19-year-old Egyptian physics student Aisha Mustafa is someone we may see again in the media in the future because though young she’s patented a new type of propulsion system for spacecraft that makes use of an obscure, and only recently experimentally proven, quantum physics effect.
Phones were definitely important as well. As I jokingly say, “Why is everyone asking me what the role of the Internet was in the revolution, and not asking me what the role of phones was in the revolution?” Any collaboration or communication tool does help because it connects people. On the other hand, we need to remember that at the end of the day, technology just provides the tools that people can use.
Quora Answer of the Week:
As violence engulfs Libya, naturally Americans are most concerned with how all of this will affect them. The top-level domain for Libya is .ly, which is a popular alternative to the .com and is frequently associated with its usage as a URL shortener. Once again Quora, continues to generate information you can’t find anywhere else.
The question: “What will happen to http://bit.ly links if Gaddafi shuts down the Internet in Libya due to protests?”
The answer: Don’t worry. There will be no interruption.
Says John Borthwick, CEO, http://bit.ly
Should Libya block Internet traffic, as Egypt did, it will not affect http://bit.ly or any .ly domain.
For .ly domains to be unresolvable the five .ly root servers that are authoritative *all* have to be offline, or responding with empty responses. Of the five root nameservers for the .ly TLD: two are based in Oregon, one is in the Netherlands and two are in Libya.
And http://bit.ly will continue to do everything we can to ensure we offer our users the best service we possibly can. That includes offering options around which top level domain you use. Many users choose to use http://j.mp/ as an alternative to http://bit.ly, given that it is shorter. And some use http://bitly.com.
Our job is to provide the best service we can via our sites and our API and we will continue to do that. For now we can only hope for a peaceful resolution to the events in the middle east.
Related: See a rundown of how social media enabled and accelerated the uprising in Egypt.
Infographics: Internet Censorship is Rampant Around the World:
Egypt’s Internet may be back on, but that country’s weeklong web blackout was a wake-up call to the rest of the world about just how fragile the intertubes really are. Ars Technica has a detailed technical breakdown of how Internet “kill switches” work— in Egypt’s case, it was basically just a matter of cracking down on the country’s four major ISPs — but for an at-a-glance visual distillation of the who/what/why of web censorship, it’s hard to beat this sobering set of infographics.
The Revolution Will Be Organized… via Facebook?
Tunisia has been overthrown. Egypt is tottering. Think there’ll be more to come? Maybe. In the wake of those uprisings, pages have begun popping up on Facebook, calling for protests to begin in Syria on February 4th and 5th. It’s not clear what impact these pages will actually have on the ground, but click through for a roundup of the potential scenario.
The Egyptian government shut down Al Jazeera’s Cairo offices, withdrew the accreditation of their reporters and forced the network off an Egyptian-owned satellite that supplies television to much of the Middle East.
The Committee to Protect Journalists also reports that Egyptian authorities are blocking reception of Al Jazeera’s Arabic station from other satellite networks. Al Jazeera appears to be jammed for subscribers to the Hotbird satellite and other services within Egypt. Al Jazeera English, however, remains available via satellite within Egypt.
Could it happen under Obama? Our bet is no, but reportedly there’s still a “renewed push” to implement Lieberman’s kill switch bill from last year.