Facebook is desperate to ensure that the Internet never takes hold in developing nations -- they want a walled garden that they get to own and operate.
They've been experimenting with "zero rating," where they bribe mobile phone carriers in poor countries not to charge for the services that Facebook anoints. This has been extensively tried and evaluated, and it does virtually nothing to get poor people online -- rather, it's used by the wealthy to offset their mobile bills on their commutes, between wifi (that is, real Internet access).
There was a popular uprising in India in response to this, analogous to the USA's SOPA fight, in which Indian net activists rejected zero-rating in favor of better telcoms regulation, more competition, and an end to corrupt practices in mobile services.
India's telcoms regulator eventually took notice, banning Facebook's zero-rating partners from favoring its services. In response, Facebook's taken out huge, full-page ads rubbishing Net Neutrality, full of FUD worthy of 1990s-era Microsoft.
After a still-withheld complaint from a whistleblower and mounting pressure from congress to see it, president Donald Trump admitted Sunday that he asked Ukraine’s new premier to “look into” Joe Biden, a likely challenger in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Trump did not admit to tying the release of aid money to the demand, another […]
I have an op-ed in today's Globe and Mail, "Why do people believe the Earth is flat?" wherein I connect the rise of conspiratorial thinking to the rise in actual conspiracies, in which increasingly concentrated industries are able to come up with collective lobbying positions that result in everything from crashing 737s to toxic baby-bottle […]
Anna Merlan has made a distinguished journalistic career out of covering conspiracy theories, particularly far-right ones, for Gizmodo Media; her book-length account of conspiratorial thinking, Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, is a superb tour not just through the conspiracies that have taken hold in American public discourse, but […]
If you’ve worked in any high-performing engineering lab, you already know about MATLAB. This computing environment and the language that powers it is perfectly suited to science and math, with an interface that makes it easy to express and visualize complex algorithms – not to mention an infrastructure that lets it easily work with other […]
Studies have shown cannabidiol (more popularly known as CBD) to be effective in two main areas: Pain relief and stress relief. Both of those make the non-psychoactive, cannabis-derived compound a natural for topical creams. There’s no shortage of CBD products out there, but here’s eight of our favorites, all specifically designed for dermatological use – […]
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]