[...] the drought is a gusher for a growing number of tech startups in the emerging world of the Internet of Things, the buzzy term for the trend of connecting devices and data in the physical realm to the Internet. Getting more sensors into the environment will help thousands of farms, businesses and cities figure out where water is going and how it can be diverted for the most efficient use. Agriculture is the area most ripe for collecting more and higher-quality data. — forbes.com
[The Great Cannon] allows China to intercept foreign web traffic as it flows to Chinese websites, inject malicious code and repurpose the traffic as Beijing sees fit. The system was used, they said, to intercept web and advertising traffic intended for Baidu — China’s biggest search engine company — and fire it at GitHub, a popular site for programmers, and GreatFire.org, a nonprofit that runs mirror images of sites that are blocked inside China. — NY Times
...the promise of the internet is contact. It seems to offer an antidote to loneliness, trumping even the most utopian urban environment by enabling strangers to develop relationships along shared lines of interest, no matter how shy or isolated they might be in their own physical lives. But proximity, as city dwellers know, does not necessarily mean intimacy. Access to other people is not by itself enough to dispel the gloom of internal isolation. Loneliness can be most acute in a crowd. -Laing — The Guardian
While independent communications infrastructure, renewable energy, and resilient heating and power systems may all be major priorities in contemporary urban development, the three aren’t typically incorporated into the same project. Beyond The Grid — an ambitious plan underway in the Two Bridges neighborhood of Lower Manhattan — does just that. And the fact that the proposal has been created in this neighborhood is no accident. — urbanomnibus.net
The “loading” icons appearing today on popular websites such as Reddit and Netflix don't really mean those sites are slowing down. Instead, they are there as a symbol... to raise awareness about a [FCC] plan that would effectively end net neutrality, the foundational Internet principle that dictates all traffic must be treated equally by service providers — whether it's from a blog, a start-up or an established Web giant such as Facebook. — Al Jazeera
Did you know that great domain names are the easiest way for customers to find you online? You can help your visitors find you by using a domain name that is short and memorable. This year the architectural community got its very own domain name extension with .ARCHI, a dedicated domain name...
A map showing the location of every single device connected to the Internet. The image was created by John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine for connected devices. He pinged every device online, then mapped the location of the ones that responded [...] — Huffington Post
Artist Julien F. Thomas and architecture office Hughes Condon Marler have designed a coffee bar in Vancouver that disconnects you from all wireless networks once you’re inside.
The Faraday Café in Vancouver got its name from the Faraday Cage, a material shield around the bar’s interior that was built by the designers to block all electromagnetic signals. By creating a place without any digital connections the owners [...] hope to restore non-digital, social interaction between people. — popupcity.net
[Santa Monica will] be able to offer its residents real net neutrality, which the [FCC] is working on rolling back for just about everyone else in the US. [...]
Santa Monica has cleverly and quietly been installing its own network of city-owned fiber-optic cables for years, and they intend to keep the net neutral. [...]
Santa Monica has also made about $5 million providing internet service and leasing out the cables to other providers, and their competition has driven down rates. — la.curbed.com
The Federal Communications Commission recently proposed that internet service providers (like Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable) should be able to charge companies extra for faster service -- so for example, Netflix could pay AT&T more to ensure faster download speeds for its viewers...
the nastier the comments, the more polarized readers became about the contents of the article, a phenomenon they dubbed the “nasty effect.” But the nasty effect isn’t new, or unique to the Internet. Psychologists have long worried about the difference between face-to-face communication and more removed ways of talking—the letter, the telegraph, the phone. Without the traditional trappings of personal communication, like non-verbal cues, context, and tone, comments can become overly impersonal... — newyorker.com
[Genie is] a platform with online-based planning applications to help architects and engineers in the design process, especially for skyscrapers and large buildings. The platform includes planning tools of expert architects and engineers and advance analytics and simulation tools. Genie standardizes and automates the design and construction processes with unlimited design options, enabling an architect to preserve the building's uniqueness in the urban environment. — Globes
One of the most gratifying bits of feedback I ever received from one of my Ranger projects came from a 60-something woman who’d attended a campfire program on freeway landscapes in Los Angeles. Months later, she told me that she never looked at a freeway in the same way. Who knows what this kind of change in perception might ultimately lead to? — Places Journal
For decades intrepid tourists have been journeying to the monumental dams of the American West to marvel at the infrastructures of hydroelectric power. These days they're just as likely to be on a field trip to trace the pathways of the Internet, or the footprint of communication satellites, or...
Sears Holdings, the 120-year old retailer (which now includes Kmart), plans to start converting its struggling and defunct department stores into data centers, Data Center Knowledge reported today. A new unit of the company, Ubiquity Critical Environments, will lead the charge.
Thanks to Walmart, specialty shops, an economic downturn and—the sweet irony—online shopping, department stores are heading toward extinction, and Sears is feeling the pain particularly hard. — motherboard.vice.com
For the first time since Henri Labrouste (1801-1875), currently the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, formulated the conception of the new, democratic library, the central library is fighting for survival. The relevance of these gloriously inflated book boxes is being questioned in an age that looks to the Internet for its intellectual resources. — online.wsj.com
This film was shot in October last year when the Internet Archive celebrated a landmark --10 petabytes of stored media. Tour the space, which still looks more like a church than a library and see where millions of books are digitized and stored in a facility in Richmond, CA. — theatlantic.com
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