form in a long piece on Medium about the internal vogue for machine learning at Google; drawing on the contacts he made with In the Plex, his must-read 2012 biography of the company, Levy paints a picture of a company that’s being utterly remade around newly ascendant machine learning […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]
If you’re working to build your web programming knowledge, you know you have a lot of ground to cover. With literally dozens of languages, platforms and environments available to coders, mastering all those technologies can be a daunting task.Up-and-coming coders can start learning some of the most fundamental programming study areas with this Web Hacker course bundle – and […]