Tag: Internet

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Parler, Web Hosts, and Masterpiece Cakes

 

Parler lost its rented server space with Amazon Web Services. Parler also found its phone apps booted off the Apple and Google app stores. This is not the “destruction” of Parler – not unless Parler was on such shaky ground that it cannot be rebuilt. This is certainly hamstringing it, but if this is a “death sentence”, then it is one that is easily overcome with cold hard cash (would that the Reaper were so easily fended off on more fleshly concerns). We need perspective here, and an honest reckoning of what happened, how, and why. We also need to yet again yank the plank from our own eye, for it was just a short while ago that we were adamantly defending another business for refusing paying clientele: I speak of none other than Masterpiece Cakes.

First, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way – understanding how Parler was built, and how it planned to make money for its creators (let’s not fool ourselves into thinking it was all charity work) is key to understanding its demise. Web sites have to be located on computers. You can make a website on your laptop and share it with the rest of the internet if you want. Users just would need to know the numerical address in either IPV4 or IPV6 to find it. If you want to make it easier to find then you would have to register a domain name, and then map that domain name to your server address. Now suppose your little website got really popular because its topic was fun and lovable – let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your website was all about your pet bird. If you had just a residential internet connection, after a point your neighbors would start to complain that traffic to your laptop was killing their own connections. Plus, your laptop has limited processing power to keep serving page views out – and your addition of a little bird forum doubled traffic to the point where your laptop’s cooling fan failed from overuse. How do you fix these issues?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I’d be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts about this. By virtue of their market dominance and the competitive advantages of large networks, the tech giants are able to manage the flow of news and information, censoring, throttling, and editorializing as they wish. They can do this transparently or invisibly, using increasingly sophisticated algorithms coupled with […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they examine media critic Howard Kurtz’s call for TV hosts to rely on infectious disease experts to assess the coronavirus instead of more familiar faces. They also hammer “The Atlantic” and two law professors for concluding that China’s crackdown on internet speech is a better way to go than America’s default towards free speech. And they unload on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for lying about opposing Trump’s China travel ban and for suggesting Trump was wrong even to allow American citizens and green card holders to return from China.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech

 

Free speech…free expression generally…is under attack in America and throughout the Western world to a degree not seen in a long time. I think there are specific phenomena and (partially-overlapping) categories of people which are largely driving this attack, to wit:

The Thugs. As I pointed out in my post The United States of Weimar?, illegal actions against political opponents, ranging from theft of newspapers to direct assault and battery, have in recent decades become increasingly common on university campuses, and now are well on track to being normalized as aspects of American politics. Incidents of political thuggery are reported almost daily: just the other day, pro-Trump women at an upscale DC hotel were verbally attacked and apparently physically assaulted by members of a wedding party that was heavy on Democrat attendees; including, reportedly, some top officials from the DNC. A pro-free-speech film was reportedly interrupted by two men wearing masks. Interruption of movies they didn’t like was a tactic used by the Nazis prior to their obtaining official censorship powers. The film “All Quiet on the Western Front” was plagued by Nazi disruptions when released in Germany in 1930. And attempts to shut down dissident speakers on college campuses, such as this, have become so common as to now be almost the default expectation.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. India Meets the Internet; Wedded Bliss or Marital Strife to Follow?

 

When I was growing up in India we lived in a semi-socialist, planned economy. “Semi-socialist” because India always had a private sector, and essentially unshaken patterns of inherited privilege and oppression. “Planned” because we had five-year plans and the Government controlled “the commanding heights of the economy.” One such height being telecommunications.

So, Indian telecommunications were awful when I grew up. We only had landlines. Landlines were scarce (there could be a ten-year waiting period), expensive, and frequently functioned badly (wrong numbers = incorrect connections) when they functioned at all (often not). This reflected a broader media space where the only television station was run by the government, and where print media was an oligopoly.

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Drudge at the National Press Club Let’s go back in time. Here is a priceless speech and Q&A from Matt Drudge. The date is 1998 and he has entered the belly of the beast – the National Press Club. The Clinton/Lewinsky story is still recent history. He provides a background on the history of the […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The Internet! Remember when it was The Information Superhighway? Back when Al Gore first invented it? It was going to be a boon to Mankind which would connect every common citizen to the Great Minds of the World and to Great Literature and The Arts! What happened? How did we go from an isolated boy […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Gab, the Internet, and Free Speech

 

I am not a lawyer, Constitutional or otherwise, but it has come to my attention that the Gab social media site has been very effectively suppressed out of existence in the wake of the Tree of Life shootings. They have this to say at their home page:

Gab has spent the past 48 hours proudly working with the DOJ and FBI to bring justice to an alleged terrorist. Because of the data we provided, they now have plenty of evidence for their case. In the midst of this Gab has been no-platformed by essential internet infrastructure providers at every level. We are the most censored, smeared, and no-platformed startup in history, which means we are a threat to the media and to the Silicon Valley Oligarchy.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleased to see a key figure from the Florida high school shooting replaced in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office but are irritated the media has stopped covering Sheriff Scott Israel, who still has his job despite failing to perform his duties before and during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They also reject Democrats’ call to regulate the internet as a public utility in the wake of Facebook, Apple, and YouTube’s ban of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. And they mourn for Venezuelans as dictator Nicolas Maduro survived a botched drone assassination attempt, and they discuss regulations on drones and the potential to use them for terrorism.

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C|Net published an opinion piece, by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, on an FCC order, “Restoring Internet Freedom,” going into effect June 11, 2018. What are the informed technical, policy, or legal opinions of Ricochet members? The FCC Chairman wrote, in C|net: Preview Open

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Even New York Magazine finds an acorn now and then. And this interview with Silicon Valley lifer Jaron Lanier on the social failings of the Internet generally and Social Media in particular is one such. It’s a true Read The Whole Thing. I’ve had a nodding acquaintance with Lanier for three decades, encountering him at […]

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(NOTE: The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire’s original free-market think tank, publishes a weekly email newsletter. This week’s newsletter is a little rumination on partisanship. It’s posted below, in full, for your consideration. If you enjoyed this essay, you can sign up for the free Friday newsletter here.)   Preview Open

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. When It Hurts Inside, I Just Think of My Favorite Memes

 

When the dog bites and the bee stings and it hurts inside, I just think of my favorite memes and you know what? I don’t feel so bad.

So, what makes a great political meme? For me there are four kinds: the flat-out hilarious, those which exhibit uncanny prescience, those which knock down a peg those people and institutions which richly deserve it, and those which relentlessly mock hypocrisy or false narratives.

Does that mean an inordinate number Brian Williams memes? Yes, it does.

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Why have upload speeds not greatly improved in line with download speeds? Is there a technical reason or are ISPs like Comcast and AT&T trying to restrain the market for cost management? Millions of internet users take advantage of services like Twitch and Mixer to stream live content for viewers. Millions more regularly upload large […]

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Boy, we are living in an age of stupidity. This story is an argument in favor of that assertion. Online social media giant Facebook has initiated a pilot program in Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom in which users are asked to submit their intimate photos to Facebook and, in return, Facebook […]

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In the mid- to late-90s, during the Clinton years, I had a number of international gigs as an affiliate with two consultancies with technology and futures practices. The Internet was hot, I had somewhat of a track record of calling its trajectory, and governments everywhere were interested in getting their piece of the action – […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dear Internet: Stop Being Offended

 

As long as there’s been an internet, there’s been outrage. Whether you hung out on an America Online channel, a CompuServe message forum, or alt.politics.usa.screaming.eagle, there was a market for yelling at anonymous strangers about the news of the day.

With the internet saturation provided by iPhones and social media, outrage is ubiquitous. People want attention and it’s easier to get it through anger than reason. But all this taking of offense is poisoning the public square, civil society, and all of our health (mental and physical).

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Well, after 10 years(!) with a Comcast subscription, and solely for financial realignment reasons, I have just cancelled the entire TV portion (kept the Internet, which has met my needs very well). Now I am in withdrawal, losing (1) Turner Classic Movies, (2) Fox Business Channel, and (3) digital quality FM radio stations. I have […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If They Outlaw the Internet, Only Terrorists Will Have the Internet

 

@fredcole’s Daily Shot Monday morning struck a chord with me. He notes that, in the wake of another sickening and horrific terrorist attack in the UK over the weekend, Prime Minister Theresa May is quoted as saying “we need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.” Other British leaders are understandably, but I believe wrong-headedly, calling for the same.

Let me start by saying that I yield to no one in wishing the atrocities being perpetrated across the globe by violent, fanatical islamists would stop. My own first reaction to this latest assault was to wonder if perhaps loosening our western scruples about cruel and unusual punishment in cases of terrorism might be the best move. We are, after all, dealing with barbarians, and barbarians who don’t fear death, so perhaps treating them barbarically is what is needed to deter them. If a couple of them publicly got the William Wallace treatment in Trafalgar Square, maybe it would cause the next monster to think twice about the cost he was going to pay for his 72 virgins.