Category Archives: Internet

Use Your Old Smartphone As A Free Web Server

There are all sorts of free web server apps, which are useful for hosting your own website from home without having to pay anything. Of course, you are limited to the resources your old smartphone has, but there is a surprising amount of services you can provide even without a lot of storage, such as a PHP server, a SQL database server, an FTP server, and even an ssh server. This can prove to be very powerful if done right!

windows phone is dead


Tekoso Media Provides Web Hosting For Small Businesses

For Immediate Release –

Tekoso Media Web Hosting

Internet company Tekoso Media has recently begun offering web hosting services including shared hosting, cloud hosting and storage, VPS hosting and dedicated servers for both Windows and Linux platforms. Prices are very cheap and come with generous software packages, security and cutting edge computer technology.

Also servers in the shared, VPS and managed server packages come with cPanel and a whole host of free add-ons that every internet marketer needs for their launch, including ticket systems, multiple email accounts, billing systems and membership functionality.

WordPress Hosting at Tekoso Media

WordPress is obviously a part of what they offer, but they go the extra mile by offering wordpress hosting at a discounted rate as well. On top of that, their point and click, drag and drop website creators and integrations make it very easy to get up and running within minutes.

If you’re launching a new product or service, or even hosting a blog network for search engine optimization such as authority blogs, Tekoso Web Hosting is your best bet for getting started fast and cheaply. For just a few bucks you can have lightning speed servers, more hard drive space and RAM than you’ll ever need and plenty of bandwidth, all without breaking the bank the way you would with competing web hosting providers.

Try Tekoso and take them for a test drive. They even offer a thirty day money back guarantee on any server that is unsatisfactory. This offer may be limited, so check them out today!

Learn more about Tekoso Web Hosting at on Youtube at

Facebook’s new anti-fake news strategy is not going to work – but something else might

Have you seen some “tips to spot fake news” on your Facebook newsfeed recently? The Conversation

Over the past year, the social media company has been scrutinized for influencing the US presidential election by spreading fake news (propoganda). Obviously, the ability to spread completely made-up stories about politicians trafficking child sex slaves and imaginary terrorist attacks with impunity is bad for democracy and society.

Something had to be done.

Enter Facebook’s new, depressingly incompetent strategy for tackling fake news. The strategy has three, frustratingly ill-considered parts.

New products

The first part of the plan is to build new products to curb the spread of fake news stories. Facebook says it’s trying “to make it easier to report a false news story” and find signs of fake news such as “if reading an article makes people significantly less likely to share it.”

It will then send the story to independent fact checkers. If fake, the story “will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to a corresponding article explaining why.”

This sounds pretty good, but it won’t work.

If non-experts could tell the difference between real news and fake news (which is doubtful), there would be no fake news problem to begin with.

What’s more, Facebook says: “We cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves — it’s not feasible given our scale, and it’s not our role.” Nonsense.

Facebook is like a megaphone. Normally, if someone says something horrible into the megaphone, it’s not the megaphone company’s fault. But Facebook is a very special kind of megaphone that listens first and then changes the volume.

The company’s algorithms largely determine both the content and order of your newsfeed. So if Facebook’s algorithms spread some neo-Nazi hate speech far and wide, yes, it is the company’s fault.

Worse yet, even if Facebook accurately labels fake news as contested, it will still affect public discourse through “availability cascades.”

Each time you see the same message repeated from (apparently) different sources, the message seems more believable and reasonable. Bold lies are extremely powerful because repeatedly fact-checking them can actually make people remember them as true.

These effects are exceptionally robust; they cannot be fixed with weak interventions such as public service announcements, which brings us to the second part of Facebook’s strategy: helping people make more informed decisions when they encounter false news.

Helping you help yourself

Facebook is releasing public service announcements and funding the “news integrity initiative” to help “people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online”.

This – also – doesn’t work.

A vast body of research in cognitive psychology concerns correcting systematic errors in reasoning such as failing to perceive propaganda and bias. We have known since the 1980s that simply warning people about their biased perceptions doesn’t work.

Similarly, funding a “news integrity” project sounds great until you realise the company is really talking about critical thinking skills.

Improving critical thinking skills is a key aim of primary, secondary and tertiary education. If four years of university barely improves these skills in students, what will this initiative do? Make some Youtube videos? A fake news FAQ?

Funding a few research projects and “meetings with industry experts” doesn’t stand a chance to change anything.

Disrupting economic incentives

The third prong of this non-strategy is cracking down on spammers and fake accounts, and making it harder for them to buy advertisements. While this is a good idea, it’s based on the false premise that most fake news comes from shady con artists rather than major news outlets.

You see, “fake news” is Orwellian newspeak — carefully crafted to mean a totally fabricated story from a fringe outlet masquerading as news for financial or political gain. But these stories are the most suspicious and therefore the least worrisome. Bias and lies from public figures, official reports and mainstream news are far more insidious.

And what about astrology, homeopathy, psychics, anti-vaccination messages, climate change denial, intelligent design, miracles, and all the rest of the irrational nonsense bandied about online? What about the vast array of deceptive marketing and stealth advertising that is core to Facebook’s business model?

As of this writing, Facebook doesn’t even have an option to report misleading advertisements.

What is Facebook to do?

Facebook’s strategy is vacuous, evanescent, lip service; a public relations exercise that makes no substantive attempt to address a serious problem.

But the problem is not unassailable. The key to reducing inaccurate perceptions is to redesign technologies to encourage more accurate perception. Facebook can do this by developing a propaganda filter — something like a spam filter for lies.

Facebook may object to becoming an “arbiter of truth”. But coming from a company that censors historic photos and comedians calling for social justice, this sounds disingenuous.

Nonetheless, Facebook has a point. To avoid accusations of bias, it should not create the propaganda filter itself. It should simply fund researchers in artificial intelligence, software engineering, journalism and design to develop an open-source propaganda filter that anyone can use.

Why should Facebook pay? Because it profits from spreading propaganda, that’s why.

Sure, people will try to game the filter, but it will still work. Spam is frequently riddled with typos, grammatical errors and circumlocution not only because it’s often written by non-native English speakers but also because the weird writing is necessary to bypass spam filters.

If the propaganda filter has a similar effect, weird writing will make the fake news that slips through more obvious. Better yet, an effective propaganda filter would actively encourage journalistic best practices such as citing primary sources.

Developing a such a tool won’t be easy. It could take years and several million dollars to refine. But Facebook made over US$8 billion last quarter, so Mark Zuckerberg can surely afford it.

Paul Ralph, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, University of Auckland

How to make an Internet of Intelligent Things work for Africa

Martin Hall, University of Cape Town

Late in 2016 Senegal’s Banque Regionale De Marches announced the launch of the eCFA Franc; a cryptocurrency for the countries of the West African Monetary Union – Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo and Guinea-Bissau. This and similar innovations mark the coming of age of a new generation of applications – an Internet of Intelligent Things – that could provide a new infrastructure for economic development across Africa. The Conversation

The Internet of Things is a network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items. They are equipped with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity so they can collect and exchange data. There’s wide enthusiasm about spectacular innovations such as Intelligent refrigeratorsand driverless cars. But a quieter revolution is underway in everyday systems and facilities, such as financial services.

There are particular possibilities here for Africa. The potential for the continent’s economic growth is well established. There’s also an abundance of opportunity for digital innovation. This was clear from a recent continent wide entrepreneurship competition organised by the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

More broadly, the new Internet of Things has the potential to compensate for Africa’s legacies of underdevelopment. The key here is the development of the blockchain from a fringe concept into a mainstream digital innovation.

The blockchain and Africa

The blockchain, mostly known as the technology that underpins digital currency Bitcoin, is an almost incorruptible digital ledger of transactions, agreements and contracts that is distributed across thousands of computers, worldwide.

It has the potential to be both foundation and springboard for a new developmental infrastructure.

New blockchain platforms such as Ethereum are supporting the development of distributed applications. These “DApps” can provide accessible ways to use the blockchain. They act like “autonomous agents” – little brains that receive and process information, make decisions and take actions. These new capabilities will have widespread implications when linked to cryptocurrencies through “smart contacts” that are also securely recorded in the blockchain.

DApps provide a practical and affordable means of making Things intelligent and able to interact directly with other Things. They can be programmed to take data-informed actions without human intervention.

These innovations will have particular benefits across Africa. Economic growth is underpinned and enabled by appropriate financial services. Early internet-based innovations such as Kenya’s M-PESA have clearly demonstrated the appetite for accessible, Internet-financial services. But many small and medium businesses are still restricted. Their owners usually can’t access standard loan financing. Banks will not extend credit facilities without traditional title deeds to land and buildings, or a conventional payslip.

Don and Alex Tapscott have shown in their recent book that the new blockchain can be “the ledger of everything”. A house can become an intelligent entity registered on a secure, distributed database once it’s tagged with a geospatial reference and sensors that monitor its continuing existence.

The owner of the asset can, through an Ethereum-based smart contract, secure a loan to expand a start-up enterprise. Intermediary arrangements become unnecessary. Economist Hernando de Soto has suggested this could create “a revolution in property rights”.

Water and energy

Property and financing aren’t the only areas where the new Internet of Intelligent Things has the potential to compensate for Africa’s legacies of underdevelopment.

Economic growth also depends on affordable and reliable services like water and energy. Water is an increasingly scarce resource in many parts of Africa. This is particularly true in cities. Rapid population increases are making old precepts of urban planning redundant.

Technology can help. Autonomous agents positioned across all aspects of water reticulation systems can monitor supplies of potable, storm and waste water. These “little brains” can take appropriate actions to detect and report damage and leakage and close off supply lines. Smart devices can also monitor water quality to detect health hazards. They can regulate and charge for water consumption.

Similarly, for the supply of energy, smart devices are already being deployed across conventional and ageing power grids in other parts of the world. In Australia, for instance, intelligent monitors detect when an individual pole is in trouble. They then report the fault and call out a repair crew. They can also communicate with other poles to redirect the supply and preserve the grid’s integrity.

In parallel with conventional supply systems, new digital technologies can enable full integration with renewable sources of energy and the intelligent management of supply at the household level. The new blockchain is designed for secure peer-to-peer transactions combined with incorruptible contracts between multiple parties. Individual households can manage their own supply and demand to incorporate self-generated energy. A house equipped with a simple windmill and a roof made up of photovoltaic tiles could sell surplus power to a neighbour in need. They could also buy from another house to meet a shortfall.
Such microgrids are already in development. The combination of ubiquitous and affordable bandwidth and low cost autonomous agents could bring affordable energy to communities that have never enjoyed reliable electricity supply.

A new infrastructure built up in this way could be a springboard for economic development – from small enterprises that would have the resources to take innovations to scale, to significant household efficiencies and increases in consumer purchasing power. As has been the pattern with previous digital technologies, costs of production will fall dramatically as the global market for intelligent things explodes. That which seems extraordinary today will be everyday tomorrow.

So what’s standing in the way?

Established interests

It’s not the technology that’s holding Africa back from embracing the Internet of Things. Rather, it’s the established interests in play. These include state enterprises and near-monopolies that are heavily invested in conventional systems, local patronage networks and conventional banks, and the failure of political vision.

What’s needed is effective public policy and business to ensure that the potential of this next wave of digital innovation is realised. Government and civil society innovators need to be directing much of their attention here.

This is why the West African Monetary Union’s cryptocurrency initiative is encouraging. It’s a step towards the future that Don and Alex Tapscott envision; a move towards an Internet that’s driven by the falling costs of bargaining, policing, and enforcing social and commercial agreements.

In this new space integrity, security, collaboration, the privacy of all transactions will be the name of the game. So too will the creation and distribution of value. And that’s great news for Africa.

Martin Hall, Emeritus Professor, MTN Solution Space Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The factories of the past are turning into the data centers of the future

We live in a data-driven world. From social media to smart cities to the internet of things, we now generate huge volumes of information about nearly every detail of life. This has revolutionized everything from business to government to the pursuit of romance.

We tend to focus our attention on what is new about the era of big data. But our digital present is in fact deeply connected to our industrial past.

In Chicago, where I teach and do research, I’ve been looking at the transformation of the city’s industrial building stock to serve the needs of the data industry. Buildings where workers once processed checks, baked bread and printed Sears catalogs now stream Netflix and host servers engaged in financial trading.

The buildings themselves are a kind of witness to how the U.S. economy has changed. By observing these changes in the landscape, we get a better sense of how data exist in the physical realm. We are also struck with new questions about what the rise of an information-based economy means for the physical, social and economic development of cities. The decline of industry can actually create conditions ripe for growth – but the benefits of that growth may not reach everyone in the city.

‘Factories of the 21st century’

Data centers have been described as the factories of the 21st century. These facilities contain servers that store and process digital information. When we hear about data being stored “in the cloud,” those data are really being stored in a data center.

Servers inside a data center.
By Global Access Point, via Wikimedia Commons

But contrary to the ephemeral-sounding term “cloud,” data centers are actually incredibly energy- and capital-intensive infrastructure. Servers use tremendous amounts of electricity and generate large amounts of heat, which in turn requires extensive investments in cooling systems in order to keep servers operating. These facilities also need to be connected to fiber optic cables, which deliver information via beams of light. In most places, these cables – the “highway” part of the “information superhighway” – are buried along the rights of way provided by existing road and railroad networks. In other words, the pathways of the internet are shaped by previous rounds of development.

The interior of the Schulze Baking Company facility in 2016 showing some of the utility connections.
Graham Pickren

An economy based on information, just like one based on manufacturing, still requires a human-made environment. For the data industry, taking advantage of the places that have the power capacity, the building stock, the fiber optic connectivity and the proximity to both customers and other data centers is often central to their real estate strategy.

From analog to digital

As this real estate strategy plays out, what is particularly fascinating is the way in which infrastructure constructed to meet the needs of a different era is now being repurposed for the data sector.

In Chicago’s South Loop sits the former R.R. Donnelley & Sons printing factory. At one time, it was one of the largest printers in the U.S., producing everything from Bibles to Sears catalogs. Now, it is the Lakeside Technology Center, one of the largest data centers in the world and the second-largest consumer of electricity in the state of Illinois.

The eight-story Gothic-style building is well-suited to the needs of a massive data center. Its vertical shafts, formerly used to haul heavy stacks of printed material between floors, are now used to run fiber optic cabling through the building. (Those cables come in from the railroad spur outside.) Heavy floors built to withstand the weight of printing presses are now used to support rack upon rack of server equipment. What was once the pinnacle of the analog world is now a central node in global financial networks.

Photograph of printing press #D2, 1949. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company. Archive, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Just a few miles south of Lakeside Technology Center is the former home of Schulze Baking Company in the South Side neighborhood of Washington Park. Once famous for its butternut bread, the five-story terra cotta bakery is currently being renovated into the Midway Technology Center, a data center. Like the South Loop printing factory, the Schulze bakery contains features useful to the data industry. The building also has heavy-load bearing floors as well as louvered windows designed to dissipate the heat from bread ovens – or, in this case, servers.

It isn’t just the building itself that makes Schulze desirable, but the neighborhood as a whole. A developer working on the Schulze redevelopment project told me that, because the surrounding area had been deindustrialized, and because a large public housing project had closed down in recent decades, the nearby power substations actually had plenty of idle capacity to meet the data center’s needs.

Examples of this “adaptive reuse” of industrial building stock abound. The former Chicago Sun-Times printing facility became a 320,000-square-foot data center earlier last year. A Motorola office building and former television factory in the suburbs has been bought by one of the large data center companies. Even the once mighty retailer Sears, which has one of the largest real estate portfolios in the country, has created a real estate division tasked with spinning off some of its stores into data center properties. Beyond Chicago, Amazon is in the process of turning an old biscuit factory in Ireland into a data center, and in New York, some of the world’s most significant data center properties are housed in the former homes of Western Union and the Port Authority, two giants of 20th-century modernity.

What we see here in these stories is the seesaw of urban development. As certain industries and regions decline, some of the infrastructure retains its value. That provides an opportunity for future savvy investors to seize upon.

Schulze Baking Company advertisement.
University of Illinois Chicago Digital Collections
The Schulze Baking Company operated on Chicago’s South Side from 1914–2004. The historic building is being turned into a data center.
Graham Pickren

Data centers and public policy

What broader lessons can be drawn about the way our data-rich lives will transform our physical and social landscape?

First, there is the issue of labor and employment. Data centers generate tax revenues but don’t employ many people, so their relocation to places like Washington Park is unlikely to change the economic fortunes of local residents. If the data center is the “factory of the 21st century,” what will that mean for the working class?

Data centers are crucial to innovations such as machine-learning, which threatens to automate many routine tasks in both high and low-skilled jobs. By one measure, as much as 47 percent of U.S. employment is at risk of being automated. Both low- and high-skilled jobs that are nonroutine – in other words, difficult to automate – are growing in the U.S. Some of these jobs will be supported by data centers, freeing up workers from repetitive tasks so that they can focus on other skills.

On the flip side, employment in the manufacturing sector – which has provided so many people with a ladder into the middle class – is in decline in terms of employment. The data center embodies that economic shift, as data management enables the displacement of workers through offshoring and automation.

So buried within the question of what these facilities will mean for working people is the larger issue of the relationship between automation and the polarization of incomes. To paraphrase Joseph Schumpeter, data centers seem likely to both create and destroy.

Bakers working the conveyor belt at Schulze Baking Company, circa 1920. The new data center will employ significantly fewer workers than the bakery.
By Fred A. Behmer for the Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, via Wikimedia Commons

Second, data centers present a public policy dilemma for local and state governments. Public officials around the world are eager to grease the skids of data center development.

In many locations, generous tax incentives are often used to entice new data centers. As the Associated Press reported last year, state governments across the U.S. extended nearly US$1.5 billion in tax incentives to hundreds of data center projects nationwide during the past decade. For example, an Oregon law targeting data centers provides property tax relief on facilities, equipment, and employment for up to five years in exchange for creating one job. The costs and benefits of these kinds of subsidies have not been systematically studied.

More philosophically, as a geographer, I’ve been influenced by people like David Harvey and Neil Smith, who have theorized capitalist development as inherently uneven across time and space. Boom and bust, growth and decline: They are two sides of the same coin.

The implication here is that the landscapes we construct to serve the needs of today are always temporary. The smells of butternut bread defined part of everyday life in Washington Park for nearly a century. Today, data is in the ascendancy, constructing landscapes suitable to its needs. But those landscapes will also be impermanent, and predicting what comes next is difficult. Whatever the future holds for cities, we can be sure that what comes next will be a reflection of what came before it.

The Conversation

Graham Pickren, Assistant Professor of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Turning diamonds’ defects into long-term 3-D data storage

With the amount of data storage required for our daily lives growing and growing, and currently available technology being almost saturated, we’re in desperate need of a new method of data storage. The standard magnetic hard disk drive (HDD) – like what’s probably in your laptop computer – has reached its limit, holding a maximum of a few terabytes. Standard optical disk technologies, like compact disc (CD), digital video disc (DVD) and Blu-ray disc, are restricted by their two-dimensional nature – they just store data in one plane – and also by a physical law called the diffraction limit, based on the wavelength of light, that constrains our ability to focus light to a very small volume.

And then there’s the lifetime of the memory itself to consider. HDDs, as we’ve all experienced in our personal lives, may last only a few years before things start to behave strangely or just fail outright. DVDs and similar media are advertised as having a storage lifetime of hundreds of years. In practice this may be cut down to a few decades, assuming the disk is not rewritable. Rewritable disks degrade on each rewrite.

Without better solutions, we face financial and technological catastrophes as our current storage media reach their limits. How can we store large amounts of data in a way that’s secure for a long time and can be reused or recycled?

In our lab, we’re experimenting with a perhaps unexpected memory material you may even be wearing on your ring finger right now: diamond. On the atomic level, these crystals are extremely orderly – but sometimes defects arise. We’re exploiting these defects as a possible way to store information in three dimensions.

Focusing on tiny defects

One approach to improving data storage has been to continue in the direction of optical memory, but extend it to multiple dimensions. Instead of writing the data to a surface, write it to a volume; make your bits three-dimensional. The data are still limited by the physical inability to focus light to a very small space, but you now have access to an additional dimension in which to store the data. Some methods also polarize the light, giving you even more dimensions for data storage. However, most of these methods are not rewritable.

Here’s where the diamonds come in.

The orderly structure of a diamond, but with a vacancy and a nitrogen replacing two of the carbon atoms.

A diamond is supposed to be a pure well-ordered array of carbon atoms. Under an electron microscope it usually looks like a neatly arranged three-dimensional lattice. But occasionally there is a break in the order and a carbon atom is missing. This is what is known as a vacancy. Even further tainting the diamond, sometimes a nitrogen atom will take the place of a carbon atom. When a vacancy and a nitrogen atom are next to each other, the composite defect is called a nitrogen vacancy, or NV, center. These types of defects are always present to some degree, even in natural diamonds. In large concentrations, NV centers can impart a characteristic red color to the diamond that contains them.

This defect is having a huge impact in physics and chemistry right now. Researchers have used it to detect the unique nuclear magnetic resonance signatures of single proteins and are probing it in a variety of cutting-edge quantum mechanical experiments.

Nitrogen vacancy centers have a tendency to trap electrons, but the electron can also be forced out of the defect by a laser pulse. For many researchers, the defects are interesting only when they’re holding on to electrons. So for them, the fact that the defects can release the electrons, too, is a problem.

But in our lab, we instead look at these nitrogen vacancy centers as a potential benefit. We think of each one as a nanoscopic “bit.” If the defect has an extra electron, the bit is a one. If it doesn’t have an extra electron, the bit is a zero. This electron yes/no, on/off, one/zero property opens the door for turning the NV center’s charge state into the basis for using diamonds as a long-term storage medium.

Starting from a blank ensemble of NV centers in a diamond (1), information can be written (2), erased (3), and rewritten (4).
Siddharth Dhomkar and Carlos A. Meriles, CC BY-ND

Turning the defect into a benefit

Previous experiments with this defect have demonstrated some properties that make diamond a good candidate for a memory platform.

First, researchers can selectively change the charge state of an individual defect so it either holds an electron or not. We’ve used a green laser pulse to assist in trapping an electron and a high-power red laser pulse to eject an electron from the defect. A low-power red laser pulse can help check if an electron is trapped or not. If left completely in the dark, the defects maintain their charged/discharged status virtually forever.

The NV centers can encode data on various levels.
Siddharth Dhomkar and Carlos A. Meriles, CC BY-ND

Our method is still diffraction limited, but is 3-D in the sense that we can charge and discharge the defects at any point inside of the diamond. We also present a sort of fourth dimension. Since the defects are so small and our laser is diffraction limited, we are technically charging and discharging many defects in a single pulse. By varying the duration of the laser pulse in a single region we can control the number of charged NV centers and consequently encode multiple bits of information.

Though one could use natural diamonds for these applications, we use artificially lab-grown diamonds. That way we can efficiently control the concentration of nitrogen vacancy centers in the diamond.

All these improvements add up to about 100 times enhancement in terms of bit density relative to the current DVD technology. That means we can encode all the information from a DVD into a diamond that takes up about one percent of the space.

Past just charge, to spin as well

If we could get beyond the diffraction limit of light, we could improve storage capacities even further. We have one novel proposal on this front.

A human cell, imaged on the right with super-resolution microscope.
Dr. Muthugapatti Kandasamy, CC BY-NC-ND

Nitrogen vacancy centers have also been used in the execution of what is called super-resolution microscopy to image things that are much smaller than the wavelength of light. However, since the super-resolution technique works on the same principles of charging and discharging the defect, it will cause unintentional alteration in the pattern that one wants to encode. Therefore, we won’t be able to use it as it is for memory storage application and we’d need to back up the already written data somehow during a read or write step.

Here we propose the idea of what we call charge-to-spin conversion; we temporarily encode the charge state of the defect in the spin state of the defect’s host nitrogen nucleus. Spin is a fundamental property of any elementary particle; it’s similar to its charge, and can be imagined as having a very tiny magnet permanently attached it.

While the charges are being adjusted to read/write the information as desired, the previously written information is well protected in the nitrogen spin state. Once the charges have encoded, the information can be back converted from the nitrogen spin to the charge state through another mechanism which we call spin-to-charge conversion.

With these advanced protocols, the storage capacity of a diamond would surpass what existing technologies can achieve. This is just a beginning, but these initial results provide us a potential way of storing huge amount of data in a brand new way. We’re looking forward to transform this beautiful quirk of physics into a vastly useful technology.

The Conversation

Siddharth Dhomkar, Postdoctoral Associate in Physics, City College of New York and Jacob Henshaw, Teaching Assistant in Physics, City College of New York

Gizmodo is Wrong: DDoS Attacks Are Not Evidence of a Bleak Future

Famous clickbait tech blog Gizmodo went viral today with a headline that isn’t even near being true about the future of the internet and ignores the most important topic of our time                                                                       

The headline reads, “Today’s Brutal DDoS Attack Is the Beginning of a Bleak Future”, yet nowhere in the article does it address the most important subject of our time regarding the internet:


Centralization is the enemy of the internet. If you want control over your internet access and the freedom to do as you like online, then you are against centralization. Another word for it would be “monopoly” because, as the internet essentially runs on a capitalist system, monopolies are what will cause censorship, outrageous costs and even outages due to contract disputes between companies.

Today, we saw a great example of the perils of monopolizing the net. A DDoS attack (distributed denial of service) that targeted one of the biggest DNS providers in the country ended up downing the websites of Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, Shopify, Spotify and thousands of other smaller businesses for a good 6 – 7 hours. That sounds scary, for sure. However, the fact that all the services affected were using the same DNS service, Dyn, means that internet businesses shouldn’t all be using the same services to run their websites.

Decentralization at the core is as much about promoting competition in the online marketplace as it is about internet freedom. And there’s quite a large movement of young entrepreneurs and tech savvy hobbyists within the internet industry that aren’t scared at all. (You ever hear of the Mesh Net?)

But the funniest part about Gizmodo’s article is that it completely ignores the fact that top internet engineers, movers and shakers are already working together to decentralize the internet. It’s not a fear that anyone who is actually involved in internet architecture is really worried about since centralization and monopolies have *always* been a threat, even as far back as the 1980s when internet service providers first started popping up.

Furthermore, DDoS attacks are as old as the internet itself (just as decentralization is). As soon as people figured out how to send too many garbage packets for a server to handle at once, DoS attacks were born, and it didn’t take long for it to turn into large scale or “distributed”, DoS attacks (DDoS). Just because they are getting more sophisticated doesn’t mean DDoS protection isn’t getting better, too. In the Gizmodo article, the author claims that hackers are able to “take down the internet at will”. Since when are only the major players considered to be “the internet”? Last I checked, the internet is so vast, with literally millions of new websites popping up every day, that it’s not even close to accurate to say that anyone can “take down the internet”. If someone wanted to do that, they’d have to do something a lot bigger than a simple DDoS attack at a DNS provider.

The idea that one major DDoS attack means we are all doomed is clickbait, plain and simple. I thought Facebook had some sort of new algorithm in place to catch these sorts of sensationalist headlines?

Supreme Court approves legal authority to gain unauthorized access to any computer

It just got a whole lot easier for local and federal law enforcement to gain unauthorized access to computers connected to the internet when the Supreme Court approved changes to the rules of criminal procedure recently. The changes have enabled warrants for searches of any remote computer system despite local laws, ownership and physical location.

These warrants are particularly important to computer crimes divisions since many investigations result in turning up anonymous hosts, or users who don’t share their true identity in any way.

Unless congress takes action beforehand, the new law goes into affect in December of 2016.

AOL Founder Steve Case’s Third Wave Digital Revolution

AOL co-founder, Steve Case, is one of the leading pioneers of the technology. In his new book, “The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future”, he summarizes the need for taking the “world wide web,” aka the Internet, to the next level which he refers to in his book as the Third Wave of the digital revolution.

The “First Wave,” America Online, was pioneered and co-founded by Case in 1985 which involved only three percent of people appearing online for one hour a week. AOL and other similar companies laid a solid foundation for the “Second Wave” that involved Facebook and Google, thus further expanding the Internet with social networking and search engine abilities. Hence, Case now holds a standing stating that the “Third Wave” must indeed integrate the Internet into every possible aspect of people’s lives.

Challenging as it sounds, incorporating Internet into daily activities like education and health care involves participation of government and many active roles according to Case. Focusing on development of software and applications alone is not sufficient, the Government and Institutions must be involved to draw a bigger picture.

Involving Government, collaboration of bigger companies with entrepreneurs will help spur innovation by shaping policies and making it easier to raise money for research and development with startups. For the “Third Wave” to flourish and become a huge success, exploring and experimenting together is essential. Only then can the world be ready for the new digital era according to Case.

Showtime’s ‘Dark Net’ Uncovers Deep Web Internet Culture

Through the internet, the impact of technology on our lives is both unprecedented and undeniable.

From cyber relationships, S&M culture and child abuse to biohacking, content moderation and nootropics, Dark Net finally puts into moving pictures what blogs have been typing up a storm about for the past few years.

At first glance the show seems like your run-of-the-mill cyber culture documentary, but the topics being explored are of a much more taboo persuasion — and it’s not just the underground pedophile networks accessed via Tor we’re talking about.

While Dark Net covers a lot of ground in technology subculture, it also serves as a bit of a transhumanist playground, discussing cutting edge and controversial topics such as RFID chip implants and other biohacks, nootropics, artificial intelligence girlfriends, and more. The main topic, however, seems to be the nature of human relationships being altered, augmented, and even hindered by technology, and it’s not difficult to understand why.

Through the internet, the impact of technology on our lives is both unprecedented and undeniable. Exploring subcultures and trends such as sadomasochism, porn addiction, and even internet addiction, Dark Net attempts to bring to light some otherwise undisclosed topics the most people refuse to talk about openly.

Dark Net is on Showtime, Thursday nights.

Max Klaassen
Public enema xenomorphic robot from the dimension Zrgauddon.