Work on the social-messaging service Twitter began exactly five years ago today. Now it has some 200 million registered user accounts, but that's only about 10 per cent of internet users, and even less if you take out the spam bots and inactive accounts. Will Twitter ever become a universal service?
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it. Mostly in words -- sometimes in audio or video formats -- always cynical. Incorporating the Patch Monday podcast.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
Apple is being sued for copyright infringement by Jigsaw Entertainment, an Australian TV production company. The iPhone app, Chopper Soundboard, contained material lifted without permission from one of Jigsaw's shows, The Ronnie Johns Half Hour, and the company reckons that Apple should have done more to prevent its sale.
If Australia joins the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, police and intelligence agencies will get new powers to monitor your internet usage. Is it, as law enforcement officials claim, merely bringing the internet into line with traditional communications channels? Or is there a real risk to our civil liberties?
The National Broadband Network's connection speeds of 100 megabits per second and more are essential for new health and education applications, according to Dr Terry Percival, director of NICTA's Neville Roach Laboratory.
Stuxnet, the first malware capable of causing physical damage, represents a strategic shift in cyberwar, something on everyone's mind at the RSA Conference on information security this year. While it's still hard to sort facts from fiction, there were calls for further cooperation between government and the private sector.
"I think the age of the deeply competitive internet is over," says author and telecommunications lawyer, Tim Wu. "The next five years is going to be a story of the big four or big five."
Tomorrow's Safer Internet Day is about helping children and young people avoid online risks, but there's plenty that adults can do. On Patch Monday this week, seven information security industry representatives give their tips for making the internet a safer place.
The battle lines have been drawn. The war chests are stocked with tens of billions of dollars in cash. Microsoft, Apple and Google are ready to compete with their integrated technology stacks connecting mobile devices to cloud services. Who is best placed to win?
The new second-generation Intel core processor chips launched earlier this month promise substantial speed increases and lower power consumption. What can they deliver? And what of Intel's competition with rival chipmaker AMD?
The floods in Queensland and now further south in Australia are a reminder that natural disasters can strike even in rich, technologically advanced nations. Data backups are essential, but business continuity planning also needs to cover communications links, the computers themselves, documentation, premises and, of course, the human factor.