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Digital Culture Wars: Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" and China's Social Credit System

We are on the cusp of a grave risk where unscrupulous groups with various agendas are using digital technologies to wage cultural war to stamp out dissent and gain control and power. The two most prominent recent examples are Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) and China's Social Credit System (SCS). The following piece was prompted by work on the UDHR and Internet Governance series, for CircleID to deal with UDHR Article 27 and the role of culture, arts, and science in the life of the community.  more

Facebook Is Right to Call the Australian Government Bluff

As mentioned in previous analyses, the way that the Government has approached its battle with the digital giants has been flawed from the beginning. True, its tough stand had made Google pay media companies well above what these companies would have been able to negotiate individually with Google, but the fundamentals of why these battles are taking place are still unchanged. more

Digital in 2021 – Five Predictions for Brand Protection

While smartphones were an integral part of our lives before 2020, now, as a result of the changes associated with COVID, our mobile devices are virtually "super-glued" to our hands. The worldwide pandemic has heavily influenced our lives. Based on our past experiences with digital brand protection and the trends we're currently seeing, we've made five predictions regarding the future of internet usage in 2021. more

WordPress Now Powers 39.5% of the Web

Last month in the annual "State of the Word" presentation for 2020, Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress now powered 39% of websites, as measured by W3Techs. The number has actually grown a bit more since that time to 39.5%.1 Perhaps by next month it will pass 40%. What is more remarkable to me is to see that in December 2020, for the first time, the number of sites using WordPress passed the number of sites that were NOT using any form of content management system (CMS). more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 6: Articles 18-19

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs guiding principles from which policy making, and acceptable behavior, are derived. Identifying the fundamental principles to guide Internet ecosystem policy making around digital citizenship, and around the integrity of digital practices and behavior, can and should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). more

The Internet's Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

Beyond the Interweb

Today's Internet is a network of networks and seen through the lens of the web. We need to look beyond the engineering history to see the Internet in the context of the broader vision of JCR Licklider, an acoustic psychologist, and his vision of man/computer symbiosis... JCR Licklider would've been thrilled to see such a powerful man-machine symbiosis becoming so normal and having it work so well. Lick, as he was called, can be considered the grandfather of the Internet. more

Implementing Natural Language Processing in Your SMB Organization: Now or Never!

If you have already adopted AI in your small or mid-size organization, congratulations. If not, the urgency of adopting should be a top priority. You will become a laggard and most likely obsolete given the supercycle of innovation we are currently in. Implementing AI is quite different from other organization-wide strategies because it involves highly specific characteristics and expert resource pools that SMBs might not be able to access. more

Trump Wants to Change the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), says that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The law was passed in 1996 in order to shield ISPs that transported content or platforms that hosted it from lability. Bloggers were not responsible for comments on their posts, YouTube and Facebook were not responsible for things users posted, etc. more

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more

Macro Musings for Digital Strategies Using Unstructured Data

When Doug Dawson wrote his article in February on Artificial Intelligence, he felt that #ai is saddled with too much hype as is its current counterpart, 5G. Certainly, there is a great deal of technology out there that deserves the hype and others that do not. After receiving a certification (Intro to AI) from IBM (while using Watson), I'm here to share that artificial intelligence, and its subsets of machine learning and deep learning definitely deserve a soundbite. more

Freedom of Expression Part 1: Hate Speech, Linehan, Trans as a Protected Class in California

Graham Linehan was banned from Twitter last week. Graham Linehan is an Irish writer and creator of Father Ted and Black Books. Twitter closed Graham Linehan's account for tweeting "men aren't women though" which twitter perceived as "hate speech" and offensive to the Trans community. Context always shapes meaning, and so I thought it would be useful to explore how hate speech is interpreted in California and then to see how it is treated in Fiji. more

Your Domain Name Does Matter in Search Results – Microsoft Says So!

I stumbled upon a study conducted by Microsoft eons ago back in the paleolithic era of search; 2012... It is about how "premium domains" are perceived by the consumer when seeing them in the search results compared to a lower value "non-premium" domain. I like to use quotations sparingly, but I felt it was necessary because the varying opinions on premium v non-premium domains is a bridge I do not want to cross in this post.  more

Is the Lockdown Driving Domain Registrations?

Businesses across Europe face a new and challenging situation not seen in generations. A mass lockdown of society due to the coronavirus pandemic with thousands of businesses having been forced to send employees home. The societal impact is broad and deep; however, for ccTLD registries, beyond changes to how staff work, other business effects so far seem minimal. One aspect of registry business may, however, be changing. more

Firefox Starts the Roll Out of DNS Over HTTPS (DoH) by Default for US-Based Users

According to the company, the rollout will continue over the next few weeks to confirm that no major issues are discovered as this new protocol is enabled. more