#349 February 17, 2014 – A Truly Global Internet

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This week’s headline story: The Truly Global Internet


The Internet is a global network that impacts life in every country, so it may strike some as odd that it’s governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), exists under the authority of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. manages the Internet because the Internet was born from a project under DARPA. However, as countries around the world now depend on the Internet for commerce and communication, many have been pushing to move Internet governance to an international organization. With the recent revelations of massive data gathering of Internet activity globally as part of the NSA’s anti-terrorism efforts, the European Union Commission is pushing for a “clear timeline for the globalization” of ICANN.

As the world awaits the globalization of ICANN, some countries are enacting their own data localization laws to protect data from snooping eyes. These laws require businesses that operate on the Internet to store their data within the country where the businesses are located, rather than on servers in other countries. The increased mistrust between countries sparked by the NSA, is having a chilling impact on the free and open nature of the global Internet.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class. [NYTimes]

    Snow days have historically been days of jubilations for school children and teachers, but the Internet may change all that. Schools in the Northeast US are experimenting with virtual school days where students and teachers work together online when it is impossible to work together in the classroom. While it may put a damper on fun in the snow, it could prevent schools from having to convert future vacation days into school days to keep from dropping below the 180-school day minimum.

  • Google Encourages Developers to Create Art Using Code [eweek]


    Google is joining with Barbican, Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue, to promote artists who are creating amazing works of art using computer code. Google is hosting a competition for computer artists with the winner’s work to be displayed alongside work from the world’s most famous interactive artists at the Barbican in London. Check the links in the show notes to view some examples.


    The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA, is building a search engine. DARPA’s search engine will search what it calls “deep Web” content missed by commercial search engines, focusing on specific domains, and accessing web content that is hiding. It’s first target will be human trafficking forums, chats, advertisements, job postings and hidden services which “continue to enable a growing industry of modern slavery,” DARPA said.

  • House Takes Step Toward Ban on In-Flight Calls [NewsFactor]

    The House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to advance new legislation that would ban cellphone calls on planes. The committee believes that in-flight calls would be noisy and disturbing to other passengers and possibly disruptive.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Hackers Perfectly Time Largest DDoS Attack Ever [Ecommerce Times]

    A massive Distributed Denial of Service attack last week against CloudFlare.com is being called the largest ever. DDoS attacks typically utilize compromised computers to spam a specific web target with so much traffic that the server is unable to maintain normal operations. The attack against CloudFlare utilized a new technique that takes advantage of a known vulnerability in the Internet’s infrastructure to multiple each message in the attack by 600. Imagine an attack that is 600 times more powerful than the previous most damaging attack.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Scents that are Sent: oPhone Delivers Aromas [Michigan Tech ]

    Digital scent technology [wikipedia]

    Scent Dome [cnet]

    The Scent Dome [nstperfume]

    A Paris laboratory under the direction of David Edwards, an alumnus of Michigan Tech, has created the oPhone, a device which will allow odors—oNotes—to be sent, via Bluetooth and smartphone attachments, to oPhones across the state, country or ocean. Edwards says that the first oPhones can produce thousands of different odors which last 20 to 30 seconds—creating what he calls “an evolution of odor.” The concept of digital aromas isn’t exactly a new one. Beginning in the 1950’s with smell-o-vision, several companies have made efforts to bring scent to various computer applications. Perhaps oNote will be greeted with more interest than the failed past attempts.

and finally…

  • ‘Flappy Bird’ Game Deleted: The Rise And Fall Of The Most Addictive Mobile Game In Years [ibtimes]

    Fake Flappy Bird Will Peck a Hole in Your Wallet [NewsFactor]

    In may of 2013 the game Flappy Bird made its debut in Apple’s app store. By February 2014 Flappy Bird was ranked as the No. 1 free app in 53 countries and was reportedly earning $50,000 in ad revenue daily. On February 8th, at the peak of Flappy Bird’s popularity, Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen tweeted that he was taking Flappy Bird off line because he was concerned that it was “too addictive.” The loss of Flappy Bird left a hole in many gamers lives. Nguyen received many hostile responses, including death threats and suicide tweets. One fan even started a White House petition to bring back the game. Unfortunately, the hole left in the gaming world is being filled by Flappy Bird wannabees, many of which are designed to steal user data, and wrack up texting charges.

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