Why we hate video calls

Good piece in the New Scientist about why we’ve always hated video calls: When another New York Times reporter went to Pittsburgh in mid-1971, however, he found only 33 Picturephones in operation, with just 12 able to dial outside their own buildings. Aside from impracticalities such as cost, it seemed that, against all predictions, no …

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The Facebook Experiment: Some Collated Views

A few pieces in the Facebook Experiment. I’m still mulling my view.  Paul Bernal: The Facebook Experiment: the ‘why’ questions…:  Perhaps Facebook will look a little bad for a little while – but the potential financial benefit from the new stream of advertising revenue, the ability to squeeze more money from a market that looks increasingly …

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BBC: Old Scams Made New

This is a column for a BBC World Service piece. It’s not Reuters content.  Of all the scams you’d have thought the old ‘I’m a general’s widow and am sitting on a whole pile of cash I want to share with you” one would have gone away by now. But it hasn’t. The scammers are …

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From balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, the future is wireless

From balloons to shrimp-filled shallows, the future is wireless BY JEREMY WAGSTAFF (Reuters) – The Internet may feel like it’s everywhere, but large pockets of sky, swathes of land and most of the oceans are still beyond a signal’s reach. Three decades after the first cellphone went on sale – the $4,000 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X …

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Meshing and Stacking Away from Disaster

I’m often haunted by the folk in Wall-E, the movie where humans have abandoned Earth to trash, a small waste-collecting robot and a cockroach. That’s not the bit that scares me: it’s the space-bound humans who are ferried around on pods, their eyes permanently glued to a screen in front of them. Is this, I …

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The Rising Noise of Silence

This is a commentary piece for a semi-regular slot on the BBC’s World Service. It’s not content that appears on Reuters, nor does it reflect the views of my employer.  I’m here to report a new scourge of the public space: folk who watch video on their tablets in public without a headset. Just the …

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The rebirth of RSS?

This is a column written for the BBC World Service (here’s the show.). Views are my own, and do not represent those of my employer, Thomson Reuters.  I’ve been wrong about a lot of things, but I’ve been particularly wrong about something called RSS. RSS is a simple standard, dreamed up during the halcyon days …

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Facebook’s Many Faces

The other day I found myself in a restaurant in northern Japan explaining to a South Korean acquaintance of less than a day how I divided my social networks up. LinkedIn, I said, was for people I needed to know, or who felt they need to know me. Facebook was for my friends — people …

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Libya: We’re Back. Iran: We’re Not

In its latest quarterly report Opera looks a how quickly Libyans have gone back online with their mobile devices after six months in the dark. The graphic pretty much sums it up: Talking of Internet blocking, Opera noticed that Iran continues to mess with Internet access for its citizens: While we can speculate on government …

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Using Google to Predict the Future

Elegantly simple proposal to measure economic confidence in The Economist’s search for other quirky indicators: searches in the U.S. on Google for “gold price” in the piece Alternative indicators: Behind the bald figures But the hottest tip came from Edward Ritchie, an investment analyst in London. He tracks Google searches for the “gold price” as an …

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