Online Piracy Bills Send Internet Atwitter

UPDATE: And so, two days later, SOPA and PIPA are postponed until further notice.

A few months ago, SOPA was the Spanish word for soup and PIPA the name of Kate Middleton’s sister. Cue Jan. 18. 2012: Wikipedia – the popular online encyclopedia – goes dark for 24 hours in opposition to proposed legislation targeting online piracy. WordPress and Google show solidarity by “censoring” their home pages, while posts about the legislation dominate on Twitter and Facebook. SOPA and PIPA gain knew meanings. Continue reading

House Takes On Online Piracy

By Andrea Salazar

Silicon Valley tech giants butted heads with Congress Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill designed to curb online copyright infringement.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would give the government tools to protect the works of American authors, artists and filmmakers from so called “rogue” websites that steal intellectual property. Under SOPA, the federal government would be able to seek injunction against foreign websites that use pirated or counterfeit products from the U.S.

Continue reading

Google+ shows promise and yet…

So far it seems that there’s only room for one big social networking site on the internet. Facebook has proven king after beating out MySpace. Twitter is a social network, but not in the same way the others are. Twitter and Facebook can, for now, coexist. But can Google+ and Facebook do the same?

I find them very similar – friend lists or circles, status updates, photo sharing, etc., but Google+ does have its advantages:

  1. Users will find it easier to control what and how much they share because G+ doesn’t assume you want to share everything with everyone.
  2. Google already knows everything about us. Now, we have email, blogs, social networking and news all in one, instead of on various different sites. Users can even update G+ from Gmail.
  3. Video chat! And not just with one person.
  4. Photo editor. One that goes beyond Facebook’s crop function.
  5. Sparks – a news feed of sorts customized to the user’s interests.
  6. No games/game invitations…yet.
Despite those advantages, I’m finding it hard to figure out how Google+ lets users message each other. Sure, there’s video chat and users can comment on each other’s updates, but what if I want to share something with one person? I wouldn’t want to email them – that’s too formal. On Facebook, I’d just put it on their wall.
Google+ is a far cry from the debacle that was Google Wave (or Buzz), but will it survive? I hope so. It shows potential…and yet I feel the need to tell Facebook about it. That will likely be G+’s biggest hurdle: How do you get people to leave the familiar? It’ll be a while and many more people involved to get me to go to G+ when I want to share a link, a picture or a reaction. For now, my first stops will still be Facebook and Twitter.
May the social networking war begin! I can’t wait to see with what Facebook reacts. (For the record, if they hired the Sony hackers to do some “work” on Google,  I called it.)