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The Progressive Review

CYBER NOTES

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Cellphones
Censorship
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Essays
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Links
Just the facts
Net neutrality
Pocket paradigms
Social media
Stats
Words
 

JUST THE FACTS

Women use social media more

In one Internet minute, 204 million emails are sent, six million Facebook pages are viewed and 1.3 million YouTube clips are downloaded

Chinese is the best language to use on tweets, Spanish the worst

On a given day, 26% of Facebook users “like” a friend’s status,  22% comment on a friend’s status and 15% update their own status.The average user has 229 friends, of which 22% are from high school, 12% are co-workers, 9% are from college and 3% they only met once. In 2008, the average user was 33. Two years later, the average user was 38, five years older. Fifty-two percent visit Facebook daily, beating out Twitter (36%), Myspace (7%) and LinkedIn (6%).

INTERNET USE BY COUNTRY

Almost 60 percent of the 18,000 8- to 17-year-olds who were part of a British study said they had read a text message in the past month; half said they had read on the Web. That compares with 46 percent having read a fiction book and 35 percent having read a nonfiction book.

Twitter numbers
MCKANLEZ'S PHOTOSTREAM

2010 Internet stats

Tweet Age Wasteland - The folks over at Pingdom put together an extensive list of some of the internet's key stats in 2010. Here are a few standouts.

107 trillion emails were sent

89% of that email was spam.

Domain Names: Over 202 million are already taken. *

There are 1.97 billion internet users in the world. That's 14% more than last year. Asia has 825 million, Europe has 475 million, North America has 266 million.

There are 152 million blogs

There were 25 billion tweets sent.

Facebook had 600 million members.

The first blogger: A proto-blog from 1994 by Jorn Barger

LINKS

BACK TO TOP

Guide to stopping internet tracking

American Computer Museum

DIGITAL FREEDOM NETWORK

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER

SAVE THE INTERNET

Media
CNET
TORRENT FREAK

WIRED NEWS

POCKET PARADIGMS
SAM SMITH

I have been a radio reporter; have edited newspapers and newsletters; have written for local, national and foreign readers; have had articles in more than two dozen publications; and then ten years ago I took to the Internet. Nothing has made me feel closer to the guardian angels of journalism and more a honest part of the free press than this latter adventure, while nothing has made me feel more distant from those who haughtily claim custody of journalism's holy grail even as they dishonor its most hallowed traditions. Anyway, in the end, there is only one journalism credential that really counts: telling good stories well - and truthfully.- 2005

WORDS

Nicholas Thompson, New Yorker - The longtime goal of Facebook, and of founder Mark Zuckerberg has been to build a separate Internet. . . There are great consequences to this. The more our online lives take place on Facebook, the more we depend on the choices of the people who run the company—what they think about privacy, how they think we should be able to organize our friends, what they tell advertisers (and governments) about what we do and what we buy.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. - Pablo Picasso

640K ought to be enough for anyone. -- Bill Gates, 1981

NET NEUTRALITY
BACK TO TOP

Why there is so little public Internet

Comcast out buying politicians

How to beat back the Internet invaders

FCC inside corruption behind fair Internet assault

Rare senator who's not afraid to challenge the Comcast disaster

Comcast loaded with complaints

How to take on Comcast in your community

How Comcast has bought Congress

Comcast becomes the Internet's greatest danger

Obama backed net neutrality when he wanted your vote

How the destruction of net neutrality could affect your computer

FCC prepares to wreck Internet

Tech companies join fight to save net neutrality


CELL PHONES
BACK TO TOP

Move for kill switches on cellphones to stop thefts

2013

Why do people tell where they are when on their cell phones?

Name change may not save Blackberry

US will send you to jail for five years if you unlock your cellphone; Canada to insist phones be able to be unlocked

How Verizon could wreck the Internet

Study: New generation of cellphones not good for brain

US smartphone adoption grew 30% in 2012 alone with over 50 million owners now having access to tablets. Mobile Internet usage now accounts for one out of every three digital media consumption minutes.

Smart phones even trump the pope

Tree Hugger - The NBC News Facebook page recently showed two photos from the Vatican's St. Peter's Square, one from 2005 and another from March 13, 2013, when the new Pope was elected.

2012

iPhone users spend $6 billion on broken phones

World Wide Web inventor warns of threat to Internet

AFP- The British inventor of the World Wide Web warned that the freedom of the internet is under threat by governments and corporations interested in controlling the web.

Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who invented the web 25 years ago, called for a bill of rights that would guarantee the independence of the internet and ensure users' privacy.

"If a company can control your access to the internet, if they can control which websites they go to, then they have tremendous control over your life," Berners-Lee said at the London "Web We Want" festival on the future of the internet.

"If a Government can block you going to, for example, the opposition's political pages, then they can give you a blinkered view of reality to keep themselves in power."

"Suddenly the power to abuse the open internet has become so tempting both for government and big companies."

He called for an internet version of the "Magna Carta", the 13th century English charter credited with guaranteeing basic rights and freedoms.

... "There have been lots of times that it has been abused, so now the Magna Carta is about saying...I want a web where I'm not spied on, where there's no censorship," Berners-Lee said.

The scientist added that in order to be a "neutral medium", the internet had to reflect all of humanity, including "some ghastly stuff".

"Now some things are of course just illegal, child pornography, fraud, telling someone how to rob a bank, that's illegal before the web and it's illegal after the web," Berners-Lee added.

A quick way to build a wireless network

Governing - What do Sayada, Tunisia, and Red Hook, Brooklyn, have in common? One is a fishing town on the Mediterranean Sea. The other is a waterfront neighborhood in an industrial section of America’s largest city. But both are using a networking technology that is cheap, relatively easy to set up, and remarkably resilient and secure.

Called a mesh network, the technology lets users connect directly to each other rather than through a central hub. For the citizens of Sayada, that means they can create a community network free from government surveillance or interference. For residents of Red Hook, the local mesh network helps them stay connected during power outages.

Of course, mesh networks aren’t new. They’ve been operating in Europe for years. They are, however, relatively new to the U.S., where they are just starting to catch on. In Detroit, where some neighborhoods don’t have access to broadband, mesh networks are seen as a low-cost solution to the digital divide that exists there. And for many local governments, mesh networks are a relatively simple way to offer high-speed Wi-Fi. Ponca City, Okla., has adopted mesh as a means of delivering free wireless broadband to all of its 25,000 residents.

Most wireless networks operate using a hub and spoke layout -- basically, a central broadcast tower links to users like spokes on a wheel. With mesh networking, “envision a fish net,” says Georgia Bullen, field operations technologist for the nonprofit Open Technology Institute. “Every device on the network is part of the network.”

This design avoids any single point of failure (a problem in Red Hook during Hurricane Sandy in 2011), and it allows the network to bypass obstacles, such as hills or buildings, using different signal paths. If a local coffee shop, for example, has a wireless router that’s part of the mesh network and wants to turn off its device when it closes at night, the network bypasses the coffee shop. When the shop turns its router back on in the morning, the network automatically reconfigures to run through the coffee shop again.

Mesh networks can start small, with just a handful of devices, but can easily grow as demand picks up. “Think of mesh networks as infrastructure lite,” Bullen says. “It’s similar to installing bus rapid transit versus an underground subway system. It’s something that can be put up quickly, even moved to another location if it isn’t working well.”

Grassroots community groups have shown the strongest interest in using mesh networks, but cities and towns should consider them too. It’s a way to provide citizens access to the Internet in hard-to-reach places, such as city parks and urban corridors where buildings might block traditional Wi-Fi signals.

Mesh networking does have some technology challenges and limitations, though. Every router that forms the backbone of the network must have an unobstructed view of another router in order to complete the connection. Most neighborhood mesh networks are designed to operate at rooftop level so that trees or other buildings don’t block the signal as it travels from one router to the next. Communications can also get slow if signals have to make multiple hops from one router to another; costs can escalate if the size or scope of the network grows significantly; and putting together a small network can be time consuming. Community networks that rely on volunteer help often underestimate the amount of labor needed to set it up.

The open wireless movement

Slashdot - A new movement dubbed the Open Wireless Movement is asking users to open up their private Wi-Fi networks to total strangers – a random act of kindness – with an aim of better securing networks and facilitating better use of finite broadband resources. The movement is supported by non-profit and pro-internet rights organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, Open Rights Group, and Free Press among others. The EFF is planning to unveil one such innovation – Open Wireless Router – at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference to be held next month on New York. This firmware will allow individuals to share their private Wi-Fi to total strangers to anyone without a password.

More Comcast mischief

Slashdot - Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle reports that Comcast plans to turn 50,000 home routers into public Wi-Fi hotspots without their users providing consent. Comcast plans to eventually convert 150,000 home routers into a city-wide WiFi network. A similar post on the SeattlePI Tech Blog explains the change:

"What's interesting about this move is that, by default, the feature is being turned on without its subscribers' prior consent. It's an opt-out system – you have to take action to not participate. Comcast spokesman Michael Bybee said on Monday that notices about the hotspot feature were mailed to customers a few weeks ago, and email notifications will go out after it's turned on. But it's a good bet that this will take many Comcast customers by surprise."'

Meet the Coalition for Local internet Choice

60% of world's population still doesn't have Internet

A poll of 2,000 British adults asked them to name their favourite hobbies, with computer gaming, online shopping, social networking and 'technology' all making the top 10.

End of land lines looming?

Chattanooga's publicly owned Internet system

According to a forthcoming report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter activity, about 40% of the 20 million accounts that are registered on Twitter each month send at least one tweet the month they sign up...By the time Twitter celebrates its ninth birthday next year, Twopcharts estimates only a quarter of those accounts will still be tweeting. To date, about 1.5 billion Twitter accounts have been registered, according to the Amsterdam-based Twopcharts. Of these, 955 million still exist today, but only 13% have tweeted in the last 30 days.

NSA claims Internet firms knew about its spying

Getty frees millions of photos for non-commercial use

Teenage angst in a cyber world

How not to be a glasshole (or so Google thinks)

How TPP could kill the Internet

Federal judge: IP address not enough to identifier violator

Bloggers given First Amendment rights of other journalists

2013

A supporter of Internet openness explains why the recent court decision may not be as bad as it seems

Three miles of San Francisco getting free wifi

Theft of Ipads soar on Briitish trains

Wi-Fi as a source of power?

Wikipedia being hacked by PR firms

U.S. losing control of the Internet

Linked In accused of misusing members' identities

Personal to Bobby Ray Inman

What Chattanooga can teach the country about the Internet

State AGs want to wreck Internet

Intel chips could let federal spies inside your computer

How top tech companies helped NSA attack the Constitution

Federal judge declares Internet privacy dead

The hut where the Internet began

Sorry, but you won't finish this article

Apple has $30 billion tax free in Irish accounts
Apple's voice controlled search system retains queries

The case against hashtags

FBI Internet plan would help criminals

Justice Department thinks emails don't need a warrant to search

Youtube planning subscription service

The Internet in the 1990s

Bing Delivers Five Times as Many Malicious Websites as Google

The ComScore analytics service reported in its 2013 marketplace outlook that one of every three minutes of digital time now is spent with a smart phone, a tablet – or both at once.

NATO report says it's okay to kill cyber hacker

What the Internet looked like in 1995 (when the Review first had a website)

The most outrageous criminal law you never heard about

Yahoo CEO who banned working at home built a nurse...

Sorry folks, no mass free wifi

Four top Internet sites to police: show us your warrant

The different stories of three guys who broke the law: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Aaron Swartz

CBS ownership of CNET threatens one of best cyber sites

How the film industry & phone companies will kill public hotspots

Even orangutans like Ipads

Stats
BACK TO TOP

The NYPD says that in 2012, nearly 20 percent of all burglaries, robberies and grand larcenies involved Apple products. In total almost 16,000 apple items were stolen. That is 14 percent of all the crime in the city.

2013

Gallup: Americans' self-reported Internet use has risen from 69% in 2002 to 87% today

You are not alone. Research reveals viewers begin to abandon a streaming video if it does not start up within two seconds. Each additional second of delay results in a 5.8 percent increase in the abandonment rate

A third of surveyed Swedish children said their parents pay too much attention to their smartphones

Social media
BACK TO TOP

70% of online adults use Facebook

All this technology is making us anti-social

Twitter censoring political news

Younger teens losing interest in Facebook

@Harpers - Percentage of Americans under 35 who say they text, tweet, or check their Facebook pages right after sex: 36

Social networking skills may not help a job interview

Swartz case
BACK TO TOP

Swartz' lawyer slams prosecutor's handling of case

Aaron Swartz: Bullied to death

The Justice Department's role in Swartz's death

More on Aaron Swartz

Cory Doctorow's farewell to a remarkable guy who helped shape the Internet

Aaron Swartz Faced A More Severe Prison Term Than Killers, Slave Dealers And Bank Robbers

Radio interview with Aaron Swartz when he was 14 years old

2012

Instagram backs off selling users' photos

Facebook screws users again

Social media sites censoring news

Culture is not a crime

How the Internet encourages conformity

What is the Internet anyway?

How the Internet cuts the costs of governmnent

ATT plans re-education camps for copyright violators


Via Curtis Kise

..

Letter to Facebook

TV networks trying to stop streaming to Internet

German Pirate Party's proposal for a decent Internet

The evil of web pagination

America's costly but lousy cable and internet service

Federal judge rules using open Wifi is not wiretapping

Spyware can easily bust into your cellphone

Obama treaty plan would ruin Internet

How the Apple case hurts consumers

Happy 35th birthday


The Trash 80


Tech blogger's dad tries Microsoft 8:
"They trying to drive me to Mac?"

Why you want to be a Wall Street pirate rather than a download pirate

Obama issues executive order falsely claiming power to censor online media

European parliament dumps ACTA

Government censorship of Google soaring

Plan for a visa free ship anchored 12 miles
off Silicon Valley

UK officials looking into reports of Google spying on citizens' computers

Finland: Open wifi owners not liable for copyright infringement

15,000 in military had Megaupload sites

Twitter refuses to turn over Occupy account to New York DA

Free smartphone apps are big battery drains

Internet is almost 5% of economy

Even your refrigerator will soon be spyIng on you

Why politicians don't know much about the Internet

Obamadmin claims control of any domain with .com, .net, .org, .biz amywhere in the world

Social media engaged in censorship

Government scaring web businesses out of U.S.

Manhattan DA supoenas Twitter account of Occupier over minor offense

Legal help offered to Megauploaders unfairly targeted by government

Recovered history

In 1963, Jim Henson introduces business owners to "data communications," with a highly opinionated proto-computer.

Did Obama just kill cloud storage for computers?

Obama and Congress want to censor Twitter

Orangutans into Ipads

Ipads, Kindles major blow to print newspapers

2011

Why the tech industry doesn't like RSS

Almost 60 percent of the 18,000 8- to 17-year-olds who were part of a British study said they had read a text message in the past month; half said they had read on the Web. That compares with 46 percent having read a fiction book and 35 percent having read a nonfiction book.

Apple snubs nose at Constitution to find an Iphone.

Who's using Google+?

Why saving to the cloud is dangerous

Tennessee makes it illegal to share passwords,,,

When you apply for your next job, everything you've said on social media wll be part of your record

Meet The Workers Who Make Your iPad: 100 Hours Of Overtime, No-Suicide Pacts, Standing For 14 Hours A Day

Saving the Internet

Obama wants to make file sharing a felony with prison up to 20 years

OBAMA WANTS TO REDESIGN INTERNET TO PERMIT WIRETAPPING

Assange on the hazards of the Internet

Canadians rebel politely but effectively against Internet limits

Internet running out of addresses

Obama's plan to turn Internet into giant spy machine

Daley part of effort to end an open Internet

Atlantic Wire - Over forty percent of those on Twitter check their accounts "less than every few weeks or never check it at all." That's one of the many tidbits that's just been unearthed about the massive social networking site, courtesy of a new Pew Research center survey.

A new way to read long things on the web

EVEN WANTS TO TRADEMARK 'FACE'

GOOGLE BOSS SAYS WEB ALMOST FULL

HOW THE INTERNET AFFECTS OUR MINDS

Study: Internet users more social than non-users

Indicators: Internet stats

When NBC found out which of its employees had uploaded this 1994 video of Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric mulling over this strange thing called the Internet, it fired the guy. Help NBC figure out how the Internet works by spreading this video as far as possible.

GOOGLE
Back to top

The rebellion against Google in the Bay area

Homeland Security seizes man for wearing Google Glass in movie theater

Google censoring progressive news source

2013

Is Google building flying cars?

Google treats progressive newsletter as spam

Google declares Palestine a country, not a territory

Google increases attack on privacy

Court rules suit against Google spying on email can go forward

Google says you shouldn't expect privacy on Gmail

Google's chair thinks its employees should pay the company's taxes

Google fighting Justice Department over user privacy

Federal judge approves FBI's warrantless demands of Google

Google: Now you see it, now you don't

Google dumping its RSS reader

Warrentless government spying on Google hits record

Google fights back over Obamadmin unconsitutional search demands

Obama increases unconstitutional demands of Google

Google used offshore scam to avoid $2 billion in taxes

Obama offered Google chair job of Treasury Secretary

2012

Google used offshore scam to avoid $2 billion in taxes

Obama offered Google chair job of Treasury Secretary

Copyright
TO TOP

Obama's copyright czar gets bought by software industry

Judge calls for heavy penalties against copyright trolls

Here’s what an actual “six strikes” copyright alert looks like

2012

Corporations that support major anti-Internet bill

Arizona passes unconstitutional anti-Internet law

Congress pushing another anti-Internet bill

ACTA effectively dead

CIPSA explained

Why CISPA is unconstitutional

MPAA's former tech policy chief turns SOPA foe

Dutch parliament rejects ACTA

Europe rises up against ACTA

Slovenian ambassador apologizes to her children and her country for signing ACTA

More on ACTA

"The VCR is to the American film industry as the Boston Strangler is to a woman home alone" - MPAA chief Jack Valenti to Congress, 1982

Chief European ACTA bureaucrat quits in disgust

Obama pushing secret copyright treaty that would do the work of SOPA

30 years before SOPA, MPAA feared the VCR

What effect does improper downloading really have?

The war on the Internet continues big time: It's called ACTA

What the recording industry won't tell you about music

How to boycott the movie and recording industry

How the U.S. government used diplomats to pervert copyright law on behalf of MPAA

Chris Dodd threatens to stop bribing politicians for the movie industry

Obama thinks downloaders are worse than mortgage fraud

Who's worse: Illegal downloaders on politicians on the take?

Democrats are driving force behind war on Internet

How SOPA will screw the ordinary citizen

Why SOPA is blatantly unconstitutional

But a word of caution from Reddit: "I am very happy that Obama has 'come out against SOPA and PIPA'. I was also very happy when Obama was against the NDAA, Guantanamo Bay, prosecuting Medical Marijuana, and escalating conflicts in the Persian Gulf."

Big backpedaling on anti-Internet laws

Wikipedia considers going blank to oppose SOPA

Lawrence Tribe's brief on why SOPA is unconstitutional

Boycott forces GoDaddy to give up support of SOPA

439 institutions that support wrecking the Internet through SOPA

MPAA pushes paper that argues that Internet censorship works in repressive countries, why not U.S.?

Creator of SOPA on the take from the entertainment industry

Al Gore comes out against SOPA

How SOPA will screw the ordinary citizen

Founders of major Internet sites join in opposition to SOPA

Why SOPA is blatantly unconstitutional

Wikipedia considers going blank to oppose SOPA

Swiss government okays downloading for personal use

Holder tells Americans to fink on their neighbors for illegal downloading, but won't prosecute criminal bankers

European tech chief takes on copyright madness

Censorship

Internet rights threatened by new trade agreement
 
Under CISPA an employer could demand your Facebook password

BBC out to censor the Internet

Obama claims illegal secret powers over cyberspace

Homeland czar tries to scare us into a bad cyber bill

Obamadmin argues cellphone tracking should be exempt from Constitution

Reddit founder comes up with 'Bat signal' for internet protest of anti-Internet bills

How politicians can censor Youtube for two weeks

HilClin double talks on Interent censorship

Firefox refuses to go along with Homeland Security's censorship of Internet

NBC Universal threatens suppliers to support anti-Internet bill

Reddit users planning censorship free Internet

Study: Shutting down internet makes revolutions more effective

French plan to censor Internet

Apple planning to censor use of Iphones at concerts

How U.S. censorship of Internet might work

Things to do if the government shuts down the Internet

Lieberman & Collins wants government to be able to shut down Internet - just like Eygpt

Facebook

Facebook stats

2013

British school heads say Facebook and Twitter hurt literacy

Study: Texting and Facebook make us feel less happy

Governments asked for data on 38,000 Facebook users this year

Facebook generation losing enthusiasm for Facebook

Facebook blocks ad critical of Zuckerberg
 
Mark Zuckerberg joins the rightwing propaganda machine

Facebook unveils new waste of time

Facebook losing users

2012

Facebook boss supporting Republican Christie

How logging onto Facebook at work could be a federal offense

Now Facebook wants you to pay to have some of your posts seen

Young not as interested in Facebook

Job seekers being asked for Facebook passwords

What Facebook really wants

Nicholas Thompson, New Yorker - The longtime goal of Facebook, and of founder Mark Zuckerberg has been to build a separate Internet. . . There are great consequences to this. The more our online lives take place on Facebook, the more we depend on the choices of the people who run the company—what they think about privacy, how they think we should be able to organize our friends, what they tell advertisers (and governments) about what we do and what we buy.

Facebook censors journalist. . .

Facebook sued for allegedly violating wiretap laws

This year, 480,000 U.S. Facebook users will die, and 1.78 million of them internationally, which works out to about three every minute.

Facebook celebrates royal wedding by nuking 50 protest groups

There is no reason for anyone with any chops online to be remotely involved with Facebook, except to peruse it for lost relatives. So, next time you log on, remember it's really AOL with a different layout. Welcome to the past. - John Dvorak, PC Mag

FACEBOOK GETTING OUT OF CONTROL

FACEBOOK BY THE NUMBERS

21-YEAR-OLD TAKES ON TOWING COMPANY; 10,000 FOLLOW FIGHT ON FACEBOOK

TEN REASONS TO LEAVE FACEBOOK

HOW FACEBOOK'S STANDARDS OF PRIVACY HAVE CHANGED

TEN REASONS YOU'LL NEVER QUIT FACEBOOK EVEN THOUGH YOU WANT TO

2010

KEEPING THE INTERNET FREE

GOOGLE RIPPING OFF AMERICA WITH OFFSHORE TAX DEALS; FACEBOOK TO FOLLOW

VERIZON & GOOGLE'S PLAN TO TAKE OVER THE INTERNET

WHY AN INTERNET KILLER SWITCH WON'T WORK

ARE E-BOOKS FOR OLD FOLKS?

HOW THE INTERNET MAKES IT HARDER TO ACT

JULY 2010

INTERNET BILL THREATENS WHOLE WORLD

JUNE 2010

LIEBERMAN & COLLINS WOULD LET PRESIDENT SEIZE INTERNET IN AN 'EMERGENCY'

MAY 2010

FAIR USE BOOSTS THE ECONOMY BY TRILLIONS

EVEN TWITTER IS GETTING BORED WITH ONLY 140 CHARACTERS

HOW TO PRINT DIRECTLY FROM YOUR IPAD

WHY I RETURNED MY IPAD

APPEALS COURT FAVORS COMCAST OVER CITIZENS

ONLINE READERS DON'T WANT TO PAY

SALVADORE ALLENDE'S INTERNET

THE DIRTY BEGINNINGS OF FACEBOOK

APRIL 2010

HOW LONG WILL THE PAST REMAIN ON THE INTERNET?

GLOBAL POLL FINDS FOUR OUT OF FIVE THINK INTERNET ACCESS IS BASIC RIGHT

MARCH 2010

THE IDEA MILL

A TRUE GEEK MOM

WHAT NEWSWEEK HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE INTERNET IN 1995

EVEN FREE, NEWSPAPERS LOSING GROUND ONLINE

FEBRUARY 2010

NET NEUTRALITY: WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU

AN APOLOGY FROM THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE URL DOUBLE SLASH

U.S. INTERNET SPEED RANKS POORLY

NOVEMBER 2009

PERHAPS THE WORLD'S ONLY ANALOG BLOGGER

NEW TECHNOLOGY HAS ALWAYS SCARED SOMEONE (AND THEIR LAWYERS)

OCTOBER 2009

USING TWITTER FOR TWEAKING

BILL GIVING PRESIDENT CONTROL OVER INTERNET TAMED DOWN. . . A BIT EARLIER STORY

U.S. RANKS 28TH IN WORLD IN INTERNET SPEED

FILE SHARERS SHOULD BE TREATED AS LEAST AS WELL AS EXXON

OBAMA SIDES WITH CORPORADOS ON FILE SHARING

AUGUST 2009

WHY THE INTERNET WORKS. . . AND DOESN'T

THE DANGERS OF A TWITTER REVOLUTION

JULY 2009

LIVING UNDER THE CLOUD OF CHROME

THE FULLY PROGRAMMED IPHONE USER

90 PERCENT OF TWEETS COME FROM TEN PERCENT OF USERS

TWITTER IS FOR OLD FOGIES WHO WANT TO SEEM COOL

AUSTRALIA ADOPTS DICTATORIAL INTERNET CONTROLS

JUNE 2009

TOP INTERESTING ACRONYMS COMMONLY USED ON THE INTERNET AND IN TEXT MESSAGES

MINNESOTA CENSORS INTERNET USE

APRIL 2009

LIBRARIES OFFERING CYBERBOOKS AND MUSIC FOR FREE

THE SCOURGE OF VIDEOTAPE MOULD AND CD ROT

JULY 2008

RECOVERED HISTORY: JOHN CLEESE EXPLAINS WHY A COMPAQ PORTABLE COMPUTER
IS BETTER THAN A DEAD FISH

MAY 2008

AIR FORCE SEEKING CONTROL OVER ALL COMPUTERS

NOAH SHACHTMAN WIRED The Air Force wants a suite of hacker tools, to give it "access" to -- and "full control" of -- any kind of computer there is. And once the info warriors are in, the Air Force wants them to keep tabs on their "adversaries' information infrastructure completely undetected."

The government is growing increasingly interested in waging war online. The Air Force recently put together a "Cyberspace Command," with a charter to rule networks the way its fighter jets rule the skies. The Department of Homeland Security, Darpa, and other agencies are teaming up for a five-year, $30 billion "national cybersecurity initiative." That includes an electronic test range, where federally-funded hackers can test out the latest electronic attacks. "You used to need an army to wage a war," a recent Air Force commercial notes. "Now, all you need is an Internet connection."

THE NEW INTERNET & THE POLICE STATE

ANNALEE NEWITZ, ALTERNET [Oxford University researcher Jonathan Zittrain] thinks we're seeing the end of the freewheeling Internet and PC era. He calls the technologies of today "tethered" technologies. Tethered technologies are items like iPhones or many brands of DVR -- they're sterile to their owners, who aren't allowed to build software that runs on them. But they're generative to the companies that make them, in the sense that Comcast can update your DVR remotely, or Apple can brick your iPhone remotely if you try to do something naughty to it (like run your own software program on it).

In some ways, tethered technologies are worse than plain old sterile technologies. They allow for abuses undreamed of in the IBM mainframe era. For example, iPhone tethering could lead to law enforcement going to Apple and saying, "Please activate the microphone on this iPhone that we know is being carried by a suspect." The device turns into an instant bug, without all the fuss of following the suspect around or installing surveillance crap in her apartment. This isn't idle speculation, by the way. OnStar, the manufacturer of a car emergency system, was asked by law enforcement to activate the mics in certain cars using its system. It refused and went to court.

APRIL 2008

ATT EXEC: INTERNET MAY BE OVERLOADED BY 2010

ZDNET An AT&T executive has claimed that, without investment, the Internet's current network architecture will reach the limits of its capacity by 2010. Speaking at a Westminster eForum on Web 2.0 this week in London, Jim Cicconi, vice president of legislative affairs for AT&T, warned that the current systems that constitute the Internet will not be able to cope with the increasing amounts of video and user-generated content being uploaded.. . .

He claimed that the "unprecedented new wave of broadband traffic" would increase fifty-fold by 2015 and that AT&T was investing $19bn to maintain its network and upgrade its backbone network. Cicconi added that more demand for high-definition video will put increasing strain on the Internet infrastructure. "Eight hours of video is loaded onto YouTube every minute. Everything will become HD very soon and HD is seven to 10 times more bandwidth-hungry than typical video today. Video will be 80 percent of all traffic by 2010, up from 30 percent today," he said.

SMALLER TOWNS GETTING MUNICIPAL WI-FI BEFORE BIG CITIES

MARCH 2008

COURT CASE REVEALS EVEN MICROSOFT EXECS DIDN'T CARE FOR VISTA

FEBRUARY 2008

MICROSOFT'S COVERT TAKEOVER OF LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WEBSITE

PENTAGON: TREAT INTERNET LIKE AN ENEMY WEAPONS SYSTEM

GLOBAL RESEARCH - The Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap is blunt about the fact that an internet, with the potential for free speech, is in direct opposition to their goals. The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy "weapons system".

The 2003 Pentagon document entitled the Information Operation Roadmap was released to the public after a Freedom of Information Request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University in 2006. . .

From the Information Operation Roadmap. . .

"We Must Fight the Net. DoD [Department of Defense] is building an information-centric force. Networks are increasingly the operational center of gravity, and the Department must be prepared to fight the net. DoD's Defense in Depth strategy should operate on the premise that the Department will fight the net as it would a weapons system."

It should come as no surprise that the Pentagon would aggressively attack the information highway in their attempt to achieve dominance in information warfare. Donald Rumsfeld's involvement in the Project for a New American Century sheds more light on the need and desire to control information.

The Project for a New American Century was founded in 1997 with many members that later became the nucleus of the George W. Bush administration. The list includes: Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz among many other powerful but less well know names. Their stated purpose was to use a hugely expanded U.S. military to project "American global leadership." In September of 2000, PNAC published a now infamous document entitled Rebuilding America's Defences. This document has a very similar theme as the Pentagon's Information Operations Roadmap which was signed by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

From Rebuilding America's Defenses:

"It is now commonly understood that information and other new technologies... are creating a dynamic that may threaten America's ability to exercise its dominant military power."

"Much as control of the high seas - and the protection of international commerce - defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new "international commons" be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the infosphere will find it difficult to exert global political leadership.

"Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and "combat" likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, cyber-space," and perhaps the world of microbes. . .

Part of the Information Operation Roadmap's plans for the internet are to "ensure the graceful degradation of the network rather than its collapse. . .

As far as the Pentagon is concerned the internet is not all bad, after all, it was the Department of Defense through DARPA that gave us the internet in the first place. The internet is useful not only as a business tool but also is excellent for monitoring and tracking users, acclimatizing people to a virtual world, and developing detailed psychological profiles of every user, among many other Pentagon positives. But, one problem with the current internet is the potential for the dissemination of ideas and information not consistent with US government themes and messages, commonly known as free speech. Naturally, since the plan was to completely dominate the infosphere, the internet would have to be adjusted or replaced with an upgraded and even more Pentagon friendly successor.

DECEMBER 2007

MICROSOFT BOMBS WITH VISTA

JET BLUE EXPERIMENTING WITH WIFI IN AIR

GALLERY: HOW TO DRESS LIKE A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

OCTOBER 2007

ONLY ONE IN THREE COMPUTER GEEKS CORRECTLY IDENTIFY PROBLEM

PERSONAL COMPUTER HISTORY NOW HAS ITS OWN PROFESSOR

SCIENTIFIC BLOGGING - The Internet, personal computers, word processing and spreadsheets are so embedded in today's society that it's hard to remember that just 35 years ago they didn't exist. Thomas Haigh, assistant professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is among a very small number of computer experts in the world who are also historians, studying the role of technology in broader social change. These new experts are tracing how computers have changed business and society. Researching late 20th century technology has given Haigh the opportunity to talk to many pioneers who developed both computers and the software that powers them. He conducted a series of oral history interviews for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and has written about the history of word processing and the development of databases.

MORE


COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM
http://www.computerhistory.org/

GUIDE TO COMPUTER HISTORY INFO
http://www.tomandmaria.com/tom/Resources/ResourceFile.htm

MODEL 100

SOME CALL the Tandy Radio Shack Model 100 the first laptop. Reporters loved it and some people are still using them. Many editions of the Review's predecessor, the DC Gazette, were composed on a Model 100 and the editor's wife wrote her 200 page master's thesis on a Model 200 which had an external disc drive that could only handle three pages per disc.

OLD COMPUTERS - The Tandy 100 was actually a computer made in Japan by Kyocera. All the ROM programs were written by Microsoft, and even a few of them were written by Bill Gates himself These programs include a text editor, a telecommunication program, which uses the built-in modem (300 baud), and a rather good version of BASIC. . . The operating system uses 3130 bytes of the 8 KB RAM. So the 8 KB models didn't sell very well. But there was also a 24 kb model. . . The CMOS CPU allows [people] to use the Tandy 100 for 20 hours with only 4 AA batteries. The model 100/102 is still considered and used as an excellent machine, mainly to type texts when you're on the move (you can transfer them to modern computers) and even to send and receive emails !

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=233

CLUB 100
http://www.club100.org/index.html

Thomas Haigh owns a suitcase-sized "portable" computer from the 1980s. His small handheld PDA (shown on screen) has 2,400 times more processing power and 12,500 times more storage than the 1980s machine. Haigh teaches at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

COMPUTER HISTORY MUSEUM - The world's most powerful computer at Columbia University's Watson Lab in 1954. THE MODEL 100

T-SHIRT FINDS HOT SPOTS
(BUT NOT OPEN NETWORKS)

SEPTEMBER 2007

IF INTERNET NEUTRALITY IS LOST,
THE WEB BECOMES THE NEW CABLE TV

AUGUST 2007

DC EXAMINER - Washington wins the award for "most e-mail addicted" city in the country, according to a new study by Dulles-based AOL. Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Houston rounded out the top five. Of Washingtonians who have a portable e-mail device, 29 percent say they can't live without it. . . The study showed that 58 percent of Washingtonians check mobile e-mail in bed in their pajamas and 58 percent check it in the bathroom. Other locations include church (18 percent), in the car while driving (45 percent)and at the dinner table (47 percent).

JULY 2007

RAMPANT SELF PROMOTION

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S claim that this is the tenth anniversary of the blog - as well as some of the critical reaction to the story - led us to our archives to find what we could about our role in this tale.

We've tried to avoid the word blog - preferring to call ourselves an online journal - but the phrase has a ubiquity one can't duck.

The Wall Street Journal claimed, "We are approaching a decade since the first blogger -- regarded by many to be Jorn Barger -- began his business of hunting and gathering links to items that tickled his fancy, to which he appended some of his own commentary. On Dec. 23, 1997, on his site, Robot Wisdom, Mr. Barger wrote: 'I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis,' and the Oxford English Dictionary regards this as the primordial root of the word 'weblog.'

"The dating of the 10th anniversary of blogs, and the ascription of primacy to the first blogger, are imperfect exercises. Others, such as David Winer, who blogged with Scripting News, and Cameron Barrett, who started CamWorld, were alongside the polemical Mr. Barger in the advance guard. And before them there were "proto-blogs," embryonic indications of the online profusion that was to follow. But by widespread consensus, 1997 is a reasonable point at which to mark the emergence of the blog as a distinct life-form."

While we refer to Barger as the sainted Jorn Barger - he has been repeatedly kind to this journal over the years - the WSJ has got things somewhat mixed up. It is certainly true that Barger blessed or cursed us with the word blog, but whatever you called it, something was already underway, including at the Progressive Review. As evidence, we would quote from the very issue cited by the WSJ: Barger's December 23, 1997 Robot Wisdom WebLog in which he writes:

"There's a new issue of the Progressive Review, one of the few leftwing sources that's vigorously anti-Clinton. . . The lead story this week is Judge Lamberth's condemnation of White House lies about the healthcare taskforce in 1993. Its editor Sam Smith also offers a nice fantasy of what a real newspaper should be, USA Tomorrow . . ."

Barger's contribution was not just one of nomenclature, but of gracing the Web with an eclectic spirit and curiosity, tapping its holistic wonders and happily mixing technology, politics, literature, philosophy and rants. In musical terms, Barger showed us how to swing.

A few examples from that last week of December 1997 illustrates the point (the copious links are not included)

- This Day in Joyce History. . . On this date in 1891, Dante Riordan left the Joyce household after the Xmas fight depicted in Portrait. In ?1893 the fictional Rudy Bloom was born. In 1916, Portrait was published by Huebsch. In 1931, John S. Joyce died. In ?1953 John Kidd was born.

- Two of the most readable computer journalists-- John Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle-- are about to launch a Siskel/Ebert-style weekly debate site, using 'wallet' technology to charge a dime a week. . .

- Gorillas make gorgeous representational art. . .

- Email from Frankie? TV.Com claims Frank Sinatra will sometimes answer friendly email. The Sinatra Family site is endearingly naif. . .

- A couple of x-rated essays at Salon: Susie Bright's very sweet appreciation of the Pam Anderson/ Tommy Lee bootleg sex video

- Sixties icon Kerry Thornley, intimate of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jim Garrison and Robert Anton Wilson, and author of the Principia Discordia is in poor health, and fans are encouraged to order a copy of PD straight from the source, autographed on request.

- The mass media's undeclared war against the Net is nowhere clearer than in their assaults against Ian Goddard's TWA800 website. CNN has baldly falsified a report that Goddard recanted his site as a hoax. . .

- How has the Newt Right so successfully blindsided the progressive Left? A dryish analysis in The Nation argues that we don't lack the funds, but we're spending them with self-defeating unfocus. . .

- I am having a fear of modern business practices: A fine culture critic named Tom Frank (not to be confused with Troll Mennie) explores Fast Company, the bastard spawn of Wired and Forbes. . .

- Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria (age 20) has been elected Swede of the Year by the evening paper Expressen. Last month it was announced that she's suffering from an eating disorder. . .

- Garrison Keillor, quoted on newsgroup misc.activism.progressive: "We're in the clutches of a bunch of folks trying to turn the U.S. into a third world country. Two hundred billionaires, and 260 million poor people. And they haven't done enough damage yet to be beaten."

Duncan Riley offers this critique of the WSJ article:

|||| According to my history of blogging (still No. 3 on Google BTW, and heavily researched at the time) blogging turned 11 on January 10, the date in which the first credited blogger (according to Wikipedia as well) Justin Hall commences writing an online journal with dated daily entries, although each daily post is linked through an index page. On the journal he writes "Some days, before I go to bed, I think about my day, and how it meshed with my life, and I write a little about what learned me." In February Dave Winer follows up with a weblog that chronicles the 24 Hours of Democracy Project. Winer has often claimed that he was the first blogger, I've long disagreed but whether it was Hall or Winer is a moot point: both were blogging in 1996. . . ||||

According to Wikipedia, "A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order. 'Blog' can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic.

At least as early as 1993, the Progressive Review was sending a faxed blog-like substance to our media list as a supplement to the print edition. The earliest mention of an online edition that we could find comes from the August 1994 edition: "If you have an Internet address, send it to us on a postcard or to ssmith@igc.org and we will add you to our Peacenet hotline mailing list. You can also find us at alt.activism and alt.politics.clinton. Sorry, offer not good for networks that carry e-mail charges"

There then followed a series of blog-like entries.

But none of that really counts because it wasn't on the Worldwide Web. But by June 1995, the Progressive Review was on the web, where only about 20,000 other websites existed worldwide. We announced it like this:

"The Review now has a site on the World Wide Web. Pay us a visit at: http://prorev.com/

"Here is some of what you'll find: The Crash of America: How this country's elite ruined the economy, fouled the environment and left Newt Gingrich in charge. From the March 1995 issue. The fully informed jury movement: The right of juries to judge both the law and the fact dates back to the trials of William Penn and Peter Zenger. . ."

Still not bloggish, as we initially only posted longer articles. But within a few months - we were promising that "The Progressive Review On-Line Report is found on the Web" and our quasi-blogging had begun.

While we weren't the earliest we were certainly in same 'hood and we may hold some sort of record for consistency. We are still brought to you by Turnpike and we are still using Adobe Page Mill to post our non-blog pages. A year or two ago we ran into an Adobe sales rep at Best Buy and mentioned our loyalty, saying that "we still love it." She looked quite cross and said, "That's what a lot of people say."

The Web would come to value style over substance in design and conventional loyalty over free thinking in politics. But, inspired by a few like Jorn Borger, we have tried to keep our layout simple and our thoughts complex. In the game of Internet high-low poker, we went low and it doesn't seem to have a hurt a bit.

Thanks for sticking around.

http://www.robotwisdom.com/log1997m12.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

JUNE 2007

LET YOUR EYES, NOT YOUR COMPUTER, TELL YOU WHEN YOU'RE OUT OF INK

KEN FISHER, ARSTECHNICA - A new study says that on average, more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage. Why is that interesting? According to the study, users are tossing the cartridges when their printers are telling them they're out of ink, not when they necessarily are out of ink. . . Epson's printers were among the highest rated, at more than 80 percent efficiency using single-ink cartridges. . . Printers routinely report that they are low on ink even when they aren't, and in some cases there are still hundreds of pages worth of ink left.

The second issue is a familiar one: multi-ink cartridges can be rendered "empty" when only one color runs low. Multi-ink cartridges store three to five colors in a single cartridge. Printing too many photos from the air show will kill your cartridge faster than you can say "blue skies," as dominant colors are used faster than the others.

SCIENCE PUBS REJECT ARTICLES WRITTEN IN WORD 2007

ROB WEIR BLOG - It appears that Science, the journal of the America Association for the Advancement of Science, itself the largest scientific society in the world, has updated its authoring guidelines to include advice for Office 2007 users. The news is not good.

"Because of changes Microsoft has made in its recent Word release that are incompatible with our internal workflow, which was built around previous versions of the software, Science cannot at present accept any files in the new .docx format produced through Microsoft Word 2007, either for initial submission or for revision. Users of this release of Word should convert these files to a format compatible with Word 2003 or Word for Macintosh 2004 (or, for initial submission, to a PDF file) before submitting to Science."

Well, so much for 100% compatibility, eh? . . . More bad news:

"Users of Word 2007 should also be aware that equations created with the default equation editor included in Microsoft Word 2007 will be unacceptable in revision, even if the file is converted to a format compatible with earlier versions of Word; this is because conversion will render equations as graphics and prevent electronic printing of equations, and because the default equation editor packaged with Word 2007 -- for reasons that, quite frankly, utterly baffle us -- was not designed to be compatible with MathML. Regrettably, we will be forced to return any revised manuscript created with the Word 2007 default equation editor to authors for re-editing. To get around this, please use the Math Type equation editor or the equation editor included in previous versions of Microsoft Word."

Nature appears to have the same problem:

"We currently cannot accept files saved in Microsoft Office 2007 formats. Equations and special characters (for example, Greek letters) cannot be edited and are incompatible with Nature's own editing and typesetting programs."

Reuse of existing standards is important. When you reuse a standard, you are reusing more than a piece of paper. You are reusing the experience and effort that went into creating and reviewing that standard. You are reusing the experience gathered by those who have already implemented the standard. You are reusing the books and training materials already written for that standard. You are reusing the interfaces for other technologies that have already integrated with that standard or can produce or consume output that conforms to that standard. . .

 

MAY 2007

WHERE DID THAT @ COME FROM?

COMPUTER: HOW STUFF WORKS - What do you call the @ symbol used in e-mail addresses?. . . The most accepted term, even in many other languages, is to call it the at sign. But there are dozens of different words used to describe it. A lot of languages use words that associate the shape of the symbol with some type of animal:

- apestaart - Dutch for "monkey's tail"

- snabel - Danish for "elephant's trunk"

- kissanhnta - Finnish for "cat's tail"

- klammeraffe - German for "hanging monkey"

- kukac - Hungarian for "worm"

- dalphaengi - Korean for "snail"

- grisehale - Norwegian for "pig's tail"

- sobachka - Russian for "little dog"

Before it became the standard symbol for e-mail, the @ symbol was typically used to indicate the cost or weight of something. For example, if you bought five oranges for $1.25 each, you might write it as 5 oranges @ $1.25 ea. It is still used in this manner on a variety of forms and invoices around the world.

The actual origin of the symbol is uncertain. It was used by monks making copies of books before the invention of the printing press. Since every word had to be painstakingly transcribed by hand for each copy of a book, the monks that performed the copying duties looked for ways to reduce the number of individual strokes per word for common words. So, the word at became a single stroke of the pen as @ instead of three strokes. . .

Another origin tale states that the @ symbol was used as an abbreviation for the word amphora, which was the unit of measurement used to determine the amount held by the large terra cotta jars that were used to ship grain, spices and wine. Giorgio Stabile, an Italian scholar, discovered this use of the @ symbol in a letter written in 1536 by a Florentine trader named Francesco Lapi. It seems likely that some industrious trader saw the @ symbol in a book transcribed by monks using the symbol and appropriated it for use as the amphora abbreviation. This would also explain why it became common to use the symbol in relation to quantities of something.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question507.htm

GLOBAL WEB CENSORSHIP INCREASING

NEW SCIENTIST - The number of governments that routinely block web sites is increasing, according to the most comprehensive survey of internet filtering yet. Meanwhile, the same study suggests that techniques for blocking undesirable content are growing ever more sophisticated. Previous reports of government internet filtering have been limited to specific countries, such as China, Iran and Cuba, says Rafal Rohozinski, of the Open Net Initiative, which produced the report. . . In its report, the ONI states that governments in at least 25 countries regularly block access to internet sites for political, social or security reasons. It says that Burma, China, Iran, Syria, Tunisia and Vietnam also filter political content, such as sites belonging to political opposition parties. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Tunisia and Yemen filter for social reasons: for example by blocking access to pornography, gay and lesbian content and gambling sites. Wider restrictions

By comparing their findings to earlier reports, the authors conclude that filtering is currently increasing worldwide. . . Furthermore, the team discovered so-called "event-based" filtering - an upsurge in restrictions during significant political periods such as elections.

APRIL 2007

With a tap of your foot, switch your screen when the boss comes in

Photo gallery of geek culture

Tech support in the Middle Ages

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE INTERNET

KIRCHER SOCIETY - When the Mundaneum opened in 1910, its purpose was to collect all of the world's knowledge on neatly organized 3? x 5? index cards. The brainchild of Belgian lawyer Paul Otlet and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henri LaFontaine, the vast project eventually totaled 12 million cards, each classified according to the Universal Decimal Classification system developed by Otlet.

Le Corbusier was one of many prominent figures enthralled by Otlet's scheme of a "Universal Book." He described it as a panorama of "the whole of human history from its origins," and signed on to design an international "city of the intellect," centered around the Mundaneum.

In 1919, the Belgian government turned over 150 rooms in the Palais du Cinquantenaire to serve as a home for the Mundaneum, but five years later revoked the space to use it for a temporary exhibit on the nation's rubber industry. The Mundaneum moved into a series of smaller spaces, and eventually took over a parking garage before closing for good in 1934, the same year that Otlet published his magnum opus Traité de documentation. Though Otlet's name is little remembered today outside the field of information science, he deserves credit for developing many of the ideas behind the modern Internet

JANUARY 2007

Finally, an ergonomically correct
work station

NOVEMBER 2006

SYSTEM TO GET AROUND WEB CENSORSHIP INVENTED

BBC - A tool has been created capable of circumventing government censorship of the web, according to researchers. The free program has been constructed to let citizens of countries with restricted web access retrieve and display web pages from anywhere. The University of Toronto's Citizen Lab software, called psiphon, will be released on 1 December. . . Psiphon works through social networks. A net user in an uncensored country can download the program to their computer, which transforms it into an access point. They can then give contacts in censored countries a unique web address, login and password, which enables the restricted users to freely browse the web through an encrypted connection to the proxy server. The Citizen Lab said the system provides strong protection against "electronic eavesdropping" because censors or ISPs can only see that end users are connected to another computer and not view the sites that are being visited. It added that using small trusted networks as a delivery mechanism made it more difficult for censors to find and shut down psiphon. However, it also warned potential users that bypassing censorship could violate laws, and urge them to consider potential consequences of doing so.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/technology/6187486.stm

OCTOBER 2006

120GB POCKET STORAGE

CRAVE - While slightly larger than the usual USBs, the Pexagon Store-It portable USB 2.0 hard drives pack in a lot. The 1.8-inch Store-It comes in a 60GB version for $199, or 20GB for $139, and the 2.5-inch Store-It comes in up to 120GB for $179. They all include an EZ-Touch One Button that instantly backs-up your stuff. The idea is that in age where more and more applications are tied to the Web, you no longer need to carry them with you. Instead of carrying personal laptops for trips, you can take the more portable USB drive and plug it into any laptop at the other end to retrieve your files. The Store-It drives are compatible with both the Mac and PC.

http://tinyurl.com/y4x76u

SEPTEMBER 2006

COURT RULES CUSTOMS CAN SEARCH YOUR LAPTOP

STEVE SEIDENBERG, ABA JOURNAL - In U.S. v. Romm, No. 04-10648, the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit ruled that customs officials can seize and search the contents of anyone's laptop computer, even in the absence of a search warrant or probable cause. Some attorneys say the ruling goes too far, invading the privacy of anyone who crosses into the United States. And the ruling may pose special problems for attorneys who need to keep client information confidential when they go on business trips overseas.

"What's dangerous about this opinion is that it pushes the line for searches along the border very far toward one end of the constitutional spectrum," says Shaun Martin, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. "It is one thing to turn on your computer in the airport to make sure it is not a bomb. It is another thing for customs officials to turn on your computer and to read everything you ever wrote and to look at everything you ever downloaded." . . .

Even worse, the customs official might simply demand the attorney provide the password to the law firm's VPN. Paparelli is aware of at least one instance in which a customs agent asked for an e-mail password so the officer could examine the individual's e-mail correspondence. "Imagine if that were the password of a company employee, and it led the agent into a corporate network database," he says.

Perhaps the only way to guarantee protection for confidential data is to leave your laptop at home and connect to your data via a computer that stays overseas. "People should not carry laptops across borders if they don't want their laptops inspected by the government," Paparelli says.

http://www.abanet.org/journal/ereport/s15border.html

JUNE 2006

GREAT MOMENTS IN THE INTERNET DEBATE

SENATOR TED STEVENS [R-Alaska] - There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the internet and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what: you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially. . .

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that? Do you know why? Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people. . .

Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves. . .

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a violation of net neutrality that hits you and me.

Link: http://blog.wired.com/27BStroke6/?entry_id=1512499

PERSONAL SUPERCOMPUTER
Only $10,000 for 48GB (Downside: only a 16Mb video card)

CYBERSPACE RUNNING OUT OF ROOM

LAURIE SULLIVAN, TECH WEB NEWS - The growing popularity of smart phones, IPTV and other gadgets connecting to the Internet is eating up real estate on the net, and soon techies can expect cyberspace to run out of room, according to a Frost & Sullivan analyst briefing. . . By 2012 about 17 billion devices will connect to the Internet, estimates Research firm IDC Corp. Frost & Sullivan's principal analyst for carrier infrastructure Sam Masud agrees. "2012, that's when we estimate the world will be out of IPv4 addresses," he said. "Between 15 and 20 years isn't exaggerating."

The IPv4 Internet has room for 4.3 billion addresses. About one-third are already in use, and more than another third are spoken for. IPv6 provides 2^128 possible addresses. Compared with IPv4's 32bits, IPv6's address reads 128 bits long. Imagine the number looking something like this - 360,382,386,120,984,643,363,377,707,131,268,210,929. . .

A mandate from the Office of Management and Budget states all federal networks must have the ability to send and receive IPv6 packets by mid 2008. Only 30 percent of the Internet service provider networks, however, will support IPv6 by 2010, and 30 percent of user networks by 2012, according to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (and the RTI International on IPv6 migration.

MAY 2006

I-NET COMPANIES CENSORING MAIL

BLOGGERS WIN AS AD AGENCY DROPS SLAPP SUIT

BOSTON GLOBE - A New York ad agency has dropped its lawsuit against a midcoast man who had used an Internet blog to criticize the state's Internet tourism marketing campaign. In a one-page document filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Warren Kremer Paino Advertising LLC dismissed its lawsuit against Lance Dutson of Searsmont. The agency sued Dutson last month for libel, defamation and copyright infringement over his Web log where he posted comments of the tourism office's Web marketing strategies developed by Warren Kremer Paino Advertising. The lawsuit was dropped "without prejudice," meaning it can be filed again.

The suit had claimed that Dutson's blog contained defamatory statements that hurt the ad agency's reputation and its business. The agency also said it owned the copyright to certain images Dutson used in his blog and was asking for $150,000 in damages for each work the agency said Dutson infringed. . .

 

APRIL 2006

AOL BLOCKS E-MAILS CRITICAL OF IT

[After this press release was sent out Thursday afternoon, AOL stopped blocking email with links to www.DearAOL.com]

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION - AOL is blocking delivery to AOL customers of all emails that include a link to www.DearAOL.com. Today, over 100 people who signed a petition to AOL tried sending messages to their AOL-using friends, and received a bounce-back message informing them that their email "failed permanently."

"The fact is, ISPs like AOL commonly make these kinds of arbitrary decisions silently banning huge swathes of legitimate mail on the flimsiest of reasons every day, and no one hears about it," said Danny O'Brien, Activism Coordinator of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "AOL's planned Certified Email system would let them profit from this power by offering to charge legitimate mailers to bypass these malfunctioning filters."

After reports of undelivered email started rolling in to the DearAOL.com Coalition, Move On co-founder Wes Boyd decided to see for himself if it was true. "I tried to email my brother-in-law about DearAOL.com and AOL sent me a response as if he had disappeared," said Boyd. "But when I sent him an email without the DearAOL.com link, it went right through."

http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2006_04.php#004556

HEALTH PROBLEMS OF THE GEEK LIFESTYLE

DR AA, CAROTIDS - I am a currently practicing board-certified Internal Medicine physician in a large rapidly expanding tech-growth community. . . As a doctor in this area over the last few years, I have discovered some unique health problems associated with this population. . . I affectionately call it the "geek lifestyle" because of my previous life of programming and web design. . . I have noticed several repeating patterns in this geek lifestyle population. . .

1. Horrible sleep hygiene, insomnia and altered sleep patterns is one of the most common complaints to my office. Frequently the complaint is of light sleep or of multiple awakening throughout the night. Although this can be a symptom of depression, this is typically caused by poor sleep habits. It typically starts with somebody waking up in the middle of the night and turning on the laptop or TV. This begins to happen more and more frequently until the patient starts to worry about waking up as soon as they go to bed at night. This stress makes the sleep worse and worse until they finally come to see me. The bed should only be used for two things - sex and sleep. The fix is typically easy if the habit is not too ingrained. The bed should only be used for two things-sex and sleep. . .

Headaches: Poor screen position, too small font, screen too bright/too dark, poor sitting posture are all commonly reported causes of chronic headache. Recurrent headaches are a very frequent complaint among heavy computer users. . . Often when I tell my patients that I suspect it is their work environment, they come back and tell me how they fixed it. Poor screen position, too small font, screen too bright/too dark, poor sitting posture are all commonly reported causes of chronic headache. When in doubt, I just tell them to trade offices for a couple of days. If they feel better in the other office, then it suggests that it is related to their personal work environment. . .

3. Back pain is a frequent complaint in my office as well. In the general patient population, chronic back pain is often a sign of depression; however, in the geek this is more frequently due to work conditions or to overuse. Poor posture, incorrectly sized chair, or poorly positioned monitors are common culprits. . .

4. Poor Attention Span I am always amazed at the number of people that mention to me that their attention span is poor. Frequently they will wonder if they have ADD. Sometimes they will even complain about the inability to stay awake during long meetings or stay focuses on non-computer tasks. The typical geek trains their brain to be heavily focused while multitasking day after day. Is it surprising that this same brain does not do well when forced to isolate down to one task? . . .

In fact, if I question someone about their attention span, they never, ever have problems staying focused on their computer work. If someone is in the middle of some exciting programming, the focus is always there. Therefore, it is not just a generic "attention" problem. . .

FEBRUARY 2006

TELECOMS, CABLE OPERATORS OUT TO SEIZE INTERNET

JEFF CHESTER, NATION - The nation's largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online. Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.

Under the plans they are considering, all of us--from content providers to individual users--would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing "platinum," "gold" and "silver" levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received.

To make this pay-to-play vision a reality, phone and cable lobbyists are now engaged in a political campaign to further weaken the nation's communications policy laws. They want the federal government to permit them to operate Internet and other digital communications services as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. Indeed, both the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission are considering proposals that will have far-reaching impact on the Internet's future. Ten years after passage of the ill-advised Telecommunications Act of 1996, telephone and cable companies are using the same political snake oil to convince compromised or clueless lawmakers to subvert the Internet into a turbo-charged digital retail machine.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060213/chester

JANUARY 2006

TELECOMS PLAN TO RIG INTERNET TO THEIR ADVANTAGE

CHRISTOPHER STERN, WASHINGTON POST - The nation's largest telephone companies have a new business plan, and if it comes to pass you may one day discover that Yahoo suddenly responds much faster to your inquiries, overriding your affinity for Google. Or that Amazon's Web site seems sluggish compared with eBay's. The changes may sound subtle, but make no mistake: The telecommunications companies' proposals have the potential, within just a few years, to alter the flow of commerce and information -- and your personal experience -- on the Internet. For the first time, the companies that own the equipment that delivers the Internet to your office, cubicle, den and dorm room could, for a price, give one company priority on their networks over another.

This represents a break with the commercial meritocracy that has ruled the Internet until now. We've come to expect that the people who own the phone and cable lines remain "neutral," doing nothing to influence the content on your computer screen. And may the best Web site win.

DECEMBER 2005

CENSORSHIP GROWING ON INTERNET

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT - Internet censorship. It did not happen overnight but slowly came to America's shores from testing grounds in China and the Middle East. Progressive and investigative journalist web site administrators are beginning to talk to each other about it, e-mail users are beginning to understand why their e-mail is being disrupted by it, major search engines appear to be complying with it, and the low to equal signal-to-noise ratio of legitimate e-mail and spam appears to be perpetuated by it. . .

Take for example of what recently occurred when two journalists were taking on the phone about a story that appeared on Google News. The story was about a Christian fundamentalist move in Congress to use U.S. military force in Sudan to end genocide in Darfur. The story appeared on the English Google News site in Qatar. But the very same Google News site when accessed simultaneously in Washington, DC failed to show the article. This censorship is accomplished by geo-location filtering: the restriction or modifying of web content based on the geographical region of the user. In addition to countries, such filtering can now be implemented for states, cities, and even individual IP addresses. . .

News reports on CIA prisoner flights and secret prisons are disappearing from Google and other search engines like Alltheweb as fast as they appear. Here now, gone tomorrow is the name of the game.

Google is systematically failing to list and link to articles that contain explosive information about the Bush administration, the war in Iraq, Al Qaeda, and U.S. political scandals. But Google is not alone in working closely to stifle Internet discourse. America On Line, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are slowly turning the Internet into an information superhighway dominated by barricades, toll booths, off-ramps that lead to dead ends, choke points, and security checks.

America On Line is the most egregious is stifling Internet freedom. A former AOL employee noted how AOL and other Internet Service Providers cooperate with the Bush administration in censoring email. The Patriot Act gave federal agencies the power to review information to the packet level and AOL was directed by agencies like the FBI to do more than sniff the subject line. The AOL term of service has gradually been expanded to grant AOL virtually universal power regarding information. Many AOL users are likely unaware of the elastic clause, which says they will be bound by the current TOS and any TOS revisions which AOL may elect at any time in the future. Essentially, AOL users once agreed to allow the censorship and non-delivery of their email.

Microsoft has similar requirements for Hotmail as do Yahoo and Google for their respective e-mail services.

There are also many cases of Google's search engine failing to list and link to certain information. According to a number of web site administrators who carry anti-Bush political content, this situation has become more pronounced in the last month. In addition, many web site administrators are reporting a dramatic drop-off in hits to their sites, according to their web statistic analyzers.

http://waynemadsenreport.com/

OCTOBER 2005. . .

PHILADELPHIA LAUNCHES BIGGEST URBAN WIFI

ARSHAD MOHAMMED WASHINGTON POST - Philadelphia announced a plan to build the biggest municipal wireless Internet system in the nation, the latest of a growing number of cities to treat high-speed Web access as a basic municipal service like water, electricity and trash collection. Philadelphia said Atlanta-based EarthLink Inc. will fund, build and manage the 135-square-mile network, which will offer low-income residents service for as little as about $10 a month and could threaten the profits of telephone and cable companies.

"Increasingly, city officials view broadband in the 21st century the same way they viewed electricity 100 years ago and telephone service 50 years ago. It's falling into the category of a necessary and essential social service," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, a nonprofit group that favors the development of municipal wireless. "Cities see this as a way to spur economic growth: on the one hand to put tools in the hands of the underprivileged and give them a leg up, and on the other to provide incentives to small businesses to locate in these cities and to expand their operations," Scott said.

JUNE 20005 . . .

BRAZIL GOES OPEN SOURCE; PRESIDENT WON'T EVEN TALK TO BILL GATES
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4602325.stm

BBC - In Brazil's Ministry for Cities, staff are busily at work. The scene is much like any other modern office: an open-plan work space crammed with desks, telephones and computers. But there's one big difference. The word 'Microsoft' is nowhere in sight. Instead, computers here now use the Linux operating system. It has many similar functions to Microsoft's Windows - but unlike Windows, it is available for free. Increasingly, Brazil's government ministries and state-run enterprises are abandoning Windows in favor of 'open-source' or 'free' software, like Linux.
"The number one reason for this change is economic," says Sergio Amadeu, who runs the government's National Institute for Information Technology. . .

Overall, the government reckons it could save around $120m a year by switching from Windows to open-source alternatives. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is studying a draft decree which, if approved, would make the change compulsory for federal departments. . .

For Lula, free software is a development issue On the face of it, Bill Gates does not have much to worry about. More than 90% of the world's personal computers still use the Windows operating system. But there are signs of nerves. In January, Mr Gates unsuccessfully sought a private meeting with President Lula at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

MAY 2005. . .

COFFEE SHOP TURNS OFF WI-FI ON WEEKENDS
http://wifinetnews.com/archives/005325.html

GLENN FLEISHMAN, WI-FI NET NEWS - It's too early to say whether it's a trend, but Victrola Coffee & Art in Seattle shuts down its free wi-fi on Saturday and Sunday: I spoke to co-owner and co-founder Jen Strongin today after a colleague tipped me to the fact that this lovely, single-shop coffee establishment had decided to experiment with taking back its culture by turning off the wi-fi juice on weekends.

Strongin said that the five-year-old cafe added free wi-fi when it seemed their customers wanted it a couple of years ago. It initially brought in more people, she said, but over the past year "we noticed a significant change in the environment of the cafe." Before wi-fi, "people talked to each other, strangers met each other," she said. Solitary activities might involve reading and writing, but it was part of the milieu. "Those people co-existed with people having conversations," said Strongin.

But "over the past year it seems that nobody talks to each other any more," she said. On the weekends, 80 to 90 percent of tables and chairs are taken up by people using computers. Many laptop users occupy two or more seats by themselves, as well. . . Worse than just the sheer number of laptop users, Strongin noted, is that many of these patrons will camp six to eight hours - and not buy anything. This seemed astounding to me, but she said that it was typical, not unusual.

NOVEMBER 2004

FORMER NYT EDITOR HOWELL RAINES ON THE INTERNET: Perhaps for the first time since invention of the printing press, a new information technology has become more efficient at spreading disinformation than knowledge.

MARCH 2004

WORD OF THE DAY: WARDRIVING

PATRICK S. RYAN, VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF LAW AND TECHNOLOGY - Abstract: A wardriver gets in her car and drives around a given area. Using her laptop, freely available software, a standard Wi-Fi card, and a GPS device, she logs the status and location of wireless networks. The computer generates a file and records networks that are open and networks that are closed. Once the data is collected, the wardriver may denote an open network by using chalk to mark a sign on a building, called "warchalking," or she may record the location on a digital map and publish it on the Internet.

This article will explain the roots of the term "wardriving," and the cultural phenomenon of the 1983 Hollywood movie WarGames that gave birth to the concept more than 20 years ago. Moreover, this article will show that the press has often confused wardriving with computer crimes involving trespass and illegal access. There are inconspicuous ethical shades to wardriving that are poorly understood, and to date, no academic literature has analyzed the legality of the activity. This article will argue that the act of wardriving itself is quite innocuous, legal, and can even be quite beneficial to society. It will also highlight the need for wardrivers - and for anyone accessing open networks - to help establish and adhere to strict ethical guidelines. Such guidelines are available in various proposal-stage forms, and this article will review these ethics within the context of a larger movement among hackers to develop a coherent ethical code.

Keywords: Wardriving, war driving, wardialing, phreaking, wargames, war games, hacker, wifi, wi-fi, warchalking, wireless hacking, wireless manifesto, kevin mitnick

SENATORS PLAN NEW ASSAULT ON FILE SHARERS

WIRED - Congress appears to be preparing assaults against peer-to-peer technology on multiple fronts. A draft bill obtained by Wired News, recently circulated among members of the House judiciary committee, would make it much easier for the Justice Department to pursue criminal prosecutions against file sharers by lowering the burden of proof. The bill also would seek penalties of fines and prison time of up to ten years for file sharing. In addition, on Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) introduced a bill that would allow the Justice Department to pursue civil cases against file sharers, again making it easier for law enforcement to punish people trading copyright music over peer-to-peer networks. They dubbed the bill "Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004," or the Pirate Act. . .

So far in 2004, Leahy has received $178,000 in campaign contributions from the entertainment industries -- the second-biggest source of donations to Leahy behind lawyers. Hatch has received $152,360.

All these efforts by Congress to impose severe penalties are misguided, said P2P United Executive Director Adam Eisgrau.

"As the 40 percent increase in downloads over the last year makes alarmingly clear, like it or not file sharing is likely to (continue) on a massive scale no matter how many suits are brought and what the fine print of copyright or criminal law says," Eisgrau said. "Second, putting a tiny percentage of tens of millions of American file sharers behind bars or in the poorhouse won't put one new dime in the deserving pockets of artists and other copyright owners."

FEBRUARY 2004

INSIDE TECH SUPPORT

SALON - Several people confess that they've never done more with a computer than check their e-mail. Others admit they haven't even gotten that far. An impromptu contest develops to see exactly who knows the least. There are lots of contenders. I'm listening to them battle for the crown of incompetence as I'm dealt a new hand of cards when a frightening thought occurs to me. Our clueless bunch is now part of the technical-support staff for one of the world's top three computer manufacturers, and in seven days we're going to be taking your calls...

A punter is someone who gets rid of problems by giving them to someone else. Punters tell customers that their problem is not really with their computer, but with their software, their printer, their phone lines, solar flares, whatever they can make sound believable. Then a punter will look at the piece of paper hanging above their phone and read you those four magic words. We don't support that. If you want your problem fixed, a punter will tell you, you'll have to call someone else...

Ted is someone I don't speak to. Ted is a formatter. Ted, and those like him, have only one solution to their customers' problems. Erase everything on the computer's hard drive and start over from scratch. While this can be effective for solving all sorts of software troubles, it's like amputating someone's leg to fix an ingrown toenail. The solution is usually worse than the problem. Most times Ted doesn't actually follow through with his plan. The entire strategy is just a bluff. Most people will balk at the proposition of losing everything and decide they can live with whatever problem they've called to complain about. At the very least they'll decide to hang up, back up their data, and call back -- at which point they'll become someone else's problem.

CYBER NOTES

WHITNEY PASTOREK, VILLAGE VOICE - They have created a new world order. My society, that of the media-driven entertainment/publishing/music-business-involved/obsessed mid-to-late twenty-something, is being divided into a caste system that I believe in years to come will have the power to control virtually every facet of off-line life. In order of fabulosity, the Blogging Caste System:

* Bloggers who live in Williamsburg and work at Condé Nast/are in a band

* Bloggers who live in Williamsburg and know someone who works at Condé Nast/date someone in a band

* Bloggers who live elsewhere in Brooklyn but can get to Williamsburg easily, ideally by bicycle * Bloggers in general (residents of other parts of the country are fine, so long as those parts are Chicago, L.A., Seattle, or Manhattan)

* Non-bloggers who work at Condé Nast/are in a band

* Non-bloggers who went to high school with someone who runs a top-tier blog

* Non-bloggers who live in Queens and operate barely solvent literary magazines, the literary magazine being, as we all know, the blog of 2000, the old black, so over, etc. This last group will eventually be sent to some sort of work camp where they will be forced to silk-screen T-shirts and knit legwarmers out in the hot sun all day....

THE MICROSOFT KILLERS

BILL GATES PROPOSES CHARGING FOR E-MAIL

JANIS MARA, INTERNET NEWS - Yahoo! and Microsoft are giving serious thought to the idea of e-mail "postage" that costs senders a small fee, company officials said. The admissions come in the wake of Microsoft founder Bill Gates' January comments in Davos, Switzerland suggesting the spam problem will be defeated by a number of different solutions, but "in the long run, the monetary method will be dominant."

The monetary approach, known as "sender pays," has different variations and is currently being used by several anti-spam companies, including IronPort and Vanquish. The latest company getting buzz for advocating such an approach is a Silicon Valley start-up called Goodmail. Under Goodmail's model, bulk e-mail senders pay outright for "postage" that guarantees their e-mail will be delivered to participating ISPs, who are paid for accepting the mail. Understandably, ISPs are interested in exploring this idea, as it helps them defray the soaring costs of handling e-mail.

Microsoft hasn't committed to any particular company's approach, a spokesman said, "We continue to look at these and other innovative approaches that help change the economic model for sending spam." Its partner in an anti-spam coalition, Yahoo!, is also investigating a number of different options, including the solution Goodmail offers, the start-up's CEO confirmed.

JANUARY 2004

THOMAS C GREENE, REGISTER, UK - Care to register a .mil Web site of your own for free? The DoD has gone out of its way to make it a snap. An unbelievably badly-protected admin interface welcomes you to register whatever domain you please (http://Rotten.mil anyone?), or edit anything they've already got. The interface is so ludicrously unprotected that it's been cached by Google and fails to mention that you must be authorized to muck about with it. Incredibly, default passwords are cheerfully provided on the page. Following an anonymous tip from an observant Reg reader, we've encountered the page in question in the Google cache, and after a bit of our own poking about have also discovered an equally unprotected (and Google-cached) admin interface encouraging us to add a new user, like ourselves, say, which requires no authentication.

All you have to do is find that page and you can set yourself up with a user account, manage your new .mil Web site, fiddle about with other people's .mil Web sites, and generally make an incredible nuisance of yourself. We are, of course, straining against every natural, journalistic impulse in our beings by neglecting to mention any useful search strings with which to find it. . . Ironically, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently ordered DoD to purge military Web sites of information that might benefit evildoers. That's all well and good, but it might behoove the DoD to stop offering them admin privileges first.

INTERNET FANATICS ARE NOT GEEKS

REUTERS - The typical Internet user - far from being a geek - shuns television and actively socializes with friends, a study on surfing habits says. The findings of the first World Internet Project report present an image of the average Netizen that contrasts with the stereotype of the loner geek who spends hours of his free time on the Internet and rarely engages with the real world.

Instead, the typical Internet user is an avid reader of books and spends more time engaged in social activities than the non-user, it says. And, television viewing is down among some Internet users by as much as five hours per week compared with Net abstainers, the study added.

SPAM FILTERS THE GOOD WITH THE BAD

MICHAELL DELIO, WIRED - Do not use profanity. Be very careful when discussing financial or business affairs. Avoid any mention of your private parts. Do not offer any guarantees, or refer to checks that may or may not be in the mail. Refrain from describing anything or anybody as "free." Abstain from the exuberant use of punctuation marks. Shun simple salutations like "Hello," and opt instead to craft a detailed, personalized subject line. Oh, and don't ever use the word opt, particularly in conjunction with the words "in" or "out."

These are fast becoming the new rules of e-mail communication, enforced not by prim-faced etiquette experts but by spam filters that scrutinize the contents of incoming messages for "spammy" words and shuttle suspects off to junk-mail holding tanks or directly into the abyss of the deleted items folder.

As spam continues to proliferate wildly -- within a week after the anti-spam Can-Spam act went into effect on Jan. 1, unsolicited commercial e-mail increased by almost 7 percent, according to spam-filtering vendor MX Logic -- some individual users, businesses and ISPs feel forced to filter for spam more aggressively.

And while vigorous filtering will purge spam from in boxes, it can also act as an unintended censor by suppressing any mention of the typical spam themes -- and even references to spam itself -- in legitimate personal e-mails. . .

America Online's public relations department recently sent out a press announcement about the company's spam-blocking efforts, and was dismayed to discover that many reporters' e-mail filters tagged the release as spam.

AOL media reps had to send out another mailing asking reporters to visit the company's corporate web site to read the release.

2003...

SPAM POLICE CONFINING THE INTERNET

WHY PUNISHING DOWNLOADERS WON'T WORK

ROB WALKER, NY TIMES - We can dismiss right away the notion that most file swappers would stop if only they understood that what they're doing is wrong. One of the most amusing research results from the various studies of music piracy is the finding that most file sharers apparently don't care if they're violating copyright laws. But this attitude doesn't mean disdain for the marketplace. Earlier this year Forrester Research surveyed 12-to-22-year-olds and adults 23 and older and found that while about half the kids had downloaded songs in the past month (compared with 12 percent of the grown-ups), nearly half of the young downloaders said that they were buying as many CD's as ever. . . What's more, while 67 percent of the young cohort think "people should be able to download music for free," the same percent claim they are very likely to buy a CD as a result of a recent download. . .

The lawsuits do make downloading riskier, but a major component of youthful experimentation is a liberal attitude toward risk that mellows over time. Just as important is run-of-the-mill rebellion. . . It's worth pointing out [that] the radical anti-system ethos that supposedly underlies file sharing is not all it's cracked up to be. The fact is, most participants do a lot more taking than "sharing"; one study found that nearly half the songs accessible through major peer-to-peer networks are contributed by just 1 percent of users, and nearly 70 percent of downloaders do not share a thing. One of the more revelatory aspects of the record industry's strategy is that it's picking targets based less on how much music they've downloaded than on how much they are offering up to the world. (Of course, this won't do much to counter the industry's reputation as the architect of an Evil System -- nor will the fact that the most prominent of the early targets was a 12-year-old honors student.)

SWITCHING ON PC IS TOO TECHNICAL FOR MANY

JOHN LOCKE: THE REAL FATHER OF THE INTERNET

"The Internet isn't a thing. It's an agreement. . . If you want to put a computer - or a cell phone or a refrigerator - on the network, you have to agree to the agreement that is the Internet." - Doc Searls and David Weinberger, World of Ends

"The only way whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it." - John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, Chapter 8

ARNOLD KLING, TECH CENTRAL - David Weinberger recently announced that he is a Senior Internet Advisor to the Howard Dean campaign. However, if the architecture of the Internet were a political metaphor, then the real Internet candidate is not Howard Dean. It is John Locke, the Enlightenment-era philosopher who influenced America's founders. Locke would have appreciated the concept of the Internet as a consensual agreement to live within a system of individual autonomy and equality with limited central authority.

The Internet architecture is designed to maximize the freedom of individuals to act without interference. . . The Internet's minimalist approach to central regulation allows the participants on the Internet to apply their creativity and develop innovation. However, it is not surprising that this architecture is constantly under attack by those who would seek to "improve" the Internet -- by regulating spam, for example. . .

In contrast with modern politicians, John Locke took pains to distinguish government from paternalism.

"Paternal or parental power is nothing but that which parents have over their children, to govern them for the children's good, till they come to the use of reason, or a state of knowledge, wherein they may be supposed capable to...live as freemen under that law.' . . .

The Internet architecture reminds me of the Constitution. It is designed as an agreement among responsible, consenting adults rather than as a paternalistic regulatory regime. In my opinion, the political figure who best "gets" the Internet is John Locke.

COURT RULES POP-UPS LEGAL

PRIVATIZING THE INTERNET

BIOMETRICS ISN'T ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE

NEW INTERNET BEING PLANNED

LOW DOWN ON GOOGLE

BLOCKING SOFTWARE DISABLING PROGRAM

BLACK & LATINO INTERNET USE GROWS

THE GOOGLOPOLY

OPEN SOURCE ENCYLOPEDIA GETS 100,00TH ENTRY