Media

A Strike Too Far

  • By
  • Megan McArdle,
  • New America Foundation
August 22, 2011 |

If a union falls by the wayside and nobody notices, does it make a difference?

Verizon's union workforce will return to work tomorrow, after a 16-day strike. You may have noticed that you didn't notice.

In Defense of the Internet Craftsman

  • By
  • James Losey,
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
August 15, 2011 |

In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg sparked an information revolution. The invention of movable type lowered barriers for sharing ideas, creating spaces for reformation and revolution. Today's Internet fulfills the same role, a flexible medium for sharing information and democratic communications. It was with this idealized Web in mind that President Obama used his 2011 State of the Union address to call for an expansion of next-generation mobile broadband.

Repressing the Internet, Western-Style

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
August 13, 2011 |

Did the youthful rioters who roamed the streets of London, Manchester and other British cities expect to see their photos scrutinized by angry Internet users, keen to identify the miscreants? In the immediate aftermath of the riots, many cyber-vigilantes turned to Facebook, Flickr and other social networking sites to study pictures of the violence. Some computer-savvy members even volunteered to automate the process by using software to compare rioters' faces with faces pictured elsewhere on the Internet.

Squelching Social Media After Riots a Dangerous Idea

  • By
  • Rebecca MacKinnon,
  • New America Foundation
August 12, 2011 |

In an emergency session of Parliament on Thursday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the violence, looting and arson sweeping his country "were organized via social media." He said his government is now considering how and whether to "stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."

Media Is Growing More White. What’s the FCC Doing About It?

  • By
  • Jason Smith,
  • New America Foundation
August 11, 2011 |

The increasing lack of racial diversity in the U.S. media landscape is becoming a hot topic and putting pressure on policy makers to (finally) pay attention.

Why Texting Is the Most Important Information Service in the World

  • By
  • Jamie Holmes,
  • New America Foundation
August 3, 2011 |

The "feature" mobile phone is the globe's top selling consumer electronics product. For many of the world's poor, due to meager connectivity in rural areas and the costs of more advanced mobiles, these phones effectively support only voice and text (or SMS) functions. Feature mobiles have spread into some of the most remote areas of the globe, with 48 million people now with cell phones but no electricity, and by next year, 1.7 billion with cell phones but no bank account, according to one estimate.

Our Web Freedom at the Mercy of Tech Giants

  • By
  • Rebecca MacKinnon,
  • New America Foundation
August 1, 2011 |

Wael Ghonim, Google executive by day, secret Facebook activist by night, famously declared right after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down in February: "If you want to liberate a society just give them the Internet."

Overthrowing a government is one thing. But building a sustainable democracy is turning out to be more difficult, and the Internet's role in that process is much less clear.

Why Google+ Will Be Something New

  • By
  • Konstantin Kakaes,
  • New America Foundation
July 28, 2011 |

I have a 74-year old aunt who lives in a small town in the mountains in Greece. She has never used a computer. But when she asked me what e-mail was, I could explain it to her easily. It isn’t different from paper mail in any essential way. It moves faster and it’s cheaper. It, so to speak, smells different, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

Two Decades of the Web: A Utopia No Longer

  • By
  • Evgeny Morozov,
  • New America Foundation
June 22, 2011 |

The internet is a child with many fathers. It is an extremely complex multi-module technology and each module—from communication protocols to browsers—has a convoluted history. The internet’s earliest roots lie in the rise of cybernetics during the 1950s. Later breakthroughs included the invention of packet switching in the 1960s, a novel way for transmitting data by breaking it into chunks. Various university and government networks began to appear in the early 1970s, and were interlinked in the 1980s. The first browsers came on line in the early 1990s—20 years ago this August.

The FCC Needs More Fixes, Fewer Excuses for the National Broadband Map

  • By
  • Sascha Meinrath,
  • New America Foundation
May 31, 2011 |

Our critique of the National Broadband Map, "Map to Nowhere," has caused quite a stir over at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Yet the response from Steven Rosenberg, chief data officer with the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau, offers PR spin and damage control rather than substantive ideas.

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