Archive for June, 2011

Can the internet be controlled?

June 9th, 2011 Comments off

Angela Long wonders….WHO controls the net?

Mark Zuckerberg?

Steve Jobs?

Hu Jintao?

The head of eircom’s broadband unit?

Well, the latter is probably the most practical answer. And Nicolas Sarkozy definitely doesn’t. But the diminutive French president has at least raised the issue, something of un elephant in the room of the global web community.

Sarkozy told the e8, a meeting held before the regular G8 meeting in Paris last month, that the internet could not exist in a parallel universe that did not follow the same rules and standards of society as the ‘real world’. His stance symbolizes what internet freedom lobbyists see as a heinous plan by world governments, big business and the CIA (probably) to command and control our minds and wallets, just like they did back before the World Wide Web.

The conspiracy theorists are right to be worried; but is it pie in the sky to believe that a great accessory which everyone uses, is easy and cheap, and has limitless capacity, is going to escape some sort of restriction or regulation?

The whole question represents an uncomfortable marriage of philosophy and commerce.

Read more…

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Ireland is a bitterly divided country

June 8th, 2011 Comments off

The rich get richer and the poor get – laid off, according to the Depression-era song ‘Ain’t We Got Fun’.

And in modern-Depression-era Ireland, the same thing seems to be happening. As shops close, businesses fail and dole queues lengthen (CSO figures), news comes of a €200 million pay-out to Anglo-Irish Bank bondholders. And not for the first time.

What about all that electioneering rhetoric about burning the bond-holders, renegotiating the interest rate on Ireland’s bailout debt, and giving a fairer deal for all the people?

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