Posts Tagged ‘ internet ’

Is Network Neutrality (NN) possible?

I don’t know.

There is a whole host of issues on both sides. Rather than going through a number of them, a good place to learn about the debate is @ Moyers on America: The Net at Risk.

But, I have recently read and have been mulling over and article by Kurt Dobbins “Hunting Unicorns: Myths and Realities of the Net Neutrality Debate” where he raises an solid point that

“The Network Neutrality public and private debate has been filled with more emotion than rational discussion, and in its wake a number of myths have become accepted as reality. Unfortunately, public policy, consumer broadband services, and service provider business survival hang in the balance.”

I think it is important to consider what the public and private sector each mean when they talk about Net Neutrality, or in what form would they like the internet to manifest their interests. Dobbins talks about 4 different myths while giving and interesting perspective approach each one.

Myth 1: The Internet can be “neutral” towards all types of applications

Myth 2: Network management is unfair

Myth 3: Network management violates privacy

Myth 4: DPI is just a P2P “Throttling” Technology

Losing Control

Recently I have been seeing a lot of news blurbs about the changing nature of the internet.

I read things that talk about growing global internet governance where ICANN Takes First Step to Becoming a Global Content Regulator . This international body will have the power to decide which newly created global Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – domain names being represented as .edu, .gov, .org, etc. – will be appropriate for use. The domain names themselves are subject to scrutinization as stated:

must not be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law

Or coming accross reports that companies we trust to keep our personal data private and secure turning over to the next company like Google being Told to Turn Over User Data of YouTube, relinquishing millions of subscribers viewing records…which I didn’t know they kept records of that in the first place.

Or finding out that social networking site Facebook is able to track the buying habits of its users on affiliated third-party sites even when they are logged out of their account (via /.)

There is also debate on whether the Internet is Bad For Science. In the class I just completed -Libraries, Information and Society – this was a major issue. Some professionals believe that having academic journals available via open source publishing or articles availbe through databases online would decrease their credibility or their chance at having their work peer reviewed…if their idea isn’t stolen first. Having so much information at your fingertips as a researcher can as easily hinder or help your work.

Beyond this quick snap at recent dialogue, how else has the way we share, find, create information been affected? There seems to be a certain push in requiring some kind of control either through policy, access restriction, or filtering content. This may not be good for the democratic nature of the Internet.

I would rather see more tools being developed and implemented that would allow and empower the users in how they choose the use the resources available through the Internet. As we have the freedom to hold our own perceptions of the world, we should also be able to shape our own individual experience through our intellectualy shared resource.

What Every American Should Know About The FISA Bill

What Every American Needs to Know (and Do) About FISA Before Tuesday, July 8th from Tim Ferriss on Vimeo.

Google is not making us stupid

First read this: Is Google making us stupid?

I hate reading things like this, because it simply tries to move the cause of laziness, ignorance, and stupidity to a third party…rather than making the person responsible for his inability to care for his/her self. Google, and the form the Internet has taken do not force any of us to use their services in such a way as to detach us from the real solid tangible things in our lives. We allow ourselves to be engulfed in its ease of use.

But, if you think about that maybe it is somewhat natural or essential for us to begin to meld with our technologies, using them as unconsciously as we would any other part of our brain or bodies. I mean we’ve evolved to this point obtaining new features when we needed to and ditching ones that are no longer useful. The Internet is just another tool that will provide us with another platform to progress into better beings.

What does it matter anyway, I doubt we are evolving to be more slothful, unintelligent people. Or at least we will come to a point were the “strong” survive. Those who are fit to the new technologies will have an advantage just like the homo-sapien had over the neanderthal. If anything the Internet is mobilizing the mass in countless ways. Providing information or ways to learn things that was either out of reach for most people, or to expensive to sequester.

Its in your freedom to abuse or misuse it. And your responsiblity to keep yourself fit and healthy, mentally and physically.

Generation Discrimination

So sometimes I’m not sure of how to consider certain arguments about the generation gap with on-line soc ail tools, or technology in general. I think there can be a learning curve that although may be steep for certain people at certain ages, there is no generalization you can make. I am obviously more in tuned with technology than those that I work with, but that’s because I’ve had the opportunity to interact with it all my life. But, this also doesn’t mean its because I’m young, I think it has to do more with my socio-economic status growing up.

I’ve been able to afford the luxury of having the Internet, or computers in general in or near my possession. I have noticed that some people my age are not nearly as technologically literate as I am even though they are in my generation. Its mainly because they haven’t had the chance to be exposed to it as prominently as I have. Either their family didn’t consider it important or could not afford it. I discussed this recently with my boss and she is considered in my generation (generation Y I guess), but I don’t consider at the same level of technological adeptness merely because of our age. She pointed this article out to me http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/why_gen_y_is_going_to_change_the_web.php and it is obvious where these generalizations come from.

I think it would be better to treat technological literacy on an individual basis and not assume age groups makes a good judge of those that need the most help. My grandmother probably knows how to use myspace/facebook better than a economically stressed teen in any country who has not been able to interact with a computer or be exposed to the internet regularly.

Life wasted online?

Sometimes I do wonder, “what else could I have done with my time”, after spending an extended period of time online. I mean I become very informed by things I read and usually stick to stuff that only interests me, but there are times when I just feel brain dead and try to just put my computer to sleep and walk away. It can be just a draining as watching TV. I’m not denigrating the content online, just trying to close up what could be an addiction of always being online, never missing a beat, obssessed with information. But, It may not be a bad thing. I don’t consider myself wasting my synapses.

Inspired by http://lifehacker.com/393070/unplug-to-avoid-online-distractions

Expanding Library Services

This morning was spent in a very interesting meeting with the Dean. I didn’t know how well the NIU Libraries were preparing to adopt for the changing environment and expectations of academic libraries. And trust me the main library needs some major renovation and opening up of its resources. Just this past semester we added a small cafe (Founders Café) to the basement and wifi has been slightly upgraded in parts of the library. Necessary steps I think.

But a list of things that may be in the near future for Founders Memorial Library (main NIU Library) is:

the expansion of projects for the digitization lab, Open Access of Scholarly material (produced at NIU I believe) to the world, updating/improving study rooms, having media centered rooms, enhancing wifi access, working with diverse programs university wide aka getting involved, and e-learning.

I liked that the theme was “making the library a place to come.” I think these are all steps in a forward looking direction, especially with e-learning. Instead of considering the library as a bank of knowledge and written word, it needs to become a place where people can learn to participate in the growing and socializing world of technology and the need to expand information literary. As technology puts us in a position to become more social, the library can accommodate patrons desire to communicate with one another and the library itself. The library also needs to take advantage of inside and outside sources that already have a deep understanding and connection with this new information soaked era.

In fact I believe most if not all institutions need to be aware that they would actually function better and protect their interests more closely if they would consider opening up the way they operate to the social forum. The more you give the more you receive. The masse need not take over or replace the functions of institutions, but the institution should end up providing a purposeful and workable non-restricting service for the masse instead of trying to control and direct it and its own development into the future.

Catch the proverbial social bug.