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Month: October 2011

A brief history of web standards

Excellent infographic summarizing the crafting of the web as we know it today, courtesy of Vitamin T and An Event Apart. Strange to see how ancient in internet terms Opera’s  – my browser of choice for 14 years – pedigree is, yet how limited its appeal. Consistently the fastest, yet most have not even heard of it.

The internet of things [lecture]

My last lecture for the Global Networks subject. I am discussing the arrival of the internet of things, and use some examples of early internet of things implementations from the Toyota Friend, through the Android Open Accessory dev kit, to Tales of Things and Itizen. I then discuss what it means for our notions of identity, privacy, and sociality when objects become active interlocutors and content producers in online conversations.

 

AAPL vs GOOG [lecture]

Prezi from my lecture last week on the battle between Apple and Google for the future of the mobile internet. I am drawing short histories of both companies, and then concentrating on the importance of the mobile internet, and the strategies of both companies for dominating it. I discuss Apple’s closed garden model, and Google’s attempts to keep Android an open system; the short OODA loop of open networks and why this will always be an overwhelming advantage; and the pluses and minuses of both systems in terms of security, user comfort, and freedom.

#mena #arabspring lecture

Prezi from a lecture I gave on the social network revolutions in the #mena region, mainly concentrating on case studies of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. I start by drawing a broad conceptual framework around the notions of nodes with power, participatory culture, and the empowerment of peripheries in the context of hierarchical systems of information control. There are many ways to approach the still unfolding events of the #arabspring, but I chose to focus on the way individuals acted as catalysts and leveraged social networks to achieve critical mass both on and offline. In that respect I tried to underscore – in disagreement with the arguments of Evgeny Morozov – that it is crucial not to underestimate the role of social media such as youtube, facebook and twitter in creating scale-free network effects for the protest movements. I also focus on the role of women – Asmaa Mahfouz and Tawakel Karman – in inspiring, organizing and leading the protests in Egypt and Yemen respectively.