Internet Is the International Language
Guests staying at luxury hotels in several of China’s largest cities are treated to perks that could best the room’s terrycloth bathrobe: access to Facebook and Twitter. Those delicacies are banned in the country because of the government’s draconian Internet regulations that outlaw several websites.
Internet Is the International Language
If you had to guess how many people were disconnected from the Internet, you would probably think it’s fewer than five percent. But according to the New York Times, the figure is staggering: around 20 percent of Americans aren’t connected to the Internet and don’t access it at work, home, school or even on a mobile device.
Despite a $7 billion effort from the Obama administration to beef up Internet access in underdeveloped parts of the country, 60 million people are still disconnected, prompting fears that they will be isolated from accessing vital information (like online education) or not even be eligible for jobs.
Hate-tweeting in Russia might soon become nearly impossible if one politician has her way. Yelena Mizulina, the chairwoman of Committee on Family, Women and Children, is pushing forward an initiative that if posts, messages and even websites contain naughty language, they would be blocked within 24 hours if the words aren’t immediately deleted. That sounds easy enough.
Rule number one of trolls: don’t feed them.
Weeds star Mary Louise Parker seems to have missed that memo. In an interview with News Corps Australia, the actress said that the Internet’s penchant for “bitchiness” and “meanness” has made her want to quit acting. All of those nasty comments, all of those self-loathing anons attacking her character: it’s simply too much for her.
Robert Samuelson, a Washington Post opinion writer who has apparently never used Seamless, does not believe the benefits of the Internet outweigh its negatives. In fact, he is so terrified by the thought of cyberwarfare and NSA spying that if he could, he would “repeal the Internet.”
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.