View from the Internet in 1981

Here’s some interesting perspective with this 1981 news report about newspapers starting to experiment putting news stories on the Internet. We’ve come a long way . . .

Facebook phone finally announced

Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new Facebook phone as you can see in the video above. The phone will be based on Android but it will be laid out differently with the home page of the phone being devoted to people rather than apps.

Let’s see if this takes off. Not everyone wants the world to see who is on their Facebook “favorites” list on their phone home page. I can see plenty of drama with girlfriends, etc.

Veronica Mars Kickstarter Campaign

Kristen Bell has become quite a star, and she’s getting plenty of notoriety for her edgy role in “House of Lies” on Showtime. This photo from her Maxim shoot gives you an idea of how good she can look!

Now her star power is being put to use in connection with a very successful Kickstarter campaign to create a Veronica Mars movie. The campaign has raised more than $1 million in a little more than 4 hours. Kickstarter has become an incredible tool for raising money online, and with Hollywood projects featuring proven stars it’s not too surprising that something like this would be very successful.

Watch the video below for more information on this successful campaign.

Google Glass Revolution

I have to admit that I finally saw this promo video today, but it now appears that Google Glass will cost less than $1,500, so expect to see these things everywhere. It’s a pretty fair price for what looks like a revolutionary gadget. I think Steve Jobs would be proud, and of course pissed that Apple didn’t come up with this.

Crowdfunding a bridge

This is a pretty fascinating story about a pedestrian bridge built in Rotterdam through crowdfunding when the city couldn’t come up with the money.

Social media vs voter fraud in Russia

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin waves after casting his ballot at a polling station during the parliamentary election in the capital Moscow December 4, 2011. Putin’s ruling party could see its vast parliamentary majority cut back on Sunday in elections widely seen as a test of his popularity ahead of an expected return to the presidency early next year. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor (RUSSIA – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Even Vladimir Putin isn’t immune to the power of social media. We’ve seen how social media has fueled revolutions across the Middle East in the Arab Spring, and now Russian citizens are getting into the act. An independent election observer in Russia witnessed blatant voter fraud. He captured video on his phone and then uploaded it for all to see.

Mr. Duda raced home and uploaded the clip to YouTube. Though just three minutes long, it quickly became an election-day sensation, helping fuel a major demonstration of as many as 5,000 people on Monday evening in central Moscow. They chanted “Russia without Putin!” and “Putin is a thief.” Several hundred were arrested, including two major opposition leaders.

Valentin Gorbunov, the head of the Moscow City Elections Commission, confirmed the substance of the video and announced that Russian investigators had opened a case into ballot tampering by the head at Polling Place No. 2501, where the episode occurred, Russian news agencies reported Monday.

It’s stunning to see how oppressive regimes are losing their grip on the public. The key to power is controlling information, and in the past, control of TV and newspapers was the primary tool. But it today’s bottom-up world, that control is impossible with social media and the Internet. But it’s impossible to have a modern economy without an open web, so hence the dilemma for thugs like Putin. It also presents some risks but also huge opportunities for foreign policy goals in the United States.

The battle for the tubes

As video downloads become more and more popular with services like Netflix, we’re going to see plenty of battles like this.

Level 3 Communications Inc., an Internet backbone company that supports Netflix Inc.’s increasingly popular movie streaming service, complained Monday that cable giant Comcast Corp. is charging it an unfair fee for the right to send data to its subscribers.

Comcast replied it is being swamped by a flood of data and needs to be paid.

Level 3 said it agreed to pay under protest, but that the fee violates the principles of an “open Internet.” It also goes against the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules preventing broadband Internet providers from favoring certain types of traffic, it said.

“Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content,” said Level 3′s chief legal officer, Thomas Stortz, in a statement.

Comcast called Level 3′s position “duplicitous” and said a previous deal for the companies to handle traffic for each other had become unbalanced in Level 3′s favor.

Stay tuned . . .

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