ITU won’t control the internet


Park dino

Today is a good day for the internet.


“Failure to sign agreement at ITU conference stops governments having greater powers to control phone calls and data”, is the Guardian’s headline, announcing that the ITU summit failed to move more control over the internet to a global government body that would have bypassed a lot of the multi-stakeholder input and checks we currently have. The efforts to claim control were headed by Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, all states with comparatively tight control over the internet, each in their own way.

Just some impressions as described in the Guardian article:

“The internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years. All without UN regulation. We candidly cannot support an ITU Treaty that is inconsistent with the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.”

— Terry Kramer, head of the US delegation

[Head of consulting firm dot-nxt] McCarthy, who has published ITU planning documents that would otherwise have been kept out of sight on dot-nxt’s website, criticised the conduct of the meeting: “attendees were stunned to find a conference style and approach stuck in the 1970s,” he said. “(…) meetings ran until the early hours of the morning, and “consensus by exhaustion” was the only fall-back position.”

It was a close thing. But there we go. Phew. Thanks to all the initiatives that sprung up in public as well as in the backchannels to drag this thing into light, and make sure it didn’t go through as initially planned.

Full article over at The Guardian.

Popcorn Maker – video of the web, for the web


At Mozfest, the most recent version of Popcorn Maker was launched. Popcorn Maker is a tool to more easily remix and share video on the web, and to make it interact with the web directly & in real time. It’s quite amazing if you think about it – so far, video on the web has been locked into a little rectangle, largely disconnected from what was going on around it. With Popcorn, video re-connects with the web: Of the web, for the web.

At last year’s Mozfest, I got to play around with an early version of Popcorn Maker. Seeing the new version launched now, exactly one year later, it’s mind blowing to see the polished, powerful beast that Popcorn Maker has become. It’s truly a joy to play around with.

Just to get a better feel for what Popcorn Maker is currently capable of, we took it for a spin. Concretely, in a small group we took this video about a potentially quite damaging & dangerous power shift in regulation the web, and translated it to German (current version here, as well as embedded below, but please note it’s a quick demo with plenty of kinks):

With just a bit more time, we could’ve added more or different sources, for example in German, or newspapers that are better known in the country than some of the US-based papers would be.

Seeing Popcorn Maker in action is amazing – huge props to the team.

Take Popcorn Maker for a spin – seeing web video that pulls in Google Maps or a Twitter hashtag search live feels almost like magic. It’s incredibly powerful, and I’m convinced it’ll change our understanding of how video works on the web.