Articles filed under Internet

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  • Constable: Clowns, farmers among online Valentine’s dating options Feb 10, 2015 8:00 AM
    There's still time to find the perfect date for Valentine's Day if you are willing to wade through the plethora of online dating services. And if you'd rather date a clown, well there's a dating service for that, too.

  • FCC chair proposes strict net-neutrality rules Feb 8, 2015 7:34 AM
    FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that by placing broadband Internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon Wireless under a stricter regulatory framework, the government would ensure an open Internet for consumers. Under the new regime, broadband providers would be explicitly banned from blocking content or creating fast lanes for Web services that can pay for preferential treatment in American homes.

  • There is no better illustration of smartphone addiction than this app Feb 7, 2015 7:43 AM
    Welp, so, this is what we’ve come to: We now need to use apps ... to control our app use. Pocket Points, a recent-ish invention by students at California’s Chico State, shot up Apple’s trending chart on Tuesday as millions of college students anointed it the hot new thing. The app’s premise is pretty simple: Just show up to class, lock your phone, and earn points redeemable at local businesses. Because if a lifetime of crushing student loan debt wasn’t reason enough to pay attention in class, Pocket Points provides another incentive: free snacks! “You guys rock!!” tweeted one student at Penn State, where the app launched two weeks ago. (Current in-state tuition: $34,000/year.) “Couldn’t imagine going to class without this app.” Pocket Points, which started at Chico State in September, has since expanded, per the company’s Twitter account, to the Universities of Michigan, Arizona and Colorado-Boulder, San Diego, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While it’s unclear exactly how many students use the app, it already had 3,000 users at Chico State within weeks of launch. In fact, Twitter is now crowded with the cries of deprived students, begging the app to come to their campus next: What about Austin! What about high school! What incentives do we have to pay attention in class?! In all seriousness, though, this type of “productivity” app -- Silicon Valley speak for apps that address app addiction -- is really a booming field. Moment will track how much time you spend on your phone every day, even enforcing screen-free periods like a “family dinner time.” Pause invites users to “compete” over who can keep airplane mode on the longest. Checky logs how many times you unlock your phone, and then (oddly?) encourages you to tweet it. An app specifically for college classrooms -- where, by all accounts, smartphones have become a scourge -- is only the next logical step. “I find it ridiculous that it takes an app to get students paying attention in class,” wrote one college editorialist soon after the app launched. “(But) ‘Pocket Points’ is actually a really good idea and has the potential to be successful.” You heard it here first, you guys. Big in 2015: technology that makes you use technology less. • Dewey writes The Post’s The Intersect web channel covering digital and Internet culture.

  • Review: 4 different ways to rate potential dates Feb 7, 2015 7:31 AM
    You may be tired of the old standbys such as Match, OKCupid or Tinder, but the popularity of those services makes it more likely to find a variety of people there. It can be daunting to weed through thousands of profiles on the big sites. But on smaller networks you may find the fish you threw back returning to you again and again. With that in mind, here are alternatives to the more popular dating apps — and their pros and cons.

  • The political potential of Instagram Feb 7, 2015 7:35 AM
    Twitter and Facebook are old news; Instagram is where it’s at. And that matters, politically speaking. While much of the political world and official Washington converses on Twitter and the Obama campaign in 2012 revolutionized how Facebook is used in campaigns, neither is as ascendant as Instagram.

  • Apps that actually get your kids moving Jan 31, 2015 7:01 AM
    Getting your child off the couch can be difficult, especially when it’s cold outside. Here are three iPad apps that will help your child be more active and healthy through exercise.

  • 2 weeks after ‘je suis Charlie,’ Facebook censoring images of Muhammad Jan 31, 2015 7:34 AM
    Only two weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a strongly worded #JeSuisCharlie statement on the importance of free speech, Facebook has agreed to censor images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey -- including the very type of image that precipitated the Charlie Hebdo attack.

  • Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban Jan 31, 2015 7:43 AM
    Cut off from the Internet, young Cubans have quietly linked thousands of computers into a hidden network that stretches miles across Havana, letting them chat with friends, play games and download hit movies in a mini-replica of the online world that most can’t access.

  • Aurora school unveils plans for $1.9 million innovation center Jan 22, 2015 4:06 PM
    Faculty, staff, students and community members celebrated the unveiling of the official name, logo and renderings of a new innovation center at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora Wednesday. The $1.9 million innovation and inquiry hub is being funded, in part, with money donated by IMSA alumnus and YouTube co-founder Steven Chen. “This is IMSA’s new front door to the community,” said IMSA Chief Innovation Officer Britta McKenna.

  • TV channels delivered by Internet, new TV sets Jan 10, 2015 7:31 AM
    One of the biggest changes in television this year will be more channels being available online with no separate cable or satellite subscription. But for would-be cord-cutters, watching sports has been the Holy Grail. Until now — Dish Network Corp. on Monday unveiled an Internet-only subscription offering that includes ESPN.

  • Switch to Netflix means new world for Tina Fey’s comedy Jan 9, 2015 5:45 AM
    Now that the sitcom she’s writing has moved from NBC to Netflix, Tina Fey has big plans: “Season two is going to be mostly shower sex.” Jokes aside, the journey of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is a unique one for television and its future will be watched closely. The series, starring Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski, will see its first 13 episodes drop on Netflix on March 6.

  • TV makers design for streaming video to stay relevant Jan 7, 2015 9:52 PM
    Traditional TV is far from dead, but these days viewers care less about watching shows live and even prefer saving certain series to watch all at once in an evening or weekend of binge-watching. Broadcast networks and hundreds of cable channels share viewer attention with thousands of online services, including amateurs creating their own series on YouTube.

  • Ed Sheeran is Spotify’s most streamed act of 2014 Dec 3, 2014 7:32 AM
    Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is the year’s most streamed artist on Spotify, while Eminem tops the list in the United States. Spotify announced its top streaming artists, albums and songs of 2014 on Wednesday. Pharrell’s ubiquitous “Happy” was the most streamed song of the year globally.

  • Police warn of social media party invitations Dec 1, 2014 5:53 AM
    Indianapolis police are warning that it’s risky to send party invitations on social media where anyone can see those invitations. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says such invitations on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can lead to gatecrashing, underage drinking, people using drugs, physical assaults and civil liability for homeowner if anyone gets injured because of illegal activity. The department says all parties should have a sober and responsible adult present at all times monitoring all activities. Police also recommend that parents monitor their children’s social media activity. Police say that if uninvited guests arrive and begin to cause problems, those hosting the party should notify police as soon as possible.

  • Streaming services are ruining the easy gift Nov 29, 2014 7:34 AM
    For lazy gift-givers, the latest evolution in digital content delivery is the most ominous yet. Like the Grinch disrupting Christmas for the denizens of Whoville, streaming media threatens to spoil the era of the easy present. It’s one thing to drop $16 on a hardcover of the new Michael Lewis book for someone who has a Kindle. It’s quite another to buy it for someone who has Kindle Unlimited- and has thus, in a real sense, already paid for on-demand access to the very text you’re gifting him.

  • Social media ineptness helped fund ‘Still Waters’ Nov 17, 2014 6:00 AM
    Sometimes not knowing what you’re doing with social media pays off. It did — literally — for the filmmakers behind “Behind Still Waters,” an indie movie that was funded through one of the more successful Kickstarter campaigns. First-time director Chris Lowell says he and co-writer Mohit Narang were so “inept” when it came to social media they needed help just setting up Facebook accounts and figuring out how to Tweet.

  • FCC chair, Obama split on Internet rules Nov 15, 2014 7:42 AM
    Hours after President Barack Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass tougher regulations on high-speed Internet providers, the agency’s Democratic chairman told a group of business executives that he was moving in a different direction. Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution.

  • The argument for, and against, net neutrality Nov 15, 2014 7:34 AM
    Let’s say President Barack Obama gets his way and high-speed Internet service providers are governed by the same U.S. regulations imposed on telephone companies 80 years ago. Depending on whom you listen to, the rules could unleash future innovation and create jobs — or stifle innovation and kill jobs. The divisive and often confusing debate has intensified now that Obama has entered the fray. Obama’s stance is meant to protect “net neutrality,” the concept that everyone with an Internet connection should have equal access to all legal content online. The idea served as one of the Internet’s building blocks, but its fate has been in limbo since January, when a court ruling invalidated Federal Communications Commission guidelines designed to treat all online traffic equally. The FCC has already been working on a new regulatory framework and is under no legal obligation to heed Obama’s call. Nevertheless, Obama’s opinion turns up the political heat on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the four other commissioners who will make the final decision. The FCC isn’t under a deadline to make a decision. The Argument For Regulating Internet Service Providers As Utilities Obama believes the adoption of these Depression-era rules are the best way to preserve a “free and open” Internet that gives everyone in the U.S. the same access to any website hosting legal content, including video, music, photos, social networks, email, and maps. Adopting these rules would empower the U.S. government to prevent powerful online service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable from controlling Internet traffic in a way that suits their own financial interests. This premise assumes the service providers, if left unchecked, will create a two-tier system that funnels Internet traffic into fast and slow lanes. Only the richest companies will be able to pay the extra tolls to ensure their online content is accessible through these fast lanes, according to this hypothesis. “It is historically important that the Internet enhances freedom for all rather than profit for a few,” says Ed Black, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group that represents many technology companies, including Internet search leader Google Inc. and social networking leader Facebook Inc. And major cable-TV providers that also sell high-speed Internet service might be able to diminish the quality of service to Internet-only video services such as Netflix and Hulu that might lure away their customers. Netflix Inc., which boasts 37 million U.S. subscribers, is leading the charge to regulate Internet service providers like utilities. If net neutrality’s principles hadn’t been in effect for the past 20 years, proponents contend entrepreneurs would have been discouraged from developing a wide range of online services that have created millions of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth. Preserving net neutrality will put more people to work and enrich more investors under this theory. The Argument Against Regulating Internet Service Providers As Utilities If the U.S. government becomes the Internet’s traffic cop, online service providers will lose their incentive to continue investing in projects that improve their networks and expand into areas that have little or no high-speed access. This would lead to less innovation and threaten millions of jobs, according to cable and telecommunications companies spearheading the argument for little or no regulation. Adopting Obama’s approach “would threaten millions of jobs and a diverse array of stakeholders,” warned Broadband for America, an industry trade group. Last year, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner Cable invested a combined $46 billion in the U.S. on plants, property and equipment, according to estimates complied in an analysis by the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank. Internet service providers also argue that it would be unfair to codify regulations that would prevent them from ever recovering some of the costs for connecting to broadband hogs such as Netflix, whose service generates about one-third of U.S. online traffic during the evening hours on weekdays. Netflix already pays Comcast, Verizon and AT&T an undisclosed fee for a more direct connection to their networks, an arrangement that could become unnecessary if Obama’s recommendation is adopted by the FCC. More regulation under rules created in a dramatically different era also threatens to bog down the Internet in more government bureaucracy and meddling. The 1934 Telecommunications Act would be the foundation of net neutrality, as envisioned by Obama, and it’s not clear how much the law would be updated. Broadband for America likened Obama’s proposal to the efforts of governments in China and Russia to gain more control over the Internet.

  • 5 questions, answers on ‘net neutrality’ Nov 15, 2014 7:33 AM
    President Barack Obama on Monday waded into the debate over “net neutrality” by suggesting that Internet service should be regulated more heavily to protect consumers. A look at the issue and what’s at stake.

  • How to stop anonymous trolls from destroying online games Nov 15, 2014 7:44 AM
    Anonymity, in some cases a key civil liberty, also enables society’s worst actors. The loudest, most obnoxious, most toxic voices are able to drown out the rest of us — a spectacle that has nearly pushed me to quit the video-game world entirely in recent months.

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