“I bought a bicycle. Turns out it’s easier to ride the thing when you’re not trying to simultaneously check your Twitter.”
1. The “McDonald’s theory of bad ideas”
This isn’t entirely new, but I love how Jason Jones recasts it to apply to group collaboration. We probably know what we’d all want in an ideal world. But the hardest part is establishing a floor—what suggestion sucks so much that we’d never do it? Let’s start there and work our way up. The by-product is that we all reveal what we consider to be “self-evidently bad,” a process which, in and of itself, can help everyone question their assumptions.
2. Julian Assange’s take on the new book by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt
The book is, he says, “an attempt by Google to position itself as America’s geopolitical visionary,” a notion I find alternately horrifying and inspiring. The piece strikes at the core of my ambivalence about Google, which is a subject of something I’m writing this week, two weeks after my trip to their big developer conference. I’ve never come across a company with such vision in some areas—try out a Chromebook Pixel—and such a sad lack of humanity in others—ahem, Google Glass. Never has such a bipolar company had so much power, so much money, and such an uncertain future as they wean off display advertising.
I spotted the founder of this company at Google I/O wearing a full-length, multicolored glowing faux-fur coat that absolutely blew my mind. We’ve been covering the right (and wrong) way to design wearable technology, and I’m convinced this sort of thing—while obviously a little ostentatious for everyday use—is hinting at the most inspiring future for fashion design and software you wear.
A webpage dating back to 1991 has been unearthed, after a plea from CERN to send in files, software and URLs from the web’s earliest days.
What are your earliest memories of the web? What site did you first visit? How old were you? What browser were you on?
The highlight of Google’s year is the I/O developers conference it hosts each May. On Wednesday, 6,000 people converged on San Francisco’s Moscone Center and more than one million tuned in to the YouTube livestream of the conference keynote to hear about the newest Google products and services. And during the three-and-a-half-hour opening keynote, Google delivered. And delivered.
The sheer number of new product features was staggering—engineering director Vic Gundotra unveiled 41 new features for Google Plus alone—but only a few made the cut for being truly innovative.
Fungus is the Internet of the plant world
New research finds that plants regularly communicate through a vast, underground network.
“I’ve data mined myself. I’ve violated my own privacy. Now I am selling it all.”
Data mining is big business—but what if Internet users could monetize their personal data on their own? New York University grad student Frederico Zannier stalked his own online activity for two months, and is now selling the data.
"I’m 10 and pregnant." "I’m 17 and a virgin." "I’m 85 and tired."
Google auto-complete reveals our deepest fears. Watch.
Murdered by Google: What happens when the internet kills you?
An overzealous Google algorithm misread a wikipedia page, and the next moment, its subject is dead.
What Would We Do If The Internet Crashed?
There’s no Plan B for what to do if the entire Net goes down. We should totally get on that.
In a recent TED talk, Danny Hillis, who just so happens to be the third person ever to register a domain name on the Internet and was around during its formative early days, pointed out something that may surprise you: If the Internet was taken out by a virus, an accident, or a deliberate, concentrated attack, we have no “plan B.” And because so many surprising services and systems rely on the Net today, much of what makes our society work could simply cease functioning…
What would you do?
[Image: Flickr user noii]
ust 20 ISPs are responsible for half of the world’s entire haul of Internet scam andspam emails, says a study. The thesis (you can read it here in a .pdf file), entitled “Internet Bad Neighborhoods” is the work of a pair of researchers, Moreira Moura and Giovane Cesare, from the University of Twente, who researched over 42,000 Internet Service Providers worldwide and found the following trends:
- Most spam comes from the U.S.
- Most phishing comes from Asia—of that, Indian network BSNL came top of the list.
- The most crime-ridden network is Nigeria’s Spectranet.
- The majority of bad ISPs are to be found in India, Brazil, and Vietnam.
[Image: Courtesy Akamai]
From satellite modems to temporary packet radio or Wi-Fi networks to secret “communication kits,” here's how Syrians might communicate with the outside word amid an Internet shutdown.
A musical lovesong to the trolls. It’s a catchy tune, a bit NSFW - but worth it. Reminds me of our Dr. Troll Hunter story from May.
Trolling comes in a variety of flavors, and, as Phillips discovered, some trolling was surprisingly altruistic. One troll friend told her how he’d taken offense to Facebook’s anti-troll stance and infiltrated a Ku Klux Klan group that was on Facebook. Phillips’ troll friend set out to troll the Klan, but according to his account, “All they did was play Farmville and send each other hugs,” Phillips says.
Other trolls set out to bother commenters who make sexist or racist remarks in public sites. But it’s not a straightforward attack by any means. “It’s a weird troll-by-parrot thing,” Phillips explains, “You trick misogynists into saying really ridiculous obnoxious things about women and you pretend to be agreeing with them, and you turn suddenly. And the person you’re trolling has no idea what just happened, but he knows he’s really mad about it.”
Whitney Phillips got her PhD from the University of Oregon in English with a Folklore structured emphasis. But the subject of her dissertation was Internet trolls. Here’s some of what she learned about the species. Read more->
The folks at the London-based “ideas agency” Syzygy just sent us this illustration by their creative director, Peter Jaworowski, of the “20 greatest, funniest and most insane internet events from 2011.” Here’s the thing: You have to guess what they are by decoding the visual clues.