The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires (Borzoi Books)In this age of an open Internet, it is easy to forget that every American information industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet—the entire flow of American information—come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possession of “the master switch”? That is the big question of Tim Wu’s pathbreaking book.

As Wu’s sweeping history shows, each of the new media of the twentieth century—radio, telephone, television, and film—was born free and open. Each invited unrestricted use and enterprising experiment until some would-be mogul battled his way to total domination. Here are stories of an uncommon will to power, the power over information: Adolph Zukor, who took a technology once used as commonly as YouTube is today and made it the exclusive prerogative of a kingdom called Hollywood . . . NBC’s founder, David Sarnoff, who, to save his broadcast empire from disruptive visionaries, bullied one inventor (of electronic television) into alcoholic despair and another (this one of FM radio, and his boyhood friend) into suicide . . . And foremost, Theodore Vail, founder of the Bell System, the greatest information empire of all time, and a capitalist whose faith in Soviet-style central planning set the course of every information industry thereafter.

Explaining how invention begets industry and industry begets empire—a progress often blessed by government, typically with stifling consequences for free expression and technical innovation alike—Wu identifies a time-honored pattern in the maneuvers of today’s great information powers: Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T. A battle royal looms for the Internet’s future, and with almost every aspect of our lives now dependent on that network, this is one war we dare not tune out.

Part industrial exposé, part meditation on what freedom requires in the information age, The Master Switch is a stirring illumination of a drama that has played out over decades in the shadows of our national life and now culminates with terrifying implications for our future.

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Wiki Communities: Wikiwikiweb, Meatballwiki, Personal Telco, Enciclopedia Libre Universal En Español,, Planetmath, Wikileaks

Wiki Communities: Wikiwikiweb, Meatballwiki, Personal Telco, Enciclopedia Libre Universal En Español,, Planetmath, WikileaksChapters: Wikiwikiweb, Meatballwiki, Personal Telco, Enciclopedia Libre Universal En Español,, Planetmath, Wikileaks, Conservapedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Uncyclopedia, Whole Wheat Radio, Openstreetmap, Wikia, Memory Alpha, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Wikimapia, Lostpedia, Wikinews, Twiki, City Wiki, Wikiatlas, Wikiversity, Wikidot, Wikihow, the Student Room, Pbworks, Wikitravel, Heroes Wiki, Ekopedia, Sourcewatch, Openseamap, Armchairgm,, Wikivoyage, Wowwiki, Tv Tropes, Lyricwiki, Ask Dr Wiki, Digital Classicist, Wetpaint,, Scholarpedia, Baidu Baike, Wookieepedia, Hudong, Ganfyd, Wikispaces, Wikibaseball, Wikilosrios, Wikicity Guides, Hitchwiki, Amapedia, Sensei's Library, Crnogorska Enciklopedija, Congresspedia, Javapedia, Marvel Database Project, Metababy, Musewiki, Wikicandidate, Swik, Jurispedia, World66, Wiki Farm, La Frikipedia,, Atwiki. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 323. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Wikileaks is a Sweden-based organization that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents from governments and other organizations, while preserving the anonymity of their sources. Its website, launched in 2006, is run by The Sunshine Press. The organization has stated it was founded by Chinese dissidents, as well as journalists, mathematicians, and start-up company technologists from the U.S., Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Newspaper articles describe Julian Assange, an Australian journalist and Internet activist, as its director. Within a year of its launch, the site said its database had grown to more than 1.2 million documents. It has won a number of new media awards for its reports. Citing fundraising problems, Wikileaks temporarily suspended all operations other than submission o…More:

Price: $39.99

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