CBR: Internet gang indicted over $530m cybercrime campaign. “A gang of 36 members have been accused of being part of a $530 million cybercrime operation and indicted by the US; members have been located in countries including the UK. Spread far and wide, other members have been tracked down across seven countries including the U.S. and the UK, with France, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia and even Australia also on the list.”
Fader: A new Twitter project finds the origin of your favorite GIFs. “Director and Twitter favorite Matthew A. Cherry took on a bold task Friday afternoon. The self-proclaimed GIF Connoisseur announced he’d begin sourcing classic GIFs to their original video, and has so far made it through at least 20 well-used memes, sometimes with help from others.” What a terrific idea!
The Register, with a bit of a mean headline: Open source turns 20 years old, looks to attract normal people. “The Open Source Initiative, a non-profit that advocates open source development and non-proprietary software, pegs the date of inception at February 3, 1998. That’s when the term ‘open source’ was proposed by Christine Peterson during a meeting convened to build upon interest arising from the decision by browser maker Netscape to release its source code.”
The Star (Malaysia): Over four in ten of world’s population use social media. “Our planet currently has over four billion Internet users, three-quarters of whom are active on social media, according to the new Digital in 2018 report published by creative agency We Are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite. In January 2018, there were 4.021 billion Internet users across the globe, more than half (53%) of the world’s population. In the space of one year, Internet user numbers have grown by around 250 million (+7%). Growth in Africa was a spectacular 20%.”
University of Southern California: Internet use at home soars to more than 17 hours per week. “Since the internet became mainstream less than 20 years ago, faith in traditional institutions and consumption of traditional media has also been displaced by faith in newer, digital institutions and consumption of newer, digital media, according to the 15th annual Digital Future Report recently produced by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. In the years since the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future published its first Digital Future Report in 2000, the internet has evolved from a secondary medium to an essential component of daily life.”
The New Yorker: The End of the Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun from the Internet. “Blogs are necessarily idiosyncratic, entirely about sensibility: they can only be run by workhorses who are creative enough to amuse themselves and distinct enough to hook an audience, and they tend to publish like-minded writers, who work more on the principle of personal obsession than pay. The result is editorial latitude to be obscure and silly and particular, but the finances are increasingly hard to sustain; media consumption is controlled these days by centralized tech platforms—Facebook, Twitter—whose algorithms favor what is viral, newsy, reactionary, easily decontextualized, and of general appeal.”
Engadget: Quika promises free satellite internet for developing countries. “Facebook’s plans for free satellite internet access may have run into some… setbacks, but another company is promising to make that ubiquitous data a practical reality. Quika, a company led by the chief of satellite provider Talia, is launching a free satellite broadband service in the second quarter of 2018. It’s promising speedy, low-latency Ka-band data in developing countries where income inequality and a lack of infrastructure (especially in rural areas) make conventional internet access impractical for most. Service will begin with Afghanistan, Iraq and most of Africa, but there are promises of more countries afterward.”