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Category Archives: Social Media

Where Everyone Goes When the Internet Breaks

The Atlantic – Downdetector is a simple, ugly utility, which becomes a weird little life raft for displaced communities when their websites crash. “It can happen at any moment, yet we’re never prepared. When Twitter crashes, how do we tweet about it? We try and try. When Instagram is down, no one can see what we see. When the instant-chat apps of American offices sputter and crash, we go to Twitter and say, “We promise we are still working!” We feel lost, bereft, confused, fidgety, as we are forced to make typing noises with our mouths (“talking”). We hover over our keyboards, moving our hands in ways that don’t make sense, like former nicotine addicts who continue to hold pens as if they are cigarettes. There is only one place to take all this pain and nervous energy: Downdetector, a simple, boring website founded in 2001 to report outages of all kinds of internet services. It’s the first search result for questions such as “Is Twitter down?” and “Is Facebook down?” and “Is Gmail down?” and “Is the whole internet out in New York City?” On any given day, if everything is working fine, a graph showing just tiny smatterings of failure reports will be painted a soothing aquamarine. If, as with Facebook’s News Feed this morning, something is starting to go wrong for a greater number of people, the graph will spike and turn red.

These 26 words ‘created the internet’

CNN – The US government is coming for them – ” For decades, many of the biggest names in tech have leaned on a little-known law to avoid being held responsible for some of the most controversial content on their platforms. The companies have invoked this federal law, known as  Section 230 of the Communications… Continue Reading

Freaked Out? 3 Steps to Protect Your Phone

The New York Times: “Your smartphone is one of the world’s most advanced surveillance tools. This week, Times Opinion is reporting on a huge trove of location data showing the precise location movements for millions of Americans. Once your location is shared with the companies, there’s no way to delete that information or get it… Continue Reading

Carnegie Mellon built ‘opt-out’ system for nearby tracking devices

engadget: “It’s getting easier to control what your smart home devices share, but what about the connected devices beyond your home? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab think they can give you more control. They’ve developed an infrastructure and matching mobile app (for Android and iOS) that not only informs you about the data nearby Internet… Continue Reading

Use these 11 critical iPhone privacy and security settings right now

Fast Company – iOS offers more tools than ever to defend yourself against hackers, nosy sites, and other intruders. Here’s why they matter and how to benefit from them. “If one object you own encapsulates who you are, how you think, and what you do, it’s your smartphone. Our phones not only contain our contacts… Continue Reading

Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet

Wired: “…Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 15, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 15, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

Local Bookstores Have A New Weapon In The Fight With Amazon

Fortune: “In the book industry, Amazon is Goliath, the giant who overshadows everyone else. But there’s a new David on the scene, It doesn’t expect to topple the giant, but it has launched a weapon that could make Amazon’s shadow a little smaller, and help local bookstores fight back., a website that went… Continue Reading

Why are Lawyers writing code?

British Legal Technology Forum: “We find ourselves in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and this digital transformation brings with it a need for change in our working practices.There is a shift towards a more innovative, fresh and connected way of doing business. Organisations that are digitally savvy, in every sector, are leading the… Continue Reading

Confidence in public acceptance of election results connects to following political news

“…Many political issues are highly polarized across partisan lines, but Americans’ confidence in the public’s willingness to accept election results regardless of who wins – a fundamental underpinning of our electoral system – is only modestly tied to party identification. Instead, it appears to have a closer relationship to how intensely U.S. adults engage with… Continue Reading

Twitter might have a better read on floods than NOAA

The Verge: “Frustrated tweets led scientists to believe that tidal floods along the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the US are more annoying than official tide gauges suggest. Half a million geotagged tweets showed researchers that people were talking about disruptively high waters even when government gauges hadn’t recorded tide levels high enough to… Continue Reading