July 9th, 2012

Perhaps The Google was broken, the people thought, but then The Yahoo too did not load. Nor did Hotmail. Nor USAToday.com. The land was thrown into panic. Internet Explorer 6 was minimized then maximized. The Compaq Presario was unplugged then plugged back in. The old mouse was brought out and plugged in beside the new mouse. Still, The Google did not load.

Some in the kingdom thought the cause of darkness must be the Router. Little was known of the Router, legend told it had been installed behind the recliner long ago by a shadowy organization known as Comcast. Others in the kingdom believed it was brought by a distant cousin many feasts ago. The people of 276 Ferndale Street did despair and resign themselves to defeat.

Reblogged from Utne Reader
July 2nd, 2012

What do you think about the Declaration of Internet Freedom? 



Announcing The Declaration Of Internet Freedom | Techdirt

Backed. Core principles of freedom that are hard to argue with.

This is important, all. A lot of sites are standing behind this. Is yours?

Reblogged from ShortFormBlog
June 28th, 2012
The internet is no more killing journalism than home taping killed music. The internet is changing journalism, which is frightening for traditional hacks. …
June 28th, 2012


America Revealed

  1. Visualization of internet distribution;
  2. The pinpointed distribution of the unemployed;
  3. Domino’s Pizza’s raw ingredients’ delivery routes in the Northeast;
  4. U.S. electricity network routes;
  5. Traced paths of deceased bodies being transported to their hometowns;
  6. U.S. imports and exports of beef;
  7. All the people in America’s towns and cities.

Full episodes of the series can currently be viewed online for U.S. residents only.

That internet distribution map! 

Reblogged from Utne Reader
June 28th, 2012

Scientists have been working on a new way to transmit data wirelessly, and they can now transfer a scorching 2.5 terabits of information per second.

Let us put that another way: that’s over 8,000 times faster than Verizon’s fastest wired home internet connection, FiOS, that only manages a paltry 300Mbps. Or, to put it in real terms, it’s the same as transmitting seven full Blu-ray movies per second.

June 4th, 2012
May 7th, 2012
Being online does change your brain, but so does making a cup of tea. A better question to ask is what parts of the brain are regular internet users using.
Mo Costanza, one of the finest science writers working today, tackles a question surrounded by much pseudoscience and alarmism in his BBC Future column: Does the internet rewire your brain? (via explore-blog)

(Source: )

Reblogged from ximena vengoechea
April 27th, 2012
April 24th, 2012

Press Background Briefing: SOPA Redux: The Problem with CISPA With Rainey Reitman (EFF) and Josh Levy (Free Press)

Looking for more information on CISPA? Call in today, April 24, at 5pm EST.

From the Media Consortium:

There’s a new piece of legislation moving through Congress that experts are calling just as dangerous to online freedom as SOPA and PIPA - the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (HR 3523) or CISPA. Civil liberties experts worry that the language in CISPA, like SOPA, is so broad that it may spur unintended and undemocratic side effects. Concerns are that CISPA will allow widespread Internet monitoring and more extensive surveillance of personal communications and lacks information-sharing restrictions. Groups like EFF and Free Press argue that alternatives exist.

The Media Consortium, a national network of over 60 leading independent media outlets, has assembled an in-depth press briefing on CISPA. This briefing will help reporters understand the specifics of CISPA, including where it differs from SOPA. Reporters will also get an update on where the bill is in Congress, who is supporting and opposing the bill, and what actions are being taken. All journalists are invited to attend.

The call is free, but the Media Consortium is requesting that you register in advance

April 3rd, 2012


Finding a digital poverty line

According to a new study by American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, there is a new (or at least under-thought) difference between the rich and the poor in the United States.

Having analyzed data from all fifty states and D.C., the group shows that areas with relatively low household incomes have low broadband subscription percentages, too. No duh, you say? Well, read on to the implications:

Access to broadband has become critical for anyone to keep up in American society. Finding and applying for jobs often takes place entirely online. Students receive assignments via email. Basic government services are routinely offered online.

The lack of a broadband connection puts people at a profound disadvantage.

According to the article, which drew information from data collected circa 2008-2010, wealthier households subscribe to broadband at a rate of 80% to 100%, while lower income homes are closer to 40% to 60%.

A broadband connection, which clocks in at or above 96 kb/s while downloading, is most widely purchased in the country’s wealthy Northeast (and Hawaii, but they think it may be all the vacation homes), with Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut being the country’s most heavily subscribed metro area.

The states with the lowest subscription rates by household are, from the bottom, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. Of those, Mississippi holds the title of both poorest state and least connected, with a median household income of $36,850 and only 38 broadband subscriptions per 100 households.

By household income, Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia follow directly behind it, according to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

FJP: Is it just a coincidence? Probably not…

It’s not a rural problem, they say — Alaska’s subscriptions have gone up 15% recently. Montana and South Dakota have also gone up. The West, too, showed rapid growth through 2010. This contrasts with the South, which the report singles out as the least prosperous, least connected region in the country.

Furthermore, when looking Bridgeport, CT, the group found their “poverty divide” looked like a rainbow from the city center to its outer suburbs. Using an interactive map created by the workshop, anyone can see their community’s broadband use, and Bridgeport’s is probably the most damning:

The Bridgeport MSA also ranks No. 1 when it comes to the unequal distribution of wealth, according to a Stanford University study that looked at income segregation in American cities.

That gap is reflected in the broadband map. The urban core of the city suffers from biting poverty and low rates of broadband subscribership, while the outer suburbs show sky-high incomes and correspondingly high rates of broadband subscribership.

The report also confronts why poor areas don’t have fast internet, and the answer is perhaps all too obvious — it’s too expensive.

But there are a few more considerations, too:

There are cultural issues. The more educated you are, the more likely you are to subscribe. Whites subscribe at higher rates than blacks and Hispanics. And senior citizens subscribe at lower rates than young people.

That doesn’t mean the poor or less fortunate don’t find a way online, though. Take the country’s least connected metro area — McAllen, Texas, which is just five miles from Mexico. The report states:

In McAllen, the library is often where people go to connect. “Our computer lab and free Internet services are probably the largest draw into the building, said Jose A. Gamez, director of McAllen’s public libraries. “We’re adding about 50 more computers because of the demand.”

The low home-subscription rate in the city is no mystery. ”Hidalgo County is one of the poorest counties in the country so a lot of people here just can’t afford their own computers or the broadband connection,” he said.

And for the record, Maine fell 2% recently. Wonder why?

Reblogged from The FJP
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