All items about internet


39 years after it began, Internet-based electronic mail has finally been granted the same recognition as other forms of communication, meaning that it cannot be intercepted by authorities without a warrant. It’s nice to see some privacy rights being given back in a time when much of our privacy is being eroded in the name of fighting terrorism. The interesting question now is whether this will affect Project Echelon and its routine monitoring of e-mail traffic. It will also be interesting to see if it serves as a precedent for other countries.

Read more at Geekosystem.


The well known sci-fi movie trilogy Back to the Future got a lot of attention online yesterday when it was “revealed” that July 5th, 2010 was the date in the future that Marty and the Doc travel to at the start of the second movie. The only problem is, as the more astute fans will know, that this date never actually featured in the movies. The date in question is actually in 2015.

The mistake originated from Total Film magazine in the UK, and when they discovered their mistake, they jokingly “went back in time to fix it” (a.k.a. photoshopping a screen capture from the movie). Unfortunately, this image then spread around the Internet as “proof” that July 5th 2010 was really in the movie. Soon the Future day meme was trending on Twitter and receiving tens of thousands of searches on Google. There’s even a new variant of the image with July 6th as the date… and the meme continues.

This incident highlights both the speed at which information spreads online, and also how readily people will accept anything they read online, without taking the time to dig deeper or verify facts – something that will become more and more commonplace as we become more saturated with information from so many sources.

Read the full story at Total Film.


Finland becomes the first country in the world to make Internet access a legal right for its citizens, at a minimum speed of 1Mbps, when a new law comes into force today.

This means that ISPs cannot refuse to connect someone, no matter how costly or remote. It’s a technical and financial challenge for ISPs, but great for helping the world move towards an open, connected future and avoiding a divided society with “haves and have nots”.

Meanwhile, the UK is moving in the opposite direction, with the recently passed Digital Economy Act threatening to disconnect users who are accused of copyright infringement. A new government initiative called Your Freedom invites the public to reclaim lost freedoms by voting for laws to repeal. Perhaps we will see a course-correction soon.

Read more here and here.


First, they came for the Furries; but I was not a Furry, and I said nothing.

The Australian government has been asking visitors whether they’re carrying porn, according to the Australian Sex Party (no, really.) If you are, they’ll enjoy review it to ensure it meets their standards.

It’s part of the country’s plan to control its citizens’ Internet access: if you’re blocked from certain sites, you might try to smuggle the smut that floats your boat via computer or memory stick.

Unlike network filtering, however — which happens in data centers and doesn’t seem personal — this is a much more direct and immediate example of restricting information. It’s also a reminder that filtering the web is an inexact science at best.

(See the Arstechnica piece for more details.)


In this video lecture, neuroscientist and fiction writer David Eagleman speaks for two hours about how the Internet, and how humans are connected to it, provides six essential steps to avoid the collapse of civilization. The steps are pretty obvious in retrospect:

  • Try not to cough on one another
  • Don’t lose things
  • Tell each other faster
  • Mitigate tyranny
  • Get more brains involved in solving problems
  • Try not to run out of energy

It’s well presented, reminiscent of James Burke’s Connections and The Day The Universe Changed. Well worth the nearly 2 hours of the lecture.

Energy ball

Welcome, Human 2.0.

We may not realize it, but the Internet has given us superhuman abilities. We acquire new capabilities each year, and technology lets us to do things that would have seemed impossible 30 years ago.

Here are ten superpowers that you and I have today:

Read more »


"Denial of Service Attack" by kryptyk on Flickr (CC)Today, social networking was attacked. The two biggest networks, Twitter and Facebook, have been subjected to denial of service attacks, causing difficulty for millions of people around the world. Other sites including FriendFeed, LiveJournal, Posterous and have also experienced outages or slow response times. Social networking services have failed before, but never all at once.

While the precise causes have yet to be established, it’s clear is that today’s events have had a measurable effect on people across the globe, and the loss of multiple social networks at the same time has highlighted some serious issues and limitations

Disconnect, reconnect

One of the first things that happened is that people flooded to other mediums such as e-mail or instant messaging to discuss what was happening. Read more »

Powered by WordPress, based on Mina theme.