Article: A mission to keep the internet free and open for all

Civil Society, Decentralized Internet

A mission to keep the internet free and open for all

The issues that come with the changes we’re seeing with privacy, consent, and identity concern every internet user on the planet. The decisions we make today to keep the internet free and open will impact how consumers use the web in future and as an industry, we believe it is the way to building long-lasting solutions that consumers trust.

Respecting consumer privacy, while delivering on the outcomes that brands, agencies, and publishers want is key to keeping the internet free and open. I believe that technological innovation, interoperability, contributing to industry standards, and collaborating with customers are all essential to building sustainable solutions. Together, we are powering a free and open internet for everyone.

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Article: Will you be on the side of Web 3.0? Lina Khan as US FTC Chairman

Decentralized Internet, Web 3.0

Will you be on the side of Web 3.0? Lina Khan as US FTC Chairman

The Biden administration nominated Lina Khan as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the 15th. Kahn is a professor at Columbia Law School and is 32 years old. It will be the youngest in history as the top of FTC. Kahn is known for being critical of the monopoly of big tech such as Amazon.

Blockchain proponents tend to reflexively resist regulation and regulators, but given Khan’s concerns about monopoly by large corporations, he supports blockchain on major privacy issues. It can also be on your side.

In addition, Kahn’s anti-monopoly stance could create significant market opportunities for new types of tech companies, including those developing decentralized systems and “Web 3.0.”

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Article: Is a new decentralized internet, or Web 3.0, possible?

Cloud, Data, Decentralized Internet, Open Source, Web 3.0

Is a new decentralized internet, or Web 3.0, possible?

The next level may be an actual merger of the existing internet protocol (TCP/IP) with blockchain technology . The result would be an internet capable of carrying not only packets of data but also services in a decentralized manner. This “merger” would foster a more open, resilient and plural internet that is capable of natively offering essential services such as information search, decentralized domain name management, digital identity, electronic messaging, data storage, computing power (artificial intelligence), confidentiality, traceability and electronic signature.

These services have become universal resources of the internet and, as such, should be natively provided by the network and managed as commons.

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Article: The centralised nature of our internet makes outages like Fastly’s inevitable

Cloud, Data, Decentralized Internet

The centralised nature of our internet makes outages like Fastly’s inevitable

While Fastly’s outage is a wake up call for its customers, who will be doing back-of-the-envelope calculations to work out their losses during the downtime, there’s no obvious solution, warns Kevin Curran, Professor of Cyber Security at Ulster University and senior member of technical professional organisation IEEE.

While Sir Tim is busy dedicating his time to building a newly-decentralised version of the internet via his web platform Solid, until the public grasps how important that data is and mounts a full backlash against the ways in which tech giants abuse it, the ways in which the internet operates is unlikely to change, Prof Curran adds. Hospitals and banks and airlines and power grids and other major infrastructure systems need to ensure they have sufficient extra security layers and protocols in place for when people make configuration changes and to crucially, to learn from their mistakes, he says. “At the end of the day, the five giants rule the internet. But the internet really can be brought down by one person making a mistake.”

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Article: Open source is a community, not a brand

Cloud, Open Source, Software

Open source is a community, not a brand

While free and open, open source can be complex and require expertise to maintain, support and operate. According to the Perforce report, it’s important to partner with industry leaders to maximize open-source success through migration help, ongoing management and support. Additionally, an open-source strategy that can clarify the open source initiatives, governance, role of internal resources and external support can help pave the way for open source in the enterprise.

“Finding success with open-source software as an enterprise organization requires a fully formed strategy – especially as it applies to critical areas like support,” said Rod Cope, CTO at Perforce Software

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Article: Industry Collaboration and Augmentation – the OSS Way

Open Source, Software

Industry Collaboration and Augmentation – the OSS Way

In the current environment in our industry, it’s often hard to see through the relentless noise related to private eco-systems. It’s also hard to see past how this approach will only get worse moving forward, with large publishers and other platform players increasingly following suit and an ecosystem of federated walled-gardens emerging as a result. At a glance it would appear that everyone is simply seeking to consolidate what they have in terms of audiences and solutions for buyers – and in the short-term, it may initially seem unlikely that we’ll see any increased levels of collaboration.

As a guiding example of active collaboration, one needs to look no further than open-source software and how it’s exploded over the past 30 years or so. Developers of software that has an open source license willingly allow anyone to download, collaboratively improve upon, and distribute the software without paying fees to the original creator.

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Article: Hybrid smart contracts will replace the legal system

Blockchain, Governance, Innovation

Hybrid smart contracts will replace the legal system

Unlike traditional contracts, smart contracts are executed by the blockchain, which means that no external court system is required to execute the contract. Without an expensive court system, contracts would be cheaper, so more peer-to-peer transactions can be managed by contracts rather than trust.

Contracts between companies located in different countries are often challenging because of the high cost of navigating in different court systems, and often the judicial system of one country has limited powers over companies in other countries. Hybrid smart contracts do not have this weakness; they cannot see nationality at all.

Enforcement of traditional contracts through the courts is not only costly, but also brings uncertainty to the results. The lawyer will always have the opportunity to discover some mysterious loopholes buried in the basement of the haunted house, making the contract completely invalid. Even if the contract is impeccable, the contracting parties rely on the continued goodwill of the government to ensure that the contract is executed.

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Article: 16 Premises for the Decentralized Web

Civil Society, Decentralized Internet, Web 3.0

16 Premises for the Decentralized Web

The domain name com was added to the domain name system of the internet in 1985. Its name is derived from the word commercial, indicating its intended purpose for domains registered by commercial organizations. Later, the domain was tragically opened to general purpose use.

The following outlines premises required for a sustainable information management strategy in service of returning the World Wide Web from
the tragedy of the commons to a utility for the exchange of knowledge.

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Article: Democratising chip design

Design, Hardware, Open Source, Software

Democratising chip design

A potentially important initiative is US research agency DARPA’s OpenRoad initiative, with aims to build a more comprehensive set of open-source design tools. Professor Andrew Kahng of the University of California at San Diego and principal investigator on the project envisages an environment that can lay out and tune a range of chip designs automatically through a combination of machine learning and what he calls “extreme partitioning”, which divides the chip into many small independently optimised modules.

Though verification engineers have embraced various forms of open source, the stumbling blocks for its adoption get bigger the closer you get to tape-out. The biggest issue lies in the process design kits (PDKs) provided by foundries that are jealously protected by non-disclosure agreements and which forbid any sharing.

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Article: Fixing the internet will require a cultural shift

Academia, Civil Society, Decentralized Internet

Fixing the internet will require a cultural shift

Education in public interest technology is more than just extra computer science courses. It involves interdisciplinary courses that focus on the broader impacts of technology — on personal freedom, on communities, on economics, etc. — with the purpose of developing the critical thinking needed to make informed choices about technology.

And students are hungry for these courses and the skills they offer. Students who have taken courses and clinics in public interest technology are better positioned to be knowledgeable next-generation policymakers, public servants, and business professionals who may design and determine how tech services are developed and products are used. With an understanding of how technology works and how it impacts the common good, they can better promote a culture of tech in the public interest, rather than tech opportunism.

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