The change is subtle, and misleading by design, but the Internet is in full transition from a participatory interactive communications network to a broadcast medium dominated by electronic commerce. The transition is occurring under the guise of making the technically daunting Internet cheaper and easier to use. At first glance, this new promise by corporate America to liberate cyberspace from its high-tech mantle appears to be a victory for ordinary people. However, as with most new technology, there’s a hidden agenda that obscures the true cost of the deal. AT&T, MCI and other phone companies are in a race to […]
Search Results for: Frank Beacham
Corporate Moves Could Doom the Internet's Participatory Culture
In the Right Lane of the Information Superhighway
Al Gore may get credit for coining the term “information superhighway,” but it’s Newt Gingrich and company who are burning rubber on it. House Speaker Gingrich and his fellow Republicans have clearly stolen the thunder of their Democratic counterparts in applying state-of-the-art information technology to further their political agenda. Since seizing power in November, the Republicans have taken new initiatives to get out their message through electronic media. Gingrich, who refers to himself as a “conservative futurist,” quickly inaugurated a new on-line system that will make Congressional information available over the global computer network known as the Internet. Gingrich’s media […]
Will the Public Have Room on the Road?
Ever since Vice President Al Gore propelled the metaphor of the”information superhighway” into the public consciousness, Americans have been repeatedly assured that the digital communications revolution will enhance the lives of everyone–rich and poor–by creating instant, low-cost access to the world’s greatest information resources. Yet to observe the continuing feeding frenzy among the world’s most powerful media corporations, the real prospect of the superhighway is starting to resemble an endless, ad-cluttered strip mall through cyberspace. The intense in-fighting among cable, telephone, broadcast, computer,publishing and other corporate power brokers is focused on how to slice the huge new media pie among […]