Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

New Player in the Console Wars

I’ve discussed previously the complex interrelationships between the next-generation gaming consoles and hi-def DVD formats, especially as complicated by the pornification of culture and technology. So far I’ve focused on the battle between Sony’s PS3 (paired with the Blu-ray format) and the Xbox 360 (paired with the HD-DVD format), and argued that the hi-def formats rather than the porn industry itself would act as a decisive influence. Continue Reading...

Google Minds the Gaps in Statistical Analysis

Google recently announced that it has purchased the Trendalyzer software from Gapminder, a Swedish non-profit (HT: Slashdot). Trendalyzer is the brain-child of professor Hans Rosling, who was lecturing on international development “when it struck him that statistics were an underexploited resource, often presented in an incomprehensible fashion. Continue Reading...

EU Conflicts of Interest

The nearly decade-long battle between the European Union and Microsoft took another turn earlier this month, as the EU Commission offered a fresh threat to Microsoft: Submit to our demands or face stiff new penalties. Continue Reading...

‘Great Firewall’ Not Great Enough

According to published reports, China is planning on adding new censorship regulations covering blogs and webcasts (HT). President Hu Jintao says the government needs to take these steps to “purify” the Internet, leading to “a more healthy and active Internet environment,” according to the Xinhua news agency. Continue Reading...

Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth

Have you heard about Logos Bible Software? Here’s a bit about the founding of the company from the February NewsWire update (and on their blog here): “A couple of young Microsoft programmers with their entire careers of high-pay and lucrative Microsoft stock options ahead of them, dropped everything to join a partner and risk it all on pursuing their dream.” The story continues: “They weren’t satisfied with using their skills to help businessmen have access to the latest and greatest in technology just so they could be more productive or do better in business… They wanted more. Continue Reading...

Freedom and the Internet in China

Last month Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) reintroduced legislation from the previous Congress, this time as the Global Online Freedom Act of 2007, or GOFA (HT: Slashdot). According to the commentary on Slashdot, “GOFA would create a U.S.-government-designated list of ‘Internet restricting countries’ and would in most cases prohibit U.S.-based companies from censoring content or turning over users’ information to the governments of those countries.” This law directly affects the situation of companies like Yahoo!, Google, and MSN who have been pretty roundly criticized for their practices in markets like China. Continue Reading...

Blu-ray Closing the Gap; Thanks PS3!

Following up on my musings about the potential for the PlayStation 3 to position itself as the “family friendly” next-gen gaming system because of its on-board Blu-ray drive, it looks like Blu-ray is closing the gap on HD-DVD (HT: Slashdot): VideoScan’s numbers indicate that during the seven days between Jan 7 and Jan 14, Blu-ray managed to close the gap of total discs sold since inception with HD DVD by over seven percentage points, suggesting that if the current trend continues, the two formats could be at disc sales parity within weeks. Continue Reading...

So .su me

“ICANN Reviews Revoking Outdated Suffixes” (HT: Slashdot). From the piece, “The Soviet Union’s ‘.su’ is the leading candidate for deletion.” A Google search turns up about 3 million sites with the .su suffix. Continue Reading...

Porn Drives Tech? Maybe Not…

They say that technology drives culture (HT: ZondervanTo The Point). But what drives technology? Many believe that pornography is the driving force behind adoption of particular technologies. Thus, says Slate television critic Troy Patterson, “Watching YouTube is far closer to consuming Internet pornography than staring at the television. Continue Reading...

The Pornification of Technology

A part of the pornification of culture is the pornification of technology. G4TV, a cable network owned by Comcast Corp., has been covering the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from Las Vegas this week and kicks off prime time special coverage tonight at 9pm ET. Continue Reading...