luciano petullà

systems and dimensions of new communication

In internet everybody knows you can be a dog Time has gone, socially and technologically speaking,  since comics on New Yorker (1993) drowed by Peter Steiner cleverly summarized both powerness and riskies about online interactions, so becoming a meme on internet anonymity condition. The phrase “on internet nobody knows you’re a dog” referred to its colleague could be understood at least in a double meaning.   From one side, as a relational and democratic liberation from material considerations such as class, genre, body apparency, age… and, here, also of species, an idealization of purely discoursive relationships that, thinking of animal inclusion, seemed less radical than Alain Touring’s dream involving even speaking entities built artificially (AI). On the other hand, the comics were a warning to check the “quality” of online contacts because everyone has a chance to cheat. Actual horizon fueled by social accounts and ostentatious exhibits of personal images (granted of preventive aesthetic adjustments) seems to have absorbed part of anxiety. By the way, the “fake” became more insidious because involving contents even if now it’s a well-known and rejected category that, given our alternating successes, won’t spare us from using a vigilant and active criticism in the future….

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The feeble belly of internet Lately, digital activist, American scholar and journalist Ethan Zuckerman complained about his past as supporter of what he defines the “Internet’ s original sin”, namely exploitation of advertising as business model to start and manage online services. Although he had many fellows, the present director of MIT Center for Civic Media has a point to blame himself. In 1995 Zuckerman worked and implemented the so hated ad pop-ups, those web pages full of advertising messages that, during our browsing, suddenly occupy all our vision entrapping us nervously while we make vain tentatives to move on. However, Zuckerman’s mea culpa does not accuse advertising communication rather its use as primary revenue source for the most popular online services that, inevitably, implies user surveillance. On the other hand, advertising was a easy driver for internet start-ups to justify their business plans. However, given the increasing competition to catch user attention and the decline of value of visual impressions, online advertising is much more appreciated when consumers are effectively targeted. Yet, surveillance is not only for ads targeting. First of all, online ads need to be controlled to avoid abuses as click-fraud (generation of impressions by people, automated…

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The nightmare of cages and the ferment of contradictions For the nations collocated (geographically and culturally) in the Western regions of world, August is notoriously a month in which holiday thoughts – in the reality of their transformation, namely either in vacation or frustration – can promote ambiguous feelings that, however, become source of distraction. At moment, we don’t know much about the reason behind  temporary downtime of all Google services, but that kind of distraction could explain the fall of one of the main pillar of internet. (Somebody jokingly ties the failure with the fresh decision made by Google to eliminate the possibility for its workers to dedicate part of their job time  for projects outside their own specific tasks). The blackout lasted 11 minutes (In Europe from 1:37 to 1:48 AM).  A such incident didn’t occur since many years but now for internet Google has a much heavier role. To be clear, for some analysts  internet global traffic dropped of 40%! Indeed, a big event. “As users, we confide very much on Google ” was a very common comment. However, much of what we use on the Net is structured (fused) on architectures and mechanisms running on computer…

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On sectorial crisis and law pitfalls Although we used to think that it’s better to project small business in a big picture, we often suffer the lack or availability of appropriate analysis. Absorbed by tasks, weak in forces or distracted by hyper-activism of a interested counter-information, we remain in the wake of mainstream thoughts, anchored to biased and insufficient ideas to support/contest actions and decisions can limit our media agency. Indeed, after the great adoption of internet services, many policy-makers – directly or indirectly moved by sectoral complaints – asked us to take position against media piracy and practices that are destroying value and jobs in cultural industry. Even I prefer to write in a long form into my suchlike blog, I would have a hard task to face the whole arguments that these questions require to gain a clear view – thematic range usually starts with economy, touches law and inevitably arrives to democracy. When I tried to develop a thought it takes many pages, the space needed to check aspects, principles and points of view raised by changes electronic technologies introduced since 1980s in legislation, business and uses around media. Yet past experiences left the desire to return…

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