Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Book thumbnail image

Something to like about bitcoin

By Richard S. Grossman
Within months of being introduced in 2009, enthusiasts were hailing bitcoin, the digital currency and peer-to-peer payment system, as the successor to the dollar, euro, and yen as the world’s most important currency. The collapse of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange last month has dulled some of the enthusiasm for the online currency.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Peak shopping and the decline of traditional retail

By David M. Levinson
Shopping trips now comprise fewer than 9% of all trips, down from 12.5% in 2000, according to our analysis of the Twin Cities Travel Behavior Inventories. This is consistent with other results from the American Time Use Survey. They are down by about one-third in a decade.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

How electronic publishing is changing academia for the better

By Hannah Skoda
When I started in my current post, one of my students, off to a nightclub, very cheekily asked me whether when I was young, they were still called discos. The same sorts of feelings are coming to characterize attitudes towards books – our students find it hard to imagine a time when nothing was available electronically.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

The genesis of computer science

By Subrata Dasgupta
Politically, socially, and culturally, the 1960s were tumultuous times. But tucked away amidst the folds of the Cold War, civil rights activism, anti-war demonstrations, the feminist movement, revolts of students and workers, flower power, sit-ins, Marxist and Maoist revolutions – almost unnoticed — a new science was born in university campuses across North America, Britain, Europe and even, albeit tentatively, certain non-Western parts of the world.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Facebook turns ten: teenager or (grand)parent?

By José van Dijck
Last November, technology reporter Jenna Wortham of the New York Times observed: “Just a few years ago, most of my online social activity revolved around Facebook … But lately, my formerly hyperactive Facebook life has slowed to a crawl. … I rarely add photographs or post updates about what I’ve been doing… Is it just me, or is Facebook fading?”

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Revisiting reasons to ‘unfriend’ on Facebook’s 10th anniversary

On 4 February 2004, a website named Facebook was launched. Since then it has grown to become a global force affecting many aspects of our lives. Five years ago, Oxford Dictionaries selected ‘unfriend’ as Word of the Year. At the time, we also shared reasons why people unfriend someone on Facebook. On this occasion, we asked once again, why you would — or should — unfriend.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Locating in a ‘Silicon Valley’ does not guarantee success for tech firms

By Harald Bathelt and Peng-Fei Li
In China and Canada, Shenzhen and Waterloo share the same nickname. Both are frequently viewed as their country’s “Silicon Valley”. Despite this shared name, there are fundamental differences between the two, which can be illustrated by the development of their leading firms. Let’s use the local weather of the two cities as a metaphor to describe the current situation.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Rethinking European data protection law

By Dr Christopher Kuner
On the occasion of international Data Protection Day on the 28th of January, I would like to explore how European data protection law can become more efficient and effective, and better tailored to the needs of individuals.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Protecting children from hardcore adult content online

By Julia Hӧrnle
In the offline world the distribution of pornography has been strictly controlled. Age-verification and rating stems ensure that minors cannot access hardcore pornography. The British Board of Film Classification rates cinema and DVD content; content rated as R18 can only be shown in specialised cinemas with strict age-verification standards and certain pornographic content will not be rated for cinema or DVD distribution.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

How secure are you?

The internet has come a long way since the first “electronic mail” was sent back in 1971… but with its rapid advancement come challenges to cybersecurity and the increasing threat of cyberterrorism, both on an individual level as well as on a larger global scale. In their new book, Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, experts P.W. Singer and Allan Friedman warn us that we may not be as secure online as we think we are.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Protecting yourself from the threat of cyberwarfare

With over 30,000 media reports and academic studies on the dangers of cyberterrorism, surely the threat today could not be greater? But as P.W. Singer, author of the bestselling Wired for War and co-author of Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, points out — not a single person has died in a cyberterror attack.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Cybersecurity and cyberwar playlist

After writing Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know, P.W. Singer compiled a list filled with songs to help readers get into the vibe of the book, which explores the emerging security challenges that continue to arise in the new digital age.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Catch statistics are fishy

By Dalal Al-Abdulrazzak
Despite their wide usage, global fisheries catch data compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are questionable.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

Google Books is fair use

By Maurizio Borghi and Stavroula Karapapa
After almost a decade of litigation, on 14 November the Southern District Court of New York has ruled on the class action Authors Guild v Google. Judge Chin, who had rejected in March 2011 the agreement proposing to settle the case, found that the activities carried out in the context of the Google Books project do not infringe copyright.

Read More
Book thumbnail image

From radio to YouTube

By Cynthia B. Meyers
AT&T has produced a teen reality program, @summerbreak—seen not on TV but on social media platforms, such as Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr. General Electric is sponsoring articles in the magazine The Economist. And Pepsico has a blog site, Green- Label, devoted to skateboarding, rap music, and other interests of “millennial males.”

Read More
Book thumbnail image

University libraries and the e-books revolution

By Luke Swindler
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Libraries, it took well over a century, from the university’s founding in 1789, to reach a collection of one million volumes. In the last five years alone, the campus has added nearly one million “volume-equivalents”, mainly due to massive e-book acquisitions.

Read More