Crime and Punishment
Yesterday a video of a 56-year-old woman being brutally mugged in the F train station in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood went viral. The video shows a woman descending the stairs into the station before she is pushed up against a door and hit and kicked. The assailant then empties her purse, grabs some items and chases after her through the station. Though the crime occurred on March 9th, the NYPD released the video with the hopes that viewers would be able to help them ID the perp.
Before the dawn of the Internet, when libraries were places where people read and not just a bathroom for the homeless, young people used to seek out their elders for advice on life’s important questions. “How is babby formed?” they wondered. “What’s it like being an old person?”
Cuba certainly isn’t as isolated as North Korea, but Internet access has long been available only via satellite–meaning it’s expensive and slow as molasses Email barely works; forget about a GIF-heavy Tumblr dashboard. It’s also largely limited to public spaces, like hotels targeting foreign tourists.
However, researchers say they’re seeing sparks of increased Internet connectivity Read More
Give it up for GOOG, boys and girls: Later this morning, the search behemoth is expected to announce an initiative to blanket southwest Chelsea with free Wifi. That’ll mean easier access to the Internet for not just Chelsea Market shoppers and Google employees, but also residents of the NYCHA-run Fulton Houses and several local public schools.
Nice to see someone getting after that digital divide.
Back in the early aughts, when this reporter’s parents were fast asleep, we’d take one of those 500 Free Hours of AOL CDs received in the mail every other day, unplug the phone line in our bedroom, and hook it up to our laptop so we could log on to saucy chat rooms and browse AOL Teen. Our parents, competent as they were, had no idea we spent half the night surfing a sluggish, largely harmless web.
We assumed teens these days–born with a smartphone glued to their mutant flesh–have it much easier, especially without having to muffle the sounds of dial-up. We were wrong.
The Los Angeles Times published an excellent piece today surveying the landcape of YouTube-famous cats, including the moody Henri, the box-loving Maru and Lil’ Bub, who just cannot keep his little tongue in his mouth. Buried in the middle of the article, however, is an interesting tidbit about the history of cat videos. Though the first was probably uploaded to the Internet during the latter half of the 20th century, the LA Times reports that the first-ever cat video was recorded by Thomas Edison, he of lightbulb fame.
Internet Wants to Be Free
When not pissing off the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Time Warner Cable execs apparently take to their evil lair to devise new schemes to wring every last penny out of their hapless customers. The latest pocket gouger? A monthly modem fee.
The New York Times reports that Time Warner is planning to charge a monthly fee of $3.95 to rent a modem from them. If you want to avoid paying the monthly fee, you can purchase a Time Warner-approved modem for $50-$137. Time Warner will then promise to set the modem up during the Harvest Moon but then not show up until the spring thaw.
The Way We Live Now
Look, we are among the worst offenders of 24/7 digital connection. We rudely pull out our phone during dinner and we check our email when we wake up in the middle of the night and sometimes we think our Netflix queue *gets* us in a way no person ever has or will. But when it comes to disconnecting for 24 hours, putting that device in a drawer and going out and enjoying the sunshine? It’s not something we really fret over.
But perhaps we are in the minority. The Reconnect Project, which is planned for this Sunday, September 2, urges the 84 percent of people who said they couldn’t go 24 hours without their mobile device to disconnect for the day and reclaim their lives IRL.
Just because you want to simulate living in ancient Galilee times doesn’t mean you won’t want to check your email while doing so. Kfar Kedem park in Israel has outfitted donkeys with wireless routers so that users can check into “My Ass” on Foursquare. Ah, ain’t the future grand?
Wired pointed us to the fact that on this day in 1991, “the world wide web became publicly available for the first time.” Father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee posted an introductory post to the alt.hypertext Usenet group on August 7, 1991, and all at once another world was born: one where we’d be able to see each other’s faces without being near them and join with like-minded people to geek out about shit and–of course–watch lots and lots of free porn.