Tag Archives: The Internets!

That Piece on Focus You will Forget to Read

This interview, by Vox‘s Sean Illig with journalist Johann Hari, came out in February… and then I finally checked it out in March… and now I’m only posting about it in May.

via Vox (Getty images)

The way I finally got to it was actually to listen to it, because the article is actually a summation of a more detailed slightly-more-than-an-hour audio interview.

It’s full of useful insights especially… dang, I might need to listen to it again.

The New Generation Combating Online Misinformation

I’ve been offline for much of the past few weeks, but –in a sense– that’s okay, because the Internet can be dark and full of terrors… and terrible misinformation.

Graphic by Naomi Antonino for CNET

Luckily, there are some energetic folks who have just may have found their calling, or a significant first act, learning how inane conspiracy theories and misinformation propagate on the Web. Learn more in this long-form article by Oscar Gonzalez for c|net. And stay curious… and skeptical.

Globetrotting – Radio Edition

I remember playing around with shortwave radio growing up in the previous millennium and the excitement at finding broadcasts from other countries.

Well, thanks to some enterprising folks over in the Netherlands, you can do some globetrotting yourself without leaving the comfort of your Internet browser. Radio Garden is a project that allows you to tune into all sorts of small radio stations all across the globe. Be warned, it can be a bit of a timesuck.

Enjoy!

You Too Can Die of Dysentery!

Nowadays, there are so many different types of timewasters online, but sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a classic.

I had been reminded that one of the quintessential games of my generation, The Oregon Trail, was available to play for free online.

It seems just and right to play it on a site dedicated to Oregon tourism.

Enjoy and, remember, trade to get food and always get help crossing the river.

Google Uncomfortable with Reining in Cookie Monster

It could be the parts of the web where I roam, but I’ve been reading a lot more about privacy, whether it’s Apple’s recent efforts to make their iOS more inherently private (see pieces in Bloomberg and The Verge) or the growing rumblings of government regulation (see pieces in CNBC and in Recode/Vox).

Strangely, “G” is for cookie, according to the algorithm.

By virtue of simply being online, all of us have been inducted into one or more Big Data Mining ecosystems whereby not only the tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google mine away at our identities, but a lot of third-party marketers do too. Many of you probably know about “cookies” in general, but I would guess few of us understand their scope, and not unrelated revenue, to entities like Google.

So this article by Sara Morrison in Recode (Vox) was interesting.

And for those of you who have read this far, thanks for including me in your algorithm for today. I think.

The State of Online Gaming, the Gated Internet, and, of course, the Money

I am not the biggest gamer nor the biggest technology maven, but even so, one sees news about how much more all content is being pushed online, how more companies are trying to have consumers access things by apps, and how controlling access –to the internet and apps– is key to many corporations making money.

Into that sphere of information comes this longform article by Nick Statt at The Verge about a recent flashpoint between the makers of Fortnite and Apple. Cory Doctorow also weighs in over on Slate. Finally, Matt Stoller, an author with an abiding interest in covering monopolies, politics, and power, has his own take.

They’re are longer reads, but I found them worthwhile to better understand Apple’s app store business model, how cloud gaming services mess with their collection of coin, and many of the potential paradigm shifts at play.

Video

Internet Security Myths Debunked

Hey, I posted a “debunking” video last week, so I figured, why not do more? This time, it’s a topic that’s just as evergreen, though the tech landscape changes frequently.

Supporting your friendly local bookstores…

So many industries are being shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, the retail section overall is suffering, but specifically, small retail businesses are hurting.

What with coming from a family of librarians and book-lovers, I’m especially keen to see independent book shops weather this latest storm, so I was happy to see an article earlier this month about how one online outfit, Bookshop.org is helping brick-and-mortar operations have an online footprint too.

My “unread” bookshelf is now too crowded for me to ignore, so I won’t be availing myself of them just yet, but soon! So very soon…

Navigating Being Online, Offline, and Increasingly In-Between

After Wednesday’s post that focused a great deal about how to curate one’s persona online, I was surprised that I hadn’t written at length about Jenny Odell and her efforts to help people curate their involvement in the “attention economy.”

I’ve found the article bears repeat reading, because there’s so many different ideas it raises and so much that you, personally, need to reflect on.

And yes, I mean need. At its core, and related to my Wednesday post (which was mainly for creative folk looking for fans) this article raises questions about you define your boundaries with engaging online. Being a luddite is probably not the answer for most people, though ignoring whole swaths of the Internet might be.

In other words, it’s about you taking agency for how you define “getting real.”

The Internet’s Altar of Umbrage

I’m working on some other posts related to fandom. One is a follow-up in the Crisis of Infinite Star Treks series (where I talk about fan involvement with Star Trek throughout, but specifically go into more here and here.) I’m also working on a longer piece about getting one’s own creative work out there and developing fans oneself.

One struggle I’ve had of late has been how much the Internet thrives on hate and outrage. I don’t just mean comments at the bottoms of articles which, by and large, are probably better left unread. I don’t even mean how social media discussion threads can go horribly hateful, though that’s certainly something to always be wary. I’m thinking more along the lines of every fun Internet series like Honest Trailers, there’s a more bile-infested series along the lines “Everything wrong with [Movie]” or “Why [Movie] Really Sucks” or so on. Pair that with all the ‘clickbaity’ article headlines of the “[Thing] will complete shock you” variety and, well, guess why some of those social media threads devolve?

I realize this is neither a new nor uniquely groundbreaking observation, but it’s been on my mind given the pieces I’ve been working on, with two articles particularly making me think about the course of events.

Conor Friedersdorf wrote in The Atlantic back in January about how the Internet has eroded the ability for people to, well, essentially, curate their identity in different places. You still can, but the unification of self everywhere on every channel is problematic. The fact that this erosion is fueled by outrage does not help matters.

The other factor is how corporations are adopting this particular Internet flavor of umbrage as a standard advertising tactic, as Luke Winkie wrote today in Vox.

I guess I just don’t want anyone to feed the trolls even if they think they know how to use the trolls for their own ends. Don’t we have countless cautionary tales about how well that sort of thing turns out?