Category: Technology

Technology runs our lives. It’s time to understand how to make it work for you.

Despite IT Boom, over 90% of Africa Has No Internet Access

The Internet is one of the most important enablers of social development and education. While Internet services have been quite phenomenal in the rest of the world, access to the Internet remains very low in Africa, especially in the rural communities. According to the Internet World Stats for Africa 2016 (http://APO.af/AvhzA), only 9.3% of people across the African continent are Internet users.

“A few years ago anyone who could not read and write was considered illiterate, but today this concept goes further, encompassing people who do not know how to use information and communication technologies. Health organizations and schools in Africa often face a unique set of obstacles, including a lack of access to much-needed health education and counselling platforms. The Community Tablet was created to help solve these problems”, says Dayn Amade.

Interview: Tech Professional Narek Safaryan Talks About Renderforest

Narek Safaryan is a 24-year-old entrepreneur from Yerevan, Armenia. He is the founder and CEO of Renderforest. What is that you ask?

“Renderforest is free online video and animation maker. Easily create family, wedding, or travel slideshows with music, promotional animations, explained or animated business videos, logo or intro animations, event invitations, kinetic typography and more.”

Narek is also the founder and CEO of Wildek Creative Videos which is a video production company for clientele seeking services beyond that of a basic start-up. He is a humble, but straight-forward individual with plenty of ideas, and a passion towards helping others brainstorm and achieve their long-term goals. Aside from business Narek has a love for the outdoors, and is a practicing snowboarder. This interview will delve a little deeper into his ideas, and how you could benefit from his expertise.

Broadband to the Wilderness: SpaceX to Provide Global Gigabit Speed Internet

SpaceX has announced plans to launch over four thousand satellites into low-Earth orbit to provide the world with super-fast internet, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Earlier this week, Elon Musk’s SpaceX company outlined plans to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create global broadband network by launching 4,425 satellites into space. The first deployment will entail 800 satellites, intended only for connectivity in the US. The global remainder will be launched at a later date. Currently, some 1,400 satellites orbit the Earth, in varying stages of usefulness and repair.

Why Inequality Turns Technology Toxic

A new book draws from thousands of years of history to show that innovation flourishes in egalitarian settings and is stifled by cut-throat by competition.

In The Bleeding Edge: Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World, European academic and activist Bob Hughes exposes how inequality significantly diminishes our technological options and turns successful inventions into their evil counterparts.

Five EFF Tools to Help You Protect Yourself Online

Do you get creeped out when an ad eerily related to your recent Internet activity seems to follow you around the web? Do you ever wonder why you sometimes see a green lock with “https” in your address bar, and other times just plain “http”? EFF’s team of technologists and computer scientists can help. We engineer solutions to these problems of sneaky tracking, inconsistent encryption, and more. Our projects are released under free and open source licenses like the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, and we make them freely available to as many users as possible. Where users face threats to their free expression, privacy, and security online, EFF’s technology projects are there to defend them.

Playpen: The Story of the FBI’s Unprecedented and Illegal Hacking Operation

In December 2014, the FBI received a tip from a foreign law enforcement agency that a Tor Hidden Service site called “Playpen” was hosting child pornography. That tip would ultimately lead to the largest known hacking operation in U.S. law enforcement history.

The Playpen investigation—driven by the FBI’s hacking campaign—resulted in hundreds of criminal prosecutions that are currently working their way through the federal courts. The issues in these cases are technical and the alleged crimes are distasteful. As a result, relatively little attention has been paid to the significant legal questions these cases raise.

A Faster Internet: Terabit Networking Was Just Successfully Tested

In a trial conducted by Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom T-Labs and Technical Univeristy of Munich just achieved one terabyte transmission rate over fiber optics using realistic network conditions. The trials used a new modulation technique to make data transfer more efficient.

Fiber optic technology, since it was first introduced, has been synonymous to faster internet connections. The technology, which uses optical fiber instead of copper wires, has proven itself more efficient and effective, particularly for long-distance and high-volume applications.

Swedish Scientist Begins Editing Human DNA in Healthy Embryos

A scientist from Sweden is the first researcher to ever edit human DNA in healthy embryos. Using CRISPR, Fredrik Lanner is modifying genes to figure out what they do, eventually hoping to discover more about infertility, miscarriages, and embryonic stem cells.

Whether creating GM crops or making animals disease-resistant, gene-editing has always faced harsh criticism. One fear is how altering human DNA in embryos could recklessly create a fatal genetic disease that would exist for generations.

Anonymous, Scientology, and the Lulz

While many lament on Anonymous being ineffective, offensive, and out of control and/or ineffective, there does remain many successes that Anonymous has been attributed to. Some in fact are solely as a result of Anons and their on and offline effects. Partly for the Lulz and partly for the protest, the Anons who worked against the Church of Scientology gave way to new range of exploitive and innovative attacks on organizations and entities that are seen to be oppressive and in violation of human rights. It also propelled the movement of Anonymous to the public eye and garnered more recruits and members as a result.

The Church of Scientology has lost huge influence and is highly restricted in its ability to affect defectors and whistleblowers. Once the organization held so much power in this regard that defectors had their lives shattered and their reputations maligned so severely that the Scientology Church operated with impunity and suffered little to no recourse. The Church had been so skillful and manipulative that its members would be subjected to infinite levels of a cacophony of programming and social manipulation; one ex-member described it as “…a slow train of mind control”. (Perhaps not unlike what we experience in our day-to-day exposure to nationalist and capitalist propaganda)

Securing Your Digital Data – What You Need To Know

As computer users across the globe are aware, digital privacy and data security important for everyone, from the average person to the largest corporation. The ability to prevent data from falling prey to theft or interception is critical for even the average person, and even more so for those who wish to protect sensitive data. Most people use encryption to secure data online daily whether they know it or not, but what about your personal computer, and the treasure trove of information held therein?

The digital answer for those who wish to secure their data against theft and prying eyes is encryption, and there are many tools designed specifically for that purpose. Encryption is the use of complex mathematical formulas to make digital data unreadable to anyone that does not have the proper passkey. Fortunately for users, there are many tools available to make encryption very user friendly. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of incorrect information on many of these tools and their proper use. I will attempt to simplify the technical aspects, while providing the reader with a moderate understanding not only of how to use some common tools for proper data security, but also to understand the methodologies behind them and why they do, or don’t in some cases, work against particular threat models.

Scientific Consensus: Why Should We Accept It?

Scientific consensus isn’t reached only through whipping up votes. It’s actually born out of an overwhelming agreement between scientists of varying fields of study regarding a particular issue at hand.
As if providing a systematic framework for understanding how everything in the cosmos works wasn’t enough, science is often found in the realm of the social — how people relate to each other as they live out their everyday lives. Across the world, arguments about bills and policies that govern entire countries cite “scientific facts” for support before they are passed into law. Companies convince their customers to purchase their products with appeals based on “scientific facts.”