Charles Petersen, an associate editor at n + 1, has written for The Village Voice, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Wall Street Journal. (December 2010)

Google and Money!

Google cofounder Sergey Brin, center, training in zero gravity for a future vacation in space, 2008
The Internet, as originally conceived, was supposed to be noncommercial, and therefore treated all traffic in a “neutral” way, giving the same priority to every piece of data that passed through the network. As the Internet has developed, this principle of neutrality, though never codified in law, has largely been retained: whether Internet content comes from a long-established video rental company like Blockbuster or from a relatively recent start-up like Netflix, the pages, images, and videos that are sent through the network must all be passed along at equal speed. For years Google was a staunch supporter of net neutrality, even as net neutrality’s demands began to run counter to its interests. But on August 9, Google together with Verizon announced a “compromise” …

In the World of Facebook

A screen shot of part of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page
Facebook, the most popular social networking Web site in the world, was founded in a Harvard dorm room in the winter of 2004. Like Microsoft, that other famous technology company started by a Harvard dropout, Facebook was not particularly original. A quarter-century earlier, Bill Gates, asked by IBM to provide …