Cyberculture agenda: “Open Access Is a Human Rights Issue

Open Access Is a Human Rights Issue

A BBC article has been making the rounds this week about #icanhazpdf, a “secret codeword” that people use to access research papers from limited-access journals. The idea is simple: when researchers—or, for that matter, curious readers—find a reference to an article that they can’t access, they post a request on Twitter. After someone with access sees the request and sends the paper over, the asker deletes the tweet so that it doesn’t arouse any future suspicion.

California Leads the Way in Digital Privacy

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a crucial law with groundbreaking implications for privacy, the Internet and free speech. Sacramento’s adoption of the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, also known as CalECPA, makes California the largest state to adopt digital privacy protections including both the content of messages and location data.

spotifyWhen Spotify launched its first beta in the fall of 2008 we branded it “an alternative to music piracy.”

With the option to stream millions of tracks supported by an occasional ad, or free of ads for a small subscription fee, Spotify appeared to be a serious competitor to unauthorized downloading.

How Facebook and Google’s Algorithms Are Affecting Our Political Viewpoints


Plenty of users take what they read online at face value, which some social experiments have proven. The average user often doesn’t check facts or consider whether the source is credible.

Facebook Now Warns Users of State-Sponsored Attacks

A heads up for when nation-states invade.

Remember when The New York Times wrote a damning investigation of Amazon’s treatment of its high-level, white-collar workers? Many news cycles ago, treatment of Amazon employees was examined, more or less corroborated across dozens of workers, and included elements even Amazon executives confirmed. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos acknowledged the story and essentially told Amazon workers to take it to HR. Everything was wrapped up. It was a tech controversy until another tech controversy came up and ate it to continue the never-ending circle of takes. Except today, inexplicably, Amazon SVP of Global Affairs Jay Carney decided to go to Medium…

The Dark Web isn’t as revolutionary as you’d think

When the United States Naval Research Laboratory began development of The Onion Router (TOR) in the mid-1990’s they meant well. How could they have known it would eventually become a popular habitat for hackers, child pornographers and criminals? The goal was to create a portal where dissidents of oppressive regimes can communicate their strife to the US government anonymously, which is all very well and good, until the portal became a hotbed of criminal activity known as The Dark Web. The Dark Web is a network of underground websites which are not readily accessible to your average internet visitor. The great…

STOCKHOLM INTERNET FORUM 2015: Social Gender Inequality in Internet Access Discussed in Sweden

Stockholm Internet Forum 2015 organized in Sweden has discussed access to Internet as a global issue with the participation of over 400 representatives from 90 countries, and shared their experiences of local struggles against social gender inequality in access to information.
The Secret History of the Hashtag, Slash, and Interrobang

The little symbols on your keyboard have some fascinating backstories.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 5.18.07 PM
There’s a ton of new emoji as part of iOS 9.1, so we took the time to track them all down and put them next to their official names, so you know how to use them. New face/hand emoji There’s a number of new face emoji, but all you’ll probably care about is that middle finger. New nature emoji All I care about in the new nature emoji section is that lion face — look at that guy! New food emoji Taco! Burrito! Cheese! Finally, we have been liberated! New sport/activity emoji Sports sports sports sports. New transport emoji Now you can use…

Open access isn’t explicitly covered in any of the secretive trade negotiations that are currently underway, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA). But that doesn’t mean that they won’t have a negative impact on those seeking to publish or use open access materials

Reddit’s move toward respectability means leaving behind some of what made it great

The “front page of the internet”, Reddit, itself has a new front page: Upvoted. This standalone news site offers content drawn from Reddit posts – a “Redditorial” process – rather than the free-for-all that gave Reddit its reputation as “the dark, unruly id of the internet.”
Facebook accounts are notorious for being hacked, either through poor passwords or phishing scams. So to help keep its users safe, the social network has announced that it will soon start sending banner notifications to anyone whose account may have been compromised by the government or if Facebook suspects someone is trying to hack into it. In a blog post about the new security precaution, Facebook says the privacy of its users is the most important thing: While we have always taken steps to secure accounts that we believe to have been compromised, we decided to show this additional warning…

How Instagram Affects Its European Users

11 things to know about Google Photos

There’s nothing like reminiscing over family albums, capturing that perfect sunset pic, or finding the throwbackiest of throwbacks for #TBT. When we launched Google Photos in May, we wanted to make all these experiences even better—with unlimited high quality storage so you never need to worry about where to store your snapshots, automatic organization and great search so you can quickly find the photo you’re looking for, and easy sharing so you can send any photo to anyone with just a link. Five months later, we’ve crossed more than 100 million monthly active users—and to celebrate, we’ve collected a few factoids we’ve discovered about people and the things we photograph, along with a few tips.

Update: The Senate advanced CISA 85-14. You can see how your Senator votedhere. Amendments to CISA will be voted on Monday. After a final vote early next week in the Senate, CISA will move to a conference committee where House and Senate leaders will resolve differences between the House-passedand Senate-passed bills. The final text will then be presented to Congress for a final vote in both chambers. 


Today ICANN’s GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group is discussing the comments that EFF and thousands of others made in response to proposals to clamp down on the availability of privacy proxy services by domain registrants.


popcornThis week a new service called BrowserPopcorn debuted and then shutdown. Just to get things absolutely clear, that has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s situation. With that out of the way, let’s move on.

Do you want to add Twitter Cards to your WordPress site? Twitter Cards makes it possible for you to attach rich media to tweets that link to your content. This is very similar to sharing a link on Facebook which automatically displays a preview with title, summary, and thumbnail of your page content. In this article, we will show you how to add twitter cards in WordPress.

Adding Twitter Cards to a WordPress site

Amazon’s Weird, Defensive Blog Post Is Actually Smart PR

Ahead of its first earnings call since a huge New York Times expose on its work culture, Amazon is seeking to look savvy–and trustworthy.


Amazon takes 1,114 fake reviewers to court

Amazon continues its streak against suing fake reviewers on its site with a fresh lawsuit filed in Seattle, the BBC reports. The 1,114 defendants, collectively labeled “John Does” as the identities of the accused are not known, sell their services for as little as $5 on Fiverr, the micro-services website. “While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon’s brand,” the technology giant said in its complaint, which was filed on Friday. Interestingly, Amazon has not gone after Fiverr itself, who…

Can Twitter Data be Used to Predict Elections?

Data is everywhere in the modern world. Almost every interaction touches, in some way, a digital communications medium, meaning it can be tracked, it can be saved and it can be logged for analysis and reference. Given that, it stands to reason that we should be able to ascertain predictive patterns from such insights – but how deep can predictive analysis get?

bittorrent-new-logoTo the vast majority of technology enthusiasts the term ‘BitTorrent’ means one thing – the sharing of large files with like-minded individuals quickly and freely across the Internet.

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