Articles by date

17 December 2017

Google is using light beam tech to connect rural India to the internet (Tech Crunch)

Alphabet’s X — the company formerly known as Google X — is working with a telecom operator in Indian state Andhra Pradesh, home to over 50 million people, to use Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC), a technology that uses beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances.

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Facebook admits it poses mental health risk - but says using site more can help (The Guardian)

Facebook has acknowledged that social media use can be bad for users’ mental health, a sign the company is feeling pressure from a growing chorus of critics raising alarms about the platform’s effect on society.

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Where is technology taking the economy? (McKinsey)

We are creating an intelligence that is external to humans and housed in the virtual economy. This is bringing us into a new economic era—a distributive one—where different rules apply.

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How the Pentagon's cyber offensive against ISIS could shape the future for elite U.S. forces (Washington Post)

The U.S. military has conducted cyber attacks against the Islamic State for more than a year, and its record of success when those attacks are coordinated with elite Special Operations troops is such that the Pentagon is likely carry out similar operations with greater frequency, according to current and former U.S. defense officials.

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16 December 2017

Digital Rights Are Human Rights: Freedom of speech matters just as much online as it does offline. (Slate)

Not long ago, the internet connoted progress, connection, exploration, innovation. But what trends do you associate with the net today? Disinformation? Hatred? Surveillance? Censorship? Monopoly? Child exploitation?

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15 December 2017

Net Neutrality Isn't Just a Domestic Issue: By removing net neutrality protections for Americans, the FCC will hurt people abroad too. (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/12/the_fcc_s_decision_to_kill_net_neutrality_will_hurt_people_abroad.html)

Asad Mukhtar, a 27-year-old man who is currently employed in Karachi as a cook, is grateful for the free WhatsApp service from his cellphone provider Zong—one of the five largest telecommunications companies in Pakistan, owned by China Mobile. The service “has made communication with my family and friends back home very convenient and I don’t have to worry about data recharge to speak to them,” he told me recently.

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Facebook criticised for response to questions on Russia and Brexit (The Guardian)

Facebook has been slammed for failing to do any extra work in its investigation into Russian influence on the EU referendum, after the company’s inquiry found just $0.97 (£0.72) of ad spending originating from the notorious Russian “troll army”.

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Net Neutrality failure in the U.S. risks hurting all internet users (InternetNZ)

InternetNZ Chief Executive Jordan Carter has condemned the decision by the United States communications regulator to undo 2015 open Internet rules, warning that all Internet users will end up worse off as a result.

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Google, tech firms at odds with content creators over Australian copyright safe harbour ruling (Australian Financial Review)

Google and members of Australia's technology sector have urged the government to reconsider excluding them from changes to safe harbour, while the content sector has applauded the decision to not extend the copyright provisions to digital commercial entities.

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A goal realized: Network lobbyists' sweeping capture of their regulator by Tom Wheeler (Brookings)

When the Federal Communications Commission voted December 14 to repeal the rules protecting a fast, fair, and open internet, the lobbyists for the internet service providers realized their long-envisioned strategy to gut the authority of the agency that since 1934 has been charged with overseeing the activities of the nation’s essential networks.

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14 December 2017

Microsoft Wants to Take on Google by Making its Search Engine Smarter (The Guardian)

Google may be the household name when it comes to search, but Microsoft is hoping it can make its Bing search engine the smartest. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has announced a handful of new features that it says are powered by artificial intelligence. The updates will start rolling out on Wednesday and will continue over the coming week.

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Billions of video site visitors unwittingly mine cryptocurrency as they watch (The Guardian)

Each month almost one billion visitors to four popular video sites are being unwittingly forced to mine cryptocurrency, according to a report on the practice of so called cryptojacking.

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Make Facebook liable for content, says report on UK election intimidation (The Guardian)

Theresa May should consider the introduction of two new laws to deter the intimidation of MPs during elections and force social media firms to monitor illegal content, an influential committee has said.

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The Biggest Tech Failures and Successes of 2017 (New York Times)

Let’s face it: Technology this year was one big “fail” after another. And the biggest loser from all of this was you.

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Google, Looking to Tiptoe Back Into China, Announces A.I. Center (New York Times)

Google pulled some of its core businesses out of China seven years ago, after concluding that government controls and surveillance ran counter to its commitment to a free and open internet.

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Net Neutrality Protests Move Online, Yet Big Tech Is Quiet (New York Times)

Protests to preserve net neutrality, or rules that ensure equal access to the internet, migrated online on Tuesday, with numerous online companies posting calls on their sites for action to stop a vote later this week.

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Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Domains Dominate .COM and .NET November Keywords

With the skyrocketing interest in, and prices of, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, it’s no surprise there’s an increased interest in related keywords for those registering .com and .net keywords.

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CIRA Adds .SX to its List of TLDs It Provides Registry Services For

Canada’s ccTLD registry, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA), has now added .sx (Sint Maarten) to its Fury Registry Platform. CIRA has been on a bit of a “acquisition” role recently with this week’s adding to a number of similar recent announcements.

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13 December 2017

Threat of Phishing Attacks Increases With Bitcoin Price Hike (Security Intelligence)

A surge in the value of bitcoin has been accompanied by a rise in the risk of phishing attacks against the infrastructure that supports the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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Google: Southeast Asia's internet economy is growing faster than expected (Tech Crunch)

Southeast Asia is now the world’s third largest region for internet users — with more people online than the entire U.S. population — and internet is having a bigger impact on the region than originally thought, according to a new report co-authored by Google.

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Facebook hits back at former executive Chamath Palihapitiya (BBC News)

Facebook has responded to a former executive who said the social network, and other services like it, was "ripping society apart".

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IIA Report: Average American Gig Economy Worker Sees Triple Return on Investment in Home & Mobile Broadband Connectivity (Internet Innovation Alliance)

The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) finds that the average American household can now save more than $12,000 per year on household spending through use of high-speed internet services, according to its latest Cost Campaign analysis. IIA’s new supplemental whitepaper, “The Multiplier Effect of Broadband and the Income of American Households,” also examines how broadband helps generate income for Americans, particularly via the sharing economy.

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12 December 2017

Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society (The Verge)

Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.

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Net neutrality: 'father of internet' joins tech leaders in condemning repeal plan (The Guardian)

More than 20 internet pioneers and leaders including the “father of the internet”, Vint Cerf; the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee; and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have urged the FCC to cancel its vote to repeal net neutrality, describing the plan as “based on a flawed and factually inaccurate” understanding of how the internet works.

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Net Neutrality's Holes in Europe May Offer Peek at Future in U.S. (New York Times)

Last spring, Swedes got a tantalizing offer: If they subscribed to Sweden’s biggest telecom provider, Telia Company AB, they could have unlimited access on their mobile phones to Facebook, Spotify, Instagram and other blockbuster apps.

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