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Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Media / Politics04.11.2014

Zwischen Lesern und Lobbynetzwerken – Wie die Süddeutsche Zeitung um Deutungshoheit kämpft

Die Debatte um eine zu enge Verbindung von Journalisten deutscher Leitmedien mit transatlantischen Lobbynetzwerken reißt nicht ab. Detailliert äußert sich zu den Vorwürfen nun auch der Außenpolitikchef der Süddeutschen Zeitung, Stefan Kornelius. Stimmen aus der Medienwissenschaft kritisieren seine Stellungnahme. Auch die kürzlich erfolgte Umstellung der Leserforen bei der Süddeutschen sorgt für Kritik.


Internet / Pictures / Society23.10.2014

Why Kids Sext

Within an hour, the deputies realized just how common the sharing of nude pictures was at the school. “The boys kept telling us, ‘It’s nothing unusual. It happens all the time,’ ” Lowe recalls. Every time someone they were interviewing mentioned another kid who might have naked pictures on his or her phone, they had to call that kid in for an interview. After just a couple of days, the deputies had filled multiple evidence bins with phones, and they couldn’t see an end to it. Fears of a cabal got replaced by a more mundane concern: what to do with “hundreds of damned phones. I told the deputies, ‘We got to draw the line somewhere or we’re going to end up talking to every teenager in the damned county!’ ” Nor did the problem stop at the county’s borders. Several boys, in an effort to convince Lowe that they hadn’t been doing anything rare or deviant, showed him that he could type the hashtag symbol (#) into Instagram followed by the name of pretty much any nearby county and then thots, and find a similar account.


Internet / Misc / Technology13.10.2014

Amazing Military Infographics

Some nights I like to get the kids to bed, pour a drink, and search the web for military-produced PDFs in order to look at the amazing graphics within them. I’d thought I was the only person with this hobby, but a few weeks ago my friend Finn Smith told me that he, too, likes military PDF graphics. The Internet is wonderful at bringing people together.


Business / Internet / Science14.08.2014

A Chinese Internet Giant Starts to Dream

Dig into the history of Baidu, however, and you’ll find it has Valley roots of its own. CEO Robin Li cofounded the company in 2000 with biotech salesman Eric Xu, after a stint as an engineer at the Sunnyvale-­based search engine Infoseek. Li was armed with a patent for a way to rank sites in search listings by the number of incoming links—filed in 1997, a year before Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page patented their similar PageRank algorithm. As China’s Internet population grew, so did Baidu, enough to attract a $5 million investment in 2004 from Google itself—which later tried to buy Baidu for $1.6 billion in an attempt to head off the Chinese company’s IPO, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Instead, Baidu went public in August 2005, and shares rocketed 354 percent the first day. Much as Google had done in the United States, Baidu quickly solidified its hold on China’s search market and used the profits to expand into a range of other online services.


Business / Internet08.08.2014

The Most Fascinating Profile You’ll Ever Read About a Guy and His Boring Startup

He admits that if the right offer comes along, the kind of offer that only three or four companies in the world could come up with, he would have to jump. But what is that? Five billion? Seven? Ten? It’s hard to know, because in Silicon Valley today, money has lost all meaning and value. It is an abstract construct that can be exchanged for homes and Teslas and handmade selvedge denim jeans flown in from Japan, but nobody really has any idea what constitutes “a lot” anymore. At some point however, he would be obligated to all those who’ve stuck with him and to all those who have given him money.


Business / Internet / Technology / Wikipedia08.08.2014

List of mergers and acquisitions by Google

Google is a computer software and a web search engine company that has been acquiring, on average, more than one company per week since 2010. The table below is an incomplete list of acquisitions, with each acquisition listed being for the respective company in its entirety, unless otherwise specified.


Business / Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Technology17.07.2014

A detailed exposé on how the market is rigged from a data-centric approach

We received trade execution reports from an active trader who wanted to know why his large orders almost never completely filled, even when the amount of stock advertised exceeded the number of shares wanted. For example, if 25,000 shares were at the best offer, and he sent in a limit order at the best offer price for 20,000 shares, the trade would, more likely than not, come back partially filled. In some cases, more than half of the amount of stock advertised (quoted) would disappear immediately before his order arrived at the exchange. This was the case, even in deeply liquid stocks such as Ford Motor Co (symbol F, market cap: $70 Billion, NYSE DMM is Barclays). The trader sent us his trade execution reports, and we matched up his trades with our detailed consolidated quote and trade data to discover that the mechanism described in Michael Lewis's "Flash Boys" was alive and well on Wall Street.


Business / Internet / Science / Technology / Zahlen26.06.2014

2014 Internet Trends

Mary Meeker, the former Morgan Stanley analyst and current Kleiner Perkins investor, has built a personal franchise around her annual Internet trends report. She delivered her latest at the Code Conference this morning. Meeker and her team have a knack for pulling together data that speaks to both the specificity of what’s happening right now and how it fits into the larger context of the past and present. This time around, Kleiner Perkins built a site for the reports, which date back to 2001, available here.


Business / Internet / Technology26.06.2014

The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality

... the expectations surrounding the Oculus Rift have always been huge, ever since an 18-year-old named Palmer Luckey hacked together a rough proto­type in his parents’ garage in Long Beach, California, in 2011. In June 2012, John Carmack—the legendary founder of id Software, the company that created Doom, Quake, and the entire concept of 3-D gaming—brought that early proto­type to the E3 videogame show, reintro­ducing VR to the popular conversation for the first time since The Lawnmower Man. A year later, Oculus brought an HD proto­type to E3 and blew minds all over again. Then it brought another, even more advanced one to CES this past January. Then another unit to the Game Developers Conference in March. And finally, the $2 billion purchase by Facebook. All for a company that doesn’t even have a commercial product yet and is chasing a dream that most of the tech community had seemingly given up on decades ago.


Conspiracy Theories / History / Internet / Politics / Society / Videos05.06.2014

Prof. Dr. Josef Foschepoth: Überwachungsstaat Bundesrepublik Deutschland?

"Überwachungsstaat Bundesrepublik Deutschland? Historische Grundlagen und notwendige Konsequenzen." Vortrag zum Whistleblower-Preis 2013 - Verleihung an Edward J. Snowden


Internet / Technology28.05.2014

Everything is broken

It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire.  Computers, and computing, are broken.


Business / Internet / Technology08.05.2014

The Untold Story Of Larry Page’s Incredible Comeback

One day in July 2001, Larry Page decided to fire Google’s project managers. All of them. As at most startups, in Google’s first year there were no management layers between the CEO, Page, and the engineers. But as the company grew, it added a layer of managers, people who could meet with Page and the rest of Google’s senior executives and give the engineers prioritized orders and deadlines. Page, now 28, hated it. Since Google hired only the most talented engineers, he thought that extra layer of supervision was not just unnecessary but also an impediment. He also suspected that Google’s project managers were steering engineers away from working on projects that were personally important to him. For example, Page had outlined a plan to scan all the world’s books and make them searchable online, but somehow no one was working on it. Page blamed the project managers.


Business / Internet15.04.2014

Google confirms it’s going through your emails to figure out what ads to show you

Google Inc updated its terms of service on Monday, informing users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analyzed by software to create targeted ads. Google’s updated terms of service added a paragraph stating that “our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.”


Business / Internet23.02.2014

“I Don’t Want to Create a Paper Trail”: Inside the Secret Apple-Google Pact

Documents filed in conjunction with the litigation, first reported last month by PandoDaily's Mark Ames, offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of interactions among the likes of Apple's Steve Jobs, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell. In early 2005, the documents show, Campbell brokered an anti-recruitment pact between Jobs and Schmidt, confirming to Jobs in an email that "Schmidt got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple." On the day of that email, Apple's head of human resources ordered her staff to "please add Google to your 'hands off' list." Likewise, Google's recruiting director was asked to create a formal "Do Not Cold Call List" of companies with which it had "special agreements" not to compete for employees. A few months later, Schmidt instructed a fellow exec not to discuss the no-call list other than "verbally," he wrote in an email, "since I don't want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?"


Books / Internet21.02.2014

Wir verschenken unser Buch “Überwachtes Netz” – Der Sammelband zum NSA-Skandal

Mitte November ist unser Buch “Überwachtes Netz. Edward Snowden und der größte Überwachungsskandal der Geschichte” als eBook in verschiedenen Stores erschienen, kurz vor Weihnachten erschien eine gedruckte Version. Rund 50 Autorinnen und Autoren aus aller Welt reflektieren in dem Sammelband die Folgen des NSA-Überwachungsskandals und schauen voraus. Wir verschenken jetzt das Buch in digitaler Form, weil wir wollen, dass die wichtigen und spannenden Inhalte viele Menschen erreichen. Mit dem Verschenken wollen wir auch die dringend notwendige Debatte über die Folgen am Leben erhalten. Wir haben viel Arbeit in das Projekt gesteckt. Wenn Euch die Inhalte etwas wert sind, freuen wir uns über eine Spende zur Unterstützung unserer Arbeit. Das digitale Buch gibt es als Zip-File mit den Formaten ePub und Kindle-AZW3 drin. (Unser WordPress mag gerade keine eBook-Formate annehmen, daher eine gepackte Datei). Hier gibt es ein schön formatiertes PDF.


Internet / Music / Photography / Society14.11.2013

Sidestepping the Digital Demimonde

“It was relatively easy,” said David Byrne, “back in the day, to work with only a smallish number of people watching, as we sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed.” In the mid-’70s, the early days of his band Talking Heads, “we felt comfortable trying out different things, songs that were quickly abandoned and stage wear that proved impractical,” he wrote in an email. “That’s all hugely important (the songs part anyway) as it allowed us to explore, refine our identity and go down those musical dead ends without the embarrassment of public scrutiny.” Now, online exposure can make for an overnight viral sensation. But “it can also destroy and eliminate that crucial period of anonymity,” he said.


Internet / Wikipedia / Zahlen24.10.2013

The Decline of Wikipedia

The English-language Wikipedia alone had about 750,000 entries by late 2005, when a boom in media coverage and a spike in participation pushed the project across the line from Internet oddity to part of everyday life. Around that time, Wikipedians achieved their most impressive feat of leaderless collective organization—one, it turns out, that set in motion the decline in participation that troubles their project today. At some time in 2006, the established editors began to feel control of the site slipping from their grasp. As the number of new contributions—well-meaning and otherwise—was growing, the task of policing them all for quality began to feel impossible. Because of Wikipedia’s higher public profile and commitment to letting anyone contribute even anonymously, many updates were pure vandalism. Today the English Wikipedia has 4.4 million articles; there are 23.1 million more in 286 other languages. But those tougher rules and the more suspicious atmosphere that came along with them had an unintended consequence. Newcomers to Wikipedia making their first, tentative edits—and the inevitable mistakes—became less likely to stick around. Being steamrollered by the newly efficient, impersonal editing machine was no fun. The number of active editors on the English-language Wikipedia peaked in 2007 at more than 51,000 and has been declining ever since as the supply of new ones got choked off. This past summer only 31,000 people could be considered active editors.


Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Politics22.06.2013

Bestandsdaten außer Kontrolle

Im März 2010 hat das Bundesverfassungsgericht die Pläne der Bundesregierung zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung kassiert. Bemängelt wurde nicht die Speicherung als solches, vielmehr die gesetzliche Grundlage dazu. Die Karlsruher Richter setzten der Regierung eine Frist bis Juni 2013, ein neues Gesetz musste her. Das ist auch geschehen, still und heimlich ausgehandelt, nahezu unbemerkt von der deutschen Öffentlichkeit. Am Abend des 21. März hat der Deutsche Bundestag mit den Stimmen von CDU, CSU, FDP und SPD die Änderung des Telekommunikationsgesetzes sowie die Neuregelung der Bestandsdatenauskunft beschlossen. Herausgekommen ist nicht etwa eine Einschränkung der staatlichen Schnüffelei – sondern das genaue Gegenteil.


Internet / Politics / Society10.06.2013

Lob der Polizeigewerkschaft – Fürsprecher in Deutschland für Obamas Netz-Spionage

Der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Polizeigewerkschaft, Rainer Wendt, hat sich wohlwollend zur Überwachung von Telefon- und Internetdaten in den USA geäußert und Ähnliches auch für Deutschland angeregt. „Ich habe die große Hoffnung, dass wir uns in Deutschland nicht länger auf unser Glück verlassen, sondern der Bevölkerung klipp und klar sagen, was zur Verbesserung polizeilicher Analysekompetenz nötig ist“, sagte Wendt Handelsblatt Online. Das „wertvollste“ Bürgerrecht sei immer noch der Schutz vor Terror und Kriminalität. „Präsident Barack Obama argumentiert mutig, entschlossen und er hat fachlich hundertprozentig recht“, betonte Wendt. „Diese Politik wünschte ich mir auch in Deutschland und Europa.“ Wendt verteidigte ... die USA und erklärte, Obama sei „voll und ganz“ zuzustimmen. Er rede Klartext, wie es Deutschland und Europa auch dringend bräuchte. „Bei uns regieren völlig überzogener Datenschutz, föderaler Egoismus und wilde Überwachungsfantasien von Politikern, die den Menschen immer wieder einreden wollen, die Polizei würde sie bespitzeln und aushorchen“, sagte Wendt.

snowden interview

Conspiracy Theories / Crimes / Internet / Interviews / Politics / Society / Videos10.06.2013

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.


Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Politics / Society21.03.2013

CIA’s Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’

Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM's Structure:Data conference in New York City, CTO Ira "Gus" Hunt said that the world is increasingly awash in information from text messages, tweets, and videos -- and that the agency wants all of it."The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time," Hunt said. "Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever." Hunt's comments come two days after Federal Computer Week reported that the CIA has committed to a massive, $600 million, 10-year deal with Amazon for cloud computing services.

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Crimes / Internet / Videos16.02.2013

Dash-cams: Russia’s last hope for civility and survival on the road

кетай как всегда пиздец – “China is always fucked.” Clips from China that feature severe crashes and frequently feature passerbys ignoring the bodies and car debris. кирпичи – “Bricks” (as in “shitting bricks.”) The audio track often features the driver panting or shouting the entire Russian vocabulary of swears at the top of their lungs. Used for videos with near misses or close shaves. железобетонное очко – “Anus of Concrete.” Honorific given to drivers who, faced with sudden danger like a huge truck coming head-on, remain calm, only saying “shoot” or “darn” quietly in the background, and efficiently steer away from danger, displaying some seriously fucking great driving skills.


Business / Downloads / Internet26.01.2013

Major ISPs set to implement ‘six strikes’ online piracy program

The program was created with the music and film industry and the largest Internet firms, with some prodding by US government. The system had been set to take effect late last year but was delayed until early 2013 by the Center for Copyright Information, the entity created to manage the program. Participating in the program are the five largest broadband Internet providers — Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Cablevision and Verizon — covering some 85 percent of US residential customers. A Verizon document leaked on the TorrentFreak blog suggests that the big Internet provider would deliver warnings for the first two suspected offenses and for the third and fourth incident, redirect customers to a page where they would have to “acknowledge” the warning. For the fifth and six offenses, Verizon would “throttle” the Internet download speeds of customers to just above dial-up speeds. Customers could appeal the actions by paying $35 for a review by an arbitrator. Other leaked documents showed AT&T would block users’ access to some of the most frequently-visited websites and that Time Warner Cable would temporarily interrupt the ability to browse the Internet, according to TorrentFreak.


Business / Internet / Meme26.01.2013

German court to decide the future of technoviking

In a Berlin courtroom earlier today, the Technoviking met his maker. The star of one of the most emblematic Internet cultural phenomenons of the past decade issuing the artist who surreptitiously filmed him, claiming he stole his image and profited from the results. Fritsch let the video collect dust on his personal website for six years, until he finally uploaded it to YouTube in 2006, where it continued to exist in obscurity for months. It took until 2007 for it to really take off. Fritsch has traced the origins of its viral path to an obscure Central American porn site. From there it jumped to Web communities and humor blogs, and at one point racked up 2 million views in a single night. In 2009, the star of the video, whose real identity is still a mystery, hit Fritsch with a legal notice asking him to stop using the video and all derivations of it.