Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New and Noteworthy (Energy-Efficient Communications, "Crowdsourcing," Post-Copenhagen Obama)

In this edition:

* A piece from Paul Marks in the New Scientist, one on the prospects for dramatically (by orders of magnitude) reducing the energy consumption of the world's communication's network. (It still sounds fairly vague and theoretical, but the issue certainly warrants attention, not least because communication is so often discussed as a "green" alternative to transportation-as in applications like telecommuting, or the transmission of products by download in place of the movement of physical objects, even if this has a long way to go.)

* Another article from Jonathan Zittrain published in the same source on the phenomenon of "crowdsourcing"-from the standpoint of its potential threat to civil liberties.

* And finally, an intelligent commentary on the post-Copenhagen international view of U.S. President Barack Obama-a belated reminder after the honeymoon that saw him awarded a Nobel Prize that the 2008 election was not quite the watershed moment so many made it out to be, with business continuing very much as usual.

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