17 Jul

guardian.co.uk – Networks are not always revolutionary

My corollary to O’Reilly’s "piracy/obscurity" quote is "fame won’t make you a success on its own, but no artist ever got rich on obscurity". That is, being widely loved isn’t sufficient for attaining fortune, but it is necessary to it.

By the same token, a global network that allows loosely coordinated groups of people to discover each other and act in concert while exposing their cause to the whole planet (especially its richest, most privileged residents) is not enough to overthrow a dictator — but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to try to stage a revolution without such a network.

via guardian.co.uk – Networks are not always revolutionary. Fair point I think, having the network or having fame isn’t enough to guarantee success but it does help.

20 Feb

ReadWriteWeb – Libya Shuts Down Internet

Rensys reports that Libya has completely shut down their Internet as of midnight Saturday local time.

Qaddafi’s Libya is engaging in the strategy that Mubarak’s Egypt used to little effect, clearly hoping for a radically different outcome.

via ReadWriteWeb – Libya Shuts Down Internet. Looks like Libyan domains such as bit.ly are still up however.

20 Feb

NYTimes.com – China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids

I look at the young protesters who gathered in downtown Amman today, and the thousands who gathered in Egypt and Tunis, and my heart aches for them. So much human potential, but they have no idea how far behind they are — or maybe they do and that’s why they’re revolting. Egypt’s government has wasted the last 30 years — i.e., their whole lives — plying them with the soft bigotry of low expectations: “Be patient. Egypt moves at its own pace, like the Nile.” Well, great. Singapore also moves at its own pace, like the Internet.

The Arab world has 100 million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you have a very powerful change engine.

via NYTimes.com – China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids. Do you really need a better explanation for why the revolts happened?

07 Feb

NYTimes.com – Missing Executive From Google Egypt Released

Wael Ghonim, the Google marketing executive and Egypt revolt hero who disappeared there more than a week ago, was released on Monday by Egyptian authorities, according to Google.

via NYTimes.com – Missing Executive From Google Egypt Released. Good to see Egypt released him, what about all the other people who don’t have Google and the world’s attention behind them however?

06 Feb

The San Francisco Chronicle – Google Exec Who Went Missing In Egypt Now A Spokesman For Opposition Group

A Google executive who has gone missing in Egypt has been "symbolically" named the spokesman for an opposition group, in an attempt to free him from being held by Egyptian authorities, CBS News reports.

Wael Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the middle east, flew into Egypt last week to participate in the demonstrations against the government. At some point he went missing, and one of his last tweets ominously read, "we are all ready to die."

The Egyptian government will not comment on whether it has Ghonim or not, but many suspect he is being held.

via The San Francisco Chronicle – Google Exec Who Went Missing In Egypt Now A Spokesman For Opposition Group. Scary times kids. Side note, the url for this article has to be one of the worse I’ve seen in a long time, they need some serious help in designing a decent a url structure.

02 Feb

The Big Picture – A harrowing, historic week in Egypt

They have been days of chants and chaos, bloodshed mixed with moments of breathtaking solidarity between the protesters and the soldiers sent to subdue them. The flame of social unrest that first flickered in Tunisia has spread to Egypt, culminating with the announcement Tuesday by President Hosni Mubarak that after three decades in power, he would not run for another term. The clashes left government buildings in ashes, stores ransacked, and an economy teetering. Cairo’s international airport teemed with Americans and other foreigners trying to flee; Egypt’s tourism industry froze. At Cairo’s Liberation Square, Mubarak’s announcement was met with jeers and calls for an immediate resignation. Pro-Mubarak forces struck back, attacking the protesters in waves. The country of 80 million, rich in history but bereft of personal freedoms, awaits the next stage. Collected here are images from the last week focusing inside Egypt. — Lloyd Young

via The Big Picture – A harrowing, historic week in Egypt. Some incredibly powerful images here of the Egyptian protests.

31 Jan

TechCrunch – Egypt Shuts Down Noor, Its Last ISP

We’re hearing reports on Twitter that the coverage of Noor Group’s DSL service, Egypt’s last standing ISP which powers the Egyptian Stock Exchange as well as sites of major brands like Coca Cola and Exxon Mobile is being shut down, meaning the nation will lose nearly all the remaining high-speed links to the outside world.

via TechCrunch – Egypt Shuts Down Noor, Its Last ISP. This is so weird and disturbing the idea of a political entity being able to just disconnect itself from the internet.

31 Jan

Official Google Blog – Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

via Official Google Blog – Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard. Only Google has this kind of ability to just buy a company and build a product to make the internet and a public more free.