Sep 10, 2013

Coase idea explains Internet economics

by John Naughton

When the news broke last week that Ronald Coase, the economist and Nobel laureate, had died at the age of 102, what came immediately to mind was Keynes’ observation that “practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are ...

Sep 3, 2013

Web giants pumping us for data

by John Naughton

Should you be looking for an example of hucksterish cynicism, then the mantra that “data is the new oil” is as good as they come. Although its first recorded uttering goes as far back as 2006, in recent times it has achieved the status ...

Aug 27, 2013

Banish trolls but the Net needs anonymity

by John Naughton

So the proprietor of the Huffington Post has decided to ban anonymous commenting from the site, starting in mid-September. Speaking to reporters after a conference in Boston, Massachusetts, Arianna Huffington said: “Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just ...

Aug 20, 2013

Britain's new 'smart meters' not so clever

by John Naughton

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make credulous. In the case of technology, especially technology involving computers, that’s pretty easy to do. Quite why people are so overawed by computers when they are blasé about, say, truly miraculous technologies such as ...

Aug 6, 2013

Manning case tests computer fraud laws' credibility

by John Naughton

Do you think that, as a society, the United States has become a basket case? Well, join the club. I’m not just thinking of the country’s dysfunctional Congress, pathological infatuation with firearms, addiction to litigation, crazy healthcare arrangements, engorged prison system, chronic inequality, 50-year-old ...