US Broadband Speeds

U.S. broadband speeds are improving, but still far behind global leaders

By on July 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM.

U.S. broadband speeds are improving, but still far behind global leaders

Average global Internet service speeds grew an impressive 24% annually to 3.9Mbps in the first quarter of 2014, according to the recently released “State of the Internet Report” from Akamai. The United States showed solid improvements as well in terms of Web speeds, with the national average connection rate climbing 31% to 10.5Mbps. While that figure is impressive compared to the global average, and is also up a healthy 9% from the fourth quarter last year, it still lags global leaders by a big margin. More →

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Facebook Psychological Tests

Facebook tried to ‘alter people’s behavior’ with hundreds of unmoderated tests

By on July 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM.

Facebook tried to ‘alter people’s behavior’ with hundreds of unmoderated tests

Facebook’s social experimentation rabbit hole goes much deeper than any of us could have imagined. The Wall Street Journal reports that the controversial 2012 experiment in which the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users were altered to show either positive or negative posts was just one of hundreds that the Facebook Data Science team has conducted over the past several years. More →

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Google Right To Be Forgotten Merrill Lynch

The single most disturbing Google search deletion yet

By on July 3, 2014 at 8:15 AM.

The single most disturbing Google search deletion yet

When Europe told Google that its citizens have a “right to be forgotten” by search results, the stated intention was to let ordinary citizens ask to have embarrassing links about them removed from Google search results. Or put another way, with this new rule the poor Star Wars Kid could finally get some peace in his life by asking Google to remove all links to the infamous video of him swinging a fake light saber around. However, there are some obvious unintended consequences of this “right to be forgotten” rule as it can easily be used by powerful people to censor negative information about them. More →

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The Pirate Bay Hacked Music Industry Site

This music industry site was hacked and redirected to The Pirate Bay

By on July 2, 2014 at 9:45 PM.

This music industry site was hacked and redirected to The Pirate Bay

The music industry just can’t win. TorrentFreak reports that less than 24 hours after Argentina implemented a new blockade for The Pirate Bay following complaints from the music industry’s Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers (CAPIF), hackers invaded CAPIF’s website and turned it into “a fully functioning and blockade-circumventing Pirate Bay proxy.” More →

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UK Porn Filters Censorship

One year on, the U.K.’s Internet porn filters are still an epic disaster

By on July 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM.

One year on, the U.K.’s Internet porn filters are still an epic disaster

Who could have predicted that strong-arming ISPs into hastily implementing content filters intended to stamp out pornography would be a disaster? Well actually, pretty much everyone could except for the architects of the policy itself — one of whom, ironically, was just charged with allegedly possessing child pornography. Now The Guardian is reporting that “nearly one in five of the most visited sites on the Internet are being blocked by the adult content filters installed on Britain’s broadband and mobile networks.” More →

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Facebook Apologizes For Social Experiments

Facebook’s Sandberg says company’s mood manipulation experiment was ‘never meant to upset you’

By on July 2, 2014 at 4:17 PM.

Facebook’s Sandberg says company’s mood manipulation experiment was ‘never meant to upset you’

Facebook made waves this week when it was revealed that the social network had been conducting social experiments on nearly 700,000 of its users in order to see how their mood could be manipulated based on the content they saw on their news feeds. As you might expect, the Internet was outraged, but The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is trying to quell the anger by admitting that the terms were “poorly communicated.” More →

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Google Right To Be Forgotten Europe

Just how far will Google go to make the world forget you?

By on July 2, 2014 at 3:50 PM.

Just how far will Google go to make the world forget you?

The Guardian is now starting to report on the bizarre first wave of Google search results that are being erased thanks to the so-called “right to be forgotten” ruling. After a European court ruled that individuals have the right to demand that “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” search results be erased, we are now witnessing the first signs of random people’s awkward and embarrassing incidents vanishing from collective consciousness. More →

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Future Of Internet

What will the Internet look like in 100 years?

What will the Internet look like in 100 years?

By on July 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM.

The Internet is a strange and wonderful place, full of magic and mystery and videos of kittens doing cute kitten things. The digital world evolves so quickly, though — can you even imagine what the Internet will look like 100 years from now? More →

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Google Acquires Songza

Google buys music streaming service Songza

By on July 1, 2014 at 4:10 PM.

Google buys music streaming service Songza

Just weeks after Apple’s surprising acquisition of Beats Music, Google announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Songza, another popular music streaming service. Although Google doesn’t have any immediate plans to change Songza, the company plans to integrate aspects of the service into Google Play Music in the coming months. For now, existing users won’t see any differences and the Songza employees will remain at their office in New York. More →

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Google Shuts Down Orkut

Here’s Google’s latest plan to make Google+ matter

By on July 1, 2014 at 10:25 AM.

Here’s Google’s latest plan to make Google+ matter

After ten years, Google’s first attempt at creating a social network is finally coming to an end. Google announced on Monday that Orkut would be officially shut down on September 30th, 2014 to make room for the thriving social communities on YouTube, Blogger and Google+, all of which have handily outpaced Orkut’s growth over the past decade. More →

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Taiwanese YouTube Video Pants

You absolutely have to watch this Taiwanese man put on pants without using his hands once

By on June 30, 2014 at 3:00 PM.

You absolutely have to watch this Taiwanese man put on pants without using his hands once

The Internet is truly a wondrous creation because it gives every one of us the power to show off our talents to the world that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. The People’s Daily’s Twitter account — yes, that’s the same People’s Daily that’s the official state-run newspaper of China — directs our attention to an unidentified YouTube user from Taiwan who has the amazing ability to put on a pair of pants without even once using his hands. More →

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Wireless Net Neutrality

Wireless lobbyists are fighting to ensure net neutrality never applies to mobile networks

By on June 30, 2014 at 12:11 PM.

Wireless lobbyists are fighting to ensure net neutrality never applies to mobile networks

Though it has been diluted by the Federal Communications Commission in its current form, the idea of “net neutrality” was initially put in place in order to ensure that Internet services delivered to American consumers are kept fair and neutral for consumers and for content owners. The current proposal being batted around is anything but neutral considering the fact that it allows content owners to pay Internet service providers for “fast lanes” that will deliver their content to users more quickly and smoothly, but that is an entirely different issue. For now, we shift focus to a different part of the debate: Should wireless services be covered by net neutrality? More →

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