Recent Internet News: Net Neutrality, the End of Netscape, Google’s Site Builder

The complete versions of the following articles can be accessed at the news website, under its technology section.

Heritage committee urges net neutrality rules
Friday, February 29, 2008
By Peter Nowak

The federal standing committee on Canadian heritage has urged the CRTC to curb interference in internet traffic by service providers such as Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, particularly in the case of the CBC.

The CRTC is expected to rule on whether the internet in Canada should be kept neutral, and thus free from interference by ISPs, next year.

Canadian service providers, including Bell and Rogers, have admitted to “bandwidth shaping,” or giving priority to certain types of internet traffic over others.

This prioritization has given rise to fears that ISPs will begin charging content providers differently, so that a large, well-resourced corporation will have its website load faster than that of an independent blogger, for example. (Read more here)

Curtains for Netscape
Friday, February 29, 2008
by Paul Jay,

Few things make you feel quite so old as the march of technology, and the rapid rise and fall of technology companies.

Way back in 1995 I purchased my first computer, the hulking Mac Quadra 950 desktop computer, perhaps the last ugly beige desktop Mac would make before switching to sleeker fashions. At the same time my internet service provider was Interlog in Toronto, which was bought a couple of times and now is part of Sympatico.

And, of course, my browser of choice was brought to me by a company that provided nearly everyone’s browser in an era of little choice: Netscape.

How things have changed. Tomorrow, March 1, represents the last day AOL – which bought Netscape in 1999 – will provide support for Netscape Navigator, a browser that’s market share has slipped to 0.6 per cent. (Read more here)

Google launches website-building application
Thursday, February 28, 2008
CBC News
Google Inc. on Thursday launched an online application that allows multiple users to create and edit websites.

[find it at:]

The company said the service, called Google Sites and part of the company’s Google Apps package of online software, will help people without technical savvy create simple, easy-to-use websites they can share with co-workers, classmates or friends.

Users will be able to centralize information from other Google products, such as videos from YouTube, pictures from Picasa, or documents from Google Docs. The application also requires no knowledge of HTML or web design skills, the company said.

“We are literally adding an edit button to the Web,” said Dave Girouard, general manager of the division overseeing the new application. (Read more here)