Internet

Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Seattle Public Library is about to make the Internet as lendable as everything else in its collection.

It's the next step in the library's reinvention. A grant from Google means the Seattle Public Library will begin lending Wi-Fi hotspots to library patrons. By the summer it will also lend laptop computers packaged with wifi. 

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler gestures near the end of a hearing for a vote on Net Neutrality, Feb. 26, 2015
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Today, the Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality in a 3-2 vote. That means that Internet service providers, which includes cable companies like Comcast, can’t selectively slow down Internet data speeds in favor of paid fast lanes.

So what does that mean for consumers and companies in the Seattle area?

The Federal Communications Commission approved the policy known as net neutrality by a 3-2 vote at its Thursday meeting, with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler saying the policy will ensure "that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs.

"Today is a red-letter day," Wheeler said Thursday.

Later this morning, the Federal Communications Commission will take a vote on adopting new rules that would keep the Internet neutral.

Update at 1 p.m. ET 2/26: FCC Adopts Net Neutrality

Today marks the return of a cult public television hit — Foyle's War. It previously appeared as part of PBS's big Sunday night Masterpiece lineup, but it won't be on TV tonight. For now, viewers will have to stream the show digitally. Acorn, the company that produces Foyle's War, has embarked on something of a Netflix strategy — raising the question of whether a niche pay portal can be a going concern.

Sports. TV shows. Daily news. All grist for online arguments. (Not to mention culture, politics, race and feminism.)

Now, everyday people can communicate directly with people in news stories, celebrities and activists on social media. But not every conversation works on every platform. We're getting more sophisticated about choosing where we say things online.

The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens Tuesday in Las Vegas with the best and brightest in the tech world. The buzz this year is the so-called “Internet of Things.”

Techies are pumping out new ways to make simple, everyday devices talk to (and even interact with) each other, all while connected to the global data network.

The Internet of Things has been a staple of CES for years, but the hype peaked this year as attendees expect several automakers to unveil demos of their latest autonomous cars.

Before Google there was — that paragon of accuracy and calm — the librarian. The New York Public Library recently came upon a box of questions posed to the library from the 1940s to the '80s — a time capsule from an era when humans consulted other humans for answers to their daily questions and conundrums.

Here's one salacious example: "I went to a New Year's Eve Party and unexpectedly stayed over. I don't really know the hosts. Ought I to send a thank-you note?" asked a "somewhat uncertain female voice" during a midafternoon telephone call on New Year's Day 1967.

FCC Proposal Would Boost Internet TV

Dec 24, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a technical rule change that will make it easier for the Internet to compete with traditional TV and cable channels.

In essence the agency wants to broaden the definition of a pay-TV provider, so that on-line video streaming would be treated in the same category as cable or satellite TV and video, as long as that on-line service is provided by a company that also offers a traditional TV channel.

On the same morning net neutrality demonstrators showed up at FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's house to protest a plan that could let broadband providers charge for "fast lanes" to the Internet, the demonstrators found unexpected support from the White House.

The fate of a human trafficking lawsuit against Backpage.com is now in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court.

You wake up feeling gross – stuffy and full of aches. A quick Google search of your symptoms confirms that yes, you probably have a cold and not the plague. But what if you were directed to a site that had a legitimate sounding name but wasn't really accurate at all?

It sounds like a problem from the ancient days of the Internet. Since then people have learned that .gov leads to bona fide government sites, but .com could be anyone selling you anything.

Flickr Photo/Eris Stasi (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Bill Schrier, the former chief technology officer for the City of Seattle, about CenturyLink's plan to offer high-speed internet for residents of four Seattle neighborhoods. 

Aereo, the company that lets subscribers watch TV stations' video that it routes onto the Internet, violates U.S. copyright law, the Supreme Court has ruled. The court's 6-3 decision reverses a lower court ruling on what has been a hotly contested issue.

Wikipedia Illustration/Tom-b (CC BY-SA)

David Hyde talks with Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare, about what he says is the fastest growing cyber attack sweeping the nation: distributed denial of service, or DDoS.

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