Thursday, May 31, 2012

Twitter Use 2012

Smith, Aaron and Joanna Brenner. "Twitter Use 2012. Pew Internet, Pew Research Center, May 31, 2012.

From the summary: "As of February 2012, some 15% of online adults use Twitter, and 8% do so on a typical day. Overall Twitter adoption reamins steady, as the 15% of online adults who use Twitter is similar to the 13% of such adults who did so in May 2011. At the same time, the proportion of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010—at that point just 2% of online adults used Twitter on a typical day. The rise of smartphones might account for some of the uptick in usage because smartphone users are particularly likely to be using Twitter." Read more

Unpacking Privacy's Price

From the abstract: "This article introduces a transaction cost economic framework for interpreting the roles consumers play in social networking services (“SNSs”). It explains why the exchange between consumers and SNSs is not simple and discrete, but rather a continuous transaction with atypical attributes. These exchanges are difficult for consumers to understand and come with costs that are significant and unanticipated. Under current structures of governance, there is no exit for consumers who wish to leave an SNS. In other contexts, similar transactions are bounded by tailored consumer protections. This article explains the need for tailored consumer protection in the SNS context. Specifically, we argue that a consumer right to rescind enrollment in an SNS, triggering a deletion of and ability to export information shared with the service, is appropriate given the skewed aspects of personal information transactions." Read

How Facebook Captured Capitalist 'Kumbaya'

Ridley, Matt. "How Facebook Captured Capitalist 'Kumbaya'." The Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2012.

From the opinion: "Human beings love sharing. We swap, collaborate, care, support, donate, volunteer and generally work for each other. We tend to admire sharing when it's done for free but frown upon it—or consider it a necessary evil—when it's done for profit. Some think that online, we're at the dawn of a golden age of free sharing, the wiki world, in which commerce will be replaced by mass communal sharing—what the futurist John Perry Barlow called "dot communism."… But as the float of Facebook shows, commerce still seems alive online. The law professor and economist Thomas Hazlett of George Mason University jokes, "There sure are a lot of billionaires in this new wiki economy."" Read more

Thai Message Board Manager Is Given Suspended Prison Sentence

Fuller, Thomas and Kevin Drew. "Thai Message Board Manager Is Given Suspended Prison Sentence." The New York Times, May 30, 2012.

From the article: "A Thai court sentenced the manager of an Internet message board to a one-year suspended prison term on Wednesday for comments posted by users that insulted the Thai royal family. The sentence was immediately condemned by Google and human rights groups. The manager of the site, Prachatai, a popular forum for discussions about politics and culture, was convicted of lèse-majesté, as royal insults are known, under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act. Courts in Thailand have jailed people convicted of lèse-majesté with increasing frequency in recent years, but the verdict on Wednesday was unusual in that the defendant, Chiranuch Premchaiporn, was not the author of the offending comments; she was just the Web master of the site that hosted them." Read more

Privacy Group Wants to Put the Brakes on Google's Driverless Cars

Petrou, Andrea. "Privacy Group Wants to Put the Brakes on Google's Driverless Cars." TechEye, May 31, 2012.

From the article: "A privacy group wants to put the brakes on Google's driverless cars, demanding that they shouldn't be allowed on the road until privacy legislation has been put into place.

The Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, is demanding that the technology

is incorporated into a bill, SB 1289, which would see proper legislation around this technology, put into place to protect people.

It said without this legislation, Google's vehicles would be able to gather "unprecedented amounts of information about the use of those vehicles" with no documentation on how this would be used in the future." Read more

Here’s What Our Web Addiction Looks Like in 2016

From the article: "We’re on pace to generate 1.3 zettabytes of data in 2016, about four times more than we create today, according to the latest data out from Cisco. To put that in perspective, Cisco helpfully tells us that’s more than 38 million DVDs streamed in an hour. Or, you can think of it as a 1 followed by 21 zeros…. Around the world last year people generated 30.7 exabytes of data per month from a total of 10.3 billion connections. That’s a lot until you compare it to Cisco’s projections of the world generating roughly 110 exabytes per month from 18.9 billion connections. That’s a ton of growth, so what do the stats really tell us?" Read more

See also 

U.S. Tech Companies Warn of Threat to Internet from Foreign Governments

Kang, Cecilia. "U.S. Tech Companies Warn of Threat to Internet from Foreign Governments." The Washington Post, May 30, 2012.

From the article : "U.S. officials and high-tech business giants have launched an assault against what they view as a massive threat to the Internet and to Silicon Valley’s bottom lines: foreign governments.

In a congressional hearing Thursday, they will warn lawmakers of a growing movement led by China, Russia and some Arab states to hand more control of the Web to the United Nations and place rules on the Internet that the U.S. companies say would empower governments to clamp down on civil rights and free speech.

That could mean the Web might look drastically different in other countries than it does in the United States, opponents of the proposals say. An Internet user in Uzbekistan could be more easily tracked by government officials and might get access to only a portion of the Google search results seen in the United States, for example.

In a rare coordinated effort to knock down the proposals, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Cisco also warn of financial risks to their businesses if new rules are adopted. They say some nations may push forlaws on Internet firms that could lead to tariffs on Internet service providers such as Verizon, or even Web firms such as Facebook that enable people to communicate over the Internet." Read more