Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitor

If enough people band together, they can finance a new platform. This is a free and open market

Stop fretting about social media giants and build a competitorAgainst the frenzy of inaccurate and manipulative information consistently roaring through social media sites, the companies that manage these sites – like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – have been trying to combat misinformation. However, they always seem to be two steps behind. Initially, in an effort to keep up with the sheer volume of material,…

We must manage the Internet of things with care

Who will ensure devices have been tested thoroughly and are secure? Who will ensure our privacy is protected?

We must manage the Internet of things with careBack in the early 1990s, I came across a story about a Coke machine that you could query from anywhere on the Internet and it would tell you the temperature of the drinks, the last time it was stocked and how full it was. The machine was in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon…

Telesat, feds partner to bring affordable internet access to the far north

Telesat, feds partner to bring affordable internet access to the far northNot long ago, the romantic notion that low earth orbit (LEO) satellites could make affordable high-speed Internet available in Canada’s many remote locations seemed fanciful at best. It was spoken of frequently at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearing to establish the nation’s basic service objectives in the spring of 2016. Quite a…

What can – and should – be done about CBC

Get CBC out of the advertising business on all of its platforms. And make its content available to other media for free within Canada

What can – and should – be done about CBCSeveral years ago, I by chance encountered a backbench member of Parliament who asked in a very straightforward fashion why we at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) didn’t “do something” about CBC. Mildly startled, I replied that if something was to be “done” about CBC, Parliament should just go ahead and do it.…

Towing the party line in the Internet age

It’s worthwhile remembering that before the Internet, instant messaging, social media and meme merchandising, depending on where you lived, almost nothing was private

Towing the party line in the Internet ageOne morning in the late 1980s in the middle of Nowheresville, a young woman, prompted by a profound sense of neighbourliness, impressed a couple of city girls by introducing them to her new pony, all of 12 hands tall. At the sight of the hoofed beast loping down the stone path towards our family homestead,…

Social media losing its lustre, and its cachet

Why have millions of users decided to turn their backs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?

Social media losing its lustre, and its cachetNot long ago, before Big Brother fully ascended his throne behind the nanny cam that is the modern Internet, people wrote books in private for other people to read in private. The process worked this way: Think, type, edit, sell and hope some bibliophiles liked your words well enough to cover the cost of your…

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenal

Politicians and tech firms can co-opt legitimate concerns to restrict speech, stifle criticism and tilt public debates

Federal digital charter just a new weapon in the censorship arsenalOn May 21, the federal government unveiled a lengthy “digital charter” with the noble goals of expanded Internet access and more trust online. If you peel back the feel-good 10 principles and stated justifications, however, you find a new weapon in the censor arsenal. “The platforms are failing their users, and they’re failing our citizens.…

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?

By early 2020, we’ll know what the members think the government should do to modernize decrepit legislation

Does federal panel pose a threat to net neutrality in Canada?If you want to know how much in extra fees you might be paying or how much Canada intends to meddle with online content to make sure you watch what the government wants you to watch, you should start paying attention now. This week, the government panel reviewing the nation’s broadcasting and telecommunications legislation (known…

We fail to accurately measure the digital economy’s impact

GDP also ignores work without pay, the underground economy and plenty of other factors that contribute to our well-being

We fail to accurately measure the digital economy’s impactThe ubiquitous use of gross domestic product (GDP), along with its per capita derivative, means we often get away with writing the abbreviation alone. Yet this widespread social proof offers a false sense of accuracy for a fragile measurement overdue for an update. Economists have long been aware of the vulnerabilities to GDP and other…

Can the food retail industry deliver on delivery?

Consumers are increasingly adamant that convenience can't come at the cost of the environment or our health

Can the food retail industry deliver on delivery?Walmart just announced it will offer a next-day delivery service to customers in the U.S. to compete with Amazon. Walmart will begin by offering service in Phoenix, Las Vegas and southern California, and intends to cover 75 per cent of the United States this year. Customers need to purchase at least US$35 worth of products…