On the evening of February 17, professor Mary Beard posted on Twitter a photograph of herself crying. The eminent University of Cambridge classicist, who has almost 200,000 Twitter followers, was distraught after receiving a storm of abuse online. This was the reaction to a comment she had made about Haiti. She also tweeted: “I speak from the heart (and of course I may be wrong). But the crap I get in response just isn’t on; really it isn’t.” advertisement advertisement In the days that followed, Beard received support from several high-profile people. Greg Jenner, a fellow celebrity historian, tweeted about his own experience of a Twitterstorm: “I’ll always remember how traumatic it was to suddenly be hated by strangers. Regardless of morality–I may have been wrong or right in my opinion–I was amazed (later, when I recovered) at how psychologically destabilising it was to me.” Those tweeting support for … [Read more...] about How To Design A Civil Internet
Internet phones for small business
Fifty years ago today, the first permanent link between a computer at UCLA and at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) was formed. It was the first connection of ARPANET, which would grow into a large network of research and military computers and later become the public internet we know today. The unintended consequences of this connectedness on a massive scale would later bubble to the surface, and even the people who helped establish that first ARPANET connection seem very troubled about what the internet has become. advertisement advertisement I learned a lot of this history when I visited UCLA professor Leonard Kleinrock in Room 3420 in the engineering department’s Boelter Hall—the room where the first internet message was sent by a graduate student named Charley Kline to the scientist Bill Duvall at SRI on October 29, 1969. Kleinrock developed much of the theoretical groundwork for that first digital network and forerunner to the internet. But despite his … [Read more...] about 50 years later, the internet’s inventors are horrified by what it’s become
The smartphone has become so ubiquitous at mealtimes that it might as well have its own seat at the dinner table. But according to new research led by The University of British Columbia, that practice is taking a serious toll. Our “delightful” phones are actually boring us, creating feelings of tension and making us less happy than when we put them down and enjoy the company of family and friends. advertisement advertisement The study invited 304 participants to have a meal at a cafe, in groups of three to five. These people were family and friends, rather than strangers. No one knew what was being tested, but half of the groups were told to keep their phones on the table, because they’d be texted questions during the meal. The other half was instructed to silence their phones and put them away. The people who dined with their phones out enjoyed their meal less than those who put them away. They reported being more distracted, more tense, and more bored. … [Read more...] about Yet Another Reason To Put. The. Phone. Down.
Thirty percent of men walk down the street alone with a smartphone in their hand, and that number jumps to 37% when observing women. But when men and women walk together, the number plummets to just 18%. Perhaps we’d rather hold hands than hold phones? advertisement advertisement These new numbers are courtesy of University of Illinois researchers Laura Schaposnik and James Unwin, who studied over 3,000 people walking with their phones–not in use, but passively clutched in their hands–across Paris. Their new paper, titled The Phone Walkers: A study of human dependence on inactive mobile devices and highlighted by MIT Technology Review, is but one of several to come, and it raises more questions than it answers. That said, those questions are fascinating to consider all the same. Why do we hold our phones when we aren’t actually using them? Cross-referencing the last two decades of phone research with their new data in hand, the academics … [Read more...] about Study: We Never Stop Touching Our Phones, Even When They’re Off
In the 21st Century, if theres one thing that’s joined the pantheon of annoying teen behavior–along with sex, drugs, rock n’ roll–it’s smartphone use. The texting, the sexting, the emoji-speak, the Snapchats. “Put your phone down” is the new “Get off my lawn.” For a new holiday spot, AT&T is actually encouraging people to give the present of being present by putting down the phones. The new ad, by agency BBDO and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), follows one family’s Christmas adventures and the phone-obsessed teen among them. But in the end, the festive spirit wins out over checking that Instagram feed yet again. “We constantly look for signals of human behavior in the marketplace–it drives insights on what might be next for our products and services,” says Valerie Vargas, vice president of advertising and communications for AT&T. “Recently, we noticed that … [Read more...] about AT&T Wants You To Give The Gift Of Putting Down Your Damn Phone This Christmas