Links for 1st October 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. US relinquishes control of the internet

    "The deal, part of a contract negotiated with the US department of commerce, effectively pushes California-based Icann towards a new status as an international body with greater representation from companies and governments around the globe.

    Icann had previously been operating under the auspices of the American government, which had control of the net thanks to its initial role in developing the underlying technologies used for connecting computers together.

    But the fresh focus will give other countries a more prominent role in determining what takes place online, and even the way in which it happens – opening the door for a virtual United Nations, where many officials gather to discuss potential changes to the internet."

    Tagged with: internetpoliticsicanngovernance

  2. Students turn to ‘smart drugs’ to boost grades

    ""The pressure to succeed academically is very real, and in a climate in which high-stakes public examinations have increased demand for private tuition, it is likely that all avenues for performance enhancement will be exhausted."

    He said the failures and inconsistencies in the anti-drugs policy in sport could be mirrored when it comes to the use of smart drugs in the academic world.

    "If the current situation in competitive sport is anything to go by, any attempt to prohibit the use of nootropics will probably be difficult or inordinately expensive to police effectively."

    Cakic said that although smart drugs had been shown to improve brain power by only a modest amount, "it appears likely that more effective compounds will be developed in the future and that their off-label use will increase"."

    Tagged with: nootropicsdrugscognitionpharmacologyoff-labelneurosciencebioethicstranshumanism


    "A central problem for ending an open source insurgency (one composed of many small groups working in concert to achieve large objectives) running a campaign of disruption is that there isn't a counter-party for the government or multinationals to talk to. In many vs. many conflicts like these, any and all attempts at resolution are typically mired in broad pronouncements and vague statements/threats by the parties involved.

    The Nigerian open source insurgency, MEND (the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) may have found a potential solution to this. It has proposed a neutral group of mediators called the Aaron Team."

    Tagged with: John-Robbinsurgencyopen-sourceguerrillawar4th-generationNigeriamediation

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