The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in “Metcalfe’s law“—which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants—becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s.
The company explains that renting an imaginary Internet Girlfriend has multiple uses and is much less complicated than the real thing.
Sometimes people need to rent a fake girlfriend for their job. Some employers are biased towards single folks. Often times employers give preference to people in more serious relationships so it can benefit a person to have a fake online girlfriend they can say they are in a long distance relationship with.
Sometimes people hire a fake internet girlfriend to make an ex-girlfriend jealous. In fact, we get a lot of clients for this reason.
Sometimes people don’t want to hear it from their family, they want to avoid the drama all together of the never ending questions about dating so they simply employ a fake internet girlfriend so their family will stop hounding them about finding the right girl.
Sometimes people want to keep certain aspects of their personal life, well personal and private. The one way to do this is to hire a fake internet girlfriend for appearances sake. It avoids all the pesky little questions about why you’ve never been seen dating a girl before.
It isn’t cheap, however. A Fake Internet Girlfriend costs $250 a month, with a minimum three month commitment. Her utility is seriously limited as well since she will never meet you in real life, and will not do sexting.
A study by Pew Research found liberals are so much more intolerant on the Internet than the rest of us that it isn’t even funny.
Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.
In a new study, the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life Project confirmed what most intelligent Americans had long sensed. That is, whenever they are challenged or confronted on the hollow falsity of their orthodoxy —such as, say, uniting diverse Americans—liberals tend to respond defensively with anger, even trying to shut off or silence critics. (i.e. photo above of President Obama reacting to Boston hecklers.)
The new research found that instead of engaging in civil discourse or debate, fully 16% of liberals admitted to blocking, unfriending or overtly hiding someone on a social networking site because that person expressed views they disagreed with. That’s double the percentage of conservatives and more than twice the percentage of political moderates who behaved like that.
The proportion jumps even higher when someone on a social site disagrees with a liberal’s post.
Only 1% of moderates would block or shut out someone who dared to disagree with them, compared to 11% of liberals, whose rate was nearly three times that of conservatives.
Of course, it is not as if liberal intolerance is restricted to opposing expression on the Internet…
We’ve recently learned that it isn’t only Harvard which has acquired a NSFW site where students (and/or alumni) post naked pictures.
Unlike Harvard’s gay-interest-only site, the Brown site is coed and publishes student-written porn.
There wasn’t any Internet back during the consulate of Plancus, but I expect we also had an adequate quantity of horny exhibitionists willing to post personal pictures on these kinds of sites back then, too.
Greg Rutter’s Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You’re a Loser or Old or Something.
The California State Senate voted 28-8 on June 1 to exempt its members from gun-control laws applying to other Californians. The only news source reporting was the Washington Times which neglected to quote or identify the bill.
It was probably the bill introduced in both houses in March which would place elected representatives in a class of persons having “good cause” to carry firearms.
Eve Cassidy was a beautiful girl with an extraordinary voice, but she never received a major recording company contract because her repertoire was too eclectic. When she died of melanoma at age 33 in 1996, her recordings were posthumously published, and the album Songbird became a number one hit in England selling a million copies. YouTube has a collection of her recordings.
A&E’s cancellation of the high-budget historical drama “The Kennedys,” in response to protests from members of the Kennedy family, was bound to fail to keep the series off the air. It has probably already been shown in Europe, but American audiences will have an opportunity soon to see it, too. ReelzChannel purchased US broadcast rights, and will begin airing the series on April 3rd.
Cade Metz, in the Register, outlines the technological strategy that allows Wikileaks to use host-servers on US soil, while enjoying impunity from interference by federal authorities.
WikiLeaks is hosting its cache of confidential US Statement Department cables on US-based Amazon servers, just as it did with with the classified Iraq War documents it released last month.
According to NetCraft’s records, the whistle-blowing website is mirroring the diplomatic cables on Amazon’s US-based EC2 service and France-based servers operated by French ISP Octopuce. The main WikiLeaks site is mirrored on Ireland-based Amazon servers.
WikiLeaks also uses a US-based domain name registrar (Dynadot) and a US-based DNS service (EveryDNS).
In theory, if the US government decides that WikiLeaks has broken the law in publishing federal intelligence data, it could move to have WikiLeaks booted from such US-based servers. But WikiLeaks could simply fall back on its core servers — presumably still hosted by “bulletproof” Swedish hosting outfit PRQ — and the feds would take a PR hit.
Clearly, this is how WikiLeaks reads the situation, as it continues to use Amazon’s US-based “cloud” service to accomodate extra demand for its data.
In an added twist, the whistle-blower is also using software from Seattle-based outfit Tableau to visually map its trove of leaked diplomatic cables. Tableau grew out of a project run by the US Department of Defense.
I missed the Antoine Dodson “Bed Intruder” meme, until it finally hit the New York Times and was forwarded by some classmates.
Viral videos tend to have a short lifespan online. The best ones might attract a few million views on YouTube and get a mention on a late-night talk show before fading into oblivion.
The Gregory Brothers used footage of Glenn Beck on Fox News in a Web video series called “Auto-Tune the News.”
But in one of the stranger twists in recent pop-music history, a musical remake of a local news clip transcended YouTube fame and reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August.
It was a rare case of a product of Web culture jumping the species barrier and becoming a pop hit.
The song’s source material could not have been more unlikely: A local TV news report from Huntsville, Ala., about an intruder who climbed into a woman’s bed and tried to assault her.
But with some clever editing and the use of software that can turn speech into singing, the Gregory Brothers, a quartet of musicians living in Brooklyn, transformed an animated and angry rant by the victim’s brother into something genuinely catchy.
The resulting track, “Bed Intruder Song,” has sold more than 91,000 copies on iTunes, and last week it was at No. 39 on the iTunes singles chart. Its video has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube.
And to top it off, the song was No. 89 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the week of Aug. 2.
The Pentagon is demanding that Wikileaks cease publishing and return immediately stolen US documents in its possession, hinting darkly at legal prosecution if the Internet news site does not comply. (Christian Science Monitor)
Of course, it is always possible that Julian Assange and his merry band of pranksters may be less than intimidated by an adversary so clueless that its first response to the theft and publication of Top Secret military documents is to issue a directive prohibiting its own personnel from gazing at the offending web site.
This is the “Close the barn door from the inside when the horse got out” approach to security breaches. [Wired]
Besides, Wikileaks has uploaded a password-protected file labeled “Insurance,” and believed to contain a massive collection of highly toxic State Department material, consisting of, according to a chat interview published by Wired:
260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing “almost criminal political back dealings.”
“Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,” Manning wrote.
Wikileaks has arranged, in the event that the US Government succeeds in shutting down its web site, to have the password released via Cryptome.
6 August 2010. If there is a takedown of Wikileaks, the insurance.aes256 file will be available through Cryptome along with the entire files of the Wikileaks website which have been archived.
Even without Julian Assange’s blackmail threat, Some News Agency sees problems trying to stop Wikileaks legally.
[F]rom a legal standpoint, there is probably little the U.S. government can do to stop WikiLeaks from posting the files.
It is against federal law to knowingly and willfully disclose or transmit classified information. But Assange, an Australian who has no permanent address and travels frequently, is not a U.S. citizen.
Since Assange is a foreign citizen living in a foreign country, it’s not clear that U.S. law would apply, said Marc Zwillinger, a Washington lawyer and former federal cyber crimes prosecutor. He said prosecutors would have to figure out what crime to charge Assange with, and then face the daunting task of trying to indict him or persuade other authorities to extradite him.
It would be equally difficult, Zwillinger said, to effectively use an injunction to prevent access to the data.
“Could the U.S. get an injunction to force U.S. Internet providers to block traffic to and from WikiLeaks such that people couldn’t access the website?” Zwillinger said. “It’s an irrelevant question. There would be thousands of paths to get to it. So it wouldn’t really stop people from getting to the site. They would be pushing the legal envelope without any real benefit.”
And the technical approach is problematic, too.
WikiLeaks used state-of-the-art software requiring a sophisticated electronic sequence of numbers, called a 256-bit key [to protect its “Insurance” files].
The main way to break such an encrypted file is by what’s called a “brute force attack,” which means trying every possible key, or password, said Herbert Lin, a senior computer science and cryptology expert at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
Unlike a regular six- or eight-character password that most people use every day, a 256-bit key would equal a 40 to 50 character password, he said.
If it takes 0.1 nanosecond to test one possible key and you had 100 billion computers to test the possible number variations, “it would take this massive array of computers 10 to the 56th power seconds — the number 1, followed by 56 zeros” to plow through all the possibilities, said Lin.
How long is that?
“The age of the universe is 10 to the 17th power seconds,” explained Lin. “We will wait a long time for the U.S. government or anyone else to decrypt that file by brute force.”
Could the NSA, which is known for its supercomputing and massive electronic eavesdropping abilities abroad, crack such an impregnable code?
It depends on how much time and effort they want to put into it, said James Bamford, who has written two books on the NSA.
The NSA has the largest collection of supercomputers in the world. And officials have known for some time that WikiLeaks has classified files in its possession.
The agency, he speculated, has probably been looking for a vulnerability or gap in the code, or a backdoor into the commercial encryption program protecting the file.
At the more extreme end, the NSA, the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies — including the newly created Cyber Command — have probably reviewed options for using a cyber attack against the website, which could disrupt networks, files, electricity, and so on.
“This is the kind of thing that they are geared for,” said Bamford, “since this is the type of thing a terrorist organization might have — a website that has damaging information on it. They would want to break into it, see what’s there and then try to destroy it.”
The vast nature of the Internet, however, makes it essentially impossible to stop something, or take it down, once it has gone out over multiple servers.
In the end, U.S. officials will have to weigh whether a more aggressive response is worth the public outrage it would likely bring. Most experts predict that, despite the uproar, the government will probably do little other than bluster, and the documents will come out anyway.
Mikael Viborg, owner of PRQ hosting company at its server location
Were the Department of Defense, the NSA, or the FBI actually inclined to do anything about Wikileaks, NYM would be glad to help.
Their web site, we find, is hosted by PRQ in Stockholm, Sweden. That hosting company’s abuse reporting email is: email@example.com
Be aware, however, that PRQ is associated with the notorious Swedish Bit Torrent file sharing hub The Pirate Bay.
Clay Shirky, in a new book titled Cognitive Surplus, maintains that the post-WWII age of suburbanization was one of those eras of abrupt, dislocating social change which left Americans morose and seeking for self-medication just like 18th century Englishmen driven by economic change from the countryside to the city.
They used gin, a new, potent yet inexpensive distilled spirit, whose method of production had arrived from Holland as part of the the fashionable baggage accompanying William and Mary. Americans used television.
Shirky contends that the Internet is bringing about the end of the age of self-narcotization via sitcoms and game shows. Leisure time sucked down the television time sink, the cognitive surplus simply wasted previously, will instead be transferred to more useful and communitarian activities (like writing Wikipedia entries and blogging) and a wonderful new era of transparency, creativity, and productivity will bloom.
Hmm. I wonder if he has ever heard of World of Warcraft.
Jonah Leher brings formidable Friedrich Nietzsche to television’s defense.
I would disagree. In some peculiar way, if I hadn’t watched and re-watched The Sopranos then this sentence wouldn’t exist. (And I would have missed out on many interesting, intelligent conversations…) The larger point, I guess, is that before we can produce anything meaningful, we need to consume and absorb, and think about what we’ve consumed and absorbed. That’s why Nietzsche, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, said we must become a camel (drinking up everything) before we can become a lion, and properly rebel against the strictures of society.
Ed Driscoll rubs in the fact that the Internet changed the news and information business permanently, causing establishment media outlets like Newsweek, CBS, and CNN, all notorious for partisan reporting, to wonder where their audience went.
Gimme that old time religion department: the Times of India reports that Tekam Das, a Hindu priest in the province of Sind, on Tuesday sacrificed three daughters (all aged under six) and then himself to the goddess Kali.
Technological tour de force: Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque 6:20 video of virtual choir performance, 185 performers from 12 countries recorded on 243 tracks.