New York Times: Seniors Seeking Vaccines Have a Problem: They Can’t Use the Internet

New York Times: Seniors Seeking Vaccines Have a Problem: They Can’t Use the Internet. “Annette Carlin feels trapped. Before the pandemic, Ms. Carlin, who is 84, loved to go on walks in Novato, Calif., with her grandchildren and dance at the senior center. Since March, though, she has been stuck indoors. She has been eager to sign up for a vaccine and begin returning to normal life. But booking an appointment has been a technological nightmare. Ms. Carlin cannot afford to buy a computer, and would not know how to navigate the internet in search of a shot even if she could. While members of her family might be able to help her there, she avoids seeing them as a safety precaution.”

New York Times: The long, painful path of net neutrality

New York Times: The long, painful path of net neutrality. “California this week was cleared to enforce its own net neutrality regulation, which (of course) had been challenged in court. This is now a distraction for our elected leaders and corporations when there are more pressing issues. I talked to my colleague Cecilia Kang about the origins of the war over net neutrality (barbershop music!) and what’s at stake.”

CNET: Millions of Americans can’t get broadband because of a faulty FCC map. There’s a fix

CNET: Millions of Americans can’t get broadband because of a faulty FCC map. There’s a fix. “Millions of Americans around the country lack access to fast internet at home, a need that’s become especially critical over the past year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced everything from family gatherings to classes and business meetings to go online. But even as President Joe Biden pushes an ambitious $20 billion plan on top of billions of dollars in funding already earmarked for unserved communities, a fundamental flaw remains in not knowing where the problems lie.”

ABC News (Australia): Building a search engine to rival Google could cost billions — and that’s not the only problem

ABC News (Australia): Building a search engine to rival Google could cost billions — and that’s not the only problem. “The servers for the Gigablast website occupy a windowless brick building on Bogan Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just off the interstate and near pawn shops and discount tyre dealers. ‘It’s Bogan Avenue. You’re Australian, you’ll get the joke,’ said Matt Wells, founder and sole employee of the search engine. Gigablast is now mostly forgotten, but there was once a time, around the turn of the millennium, when it could be mentioned in the same breath as another option: Google.”

Phys .org: Internet access spending in public schools increases test scores, but also disciplinary problems

Phys .org: Internet access spending in public schools increases test scores, but also disciplinary problems. “From 2015 to 2019, public school districts in the United States invested nearly $5 billion to upgrade their Wi-Fi networks, according to EducationSuperHighway. However, in the age of COVID-19-mandated virtual learning, millions of K-12 students still lack the minimal connectivity at home for digital learning. In a new study from the University of Notre Dame, researchers quantify how school district connectivity increases test scores, but underscore the dark side of technology—increased behavior problems.”

Independent: Bebo Coming Back With ‘Brand New Social Network’

The Independent: Bebo Coming Back With ‘Brand New Social Network’. “Bebo is returning, in the form of a ‘brand new social network’. But it is not clear whether the new version of the site has any connection to the old one, beyond borrowing its name and its old web address. It has also made clear that it does not have access to the content that was posted on the site.” I actually don’t remember Bebo at all, which is funny because it operated for eight years. Wikipedia has an extensive article.

Phys .org: Citizens versus the internet

Phys .org: Citizens versus the internet . “The Internet has revolutionized our lives—whether in terms of working, finding information or entertainment, connecting with others, or shopping. The online world has made many things easier and opened up previously unimaginable opportunities. At the same time, it presents both individuals and societies with major challenges: The underlying technologies do not necessarily serve users’ best interests.”

New York Times: Actually, QR Codes Never Went Away

New York Times: Actually, QR Codes Never Went Away. “Though QR codes have been persistently popular for payments and other services in Asia, in the United States, until recently, they were widely seen as unsexy, even a hassle. In 2015, TechCrunch called QR codes both a ‘laughingstock’ and ‘a frustrating symbol of over-engineering’ in the span of 41 words.” I love QR codes and I’m glad they’re coming back into style.

Bernie Sanders’ inauguration mittens meme: The funniest versions (CNET)

CNET: Bernie Sanders’ inauguration mittens meme: The funniest versions. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as president and vice president on Wednesday in a fanfare-filled inauguration ceremony. But neither set the national meme machine churning in quite the same way as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. An image of him sitting with his arms crossed, wearing a mask and big, cozy mittens, has been shared and tweaked endlessly — and even inspired a bobblehead figurine.”

CNBC: How to put Bernie Sanders into any shot on Google Maps Street View or Snapchat

CNBC: How to put Bernie Sanders into any shot on Google Maps Street View or Snapchat. “An image of Sen. Bernie Sanders became an instant sensation Wednesday after the senator was photographed sitting cross-armed in knit mittens, a mask and a winter parka at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Before long, the image had spread far and wide as a reaction meme. People also quickly figured out how to help people make their own Bernie memes using Snapchat and a meme generator that uses Google Maps Street View.”

New York Times: The Lasting Lessons of John Conway’s Game of Life

New York Times: The Lasting Lessons of John Conway’s Game of Life. “In March of 1970, Martin Gardner opened a letter jammed with ideas for his Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. Sent by John Horton Conway, then a mathematician at the University of Cambridge, the letter ran 12 pages, typed hunt-and-peck style. Page 9 began with the heading ‘The game of life.’ It described an elegant mathematical model of computation — a cellular automaton, a little machine, of sorts, with groups of cells that evolve from iteration to iteration, as a clock advances from one second to the next.”