China’s internet growth tops US

To no surprise globalization is bringing the world closer together and thereby making commerce “smaller” and faster as global financial markets increase the efficiency of established information systems.  Recent growth of internet penetration has changed dramatically.  Today China has more internet users than America has citizens.

internet users worldwide June 2009
internet users worldwide June 2009

Consider this form IF you can image everyone you know connected, literally everyone in the USA — then you would see China has surpassed our population.  With almost 75% of Americans connected implications are huge since China has only 20% of its population connected.  I blogged about this impact with YouTube in March.

Original graphic

Tags: Internet Users, China, population, internet growth, internet, economy, trends

Latest read: Free The future of a radical price

Just finished reading Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson.  I very much enjoyed his previous book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. (review here)  The first time I read about this idea was an article he wrote in his 2008 Wired article.  Have to admit I was skeptical.  Free invites you to learn about new “radical sales techniques” that have actually been around for some time, but could not take off without the influence of the global internet economy.

And YES you can read his book for free online at Scribd and at Google Books.  You can also download a full unabridged 6 hour audiobook for free — or purchase a 3 hour abridged copy.  Get it?

Like me, if you have not been paying close attention to the Free Economy, there is much to learn from this book.

Anderson traces the history of “free” products (Gillette razor blades in 1895 and even Jello) and services and intelligently outlines how “free” is driving sales in our culture today.  Even in our current economic recession.

He introduces the idea by recalling a famous announcement from Monty Python, who’s pirated movies were already on YouTube.  They decided to establish their own YouTube channel, place higher quality clips online with links to their DVD products….and placed a hilarious insult letter to all their fans.

Even though they were placing movies online for free, fans purchased their DVDs at Amazon, driving them to the #2 sales rank with an increased sales volume of 23,000%.  That’s no typo: a 23,000% sales jump!  Clearly Free can work.

Anderson has done great research to help explain (he calls them “sidebars” in the book) to help you see where you have already run across “free” in your daily life including radical ideas including air travel, cars, silverware, textbooks and even a university education.

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Latest read: The Future of the Internet

Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University wrote The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It. This book is very interesting for all the wrong reasons. Zittrain documents that existing, closed, controlled systems are damaging the internet an if continued, he writes will negatively impact our future access and interaction.  I enjoyed reading the book and dedicated blog established by Zittrain to keep his conversations moving forward.

The Future of the Internet

BTW: The cover is not an actual photo rather a Photoshop’d image. However the image clearly represents his message.  The book is about Generativity impacting the internet.  Ultimately his argument is to place generativity at the core of all open technologies that tap into the internet.

Zittrain begins Part I in the book with a tbit of historical reflection: The Battle of the Boxes, Battle of the Networks and CyberSecurity.  He followed on the impact of legal lessons learned from Wikipedia.  There are plenty of examples how open, generativity systems make the internet better.  Here are a couple of examples Zittrain addressed that do not:

Law enforcement agencies have used network devices to manually turn on OnStar (the in-vehicle security, communications, and diagnostics system from GM) to record and monitor conversations of unknowing passengers.  OnStar is installed in over 50 models of GM cars alone.

The FBI requested from a judge the ability to turn on the microphone of a unsuspecting cell phone owner allowing law enforcement to tap, track and record conversations.

Think about that for a moment. Ever take a picture with your digital camera or cell phone?  Millions of people do this everyday and upload content to photo-sharing websites like Flickr.  Can you imagine taking a series of photographs — only to later realize the camera (via remote commands) copied all your photos without your knowledge.  Zittrain addresses how your personal content can be affected by a judge in Texas while you live … say in Ohio.  Don’t believe it? Read Chapter 5: Tethered Appliances, Software as Service and Perfect Enforcement” to see how a judge in Marshall Texas did just that — regarding a copyright case involving TiVo.

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