Bloomberg Quint: Google Cancels Some Fiber Internet Installations in Kansas City. “Google Fiber, the gigabit-speed internet service rolled out by Alphabet Inc., is canceling some installations in Kansas City, the latest setback for the high-profile initiative. The search giant is sending out refunds to residents that won’t be getting the service they signed up for. The metropolitan area, which straddles the border of Kansas and Missouri, was the first market for the superfast service when it debuted in 2012 and remains Fiber’s largest.”
BackChannel: Google Fiber Was Doomed From the Start. “Look, Google was never going to fix the nation’s high-capacity internet access problem. It’s a problem with several dimensions: In most major urban areas, local cable monopolies dominate completely, selling high-priced, second-rate data services that are inextricably bundled with pay TV packages and unthreatened by competition. In rural areas, former telco monopolies are doing their best to transform themselves into wireless media distribution platforms, cutting off millions of Americans from the modern world by relegating them to third- or fourth-rate unreliable data services.”
The New Indian Express: Pakistan threatens to block all social media networks over blasphemy. “A Pakistani court has ordered the government to open an investigation into online ‘blasphemy’, threatening to ban social media networks if they failed to censor content deemed insulting to Islam, lawyers said on Thursday.”
The Conversation: African governments versus social media: Why the uneasy relationship?. “Many Kenyan social media users are worried that the government will shut down the internet during August’s general election. Kenya’s Communications Authority has attempted to reassure voters that this is unlikely. However, fears that internet freedoms could be at risk are not unfounded. The list of African countries that have blocked access to social media during elections and other politically sensitive periods is growing.” Excellent overview of how various African governments are treating Internet access.
From News24 in South Africa: Social media in SA could be regulated, says Mahlobo. “The regulation of social media, in light of issues including the spread of fake news and scams, is being considered, says Minister of State Security David Mahlobo.”
So apparently the giant Amazon outage was because of…. a typo?. “A team member was doing a bit of maintenance on Amazon Web Services Tuesday, trying to speed up the billing system, when he or she tapped in the wrong codes — and inadvertently took a few more servers offline than the procedure was supposed to, Amazon said in a statement Thursday. With a few mistaken keystrokes, the employee wound up knocking out systems that supported other systems that help AWS work properly.”
Vice: Silencing the net: More governments want to kill access to Twitter and Facebook. Here’s how to beat them.. “Governments don’t have an internet kill-switch within reach — they need the support of telecoms operators to pull off a shutdown. By issuing a court order or legal request, government authorities can require telecoms to implement a block list of select sites or even disconnect certain locations from internet access. Telecoms providers are bound by national regulations and license agreements, so few companies decide to go rogue on government requests.” The headline is a bit misleading – the article is more about the technical aspects of how governments can cut off Internet access and what some ISPs are doing about it.