May 19, 2006

Berners-Lee on the Future of the WWW [5:25 pm]

Web inventor sees his brainchild ready for big leap [pdf]

“My personal view is that a lot of it is coming together now. That is very gratifying to see. We’re moving into another mode with established technology. I’m very optimistic at this moment,” Berners-Lee said in a telephone interview ahead of the annual World Wide Web conference, which will be bigger than ever before when it opens in Edinburgh, Scotland on Monday.

“The whole industrial environment is more exciting. We had the bubble and the burst, but now you see a low of young companies again. There’s renewed enthusiasm among VCs (venture capitalists) to invest in start-ups. I get a feeling of upsurge in activity.”

[...] He is no fan, however, of fenced-off Web areas specially designed for mobile devices such as the new “.mobi” suffix. He wants websites and devices to be smart enough to figure out what the best way is to present information to consumers.

He is also concerned about how some Internet providers in the United States have started to filter data, giving priority to premium data for which the operator receives an additional fee. They can do this, because they own the cables, the service, the portals and other key applications.

“The public will demand an open Internet,” he said.

On his blog, at http://dig.csail.mit.edu/breadcrumbs/blog/4, Berners-Lee pays hommage to the democratic principles of the designers of the Internet who decided that all data packets were created equal. “I tried then to make the Web technology, in turn, a universal, neutral, platform.”

“It is of the utmost importance that, if I connect to the Internet, and you connect to the Internet, that we can then run any Internet application we want, without discrimination as to who we are or what we are doing.”

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A Real Rhetorical Stretch [10:39 am]

Jockeying for a position in the Net Neutrality fight: Politicos propose new action on Net neutrality

Called the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act,” the bill is designed to “provide an insurance policy for Internet users against being harmed by broadband network operators abusing their market power to discriminate against content and service providers,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement.

Citing government statistics that 98 percent of Americans have at most two choices for broadband service, Sensenbrenner said such a “virtual duopoly” is ripe for anticompetitive practices, and “a clear antitrust remedy is needed.”

[...] Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas also have joined the opposition against the idea of legislating Net neutrality. In a one-page letter (click for PDF) to their Senate colleagues dated May 16, they argued that doing so would “penalize broadband access providers for making major improvements to the Internet.”

The senators also charged that such rules would “deprive parents of new technologies they may use to protect their families from online harm.”

Puh-leeze!

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