Daily Archives:May 18th, 2003

As Google Goes, So Goes the Nation

[Original Link] Another good NYT article. This one is about how, as Google becomes the world’s encyclopedia,

“…a high Google ranking can also have a lot of clout in the marketplace of ideas. It seems to confer “ownership” on a particular word or phrase ? deciding, in effect, who gets to define it.

And when it comes to more specialized topics, the rankings give disproportionate weight to opinions of the activists and enthusiasts that may be at odds with the views of the larger public. It’s as if the United Nations General Assembly made all its decisions by referring the question to whichever nation cares most about the issue: the Swiss get to rule on watchmaking, the Japanese on whaling.

Dating a Blogger, Reading All About It

[Original Link] One of the things I find most interesting about the introduction of new technologies is the speed at which social etiquette has to adapt to cope with them. This NY Times article includes an estimate that there are now 3 million blogs out there. Perhaps only a small proportion of them are active, but that’s still quite a number.

Throwing down the gauntlet to Silicon Valley

[Original Link] Jim Fruchterman on ‘Social Enterprise’. Jim’s organisation, Benetech, from their unassuming offices in Palo Alto, is doing some good work in difficult times.

Minitel’s twentieth birthday

[Original Link] I’ve always been fascinated by France’s Minitel system since first seeing a new terminal when on an ‘exchange’ trip just after it was launched in ’83. John Naughton writes:

BBC Online story. Funny how things change: once upon a time, France was the only country in the world with a serious e-commerce and online information infrastructure — via the closed but freely available Minitel system. That was in 1983, the year the Internet was switched on. Then came the Web, and with it the idea that boring old steam-age Minitel was finished. Well, maybe it was, but the Web has yet to deliver the same reliability and micro-billing capability. [Memex 1.1]

The Matrix regurgitated

[Original Link] I thought The Matrix was really rather a good movie. Anything which can hold its own despite having the appalling Keanu Reeves as the main character must have somethng going for it.

But reading this review of the sequel makes me think I’ll give that a miss.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser