This is a zine I illustrated that addresses some of the basic and important issues of the Internet today. The zine covers How the Internet works, some info on Net Neutrality, a description of what users and innovators want from the internet, some frequently misused words and terms, and prompts the reader to get involved in skill building and to consider their privacy and anonymity on the web.
The zine was researched and written by Jennifer Rebbetoy, a friend and former classmate of mine.
A philosophical question
How can humans & computers relate in a symbiotic relationship?
A historical summary
DARPA, founded by the US Department of Defense, unified all the networks popping up all over the world with ARPANET using internetworking. Now Internet is used as a noun instead of a verb. In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the worldwideweb and various browsers, search engines and software were created to enhance the usability of the Internet. With the advent of mobile devices, we are still in an emerging Web 2.0, a state driven by user generated content.
A technical definition
We are connected to the Internet either by TV cables, DSL phone lines or fiber optic wires. There is ongoing research into new modes of connectivity. Speeds are advertised by ISPs as bits per second (bps) and data storage as bytes (B).
A sociological consequence
We're really connected but as the Internet transitions from novelty to everyday tool, are we overwhelmed with options to the point of immobility? Like cars and the modern traffic jam?
In his 2008 Ted Talk, Paul Stamets says, "Matter begets life. Life begets single cells. Single cells become strings. Strings become chains. Chains network and this is the paradigm we see throughout the universe" to describe the rapid growth patterns in mycelium, our brains, the universe and the Internet.
Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality:
A Local Narrative
In 2009, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a ruling that ISPs have to disclose their policies to try and appease complaints regarding throttled ISPs speeds. So if they throttled speeds to provide similar service to all their customers at peak times, they had to disclose that on their website.
Today ISPs often end up over promising what they can deliver and still charge exorbitant prices with little repercussions from the CRTC.
It is becoming common for service providers and content producers to merge, which will hurt diversity like it did to TV.
The TPP will impose traditional copyright laws on the Internet. These stipulations ignore the importance of viral content to the culture of the Internet, which comes form remixing and sharing each other's content.
The ongoing battle between Oracle and Google surrounds whether API packages can be copyrighted and possibly deter future innovators. The current ruling states that Google is seen to be using API packages fairly.
The EU recently made Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Microsoft sign a code of conduct to delete hate speech within 24 hours. Will this make the Internet more accessible to users who are afraid of trolls?
Normal, everyday people have power
For innovators: popular code libraries rely on the open source community (i.e. npm); there are alternative manifestos to help us break free from the constraints of proprietary software (i.e. the free software movement); it is the under supported moderators who truly decide what free speech is online.
For users: anonymity doesn’t have to be synonymous with criminality (on the Dark Web); globally people are more tech savvy than they get credit for (through the sneakernet) and capable of keeping up with memes and shutting down non net neutral initiatives (like Free Basics).
Google, Photoshop, Power Point, Skype
Avoid using these words as verbs; they are nouns. They are simply names of just one search engine, one photo editor, one presentation maker and one VoIP service.
SaaS or SaaSS
Stands for “Software as a Service” or “Service as a Software Subsitute” both describe an injustice. The point is that you can control a program but you have no control over someone else’s service. Never give up control if principle software will work.
This is meant to describe Uber and AirBnB but it is a stretch of the term “sharing” which usually describes noncommercial cooperation. A more accurate way to describe these business transactions is “ piecework service economy.”
It’s used to describe many different activities. One meaning describes storing your data in online services. This exposes you to surveillance.
Content can more accurately be described as "publications” or “works.” Otherwise it turns them into a commodity and disparages the work.
This is someone who enjoys playful cleverness, not always with computers. In the ‘80s, journalists mistakenly took the term to mean “security breaker” but it’s not true.
It sounds too close to the deity, The Creator. These people are authors.
The future depends on skill building
Learn to code for free through:
Or at a brick and mortar tuition based school
Stay informed about Canadian communication law (including net neutrality) through University of Ottawa professor, Michael Geist’s blog:
Anonymity isn’t synonymous with criminality!
Start incorporating privacy into your daily online activities with these four steps:
1. Use the Mozilla Firefox browser instead of Google Chrome or Safari
2. Then add the extension Ad Blocker Plus
3. Choose to open a new window in Private Browsing
4. Set your default search engine as DuckDuckGo instead of Google