150-WORD BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett

Dark Net Cover The Internet that most people use on a day to day basis is a veneer. The part that lies unindexed by Google and unvisited by most is only occasionally glimpsed in tabloid exposes or dodgy pop-up ads on sites people visit for ‘research’.

The Dark Net is about the layers – rotten and amazing – that lie beneath. Free from the academic ruminations or tabloid hysteria that has characterised so many other books on this topic, Bartlett explores this semi-walled garden.

These include Camgirls, Silk Road dealers, trolls, transhumanists, perverts and many others by exploring those people who live and make a living from the more opaque, obscure and occasionally illegal and immoral corners of the Internet.

Not only are the characters perfectly cast, their stories are expertly told. You’ll either be horrified or racing to download Tor afterwards. Or maybe both. Regardless. You’re going to want to read this.

REVIEW: 9.75/10

Air travellers prefer use of the internet over use of the toilet

wifi_planesRather like goal-line technology in football or the use of DRS in cricket, once new technologies are finally accepted there is no going back, however long it took for them to be implemented. So it appears to be so for internet connectivity on flights.

While time doesn’t pass quickly on a flight if you’re travelling alone, it appears we are so desperate to use the internet on planes that we will do almost anything to use it. A report this week from Honeywell Aerospace says that 90% of travellers would give up legroom, preferred seats and even toilet amenities to use the internet. Continue reading

150-WORD REVIEW: To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny Morosov

To Save EverythingI am occasionally guilty of being slack jawed when it comes to technological advancement. We’re constantly presented with Ted Talks, books and articles which lionise the tech industry as being the source of solutions for everything from healthcare to education and politics to death.

For every ying of utopian thinking, there needs to be a yang of realism and occasional cynicism. That is what Evgeny Morosov presents in his latest book. He dissects topics ranging from social media’s role in the Arab Spring to the quantified self movement – criticisng what he sees as “techno-solutionism” and “cyber-utopianism”.

You might not agree any of much of what he says (many won’t agree with any of it), but you owe it to yourself to at least read some of the counter-arguments that are out there. Read it. I guarantee it will give you pause for thought.

VisibleNation takes data from measurement to comparison

* This is a guest contribution by Allan Ireland Park, the Chairman of social data comparison site VisibleNation

visiblenationOver the past decade as the internet established itself as a household utility, as important as electricity and water, we have experienced a number of phenomena, usually described in single words.

‘Dis-intermediation’ was one of the first, mainly used by consultants, When I first heard this term I laughed. But it was a catalyst for the dot.com boom and this euphoric optimism shook up the established vertical market leaders. Continue reading

The US internet porn industry continues to get bigger and bigger

This contribution is by regular contributor and hip-hop technology legend Mike Johns, President of Digital Mind State who tweets here

“Thanks to my iPhone and its high speed internet connection, I can email text, play video games and watch PORN all in the middle of the day!” – Comedian Katt Williams

The ability to access pornography has grown exponentially. Porn is now viewed around the clock with no separation between night and day. Americans, Europeans, Russians and Asians alike have a love affair with porn. Continue reading