Tag Archives | Internet

Posting A Child’s Life For The World To See Is A Privacy Issue

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Pic: NARA (PD)

Some parents are to their children what the NSA and market research corporations are to the rest of us.  Myra Hamilton writes at the Conversation:

Children consistently delight and surprise us, and make us hoot with laughter. It’s only natural to want to share these moments with friends and family. But the trend of posting information about our young children on social media sites raises an important issue: don’t children deserve some privacy?

Traditionally, people may have told funny or icky anecdotes about their children to their nearest and dearest when they saw them, or wheeled out embarrassing photos of their naked children at 21st birthday parties.

But social media sites provide the opportunity to share this information far more widely. Parents can place information permanently online where it may come back to haunt them, or their children.

Many parents post photos and videos online of their young children during their most cute, funny, or embarrassing moments.

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11 Percent Of People Say They Shop Online Naked

shopping

Via CNET News, I’m not sure exactly what this says about our relationship with the consumer items we purchase:

This is the ultimate in capitalist freedom. How many people, though, will actually admit not only that they shop online in the nude, but they actually like doing it?

According to a survey commissioned by PayPal, a resilient and courageous 11 percent confessed that, yes, there are few things as likable as shopping starkers.

In essence, therefore, there may be a certain lifestyle segment in the US that drinks and takes its clothes off, then lies on the sofa or in the bath (or elsewhere), in order to have the perfect online retail experience.

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Bots Are Now 61% Of Internet Users

cyberspaceHuman beings on the internet are now a minority, the BBC reports:

A study by Incapsula suggests 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots. The security firm said that was a 21% rise on last year’s figure of 51%.

Some of these automated software tools are malicious – stealing data or posting ads for scams in comment sections. But the firm said the biggest growth in traffic was for “good” bots.

These are tools used by search engines to crawl websites in order to index their content, by analytics companies to provide feedback about how a site is performing, and by others to carry out specific tasks – such as helping the Internet Archive preserve content before it is deleted.

To generate its report, Incapsula said it observed 1.45 billion bot visits over a 90 day period. Dr Ian Brown, associate director at Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre, said the figures were useful as an indication of the growth in non-human traffic.

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Synchro-missity

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Carl Jung called meaningful coincidences and parapsychological occurrences by the term “synchronicity,” but noted that some things are merely attributable to “probability of chance.” Writing on Reality Sandwich, Nick Meador wonders: do we know how to tell the difference?

In recent times the term “synchronicity” has become one of the trendiest words in circles that self-identify as conscious or transformative. The Internet contributed to this, no doubt, by exposing so many of us to schools of thought like Jungian psychology (the origin of synchronicity) that had been partially or totally omitted from general education programs. However, common discussion and application of the term doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the Internet and connected technologies are constantly influencing our perception of supposed synchronicities. When we evaluate these phenomena more closely, it becomes unclear whether we’re identifying them correctly or interpreting them in a useful way.

The word “synchronicity” first appeared in the 1950s, when Carl Jung brought it forth in the development of archetypal psychology.

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An Atlas Of The Worlds Of Cyberspace

Maps of the physical world are obsolete. The vintage web page Atlas of Cyberspaces offers a strange and wonderful collection of nineties-era renderings of digital geographies – including physical infrastructure, virtual gaming realms, website and surfing structures, flows of communication, and more:

This is an atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the Internet, the World-Wide Web and other emerging Cyberspaces.

These maps of Cyberspaces – cybermaps – help us visualise and comprehend the new digital landscapes beyond our computer screen, in the wires of the global communications networks and vast online information resources.

Some of the maps you will see in the Atlas of Cyberspaces will appear familiar, using the cartographic conventions of real-world maps, however, many of the maps are much more abstract representations of electronic spaces, using new metrics and grids.

cyber

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Presenting Assassination Market: The Bounty Killer Crowdfunding Website

assassinationForbes on a new site that is aiming to become the Kickstarter of murder:

The website Assassination Market is a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations.

According to Assassination Market’s rules, if someone on its hit list is killed–and yes, Sanjuro hopes that many targets will be–any hitman who can prove he or she was responsible receives the collected funds.

In four months, six targets have been submitted by users, and bounties have been collected ranging from ten bitcoins for the murder of NSA director Keith Alexander and 40 bitcoins to 124.14 bitcoins targeting Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve. At Bitcoin’s current exchange rate, that’s nearly $75,000 for Bernanke’s would-be killer.

Sanjuro’s believes that if Assassination Market can persist and gain enough users, it will eventually enable the assassinations of enough politicians that no one would dare to hold office.

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How Secretive Global Trade Talk Will Destroy the Internet

Pic: Gavin Schaefer (CC)

Pic: Gavin Schaefer (CC)

Patrick Smith of the Fiscal Times lays out how exactly the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will effectively neuter the Internet as a bastion of free expression.

Via Fiscal Times

Wikileaks got a hold of this document after the 19th round of talks held in Brunei last August. What we have is what will be on the table in Salt Lake this week.

The U.S. and Japan will propose that a product can be patented even if it is just a clever twist on other products and “does not result in improved efficacy.” Everyone else at the table opposes that proposal (Article QQ.E.1). Australia wants marketing approval of agricultural chemicals in one country to count in other countries; the Chileans and Mexicans are tough talkers on this point (Article QQ.E.XXX).

The big stuff on the IP side concerns the internet and digital technology. And it does not come out well by the look of the draft.

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Why We Should Socialize Social Media

internetVia n+1, Benjamin Kunkle argues that social media mega-sites need to be turned into public utilities so as to save us all:

On November 6, Twitter went public, in the private sense. Twitter shares appear ludicrously overpriced. As John Cassidy of the New Yorker calculated, “Investors were paying forty-nine dollars per dollar of revenues, and five hundred and forty-one dollars per dollar of cash flow.” But large for-profit social-media services are contradictory entities at any price, because they attempt to profit from activity that, precisely because it is social, is basically non-economic and non-productive.

The IPOs of Facebook and Twitter should therefore be reversed, through the socialization of both companies and other social-media services that attain a similar scale. The time has come, in other words, to socialize social media.

Social media should be socialized because services tend to be or become monopolies.
Large social media companies—Facebook, Twitter—tend to lack competitors, for the simple reason that their platforms are not compatible.

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Rebuilding the Silk Road

Flickr/CC.

Recently, Kofi Annan, former  secretary general of the United Nations, has said that the “repressive approaches to containing drugs have failed.”

And this could not be more true as Brian Anderson writes on Motherboard about how the Silk Road will never be shut down, since the Dread Pirate Roberts has made it possible to upload the site anew in just “15 minutes.”

It only took a month for the Silk Road 2.0 to go live after the now infamous Silk Road marketplace shuttered. One month. Should the budding deep-web bazaar experience the same fate as its predecessor, and be knocked out by authorities still whack-a-moling their way through the online front of the war on drugs, the Silk Road 3.0 would be up and running in 15 minutes, tops.

That’s according to the Dread Pirate Roberts, the pseudonymous head of SR 2.0. In what are arguably his most breathy public remarks to date the “new” DPR, who either cribbed his handle from the DPR of SR 1.0 fame or who is indeed the original DPR, opened up to Mike Power on his long-term vision for the site.

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Cybersyn, Salvador Allende’s Socialist Internet In 1970s Chile

Red_pepperRed Pepper on Cybersyn, an ingenious proto-internet largely unknown outside of a cult following:

The pioneering cybernetic planning work of the Chilean leader, his ministers and a British left-wing operations research scientist and management consultant named Stafford Beer was an ambitious, economy-wide experiment that has since been described as the ‘socialist internet’, an effort decades ahead of its time.

In 1970, Beer was hired to advise the government, and the scheme he plunged himself into was called Project Cybersyn, a ‘nervous system’ for the economy in which workers, community members and the government were to be connected together transmitting the resources they had on offer, their desires and needs via an interactive national communications network.

Although never completed, by the time General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the young administration in a US-backed coup, the advanced prototype of the system, which had been built in four months, involved a series of 500 telex machines distributed to firms connected to two government-operated mainframe computers and stretched the length of the narrow country and covered roughly between a quarter and half of the nationalised economy.

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