A massive new apartment complex still under construction in Houston, Texas caught fire on Tuesday. Footage all over every news channel showed the huge complex engulfed in flames, and we all looked on, thankful that the site was still under construction and not yet occupied by residents. There were still plenty of construction workers on the job when the raging inferno broke out, however, and one man narrowly escaped death in what may be one of the most intense rescue videos we have ever seen.
The World Wide Web turned 25 on Wednesday, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than by envisioning the Internet of the future? The Pew Research Center asked a group of what The Wall Street Journal refers to as “thinkers in science and technology” about what the Internet might look like in 2025. Their responses carry forth many of the concept of the Internet of Things we have seen so often recently, but they also take things much further. More →
If you’re reading this post right now, odds are good that you’re one of millions upon millions of people who access the Internet each day from around the world. We constantly see data that has been delivered to our PCs and mobile devices over the Internet, but rarely do we stop to think about the complex network that feeds that data to our devices. There are numerous integral components in this massive network, but one of the more interesting elements is the web of cables laid beneath the Earth’s oceans that connect networks on each continent. More →
Internet trolls are not a new phenomenon, but people have yet to find a way to effectively stop these woeful web goers from spoiling the fun for the rest of us. They flood forums, blogs, news sites, social media networks and any other page that supports open discussions with the deplorable goal of ruining any hope of meaningful conversation. You’ll probably see comments from many trolls below this very post (sit tight, we’re working on rolling out an easy way to hide the comments section completely).
Trolling is obviously annoying and sometimes even exasperating, but many people don’t realize that it’s much worse than that. As noted in a recent report, we now have actual scientific proof that trolls are ruining the Internet. More →
Yahoo on Wednesday confirmed plans to lay off more than 2,000 employees as part of new cost-cutting efforts. The Internet giant currently employs approximately 14,000 full-time workers and several thousand more contractors. The workforce reductions will be spread across a number of units within Yahoo including its product division, local business unit, marketing division and research and development division. “Today’s actions are an important next step toward a bold, new Yahoo! — smaller, nimbler, more profitable and better equipped to innovate as fast as our customers and our industry require. We are intensifying our efforts on our core businesses and redeploying resources to our most urgent priorities. Our goal is to get back to our core purpose — putting our users and advertisers first — and we are moving aggressively to achieve that goal,” said Scott Thompson, CEO of Yahoo!. “Unfortunately, reaching that goal requires the tough decision to eliminate positions. We deeply value our people and all they’ve contributed to Yahoo!.” Yahoo plans further cuts in the coming months, and the company’s full statement on the layoffs follows below. More →
Rumors surrounding Google’s cloud storage service are ramping up as we move closer toward the product’s rumored release date. The service will apparently be called Google Drive and is similar to Dropbox, which allows users to store files on cloud servers and access them from computers and mobile devices. According to a leaked screenshot obtained by TalkAndroid, Google Drive will offer 5GB of free storage instead of the previously rumored 1GB. The image also reaffirms that files can be accessed through computers, mobile phones, tablets and via a web browser, and it will allow users to edit a document in one place that will automatically be updated in all locations. Google Drive is rumored to launch the week of April 16th. More →
A new study suggests that more than half of all Internet traffic is generated by non-human sources such as hacking software, scrapers and automated spam mechanisms. The majority of this non-human traffic, according to cloud service provider Incapsula, is potentially malicious. The study is based on data collected from 1,000 websites that utilize Incapsula’s services, and it determined that just 49% of Web traffic is human browsing. 20% is benign non-human search engine traffic, but 31% of all Internet traffic is tied to malicious activities. 19% is from ” ‘spies’ collecting competitive intelligence,” 5% is from automated hacking tools seeking out vulnerabilities, 5% is from scrapers and 2% is from content spammers. “Few people realize how much of their traffic is non-human, and that much of it is potentially harmful,” Incapsula co-founder Marc Gaffan told ZDNet. Incapsula, coincidentally, offers services aimed at securing small and medium businesses. More →
Global media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders on Monday released its “Enemies of the Internet” list for 2012. The list is comprised of nations it feels inhibit its citizens’ freedom to express themselves on, or even denies access to, the Internet. Reporters Without Borders’s report focuses a great deal on countries that have reportedly blocked access to social networks and microblogging services in an effort to impede the efforts of activists as they tried to organize fellow citizens. It also updated its “under surveillance” list, which covers countries that may soon be added to the enemies list. Read on for more. More →
Mozilla is developing a push notification system for the company’s Firefox Web browser. The system will allow users to receive notifications from any website, even if the site is not open in a tab or window. The system will also be able to relay push notifications to mobile devices. Mozilla is seemingly looking to close the gap between desktop Web apps and native mobile apps, which utilize push notification systems on a number of mobile platforms. “Push notifications are a way for websites to send small messages to users when the user is not on the site,” said Mozilla developer Jeff Balogh on the company’s blog. “iOS and Android devices already support their own push notification services, but we want to make notifications available to the whole web.” The system is currently in early planning stages and there is no available time table for release. More →
Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web as long as you’re not asking Al Gore, has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently causing an Internet uprising. “If you’re in America then you should go and call somebody or send an email to protest against these bills because they have not been put together to respect human rights as is appropriate in a democratic country,” Berners-Lee told the Sydney Morning Herald. SOPA, which is currently being revised before it is again considered by Congress, would give the U.S. government the ability to block access to foreign websites accused of unlawfully hosting or distributing copyrighted content. Big names such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit recently protested the bill by temporarily blocking access to their websites or urging users to sign a petition. “It affects all the stuff on the Internet working and something which would affect what you want to connect to, where you want to connect to,” Berners-Lee said. Representative Lamar Smith on Friday said that the House Judiciary Committee would “postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.” More →
Amazon’s new web-based Kindle Store for the iPad reportedly helps the online retailer dodge Apple’s fee that it would otherwise pay through a native Amazon Kindle Store iOS application. Amazon’s subscription program typically charges retailers 30% of all generated revenues, which has caused retailers like Amazon to create new ways for customers to purchase goods without having to pay a fee. The Financial Times also recently pulled its application to avoid the same subscription charges, and we would not be surprised if other magazines, newspapers or retail app developers follow suit. It’s unclear if Apple will tweak its terms in an effort to hold on to subscription providers. More →
Twitter on Thursday announced a complete redesign of its twitter.com homepage and its iOS and Android applications. “It’s now easier and faster to see the information that matters most to you,” Twitter explained. “Immediately access your favorite features from the left-hand side. Photos, videos and conversations are embedded directly in Tweets so you can see the whole story at a glance. And now everything in Home will appear consistently across computers, iPhones, and Android mobile phones.” We found that Twitter’s homepage has been tweaked ever so slightly: information about your profile, trending topics and “who to follow” has been moved to the left side of the page and the timeline is now on the right. It’s clean, though, and easy to use as always. The iOS application seems more limited than before, and it takes more digging to get to what we want. We’re sticking with Tweetbot on iOS for now since it offers a much more robust feature set. More →