Digital Media: Hot or Cool?

“Without cooling technologies, digital media exhibit a death wish. They will generate so much excess heat that they inhibit their own operation. Without the heat sink in a computer, the processor would quickly overheat and burn out (if you wanted to, you could cook bologna on it before it does, see video below). If one were to shut off the air-conditioning at a data center (where our internet content is stored), the servers would overheat and our information would disappear. At times more energy is needed to cool the systems – to offset the production of heat by computer processors – than is needed to operate the computers themselves. Indeed, it is this cooling process, and something as seemingly unimportant as air conditioning, that constitutes a significant part of digital media’s environmental impact.” (Nicole Starosielski, FLOW)

Could the Internet Ever Be Destroyed?

Could the Internet Ever Be Destroyed? - Scientific American

Image: Creative Commons | The Opte Project

“However, while it’s essentially impossible to cripple connectivity internally in a country, Clark said it is conceivable that one country could block another’s access to its share of the Internet cloud; this could be done by severing the actual cables that carry Internet data between the two countries. Thousands of miles of undersea fiber-optic cables that convey data from continent to continent rise out of the ocean in only a few dozen locations, branching out from those hubs to connect to millions of computers. But if someone were to blow up one of these hubs — the station in Miami, for example, which handles some 90 percent of the Internet traffic between North America and Latin America — the Internet connection between the two would be severely hampered until the infrastructure was repaired.” (Natalie Wolchover and LiveScience, Scientific American)

Next battle over Net ramps up worldwide

Next battle over Net ramps up worldwide - Politico

Image: AP Photo

“The countries pressing for the change counter that regulatory power over the Web is disproportionately concentrated in U.S.-based organizations. Given the global nature of the Web, that authority should be more broadly shared, they say.  There is a ‘sense that the U.S. has an inordinately primary position in how the Internet is administered,’ said Brian Cute, head of the Public Interest Registry, which manages .org sites. ‘That sentiment is driving many of the actors in this negotiation.’

If the pro-regulation countries realize their agenda, the ITU [International Telecommunication Union] is the international body that would assume more power over the Internet. The ITU is under the auspices of the United Nations.” (Eliza Krigman, Politico)

TV Channel Squeeze Proposed to Pay for Tax Cuts

TV Channel Squeeze Proposed to Pay for Tax Cuts - Associated Press“In a sense, this proposal is a reflection of the times. In the U.S., there are more wireless devices in use than there are people. Meanwhile, various studies show that fewer than 10 percent of households get their TV signals over the air — the rest have cable or satellite service. The FCC’s national broadband plan envisions freeing up 500 megahertz of spectrum over the next 10 years. As much as a quarter of that could come from television. But many things need to happen first. For starters, Congress needs to give the FCC authority to do this.” (Anick Jesdanun, The Associated Press)

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do - Scientific American

‘No Technology’ by Sammy0716 on Flickr

“The notion of being social on the Web is constantly evolving since we are connected not only via computers but also via mobile phones or handheld devices. The web is getting more powerful and social: new messaging services emerge each month; streamed media is becoming real even for the non-technical consumer; Google reshapes its services like a child rearranging building blocks; new ideas in federated rather than centralized systems are being explored, and more. The frequent change in layouts, privacy settings and interaction tools indicate that online dynamics require new classes of knowledge and skills to adopt such major changes on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other places in order to navigate and socialize online.

What is important to emphasize is that these digital divides, that go far beyond the pure infrastructure issues, need to become a key focus of engagement for profit and nonprofit organizations as they continue their missions to develop programs for social and digital inclusion.” (Danica Radovanovic, Scientific American)

Bandwidth Hogs Don’t Exist

Bandwidth Hogs Don't Exist - Social Media Collective

Image: Alex Eben Meyer -

“A much better motive for metering and caps in the case of triple-play operators (those who provide Internet and also provide pay television) is to protect their lucrative market for video from encroachment by Internet video competition.  In other words, Comcast has monopoly power in cable television in many markets. It has set its 250 GB/month cap so that it is impossible to buy television over its Internet service (take that, Netflix!) or to use free Internet video services in lieu of cable TV (take that, YouTube!), thus maintaining its monopoly in video. By the way, that is the definition of a violation of antitrust law. Hello, Justice Department?” (Christian Sandvig, Social Media Collective)