The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It
This extraordinary book explains the engine that has catapulted the Internet from backwater to ubiquity—and reveals that it is sputtering precisely because of its runaway success. With the unwitting help of its users, the generative Internet is on a path to a lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation—and facilitating unsettling new kinds of control.
IPods, iPhones, Xboxes, and TiVos represent the first wave of Internet-centered products that can't be easily modified by anyone except their vendors or selected partners. These “tethered appliances” have already been used in remarkable but little-known ways: car GPS systems have been reconfigured at the demand of law enforcement to eavesdrop on the occupants at all times, and digital video recorders have been ordered to self-destruct thanks to a lawsuit against the manufacturer thousands of miles away. New Web 2.0 platforms like Google mash-ups and Facebook are rightly touted—but their applications can be similarly monitored and eliminated from a central source. As tethered appliances and applications eclipse the PC, the very nature of the Internet—its “generativity,” or innovative character—is at risk.
The Internet's current trajectory is one of lost opportunity. Its salvation, Zittrain argues, lies in the hands of its millions of users. Drawing on generative technologies like Wikipedia that have so far survived their own successes, this book shows how to develop new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively, participate in solutions, and become true “netizens.”
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How does one know that Skype is not doing something untoward, or that its next
update might not contain a zombie-creatingTrojan horse, placed by either its
makers or someone who compromised the update server? The Black Hat
For example, the PC telephone program Skype is not amenable to third-party
changes and is tethered to Skype for its updates. Skype's distribution partner in
China has agreed to censor words like “Falun Gong” and “Dalai Lama” in its text
See Skype, Can I Call Emergency Numbers in the U.S. and Canada?, http://
support .skype.com/index.php?a knowledgebase&j questiondetails&i 1034 (last
visited June 1, 2007) (“Skype is not a telephone replacement service and
Skype has petitioned the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to require
mobile phone network providers to allow the use of Skype—and any other
application chosen by the user—over their networks. Petition to Confirm a
See Skype, http://skype.com (last visited May 15, 2007); Wikipedia, Skype, http://
en .wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype (as ofMay 15, 2007, 17:45 GMT). Notably, the
Nintendo Wii has been configured in this manner. Although its Internet Channel ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Shmuel510 - LibraryThing
On the one hand, this is mistitled. I kept waiting for the big explanation of how to stop the potentially bad future of the Internet, and the author never really delivered on that. It should have been ... Read full review