When I consider the big issues in the world of information technology and policy, I invariably return to a single word: control.
Stories by Dan Gillmor
One of the biggest stories of last year was the continuing resurgence of Apple Computer -- as a music and media company. The wild popularity of the iPod has been one of the most remarkable successes in recent times.
Someone I know posted an intriguing item on his weblog the other day. It began: "It's tough to compete against a social movement. Especially one in which you're a believer."
There was good news for Intel, the chip-making giant, when it reported excellent earnings this month.
There was good news for Intel Corp., the chip-making giant, when it reported excellent earnings last month. Then Advanced Micro Devices Inc. reported results that were much better than Wall Street had expected.
A little more than two years ago, a senior executive at Microsoft made an implicit threat against the open-source movement.
I've been looking at the future of information, and part of it is spelled R-S-S. I'm talking about a data format that has been around for a few years but is only now getting the attention it deserves.
Information technology folks must love monopolies. Otherwise, you wouldn't help create them.
The race to control intellectual property is becoming the landgrab of the 21st century. But you won't hear a word about it in this year's presidential or congressional races.
The spectacle of capitalism's creative destruction, as the late economist Joseph Schumpeter described it so well, is never more visible than in the technology industry. Silicon Valley and its counterpart regions around the globe throb with an energy almost unprecedented in human history, and the people who run those companies rise and fall -- and often rise again -- in a dizzying, semi-violent merry-go-round.
Presidents are frequently displeased to discover that their Supreme Court appointees turn out to be real people with their own minds, and not doctrinaire automatons who vote as the White House desires. Leaders of Congress learned a similar lesson recently with the Internet Tax Commission, which wrapped up its work last month with a muddled whimper instead of the expected antitax diatribe.
Amazon.com Inc. and eToys.com, two of the biggest Web retailers, are familiar enough with the Internet's selling power. But in recent weeks, under fire for unpopular actions, they've learned how persuasive the Net can be from the other direction - customer buying power - and their experiences offer big lessons for other enterprises.
The launch of Windows 2000 came and went with only modest fanfare despite Microsoft Corp.'s best efforts to turn the San Francisco announcements into a big event. Some observers took this as a sign that Microsoft's heyday has passed or even that the company might be in trouble.
Suppose that on a visit to a shopping mall, someone followed you with a video camera, capturing your every move - which store windows you looked into, which products you examined and what you bought. You'd probably call the cops.
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