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Cutting the Web – Why Regulate the Internet?

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WikiBlackout

Wikipedia’s blackout message against SOPA and PIPA

A tag line of a movie read ‘everything is not going to be ok’ and it seems that tag line is coming to life in the cyber world. The internet, over the years, has become an inseparable part of our lives. From shopping to news from work to leisure, internet is present in every aspect of life.

Curbing the usage of internet and slapping restrictions on it is like limiting the volume of air our lungs can breathe each day. But if internet is so vital, why smother it? The most common reason given to you would be piracy and copyright infringement.  Piracy and copyright violations have been synonymous with internet, since the day world understood the sea of knowledge it contained.

With advent of the laws like SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) the ‘big brother’ is trying to seize control of the web. Not only this many governments of the world are contemplating controlling what and how much one can post on the net. The governments, in a subtle way, call it regulating the internet. Although, SOPA and PIPA are legislations drafted in the United States, their impact extends to all the countries using internet. The initial idea of these pieces of legislation was to prevent sale or distribution of pirated material (like movies, music and counterfeit goods) on websites, especially those outside the US. In simple terms, what these acts intend to do is just like shutting down an entire mall because few shops are selling illegal or counterfeit goods.

The question that arises, are these laws and regulations justified?  The right to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, won’t they be violated if these laws are implemented in their full context? The ‘big democracies’ seem to be interfering a bit too much in the personal lives of people. With the recent NSAs PRISM revelations, the fear of an ever-watching and ever-listening authority has substantially increased. Moreover, there are already existing laws like Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) that require the websites to remove any infringing material. However, SOPA and PIPA intend to track and bring down entire domains.

This said, there are certain people or organisations who lose a lot owing to online piracy and copyright infringement. For them it is important to control certain aspects, but the vague and loose structure of the proposed bills will affect organisations and people who strive on the resources and open wares available on the internet. Instead of discussing a solution, they are trying to erase the question.

The news of SOPA and PIPA, sent the internet world into a frenzy. All major internet companies like Google and Wikipedia came out with strong protests, with Wikipedia even resorting to a blackout for a day in 2012. On-line petitions were signed by millions to ask the US Congress to prevent these laws from going live. The efforts of netizens paid off and the Congress deferred these laws until further amendments were made. The persistent efforts of netizens and few organisations, which may have their own vested interests, have blocked these laws for now. Even if these laws pass in the future, they will be a lot different and, hopefully,  more justified.

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A social-infrastructure development professional, working in the vocational education and skill development sector. Born and raised in Srinagar (J&K), currently living in Delhi. Completed Bachelor of Engineering from Kashmir University. An avid reader of fiction and espionage novels. Biggest passions include writing poems, lyrics, articles, football, and grunge & progressive rock.

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3 2020 Developments That Could Make Your Life Easier

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There are many systems under development right now that could eventually make your life easier – but below, we’re going to look at 3 of them. We could be using these developments a lot sooner than you think! 

5G

Why do we need 5G when we have 4G – 4G is fast enough, right? People are worried about the health implications, but everybody seems willing to look past that to get more speed. More speed could really help businesses. Also, while 5G is generally operating from the same infrastructure as before, mass adoption will cause issues for data centers. This could make the situation both better and worse in some respects. 

Virtual Reality 

Virtual reality is already being used by many people, but it could actually be put to good use soon. When it comes to simple things like shopping, you could make your life so much easier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re shopping for furniture or clothes, virtual reality could mean checking out the fit easily. Try on clothes in the comfort of your home without even ordering them first. See what a sofa looks like before you buy. The options are endless! 

Artificial Intelligence 

We’re still going to need human intelligence, but AI can have a huge impact in our personal and working lives. In work alone it could mean enhanced automation with no need to do tedious tasks. Then, there’s next gen disaster response. It’s the technology of the future!

With these developments in mind, what are some of the most important developments in human history? Check out the infographic to find out!


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Technology Advances And How We Can Embrace Them

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Smart home

When it comes to the world as we know it, there is one denying that technology has advanced at an alarming rate. So much so, that we can find that more of us are starting to see these influences being incorporated into our lives. Whether you embrace it or not. Of course, there are technophobes out there, especially the older generation, who can find the latest technology a little harder to grasp. But these advances can really help us when it comes to living our lives. Here are some of the advances and how we can embrace them each day.

Wearable technology

The changes in what we wear have become more noticeable as more of us will be wearing some form of wearable technology. It could be in the form of a watch that tracks our heart rate or exercises. It might be that some people who are older will have wearable technology to remind them to take medication or to feel safe. Such as a button that can be pressed isn they feel unwell or need some form of assistance. 

Technology on our devices

The technology that we all use personally each day has changed dramatically, we only have to look at our smartphones or laptops to see that. They are more advanced than ever before, and with that some of them can become a little more like virtual assistants. Whether that be using Apple, Android or other devices. However, we can find that there may be situations where technology can let us down, such as mac os Catalina could not be verified or we find that certain models are not updated. Another issue we can have is older technology not keeping up with the latest downloads and software updates that are required. 

The smart home

Our homes are advancing more and more, and with that it means with things like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, we have more control over what we do through our voice and commands. Whether you want to control your heating, or even things like lights, these devices in your home are making it possible with simple demands. While it may seem lazy, these devices can help to transform your home. Even enabling you to switch the heating on or lights before you arrive home, for example. 

Lifestyle changes that technology can help us embrace

Finally, technology has changed so much that we can find ourselves in a position where we are able to embrace lifestyle changes that to different technology allowing business to track things. Smartphone apps can enable us to stay on track with our spending and budgets, even do our banking online. We can then perform lifestyle changes because of the wearable technology that we can use, such as tracking exercises, the amount of calories we burn and our heart rates. 

Let’s hope this has given you an indiviation of some of the more daily technology advances we are in contact with and how we can embrace them.

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For Enea Angelo Trevisan and Ealixir, better than solving the problem of cyberbullying is preventing it

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One of the most commentated news regarding Instagram for the past weeks was their investigation on whether to ban likes counter on the platform or not, but mostly from the perspective of marketing strategy. It turns out that the social media platform is actually considering this new feature as a means to avoid a much bigger problem: cyberbullying.

A recent studied carried by Pew Research Center showed that fifty-nine percent of teens reported to have experienced at least one of six types of abusive online behavior, cyberbullying included. Another concerning fact brought by the study shows that 16% of these teens were already subject of physical threat of some kind due to incidents in social media.

In addition to that, a report published by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology has highlighted the popularity of smartphones among teenagers – a statistic that only grew during the past seven years. “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” stresses the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, who also wrote the book iGen, in which he ponders about the influence of smartphones in teenage and child mental health.

Besides hiding how many likes a photo has received, Instagram is also considering another feature: a “nudge” alert that is activated while the user is still writing a comment that is flagged as potentially aggressive. According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, this could give an extra incentive for people to think twice before committing to an attack.

“Of all the obnoxious activities that can be carried out on the web, cyberbully is in my opinion the worst”, says Ealixir’s CEO and founder Enea Angelo Trevisan. “Cyberbullying targets those who cannot defend themselves: often minors or minorities. This is why one of our priorities as a company is to invest our technology in the fight against this plague.” In that sense, Ealixir gives support to individuals by making an early detection of offensive and troublesome contents, so they can be immediately erased and monitored to avoid further reloading. 

For Trevisan, the case for cyberbullying starts in schools, and this is the reason why Ealixir is also responsible for organizing sessions with children, so they can be warned about the dangers of the internet. “At this young age, kids think of internet as a huge playground. We teach them not to trust strangers and to think about the consequences of their virtual actions, exactly like in real life,” he explains.

Moreover, families also need to be aware of their children’s presence on the internet – they should not underestimate the possibilities and dangers of giving a smartphone to a child or a teen. “This is due to the fact that older generations were born and raised without the web, so they struggle to identify with their children. With Ealixir, we try and fill in this gap most of all through prevention, but also actively by deleting offensive contents and/or preventing harassment.

Besides monitoring and removing offensive contents published online, Ealixir also gives support to families and individuals who found themselves victims of cyberbullying by offering contact with specialized lawyers that can handle a case with expertise in the court. However, as much as in the case for health, prevention is the best scenario when coming to cyberbullying too, so internet literacy becomes an important competence to be learned by children for a healthier future of the web.

Sources: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-instagram-plans-to-take-a-stand-against-cyberbullying

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