The Coolest Thing on the Internet Is Moving to Canada – AJ VICENSDEC. 10, 2016 6:00 AM

We talked to the head of this major online library to find out why.

A year ago, Donald Trump said he would consider closing off parts of the internet.

“We’re losing a lot of people because of the internet, and we have to do something,” he told a crowd while campaigning at the U.S.S. Yorktown in South Carolina. “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people…about, maybe in certain areas, closing the internet up in some way. Somebody will say, ‘Oh, freedom of speech! Freedom of speech! These are foolish people…We’ve got to do something with the internet.”

A week later, during the CNN Republican presidential debate, Wolf Blitzer asked Trump if “closing the internet” might put the United States “in line with China and North Korea”—two countries known to censor the online world. Trump responded that groups like ISIS are using the web to take our “young impressionable youth” and that he “sure as hell [doesn’t] want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet.”

So now, as Trump prepares to take office, a number of internet-freedom activists are worried he may make good on these campaign promises. They include Brewster Kahle, the founder of the San Francisco-based Internet Archive, one of the biggest online libraries in the world that curates 279 billion web pages, 2.9 million films and videos, 3.1 million recordings, and much more. Part of the Internet Archive is the Wayback Machine, a search engine for past incarnations of web pages, some of which are no longer accessible. In a FAQ posted to the Internet Archive blog last weekend, Kahle wrote that the Internet Archive had been planning a partial backup in Canada. But Trump’s statements on the campaign trail and his election as president “ramped us into higher gear, moving us further and faster than we would have. The election led us to think bigger.”

“On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,” Kahle wrote in a statement on November 29. “It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change…[I]t means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.”

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Werner Herzog on Virtual Reality, the Future of Humanity, and Internet Trolls – VICE Published on Aug 19, 2016

In this installment of VICE Talks Film, Ben Makuch sits with the legendary German filmmaker and esteemed existential thinker, Werner Herzog to discuss virtual reality, the future of humanity, and trolling the internet community.

His new documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, Herzog applies his recognizable voice and sense of wonder to the nebulous world of the internet.

Chinese Satellite Is One Giant Step for the Quantum Internet – By Elizabeth Gibney, Nature magazine on July 27, 2016

Craft due to launch in August is first in a wave of planned quantum space experiments

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at Jul 28, 2016 10.16

China is poised to launch the world’s first satellite designed to do quantum experiments. A fleet of quantum-enabled craft is likely to follow.

First up could be more Chinese satellites, which will together create a super-secure communications network, potentially linking people anywhere in the world. But groups from Canada, Japan, Italy and Singapore also have plans for quantum space experiments.

“Definitely, I think there will be a race,” says Chaoyang Lu, a physicist at the -University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, who works with the team behind the Chinese satellite. The 600-kilogram craft, the latest in a string of Chinese space-science satellites, will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in August. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Sciences are collaborators on the $100-million mission.

Quantum communications are secure because any tinkering with them is detectable. Two parties can communicate secretly — by sharing a encryption key encoded in the polarization of a string of photons, say — safe in the knowledge that any eavesdropping would leave its mark.

So far, scientists have managed to demonstrate quantum communication up to about 300 kilometers. Photons travelling through optical fibers and the air get scattered or absorbed, and amplifying a signal while preserving a photon’s fragile quantum state is extremely difficult. The Chinese researchers hope that transmitting photons through space, where they travel more smoothly, will allow them to communicate over greater distances.

At the heart of their satellite is a crystal that produces pairs of entangled photons, whose properties remain entwined however far apart they are separated. The craft’s first task will be to fire the partners in these pairs to ground -stations in Beijing and Vienna, and use them to generate a secret key.

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For Sale: One Used Internet Company Called Yahoo – Laura Sydell April 17, 2016 10:00 AM ET

Potential buyers are due to submit bids for Yahoo's core Internet business on Monday.

Noah Berger/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Yahoo goes on sale Monday. At least some of you reading this are thinking, “Yahoo? Are they still around?”

Yes, this company founded in 1994, is ancient by Internet standards, but, according to the measurement company comScore, Yahoo sites are the third-most trafficked on the Internet. Among its properties are Yahoo Finance, News, Search, Mail, Tumblr and Flickr.

Why is Yahoo on sale? Despite having a billion monthly unique visitors — as the company claimed in its 2014 report — Yahoo just hasn’t been able to make its investors happy.

Over the last decade, six different CEOs have passed through its doors. The latest, Marissa Mayer, is a talented computer scientist who was one of Google’s earliest employees and played a crucial role in its success. But Yahoo is a puzzle that, after nearly four years, even Mayer can’t solve.

“It’s not like Yahoo doesn’t have revenue coming in, they do,” says analyst Rob Enderle. “They just don’t have enough revenue coming in to cover the costs.”

When Yahoo was founded, the Internet ad business was small and Yahoo was popular. It seemed like it could be a big player as the Internet grew up. But now, Facebook and Google have eclipsed Yahoo, with sophisticated algorithms that target the ads to the most-interested eyeballs.

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Is it “Internet,” with a capital “I,” or just “internet”? “Web” or “web”? Few debates in the history of the English language have raged more passionately. Now, The Associated Press—purveyor of the AP Stylebook, used by journalists for the last century to standardize mass communications—has made a pronouncement. No more will the AP insist on capitalizing either word: today, it’s officially declaring its allegiance to the lowercase camp. (This is personally very satisfying to me.)

Every day I read stories on the web, and on weekdays, I write words for the internet.

So, hey, everyone, here’s the proper way to write it—officially. It’s “internet.” And “web.” Period. The styling is being announced today at the American Copy Editors Society national conference in Portland, Oregon. The Stylebook, whose changes will go into effect when the new print edition is published on June 1, will include more than 240 new and modified entries, but clearly the other 238 are not as important as imparting the knowledge to humans—definitively—that there is a proper way to write these two ubiquitous, everyday words. Here’s me using both of them in a sentence: Every day I read stories on the web, and on weekdays, I write words for the internet. (I just can’t get enough of it.)

At WIRED itself, this debate has raged for many years. In 2004, Wired News copy chief Tony Long (correctly) said, “There is no earthly reason to capitalize any of these words. Actually there never was.” But two years after his decree, when Wired News was bought by Condé Nast, we reverted (incorrectly) to a capital “I.”

Staffers are mixed on their opinions. Gadget Lab editor Michael Calore says he feels very vindicated by this move, given that his first journalism job was in 1995—a year when both words were “still foreign to most normals.”

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Siyanda Mohutsiwa: How young Africans found a voice on Twitter – Filmed February 2016 at TED2016

What can a young woman with an idea, an Internet connection and a bit of creativity achieve? That’s all Siyanda Mohutsiwa needed to unite young African voices in a new way. Hear how Mohutsiwa and other young people across the continent are using social media to overcome borders and circumstance, accessing something they have long had to violently take: a voice.

What the Internet Looks Like for Someone With Dyslexia – APRIL GLASER. 03.09.16. . 4:42 PM

Try as you might, if you don’t have dyslexia, it’s probably hard to really understand what it’s like for someone who does to use the Internet, where text is king. A developer named Victor Windell wanted to change that. Windell created a simulation that lets anyone see what it’s like to have severe dyslexia and read online content.

“I remembered a conversation I had a long time ago with a dyslexic friend,” said Windell. “Out of curiosity, I asked about how she experiences reading. She explained it as the letters ‘jumping around.’”

In the sim, words and numbers dance before your eyes. They twist themselves backwards and upside down, morphing on the screen as you desperately try to make sense of them. For a moment, you understand how difficult it is for dyslexic people to navigate a largely text-based medium. Windell wrote the code on a whim in between sessions at a conference.

“I wrote some programming code to scan through the webpage and find all words. One word is selected randomly, and two letters in it, excluding the first and last, are swapped. It does this over and over, 20 times per second,” Windell said.

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Music Can’t Last Forever, Not Even on the Internet – KLINT FINLEY. 02.13.16. 7:00 AM

Recorded music was once incredibly fragile. Before the days of digital music, an independent band might press only a few thousand, or even a few hundred copies of a vinyl record. Those albums only became more rare over the years as copies were scratched, broken, or thrown out. Likewise, master recordings could be damaged or lost, making the record difficult or impossible to reissue.

But today, thanks to the wonders of digitization, recordings can be backed up and saved indefinitely. When a formerly obscure band hits it big, fans can instantly find their early work, without having to hunt it down in used record stores or waiting for a reissue, thanks to streaming music services.

The trouble is that, even as music has become more durable, it has—paradoxically—also become more ephemeral. Your physical records don’t evaporate if the store you bought it from closes shop or the record label that published them goes out of business. If a streaming music company goes under, a stockpile of important cultural artifacts could go with it.

SoundCloud lost $44.19 million dollars in 2014–even as it increased revenue to $15.37 million.

Fears that exactly this could happen erupted this week when a financial statements from popular audio hosting site SoundCloud surfaced online. The company, which has become a vital resource for independent musicians and podcasters, lost $44.19 million dollars in 2014 even as it increased revenue to $15.37 million, according to the regulatory document filed with the UK government. The revelation led to immediate speculation that SoundCloud could go offline, taking with it the 110 million audio tracks it hosts.

It wouldn’t be the first time a massive trove of digital music disappeared. In 2003, CNET shut down the original version of music publishing service, which once hosted 750,000 song files. Three years later, the Internet Underground Music Archive, consisting of over 680,000 songs, went offline as well.

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Aereo Founder’s New Startup Wants to Bring You Wi-Fi—And Cut Out the Providers – ISSIE LAPOWSKY: 01.27.16 1:41 PM

Because it wasn’t enough to piss off every major television broadcaster in America with his last company, Aereo, now Chet Kanojia is taking on the country’s biggest Internet providers with a new start-up called Starry.

The company, which Kanojia officially announced in New York City this morning after keeping it under wraps for a year, aims to offer people wireless Internet access at speeds that are faster than wired broadband at a fraction of the cost. The goal is to circumvent not only the hefty infrastructure cost of wired networks, but also the companies that build and provide those networks—as well as all of the complexities of getting a technician to come to your home and install that network. Instead, Starry allows anyone to plug in a small device at home and receive the Internet instantly over a wireless connection.

If Starry’s plan works, it could accomplish the very thing Aereo set out to do, which is free consumers from the bundle.

“This is how it should be in our opinion,” Kanojia said. “Wired infrastructure is just difficult.”

Here’s how it works: Starry utilizes what are known as high-frequency millimeter waves to deliver the signal to people’s homes. To broadcast that signal, Starry installs so-called Starry Beams on rooftops throughout a city. Each Beam can cover roughly 2 kilometers, sending connectivity directly to hubs called Starry Points, which people can place just outside their window to pick up a signal. This set up means that Starry will launch city by city, region by region, as it installs these networks of Beams. Its first market will be Boston, with beta tests launching this summer.

Kanojia declined to say just how much a monthly plan for Starry would cost, except to say that it will be much cheaper than standard broadband, because Starry’s own costs are expected to be much lower. According to the company’s estimates, the average wired network costs about $2,500 per home to deploy. Starry’s cost, Kanojia says, is just $25 a month.

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This is what happens when you reply to spam email – James Vetch TEDGlobal Geneva · Filmed December 2015 · 9:48


Suspicious emails: unclaimed insurance bonds, diamond-encrusted safe deposit boxes, close friends marooned in a foreign country. They pop up in our inboxes, and standard procedure is to delete on sight. But what happens when you reply? Follow along as writer and comedian James Veitch narrates a hilarious, weeks-long exchange with a spammer who offered to cut him in on a hot deal.