AOL Instant Messenger To Shut Down After 20 Years

In other news, this week we learned that AIM still exists.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Barring Social Media Use By Sex Offenders

The Supreme Court rules that states cannot bar convicted felons from using social media sites.

Facebook Comments and the Authenticity of Multiple Identities

The lines between our public and professional identities and our private and social ones continue to blur.

Internet As Your Permanent Record

If it’s online, it’s forever.

Street Harassment App

Chris Lawrence shares (via Google Reader) Valerie Aurora‘s post titled “You can do something about street harassment.” The intro is a useful reminder of how routine it is for women to feel victimized, recounting how often strangers make rude catcalls, how they seem to enjoy whatever reactions they get from their victims, and how generally […]

Europe’s War Against The Veil And The Burqa: Liberation, Or Assault On Religious Freedom ?

Last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the latest European leader to take the lead in an ongoing fight against Muslim women wearing Islamic garb, specifically the full-face veil, or niqba, and the burqa, in public when he promised to introduce a bill that would ban both items in France. But, it’s not just France […]

Why I Hate Facebook

There have been a slew of articles in recent days by various people explaining why they’re leaving Facebook and you should, too. While most of them center on Facebook’s ever-shifting privacy policy, which basically mean that anything you’ve ever shared with Facebook is fair game for them to sell to anyone they choose, my frustration […]

Transforming Education Into Training

A while back, I explored “Why College Tuition is Growing So Fast” through the lens of MIT artificial intelligence guru Patrick Henry Winston‘s writings.   He argued that administrative costs are skyrocketing and that higher education was one of the few industries not taking advantage of the advances in technology, particularly computers, to increase efficiency. My […]

Do-It-Yourself Virtual Universities?

Anya Kamentz has written a new book titled DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.  She gives us a taste of the argument in a piece for TAP: Since 2001, a growing movement — from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and hundreds of other universities worldwide to insurgent bloggers and […]

Hitler Reacts to Idiot Copyright Pursuits

The incredibly prolific Internet meme in which Adolph Hitler goes hysterical over happenings in American pop culture is under siege, thanks to an idiotic copyright enforcement decision. PopEater: ‘Hitler Reacts to…’ — that patron saint of YouTube memes — seems to be on its way out. The clips, which dub a scene from the 2004 […]

Internet Future From 1969 (Video)

This video clip from 1969 predicting a future of electronic shopping, online bill paying, instant communications and the like is rather fascinating: It’s apparently from some longer documentary film, although I can’t nail down more specific details.  (Or, perhaps more accurately, I’m not curious enough to devote the time.)  It’s been making the YouTube rounds […]

Why the Internet Will Fail

Newsweek presents a devastating essay by Clifford Stoll explaining why this newfangled Internet thing is unlikely to catch on. After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy […]

NBC Olympic Coverage: Congressional Action Needed?

Senator Herb Kohl is pressuring NBC to open up online access to its Olympic coverage. A Democratic senator criticized NBC on Friday for its handling of online access to the Vancouver Olympics, calling it unfair and restrictive. Sen. Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote NBC Universal Chief Executive […]

Political Science Collaboration: Two Heads Better than One?

A new study — itself co-authored — finds that political scientists are increasingly doing collaborative research and focusing less on the single-author research that characterized the discipline in the recent past. They analyzed the research articles in American Political Science Review, the flagship publication in the field, and found that in 1970, nearly two-thirds of […]

How to Blog Good

Chris Clarke provides an excellent template for aspiring bloggers to emulate. A sampling: This is the title of a typical incendiary blog post This sentence contains a provocative statement that attracts the readers’ attention, but really only has very little to do with the topic of the blog post. This sentence claims to follow logically […]

Obama Most Polarizing President Ever

The 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats’ (88%) and Republicans’ (23%) average job approval ratings for Barack Obama is easily the largest for any president in his first year in office, greatly exceeding the prior high of 52 points for Bill Clinton. So begins Jeffrey Jones‘ introduction of a new Gallup poll.  Here’s the graphic illustration: […]

Google Ending China Censorship

The world’s biggest search engine is threatening to abandon the world’s largest country. Google Inc. will stop censoring its search results in China and may pull out of the country completely after discovering that computer hackers had tricked human-rights activists into exposing their e-mail accounts to outsiders. The change of heart announced Tuesday heralds a […]

BlackBerry E-Mail Service Interrupted

My BlackBerry in’t working this morning. Apparently, I’m not alone. Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry phone, said some North American customers using the device are experiencing problems with their e-mail service. Technicians are working on the problem, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Phone service and Web browsing […]

GOP URL Shortener Short-Lived

The Republican National Committee launched yet another URL shortener yesterday (coincidentally, on the same day that Google and Facebook did likewise) as part of their plan to catch up with the Democrats in social media space. As with their recent website relaunch, the debut was less than auspicious. The Republican party took down its innovative […]

Google Runs Your Life

Google has a ton of great applications that can make your life easier. But Quentin Hardy wonders if we’re going to far in trusting our information to one company. Your day begins with a wake-up call from your Google Android phone. As you run to the shower, you hit Google News and check headlines, then […]

All Men Watch Porn

From the Telegraph, not the Onion:  “All men watch porn, scientists find.” Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users. But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been […]

Neutral on Net Neutrality

Stephen Green is torn on the issue of net neutrality, with his libertarian side thinking Internet service providers ought to be able to “charge what the traffic will bear” on their equipment while his conservative side preferring to preserve a status quo that works well to an unknown future. I’m on the same fence but […]

Capitalism: A Love Story

I was reading the review of Capitalism over at Reason and at the end it had this, One final note: Just before the film started, Moore asked the audience to turn off any recording devices because the studio did not want bootleg versions of the film getting around. Apparently this socialism stuff has its limits. […]

Web’s Latin-Only Policy Ending

Starting in two weeks, users from countries who don’t use the Latin alphabet will find using the Internet much easier, FT reports. Latin script’s monopoly in internet domain names will end next month, a development that could usher in a fresh wave of internet usage from Bulgaria to China. So far, finding web addresses has […]

CNN in Last Place – Behind MSNBC Reruns!

CNN has dropped to fourth place in the cable news business it invented. And Fox continues to rise while under fire from the administration. CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth — and last — among […]

Email Era Over?

“Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.” So begins a column by Jessica Vascellaro in today’s WSJ. We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, […]

Niche Markets and the Internet

One of the coolest things about the internet, in my opinion, is the way that it opens up markets for goods that might not be economically viable locally, but are economically viable when every business in the world has a global reach. This has opened us up to a vast array of goods and services […]

Killing Presidents

Related controversies roiling the blogosphere today point to the dark side of American politics. First, NewsMax ran an article by a John L. Perry titled “Obama Risks a Domestic Military ‘Intervention.’” It has apparently been removed from the site (it’s now directing to the home page and isn’t showing along with the author’s other pieces) […]

New York Times Malware Ads

This weekend, I got one of those fake “virus clean” popups after clicking a link to a New York Times article from Memeorandum.   Apparently, I wasn’t alone as there are a dozen or more posts about it today at Techmeme. The NYT itself has this Note to Readers: Some readers have seen a pop-up […]

50 Things Killed by the Internet

Matthew Moore marks the 40th anniversary of the Internet with a list of “50 things that are being killed by the internet.” My favorites: 1) The art of polite disagreement While the inane spats of YouTube commencers may not be representative, the internet has certainly sharpened the tone of debate. The most raucous sections of […]

Forcing Pirates to Walk the Plank

The British government has devised a novel solution to dealing with online piracy: Disable the Internet accounts of violators. Broadband providers could be forced to suspend their customers’ accounts under proposals announced on Tuesday by the UK government to tackle internet file-sharing. The proposals mark a hardening of the government’s stance against piracy since the […]

Outed Liskula Cohen Blogger Sues Google

Remember when Liskula Cohen forced Google to reveal an anonymous blogger who was using their domain to call her a “skank” and suggest she performed lewd sex acts? Naturally, now that she has been outed — as Rosemary Port, a Fashion Institute of Technology student — is suing Google for violating her privacy. “This has […]

Liskula Cohen Forces Google to Reveal Anonymous Blogger

A Vogue cover model of whom I’d never previously heard and does not conform to my preconceptions of what a Vogue cover model looks like has won a lawsuit against Google over an anonymous former blogger who called her names on the Internet. A Vogue cover girl has won a precedent-setting court battle to unmask […]

USAA iPhone Check Deposits

This is just awesome: The Internet has taken a lot of the paperwork out of banking, but there is no avoiding paper when someone gives you a check. Now one bank wants to let customers deposit checks immediately — through their phones. USAA, a privately held bank and insurance company, plans to update its iPhone […]

Books in a Blog World

Norm Geras points us to LAT book editor David Ulin‘s essay lamenting the “lost art of reading,” specifically the difficulty in concentrating well and long enough to read books.   Norm says it’s easy:  “You get a book. You switch off various things. If it helps, you close the door. Then you sit down and read. […]

You Know You Got it When You’re Going Insane

Norm Geras (who just celebrated his 6th blogging anniversary) points us to this hilariously annoying SPIEGEL interview with Wired editor Chris Anderson: SPIEGEL: Mr. Anderson, let’s talk about the future of journalism. Anderson: This is going to be a very annoying interview. I don’t use the word journalism. SPIEGEL: Okay, how about newspapers? They are […]

Sextortion in High School

GQ has a rather weird piece about something that may or may not be a trend:  High school kids using the Internet to extort sexual favors.  This one has a twist, which I’ll lot Conor Friedersdorf summarize: Tony Stancl, an 18 year old high school senior who created a fake female identity on Facebook, flirted […]

Blogs ARE Social Media

Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark has noticed a distinction developing between blogs on the one hand and “social media” on the other.  He rightly notes that “blogs were the first modern form of social media” and thus the distinction is artificial. My sense is that, blogs are indeed social media, they’re definitely of a different piece than […]

Obama Revamps White House Communications

Danny Glover reports on President Obama’s total restructuring of the White House message machine in a piece ominously titled “The Cost of Controlling The Press.” Barack Obama’s White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab […]

Failure of Breaking News Reporting?

Aaron Brazell argues that, with the advent of instant-reporting of rumor via Twitter and other social media, the mainstream press has fallen behind.  He cites yesterday’s Steve McNair murder, the false rumors that Jeff Goldblum had died, and Michael Jackson’s death. He laments that, while the McNair news broke on two Nashville stations but “It […]

Taking Ockham’s Razor to Sarah Palin Haters

Since his departure from the Washington Times, Stacy McCain has become perhaps the most skilled attention whore in all the blogosphere. Yeah, I just wrote that. And put it on the Internet. In seeking to explain why Ken Layne and Andrew Sullivan seem to loathe Sarah Palin and, in particular, make sport of her Down […]

Too Much [Internet] Bad for Marriage

Glenn Reynolds points to an incredibly thinly sourced AFP report that “Too much time spent on the Internet” is straining marriages in Ireland.   One naturally extrapolates that to other countries causing the man who spends approximately 27 hours a day online to quip “Uh oh.” Rather than spend time harping on the fact that professional […]

Michael Jackson Dies, Kills Internet

Not sure this is BREAKING NEWS, as CNN does, but it’s amusing nonetheless: How many people does it take to break the Internet? On June 25, we found out it’s just one — if that one is Michael Jackson. The biggest showbiz story of the year saw the troubled star take a good slice of […]

UK Court: Blogger Anonymity Not a Right

A British judge has ruled against a blogger who sought an injunction against having his secret identity published in the Times. Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.  In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an […]

Friedman the Scholar

Thomas Friedman begins his latest column thusly: Twenty years ago, I wrote a book about the Middle East, and recently I was thinking of updating it with a new introduction. It was going to be very simple — just one page, indeed just one line: “Nothing has changed.” It took me two days covering the […]

Whither ‘Information Superhighway’

Eugene Volokh (yes, him again) wonders whatever happened to the metaphor “Information Superhighway” in describing the Internet. My sense is that the metaphor is no longer in much use, and I wonder if wireless Internet access killed it. If Internet access is everywhere, there’s no room for a highway: the sense of a bulky passageway […]

Made-up Wikipedia Quote Makes Obituaries

The erstwhile Dr. Leopold Stotch passes along news of the exploits of a fellow Irish prankster: When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news. His report card: […]

Internet Changing Brain from Storehouse to Index

Responding to the growing meme that the information overflow created by the Internet is making us dumber, Peter Suderman responds that, Reading on the web is almost certainly affecting the way we process information, but it’s not making us stupid. Instead, it’s changing the way we’re smart. Rather than storehouses of in-depth information, the web […]

Murdoch: Free News Era Over

Rupert Murdoch thinks he’s figured out how to fix the ailing newspaper industry: Starting charging for online content! Rupert ­Murdoch expects to start charging for access to News Corporation’s newspaper websites within a year as he strives to fix a ­”malfunctioning” business model. Encouraged by booming online subscription revenues at the Wall Street Journal, the […]

Taxing the Internet

Congress may finally close the “loophole” that allows people to avoid sales taxes by shopping online, the New York Post reports. While the issue has been bandied about since roughly the advent of the Internet as we know it 15 years ago, the dire straits state and local governments now face may force the issue.  […]

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