Internet

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.

From Wikipedia

Ross Reynolds speaks with Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, about the Internet of Things, and how it will connect with our bodies, our homes, our communities, our goods, and even the dirt beneath our feet.

IoT refers to the idea of equipping all objects with minuscule identifying devices or machine-readable identifiers. A Pew Research Center report predicts IoT will thrive by 2025.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Comcast provides Internet and cable service to more households than any other cable company in the U.S.

In Washington, D.C., Comcast has hired more than 80 lobbyists to sell its $45 billion mega-merger with Time Warner Cable. The deal, filed earlier this month, is now pending approval from the FCC and Department of Justice.

Flickr Photo/Vernon Chan (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Todd Bishop, co-founder of Geekwire, about the major security flaw affecting Microsoft's web browser Internet Explorer.

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Bill Schrier, City of Seattle's former chief technology officer, about the challenges to building a municipal broadband network in Seattle.

Editor's Note: A very serious bug with a scary name, Heartbleed, was discovered and disclosed this week. The bug affects OpenSSL, a popular cryptographic library that is used to secure a huge chunk of the Internet's traffic. Even if you have never heard of OpenSSL, chances are, it's helped secure your data in some way.

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