‘Internet of things’ promises nine billion tons of carbon savings. Just saving this for folks at work.
Power and the Internet, from Bruce Schneier.
It’s not all one-sided. The masses can occasionally organize around a specific issue — SOPA/PIPA, the Arab Spring, and so on — and can block some actions by the powerful. But it doesn’t last. The unorganized go back to being unorganized, and powerful interests take back the reins.
Debates over the future of the Internet are morally and politically complex. How do we balance personal privacy against what law enforcement needs to prevent copyright violations? Or child pornography? Is it acceptable to be judged by invisible computer algorithms when being served search results? When being served news articles? When being selected for additional scrutiny by airport security? Do we have a right to correct data about us? To delete it? Do we want computer systems that forget things after some number of years? These are complicated issues that require meaningful debate, international cooperation, and iterative solutions. Does anyone believe we’re up to the task?
We’re not, and that’s the worry. Because if we’re not trying to understand how to shape the Internet so that its good effects outweigh the bad, powerful interests will do all the shaping. The Internet’s design isn’t fixed by natural laws. Its history is a fortuitous accident: an initial lack of commercial interests, governmental benign neglect, military requirements for survivability and resilience, and the natural inclination of computer engineers to build open systems that work simply and easily. This mix of forces that created yesterday’s Internet will not be trusted to create tomorrow’s. Battles over the future of the Internet are going on right now: in legislatures around the world, in international organizations like the International Telecommunications Union and the World Trade Organization, and in Internet standards bodies. The Internet is what we make it, and is constantly being recreated by organizations, companies, and countries with specific interests and agendas. Either we fight for a seat at the table, or the future of the Internet becomes something that is done to us.
“So Sande bought a new gizmo called the WeMo Switch, which connects to the Internet so you can turn on an outlet remotely. It’s also programmable. Using the free web service If This Then That, Sande created a script that monitors information from Yahoo Weather. If the temperature in his neighborhood hits 85 degrees, the fan turns itself on and cools the house.”
… he thinks the Internet has outgrown its original underpinnings as a network built on physical addresses, and that it’s time to put aside TCP/IP and start over with a completely novel approach to naming, storing, and moving data. Jacobson’s alternative is called Content Centric Networking, or CCN, and it’s grown into the single biggest internal project at PARC… If the ideas behind CCN were broadly adopted, PARC researchers believe, it would speed the delivery of content and vastly reduce the load on the networking equipment at the Internet’s core. It would also pose a challenge to the model of utility-style storage and processing that’s come to be known as cloud computing.