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.

Harvard professor Anita Elberse [...]

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 that emerged in the [...]

Social networks: Guilt by association?

Our social networks tend to show distinct social circles

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 [...]

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 Bill, see here).

When reading [...]

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 by maintaining [...]

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, a company dedicated to monitoring [...]

The Centrality Menace

There’s a storm coming

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 to be taken out, while [...]

Cloud failure and the myth of the decentralized Web

Not every cloud has a silver lining…

When the history of the Internet is written, June 30 2012 may be remembered as The Day The Cloud Failed. An important Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) data centre in Virginia was affected by a powerful storm which knocked out its power (prompting variations of the headline [...]

CISPA is a threat to the world

The United States Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has passed in the US House of Representatives despite vocal online opposition, and the surprising threat of veto from the White House. H.R. 3523 drew criticism because it is purported to be a threat to privacy as it encourages Internet services to share user [...]