Disconnected thinking

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website. And while the tinfoil hat brigade is already assembling there are some voices of sanity]

Students at Canada’s Lakehead University have to be careful how they connect to the internet because wifi is banned on large parts of the campus.

University president Fred Gilbert, whose academic interests include wildlife management, environmental studies and natural resources science, is worried about the health impact of the 2.4Ghz radio waves used by wireless networks

Last year he decided to adopt the precautionary principle and refused to allow wifi in those areas that have what he calls ‘hard wire connectivity’ until it is proved to be  safe.

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Watching art imitate life

[As ever, this is on the BBC News website, and you can also find some relevant stuff over at the ENTER_  site]

Next week I’m chairing a session at a major conference on digital arts in Cambridge, and if all goes well I’ll be making some of the people there feel pretty uncomfortable about their attitude to personal privacy.

My session at the ENTER_ conference glories in the name ‘control technology’, and it’s about the ways in which artists make use of the many of the surveillance tools that surround and record us.

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Can the network grow?

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

At the turn of the last millennium financial markets around the world realised that the valuations they were offering for companies whose business plans included the word ‘internet’ were completely ridiculous and that there was no way most of them were ever going to make money.

Share prices for those that had already floated collapsed; second round venture funding for startups disappeared, even for good ideas with a solid track record; and the angel investors took their money elsewhere.

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Steve Jobs proves me wrong

[Also there to read on the BBC News website, as usual]

At the press event to announce that the iTunes Music Store will be selling ‘premium’ songs from EMI’s catalogue without the copy-protection offered by the Fairplay digital rights management system Steve Jobs noted that ‘some doubted Apple’s sincerity when we made our proposal earlier this year … they said we had too much to lose.’

That would be me, then.

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