By Magnus Linklater (THE TIMES, 16/01/08):
White bread for young minds, says university professor
There is more than an echo of that arch patrician, Lady Ludlow, in the scathing criticism being directed against the internet and its unlimited diet of free information. She it was, in the BBC’s delectable serialisation of Mrs Gaskell’s Cranford, who dismissed the notion that the lower classes should be given access to education. Teaching them to read, she said, would simply distract them from saying their prayers and serving the landed gentry.
Today it is the University of Google that stands accused of purveying the new socialism by offering equality of information to everyone.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Javier Celaya, socio-fundador del portal cultural Dosdoce.com (EL PAÍS, 31/12/07):
El lanzamiento del nuevo dispositivo de lectura de libros electrónicos Kindle, realizado por la librería virtual Amazon, ha sido recibido con bastante recelo por parte de los editores y libreros españoles. Como ya es habitual ante la irrupción de cualquier tipo de innovación en el sector editorial, la mayoría se ha centrado en analizar los supuestos aspectos negativos de este nuevo soporte de lectura, mientras que muy pocos han intentado identificar los beneficios derivados que tendrá la consolidación de este tipo de dispositivos en la promoción del libro y en el fomento de la lectura.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jackson Diehl (THE WASHINGTON POST, 17/12/07):
Is the cause of liberal democracy in the Arab Middle East dead? It would be easy to jump to such a conclusion in Washington, given the Bush administration’s shameless retreat from its «freedom agenda» and the recent campaigns by Arab autocrats to crush liberal politicians, journalists and civic activists. But it’s also easy to overlook the fact that the Middle East’s movement for human rights and democracy originated not in the White House but in capitals such as Cairo, Beirut and Amman. There, it is still alive, well — and even growing.
I was reminded of this when seven Egyptian civil society activists toured Washington in advance of a meeting last week with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.… Seguir leyendo »
By Tim O’Reilly, a publisher of computer books adn the co-producer of the Web 2.0 conference (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 15/12/07):
The Internet and the cellphone are on a collision course.
In the future, the cellphone and similar wireless devices, not the personal computer, will be the primary interface to the cloud of information services that we now call the Internet. The demand for Internet-style applications on the phone — e-mail, maps, photo and video sharing, social networking and even Internet telephony — is exploding.
Meanwhile, cracks are appearing in the control that cellular carriers have long held over their networks.… Seguir leyendo »
By Peter Fleischer, the global privacy counsel for Google (THE GUARDIAN, 06/12/07):
At Google, we encourage our users to tell us what we are doing right and doing wrong. They take full advantage and have helped improve what we offer and how we operate. It is not possible, of course, for us to answer the question posed by your leader column «Is Google now getting too big for our good?» (Google is watching you, December 3). All we can say is that we operate in a fiercely competitive market. If our users are unhappy, they can go elsewhere with a click of their mouse.… Seguir leyendo »
By Ray Kurzweil, the author of The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (THE GUARDIAN, 22/11/07):
Extending human life expectancy is not a new story. When our genes evolved thousands of years ago, it was not in the interests of the species for people to live past child-rearing as resources such as food were in very short supply. So human life expectancy was in the 20s a thousand years ago. It was only 37 in 1800. It is now pushing 80, and we have been adding about three months each year for the past several decades.
This progression is about to go into high gear.… Seguir leyendo »
By Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist and a columnist for Discover (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 20/11/07):
Internet idealists like me have long had an easy answer for creative types — like the striking screenwriters in Hollywood — who feel threatened by the unremunerative nature of our new Eden: stop whining and figure out how to join the party!
That’s the line I spouted when I was part of the birthing celebrations for the Web. I even wrote a manifesto titled “Piracy Is Your Friend.” But I was wrong. We were all wrong.
Like so many in Silicon Valley in the 1990s, I thought the Web would increase business opportunities for writers and artists.… Seguir leyendo »
By Ben Macintyre (THE TIMES, 16/11/07):
King Charles I once asked the chief librarian of the Bodleian Library in Oxford if he could borrow a book. He was told, politely, to get lost. A few years later, as the wheel of history turned, Oliver Cromwell also wondered if he might take a book away from the great collection, to read it at his leisure. He received exactly the same answer.
Roundhead or cavalier, king or commoner, no one could take a book out of the library. Its books were not for lending, but for consulting. The library was a temple of learning, where scholars might come to read and learn.… Seguir leyendo »
By Sandra Aamodt, the editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience and Sam Wang, an associate professor of molecular biology and neuroscience at Princeton. They are the authors of the forthcoming Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys but Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 08/11/07):
Feeling a little less mentally quick than you did a few years ago? Maybe you are among the many people who do “brain exercises” like sudoku to slow the cognitive decline associated with aging. We’ve got a better suggestion.
Computer programs to improve brain performance are a booming business.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Javier Candeira, experto en nuevas tecnologías (LA VANGUARDIA, 21/10/07):
Vivimos en la cultura de la remezcla. La música popular, el arte contemporáneo y la literatura producen obras compuestas, como la criatura de Frankenstein, de retales de obras anteriores. Es un fenómeno antiguo, ahora acelerado por la tecnología. Ya en el siglo cuarto, Ausonio escribió las reglas para componer centones, poemas escritos con versos de otros poemas. Ejemplos modernos de esta larga tradición se pueden ver en el apropiacionismo posmoderno del escritor Jasper Fforde, en los cuadros de latas de sopa y cajas de jabón de Andy Warhol, en los sampleados que forman las bases de las canciones hip-hop y en las parodias de tráilers cinematográficos que se pueden ver en YouTube.… Seguir leyendo »
By Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America and Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America (THE WASHINGTON POST, 17/10/07):
As the presidents of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Christian Coalition of America, we are on opposite sides of almost every issue. But when it comes to the fundamental right of citizens to participate in the political process, we’re united — and very, very worried.
Free speech shouldn’t stop when you turn on your computer or pick up your cellphone. But recent actions by the nation’s biggest communications corporations should be of grave concern to all who care about public participation in our democracy, particularly our leaders in Congress.… Seguir leyendo »
By Anne Applebaum (THE WASHINGTON POST, 16/10/07):
From outside, the offices of Skype— the company best known for its free Internet phone service — don’t look very different from the other Soviet and post-Soviet buildings that make up the nondescript suburbs of the Estonian capital. But inside, the aesthetic influence of Northern California is undeniable. The high-tech, open-plan offices; the «playroom,» complete with pool table and sauna; the young, bearded employees; the Dadaesque plastic crocodile hanging from the ceiling; the bluejean-clad spokesman who has been «too busy» to contemplate the fact that eBay, which bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, recently admitted that it paid too much.… Seguir leyendo »
By Daniel Radosh, the author of the forthcoming book “Rapture Ready” (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 28/09/07):
As I write this, my temples are throbbing, my vision is slightly blurred, and I am jittery enough that my fingers first typed that last word as “blurured.” I am in a Halo haze, brought on by three days of marathon sessions with Halo 3, the video-game phenomenon of the year.
Even before Halo 3 arrived in stores on Tuesday, Microsoft, the game’s publisher, had received advance orders for 1.7 million copies, and gamers are expected to snatch up more than four million copies in all this week.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Elena Valenciano, eurodiputada socialista, y miembro de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos en el Parlamento Europeo (EL PAÍS, 15/09/07):
No existe un consenso internacional sobre la edad a la que puede considerarse a una persona adulta para mantener relaciones sexuales, ni tampoco sobre cuántos años ha de tener la víctima para que se tipifique un delito como pornografía infantil. Contemplar en Internet fotografías de menores que están siendo violados no se castiga en casi ningún país. Mientras tanto, millones de niños y niñas son víctimas de la pornografía infantil en todo el mundo. La falta de una definición universal y de una legislación homologable es aprovechada por los delincuentes para extender su maldita red.… Seguir leyendo »
By Eugene Robinson (THE WASHINGTON POST, 07/09/07):
If I were an iPhone owner, I’d be hopping mad. I’d be iRate.
Just 10 weeks ago, otherwise sane individuals were camping overnight in long lines for the privilege of paying $599 for a mobile phone. These people were fully aware that most wireless companies will give you a basic phone for free, but the object of their ardor was anything but basic. It was a lifestyle choice. It was an advertisement for oneself. It was a shiny little slice of the future, a thin slab of cool. So what if it cost, gulp, 600 bucks?… Seguir leyendo »
By Marina Hyde (THE GUARDIAN, 25/08/07):
‘Life is pain,’ deadpans the swashbuckling hero of the movie The Princess Bride. «Anyone who says different is selling you something.» I’m afraid that this was the quote that drifted across my consciousness on Thursday as the latest news of how the internet has changed everything – again – was unveiled. According to an Ofcom study, we are all spending more time online and on our mobiles than ever, with pensioners spending longer surfing the web than any other age group. And women – they’re at it too, more than men in key demographics, with the general consensus seeming to be that this is a marvellous and life-enhancing thing.… Seguir leyendo »
By Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield (THE GUARDIAN, 18/08/07):
The deployment of the first armed battlefield robots in Iraq is the latest step on a dangerous path – we are sleepwalking into a brave new world where robots decide who, where and when to kill. Already, South Korea and Israel are deploying armed robot border guards and China, Singapore and the UK are among those making increasing use of military robots. The biggest player yet is the US: robots are integral to its $230bn future combat systems project, a massive plan to develop unmanned vehicles that can strike from the air, under the sea and on land.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Peter Singer es catedrático de Bioética en la Universidad de Princeton y catedrático distinguido de la Universidad de Melbourne. Entre sus libros están How Are We to Live? y Writings on an Ethical Life. Traducción de María Luisa Rodríguez Tapia. © Project Syndicate, 2007 (EL PAÍS, 28/07/07):
En un popular juego de rol por Internet llamado Second Life, la gente puede inventarse una identidad virtual para la que escoge la edad, el sexo y el aspecto, entre otras cosas. Estos personajes virtuales hacen las mismas cosas que se hacen en el mundo real, como tener relaciones sexuales. Según las preferencias de cada uno, podemos tener una relación sexual con alguien mayor o más joven que nosotros, incluso mucho mayor o mucho más joven.… Seguir leyendo »
By Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School (THE WASHINGTON POST, 12/07/07):
In May, Lucasfilm announced plans to enable fans of the «Star Wars» series to «remix» «Star Wars» video clips with their own creative work. Using an innovative Internet platform called Eyespot, these (re)creators can select video clips or other content and then add images or upload new content, whether images, video or music.
Eyespot is one of many new technologies inviting «users» to do more than use the creativity they are consuming. Likewise, Lucasfilm is one of many companies recognizing that the more «users» use their creativity, the thicker the bonds are between consumers and the work consumed.… Seguir leyendo »
Por Wouter Tebbens, fundador y coordinador general del proyecto SELF (Science, Education and Learning in Freedom), que promociona el software libre en la educación (LA VANGUARDIA, 14/06/07):
Hace unos meses, el director de una pequeña escuela de un pueblo de los Urales fue noticia en todo el mundo. En el 2005 su escuela invirtió en 16 ordenadores para iniciar a sus alumnos en la era digital. Estos ordenadores llegaron con el software de Microsoft preinstalado aunque aparentemente algunos no disponían de licencia. Por ello ha sido juzgado por piratería y se ha enfrentado a una pena de hasta cinco años en Siberia y 266.000 rublos (unos 8.000 euros) de multa.… Seguir leyendo »