Internet

The Fine Print

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

"We're way behind countries like Lithuania, Ukraine and Moldavia. Per bit of information moved, we pay 38 times what the Japanese pay," Johnston tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "If you buy one of these triple-play packages that are heavily advertised — where you get Internet, telephone and cable TV together — typically you'll pay what I pay, about $160 a month including fees. The same service in France is $38 a month."

In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.

Discussion with book's author on NPR

How hard is it to prove online that you are who you say you are?

How hard is it to prove online that you are who you say you are? Author Philip Roth had to publish a letter in The New Yorker to satisfy the editors of Wikipedia

Wikipedia succeeds by "not doing the things that nobody ever thought of not doing". Specifically, Wikipedia does not verify the identity or credentials of any of its editors. This would be a transcendentally difficult task for a project that is open to any participant, because verifying the identity claims of random strangers sitting at distant keyboards is time-consuming and expensive. If each user has to be vetted and validated, it's not practical to admit anyone who wants to add a few words to a Wikipedia entry.

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The Social Library: How Public Libraries Are Using Social Media

RWW has a nice look at How Public Libraries Are Using Social Media... "Like many of you, I'm connected to the Internet virtually every waking hour of my day - via computer, tablet and mobile phone. Yet I still regularly visit my local public library, in order to borrow books, CDs and DVDs. Which made me wonder: are these two worlds disconnected, or is the Social Web being integrated into our public libraries? In this fourth installment in ReadWriteWeb's Social Books series, I aim to find out!"

Go Daddy Follow Up

From Nerdwallet - some advice on how to protect your website from crashing.

On Monday, GoDaddy’s servers were taken offline by “internal corrupted router issues”, causing millions of websites to shut down. Site owners had to wait in silence for six painful hours before service was restored. Although this was GoDaddy’s greatest and most widely publicized service outage since its founding in 1997, cyber attacks are nothing new, and they are increasingly on the rise lately with the growing desire for hacker fame and reputation advancement in the hacker community.

It you're in the market for a library-oriented host, I'd recommend lishost.org. Blake & team are da bomb.

In One City, Signing Up for Internet Becomes a Civic Cause

Leaders pushed to sign up poorer, predominantly black neighborhoods of Kansas City, Mo., to qualify for Google’s new Internet service, fearing that otherwise they will lag further behind.

Full article

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An Open Letter To Wikipedia from Author Philip Roth

NEW YORK — Philip Roth vs. Wikipedia? No contest.

The prize-winning author says he’s furious with the online encyclopedia over its entry about his novel “The Human Stain.”

In a letter posted Friday by The New Yorker, Roth says Wikipedia editors had said the book was inspired by the life of author Anatole Broyard.

Not true, Roth responded. The character was based on the late Melvin Turin, of Princeton University.

Roth says he privately reported the error to Wikipedia and was told, to his amazement, that he needed a secondary source. So Roth made his case to the public.

His agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed the letter was written by Roth.

By Friday afternoon, the Wikipedia entry had been updated to include Roth’s comments and to note that some had “incorrectly speculated” about the novel’s origins.

Stop Giving Your Work To Social Media Companies

Blog More, says Scott Hanselman.

Own your space on the Web, and pay for it. Extra effort, but otherwise you’re a sharecropper. - Tim Bray

"You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control - and sometimes ownership - of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail. These companies are profoundly overvalued, don't care about permalinks, don't make your content portable, and have terms of service that are so complex and obtuse that there are entire websites dedicate to explaining them."

How is crowdfunding changing culture?

Kickstarter's most successful projects suggest the creativity we value is interactive, rather than aesthetic, says Patrick Hussey

"For me though, crowdfunding represents something amazing – the gamification of progress. The internet is pointing us in the right direction and crowdfunding, with that digital hallmark of mashing capitalism, communism and cats into one, is certainly getting to places other funding forms are too slow to reach."

Authors destroy legal e-book lending

Roughly two weeks ago, the popular e-book lending site LendInk was taken offline thanks to a group of terrified authors who couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print. LendInk was a website dedicated to helping book lovers lend books to each other through features implemented by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The site’s only purpose was to serve as a front end — it hosted no e-book files, linked no torrents, and never directed users to a file locker.

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