Alex Foti | 22 Nov 07:58 2014

Re: 'fuck europe!' then what?

hi Keith, 

your pithy remarks are well taken, although i wouldn't put much trust
in demographic forecasts (they've always been wrong) 90 years down
the road, especially with rampant climate change. as you say, Europe
is the loser in the great recession, let's see if it's permanent -
the old world is a lot more mutant the new, even in recent decades.
However, taking the logic of your argument further, and considering
that population times GDP is a good proxy for global power, China
would end up dominating the world. It might be probable, but i don't
know how desirable that is..

nettime's_roving_reporter | 21 Nov 22:59 2014

FT: Google break-up plan emerges from Brussels

November 21, 2014 6:23 pm

Google break-up plan emerges from Brussels

     Henry Mance, Alex Barker and Murad Ahmed

The European parliament is poised to call for a break-up of
Google, in one of the most brazen assaults so far on the
technology group's power.

The gambit increases the political pressure on the European
Commission, the EU's executive arm, to take a tougher line on
Google, either in its antitrust investigation into the company or
through the introduction of laws to curb its reach.

FirstFT is our new essential daily email briefing of the best
stories from across the web

A draft motion seen by the Financial Times says that "unbundling
[of] search engines from other commercial services" should be
considered as a potential solution to Google's dominance. It has
the backing of the parliament's two main political blocs, the
European People's Party and the Socialists.

A vote to effectively single out a big US company for censure is
extremely rare in the European parliament and is in part a
reflection of how Germany's politicians have turned against
Google this year.
(Continue reading)

michael gurstein | 21 Nov 02:07 2014

The Caravan Has Set Out for a Neo-liberal Capture of Global Governance

Here is another take on the current state of play in Internet Governance.


The Caravan Has Set Out for a Neo-liberal Capture of Global Governance

(With governance of the Internet as the path being broken first)
The Just Net Coalition1 (JNC) comprises several dozen civil society
organisations and individuals from different regions globally, concerned
with issues of Internet governance, from the perspective of all human
rights, including democracy and economic and social justice

A new chapter in global governance has been opened with the launch of the
NetMundial Initiative (NMI) at the World Economic Forum. This is the first
time that such a corporate-led venue - although sold as "multistakeholder",
"open", and "voluntary", among others - is positioned as being 'the'
mechanism for global governance in a specific sector. In fact it is being
openly and explicitly positioned as a direct replacement for existing
UN-based governance models2, which are routinely the subject of harsh
critiques by most of the NMI proponents3.

The Just Net Coalition rejects firmly and forcefully the transfer of global
governance prerogatives to corporate led initiatives such as the NMI,
because such initiatives are not consistent with democracy. We additionally
have grave concerns at the abandonment by certain elements of civil society
of traditional values of democracy and social justice as some civil society
organizations are apparently choosing to enthusiastically enter into this
unseemly collaboration with global corporate and other elites as represented
(Continue reading)

nettime's_roving_reporter | 21 Nov 01:20 2014

Milton Mueller: NYET-Mundial: Taming the Ambitions of the WEF/ICANN/CGI Alliance

< >

   November 20, 2014

Nyet-Mundial: Taming the ambitions of the WEF/ICANN/CGI alliance

   Who will inherit the legacy of the NetMundial meeting? A one-off
   meeting in April of this year that successfully brought together
   governments, business, civil society and the technical community to
   produce a set of principles and a `road map' was lauded as a major
   success for multistakeholder Internet governance. The question of how
   to follow up on its accomplishments has become a new source of
   controversy. For better or worse, efforts to institutionalize its
   legacy under the leadership of ICANN seem to be faltering. And that may
   be a good thing.

   Despite our mocking of it as the Not-Mundial, ICANN, the Brazilian
   Internet Governance Steering Committee, and the World Economic Forum
   insist on calling it the NetMundial Initiative (NMI). They have
   registered the domain and are attempting to position NMI
   as the place where any and every non-technical policy issue affecting
   the Internet can be addressed. The leaders of this initiative are now
   trying to form a "Coordinating Committee" composed of 25 people
   "distributed across 4 sectors and five geographies." This top-down,
   centralized organization defines its mission as "to energize bottom-up,
   collaborative solutions in a distributed Internet governance

"No" from the technical community
(Continue reading)

nettime's_captive_audience | 20 Nov 14:05 2014

Google commits privacy seppuku at BT's request

< >

Google commits privacy seppuku at BT's request

   As I'm currently in temporary accommodation I have found myself without
   a permanent internet connection. 3G service in the area is pretty
   spotty, so I bit the bullet and ended up purchasing a single month BT
   Wifi pass, effectively piggy-backing a neighbours connection. I'm
   guessing they see very little of the £39 I paid.

   It is well-known that BT has filtering in place, supposedly for the
   protection of children, as required by the UK government. I don't agree
   with this policy, but accept that many do.

   However when it starts to affect privacy, I feel that BT's meddling of
   my internet connection has gone too far.

   Case in point, when using Google on BT Wifi I happened to notice a new
   message on the side:

     SSL search is off

     This network has turned off SSL search, so you cannot see
     personalised results.

     The security features of SSL search are not available. Content
     filtering may be in place.

     Learn More | Dismiss

(Continue reading)

Alex Foti | 20 Nov 12:42 2014

'fuck europe!' then what?

is the european question the analog of the habsburg question or the ottoman
question in the 19th century? i don't think so, but there's certainly room
for the belief that the 'sick man of europe' is europe itselft, or rather
the EU.

One could counter that the stagnation that Merkel and the eurocracy are
casting upon Europe is actually limited to the eurozone. EU countries that
are issuing their own currency have escaped the Greek fate. And the UK is
timidly recovering (wages are still way depressed everywhere, though) while
Italy and Spain accumulate record after record in youth unemployment.

So the euro is the problem, and especially the deflationary bias intrinsic
to the Maastricht Treat, that monetarist cadeau poisonn?? wrapped up by
market theologists in good times when the neoliberal economy seemed to
deliver the goods (growth and low inflation). The much-praised Draghi is
actually not doing enough against the sound money balanced budget dogma of
Ordoliberismus. He hasn't gone fully QE and unlike the Fed he doesn't have
to care about escalating unemployment in Southern Europe, save for the
periodic staid sermons about 'structural reform' of public finances and
labor markets. In macroeconomic terms, monetary policy is not expansionary
enough (and the extra liquidity to shore up reckless banks doesn't
translate in extra loans) while fiscal policy stays viciously restrictive
to the point that it's hurting Germany itself, a country that can now
finance itself at negative real interest rates (imagine: you pay back to
the bank less than what you owe, perhaps for that student loan you were
forced to take for your studies).

But of course the point is that in political terms the European citizenry
has sent a huge 'fuck europe!' to Council and Commission at the last
European Parliametary elections, where less than 50% cares to vote and
(Continue reading)

Geert Lovink | 20 Nov 07:46 2014

The Creative Question--Nine Theses

On the Creative Question ??? Nine Theses

By Geert Lovink, Sebastian Olma and Ned Rossiter

(written for the #2 MyCreativity Sweatshop conference, organized by the Institute of Network Cultures,
Amsterdam, November 20-21, 2014:

???Culture attracts the worst impulses of the moneyed, it has no honor, it begs to be suburbanized and
corrupted???. ??? Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge

???We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars???. ??? Oscar Wilde

1. Goodbye to Creative Industries

A creepy discourse on creativity has captured cultural and economic policy. Creativity invokes a certain
pharmacological numbness among its spruikers ??? a special sub-species entirely unaware of how far
removed their version of creativity is from radical invention and social transformation. Their claims
around the science of economy are little more than a shoddy con. While ???creativity??? is increasingly
seen as a main driver of economic development, the permanent reference to creative classes, creative
cities, creative industries, creative innovations and so on has rendered the notion all but
meaningless. Degraded to a commercial and political marketing tool, the semantic content of creativity
has been reduced to an insipid spread of happy homogeneity ??? including the right amount of T
 ED-styled fringe misfits and subcultures ??? that can be bureaucratically regulated and
???valorized???. To this rhetoric corresponds a catalogue of ???sectors??? and ???clusters???
labelled as crea
 tive industries: a radically disciplined and ordered subdomain of the economy, a domesticated creative
commons where ???innovators??? and ???creatives??? harmoniously co-mingle and develop their
auto-predictive ???disruptions??? of self-quantification, sharing and gamification. Conflict is
anathema to the delicate sensibilities of personas trading in creative consultancy.

(Continue reading)

nettime's_subtractor | 20 Nov 02:48 2014

google- digest [x3: hankwitz, mandl, myers]

Re: <nettime> what's google minus search?

     Molly Hankwitz <mollyhankwitz@...>
     David Mandl <dmandl@...>
     Rob Myers <rob@...>

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:21:29 -0800
Subject: Re: <nettime> what's google minus search?
From: Molly Hankwitz <mollyhankwitz@...>

geert,  i want to respond to this because i've had to engage with google
drive lately where numerous documents of mine are stored and in that
capacity, was met with a whole new range of product diversification on the
drive for doing things with documents and i thought...this is similar to
when one can sense the downfall of a good cafe because its renovating and
doubling in size...however mcdonalds has not failed with the introduction
of salads and, perhaps my theory does not hold...but, whereas
the previous incarnation of "the drive" was simple enough to use, and kinda
convenient, this new choice menu of apps to meddle with pdfs, copy, sign,
send, seal, deliver, save, map, etc is a nasty conglomeration so I thought,
yuk...what the heck have they done to Drive? and you know, they might fail
because this newfangled complexity in bad, one-off, inflexibly designed - i
can only do one thing with myself - products are now screwing up what was a
nice, lil scenario...
sorry to ramble..but if utilization of GD has anything to do with their
success, then its over productization (connect to this, connect to that,
suck local data) may well be its down fall...
(Continue reading)

Geert Lovink | 19 Nov 18:11 2014

what's google minus search?

(This somewhat ironical site could be combined with the move of Eric Schmidt and others to US take over
foreign policy and the less-known dependence, in financial terms, of search --a sign of its overall
weakness? Why is Google failing to diversify in a sustainable way? It is easy to blame the failure of Google
Glass on the glass haters. I am not one of them but I have to say that having met few Google glassholes I can
easily understand how encounters with them easily got out of control and this, for me, explained the
tactical withdrawl out of this market. The arrogance of the fellow glass evangelists was simply
unbearable, and in the end unacceptable and counter-productive. Will the Google car follow a similar
faith? Geert).

Did Google Shutdown ___________ Yet?

The Google product and service buyer's guide. Don't buy before they die!

Google's theory is that creating as many apps as possible, and alloiwng them to fail fast and painlessly
will eventually give them another hit app. But this ignores the needs of users.

Here we crunch the numbers on Google's philosphy of rapid failure. How likely is it the next Google product
will succeed?

Felix Stalder | 19 Nov 17:30 2014

end-to-end encryption for the masses

Growing up in Soviet Ukraine in the 1980s, Whatsapp founder Jan Koum
learned to distrust the government and detest its surveillance. After he
emigrated to the U.S. and created his ultra-popular messaging system
decades later, he vowed that Whatsapp would never make eavesdropping
easy for anyone. Now, Whatsapp is following through on that
anti-snooping promise at an unprecedented scale.

On Tuesday, Whatsapp announced that it's implementing end-to-end
encryption, an upgrade to its privacy protections that makes it nearly
impossible for anyone to read users' messages -- even the company itself.
Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by
privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles
messages with a cryptographic key that only the user can access and
never leaves his or her device. The result is practically uncrackable
encryption for hundreds of millions of phones and tablets that have
Whatsapp installed -- by some measures the world's largest-ever
implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service.

"Whatsapp is integrating Textsecure into the most popular messaging app
in the world, where people exchange billions of messages a day," says
Moxie Marlinspike, Open Whisper System's creator and a well known
software developer in the cryptography community. "I do think this is
the largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever."

Textsecure has actually already been quietly encrypting Whatsapp
messages between Android devices for a week. The new encryption scheme
means Whatsapp messages will now travel all the way to the recipients'
device before being decrypted, rather than merely being encrypted
(Continue reading)

d.garcia | 17 Nov 17:07 2014

New Space Operas as Ejector Seat

Space Opera as Ejector Seat: JG Ballard's Inner Space

We are currently being invited to revisit the heroic era of Science fiction 
in the classic form of the space opera.

The launch of Christopher Nolan?s sci-fi blockbuster, Intergalactic, which gamely 
reboots a Kubric like fusion of inner and outer space coincides with the 
extraordinary real-world feat of landing the Philae robot on the comet 67P, 
half a billion km from earth. And as if that weren?t enough, tragedy and 
farce combined catastrophically in Branson?s playboy folly, with Virgin 
Galactic's Icarus like, fall to earth.

Whatever the enormous gulf separating these projects, all three are connected 
by a noteworthy thread, the most addictive dream of the old 20th century; the 
Concept of Unlimited Possibility.

In 1974 the writer JG Ballard proposed an alternative rout for Science 
Fiction, in his introduction to the French edition of his novel Crash. This 
potent manifesto repudiates the genre?s traditional themes ? of outer space 
and the far future. Ballard goes on to compare Kubric?s Space Odyssey to 
Gone With the Wind, as a nostalgic watershed marking the end of the 
heroic period of modern science fiction.

In place of -outer space- Ballard favored of a terrain which he christened 
-inner space-.. a zone -where the inner world of the mind and the outer 
world of reality meet and fuse?? But unlike the surrealists (who Ballard 
frequently sites as an influence) he felt no need to look inwards as his 
was the first generation to inhabit the space of total media saturation 
which he insists is the unconscious, extruded and externalized into a new 
kind of landscape; the media landscape -ruled by fictions of every kind... 
(Continue reading)