This is a great explanatory piece from James Bridle in conjunction with Mozilla’s Webmaker. It’s intended for a younger audience, but its clear description of how web requests are resolved is pitch-perfect primer for anyone.
The web isn’t magic. It’s not some faraway place we just ‘connect’ to, but a vast and complex system of computers, connected by actual wires under the ground and the oceans. Every time you open a website, you’re visiting a place where that data is stored.
A timeline of technology.
Scott gives us an excellent State Of The Web address, looking at how the web can be central to the coming age of ubiquitous computing. He rightly skips through the imitation of native apps and gets down to the potential of just-in-time interactions.
Oh, dear. An otherwise perfectly well-reasoned article makes this claim:
But the internet is peculiarly adapted to deftly pricking pomposity. This is partly because nothing dies online, meaning your past indiscretions are never yesterday’s news, wrapped round the proverbial fish and chips.
Bollocks. Show me the data to back up this claim.
The insidious truism that “the internet never forgets” is extremely harmful. The true problem is the opposite: the internet forgets all the time.
Geocities, Pownce, Posterous, Vox, and thousands more sites are very much yesterday’s news, wrapped round the proverbial fish and chips.
A beauty of a post by Jason giving you even more reasons to donate to Archive.org.
Seriously. Do it now. It would mean a lot to me.
Related: I’m going to be in San Francisco next week and by hook or by crook, I plan to visit the Internet Archive’s HQ.
A state of the connected union address, with soundbites from smart people in the world of ubicomp, internet of things, everyware, or whatever it is we’re calling it now.
We have lost an ally in the fight to maintain net neutrality. I wonder how Vint Cerf feels about his employer’s backtracking.
The specific issue here is with using a home computer as a server. It’s common for ISPs to ban this activity, but that doesn’t change the fact that it flies in the face of the fundamental nature of the internet as a dumb network.
I think the natural end point to owning your own data is serving your own data—something that Steven Pemberton talked about in his fateful talk.
We must fight these attempts to turn the internet into controlled system of producers and consumers.
Fat pipe. Always on. Get out of the way
The Internet, day one. A sad tale of data loss.
Preach it, Karen!
“Why would someone ever want to do that?” is the wrong question. It doesn’t matter why they want to do it. The fact is that people do. The right question, the one that we all should be asking, is “how can we make a better experience for them?”
A terrific lighting talk by Scott on the need to think bigger. The solution to long-term issues is rarely “start a company”—we need to think more about creating a shared infrastructure …just like the internet.
This is why the Internet Archive matters. It is now the public record of Obama’s broken promise to protect whistleblowers.
I feel very bad for the smart, passionate, talented people who worked their asses off on change.gov, only to see their ideals betrayed.
A wonderful article looking at the influence that Vannevar Bush’s seminal article As We May Think had on the young Douglas Engelbart.
A vision of neurotic network-enabled objects, as prototyped by dConstruct speaker Simone Rebaudengo.
Google’s plan to bring internet connectivity to remote areas by using balloons wafting in the stratosphere.
Considering that Google seems to put as much time and effort into its April Fool’s jokes as it does into its real projects, you’d be forgiven for assuming this was a spoof.
A profile of Tom’s house.
It’s weird how normal this is.
A history lesson from Vint Cerf. I can’t help but picture him as The Architect in The Matrix Reloaded.
When Tim Berners-Lee invented and released the World Wide Web (WWW) design in late 1991, he found an open and receptive internet in operation onto which the WWW could be placed. The WWW design, like the design of the internet, was very open and encouraged a growing cadre of self-taught webmasters to develop content and applications.
A beautiful short film on the amazing work being done at the Internet Archive, produced on the occasion of their 10 petabyte celebration.
A beautiful piece by James on the history of light as a material for communication …and its political overtones in today’s world.
What is light when it is information rather than illumination? What is it when it is not perceived by the human eye? Deep beneath the streets and oceans, what is illuminated by the machines, and how are we changed by this illumination?
I remember a talk and discussion at SxSW a few years back about trying to improve the efficiency of trade networks by making them more web-like: there are ships full of empty cargo containers, simply because companies insist on using the container with their logo on it. I really, really like the idea of applying the principles of packet-switching to physical networks.
But here’s the hard part:
The technology is not a problem. We could do it all in 10 years. It’s the business models and the mental models in people’s minds.
This year’s TeleGeography map of the undersea network looks beautiful—inspired by old maps. I love the way that latency between countries is shown as inset constellations.
A good explanation of the litany of woes that comes from Internet Explorer 8 being the highest that users of Windows XP can upgrade to. It’s a particularly woeful situation if you are a web developer attempting to provide parity. But there is hope on the horizon:
2013 will see the culmination of all these issues; support for IE 8 will drop of rapidly, users of XP will find an increasingly broken web, the cost of building software in XP organisations will increase.
This echoes Scott Jenson’s call for more open standards when it comes to networked devices. We’ll need it if we want “If This, Then That” for an internet of things.
Wondering whether that network-enabled device of yours is worthy of being considered part of the “internet of things?” Just answer these few short questions.
Man, I just love Scott Jenson.
Our brains have collectively gone startup-crazy, seeing the world through stock option colored glasses, assuming that if there is no money, there is clearly no value. This is madness. I’m so desperately worried that the internet will turn out to be a happy accident.
Turning his focus on “the internet of things” he makes the very good point that what we need isn’t one company or one proprietary service; we need an ecosystem of open standards that will enable companies to build services.
We all have to appreciate how we need a deep, open solution to solve this problem. If we don’t understand, demand even, that hardware devices need to be just as discoverable an open as web servers are today, we’ll never see the internet of things come to pass.
A lovely piece from Joanne on storytelling, identity and the internet.
This is quite an astounding piece of writing. Robert Lucky imagines the internet of things mashed up with online social networking …but this was published in 1999!
Those articles about the “Internet of Things” I linked to? Here they are in handy Readlist form.
A good recap of the recent online/offline/does-it-really-matter discussion …although it does lend a bit too much credence to the pronouncements of that king of trolls, Nicholas Carr.
This is just wonderful! It combines almost all of my recent obsessions into one unified post: website performance (particularly on mobile) and the locations of undersea cables. The interactive map is the icing on the cake.
What Erin has written here makes me want to be a better person.
There is a there there after all.
The backlash against the backlash against connectivity.
I could listen to Vint Cerf all day.
I think that it’s perfectly reasonable to have packets raining down from satellites, IP packets just literally raining down from satellites and being picked up by hundreds, if not millions, of receivers at the same time.
A nice timeline visualisation of recent history.
I love Tim Bray’s idea for naming the response code for censored content on the internet in honour of Ray Bradbury.
Chris Anderson interviews Mark Andreessen.
The Old Aesthetic.
This is a beautifully heartfelt post from Timoni:
Every day, I feel things because of the internet, and that’s amazing. Humans have been using abstracted communication for thousands of years, but it’s never been so instantaneous, never so capable of bringing folks of completely different backgrounds together in conversation. This is a huge step. Good job us.
A love letter to the Internet Archive.
A fascinating insight into the reaction of an internet-savvy child upon being exposed to “regular” television.
Explore the shape of the underwater world of internet backbones.
Remembering the camgirl community.
A superb piece of writing from Jeffrey, scorching the screen with righteous anger. THIS. IS. IMPORTANT!
SOPA approaches the piracy problem with a broad brush, lights that brush on fire, and soaks the whole internet in gasoline.
A thoughtful piece from Matt on the changes in cultural transmission that we should be embracing instead of bemoaning.
If you live in the States, please, please, for the love of the internet, write to your representative at fightforthefuture.org/pipa
I like this ad-hoc approach to staging one-night-only internet art shows:
Hit an Internet-cafe, rent all computers they have and run a show on them for one night.
There are some inaccuracies and misrepresentations in here, but on the whole this is a pretty good round-up of your options when dealing with responsive design in older browsers.
A nice summation of the open science movement, courtesy of Bobbie.
A comprehensive look at some of the problems with taking self-hosting to its logical conclusion: running your own web server.
If I were an American, I’d now be saying something like “ICANN have jumped the shark”. Instead, I’m British, so I’ll say “ICANN are fucking useless twats who need a firm kick in the bollocks”.
A brave and probably unpopular stance; could it be that the fundamental technological bedrock of the internet needs to change to avoid the seemingly-inevitable rise of walled gardens?
Here’s a gem from the past: a thoroughly fascinating and gripping interview with Paul Baran by Stewart Brand. It’s thrilling stuff—I got goosebumps.
I wish I had a teacher like David when I was in school.
URLs, permalinks, archives … preservation. It all matters so very much.
Don Norman bemoans the seemingly-inevitable direction that the internet is taking; from an open system of exchange to a closed, controlled broadcast channel. I share his fear.
How Has The Internet Changed The Way You Think?
This is an excellent idea: buy up a communications satellite and use it to provide free internet. I kinda wish it were a Kickstarter project though.
An inspiring State Of The Web address by Tim Berners-Lee. He can't resist pitching linked data at the end, but it's mostly a stirring call to arms.
An entertaining missive from the future.
James Sturm outlines his plan to give up the internet, which sounds like a good decision for him. Comments are open via snail mail.
This is a pithy one-sentence description of a blog post, praising the author's insight.
Using Google Chrome Frame in IE will give users of assistive technology the same shitty to non-existent experience they would get in the actual Google Chrome browser.
Trammell outlines the thoughtful, research-based approach that Digg will be taking in phasing out IE6 support.
There's something haunting about this: the physical settings of internet memes with the protagonists removed.
A superb call to arms on the importance of "fat pipe, always on, get out of my way."
The 26 step process required to add +1 to a feature request in IE. Franz Kafka is alive and well and living in Redmond.
A sobering article on the cost of being a truly global website. This gives some context to Last.fm's recent pricing model decision.
There goes your day.
New Zealand is enacting one of the most draconian unfair ISP policing policies in the Western world. "Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act assumes Guilt Upon Accusation and forces the termination of internet connections and websites without evidence, without a fair trial, and without punishment for any false accusations of copyright infringement."
A film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the internet.
Bend over 'cause Microsoft is about to stick it to us standards-savvy developers. Again.
A lovely article from Anna on friendship and the internet.
Håkon is not happy with the default settings in IE8. Deep in the preferences, "Display intranet sites in Compatibility View" is checked.
Clay Shirky's talk at the Web 2.0 Expo — how contributing to the Web allows to use our intelligence far better than watching TV.
I get about 50-60% of these memes.
I did it! I did it! I knew all that surfing would finally pay off.
Writing a presentation on web accessibility? Tired of the usual "The power of the web..." quote?
"Not only did the head of Waterstone's underestimate the internet. Even Rupert Murdoch was caught out"
Keep this one handy in case you have to use conditional comments to hide something from Internet Explorer.
An interview with Tim Berners-Lee. He likes blogs.
An inspiring essay by Janice Fraser of Adaptive Path. The internet is back.