In the beginning, trade unions created websites.
Archive for December, 2001
The TUC has launched a new website and, to come right to the point, it’s a huge improvement over the previous one. And it’s about time.
Is there such a thing as politically-correct computer software?
One sees the slogan ‘globalise resistance’ more and more these days, and yet the reality is that the labour movement and left continues to use many of the old techniques and technologies which so colosally failed to ‘globalize resistance’ in the previous century.
Those of you who have email may have had a nasty surprise or two in your Inbox this week. The Badtrans-B virus was one of the very worst to spread through the Internet and is typical of a range of new and more powerful viruses which specifically exploit weaknesses in Microsoft email software, particularly Outlook Express.
In my column last week I mentioned an email program called Pegasus Mail. As you may recall, I pointed out that it’s an alternative to Microsoft Outlook Express. As everyone now knows, Microsoft’s programs are the main means of distributing lethal computer viruses through the Internet.
Pegasus Mail should interest socialists for a few reasons.
In the beginning, everything on the net was free. You wanted a website? There were hundreds — maybe thousands — of free offers. Needed web-based email? Hotmail was only the first of many thousands of free services. Dialling up to the net was free, though you had to pay the cost of the phone call. And even computers were free — I got one from Tiny Computers on the condition that I used their (free) Internet service for a year.
It’s 2001 already — and the movies are more than a century old. We’ve had movies with sound since the late 1920s, and colour films since just before the Second World War. If someone were to make a movie today in black and white, without sound, it would be rather odd, no?
Yet that is precisely what most unions and left organisations are doing with their websites. (I’m speaking about those that have websites — I won’t even discuss the others.)