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Tag Archives: Internet

The Internet Is Dying. Repealing Net Neutrality Hastens That Death

The internet is dying.

Sure, technically, the internet still works. Pull up Facebook on your phone and you will still see your second cousin’s baby pictures. But that isn’t really the internet. It’s not the open, anyone-can-build-it network of the 1990s and early 2000s, the product of technologies created over decades through government funding and academic research, the network that helped undo Microsoft’s stranglehold on the tech business and gave us upstarts like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix.

Nope, that freewheeling internet has been dying a slow death — and a vote next month by the Federal Communications Commission to undo net neutrality would be the final pillow in its face.

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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Google’s plan to revolutionise cities is a takeover in all but name

Last June Volume, a leading magazine on architecture and design, published an article on the GoogleUrbanism project. Conceived at a renowned design institute in Moscow, the project charts a plausible urban future based on cities acting as important sites for “data extractivism” – the conversion of data harvested from individuals into artificial intelligence technologies, allowing companies such as Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to act as providers of sophisticated and comprehensive services. The cities themselves, the project insisted, would get a share of revenue from the data.

Cities surely wouldn’t mind but what about Alphabet? The company does take cities seriously. Its executives have floated the idea of taking some struggling city – Detroit? – and reinventing it around Alphabet services, with no annoying regulations blocking this march of progress.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/21/google-urban-cities-planning-data

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Do social media threaten democracy?

IN 1962 a British political scientist, Bernard Crick, published “In Defence of Politics”. He argued that the art of political horse-trading, far from being shabby, lets people of different beliefs live together in a peaceful, thriving society. In a liberal democracy, nobody gets exactly what he wants, but everyone broadly has the freedom to lead the life he chooses. However, without decent information, civility and conciliation, societies resolve their differences by resorting to coercion.

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21730871-facebook-google-and-twitter-were-supposed-save-politics-good-information-drove-out

 

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Wer wird Youtube-Millionär?

Das Märchen fängt mit Regen an. Aber es gibt Hoffnung auf Sonnenschein. Morgen soll die Wolkendecke aufreissen. Dann kann ein Imagefilm gedreht werden, im Freien, mit drei Outfits. Das wird sehr gut aus­sehen. Aber nun zupft Melanie, 23, erst mal braune Halme aus einem Wiesenstreifen an der Bahnhofsunterführung in Simbach am Inn.

Simbach, eine Kleinstadt in Niederbayern an der deutsch-österreichischen Grenze. Irish Pub, Solarium, Putz, der seit der Flutkatastrophe 2016 vom ersten Stock der Häuser bröckelt. Aber die Reissverschlüsse an Melanies Parka sind golden und glänzen, und aus ihrer Handtasche zaubert sie Kostbarkeiten der deutschen Drogerie: Shampoo, Conditioner, Hydro-­Gesichtscrème. Sorgfältig in Gefrierbeutel eingepackt. Sie werden ausgepackt und im Gras aufgestellt. Kameraschwenk mit dem Handy, ganz langsam, von links nach rechts. Der Regen macht alles nass. «Gewollt», sagt Melanie, «das ist der Duscheffekt.»

http://folio.nzz.ch/2017/oktober/wer-wird-youtube-millionaer

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in Economy

 

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Leaked Documents Expose Secret Tale of Apple’s Offshore Island Hop

It was May 2013, and Apple Inc. chief executive Tim Cook was angry.

He sat before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which had completed an inquiry into how Apple avoided tens of billions of dollars in taxes by shifting profits into Irish subsidiaries that the subcommittee’s chairman called “ghost companies.”

“We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar,” Cook declared. “We do not depend on tax gimmicks. . . . We do not stash money on some Caribbean island.”

Five months later, Ireland bowed to international pressure and announced a crackdown on Irish firms, like Apple’s subsidiaries, that claimed that almost all of their income was not subject to taxes in Ireland or anywhere else in the world.

https://www.icij.org/investigations/paradise-papers/apples-secret-offshore-island-hop-revealed-by-paradise-papers-leak-icij/

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Economy

 

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I trucchi psicologici che ci imprigionano in rete

“Le nostre menti possono essere sequestrate, dicono i tecnologi che temono una distopia da telefonini”, recita il titolo del Guardian.È un’affermazione piuttosto forte. Ed è un’affermazione a effetto. Decido di prenderla con le pinze per due motivi: il primo è che l’articolo parla di internet e di social network (il posto d’elezione per le frasi a effetto), e potrebbe, ehm, a sua volta risentire dello stile corrente in rete.Il secondo motivo è strettamente anagrafico: avendo cominciato a lavorare con la comunicazione nei primi anni settanta, mi sono trovata in piena bufera da Persuasori occulti.

Source: I trucchi psicologici che ci imprigionano in rete – Annamaria Testa – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Is It Time to Break Up Google? 

In just 10 years, the world’s five largest companies by market capitalization have all changed, save for one: Microsoft. Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Shell Oil are out and Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon and Facebook have taken their place.They’re all tech companies, and each dominates its corner of the industry: Google has an 88 percent market share in search advertising, Facebook (and its subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) owns 77 percent of mobile social traffic and Amazon has a 74 percent share in the e-book market. In classic economic terms, all three are monopolies.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Economy

 

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Cybersecurity for the people. How to keep your chats truly private with Signal

Whether your private conversations are personal, professional, or political, what you say or type into your phone may be of interest to snooping governments, both foreign and domestic. Criminals might be interested as well, especially when you send someone a password or credit card number. There are others you might worry about too: You might want to apply for a job without your current employer finding out. You might discuss something with a lawyer. You might talk to your friends about attending a protest, getting an abortion, or buying a gun. You might send private selfies to your partner that you don’t want anyone else to see. You might be dating someone new and not want your coworkers to find out. The list goes on.
https://theintercept.com/2017/05/01/cybersecurity-for-the-people-how-to-keep-your-chats-truly-private-with-signal/

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The CIA Didn’t Break Signal or WhatsApp, Despite What You’ve Heard

There’s been one particularly misleading claim repeated throughout coverage of CIA documents released by WikiLeaks today: That the agency’s in-house hackers “bypassed” the encryption used by popular secure-chat software like Signal and WhatsApp.By specifically mentioning these apps, news outlets implied that the agency has a means of getting through the protections built into the chat systems. It doesn’t. Instead, it has the ability, in some cases, to take control of entire phones; accessing encrypted chats is simply one of many security implication of this. Wikileaks’ own analysis of the documents at least briefly acknowledges this, stating that CIA “techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the ‘smart’ phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”

Source: The CIA Didn’t Break Signal or WhatsApp, Despite What You’ve Heard

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2017 in Reportages

 

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WikiLeaks Dump Shows CIA Could Turn Smart TVs into Listening Devices

It’s difficult to buy a new TV that doesn’t come with a suite of (generally mediocre) “smart” software, giving your home theater some of the functions typically found in phones and tablets. But bringing these extra features into your living room means bringing a microphone, too — a fact the CIA is exploiting, according to a new trove of documents released today by WikiLeaks.According to documents inside the cache, a CIA program named “Weeping Angel” provided the agency’s hackers with access to Samsung Smart TVs, allowing a television’s built-in voice control microphone to be remotely enabled while keeping the appearance that the TV itself was switched off, called “Fake-Off mode.” Although the display would be switched off, and LED indicator lights would be suppressed, the hardware inside the television would continue to operate, unbeknownst to the owner. The method, co-developed with British intelligence, required implanting a given TV with malware—it’s unclear if this attack could be executed remotely, but the documentation includes reference to in-person infection via a tainted USB drive. Once the malware was inside the TV, it could relay recorded audio data to a third party (presumably a server controlled by the CIA) through the included network connection.

Source: WikiLeaks Dump Shows CIA Could Turn Smart TVs into Listening Devices

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2017 in Reportages

 

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