Internet

Internet & Web

The Wayback Machine Is Getting a Search Engine

The Wayback Machine is knowledge storage on a colossal scale: maintained by the Internet Archive, it’s a repository of how everything looked on the internet in the past. But the biggest libraries are the hardest to organize, which is why $2 million is being spent to give the Wayback Machine its very own Google.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation announced yesterday that it’s donating $1.9 million to develop a search engine for the Wayback Machine. Why should you care?

From The Wayback Machine Is Getting a Search Engine

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Death by a thousand likes: How Facebook and Twitter are killing the open web

The answer is simple, but it isn’t easy. We need to stop pretending that content is free. Publications need to ask readers to pay for their content directly, and readers need to be willing to give up money, as opposed to their privacy and attention. This means that publications will have to abandon the rapid-growth business models driven by display ads, which have driven them to rely on Facebook for millions of pageviews a month.

There’s a lot to be gained in this scenario.

From Death by a thousand likes: How Facebook and Twitter are killing the open web - Quartz

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How Public Libraries Can Support Broadband Adoption

The barriers to broadband adoption are well-documented, and include digital literacy, relevancy and cost. Digital literacy and relevancy are often addressed simultaneously; libraries and non-profit organizations teach digital literacy skills through relevant use of the Internet and often provide direct training classes. To successfully increase broadband use in communities, all three barriers must be addressed through a diverse set of local partners with established roots in the community.

From How Public Libraries Can Support Broadband Adoption | PublicCEO

How eBay's CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility

A user interface control not only needs to look like a certain control, it must be described as that control too. Take for example a button, one of the simplest of controls. There are many ways you can create something that looks like a button, but unless you use the actual button tag (or button role – more on roles later), it will not be described as a button.

Why does it need to be described as a button? Users of AT (assistive technology), such as a screen reader, may not be able to see what the control looks like visually; therefore it is the job of the screen reader to describe it aurally. A screen reader, such as VoiceOver for Mac OSX and iOS, can do this job only if we, the developers, ensure the correct semantics are present in our HTML code.

From How Our CSS Framework Helps Enforce Accessibility | eBay Tech Blog

Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

The internet has changed the way we do many things, from organising a get-together to looking up a recipe. Tasks that little over a decade ago would have involved dozens of phone calls or a trip to the library, can now be completed in a heartbeat. There has been much animated debate about the potential relative harms or benefits of all this, but convincing evidence has not been forthcoming. Now a new study of 119 men and 83 women recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General has found that after accessing information on the internet, people can experience an illusion of knowledge. Even if the internet hasn't necessarily changed the way we think, it seems it does have the potential to change our perceptions of what we think we know.

From BPS Research Digest: Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

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Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

The internet has changed the way we do many things, from organising a get-together to looking up a recipe. Tasks that little over a decade ago would have involved dozens of phone calls or a trip to the library, can now be completed in a heartbeat. There has been much animated debate about the potential relative harms or benefits of all this, but convincing evidence has not been forthcoming. Now a new study of 119 men and 83 women recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General has found that after accessing information on the internet, people can experience an illusion of knowledge. Even if the internet hasn't necessarily changed the way we think, it seems it does have the potential to change our perceptions of what we think we know.

From BPS Research Digest: Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge

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It’s hard to believe today, but 10 years ago Wikipedia was widely considered doomed

Wikipedia was founded in 2001, and for the first few years was mostly treated as curiosity by those outside of the Wikipedia “movement.” But Wikipedia grew in popularity, and in 2005 became the most popular reference site on the internet. Popularity led to intense media scrutiny. Most commentators considered Wikipedia a doomed experiment run by utopian radicals. To give a sense of this for those who weren’t following the controversy at the time or don’t remember, here are some examples of popular critiques of Wikipedia from 2005.

From It’s hard to believe today, but 10 years ago Wikipedia was widely considered a doomed experiment… — Medium

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New top-level domains a money grab and a mistake: Paul Vixie

"I think it is a money grab. My own view is that ICANN functions as a regulator, and that as a regulator it has been captured by the industry that they are regulating. I think that there was no end-user demand whatsoever for more so-called DNS extensions, [or] global generic top-level domains (gTLDs)," he said.

From New top-level domains a money grab and a mistake: Paul Vixie | ZDNet

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The Internet's Dark Ages

It is not just access to knowledge, but the knowledge itself that’s at stake. Thousands of years ago, the Library of Alexandra was, as the astrophysicist Carl Sagan wrote, “the brain and heart of the ancient world.” For seven centuries, it housed hundreds of thousands of scrolls; great works of philosophy, literature, technology, math, and medicine. It took as many centuries for most of its collections to be destroyed.

The promise of the web is that Alexandria’s library might be resurrected for the modern world. But today’s great library is being destroyed even as it is being built. Until you lose something big on the Internet, something truly valuable, this paradox can be difficult to understand.

From The Internet's Dark Ages - The Atlantic

There's No DRM in JPEG - Let's Keep It That Way

The professional version of the JPEG format, JPEG 2000, already has a DRM extension called JPSEC. But usage of JPEG 2000 is limited to highly specialized applications such as medical imaging, broadcast and cinema image workflows, and archival, therefore the availability of DRM in JPEG 2000 hasn't affected the use of images online, where the legacy JPEG format remains dominant. Now, the JPEG Privacy and Security group is considering essentially backporting DRM to legacy JPEG images, which would have a much broader impact on the open Web.

From There's No DRM in JPEG—Let's Keep It That Way | Electronic Frontier Foundation

HTTP Archive: past and future

The HTTP Archive crawls the world’s top 500K URLs twice each month and records detailed information like the number of HTTP requests, the most popular image formats, and the use of gzip compression. We also crawl the top 5K URLs on real iPhones as part of the HTTP Archive Mobile. In addition to aggregate stats, the HTTP Archive has data (including waterfalls, filmstrips and video) for individual websites, for example, Apple, CNet, and YouTube.

From HTTP Archive: past and future | High Performance Web Sites

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Just say no to Facebook's Internet.org, says inventor of WWW

HIGHLIGHTS
• Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has attacked Facebook’s Internet.org
• Berners-Lee said people in emerging markets should “just say no” to the project
• He said the initiative was not internet and that there were other ways of reducing the price of access

From Just say no to Facebook's Internet.org, says inventor of World Wide Web - Times of India

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The Chaotic Wisdom of Wikipedia Paragraphs

No. These are all excellent matters to ponder, especially given Wikipedia’s global dominance, and I do ponder them, and perhaps you do as well. But what is genuinely most fascinating, at least to me, is the strange way it lets you write encyclopedia pages—the structures that have built up since its founding in 2001. The way that Wikipedia is composed is a good example of what happens when you build something so incredibly simple that anyone can use it, and then everyone does.

From The Chaotic Wisdom of Wikipedia Paragraphs | The New Republic

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Why The Internet Needs IPFS Before It’s Too Late

IPFS is a new peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol that aims to supplement, or possibly even replace, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol that rules the web now. Here’s the problem with HTTP: When you go to a website today, your browser has to be directly connected to the computers that are serving that website, even if their servers are far away and the transfer process eats up a lot of bandwidth.

From Why The Internet Needs IPFS Before It’s Too Late | TechCrunch

The Future of the Internet Is Flow

The Future of the Internet Is Flow
Forget the clunky Web. The future of the online world will be a river of information flowing through time

From The Future of the Internet Is Flow - WSJ

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ECPA reform: The 1986 email privacy law might finally get updated.

federal law protects some of your email from government snooping without a warrant. But it doesn’t protect your email if it’s been left on a server for too long, and, worse, it doesn’t protect your metadata—information that can get you arrested and prosecuted, that can reveal intimate secrets about you, and that would expose the entire network of people you talk to. On Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to address the first problem, but reform efforts in both houses of Congress have largely passed over the second issue. In dodging the problem of metadata, legislators have missed the forest for the twigs.

From ECPA reform: The 1986 email privacy law might finally get updated.

Google, Twitter and Publishers Seek Faster Web

Google is working with the social media service Twitter and major news publishers like The Guardian and The New York Times to create a new kind of web link and article storage system that would load online news articles and digital magazine pieces in a few milliseconds, according to several people involved in the project. That is a fraction of the five to 10 seconds it can take to load a typical website.

From Google, Twitter and Publishers Seek Faster Web - The New York Times

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First Library to Support Tor Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS Email

A library in a small New Hampshire town started to help Internet users around the world surf anonymously using Tor. Until the Department of Homeland Security raised a red flag.

From First Library to Support Tor Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS Email - ProPublica

The Bibliotheca Anonoma

The Bibliotheca Anonoma is a research library tasked with collecting, documenting, and safeguarding the grand legacy of Internet Folklife: The shared experiences of mankind in a limitless digital network, a virtual universe which has engendered civilizations, culture, trade... and warfare.

From Home · bibanon/bibanon Wiki

Electronic Noise Is Drowning Out the Internet of Things

Radio-frequency noise pollution is everywhere. You can’t see, hear, taste, or smell this noise, of course. Nor can you summon it and study it at your leisure, because it comes and goes along with the movements of its sources or its victims.

From Electronic Noise Is Drowning Out the Internet of Things - IEEE Spectrum

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