Archive for the ‘web’ Category

Congress: Kiss Internet Privacy Goodbye

March 30, 2017

Congress: Kiss Internet Privacy Goodbye

The Internet was already a surveillance state, but now Congress has removed your last vestige of Web privacy by passing a bill to allow your Internet service provider (ISP) — AT&T, Comcast, Verizon,  Spectrum (Time Warner Cable) — to gather your browsing history data and sell it. You won’t be able to opt out. Under the last administration, the FCC had ruled that ISPs are public utilities like electricity and telephone companies, and subscribers are entitled to privacy protections. After all, your phone company can’t eavesdrop on your conversations, and even the government needs a warrant to find out who you called.

But Republicans in both houses passed legislation that allows Comcast and the like to sell your browsing history, and the current president says he’ll sign it. ISPs will be able to sell data about your shopping, video streaming, medical needs, political views, and personal life.

There may be new business opportunities here. Maybe ISPs will blackmail you into preserving your privacy by paying more for a premium private service tier.

More:

“The 265 members of Congress who sold you out to ISPs, and how much it cost to buy them,” T.C. Sottek, The Verge

“House Dems launch pro-broadband privacy petition,” Ali Breland, The Hill

“Protesters raise more than $200,000 to buy Congress’s browsing histories,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

“The Conservative Case Against Trashing Online Privacy Rules,” Klint Finley, Wired

“Dems urge Trump to veto bill blocking online privacy rule,” Associated Press

Update:

“Lawmakers Who Championed Repeal of Web Browsing Privacy Protections Raked in Telecom Campaign Cash,” Lee Fang, The Intercept

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Paula Deen’s ‘Comeback’ Makes No Splash

October 5, 2014

Paula Deen's 'Comeback' Makes No Splash
Disgraced Food Network star Paula Deen rolled out her new online video network last week and no one noticed, despite her best efforts. Much of  the new “network” content consists of reruns of Ms. Deen’s old cable shows. The price of entry: $9.99 a month, $119.88 a year (not including butter).

More:

“The Future of Cheesecake Will Not Be Televised: Paula Deen Moves Online,” Felix Gillette, Businessweek

“Paula Deen Documentary and $10 Reruns Coming to New Network,” Khushbu Shah, Eater

“Paula Deen Is Still Apologetic and Very Confused,” Daniela Galarza, Eater

“The Leftovers,” Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Medium

“Steve Harvey Recruits Paula Deen to Teach Culinary Arts,” Natelege Whaley, BET News

“What’s Really Behind That Crazy New Paula Deen/Steve Harvey Partnership,” Holly Eagleson, Takepart

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

September 22, 2014

Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’

 

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, recently spoke with the Washington Post‘s Brian Fung about proposed FCC rule changes that would allow Internet Service Providers to charge content companies for higher speed access to consumers, so-called “fast lanes.”

 “If businesses are to move here and start here rather than start in Europe or Brazil or Australia — they’re going to look around and make sure, ‘Oh, does the power stay up?’ And they’ll look for other things. ‘Is the Internet open?’ Will they have to effectively bribe their ISPs to start a new service? That’s what it looks like from the outside. It’s bribery.”

— “World Wide Web inventor slams Internet fast lanes: ‘It’s bribery.’” Brian Fung, Washington Post

Related:

“We Can Win the Fight for an Open Internet — If We Keep up the Pressure,” Michael Copps, Moyers & Company

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Health Care Website Gets a Second Opinion

October 25, 2013

Health Care Website Gets a Second Opinion

In a generous effort to help beleaguered Republicans regain face, President Obama handed them a punchline. He’s having the Obamacare website fixed by the guy who overhauled Cash for Clunkers.

 More:

“Who is Jeffrey Zients, and how is he qualified to fix HealthCare.gov?” Josh Hicks, Washington Post blog

“Meet Jeff Zients: The Man Charged With Fixing Obamacare’s Broken Site,” Abby D. Phillip, ABC News

Who is Jeffrey Zients? Ask his mom,” Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today

Related:

“Could Obama’s Campaign Tech Gurus Fix Healthcare.gov? Let’s Ask ‘Em!” Tim Murphy, Mother Jones

“Here’s the Obama administration’s plan to fix HealthCare.gov,” Sarah Kliff, Washington Post blog

“QSSI, contractor chosen to fix HealthCare.gov, faced questions from lawmakers last year,” Jia Lynn Yang, Washiongton Post

“Why We Need a Healthcare.gov Witch Hunt,”  John Dickerson, Slate

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Image (“ACA Website Fix, after Andreas Vesalius”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Obamacare Website Needs Therapy

October 5, 2013

Obamacare Website Needs Therapy

Many people trying to access HealthCare.gov and state health insurance websites encountered technical difficulties. This happens with all new software roll-outs, explain Administration officials. “Give us the same slack you give Apple,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Software geeks scoff at the site’s buggy and badly-written code.

“But the Obama administration doesn’t have a basically working product that would be improved by a software update. They have a Web site that almost nobody has been able to successfully use. If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as Obamacare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for Tim Cook’s head.

The good news for Obamacare is that lots of people want to sign up. Lots and lots of people. Many more, in fact, than anyone expected. The bad news is that the Obama administration’s online insurance marketplace — which serves 34 states — can’t handle the success.”

— “Obamacare’s Web site is really bad,” Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas, Washington Post blog

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MOOC: Mock Education

April 29, 2013

MOOC Mock Education

“The online education utopians ignore the fact that free learning has existed for decades in the form of the public library and despite that availability, every kid within bicycling distance to his local branch didn’t turn into a self taught entrepreneur. Suggesting that online courses are the cure-all for our educational needs is like saying all you have to do to teach kids in the ghetto is give away textbooks on the corner.”

— “Why online education is mostly a fantasy,” Francisco Dao, PandoDaily

(more…)

What Should I Read Next?

March 24, 2013

What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next? (WSIRN), “the easiest to use book recommendation system online,” was developed and is maintained by Andrew Chapman and Paul Lenz of Thoughtplay Ltd., and employs “a collaborative filtering system, using our own bespoke algorithm called ‘Incidence Bias Weighting’ and partly using association rules.” This labor of love has been up and running since 2005.

While Amazon recommends titles based on past buying behavior, Chapman and Lenz don’t, observing “you don’t always buy items for yourself, do you?” WSIRN links to Amazon so you can, though. “We’re not trying to urge you to buy particular bestsellers or anything like that,” they say, “we simply want to help people share their favorite items with each other.”

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Image (“The Kindle Reader or A Young Girl Seated, after Renoir”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cherry Blossom Webcam

March 21, 2013

Cherry Blossom Webcam

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. It’s that time again — or is it? March temperatures have been colder than expected, so the National Park Service has pushed its peak bloom forecast from next week to April 3rd through 6th. Keep track of bloom progress with the National Park Service Cherry Blossom Webcam.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ghu

Image (“Cherry Blossom Webcam, after After Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Internet Surveillance

March 19, 2013

Internet Surveillance
“The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we’re being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.”

— “The Internet is a surveillance state,” Bruce Schneier, CNN Opinion

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Great Art on Mashable

December 5, 2012

Great Art on Mashable

For you connoisseurs of the visual arts, Amanda Wills curates a collection of 16 masterpiece mashups from the NotionsCapital Flickr stream, with a brief explanation of our Digital Primitive aesthetic. Whistler’s Mommy-Blogger (above) didn’t make the cut, and it looks like she’s not pleased about it.

“If History’s Greatest Artists Used Microsoft Paint…” Amanda Wills, Mashable

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Image (“Whistler’s Mommy-Blogger”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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