“People will visit a Web site less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds (a millisecond is a thousandth of a second). ‘Two hundred fifty milliseconds, either slower or faster, is close to the magic number now for competitive advantage on the Web,’ said Harry Shum, a computer scientist and speed specialist at Microsoft.” (Steve Lohr, NYTimes.com)
“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)
“The Megaupload indictment reminds companies that how they manage copyrighted material on their sites could determine whether they continue to operate freely or face legal consequences. At the same time, it offers a look at just how widespread such piracy is and how tricky it can be to cut down on it, given the many ways people can send files to each other online.” (Nicole Perlroth & Quentin Hardy, NYTimes.com)
“WorldMap allows scholars to integrate information from diverse sources by making it possible to overlay data in users’ own computers with materials on the Web. The system also lets users incorporate paper maps, perform online digitizing, and link locations to other media.
The system allows for collaborations that can range from small groups in which all participants have editorial rights to interactive publications for large audiences. The system is also designed to support the research process, by allowing information to initially be made private, before being opened to larger groups for refinement, and finally to be published or released to the public.” (Harvard Science)
Check out WorldMap (and the video below for a crash course).
“But, as with the rest of the technology revolution, big data is likely to have a more mixed impact on us in our role as workers. David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has done groundbreaking research on the “polarizing” effect of technology on the labor market: his bottom line is that it has been good for people at the top and not had much of an effect on people doing hands-on jobs at the bottom. But it has hollowed out what used to be the middle. Studying the same phenomenon in the United Kingdom, the economists Maarten Goos and Alan Manning have come up with an evocative term for what is happening — the division of work into ‘lousy and lovely jobs.’ ” (Chrystia Freeland, Reuters/NYTimes.com)
“The creation of IEML (Information Economy Meta Language) is based on the explicit assumption that all human beings, and all cultures, have in common a basic linguistic-symbolic ability. The main limitation of artificial intelligence is the belief that logic and statistics are sufficient to model human intelligence. I don’t think that current techniques of automatic reasoning are enough to model the basic symbolic manipulation ability of the human species. In addition to the formal tools of artificial intelligence, we need a new kind of formalism to describe in a functional and computable manner our capacity to create and transform meaning (sense, signification).” (Pierre Levy in Eelke Hermens, Masters of Media)