All items about communication

Posts

Human 2.0 Holiday Highlights

What better way to ring in the New Year than to put your feet up and enjoy a few re-runs? Here are some of our most popular posts from the last year or so as well as a few you might have missed…

1. Posthumanity and digital superpowers

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdm1979uk/3607288494

We’ve been blogging about Human 2.0 for over two years now, but it was this April that we split off from Bitcurrent and launched this site. We kicked off with two launch posts… a high-level scene-setter called Welcome to posthumanity:

“We’re becoming a new species–one that can hack its own cognition and edit its own biology. We’re all getting an upgrade, like it or not. This is the most important subject of the century, but it’s still hiding in academia and science fiction. We hope to change that.”

Ten superpowers the Internet gave us

…and a look at some of the tangible ways in which the Internet gives us superpowers:

We may not realize it, but the Internet has given us superhuman abilities. Technology lets us to do things that were impossible 30 years ago – from speaking foreign languages and armchair travel to global messaging and virtual worlds. Welcome, Human 2.0, these are your superpowers.

2. It’s all about the data

Read more »

Links

39 years after it began, Internet-based electronic mail has finally been granted the same recognition as other forms of communication, meaning that it cannot be intercepted by authorities without a warrant. It’s nice to see some privacy rights being given back in a time when much of our privacy is being eroded in the name of fighting terrorism. The interesting question now is whether this will affect Project Echelon and its routine monitoring of e-mail traffic. It will also be interesting to see if it serves as a precedent for other countries.

Read more at Geekosystem.

Featured
Posts
Video

Bitnorth 2010: The Human 2.0 Weekend

In late August, CAMMAC (a music camp north of Montreal) hosted the third annual Bitnorth conference. This year the theme was Human 2.0. Attendees presented a 5 minute “short bit” on a topic of their choice, which inspired many lively debates. Slides and recordings will be online soon but in the meantime, here are some of the interesting Human 2.0 ideas and questions that emerged over the course of the weekend: Read more »

Links

The well known sci-fi movie trilogy Back to the Future got a lot of attention online yesterday when it was “revealed” that July 5th, 2010 was the date in the future that Marty and the Doc travel to at the start of the second movie. The only problem is, as the more astute fans will know, that this date never actually featured in the movies. The date in question is actually in 2015.

The mistake originated from Total Film magazine in the UK, and when they discovered their mistake, they jokingly “went back in time to fix it” (a.k.a. photoshopping a screen capture from the movie). Unfortunately, this image then spread around the Internet as “proof” that July 5th 2010 was really in the movie. Soon the Future day meme was trending on Twitter and receiving tens of thousands of searches on Google. There’s even a new variant of the image with July 6th as the date… and the meme continues.

This incident highlights both the speed at which information spreads online, and also how readily people will accept anything they read online, without taking the time to dig deeper or verify facts – something that will become more and more commonplace as we become more saturated with information from so many sources.

Read the full story at Total Film.

Posts

Is Zynga’s break with Facebook a sign that software developers, feeling trapped by the platforms on which they grew, want to down the garden wall?

The biggest app maker on Facebook may want to break up with the social network site. Flash and Apple have divorced, citing irreconcilable differences. We’re moving past the days of net neutrality, into those of app neutrality. Are the garden walls of social networks and mobile devices ready to crumble, just as rigidly controlled online services gave way to the Web fifteen years ago?

Read more »

Links

Did Google kill the phone book?

A stack of Yellow Pages, unopened because nobody needs them

A few months ago I noticed a stack of Yellow Pages directories delivered to my apartment block had laid unopened for months on end in our porch, and I realized, people don’t need phonebooks any more. We all use Google to find business contact information now.

According to the Globe and Mail, the Yellow Pages Group have announced that they will no longer deliver their directory in Canada’s seven largest cities unless it is requested. This seems to confirm that the phone book’s days are numbered, it is now a relic from a time when we didn’t have the world’s information at our fingertips, on our phones and on our desktops. No longer do we need to cut down forests just to stay informed. Besides, if you’re missing the Yellow Pages, you can always download the iPhone app!

There’s more discussion of the story on Slashdot.

Posts

Got a problem with the way someone thinks? Then you’ll love social networks like Facebook, because they give you easy ways to harass your ideological opposites.

Search makes it easy to find someone you disagree with. Once you’ve found your ideological target, get your friends to report them, and let the automated antispam systems do their work. ReadWriteWeb has an example of groups reporting someone in order to wrongfully shut down their online accounts already.

How did we get here?

Read more »

Posts

For six years, I’ve shared my life with Facebook, dutifully posting my status and responding to constant pleas to read or comment. We were happy at first, Facebook helped me rekindle old friendships and spark new ones. But now, with the passage of time, I can see her for what she really is, a heartless bitch with no respect for me, my privacy or my feelings.

Read more »

Featured
Posts
Thumbnailed

Who owns your voice online?

Gagged on Flickr by Sebastiano Pitruzzello

When I call you, I don’t care who your service provider is. When I send a letter, I don’t care who delivers it to the door. But with online communication, it’s not so simple. If I want to “friend” you, I can only do so if we both use Facebook. If I want to share a thought publicly, you’re unlikely to see it unless you’re on Twitter, too. Twitter, Facebook, MSN and Skype are new forms of communication that did not exist before the Internet – but unlike their old world equivalents, they’re controlled by corporations and the messages you send with them are restricted in audience and reach.

Much of the media attention on Twitter and Facebook is on the products and the companies behind them, but we would do well to stop thinking in those terms, like we did with email, and start thinking more about the means of communication that they provide.

It’s only when we take a step back and think about the digital communications revolution in these terms, that the picture becomes evident. It’s not a pretty one. Almost every form of digital communication is dominated by one company, and locked in to members of that service (See table below). We are in a poor state for a free, open exchange of ideas.

Read more »

Links
Video

By way of the BBC, here’s a look at a device that can help nonverbal autistic children communicate. With powerful, portable computers, applications like this are much more accessible and portable to a wider audience.

Powered by WordPress, based on Mina theme.