The Digital Divide

extended mind: blog

World leaders have gathered to Davos to think about the economic future of the planet. In particular, the question of income inequality gives cause to worries.

An economy where the majority of resources is isolated in the hands of the few cannot thrive. An economy is a moving, living thing. When its lifeblood is stored in a vault, be it a digital stowaway or a cave guarded by a dragon, the economy stagnates.

But there is an even worse gap brewing. I mean the Digital Divide that is building up as we speak. This division of intellectual resources will also no doubt contribute to increasing income inequality.

After all, income is not generated out of thin air, but out of activity resulting in smart allocation of resources. Be they capital, gold, water or coal. Or level design for a computer game.

What I mean by the Digital Divide is the…

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Data As A Company’s Secret Weapon

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Suhail Doshi is the co-founder and CEO of Mixpanel. He started the company with the goal of helping the world learn from its data. Today more than 1,800 mobile apps and websites use Mixpanel to analyze more than 17 billion actions every single month. Follow him on Twitter @suhail.

This year, we’re going to see data go from an opaque, untapped, and mystifying asset to a hyper competitive, I-can’t-believe-you-don’t-use-it weapon for businesses. I don’t mean big data; I mean data of any size: big, medium, and small. In fact, it’s not about the amount of data, it’s about the kind of data you have (and, of course, being smart enough to use it). This is all starting to happen because software is being built specifically to analyze lots of data – and it’s no longer cost-prohibitive to use this software, and the insights can fundamentally change the…

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On free speech and blogging: The First Amendment applies to everyone, not just journalists

Gigaom

When Montana blogger Crystal Cox lost her defamation case in 2011, the decision was greeted by a chorus of cheers from journalists, who were quick to argue that Cox wasn’t a journalist in any real sense of the word, and therefore didn’t deserve any protection from the First Amendment. An appeals court for the Ninth Circuit has disagreed, however: on Friday, a panel of judges overturned the original decision and said that Cox was in fact entitled to protection.

The implications of this ruling go beyond just a single defamation case. It’s another link in a chain of decisions that are gradually helping to extend the principle of free-speech protection beyond professional journalism to anyone who is publishing information with public value — and as such, it helps shift the focus away from trying to define who is a journalist and puts it where it should be: on protecting…

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