blue bits. red rocks.


Think about what happens when you visit a website. It may take 800 milliseconds to load, but about 20% of that time is devoted to an algorithm that takes everything it knows about you, visits an online ad exchange, offers up the spot to bidders, and serves it. In 160 milliseconds. No human could do that. Yes, that ad will likely annoy the hell out of you, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need machines to make correlations between concepts, sentiments, events, and entities and offer help in making decisions. Man and his Machines

Nothing’s really free on the Internet. From search engines and email to social media and online publishing, if you’re not entering in your credit card number somewhere, you’re paying in a different way. As the adage goes, if you’re not the consumer, then you’re the product. You’re either paying with your eyeballs on advertisements, or with your personal data that gets sold to advertisers. If this is true of the Internet, then the same logic applies for the “Internet of Things.” This is the buzzword for the fast emerging trend of everyday objects being embedded with sensors. These sensors, which are networked over the web, collect, store, and analyze torrents of data—usually by transmitting data to remote “cloud” servers—about how people use the products the sensors are attached to. Some examples include personal devices like wristbands that measure vital signs, domestic appliances like “smart” thermostats, or automobiles that keep track of how, where, and when we drive. Insurance Vultures and the Internet of Things

Criminals are attacking feedly with a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The attacker is trying to extort us money to make it stop. We refused to give in and are working with our network providers to mitigate the attack as best as we can. CEO of Feedly, Edwin Khodabakchian

The internet, while inarguably providing innumerable worthy services, perpetuates this type of hyper-efficient, streamlined cleanliness, approaching us from beyond a glassy computer screen and sweeping up only the most direct and clean-cut reflections of the human experience; the meandering messes of pain, trial, and wonder are so often left in the wake. It’s tough, as a result, to resist allowing ourselves to be swept up into this networking funnel for the clean-cut. As Mae, the protagonist of The Circle, discovers, relying on this clean, non-physical entity of the internet lures us to distance ourselves from the realities, both sweet and painful, of the physical world. Were we not molded out of dirt? Were we not given a garden to tend? Were we not given noses to smell the lingering sunscreen in the binding of last summer’s beach books or ears to hear grains of sand slipping between the pages? See the stars in the sky, feel the disciple’s transforming soul. And the Lord said, There will be no simplifying my work. What Do Dave Eggers, Dirty Toes and Shampoo Have in Common?

It should be illegal to collect and permanently store most kinds of behavioral data. In the United States, they warn us the world will end if someone tries to regulate the Internet. But the net itself was born of a fairly good regulatory framework that made sure de facto net neutrality existed for decades, paid for basic research into protocols and software, cleared the way for business use of the internet, and encouraged the growth of the commercial web. It’s good regulation, not lack of regulation, that kept the web healthy. The Internet With A Human Face

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…it’s silly to pretend that keeping mass surveillance in private hands would protect us from abuses by government. The only way to keep user information safe is not to store it. The Internet With A Human Face

It’s romantic to think about cable taps and hacked routers, but history shows us that all an interested government has to do is ask. The word ‘terrorism’ is an open sesame that opens any doors. Look what happened with telecoms under the Bush administration. The NSA asked for permission to tap phone networks, and every American telecom except one said “no problem—let me help you rack those servers”. Their only concern was to make sure they got immunity against lawsuits. The relationship between the intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley has historically been very cozy. The former head of Facebook security now works at NSA. Dropbox just added Condoleeeza Rice, an architect of the Iraq war, to its board of directors. Obama has private fundraisers with the same people who are supposed to champion our privacy. There is not a lot of daylight between the American political Establishment and the Internet establishmeent. Whatever their politics, these people are on the same team. The Internet With A Human Face

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Today’s publishing environment pushes us in one of two directions: You can play in the big mad game of eyeball monetization, where you set out to gather a huge crowd and then pelt it with ads; or you can content yourself with reaching a few friends and family on your blog (where you’re in charge but people’s attention is hard to dragoon) or in your social network (where your readers are congregating today but where you are at the mercy of fickle platform owners). Wordyard Project nuts and bolts: what I’ll do and how I’ll support it

Let’s stop building products that make us feel like shit. Let’s start designing an Internet that makes us proud, that lives up to the promise of the most empowering and liberating technology in the history of the world. Let’s Stop Building Products That Make us Feel Like Shit

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Building an online community is like throwing a big party. You build the house, decorate it, and send out some invites. But it’s the people that show up that make it special. When you sell the house, you’re not just selling a house. You’re selling everyone inside. Diary of a Corporate Sellout

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