'Each man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world'
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

'Artists are tricky fellows sir, forever shaping the world according to some design of their own'
-- Jonathan Strange, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Google and a Free Internet

In May 2013 the UK's Shakespeare Review looked at social and economic benefits from the data revolution. The conclusion was that the UK stands at a fork in the road, able to choose between a limited or a chaotic approach to embracing the world of open data. It is true that 2014 will likely be the year of open data, not big data. Wired in the World, 2014 suggests as much. The Syrian insurgents use Twitter to instantly communicate messages, as reported by the Washington Post. The Post makes the distinction between a security-paranoid bin Laden using couriers and flash sticks, to the different generation instantly posting to YouTube and Twitter.

Google has been doing its bit over the past month. In September 2013 Google's IDEAS launched Project Shield, currently invite only, to protect free speech online. Project Shield was launched in conjunction with UProxy, a suite of tools to connect people to the Internet. On the front page, Google notes that 1 in 3 people live in societies where access to the Internet is restricted. Last month the Internet giant also launched an online video university and has launched Coder from Google's Creative Lab to turn the beautiful Rasberry Pi into a web development platform.

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