Over the past 27 months, two magical and revolutionary concepts have changed the way we interact. The first is the Cloud; the second is the Personalized Web.
We all know what the cloud means, but the personalized web means that when I search Google, it no longer returns results based on the words I was searching for. It returns the results it knows I wanted to see, based on a personal profile built up from information about my geolocation, the version number of my browser's rendering engine, and my degrees of seperation from Kevin Bacon.
Imagine this personalization concept carried through to Wikipedia. Rether than viewing a bland article entirely made of compromise and negotiation, I'd be able to read words and see pictures tailored to my point of view--based on my profile, previous reading habits and the kinds of edits I've made. I believe that the proposed changes are just the start of this kind of advanced personalized functionality.
Remember--choice is not censorship, people. And if the choices can be chosen for you in advance, so much the better!
RF energy doesn't give a fuck where you bought something.
Than is my new favourite quote. Genius!.
A lot of it is down to the famous 15 percent rule--the idea that their researchers and engineers are free to spend 15% of their time pursuing their own ideas.
Some of the younger developers at our place are in awe of Google having "invented" the whole one day a week innovating thing, and are shocked that some of the less cool corporations were doing this back in the sixties.
OK--perhaps it will have little effect on anybody taking decisions, but it won't take more than a few minutes of your time, and if it can drive stories in the press etc, so much the better.
Do I feel strongly enough about it to emigrate? The law as it stands in terms of freedom of speech has been much the same for centuries.
Please don't emigrate just yet—you may be in luck. The European Convention on Human Rights guarantees freedom of speech for all EU citizens. It was enshrined into UK law by the Human Rights Act in 1998; this was the biggest fundamental change in the law regarding freedom of speech for centuries.
The problem is, the way it is enshrined into UK law also introduces a significant number of restrictions, mostly around the areas of security, crime, and morals. But the government has to actually pass specific legislation to limit speech in these areas, and if these national laws fall short of the European Convention then they can be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.
One of the weaknesses of the British constitutions is that most people—even most British people—seem to have been persuaded that we don't have one, so few people are willing to stand up and fight against unconstitutional laws.
Far from free speech not being a vote winner, it looks likely that reform of our libel laws will become a significant issue at the next election, for example with campaigns like libelreform.org causing a lot of unrest in political circles.
"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_