Posts Tagged ‘internet’

The People’s Internet

November 27, 2017

It is shocking that in a major American city like Detroit, a city that had two major car companies, 40% of the city lacks access to Internet.

Net neutrality is a big political issue. We cannot have a handful of companies controlling access to the Internet. That access has to be for everyone, rich or poor.

In Detroit, the Equitable Internet Initiative is building community-owned wireless internet infrastructure in towns that big telecom won’t touch. Hundreds of towns have built their own internet service providers. Rural communities are putting wireless internet antennas on top of mountains, grain silos, and tall trees. The fastest internet connections in the United States are provided by local governments, not big telecom. In Southern California, Tribal Digital Village is using unused television spectrum to deliver internet. All over the country, big telecom is being rejected and subverted, and you do not need to have a pile of money, an army of lawyers, or a degree in network engineering to take action.

In England in rural areas, local people are digging the trenches, laying fibre optic cable.

In Greece communities are building their own broadband network.

Postcapitalism, people are taking control of their own political, social, employment space.

Three network not fit for purpose

November 29, 2014

Two weeks ago three mobile phone network three days in a row, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, unable to gain access to internet, error message, no internet.

Since then intermittent no internet access.

Early hours of this morning, no information available on account, minutes, texts, data.

Normal, when working, so slow like watching paint dry. Only time works at reasonable speed is early hours of the morning.

This afternoon, three network in meltdown. No internet. Calls to three, terminated, when could get through, indefinite hold.

The problem is simple, they are overcapacity, they lack the network capacity for their existing customers.

The regulator should step in and stop three network from taking on any new customers until such time as they have resolved their network capacity issues.

The regulator should hit three network with a massive fine.

The regulator should force three network to compensate all their customers.

It has now got so bad, three network should be forced to pay ten pound compensation, each and every time there is a problem.

As I write, three network has once again ground to a halt.

Most of the time, three network is unusable.

The Internet in Real Time

June 1, 2014


Click the image to open the interactive version.

Data flow in seconds.

The First Honest Cable Company

March 29, 2013

This video is (a) Not Safe for Family Viewing, (b) Not Safe for Work Viewing, and (c) Pretty Much Entirely Accurate.

— Lauren Weinstein

Lancashire villagers install their own broadband internet

February 14, 2013

These days being on a fast broadband network is as basic as being connected to fresh water, electricity.

Tough though if you live in the technological backwards USA where they pay through the nose for slow internet, thanks to monopolies of the providers, a worse monopoly than when the oil companies were broken up.

Tough if you are in the internet backwoods of the Lancashire village of Arkholme.

I recently checked BT broadband in the Lincolnshire village of Washingborough, not far outside of Lincoln. It gave a result of somewhere around 33 Mbps. That was the best BT could offer. And that was for download. Upload was around 9 Mbps.

The villagers of Arkholme have decided to roll up their sleeves and install their own B4RN community broadband 500 Mbps network.

The purpose of the project is to take a new approach to the ownership, financial and deployment models used traditionally, and still proposed by, telecommunications companies. These models invariably leave rural areas outside of the scope of economic viability for the telecoms companies, and have helped to create the Digital Divide between rural and urban Britain.

The internet does not have to be owned and controlled by Big Business.

Using internet and social media

July 13, 2012
West End Centre cultural oasis in the cultural wasteland of Aldershot

West End Centre cultural oasis in the cultural wasteland of Aldershot

SHOCK NEWS! Twitter late at night is not a sedative. — West End Centre, 1-46am 10 July 2012

@keithpp what’s on details are on website. That is where you will find all the facts. . — West End Centre, 10 July 2012

Tweet us your favourite thought for today… — West End Centre, 1 July 2012

Is going to penalties footballers’ equivalent of an encore? — West End Centre, 24 June 2012

..and don’t forget farnborough event tomorrow either… — West End Centre, 22 June 2012

There are those who know how to make effective use of the internet and see what is has to offer: Paulo Coelho, Andrew Dubber, Steve Lawson, Imogen Heap, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood.

They see the benefits internet has to offer to creative artists.

There are those who see the internet as a threat to their business model, they fail to see the world has moved on, they try to criminalise people.

When Paulo Coelho saw a man on the street selling pirate copies of his books, he went over to have a chat, he wanted to talk to the man. But the man saw it as a threat, ran away. Paulo Coelho wanted to thank him for taking the trouble to make more people aware of his books.

When people download music from Steve Lawson and share it with their friends, he does not think OMG, this must be stopped. He is pleased that they are taking the trouble to tell people about his music. No one tells it better than the people who like it.

Marketing people and PR and lobbyists I ignore. They are paid liars.

Critics I ignore. They rarely know what they are talking about.

If people tell me read this book, listen to this music, I usually ignore them too.

I make my own mind up what to read, what to listen to.

There are though rare exceptions. A friend has a vast record collection. If he says something is worth listening to I will give it a listen.

When a friend gave me The Eight to read, I read it. She brought if from the US to Istanbul. I passed it on and it is now in Moscow.

The best advice to a musician is be on twitter. It is far more important to be on twitter than a record label. You do not need a record label, but you do need twitter.

But if you feel you really need to be on a record label, then sign up to Any And All Records.

Having a twitter account is not in itself enough, you have to use it effectively. What is it you do? Only you know the answer, but that is what you tweet about. If you are a baker you tweet about bread. A restaurant the dish of the day. A musician the latest album you have released, the next gig.

Social networks, split it down.

  • social – interaction
  • networks – many to many

It is not broadcast, one to many.

Do not tweet drivel. Not unless you want to piss people off, be followed by trolls and be seen by the people you need to communicate with as a total dick head.

One of the worst examples I have seen of the use of twitter is by the West End Centre, a cultural oasis in the wasteland of Aldershot. Occasional useful tweets lost in a sea of juvenile drivel. If the West End personnel wish to tweet juvenile drivel to their mates, that is fine, but do so from your own personal account, not an official account.

Asked repeatedly to please restrict to what is on and other useful, relevant information, their response was look at our website, do not follow us, our customers like our informal style.

Style is not a problem, it can be formal or informal, content does matter.

Yes, you can go to their website. Twitter should be to compliment their website, to deliver timely information.

Yes, you do do not have to follow them on twitter. But if everyone took that advice, they would have no followers. One assumes they want followers, want people to attend their venue, but people will only do that if they know what is on.

Anyone who has the audacity to highlight the West End Centre as an example of poor use of social media gets subject to a torrent of orchestrated abuse.

Some people like a venue, like the buzz, the atmosphere, meet their mates, it is almost irrelevant what is on.

With a few notable exceptions, I am the opposite. I will only go if there is something worth going to. I am hard to reach. But if you get me there, and I like, I am more likely to tell others.

The Barn is a cutural space in Farnham. Literally a barn. It is hidden in a courtyard, blink as you walk by and you would miss it. The West End Centre would be well advised to look at how they use twitter (unless of course they wish to remain a laughing stock).

The only criticism I would make of The Barn is that too often they tweet a link and nothing more. They need to say what it is about, else why visit, or you visit and find of no interest and will be less inclined to follow the next time. Nothing worse than wasting time following dead ends. Also make use of hashtags to reach beyond their followers.

For a musician being on bandcamp is as essential as being on twitter. People can listen to your music (I assume you want people to listen to it), can share with their mates (no one can like your music until they have heard it), can download high quality audio files, buy albums.

Although you do see the posting of individual tracks on bandcamp, it is primarily for albums. For tracks, work in progress, soundcloud is better, and you can always then collect together into an album on bandcamp.

For writers, the equivalent of bandcamp is wattpad, though personally I like bandcamp a lot more than wattpad.

This month bandcamp passed an amazing milestone: $20 million direct into the pockets of grass roots musicians.

If you can produce high quality video, then vimeo and youtube are a must. Please do not upload rubbish from a mobile phone from a pub. You are not doing yourself any favours. If you are good, then you want people to see you are good. If you are crap, well there is not a lot can be done, but as they say, practice makes perfect.

The Crypt Sessions are a good example of excellent videos.

If you were applying for a job, you do not perform at your worst, not unless it is the local Job Centre forcing you to apply for some McShit job you do not want.

A blog is useful, but only if you have something worthwhile to say and can write (or if you cannot write you have to have something very worthwhile to say).

I was talking to a guitarist busking on the street. He said he wrote a blog. He was busking around Europe, he wrote about the places he visited.

An excellent blog and a must for musicians, is the blog written by bass-player Steve Lawson.

Another good blog is that written by nine-year-old Martha Payne. She is currently on holiday and has invited in guest bloggers. NeverSeconds has clocked up over 7 million hits!

For a how to then Music in the Digital Age by Andrew Dubber is a must read!

A picture tells a story. For individual pictures use twitpic, for albums flckr or facebook.

With facebook beware it is a walled garden, you do not wish to see people forced to join to see your pictures. Construct tunnels through the wall.

The one place not to be apart from legacy reasons is myspace.

Then tie it all together. In the blog embed an album from bandcamp. Tweet about the gig you have just written about on your blog.

‘Father of the Internet’ warns Web freedom is under attack

May 21, 2012

“Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf on Monday warned that Internet freedom is under threat from governments around the world, including the United States.

“Political structures … are often scared by the possibility that the general public might figure out that they don’t want them in power,” he said.

He sounded the alarm about the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), arguing the group is poised to assume the role of global Internet cop.

“There is strong indication that the Internet will enter the picture [for the ITU],” Cerf said at the Freedom to Connect conference.

Cerf said the ITU is likely to try and lock in mandatory intellectual property protections as a backdoor for easy Web surveillance.

Even good-faith efforts at Internet policymaking should be viewed with skepticism, Cerf said, because balancing freedom and security “isn’t something that government alone is going to figure out.”

He criticized the Cybersecurity and Intelligence Protection Act (CISPA), legislation passed by the House to encourage companies to share information about cyber threats with the government, because it lacks “adequate constraints” on how the information is used.

But Cerf said he has the “optimistic belief” that attempts by hostile governments to restrict access will be circumvented by resourceful engineers around the world.

“If someone stops me from communicating, I’ll find a way around it,” he said.

Cerf also urged vigilante groups such as Anonymous to stop using cyberattacks as a means of activism, saying the hackings are counterproductive.

“I don’t think lawlessness is our friend,” he said.

Ultimately, there is a legitimate role for law enforcement on the Web, he said, adding that “it would be bad for us as a community to say … that all the good things outweigh the bad.”

“That’s not a credible position to take,” he said.

Cerf said activists and regulators alike harm themselves by using terms like “cybercrime” because they suggest that “every bad thing that happens on the Internet is a crime.”

“Some are just bugs,” Cerf said, while suggesting a better goal for policymakers should be “cybersafety.”

Cerf, a computer scientist who was instrumental in the Internet’s creation and is now employed by Google as its “Internet evangelist,” said officials in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are using intellectual property and cybersecurity issues “as an excuse for constraining what we can and can’t do on the ‘net.”

Originally published in The Hill.

Vint Cerf, one of the founders of the internet, has warned that Internet freedom is under threat from governments around the world, including the United States, UK and EU.

Vinc Cerf has warned that officials in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are using intellectual property and cybersecurity issues “as an excuse for constraining what we can and can’t do on the ‘net.”

I could not agree more!

Tim Berners-Lee: Don’t let record labels upset web openness

April 19, 2012
Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee

We mustn’t allow record companies’ fear that their business model isn’t working to upset the openness of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee told Wired.co.uk in a press conference at W3C.

The inventor of the web was referring to recent controversial pieces of legislation, including Sopa and Pipa in the US, and Acta globally, which have all sought to clamp down on piracy and have all been strongly supported by record labels.

“Record labels have a very strong voice when it comes to arguing for their particular business model, which is in fact out of date,” he said. “The result is that laws have been created which make out as if the only problem on the internet is teenagers stealing music. The world is bigger than that. The internet is bigger than the music industry. The economic impact of the internet is bigger than the music industry.”

He said that most of the things that are taking place on the internet are social, and downloading and listening to music is just a small part of that. He said that record companies and other organisations seeking these pieces of legislation shouldn’t be allowed to “take away the rule that you should only punish someone after appropriate court proceedings.”

Berners-Lee supports any platform that allows people to pay for music online and said that there should be more ways of “getting money back to the person who creates” content, including paying for music and donating to blogs. However, he said that “this doesn’t necessarily need to be a system created by the big record labels”.

— Olivia Solon

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, talking to Wired.

The major record labels are greedy bullying thugs who are trying to destroy the internet and criminalise sharing.

Tim Berners-Lee wishes to see the means of “getting money back to the person who creates” content. It already exists: Bandcamp connects creative artists directly with those who love music, makes it easy to share, easy to listen, easy to download, and if you wish to pay, easy to pay and the money goes direct to the creative artist, not to a greedy global corporation.

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever
Sharing of data between facebook and third parties
The cultural industry
Slow music
Community supported music
Why I’ve Taken My Music Off Spotify…
A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…
Tweet-Rant #2 : 23 Tweets About Bandcamp
Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire
Piracy is the new airwaves

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever

April 16, 2012

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with The Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

The 38-year-old billionaire, whose family fled antisemitism in the Soviet Union, was widely regarded as having been the driving force behind Google’s partial pullout from China in 2010 over concerns about censorship and cyber-attacks. He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the internet for long, but now says he has been proven wrong. “I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle,” he said.

He said he was most concerned by the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet, but warned that the rise of Facebook and Apple, which have their own proprietary platforms and control access to their users, risked stifling innovation and balkanising the web.

“There’s a lot to be lost,” he said. “For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.”

Brin’s criticism of Facebook is likely to be controversial, with the social network approaching an estimated $100bn (£64bn) flotation. Google’s upstart rival has seen explosive growth: it has signed up half of Americans with computer access and more than 800 million members worldwide.

Brin said he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. “You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive,” he said. “The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation.”

He criticised Facebook for not making it easy for users to switch their data to other services. “Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years,” he said.

Brin’s comments come on the first day of a week-long Guardian investigation of the intensifying battle for control of the internet being fought across the globe between governments, companies, military strategists, activists and hackers.

From the attempts made by Hollywood to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government’s plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts.

In China, which now has more internet users than any other country, the government recently introduced new “real identity” rules in a bid to tame the boisterous microblogging scene. In Russia, there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Vladimir Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed “national internet” from this summer.

Ricken Patel, co-founder of Avaaz, the 14 million-strong online activist network which has been providing communication equipment and training to Syrian activists, echoed Brin’s warning: “We’ve seen a massive attack on the freedom of the web. Governments are realising the power of this medium to organise people and they are trying to clamp down across the world, not just in places like China and North Korea; we’re seeing bills in the United States, in Italy, all across the world.”

Writing in the Guardian on Monday, outspoken Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei says the Chinese government’s attempts to control the internet will ultimately be doomed to failure. “In the long run,” he says, “they must understand it’s not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off – and they can’t live with the consequences of that.”

Amid mounting concern over the militarisation of the internet and claims – denied by Beijing – that China has mounted numerous cyber-attacks on US military and corporate targets, he said it would be hugely difficult for any government to defend its online “territory”.

“If you compare the internet to the physical world, there really aren’t any walls between countries,” he said. “If Canada wanted to send tanks into the US there is nothing stopping them and it’s the same on the internet. It’s hopeless to try to control the internet.”

He reserved his harshest words for the entertainment industry, which he said was “shooting itself in the foot, or maybe worse than in the foot” by lobbying for legislation to block sites offering pirate material.

He said the Sopa and Pipa bills championed by the film and music industries would have led to the US using the same technology and approach it criticised China and Iran for using. The entertainment industry failed to appreciate people would continue to download pirated content as long as it was easier to acquire and use than legitimately obtained material, he said.

“I haven’t tried it for many years but when you go on a pirate website, you choose what you like; it downloads to the device of your choice and it will just work – and then when you have to jump through all these hoops [to buy legitimate content], the walls created are disincentives for people to buy,” he said.

Brin acknowledged that some people were anxious about the amount of their data that was now in the reach of US authorities because it sits on Google’s servers. He said the company was periodically forced to hand over data and sometimes prevented by legal restrictions from even notifying users that it had done so.

He said: “We push back a lot; we are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great … We’re doing it as well as can be done.”

Originally published in The Guardian.

I could not agree more with what Sergey Brin is saying, this creation by facebook of a net within the net, a walled garden, the only way to sample the delights within is to sell your digital soul at the gate.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. If it is free, it is because you are the product on sale.

Watch carefully the next time you click a link from within facebook. You are diverted elsewhere, before going to the site you wish to visit.

Facebook deposits software on your computer which track what you do.

Activity within facebook is walled off from the outside world, forcing others to sell their digital soul at the gate. It is you who creates the content, not facebook. Facebook is merely the platform, but it is not a neutral platform.

There is a partial way around, little tunnels under the wall and into the garden.

If you use facebook for sharing photo albums, set those albums to public, and post the links outside facebook where they can be found and followed.

Sharing of data between facebook and third parties

Say NO to ACTA

February 5, 2012

A new global treaty would allow corporations to police everything that we do on the Internet.

A week ago Sopa, which would have controlled the internet, was stopped dead in its tracks. US politicians found their phones in meltdown, such was the public anger at back room secret deals with corporate vested interests to control the internet.

The cultural industry
Documented@Davos: SOPA Panel
Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
Thoughts of Paulo Coelho on Sopa
Stop SOPA

We now have something far, far worse. Acta is an international treaty to control the internet. Cooked up in secret behind closed doors with corporate interests. National governments and parliaments are being bounced into ratifying Acta.

Acta seeks via an international treaty what Sopa sought through national legislation.

Such is the Draconian nature of Acta, that the European Parliamentarian responsibility for Acta has resigned in protest, describing never-before-seen manoeuvres by officials working with corporate interests to force Acta through.

European Parliament rapporteur quits in Acta protest

In Poland there has been mass street protest to oppose Acta.

Thousands march in Poland over Acta internet treaty
Polish sites hit in Acta hack attack

ACTA – an international treaty – would allow corporations to censor the Internet. Negotiated in secret by a small number of rich countries and corporate powers, it would set up a shadowy new anti-counterfeiting body to allow private interests to police everything that we do online and impose massive penalties – even prison sentences – against people they say have harmed their business interests.

The EU is deciding right now whether to ratify ACTA – and without them, this global attack on Internet freedom will collapse. We know they have opposed ACTA before, but some members of Parliament are wavering – let’s give them the push they need to reject the treaty. Sign the petition — we’ll do a spectacular delivery in Brussels when we reach 500,000 signatures:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet/?vl

There is also a White House petition

End ACTA and Protect our right to privacy on the Internet

And a UK petition

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20685

Please sign and spread the word. We defeated Sopa, we can defeat Acta.

It’s outrageous – governments of four-fifths of the world’s people were excluded from the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations and unelected bureaucrats have worked closely with corporate lobbyists to craft new rules and a dangerously powerful enforcement regime. ACTA would initially cover the US, EU and 9 other countries, then be rolled out across the world. But if we can get the EU to say no now, the treaty will lose momentum and could stall for good.

The oppressively strict regulations could mean people everywhere are punished for simple acts such as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Sold as a trade agreement to protect copyrights, ACTA could also ban lifesaving generic drugs and threaten local farmers’ access to the seeds they need. And, amazingly, the ACTA committee will have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no democratic scrutiny.

Big corporate interests are pushing hard for this, but the European Parliament stands in the way. Let’s send a loud call to Parliamentarians to face down the lobbies and stand firm for Internet freedom.

Please sign now!

Recently we saw the strength of our collective power when millions of us joined force to stop the US from passing an Internet censorship law that would have struck at the heart of the Internet. We also showed the world how powerful our voices can be. Let’s raise them again to tackle this new threat.

Please send to everyone you know.

THE SECRET TREATY: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Its Impact on Access to Medicines
ACTA vs. SOPA: Five Reasons ACTA is Scarier Threat to Internet Freedom
If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA