Net users of the world unite

[As ever, also on the BBC News website, with better pictures…]

Over the last twenty years the global economy has been shaped and reshaped by computers and the growing reach of the internet as a public communications network. Businesses now rely on the net in the way they relied on the telephone back in the 1950’s or the railway back in Victorian days, and new ways of doing business are constantly emerging based around the capabilities of the network.

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Mao, Stalin… or Tito

My piece on why we need to move beyond Web 2.0 is up on The Register, and makes the argument that

Web 2.0 marks the dictatorship of the presentation layer, a triumph of appearance over architecture that any good computer scientist should immediately dismiss as unsustainable.


Nicholas Carr has picked up on what he calls my ‘fire-breathing essay’, and seems generally supportive, though he does call me on my ‘weird, through-the-looking-glass note of techno-utopian yearning’ in the last few paras.

Guily, as charged, I fear – but we have to look forward!

Lisp conference.

Registration has just opened for the 2007 International Lisp Conference, which will take place at Clare College, Cambridge, England from 1-4 April, with a day of punting and walking around Cambridge on March 31 to get people into the mood.

My mate Nick Levine is one of the organisers, and I’m going along to report on the event and learn some cool stuff.

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You Only Live Once

[As ever, read this on the BBC News website too]

Not content with occupying vast chunks of the television schedule for weeks at a time Endemol, the company that produces the ‘Big Brother’ reality TV programme, has announced that it will be hosting a special edition of the show inside the Second Life virtual world.

Participants, or at least their online representations in the form of cartoon-like avatars, will be confined in a house with transparent walls, and the winner will become the owner of a whole Second Life island.

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Where the Web is going

The big hitters were in San Francisco for the latest Web 2.0 bash – though apparently we have to call it a ‘Summit’ these days – to what Nicholas Carr rather gloatingly describes as ‘tepid reviews‘.

Meanwhile I was at Bath University giving a well-received talk to the Computer Science Society, and having a far better time of it.

You can read the paper I prepared on my main talks page and I’ll put up the audio on the billcast later this week.

Joining the dots

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website]

While it is certainly interesting to note that Google’s UK advertising revenue this year is likely to outstrip that of Channel 4 and may soon approach ITV’s, we should not let our reading of these particular runes get out of hand.
Nine hundred million pounds is not really that much money, under five per cent of the total spent advertising to us all each year, and the Google model is so very different from the TV model that any claims that Google is taking money from commercial TV should be treated with scepticism.
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Digital Identity Forum

I was on a panel at the Digital Identity Forum yesterday, organised as usual by David Birch from Consult Hyperion. Much fun was had, and Will Davies gave an excellent talk as usual.

I was more succinct and less interesting – here’s the talk I wrote and, as an experiment, I recorded it and have made a pocast for your listening pleasure, online at the BillCast. And the movie I refer to half way through the talk is up on YouTube.

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