A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘internet

[NEWS] Twelve LGBTQ links (#lgbtq, #queer)

leave a comment »

  • Daily Xtra looks at 50 years of fighting for LGBTQ rights in Canada, here.
  • Them links to a variety of classic documentaries about LGBTQ life before Stonewall, here.
  • Atlas Obscura explains why lesbians and potluck dinners are so closely associated with each other, here.
  • Them looks at the controversies surrounding the construction of monuments to LGBTQ heroes of the past, here.
  • VICE explains how venerable magazine Out was nearly ended by poor management, here.
  • Wired looks at queer history in TV movies, here.
  • Connor Garel at NOW Toronto writes, inspired by Paris Is Burning and the drag scene, about the importance of maintaining queer spaces, here.
  • Enzo DiMatteo writes at NOW Toronto about the long history of homophobia of Doug Ford, here.
  • Claire Provost writes at Open Democracy about the frighteningly well-coordinated global campaign by groups on the right against LGBTQ superheroes, here.
  • Michael Waters at Daily Xtra explains the key role of young users of social media in keeping even obscure corners of LGBTQ history alive, here.

[CAT] Five #caturday links: maps, Grumpy Cat, Bangladesh, Swiss cat ladders, video

leave a comment »

  • I have no idea how accurate this r/mapporn map charting the changing ratio of cats to dogs across the United States is, but I love it anyway.
  • This Wired obituary for Grumpy Cat, tracing in that feline’s death not only the death of a cute cat but the death of hope for the Internet as a source of fun, rings true to me.
  • Atlas Obscura notes how Bangladesh has successfully reduced the poaching of tigers.
  • Atlas Obscura takes a look at the many cat ladders of the Swiss city of Bern.
  • David Grimm at Science Magazine reports on an innovative research project that attached video cameras to cats to see what they actually did.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: NASA climate, Starlink, CO2 on the seabed, moving Earth, neutrino beams

leave a comment »

  • Evan Gough at Universe Today notes that the long-term climate predictions of NASA have so far proven accurate to within tenths of a degree Celsius.
  • Matt Williams at Universe Today notes how the launching of satellites for the Starlink constellation, providing Internet access worldwide, could be a game-changer.
  • Eric Niiler at WIRED suggests that Texas–and other world regions–could easily sequester carbon dioxide in the seabed, in the case of Texas using the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Matteo Ceriotti explains at The Conversation how, as in The Wandering Earth, the Earth might be physically moved. https://theconversation.com/wandering-earth-rocket-scientist-explains-how-we-could-move-our-planet-116365ti

  • Matt Williams at Universe Today shares a remarkable proposal, suggesting Type II civilizations might use dense bodies like black holes to create neutrino beam beacons.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

leave a comment »

  • Matt Thompson at anthro{dendum} writes about the complex, often anthropological, satire in the comics of Charles Addams.
  • Architectuul looks at the photography of Roberto Conte.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes a new computer model suggesting a supernova can be triggered by throwing a white dwarf into close orbit of a black hole.
  • D-Brief notes how ammonia on the surface of Pluto hints at the existence of a subsurface ocean.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes how the bombardment of Earth by debris from a nearby supernova might have prompted early hominids to become bipedal.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that NASA has awarded its first contract for its plans in lunar space.
  • Far Outliers notes the reactions, within and without the Soviet Union, to the 1991 Soviet coup attempt.
  • Matt Novak at Gizmodo’s Paleofuture notes how, in 1995, Terry Pratchett predicted the rise of online Nazis.
  • io9 notes the impending physical release this summer of DVDs of the Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind.
  • JSTOR Daily suggests some ways to start gardening in your apartment.
  • Victor Mair at Language Log claims that learning Literary Chinese is a uniquely difficult experience. Thoughts?
  • The NYR Daily features a wide-ranging interview with EU official Michel Barnier focused particularly, but not exclusively, on Brexit.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that an Internet vote has produced a majority in favour of naming outer system body 2007 OR10 Gonggang.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers the possibility that foreign investors in Mexico might be at risk, at least feel themselves at risk, from the government of AMLO.
  • The Signal looks at how the Library of Congress archives spreadsheets.
  • Van Waffle at the Speed River Journal looks at magenta spreen, a colourful green that he grows in his garden.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes how we on Earth are carelessly wasting irreplaceable helium.
  • Window on Eurasia refers to reports claiming that a third of the population of Turkmenistan has fled that Central Asian state. Could this be accurate?

[NEWS] Five tech links: Marion Stokes TV, data caps, Hydro-Québec, batteries, Anki

  • Atlas Obscura remarks on the remarkable decades-long archive of taped television made by Marion Stokes.
  • Motherboard notes, rightfully, that Americans will have good reason to be upset with data caps.
  • Hydro-Québec is set to continue expanding its energy exports, with New York being the latest consumer. CBC reports.
  • The National Observer comments on the game-changing improvements of batteries.
  • Wired notes that home robotics company Anki is winding down, though not without leaving a good legacy for the future.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

[AH] How could the early Internet have evolved differently? (#alternatehistory)

With the 30th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web being celebrated last month, there have been some interesting retrospectives on early Internet experiences. The Guardian shared, for instance, a lovely collection of memories from readers who remember their positive experiences on the early Internet. (Who, indeed, can forget LiveJournal?)

My attention was caught particularly by a post written by Rhett Jones about some of the artifacts of the early web, like personal home pages and walled gardens, that did not take off.

Could at least some of these have survived, I wonder? Personal home pages may have been doomed, given the energy and skill needed to create them from scratch. What about walled gardens?

Before the web came along, companies like America Online and Prodigy were offering people limited access to the internet with their own special portals to curated content. It was kind of like Facebook’s web-within-the-web strategy of being everything to everyone. The attitude at the time was something like “How many options do people really need in order to check the weather or get the latest sports scores?”

As the potential for the web’s wild west started to come into view, these companies began to open up their platforms to the wider world that was slowly being built. However, their proprietary browsers didn’t play well with other programs and were getting creamed by more flexible options like Mosaic and NetScape Navigator.

The strategy of boxing in people’s web experience managed to hang on in one way or another until the end of the ‘90s, but it officially died when Prodigy announced that it simply couldn’t continue its “Classic” format because it wasn’t Y2K ready.

From my 2019 perspective, seeing how much of my online experience is mediated strictly through apps not terribly different from walled gardens, I wonder if these could have survived. Would it have been possible for more forward-thinking media companies to come up with walled gardens that were viable competition to the more open Internet?

Written by Randy McDonald

April 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm

[CAT] Five cat links: Toronto hoarding, vegan diets, cat content, islands, therapy cats

  • blogTO notes a sad instance of cat hoarding in Toronto, with a hundred cats rescued from one home.
  • ScienceAlert reports on the alarming number of pet owners in a recent poll who would like to give not only dogs but cats vegan diets.
  • Viewing online cat content can actually be good for a viewer’s psychological health, 3milliondogs.com reports.
  • Culls of cat populations from select, ecologically sensitive, islands do make sense to me. BBC reports.
  • Vivien Fellegi writes at NOW Toronto about the uses of the therapy cats provided by the Therapeutic Paws of Canada organization.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 30, 2019 at 10:30 am