75 posts tagged internet
Anthony Fisher, a lecturer at Nottingham University, has become the latest casualty of unwise social media use after causing outrage with Facebook posts about his students and their intellectual ability, or lack thereof. Public humiliation ensued, which in turn prompted official institutional statements on the matter that could leave Fisher with a mark against his name for the rest of his career. He is by no means the first to become a pariah for failing to think before he posts. Fellow academic Geoffrey Miller, from the University of New Mexico, felt the heat last year after tweeting about “obese” PhD applicants and PR executive Justine Sacco was fired after sending an offensive tweet about AIDS just before getting on an 11-hour flight to South Africa. By the time she landed, her missive had been retweeted thousands of times. Unfortunately, the media frenzy that so often surrounds these cases only fuels the fire for those who oppose social media and can be devastating for the people involved. They find themselves at the centre of debates being carried out across continents between people they don’t even know and become the subject of mocking memes, as Sacco quickly found.
Sometimes, the backlash is so extreme, it could even be defined as cyberbullying. Messages posted in response can be threatening and can involve the friends and family of the person who sent the original.
Will 2014 be the year that the Internet is reined in? When Edward J. Snowden, the disaffected National Security Agency contract employee, purloined tens of thousands of classified documents from computers around the world, his actions — and their still-reverberating consequences — heightened international pressure to control the network that has increasingly become the world’s stage. At issue is the technical principle that is the basis for the Internet, its “any-to-any” connectivity. That capability has defined the technology ever since Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn sequestered themselves in the conference room of a Palo Alto, Calif., hotel in 1973, with the task of interconnecting computer networks for an elite group of scientists, engineers and military personnel. The two men wound up developing a simple and universal set of rules for exchanging digital information — the conventions of the modern Internet. Despite many technological changes, their work prevails.
With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear (via Creepypasta is how the internet learns our fears – WIll Wiles – Aeon)
Shelfie: show us a photo of your bookshelf
This year may go down in history as the year of the ‘selfie’, with even world leaders getting in on the act, but we’re asking for something a little different. We want your shelfie. What’s more telling than a bookshelf? You can share a snap of a single shelf or your entire bookcase - you decide. If you’re feeling in a particularly adventurous mood, you could even film yourself giving a guided tour of your shelf, explaining your categorising methods; do you, for example, only place novels together if you think the characters in them would get along? You can send us your photo by clicking on the blue ‘contribute’ button on this page or download the free GuardianWitness smartphone app and upload your shelfie from your phone. You can look at the contributions on GuardianWitness and we’ll feature a selection of our favourite image (via Shelfie: show us a photo of your bookshelf | Books | theguardian.com)
How do you show a Shelfie for ebooks?
Sir Tim Berners-Lee says that a new revolution is coming soon thanks to the release of ‘big data’
Building 16 at Facebook headquarters is home to the Fishbowl, Mark Zuckerberg’s private all-glass corner conference room that sits beneath a red vintage sign that reads “The Hacker Company.” Not far from the sign — a very visual proclamation that the social networking giant is eternally intent on building new stuff and improving the stuff it has already built — you’ll find one of the company’s most important operations: the News Feed engineering team. These are the programmers who oversee the Facebook tool that instantly streams all sorts of new information — including status posts, Likes, links, and photos — to more than a billion Facebook users across the globe. The team’s ultimate task is to make sure your news feed delivers content you’re actually interested in. That’s important because Facebook wants you to keep using its social network, but also because this stream of information includes ads and other sponsored content, the stuff that makes the company money. At the helm of this enterprise is Lars Backstrom, a 31-year-old with a computer science Ph.D from Cornell University. “My day job is to improve the quality of News Feed,” he says, during a recent interview at Facebook HQ, in Menlo Park, California.
Future Internet aims to sever links with servers
A revolutionary new architecture aims to make the internet more “social” by eliminating the need to connect to servers and enabling all content to be shared more efficiently. Researchers have taken the first step towards a radical new architecture for the internet, which they claim will transform the way in which information is shared online, and make it faster and safer to use. The prototype, which has been developed as part of an EU-funded project called “Pursuit”, is being put forward as a proof-of concept model for overhauling the existing structure of the internet’s IP layer, through which isolated networks are connected, or “internetworked”. The Pursuit Internet would, according to its creators, enable a more socially-minded and intelligent system, in which users would be able to obtain information without needing direct access to the servers where content is initially stored. Instead, individual computers would be able to copy and republish content on receipt, providing other users with the option to access data, or fragments of data, from a wide range of locations rather than the source itself. Essentially, the model would enable all online content to be shared in a manner emulating the “peer-to-peer” approach taken by some file-sharing sites, but on an unprecedented, internet-wide scale. (via Future Internet aims to sever links with servers)
What if the poetic has left the poem in the same way that Elvis has left the building? Long after the limo pulled away, the audience was still in the arena screaming for more, but poetry escaped out the backdoor and onto the Internet, where it is taking on new forms that look nothing like poetry. Poetry as we know it—sonnets or free verse on a printed page—feels akin to throwing pottery or weaving quilts, activities that continue in spite of their cultural marginality. But the Internet, with its swift proliferation of memes, is producing more extreme forms of modernism than modernism ever dreamed of.