This is the National Security Agency HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland. The NSA is currently constructing a gigantic new data intercept and storage facility in Utah where they can monitor and store all forms of communications, both foreign and domestic.
To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the World Wide Web CERN will reconstruct the very first Web page ever published back in 1993. A team of translators and digital archaeologists have determined that the page reads “ERROR 404: The tablet you have requested is unavailable. Reasons for this may include the tablet is being re-inscribed, the tablet was dropped and is broken, or there may be too many people trying to read the tablet. Please try again later.”
The U.S. is called a “free” nation in regards to Internet access and rights of users, although the political battles over SOPA and PIPA are termed a potential “threat” and “would have suppressed legitimate, unquestionably legal speech”. The primary problems with access in the U.S. are due to infrastructure:
Although the United States is one of the most connected countries in the world, it has fallen behind many other developed countries in terms of internet speed, cost, and broadband availability. In 2011, approximately 78 percent of all Americans had access to the internet, but only 66 percent of adults used high-speed broadband connections. While the broadband penetration rate is considered high by global standards, it puts the United States significantly behind countries such as Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Sweden.
Unsure of who to vote for? Google Now will decide for you, and vote in your name automatically six or eight times!
Haven’t taken the time to make a will? No problem! Google Now has detected your neglect of your posterity and has already made itself the sole beneficiary of your estate!
Wondering what to do with that “extra” kidney you have? Google Now has access to black market organ dealers worldwide – you’ll just wake up in a strange hotel room with a fresh surgery incision neatly stitched into your side!
Google Now – it thinks for you because you’re slow, vulnerable, and at the information hegemony’s mercy!
Google has released a “transparency report” that reveals it is working hand-in-glove with international governmental agencies to censor its search results and to rat-out its users. The report shows that in the last half of 2011, the United States alone requested 6,192 individual pieces of content be removed from Google’s search results, blog posts or archives of online videos. That’s a 718% increase from the first half of 2011, and Google complied with 42% of those requests.
It’s difficult to know which is worse: the idea that U.S. attempts to censor the Internet increased by 718% in just six months, or that Google caved-in on almost half of them.
Internet Protocol version 6 is being rolled-out to expand the number of available Internet addresses to 340 undecillion: An undecillion is 1 trillion trillion trillion, or “a shitload” as members of the Internet Society who are responsible for the internet protocol standard says.
Disney World in Japan has agreed to allow a lesbian couple to hold a symbolic marriage ceremony at the theme park. At first park officials insisted the couple must dress as a man and a woman, apparently hoping no one would notice they were both women, but relented after an Internet backlash erupted.
Representatives (REDACTED) and (REDACTED) appear before (REDACTED) to announce the passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. "The average person won't notice any difference" (REDACTED) said. "We just want to make sure countries like (REDACTED) and (REDACTED) can't harm the U.S. in cyberspace."
The game app "Draw Something" has been purchased by casual gaming giant Zynga for $200 million. In the two months it has been available "Draw Something" has gained 35 million users - so Zynga paid $5.71 million per-user.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will pair-up with Regis Philbin, who is coming out of retirement to co-host "LIVE! with Regis and Julian". The new Internet chat show will feature guests from the worlds of politics, intelligence, diplomacy, and soap operas, as well as featuring how-to segments on releasing top secret files to the public and making the perfect omelet.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that his Facebook social network has purchased start-up photo-sharing Web site Instagram for $1 billion dollars. Facebook will instantly put a stop to whatever innovative thinking made Instagram a success "as per our usual business model", Zuckerberg said.
Gracelessland will not have a post today as we stand in solidarity with the campaign to stop the "Stop Online Piracy Act", a flawed bill that would endanger the privacy and rights of everyone who uses the Internet. Or it could just be a good excuse to take a day off - either way, all you'll see here today is this graphic someone else made.
Supporters of the "Stop Online Piracy Act", or SOPA, brought some heavy hitters before Congressional hearings into the need for the legislation. Particularly effective at convincing some recalcitrant Senators and Representatives was Mr. Joe S. Talin, a lobbyist for various media organizations, and a former official in the now-defunct Soviet Union.
People love to play FarmVille, mainly because it requires no thought at all and is much easier than real life. Here are the primary differences between FarmVille and reality:
In real life pigs do not shit truffles. They are slaughtered and turned into bacon. FarmVille would be a lot more fun if it worked like real life.
In real life gas costs more but lasts longer. And people don’t go around giving each other cans of gas as gifts – it’s far too precious to give away.
Real life has weather, insects, fungi, and droughts. FarmVille has “withering”, and you can even get around that by spending money.
In real life all the actual work is done by poor people from other countries who are kept in line by the constant threat of deportation.
In real life animals poop, pee, have wanton barnyard sex, and die at the drop of a hat. There are hugely expensive vet bills because animals can’t get health insurance, either.
In real life no one is making money by brushing their cat. There are no cat-fur sweaters. If there were PETA would be up in arms about it.
In real life farmers use lots of really dangerous, poisonous, cancer-causing chemicals so the food you buy at the supermarket will all be of uniform size, color, and texture, as if that mattered at all.
In real life the government would pay us to plant nothing.
In real life most of our farms would be in Central and South America where there aren’t so many pesky taxes, laws, and health and safety regulations. See above about chemicals.
In real life we’d be able to plant marijuana and make some real money.