And you thought Al Gore invented the Internet… According to a statement released by the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis has called the Internet a “gift from God” that facilitates communication between people of different faiths and backgrounds. “To dialogue means to believe that the ‘other’ has something worthwhile to say, and to entertain his or her point of view and perspective,” Pope Francis said. “Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the pretense that they alone are valid and absolute.” More →
It’s easy to forget how far the Internet has come considering how plugged in we all are today thanks to laptops, smartphones and other connected devices, but we found a fantastic video that will no doubt serve as an eye-opening and hilarious reminder. “Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to see the day’s newspaper,” begins this report from KRON in San Francisco. “Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it may seem.” More →
In addition to cataloging the Internet, the Internet Archive has launched a new project called Console Living Room that will let gamers play classic console video games online directly in a web browser. The best part is that the games are available to play legally, as their respective intellectual property protections have expired. However, gamers shouldn’t expect Xbox and PlayStation titles to appear in the list, or at least not for the time being, as the list of games only includes titles for the Atari 2600, the Atari 7800 ProSystem, the ColecoVision, the Magnavox Odyssey and the Astrocade systems.
A new torrent-indexing site comes from Spain using search technology financed by the government and developed by a P2P veteran who managed to defeat big music labels in court. Pablo Soto was cleared by a court in 2011 in a case pursued by big labels including Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner and the “Spanish RIAA” Promusicae which were seeking €13 million in damages from Soto’s company that created various file-sharing services. The court found Soto’s software to be “totally neutral,” TorrentFreak reports, while the labels argued it was designed to infringe on their copyrights and profit from them. More →
The four main Internet service providers in the U.K. including BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk have turned on their porn filters either in full or in pilot programs, some starting in May 2011, with others only recently deploying the “family-friendly” site blocking service. However, these filters apparently fail to block all online pornography, and actually end up blocking various useful services that customers may want to access including sex education, sex health, abuse and porn addiction websites. The porn filter, endorsed publicly by U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron in a campaign meant to stop children from “stumbling across hardcore legal pornography,” failed to block 7% of 68 porn sites tested by BBC News, while Sky’s filter blocked 99% of the tested websites. More →
If you could start your Internet experience all over again, I bet you would think twice before signing up for every website you ever visited. We are all subject to the unending barrage of spam and newsletters that we still haven’t taken the time to unsubscribe from, but what if there was an easy way to hit the reset button? This helpful directory might be the next best thing. Just Delete Me is an expansive list of the most popular Internet services with a ranking system determining how easy (or difficult) it would be to delete an account at each one. Deleting your account from OkCupid is as simple as clicking ‘Delete Account,’ but if you have any information on Kik, it’s there for good. If you’d like to start curbing your Internet footprint, head on over to JustDelete.me and get started.
Intelligent connected machines and services that surround us – effectively known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) – will become a $309 billion business by 2020, new research from Gartner shows (via ZDNet). To use Samsung’s famous tag line for promoting mobile devices, IoT will become “the next big thing” in the years to come, as more and more devices will get Internet connectivity, smart features and some sort of awareness. The firm says that IoT devices in use will grow from 900 million units today to 26 billion units by 2020, at a significantly higher rate than smartphones, tablets and PCs, which will reach about 7.3 billion combined units by the same year. More →
Last month, we shared a report from Walker Sands which showed an enormous leap in mobile website traffic, up 18% from 2012. Although the results aren’t quite as eye-popping, Computerworld has shared the latest data from StatCounter, a Dublin-based website analytics company, which puts November’s mobile browser usage share at 20%. In other words, one-fifth of the pages viewed online were visited via a mobile browser. This leap in mobile traffic is not only a sign that smartphones and tablets are becoming the go-to devices for browsing, it’s also a sign of the sharp decline in the desktop segment, which includes desktop PCs and notebooks. Although different sources are reaching different conclusions, there’s no question that mobile traffic is on the rise. StatCounter’s chart showing mobile traffic growth follows below. More →
“We now live in a world where there is no downtime.”
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice to carve out a chunk of time to write this article, but I did so at the expense of communication. I very intentionally decided to cast my eyes in the other direction by ignoring a deluge of inbound inquiries, and to be honest, I’m still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Five years ago, I might have suggested that those employed in the digital industry would understand where I was coming from, but today, I’m more inclined to believe that everyone in a developed country would get the gist. This is the era where personal time becomes a relic, silence is the new distraction, and 24/7 expectations bleed from petrol stations into every possible aspect of your life. Consider this: how many requests are you presently ignoring by taking the time to read these words?
Late last month we shared a report from Pew Internet which stated that 15% of American adults do not use the Internet. Expanding on those figures, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has released a report which predicts over 40% of the world will be online by the end of 2013. The ITU estimates that 2.7 billion people will be connected to the Internet while 4.4 billion will remain unconnected. The report also claims that by the end of this year, “there will be 6.8 billion total mobile-cellular subscriptions – almost as many as there are people on the planet.” The amount of people accessing the Internet continues to climb as broadband gets faster and more affordable, and cellular infrastructure spreads throughout the developing world.
Considering just how much time we spend online every day, it’s hard to fathom a life completely devoid of an Internet connection. Yet according to a recent poll by Pew Internet, “15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.” Pew went on to ask why these adults didn’t get online, and only 19% of non-internet users cited the cost of a computer or an internet subscription as the primary cause. Most people, as many as 34%, said the Internet is just not relevant to their interests — they have better things to do. The second most popular reason was usability. 32% of non-users say that the Internet is complicated and frustrating, or that they just don’t feel physically comfortable attempting to maneuver cyberspace. The full chart from Pew Internet can be found below. More →
Today marks a hugely important day in the history of the Internet: On April 30th, 1993, Al Gore published the world’s first ever public website. Ok, so perhaps Mr. Gore wasn’t involved, but today is indeed the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming available to the public. Tim Berners-Lee and his team at CERN headed the WWW project and published the world’s first public web page at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. To celebrate the 20-year milestone, CERN decided to bring the page back online in its original form. The resurrection of the world’s first web page is part of a larger effort at CERN to revive the web’s early history, and the page is now live for everyone to enjoy.
A study published this week by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future found that young adults don’t care as much about online privacy as older Internet users. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34, known as Millennials, were found to be more willing to hand over their personal data or web behavior to online businesses. Although 70% of young adults agreed that companies should never be allowed to access their personal data, compared to 77% by those older than 35, Millennials were more willing to give up some privacy if they benefited from it, such as receiving coupons or other business deals. More →