Monday, 22 July 2013

The irrelevance of Microsoft — Benedict Evans

The irrelevance of Microsoft — Benedict Evans: "Microsoft's share of connected devices sales (in effect, PCs plus iOS and Android) has collapsed from over 90% in 2009 to under a quarter today. Just as overnight success can take a lifetime, so overnight collapse can also take a long time. There are founders creating companies today who weren't born when people were still actually scared of big bad Micro$oft.
It stopped setting the agenda 18 years ago. Windows 95 was the moment of victory, but was also the peak: it came just at the moment that the Internet started taking off, and Microsoft was never a relevant force on the internet despite investing tens of billions of dollars. But you needed a PC to use the internet, and for almost everyone that PC ran Windows, so Microsoft's failure to create successful online services didn't seem to matter. Microsoft survived and thrived in the PC internet era, despite appearing to be irrelevant, by milking its victory in the previous phase of the technology industry. PC sales were 59m units in 1995 and rose to over 350m in 2012.
Of course, that's now coming to an end. Though it looks like we've passed the tipping point, this process isn't going to be over quickly. PC sales aren't going to zero this year. But the replacement cycle, already at 5 years, will lengthen further and further, more and more apps will move to mobile or the cloud, and for many people the PC will end up like the printer or fax - vestigial reminders of an older way of doing things. Microsoft may yet manage to turn Windows tablets and phones into products with meaningful market share, but it will never be dominant again.'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Global data privacy rules would be awesome (but good luck getting there)

Global data privacy rules would be awesome (but good luck getting there) — Tech News and Analysis: "Google and Facebook’s international operations, of course, are headquartered in Ireland. So Merkel suggested she wanted German-strength laws to apply in Ireland – and that means being super-clear about who gets access to users’ data. “We [in Germany] have a great data protection law,” she said. “But if Facebook is registered in Ireland, then Irish law is valid, and therefore we need unified European rules.”" 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Case C‑131/12 Google Spain SL/Google Inc. v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD)

delivered on 25 June 2013 (1) Case C‑131/12 Google Spain SL/Google Inc. v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) (Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Audiencia Nacional (Spain))
(World Wide Web – Personal data – Internet search engine – Data Protection Directive 95/46" 'via Blog this'

EU Data Retention Directive finally before European Court of Justice

EU Data Retention Directive finally before European Court of Justice | Internet Policy Review: "The Commission has postponed a full-fledged review to 2014, while at the same time continuing to push for implementation in all member states.
The European Court of Justice, in a decision dated 30 May 2013, has tackled data retention implementation, requesting Sweden to pay a lump sum of 3 million Euro for its delay in transposing the directive into national law in time. Sweden already lost the first case in 2010 for violating its obligations to transpose the directive by September 2007. A new Swedish government finally implemented the data retention provisions on 1 May 2012.
Belgium was warned by the Commission by the end of May 2013 for not fully transposing the directive. The Commission's case against Germany is pending. Romania and Bulgaria have adjusted implementation after judgments by their Constitutional Courts. The transposition into Czech law was cancelled by its Constitutional Court in 2011." 'via Blog this'

The shocking truth about Silicon Valley genius Doug Engelbart

The shocking truth about Silicon Valley genius Doug Engelbart | ZDNet: "His funding was based on the use of large computers connected to personal workstations that looked very much like PCs, a computer architecture called time-sharing.
But the microcomputer and its promise of being self-sufficient, unconnected to anything, was thought to be the future at the time. And the counter-culture with its hatred of "the Man" and centralized systems of power and oppression, rejected the time-sharing mainframe based computer architecture that underpinned the work of Mr. Engelbart and his colleagues. Big centralized systems were out of favor in the computer research communities and so was funding, which went to microcomputer based architectures.
Today's computer systems are essentially what we had with time-sharing mainframes in the 1960s and 70s: personal workstations connected to a large central computer system (server farm), able to communicate with each other and run spreadsheets, word processors, and apps. Ross Mayfield, in an interview with Doug Engelbart in June 2005, writes: "We herald the PC revolution, but we should remember that it made us forget to share.  Timesharing enabled groups to share a common pool resource, sharing that, which impacted social dynamics.  With PCs, we were left on our own, however empowered."'via Blog this'

PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers

PRISM: The EU must take steps to protect cloud data from US snoopers - Comment - Voices - The Independent: "There are already amendments tabled to the new Regulation which would protect such whistleblowers, and require citizens to give their consent to put their data in Clouds outside EU jurisdiction, and only after seeing a drastic warning notice.
The US has resisted recognition of European data protection rights for 30 years, and seems minded not to change. The EU should develop an industrial policy for its own Cloud industry, based on open-source software, on a comparable scale to the planning that now allows Airbus to win equal market share with Boeing. If the Cloud is anywhere near as important as the hype suggests, why wouldn't Europe want to do this anyway, and retain the high-end of the value chain which now flows back to the US through tax arbitrage?" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Three Strikes and You’re Still In – France Kills Piracy Disconnections

Three Strikes and You’re Still In – France Kills Piracy Disconnections | TorrentFreak: "In June, a nine-member panel lead by former Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure produced a 700 page report advising on policies for advancing entertainment industries in the digital age.
Among other things, the panel concluded that the three strikes mechanism had failed to benefit authorized services as promised. It also recommended that the ultimate sanction of Internet disconnections for infringers should be dumped.
That recommendation has now been carried out by the French Government.
Earlier this morning the Ministry of Culture published official decree No. 0157 of July 9, 2013 which removed “the additional misdemeanor punishable by suspension of access to a communication service.”
The changes come too late for the only individual to have fallen foul of France’s disconnection law. In June and after millions of warnings sent, a single Internet subscriber was fined 600 euros and suspended from the Internet for two weeks after failing to respond to “strike” notices." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Interview with Caspar Bowden: Tracing the (Mis)steps to the PRISM Revelation

Interview with Caspar Bowden: Tracing the (Mis)steps to the PRISM Revelation | LSE Media Policy Project: "There’s been a grinding down of people’s privacy expectations in a systematic way as part of the corporate strategy, which I saw in Microsoft. As for the secret surveillance agenda, most people in the UK do not seem to care about it, because they lack accurate information in the media about what exactly is happening. The reporting is always chronically mangled and pre-spun according to law-enforcement lobbies.
"The key socio-political question is not whether and how much privacy one wants for oneself, but whether one would want to live in a society where nobody has any privacy. Such a society would be sterile, conformist and probably repressive and authoritarian. So in this way privacy is properly understood as a meta-right – a right which makes other political and personal rights collectively possible." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Public Sector ICT: OFT Shows Interest amid Competition Concerns

Public Sector ICT: OFT Shows Interest amid Competition Concerns: "OFT is keen to ensure that competition in this sector works well. The OFT is particularly seeking information about:

  • the structure of the sector, for example the number of suppliers and their market share;
  • whether there are barriers to entry which make it difficult for smaller businesses to compete in this sector;
  • whether public sector users face high barriers to switching suppliers, such as costs of transferring and restrictive licence agreements;
  • whether some suppliers seek to limit the interoperability and use of competitor systems with their own.
  • whether outsourcing of ICT service provision results in a high level of dependence on suppliers' expertise, undermining the ability of public bodies to drive value for money over time." 'via Blog this'