Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘internet lore’ Category

John Perry Barlow, RIP

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John Perry Barlow passed away in his sleep yesterday.  He was 70.

If you don’t know the name, but you use the Internet in your daily life, here’s how Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (of which Barlow was a co-founder some 27 years ago) put his impact in context:

It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance….

Barlow’s lasting legacy is that he devoted his life to making the Internet into “a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth . . . a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.”

WIRED has a fitting remembrance here.

RIP, Mr. Barlow.  

May your soul find eternal rest in the electronic ether.

Written by turbotodd

February 8, 2018 at 10:12 am

Adios, Yahoo!

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I missed that seemingly glorious NCAA championship football game last evening, being the cord cutter I am.

Why you don’t put a national championship game on the broadcast network instead of ESPN…well, I know why, but I refuse to be held hostage.

The recap I saw clearly showed it was quite the remarkable game. Congrats, Clemson, on ending your 35-year title drought.

Meanwhile, back at the SEC ranch, there was a sneaky 8-K filing which indicated after the Verizon sale closes, that Yahoo!’s remaining business would be renamed Altaba, Inc., and that CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo! co-founder David Filo would be resigning from the board.

Geez, that’s it? An 8-K filing with the SEC?!!

No fireworks. No goodbye drinks.

Shouldn’t we at least have a wake or a funeral or something?

For those of us who were early inhabitants of cyberspace, it’s easy to forget that in the mid 90s, Yahoo! was the phone book of the Internet. You wanted to know how to find a web site, you went to Yahoo!

There was no Google. Google didn’t even exist.

I know, mind blowing, right? Put that in in your millennial pipe and smoke it.

As to the name change, here’s what Mashable had to say:

Think of it this way: Years ago, someone planted a seed and called it “Yahoo Inc.” It grew into a big ol’ tree with some fruit hanging off of it. Verizon comes along with a basket and says, “Hey, I want to buy that fruit.” It can take all that fruit, including a really nice-looking tidbit that is the Yahoo brand, but the tree is still called Yahoo Inc. So, the farmer goes to the, uh, Securities and Exchange Commission (just roll with us) and says, “Hey, I’m selling all of my fruit to Verizon, and they can bake it into a new pie called Yahoo, but I need to change the name of this tree to Altaba. Cool?”
– via Mashable

Here’s hoping that Verizon’s new fruit basket doesn’t rot!

Written by turbotodd

January 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Jose Luis-Iribarren On Social Network Diffusion

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Jose Luis-Iribarren is a 25-year veteran of IBM who led the Olympics Web projects for the Atlanta Summer games in 1996, Nagano in 1998 and the Sydney games in 2000, where he received the IBM Chairman Award for his work. At the Institute of Knowledge Engineering, Jose Luis has most recently been applying Social Network Analysis techniques to e-marketing. His goal with that effort is to develop a quantitative model of information diffusion through online social networks.

The strangest things happen when you find yourself walking out of an elevator (or, as they call it here in Europe, a “lift”) in hotels halfway around the world.

In my case, I stumbled upon an old friend this morning, Jose Luis-Iribarren, a former IBMer and now social networks innovation manager with the Institute of Knowledge Engineering here in Madrid.

Jose Luis spent 25 years at IBM, where he led the creation of the first official Web Site for an Olympic Games for Atlanta in 1996.

I also had the opportunity to hear firsthand some of his experiences in “pathfinding” the early digital marketing milieu, as well as some fascinating stories about his experiences helping manage the Web (including learning about the “Bento Box” effect in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games).

It was a far-ranging discussion about the cutting edge of digital marketing, and a great opportunity to renew the acquaintance of old friend.

And all because of the serendipity of an elevator, and the real-world network effect!

The Web Is Dead, Long Live The iPad

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At IBM’s Information on Demand Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in October 2007, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine.

In that interview, we talked most about the economics of the “long tail,” the theory behind which Anderson explained in his book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.

Anderson has recently returned to the public Internet consciousness with a controversial new article entitled simply “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet.”

I’ll leave it to you to read the full article, and won’t attempt to summarize the whole thing here.  Okay, well maybe just a little bit.

Long tail short, the article goes like this: The Web was too hard for people to use, the moneyed Internet interests saw this and also needed a way to cordon off their plot of Internet farmland so they can sell their crops, and the rest of we little itty bitsy consumer sharecroppers will soon be marginalized by the large Internet agricultural interests.

Or something to that effect.

Michael Wolf, media insider and writer, writes in his own sidebar comment to the Wired piece:

This development — a familiar historical march, both feudal and corporate, in which the less powerful are sapped of their reason for being by the better resourced, organized, and efficient — is perhaps the rudest shock possible to the leveled, porous, low-barrier-to-entry ethos of the Internet Age. After all, this is a battle that seemed fought and won — not just toppling newspapers and music labels but also AOL and Prodigy and anyone who built a business on the idea that a curated experience would beat out the flexibility and freedom of the Web.

It’s this idea of curation, of the widespread embrace of needing a tour guide-like experience to the Internet, that is leading us to this precipice.  But Anderson suspects a whole bunch of people have already jumped, consequences be damned.

The Web’s too hard, too complicated, he seems to argue on behalf of we Internet Everymen/women!

I want my iPad and iPhone apps!  I want my Netflix!  I want them now, and I don’t want to have to work to get to where I need the Information Superhighway to take me!  Wah!!!!

It’s understandable.  And inevitable.

And with the recent Google/Verizon talks around wireless access, pretty soon, it’s going to get even better (or worse, depending on your views of net neutrality).

We’ll all be able to get first, second, and maybe even third class tickets for our trip across the digital frontier.

Me, I’m going old-school.

Put one of these twenty-something punks in front of a telnet or gopher terminal in front of me and tell them to go find their illicit Lady Gaga video using a command line and watch them just squirm in GUI withdrawal.

That’s my idea of a good time.

Old-school, baby!

I’ll be riding in back in third class with the FTP session, the DOS prompt, and the chickens, with the nice old lady selling tacos and beer.

It may not be as easy to get there, but it’s a certainly a much more interesting ride.

Just let me carry my iPad in case the conductor loses his way and we need to access Google Maps.

Written by turbotodd

August 18, 2010 at 2:37 pm

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