Browsing: Alistair Fairweather

For most of its 2bn users, the Internet is effectively infinite. It has more sites than we could ever visit, more products and services than we could ever want, and more people than we could ever meet in a lifetime

There was a lot of excitement in the technology press last week when it emerged that, after half a decade of debate and investigation, cabinet had finally chosen a standard for digital terrestrial television

It’s like a plot out of a spy novel or the lost Stieg Larsson book: a powerful government issues a secret subpoena to an Internet service for access to private information, so that it can pursue a case against foreign nationals for leaking embarrassing

We’re pretty used to hearing outlandish valuations on Internet companies that, if they were people, would be barely out of nappies. It happened during the first dot-com boom, and it’s happening again now. But news that Facebook is

When Google offers to buy your two-year-old website for as much as US$6bn, you’d have to be crazy to refuse, right? But that’s what Groupon did. A surge of rumours last week had Google opening its offer

Death and taxes now have a third, unavoidable friend, the Internet. Even the poorest people on the globe are touched by it, if only by the proceeds of online charity drives. But, like a typical youngest child, the Internet is already at odds with one of its siblings — the taxman.

Virtual. Cyber. Avatar. These are the kinds of words we still use to describe the Internet, and by extension our interactions with each other when we use it. They speak of fantasy and unreality, of a place disconnected from the gritty business of real life.

If you ask a 20-year-old in 2020 to spot the odd one out of this list — TV, radio, mobile phone, Internet — they may not be able to. We’re accustomed to think about these mediums as separate entities, and in terms of production they still are.

You have to hand it to Rupert Murdoch. Love him or hate him, his business decisions often make for interesting reading. His most recent diktat — that his newspapers begin shutting off their Web content to all but paying customers — is a giant public experiment in the future of online revenue models

“Where’s the business model?” echoes the cry of that most thick-skinned of beasts, the greater suited market analyst (Homo economicus). Part war cry, part mating call, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing this phrase every time a website with no obvious revenue stream starts to attract attention. For years, each mention of Facebook brought out a squawking chorus of them. But Homo economicus is now deathly silent.