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Shut out

发布时间:2019-03-08 10:15:12来源:未知点击:

By Barry Fox RUPERT MURDOCH announced the first steps towards creating his own, closed version of the Internet last week. The tycoon’s British satellite broadcasting company, BSkyB, confirmed that it is working with British Telecom, the Midland Bank and Matsushita to offer a home shopping and banking communications system, ironically dubbed “Open”, which uses proprietary technology to close access to the World Wide Web. The joint venture, called British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB), is heavily subsidising the cost of BSkyB’s digital satellite receivers, which have been designed to nudge satellite TV viewers into Murdoch’s wired high street, where they can buy goods and services from a limited number of companies. Firms wanting electronic shop fronts, such as Woolworths, will pay BIB a commission on sales. While Open will allow users to send e-mail to and from the public Internet, they cannot access the World Wide Web and display HTML pages. Instead, BSkyB’s satellite will continuously deliver updated shopping and banking information at a rate of 68 megabits per second. Links between BSkyB and BIB are so tight that the moment a BSkyB digital receiver is connected, its internal 28.8K modem automatically dials BIB’s central computer to register the box’s serial number. The modem then dials out to report when the box owner watches pay-per-view movies or sports events—a cheap way of measuring ratings. Even if no viewing charges are incurred, the modem dials out intermittently to confirm that it is still connected. The viewer gets a cheap receiver as long as they leave their phone plugged into the receiver: if not,