V. Bush

Vannevar Bush This has not been a scientist’s war; it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership. Now, for many, this appears … Continue reading

Your Internet data: more like Redcoats living in your home or black gold in the ground?

Nate Anderson Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), opened his remarks on Internet privacy today with a colorful analogy—companies who use your personal Internet information without first obtaining consent are like the Redcoats, quartering in your home against your will. "I’m going to read the Third Amendment to the Constitution of the United States," Barton began. "’No … Continue reading

Looking for Someone

Sex, love, and loneliness on the Internet. Nick Paumgarten For many people in their twenties, Internet dating is no less natural a way to meet than the night-club-bathroom line. In the fall of 1964, on a visit to the World’s Fair, in Queens, Lewis Altfest, a twenty-five-year-old accountant, came upon an open-air display called the … Continue reading

Kindle Touch 3G can’t touch most of Internet without WiFi

Casey Johnston Amazon has clarified that the next generation of its 3G Kindle, the Kindle Touch 3G, will not be able to browse the Internet without a WiFi connection. Users will still be able to use 3G to sync book and document purchases, but anything beyond Wikipedia will be off-limits. Browsing was (and still is) … Continue reading

Attention Must Be Paid

Esther Dyson It is fashionable nowadays to talk about personal attention as a commodity or a currency. Many companies are looking for ways to automate the act of "paying attention" to individual customers on a grand scale, even as many of them also confuse attention with intention (to buy). "Attention" is becoming more interesting now … Continue reading

Buying Wine Online?

Guy Who Buys Wine Online But I am. Here’s why. Chang-rae Lee In recent years, like a lot of people, I’ve been buying more of my wine online. Frankly, I feel guilty about it, for I abhor living too much in the techno-cave, with all these meager, glowing implements; I love a lively fire in … Continue reading

Researchers flag phony domains in e-mail security study

Nancy Owano A paper released this week shows how an e-mail scoffing technique picks up personal employee information, company secrets and passwords almost effortlessly with just the setting up of domain and e-mail server. The researchers discovered business invoices, employee personal identifying information, network diagrams, user names, passwords, and trade secrets were part of the … Continue reading

Think you know how to search for a job?

Suzanne Ball, careers advisor at the University of Hertfordshire (Image: Jonathan Banks/Rex Features) The best place to look for jobs is the internet, right? Well yes, but it is not as straightforward as it sounds. Enter a search term such as "Biology Jobs" – you’ll get thousands of hits but how do you know which … Continue reading

Finding good information on the internet

Kevin McCluney  Have you heard about the highly endangered tree octopus of the forests of the Pacific Northwest? "Ridiculous," you say? But I found a whole webpage devoted to saving them, so they must exist, right? This website has been used to intentionally mislead students (see news article) as part of a scientific study, and … Continue reading

A utopia no longer

Two decades of the web Evgeny Morozov traces the development of the web from the laboratories of the Cold War to the world of venture capital and big money Evgeny Morozov The “virtual community”: an idea that was the antithesis of Cold War paranoia The internet is a child with many fathers. It is an … Continue reading

Comcast Bans Seattle Man From Internet for His Cloudy Ways

Ryan Singel The end of the internet comes not with a bang or a procession of four lolcats of the apocalypse, but just with two blinking lights on a modem. At least that’s how it came for Andre Vrignaud, a 39-year-old gaming consultant in Seattle, when Comcast shut him off from the internet Monday for … Continue reading

What Hemingway Would Think of the Internet

Would Ernest Hemingway have embraced our modern pastimes? Twitter, yes; Angry Birds, definitely not. By Marty Beckerman, author of The Heming Way If Ernest Hemingway hadn’t killed himself 50 years ago today at age 61, he probably would have died by now anyway. (No human liver could withstand more than a century of nonstop alcoholic … Continue reading

The web in the palm of your hand

Kate Bulkley Big brands are battling over the pink and green future of mobile internet The future for the mobile phone looks big, even bigger than the 3.3 billion people (half the world’s population) that already own one today. And despite some bumps in economies like debt-laden Spain, Greece and Portugal, mobile phone growth in … Continue reading

When WiFi doesn’t work

a guide to home networking alternatives Glenn Fleishman If you live an old home or building, you already know the limits of WiFi. Despite the improved range of 802.11n coupled with improved throughput at greater distances‚ WiFi doesn’t work magic. Buildings with brick or stucco-over-chicken-wire walls resist the charms of wireless networks, as do houses … Continue reading

LulzSec rampage continues: 62k e-mails and passwords, CIA attacked

Peter Bright Hacking group Lulz Security is continuing to amuse itself at the expense of others, with the release today of 62,000 e-mail addresses and associated passwords. The group didn’t say where it got the information, or how it got it; instead, it exhorted its Twitter followers to create lulz of their own, and use … Continue reading

Shadow Internet command center

Joshua Keating This Sunday’s New York Times contained an interesting item on U.S. State Department-funded efforts to circumvent Internet censorship abroad. Particularly noteworthy was the description of a brave band of cyberpunk revolutionaries waging a battle for Internet freedom from Farragut North: The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and … Continue reading

Straight Guy in Scotland

What the "Gay Girl in Damascus" hoax tells us about ourselves and the media in the era of the Arab Spring. BY DAVID KENNER We’re naive about the perils of anonymity. It has to be said: The life of Amina Arraf was a good story. On a website called "Gay Girl in Damascus," this purportedly … Continue reading

Bubble Trouble

Is Web personalization turning us into solipsistic twits? By Jacob Weisberg Eli Pariser The first conversation I ever had about the Internet was in 1993 with Robert Wright, who was then a colleague at the New Republic. This "Net" thing was going to be a big deal, I remember Bob telling me, but it could … Continue reading

Welcome to the Internet, Steve

Does the release of iCloud mean Apple finally gets the Web? By Farhad Manjoo Steve Jobs introduces iCloudApple has never quite embraced the Internet. Sure, it runs the world’s largest digital store, selling more music and apps than anyone else. But if you believe that the "cloud" is becoming the nexus of computing—if you believe … Continue reading

French "three strikes" anti-piracy software riddled with flaws

Peter Bright The French "three strikes" policy was put on hold last week after the private company tasked with collecting piracy data, TMG, was hacked and found to be insecure. The hack has allowed the company’s data-collecting software to be examined. It turns out that servers weren’t the only thing that TMG failed to properly … Continue reading

France attempts to "civilize" the Internet

Internet fights back Nate Anderson For some time, French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy has talked about his dream of a “civilized” Internet, but this dream has long been a nightmare for those who worry that “civilization” is really a code for “regulations favorable to big business and the national security state.” To make his vision a … Continue reading

Sound of sex could alert internet porn filter

Jacob Aron It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what a porn video sounds like. It’s more impressive, however, when it’s a computer that’s doing the guessing. Automatic image-analysis systems are already used to catch unwanted pornography before it reaches a computer monitor. But they often struggle to distinguish between indecent imagery and more innocuous … Continue reading

The top internet radio stations

We take a look at the internet radio revolution and pick out a selection of the best internet radio stations. Listening online: we’ve gone ga-ga for internet radio Photo: GETTY By Emma Barnett, Claudine Beaumont and Tom Chesover An increasing number of people are abandoning their old radios and listening to their favourite stations via … Continue reading

Netflix Passes Piracy in U.S. Net Traffic

Ryan Singel Netflix streaming movies now fill more of the U.S.’s internet tubes than any other service, including peer-to-peer file sharing, which long held the top spot — to the consternation of Hollywood. That means for the first time perhaps in the internet’s history, the largest percentage of the net’s traffic is content that is … Continue reading

And the leader in high speed fiber broadband is… Lithuania

By Matthew Lasar Are you an AT&T residential broadband customer in the United States, grumbling over the inauguration of 150GB bandwidth caps for your pokey DSL connection? Or maybe you’re a Canadian—bitter over the low ceiling caps imposed by Rogers Cable and other ISPs, not to mention the likely expansion of metered billing packages down … Continue reading

Canada still in copyright "hall of shame"

By Nate Anderson Sorry, Canada—negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) wasn’t enough to show your commitment to "strong" intellectual property rights. If you want out of the American copyright "hall of shame," you’re just going to have to pass a major copyright overhaul that makes US rightsholders happy. The US Trade Representative yesterday released its … Continue reading

Digital legacy: The fate of your online soul

Sumit Paul-Choudhury We are the first people in history to create vast online records of our lives. How much of it will endure when we are gone? NOT long before my wife died, she asked me to do something for her. "Make sure people remember me," she said. "Not the way I am now. The … Continue reading

After botched child porn raid, judge sees the light on IP addresses

By Nate Anderson Several recent government raids on computer users suspected of sharing child porn online hit the wrong targets. Instead of getting the perpetrators, some of the raids nabbed a neighbor with an open WiFi network instead. One obvious takeaway: letting total strangers use your Internet connection for any purpose comes with some risk. … Continue reading

Ultrafast fibre optics set new speed record

by Jeff Hecht THINK your broadband internet connection is fast? Two separate research groups have just lapped the field, setting a world record by sending more than 100 terabits of information per second through a single optical fibre. That’s enough to deliver three solid months of HD video- or the contents of 250 double-sided Blu-ray … Continue reading

Increased Computer Use by Adolescents Cause for Concern, Canadian Study Finds

Researchers have found a strong association between computer and Internet use in adolescents and engagement in multiple-risk behaviours (MRB), including illicit drug use, drunkenness and unprotected sex. "This research is based on social cognitive theory, which suggests that seeing people engaged in a behaviour is a way of learning that behaviour," explains lead researcher Valerie … Continue reading

The Information

How the Internet gets inside us. by Adam Gopnik  Books explaining why books no longer matter come in many flavors. When the first Harry Potter book appeared, in 1997, it was just a year before the universal search engine Google was launched. And so Hermione Granger, that charming grind, still goes to the Hogwarts library … Continue reading

IP address can now pin down your location to within a half mile

By Thomas Lowenthal On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog—but they might now have an easy time finding your kennel. In a research paper and technical report presented at the USENIX Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NDSI) conference at the beginning of April, researchers from Northwestern University presented new methods for estimating the exact … Continue reading

don’t give private "trolls" Web censorship power

By Nate Anderson The House and Senate are both drafting "rogue sites" legislation that will likely support website blocking at the domain name level and will require online ad networks and credit card companies to stop working with sites on the blacklist. That idea is controversial enough when only the government has the power to … Continue reading

Doc Searls

on the Internet, networks, and constant disruption. By Parag Khanna One of the world’s first and most prolific bloggers, Doc Searls has always been at the forefront of digital strategy. His book The Cluetrain Manifesto remains a landmark guide for business strategy in an age of networks. On the sidelines of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute … Continue reading

Google bestows 1Gbps fiber network on Kansas City, Kansas

By Nate Anderson Kansas City, Kansas will have a new Internet provider next year, one that operates a 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home network, provides "open access" to any ISP wanting to use the pipes, and charges fees in line with current rates for much slower connections. That new Internet provider? Google. When Google announced in February 2010 … Continue reading

How Much Money Do Spammers Rake In?

By Julie Rehmeyer After deleting the 10,000th Viagra offer from your inbox, you might wonder, does anyone actually make money off this crap? Chris Kanich and his colleagues at UC San Diego and the International Computer Science Institute wondered too—so they hijacked a botnet to find out. Kanich’s team intentionally infected eight computers with a … Continue reading

Google maps 300TB of real-world Internet speed data

By Nate Anderson How fast is your broadband? M-Lab, a partnership between the New America Foundation and Google meant to measure Internet connections, has given Google two years worth of actual broadband connection data, as measured by users. That’s more than 300TB of data, which Google has imported into its Public Data Explorer for easy … Continue reading

Most Americans get less than 4Mbps

By Matthew Lasar A new broadband usage survey released by the Federal Communications Commission says that, as of June 30, 2010, 60 percent of high speed Internet connections in the United States were slower than 4Mbps—that’s the download speed identified by the agency as the "minimum bandwidth generally required to accommodate today’s uses: high-quality voice, … Continue reading

How Operation b107 decapitated the Rustock botnet

By Peter Bright The Rustock botnet, responsible at its height for sending 30 billion spam e-mails a day, went silent last Wednesday. Its command and control servers, responsible for telling the millions of machines recruited into the network which spams to send, were taken offline. With the botnet now headless, the deluge of spam was … Continue reading

HTTPS is great

here’s why everyone needs to use it (so we can too) By Clint Ecker, Kurt Mackey This past weekend we ran a piece from Wired that looked at the issues surrounding unencrypted HTTP traffic and wondered why all websites aren’t shipped over HTTPS by default. The article puts forth an interesting premise—the wholesale encryption of … Continue reading

Tim Wu Tries to Save the Internet

The scholar who coined ‘net neutrality’ fears a corporate takeover of the Web. Now he’s in a position to fight that. Jay Primack for The Chronicle Review Tim Wu in his Washington apartment By Marc Parry Washington Mid-February, Tuesday night, a downtown D.C. restaurant. Nursing a pint of Magic Hat in a back booth, Tim … Continue reading

Cyberbullying or 419 scam?

Woman spends $10K on fake boyfriend By Jacqui Cheng Imagine being part of a typical Internet community and striking it up with another member over your favorite TV show, Deadwood. Things become more serious after a few friendly chats, and next thing you know, you have an Internet boyfriend who you’re planning to move in … Continue reading

HTTPS is more secure, so why isn’t the Web using it?

By Scott Gilbertson, wired.com You wouldn’t write your username and passwords on a postcard and mail it for the world to see, so why are you doing it online? Every time you log in to Twitter, Facebook or any other service that uses a plain HTTP connection that’s essentially what you’re doing. There is a … Continue reading

"Officer, the emoticons made me do it!"

By Nate Anderson 60-year old John Jacques of Wisconsin owned, in some kind of unintentional effort to reinforce every stereotype of pedophiles, a van. That van advertised "Jacques Computer Services," and Jacques billed himself as a Web developer and a programmer—though, if he really knew the Internet as well as he claimed, he would’ve realized … Continue reading

The essence of the ‘Net

a history of the protocols that hold the network together By Johnny Ryan Johnny Ryan’s A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been released and is already drawing rave reviews. Ars Technica is proud to present three chapters from the book, condensed and adapted for our readers. You can find Chapter … Continue reading

Has the internet changed science?

The ocean of information available on the web is challenging the standard model of hypothesis-driven science. Yet that model has always borne little relation to the mucky reality of scientific research Elizabeth Pisani Detail from a data map showing deaths from cholera in London in the 1840s—an early example of “big data” collection It’s a … Continue reading

Faking illness online

Why would someone fake a serious illness online? Jenny Kleeman on the strange world of Münchausen by internet Jenny Kleeman Keyboard abuse: ‘It made me feel so good, spending time with people who cared for me, even if they didn’t know I was a fake.’ Photograph: Liz McBurney Anyone following her updates online could see … Continue reading

World mobile data traffic to explode by factor of 26 by 2015

By Matthew Lasar Anyone who thinks that the Internet revolution is in anything but its early phase had better take a look at Cisco’s latest Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (PDF). There are so many startling predictions and observations in the report that we’ll just begin with these headlines: There will be 788 million mobile-only … Continue reading

Australia confirms ISPs are not copyright cops

By Nate Anderson The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed a case (read the ruling) from the movie industry which argued that ISPs must take action against file-swappers, based on allegations of infringement from copyright holders. The case against ISP iiNet was an appeal of the original judgment in the matter, which also went against … Continue reading

Canadians continue to rage against metered billing

By Matthew Lasar The dust has at least temporarily settled on Canada’s controversial decision to let its biggest ISPs charge smaller, competitive ISPs on a metered, or Usage-Based Billing (UBB) schedule, a decision later suspended by The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. Judging from a sample of the surly comments coming into the CRTC’s new … Continue reading