Internet Use/New Technologies

15 December 2015

The wider world web: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web and director of the Web Foundation, points to what needs to happen for the future of the digital age The World

Twenty-five years after the first website became publicly accessible, in 2016 the web will become even more important to businesses, states and people everywhere. Governments will need to update laws for our digital age -- with big ramifications.

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08 December 2015

Eric Schmidt on How to Build a Better Web New York Times

For those of us who have enjoyed access to the Internet for decades now, it can be pretty difficult to remember our first online interactions. But there are plenty of people for whom that feeling is recent and powerful: In just the past five years, more than a billion users have connected to the Internet for the first time. Whether on a desktop or a smartphone, through broadband or Google's high-altitude balloon Wi-Fi network, they are only now experiencing how profound the simple act of getting online can be. Consider, for instance, that a girl in a schoolhouse in rural Indonesia may read this article on a tablet today -- something that was impossible for her as recently as a year ago. Her experience online, when she leaves this article and ventures out onto the rest of the Web, is one that holds great potential.

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07 December 2015

Social media companies step up battle against militant propaganda Reuters

Facebook, Google and Twitter are stepping up efforts to combat online propaganda and recruiting by Islamic militants, but the Internet companies are doing it quietly to avoid the perception that they are helping the authorities police the Web.

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06 December 2015

Should we be worried if our homes are soon smarter than we are? The Observer

There is a technological juggernaut heading our way. It's called the Internet of Things (IoT). For the tech industry, it's the Next Big Thing, alongside big data, though in fact that pair are often just two sides of the same coin. The basic idea is that since computing devices are getting smaller and cheaper, and wireless network technology is becoming ubiquitous, it will soon be feasible to have trillions of tiny, networked computers embedded in everything. They can sense changes, turning things on and off, making decisions about whether to open a door or close a valve or order fresh supplies of milk, you name it, the computers communicating with one another and shipping data to server farms all over the place.

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05 December 2015

A Journey Into the Heart of Facebook The Atlantic

We are running late to the Facebook Data Center. I keep checking my watch, as if the seconds might start moving backwards if I stare hard enough. This is not a particularly safe way to drive. I am, apparently, more concerned with being late than I am with possibly totaling a car. Being late is far more heinous act.

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02 December 2015

Editorial: Time to Bring Cuba Online New York Times

Millions of Cuban citizens could have affordable access to the Internet in a matter of months. The only thing keeping the island in the digital Dark Ages is a lack of political will. Cuban officials have long blamed the American embargo for their nation's obsolete telecommunications systems. They no longer have that excuse.

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Are Christmas fairy lights really ruining your Wi-Fi? The Guardian

The UK's telecoms regulator Ofcom has warned that Christmas lights can slow down your Wi-Fi, but is it really time for those lights to stay in the box?

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01 December 2015

The Internet Isn't Available in Most Languages The Atlantic

Tweet, tuít, or giolc? These were the three iterations of a Gaelic version of the word "tweet" that Twitter's Irish translators debated in 2012. The agonizing choice between an Anglicized spelling, a Gaelic spelling, or the use of the Gaelic word for "tweeting like a bird" stalled the project for an entire year. Finally, a small group of translators made an executive decision to use the Anglicized spelling of "tweet" with Irish grammar. As of April 2015, Gaelic Twitter is online.

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Fairy lights could 'slow' wi-fi speeds warns Ofcom BBC News

Christmas tree lights can slow your wi-fi warns watchdog Ofcom as it releases an app that can check home broadband.

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30 November 2015

Silicon Valley exploits time and space to extend the frontiers of capitalism by Evgeny Morozov The Observer

Satellites, drones and balloons can make global connectivity a reality - but this space race is about profits not altruism

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26 November 2015

Li-Fi has just been tested in the real world, and it's 100 times faster than Wi-Fi ScienceAlert

Expect to hear a whole lot more about Li-Fi - a wireless technology that transmits high-speed data using visible light communication (VLC) - in the coming months. With scientists achieving speeds of 224 gigabits per second in the lab using Li-Fi earlier this year, the potential for this technology to change everything about the way we use the Internet is huge.

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24 November 2015

Why Islamic State Is Winning the Online War Der Spiegel

In the wake of the Paris attacks, authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about Islamic State's skillful use of the Internet. So far, however, European countermeasures have been frustratingly ineffective.

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20 November 2015

Why staring at screens is making us feel sick The Guardian

When we come to define the overarching feeling of the early part of the 21st century, it may come down to one word: queasiness. Some of the most exciting advances in technology - virtual reality, wearable tech, superfast smartphones and 3D films and operating systems - may all be scuppered by a basic human weakness: motion sickness.

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09 November 2015

In our Wi-Fi world, the internet still depends on undersea cables The Conversation

Recently a New York Times article on Russian submarine activity near undersea communications cables dredged up Cold War politics and generated widespread recognition of the submerged systems we all depend upon.

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08 November 2015

Automation Will Change Jobs More Than Kill Them New York Times

Smart software and robots are not poised to wipe out large numbers of American jobs, but technology-driven automation will affect most every occupation and can change work, according to new research from McKinsey.

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07 November 2015

The Rise of the Internet-Addiction Industry The Atlantic

Treatment centers are opening across the U.S., but mental-health experts still disagree on whether excessive time on the web qualifies as a disorder.

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03 November 2015

US teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media Washington Post

Teens are spending more than one-third of their days using media such as online video or music -- nearly nine hours on average, according to a new study from the family technology education non-profit group, Common Sense Media. For tweens, those between the ages of 8 and 12, the average is nearly six hours per day.

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24 October 2015

Trillions of Facebook posts added to search results BBC News

Facebook has indexed almost two trillion posts put on the site by its members to make it easier to find them.

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23 October 2015

Who's off the Internet - and why Washington Post

If the gap between technology rich and technology poor was primarily physical in the 1990s, the gap in this decade is increasingly skills-based.

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22 October 2015

Microsoft's Rule-Breaking Vision of a Future With Countless Devices New York Times

Close your eyes and imagine it's five years from now. Now, check your pockets and your desk. Which devices are you using?

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16 October 2015

Advertisers admit it: 'We messed up' Washington Post

As countless iPhone users have flocked to ad-blocking technology to try to escape from slow-loading, insecure online advertisements, a top trade group for advertisers is apologizing for having "messed up" the Web.

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14 October 2015

Sorry, ad blockers: German news site Bild says nein PC World

Readers of the popular German-language tabloid Bild are finding out it's verboten to try and visit the publication's site with an ad blocker enabled. Effective Tuesday, anyone attempting to visit with an active browser extension such as AdBlock Plus or uBlock origin, will be redirected to a landing page that says (in German), "With an Adblocker activated, you can no longer visit"

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08 October 2015

IS exploits Telegram mobile app to spread propaganda BBC News

So-called Islamic State group (IS) has shifted its propaganda distribution to the secure mobile messaging app Telegram from Twitter, where its accounts have been repeatedly shut down over the past year.

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06 October 2015

The future of the internet is flow by David Gelernter and Eric Freeman Business Spectator

People ask where the ewb is going; it's going nowhere. The web was a brilliant first shot at making the internet usable, but it backed the wrong horse. It chose space over time. The conventional website is "space-organised," like a patterned beach towel -- pineapples upper left, mermaids lower right. Instead it might have been "time-organised," like a parade -- first this band, three minutes later this float, 40 seconds later that band.

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How Race Influences Social-Media Sharing: Just about everyone is participating in online discussions. But a new poll shows that what people talk about can vary greatly. The Atlantic

When Stephanie Williams saw that Western High School in her town of Shively, Kentucky, was on lockdown after reports of an active shooter, she quickly shared the news on Facebook. Williams -- a 42-year-old registered nurse -- has several friends with children at the school and wanted to make sure they knew about the situation. Outside of emergencies, she posts weekly, typically about topics related to her community, or medical articles connected to her work. "If it's useful to me, it's definitely useful to someone else," she says.

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