Archive for January, 2004

Mydoom as a class issue

Friday, January 30th, 2004

I don’t know if anyone else is picking up on this, but computer viruses are increasingly becoming a class issue. An article in today’s newspaper revealed that the author of the Mydoom virus which is now racing around the net deliberately chose to target home users rather than corporate, government or military users.

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The John Birch Society’s “labor” websites

Thursday, January 15th, 2004

The annual labor website of the year competition — which the IWW won four years ago — has led me to discover many strange and wonderful websites. Some of these are more strange than wonderful. And some of the strangest of all have got to be the websites of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society.
I should begin by explaining that while there are “officially nominated” sites in the annual competition, anyone with an email address can vote for any site they want. This has led to some anti-union websites getting votes, though never more than a handful of votes. Companies sometimes create the web equivalent of a company union, websites which tout the advantages to employees of not organizing. But this year, I discovered something far more dangerous.

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The labour website of the year: a brief history

Sunday, January 11th, 2004

In late 1997, I had an idea. Why not sponsor a “Labour Website of the Year” competition? My book on “The Labour Movement and the Internet: The New Internationalism” had come out a year earlier. There were already a number of union websites. I had a site of my own, at that time hosted by Canada’s largest union, CUPE. It had been set up to accompany the book. LabourStart did not yet exist.
I put out the word, and to my astonishment, people began voting (by email). Seven sites received votes. The winner was the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM). Now to be perfectly honest, not very many people voted. And seven is not a whole lot of sites. But it was a beginning.

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Broadband internet opens new possibilities for unions

Friday, January 9th, 2004

More than three million homes and businesses in the UK now have broadband access to the Internet, with 40,000 new connections being made every week. By the end of 2005, it should be possible to connect every home in the country to a high-speed version of the net.
The very rapid uptake of broadband Internet by British consumers has implications for organisations which use the Internet, many of which are adapting to the new possibilities.
For example, it is now possible to hear reliable, high-quality audio streams through the net. After years of hype, Internet radio has become a reality.
Just one service