Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Saint Isidore of Seville, Patron Saint of the Internet

Do you need a bit of trivia to spice-up your conversations at the upcoming holiday party? You can proudly show you supreme geekness by proudly stating you know who is considered the patron saint of the internet.

Did you even know there is such a patron saint? “Lo and behold” there is. Well technically, he is also the patron saint of computers, computer users, and programmers/technicians.

Not being raised in the Catholic tradition, I too had never heard of Saint Isidore of Seville or seen his portrait. Born is the year 560 in Cartagena, Spain, he was a famous writer who published his own dictionary, an encyclopedia, a history of the Goths, and a history of the world beginning with creation.  His most important work is the Etymologiae, a twenty chapter encyclopedia whose structure is similar to that of the databases used on the Internet today.  The document summarizes all the known classical and Christian knowledge of law, metallurgy, geography, medicine, mathematics, history, theology, games and much more until near the end of his life in the 636 AD. You might describe him as his age’s one-man Wikipedia author.


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Internet Censorship

Comcast is once again trying to censor the Internet. They, like some other internet providers, oppose Net Neutrality. Stop them!

What’s this all about?  It’s a battle between democracy and the control of information by a few corporations. Watch Net Neutrality 101.

Comcast says that government should just get out of their way and trust corporations like Comcast to negotiate equitable business relationships that end the problem of network congestion and “unwanted” bandwidth demand. Comcast says they should have the right to control information flow. Those that started and know the history of the internet understand that it’s really about greed, controlling information, and free speech.

SaveTheInternet.com supports Net Neutrality because

Net Neutrality is the reason the Internet has driven economic innovation, democratic participation and free speech online. It protects the consumer’s right to use any equipment, content, application or service without interference from the network provider. With Net Neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data — not to choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

The creator of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berner-Lee’s, takes the position that net neutrality must be preserved. Do you? I do. That’s why I’ve written this blog and signed this petition. Take a stand to protect your internet.

Related Post:

Social Media in a Walled Garden

Subsequent developments:  Level 3, Comcast Battle Continues, Netflix Unaffected

Bob Pauls writes for Des Moines Tech Support about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. Follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  E-mail him at bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

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Social Media BrandsIn my recent blog about dangers of social media I made reference to my IT work over the last twenty years. It wasn’t until after the blog was published that the significance of the time span hit me like a 2 x 4. Twenty years! How many of us remember that the first website was created only 20 years ago in December.

How did I pick that topic at this time? Was my subconscious directing me write on the subject because of the anniversary? Serendipity? Some unter-geek, genetic, internal clock awakening my limbic brain? I don’t know.

How interesting then to see a far more prescient, but related article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, just published by Scientific American Magazine on the web: Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality

Berners-Lee assails the corporatization of the web, governmental threats to freedom of speech, and the `walled garden’ approach to social media sites.

The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

He remains hopeful that OUR internet can be saved from itself and draws a line in the sand.

As long as the web’s basic principles are upheld, its ongoing evolution is not in the hands of any one person or organization—neither mine nor anyone else’s. If we can preserve the principles, the Web promises some fantastic future capabilities.   …

The goal of the Web is to serve humanity. We build it now so that those who come to it later will be able to create things that we cannot ourselves imagine.

Bob Pauls writes for his company, Des Moines Tech Support, about appropriate technology and computers in business, education, and community development. You can follow Bob on Twitter @desmoinestech.  Bob’s e-mail address is bpauls@dsmtechsupport.com

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