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December 17, 2008

Pew Report Predicts Life on the Interent in 2020

The Pew Internet & American Life Project released its report called the Future of the Internet III.  The report predicts how the Internet (and how we use it) will appear in 2020.  From the summary of findings:

None of these predictions are particularly earth-shattering, particularly the one suggesting a lack of social tolerance on the Internet.  Forums and other comment threads do show off the worst in some people, and their example isn't going to reduce or slow it down in the future.  As for DRM (also known as copyright protection), just look at the fight between Blu-Ray backers and the people who work to break DRM on that system.  The control system for Blu-Ray is made to be variable enough to react to breaks in protection.  Yet the breakers still break it.  This is one of those situations that may impede Blu-Ray if the back and forth is not transparent to users who want to simply drop a DVD in a player and watch a movie.  The mass market will likely not want to keep updating firmware just to play a disc.  The future may just be more of the same.

The Pew Report is here.  [MG]

December 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Yahoo Proposes Keeping Search Data for Only 90 Days

Yahoo has upped the ante, so to speak, on data retention of the information it collects on its users.  The company proposes to anonymize search data after 90 days, unless there was fraud or security concerns.  In that situation, the retention limit is 6 months.  Google has a 9 month retention policy, and Microsoft an 18 month policy.  The European Union guidelines call for a 6 month retention period at most.  Google has always appeared as the most progressive in protecting privacy, though Yahoo definitely one-ups them with this announcement.

Yahoo has the least to lose here competitively, as its market share for search is in the low double digits compared to Google.  Yahoo seems to be going in a slightly different direction, using its new integrated mailbox to act as a social contact hub.  Microsoft, on the other hand, needs all the help it can get as it has the smallest slice of the search market for the big three.  Microsoft is motivated try and beat Google.  Yahoo, I think, is not.  We'll have to see how this plays out.

The story is from CNNMoney.  [MG]

December 17, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack