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Category Archives: Internet

Google, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft Weave a Fiber-Optic Web of Power

WSJ: “To say that Big Tech controls the internet might seem like an exaggeration. Increasingly, in at least one sense, it’s literally true. The internet can seem intangible, a post-physical environment where things like viral posts, virtual goods and metaverse concerts just sort of happen. But creating that illusion requires a truly gargantuan—and quickly-growing—web of physical connections. Fiber-optic cable, which carries 95% of the world’s international internet traffic, links up pretty much all of the world’s data centers, those vast server warehouses where the computing happens that transforms all those 1s and 0s into our experience of the internet. Where those fiber-optic connections link up countries across the oceans, they consist almost entirely of cables running underwater—some 1.3 million kilometers (or more than 800,000 miles) of bundled glass threads that make up the actual, physical international internet. And until recently, the overwhelming majority of the undersea fiber-optic cable being installed was controlled and used by telecommunications companies and governments. Today, that’s no longer the case. In less than a decade, four tech giants—Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Meta (formerly Facebook) and Amazon—have become by far the dominant users of undersea-cable capacity. Before 2012, the share of the world’s undersea fiber-optic capacity being used by those companies was less than 10%. Today, that figure is about 66%…”

The true cost of Amazon’s low prices

Vox/Recode: “On the heels of yet another year of record sales, Amazon is dealing with a couple of unwelcome updates in the new year. The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced it will soon be marking up the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, an antitrust bill targeting Amazon and other Big Tech companies. This follows… Continue Reading

Report – People spend a third of their waking day staring at their phones

Mashable: “Worried you’re spending too much time staring mindlessly at random apps? Well, apparently you’re not alone. In 2021, people in the world’s top 10 mobile markets for Android spent a solid 4.8 hours browsing apps, according to app analytics company App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 report. That’s roughly a third of our waking… Continue Reading

Share of those 65 and older who are tech users has grown in the past decade

Pew Research Center: “Younger adults are often more likely than their elders to be earlier adopters of innovations, and that has been true for many digital technologies since Pew Research Center began documenting their use. There are still notable differences in tech use between U.S. adults under 30 and those 65 and older. But on… Continue Reading

‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ just entered the public domain. Here’s what that means for fans.

Washington Post – “Luke McGarry began drawing a nude Pooh Bear as soon as he heard the news. The original, nearly 100-year-old “bear of very little brain” from the Hundred Acre Wood had rung in this new year by entering the public domain. Now quite humbly, McGarry’s creative appetite felt rumbly. The Los Angeles-based artist… Continue Reading

How to Make Your Own Animated GIFs

The New York Times: “Online ‘visual’ reactions have come a long way since the first sideways smiley-face emoticon appeared four decades ago. Animated GIFs — those files showing a few seconds of choppy motion, like the one of Kermit the Frog flailing his arms excitedly — are ubiquitous in text messages, online forums and chat… Continue Reading

Law Enforcement and Technology: Using Social Media

CRS Report – Law Enforcement and Technology: Using Social Media, January 11, 2022: “As the ways in which individuals interact continue to evolve, social media has had an increasing role in facilitating communication and the sharing of content online—including moderated and unmoderated, user-generated content. Over 70% of U.S. adults are estimated to have used social… Continue Reading

Assessing Heinonline as a Source of Scholarly Impact Metrics

Wallace, Karen L. and Lutkenhaus, Rebecca and Hanson, David B., Assessing Heinonline as a Source of Scholarly Impact Metrics (December 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3974109 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3974109 “After the February 2019 U.S. News & World Report announcement of a planned law school scholarly impact ranking based on HeinOnline data, law schools accelerated efforts to… Continue Reading

Online Legal Education in Canada

Habermacher, Adrien, Online Legal Education in Canada (December 8, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3979034 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3979034 “This report compares the development of online legal education in Canada prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is pan-Canadian in scope and encompasses both the university legal education (qualifying education) and continuing education for already-qualified lawyers in… Continue Reading

5 free privacy tools for protecting your personal data

PC World: “Ideally, protecting your privacy shouldn’t require hours of time or gobs of money. Instead of having to meticulously manage all the personal data that’s floating around on the internet, you should be able to minimize data collection automatically or proactively. If you value privacy like I do, you’ll want to check out the… Continue Reading