Weekend tech reading: Is the UN taking control of the Internet?

By on

Is the UN about to take control of the internet? The future of the web will be decided in a dark room by UN politicians and authoritarian governments -- at least according to Google and some other opponents of the International Telecommunication Union’s plan to reform its 25-year-old guidelines. Leaked documents have shown that ITU members are interested in adding more internet regulations to the ITU’s mostly telecommunications-focused rules, something critics worry will let countries justify repressive filtering of the internet or upset the current balance of power by pushing more regulation. The Verge

What Kodak could still learn from Polaroid Twenty-five years ago, two corporations, Eastman Kodak and Polaroid, essentially owned the U.S. market for photographic film, with a modest but growing slice going to Fujifilm of Japan. It was a huge business, with good profit margins. At its peak in the late 1990s, Kodak sold about a billion rolls of film in the United States each year. Last year, it sold roughly 20 million. That’s a 98 percent drop in its core business over barely more than a decade. It’s no wonder Kodak filed for Chapter 11 protection early this year. The Washington Post

How 4 Microsoft engineers proved that the "darknet" would defeat DRM Can digital rights management technology stop the unauthorized spread of copyrighted content? Ten years ago this month, four engineers argued that it can't, forever changing how the world thinks about piracy. Their paper, "The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution" (available as a .doc here) was presented at a security conference in Washington, DC, on November 18, 2002. By itself, the paper's clever and provocative argument likely would have earned it a broad readership. Ars Technica

A tale of tablet flashing About a year and a half ago, I picked up Asus' original Eee Pad Transformer tablet. This precursor to the growing crop of Win8 convertibles quickly worked its way into my life, proving the virtues of the concept long before Microsoft had an OS to match. Me and Arcee, as I sometimes call her, developed a true bond. We spend countless hours cuddled on the couch reading together. She was by my side for a romantic road trip through Italy and a rugged kayaking adventure on the remote Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. The Tech Report

McAfee comes out of hiding to talk about life on the run The journey to interview Internet security guru John McAfee began with a secret phrase, a mysterious driver and a circuitous route full of left turns, right turns and U-turns. It concluded at a safe house on a tropical island paradise, where the 67-year-old was waiting in disguise --as an old man with salt and pepper hair -- to tell his bizarre tale. "It hasn't been a lot of fun. I miss my prior life. Much of it has been deprivation. No baths, poor food," McAfee told CNN Friday. CNN

Mitsubishi drops DLP displays: goodbye RPTVs forever Mitsubishi Electric was the last hold-out in the rear projection TV (RPTV) business, and now the company is dropping the line, CE Pro has learned. Mitsubishi Electrical Visual Solutions America, Inc. (MEVSA), the group in charge of the RPTV and other video product lines for both residential and commercial markets, has sent a letter to authorized service centers (reprinted below) indicating they are "discontinuing the manufacture of 73”, 82” and 92” DLP projection televisions." CEPro

AMD Trinity buyer's guide AMD's first generation Llano APUs (Accelerated Processor Units) combined traditional x86 CPU cores with discrete-level graphics cores on the same die. AMD aimed these APUs at the mainstream market -- while they could not compete with Intel's higher-end Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, the Llano APUs offered a compelling alternative to Intel's lower-end Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs. AMD's second generation Trinity APUs continue in this market space by competing with Intel's dual-core CPUs. AnandTech

The rise and fall of the obscure music download blog: a roundtable One internet music "sharing" trend largely unnoticed by the powers that sue was the niche explosion of obscure music download blogs, lasting roughly from 2004-2008. Using free filesharing services like Rapidshare and Mediafire, and setting up sites on Blogspot and similar providers, these internet hubs stayed hidden in the open by catering to more discerning kleptomaniac audiophiles. Their specialty: parceling out ripped recordings...The Awl

The lying disease Valerie was lying in her boyfriend's bed early on the morning of September 16, 2010, when she detected what 12 percent of women will face in their lifetime: a tiny lump buried in her left breast. She didn't panic. She was only 36 and healthy in a typical Northwest way -- ate organic, biked 100 miles a week -- and her annual breast exam had been blessedly lump-free only four months earlier. And when Valerie called her boyfriend over to cop a feel, he couldn't detect the lump. The Stranger

Self-assembling 3D nanowires could be the future of semiconductor production Kepler, Descartes, Hooke -- a few of the greatest minds in history linked through the simple question of the child: How does nature create the intricate structure of a snowflake, seemingly out of thin air? Advances made by a group at the University of Lund in Sweden have now elevated the synthesis of semiconductor structures off the chip and into the air, speeding things up 1000-fold in the process. ExtremeTech

The ups and downs of making elevators go You press a button and wait for your elevator. How long before you get impatient and agitated? Theresa Christy says 20 seconds. As a mathematician steeped in the theories of vertical transportation at Otis Elevator Co., Ms. Christy, 55, has spent a quarter-century developing systems that make elevators run as perfectly as possible -- which means getting most riders into a car in less than 20 seconds. The WSJ

Want to get through to a human quicker on Apple’s support line? Drop an F-bomb Automated telephone systems -- don’t you just love them? Like many other major technology companies, Apple employs an automated system to ask questions, identify issues and put callers through to the right person – who might be able to help. Often, it can feel like you are taking part in the world’s longest question and answer session -- but help is at hand. The Next Web

Splinternet behind the great firewall of China What if you could not access YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia? How would you feel if Google informed you that your connection had been reset during a search? What if Gmail was only periodically available, and Google Docs, which was used to compose this article, was completely unreachable? What a mess! These things happen almost every day in China. ACM

The Internet’s best terrible person goes to jail: can a reviled master troll become a geek hero? On a gray Wednesday morning in October, the car headed west on the Lincoln Highway Bridge hit 100 miles per hour and I started to worry it might hurtle off into the tangle of rusted-out warehouses and smoke stacks that pass for a landscape in northeastern New Jersey. Gawker

Who spilled Hot Coffee? On 14th July 2004 Sam Houser, the president and co-founder of Rockstar Games, wrote an email to Jennifer Kolbe, the company's operations director. At most other firms, its contents would have been considered 'NSFW'. "These are some examples of content that will be displayed graphically: oral sex, full sex (multiple positions)... Eurogamer

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.