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Whatever happened to the Long Tail?

If you have been interested in the evolution of digital content, you may remember the Long Tail. This was a theory that saw life as an article by Chris Anderson in Wired magazine, and then as a hit book released in 2006. The theory states that so-called brick-and-mortar shops only […]

The monopolistic Internet

I’ve started reading “The Internet is not the answer” by Andrew Keen (a full review will be forthcoming), and listened with interest to the interview by the always astute Aleks Krotowski in The Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast. One of Keen’s comments during the interview, and from what I can see […]

Has the Blockbuster killed the Long Tail?

The Long Tail is dead. The Long Tail is a theory penned by Wired editor Chris Anderson which states that the rise in digital markets, and the slow demise of brick and mortar shops, particularly in media and entertainment, will translate into more spending and viewing of smaller niche markets. […]

Can we rebuild the Internet?

I have been toying with an impossible idea. Can the Internet be rebuilt? I am starting with a simple premise: the current Internet is broken. It is no secret that many of the protocols that make up the Web were not designed to accommodate a network such as the one […]

Social networks: Guilt by association?

One of the most interesting stories that has emerged from the NSA surveillance scandal is, in my opinion, the revelation that the intelligence agency has been using some of the data collected to conduct social network analysis (SNA) on the general population. This is a topic that is discussed in […]

Why CISPA is a global problem

On April 18, 2013, the US House of Representatives passed the Bill H.R. 624, also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). An earlier version of the bill had been passed already by the US HR, but did not pass the Senate (for earlier analysis of the […]

Is the Internet under attack?

Jen breaks the Internet The Internet is currently slowed down because of a massive DDoS attack against one anti-spam organization. At least this is the story being reported everywhere, from the New York Times to The Guardian. Or is it? Spamhaus is a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting unsolicited communications […]

Where is the world’s content hosted?

Continuing on the series on Internet centrality, an important element of the argument that the web is greatly centralised rests on the fact that the Web’s architecture is becoming less distributed with time. The push towards the cloud has been translated into fewer name servers, and fewer hosting choices. Pingdom, […]

The Centrality Menace

Earlier today, the caching and security service provider CloudFlare went down, taking with it more than 700 thousand websites for over an hour (including our very own SCRIPTed journal). While downtime is to be expected even in the ever-connected world, what piqued my interest about this event is the nature […]

Can your country be knocked out of the Internet?

Anyone familiar with my recent rants on the subject of Internet regulation may have noticed that I have been slightly obsessed with the subject of network centrality. The Internet is supposed to be a distributed architecture, designed to withstand large-scale attacks. The decentralised nature of the Web allows for systems […]