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Freedom of Speech on the Internet

Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of attention on the PROTECT IP Act going through the US Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act going through Congress. I’ve been actively promoting against these bills from being passed into law across my various social networks. Most recently, I self-censored my own blog (nobulb.com) in participation with American Censorship Day and shared with my friends. One of my buddies who shares my skepticism about random links on the internet questioned, “You don’t really believe this do you?

What Google+ Does that Twitter and Facebook Doesn’t

I said I wasn’t going to jump into the buzz machine to talk about Google+, but I think the broadcast model used here is pretty interesting. I made a comment in response to someone wondering “How do I post something on your wall”. This is the Facebook paradigm which takes a graffiti approach to sharing information publicly. While you can “tag” people within your status updates (which is a relatively recent addition for Facebook) to draw their attention to your thoughts, you could also go to their wall and share your thoughts with them and everyone else who happens by (if they’ve set the permissions to allow this).

Google fights against FTC intervention in News Industry’s Timely Demise

Government subsidies and federal regulations are being entertained by the FTC in an open discussion between the Luddites and the Progressors of news media. This discussion takes a concerning direction as the FTC makes some recommendations on how the govenment might “float” the industry until it can gets its act together. I understand the interest of supporting yet another of the foundational industries of our nation, but it’s intervention is supporting exactly the sort of middle-man distribution that needs to be demolished.

The End of Distribution

During a conversation regarding DRM and e-books (stemming from the recent release of the Nook client for Android phones which allows sharing your purchased ebooks with others), I was explaining my distaste for any lock-in technology and my desire for a utopian free-information model which motivates sincere effort rather than the product. Rather than paying for the final result of the effort, instead we focus on rewarding the effort itself. A marketplace which measures following, appreciation, and admiration for a thought or piece of prose.

How Stack Overflow Builds Communities

Not sure how many of you are aware of this phenomenon called Stack Overflow. A question-and-answer site built around programming has been hugely successful in building a strong community. It was so successful that the group behind Stack Overflow, has spawned two more sites based on the model. And wouldn’t you know that each have corresponding meta sites which discuss the details of their counterpart’s operation. (Confused? It gets better!)

M-Lab: Transparency and Freedom

Transparency and freedom is what the Internet is founded on. All of this business with ISPs trying to manage and prioritize your traffic is an absolute mess. If you happened to be living under a rock this last year you missed the fiasco with Network Neutrality and our government’s attempt to make things “better” for the net. The latest tools released by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute will put an extra feather in the cap of netizens everywhere.