The Underwater Network of Distraction

posted in: Maps, Smog 0

If you were wondering where we are hiding all the cords, the answer is at the bottom of the ocean.

Mapped below, you will find the fiber optic cables that make the internet a world wide web.  Zoom in to find out who is behind every one of them with the 2012 Submarine Cable Map

…or just gawk at the old school beauty of it all.

“In my day, we ran cables along the ocean floor to get our internet!”

[Maps by TeleGeography; Nicolas Rapp via Flowing Data]

This Waste of Time Brought to You by Connecticut

posted in: External Screenshot, Smog, Video 0

The good news is Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) is not running for re-election this year.

The bad news is he is still a senator until then.

The worst news is that he is about to waste a couple minutes of your time and effort so that we avoid him hurting the country before he leaves.  After not getting support for his CSA2012 bill in February, Joe is back with the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and everyone concerned about your rights and privacy is concerned about this new bill.

That’s why Fight for the Future is back with a new site at to walk you through why you should and how you can take action…

(click image to launch the presentation)

Or perhaps EFF‘s video on the subject is more your speed…

They’ve made it so easy for you to get involved you can do so right here, right now…

And last but far from least, the ACLU has more info to share, including what you need to know about the Franken-Paul pro-privacy amendment.

Okay, get to it.  The more time we spend putting out fires, the less time we spend building.  And Connecticut, you owe us (more than) one.

Welcome Back to the Internet!

posted in: External Screenshot, Smog 0

Receiving 100% of your search results from Google is a little like getting all your information from the popular kids at school.  The top results might satisfy most needs, but there’s a whole lot of internet out there beyond that first page of links.  Not that anyone wants to go beyond the first page or even the first result.  Thanks to SEO, it can all start to look like the yellow page equivalent of AAA Web Content after a while anyway.

Luckily, a new search engine has come along that gives you a chance to dig deeper without having to bother with a second page.  Meet Million Short, where you can exclude the top 100 – 1,000 – 10,000 – 100,000 – and yes, 1,000,000 web sites from your search results.

There are so many angles to explore.  While leaving out the top million sites is interesting, knocking out the top 100 is… a revolution.  All that effort to get there and now you’ve got a simple tool to completely ignore them.  Take out the top 10,000 and it’s like driving through a city without seeing a single chain store.

Welcome back to the Great Unknown!

[via Hacker News]

Everyone’s Doing It

posted in: Library, Smog 0

Google’s new privacy policy kicked in this month and who really knows what we are supposed to be doing now…

Everything above might be too much, but doing nothing probably isn’t enough.  Even if we’re still just guessing at how this is going to come back to bite us.  (Or perhaps we are all just sharing?)

The problem is these security and privacy issues require more time and thought than most people are giving to information they are actually interested in.  The risks can seem far-fetched and the benefits are…  overwhelming.  As soon as number three on the list of Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy encourages you not to log into Google, … it just stops making sense.  Who wants to face such a fundamental disconnect while they are trying to surf the web?!

[Joy of Tech via Pensador Louco on Diaspora]

“Yyouu hhave ssaidd itt!”

posted in: Maps, Smog 1

What would it look like if you took NASA’s Earth at Night image

…and subtracted Facebook’s Friendship Map?

Artist Ian Wojtowicz has the answer with his UnFacebook World Map.  Click the image for the enlarged version, which is quite beautiful.

Suddenly the first world is covered in darkness.  Darkness from the shadows of a walled garden?  It kind of looks like The Black Thing from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

“But what is it? Calvin demanded.  “We know that it’s evil, but what is it?”
“Yyouu hhave ssaidd itt!” Mrs. Which’s voice rang out.  “Itt iss Eevill. Itt iss thee Ppowers of Ddarrkknesss!”
“But what’s going to happen?” Meg’s voice trembled.  “Oh, please, Mrs. Which, tell us what’s going to happen!”
“Wee wwill cconnttinnue tto ffightt!”

While that is an overly dramatic and alarmist way to look at it, it will be interesting to see what happens when Facebook goes public and their first concern becomes their new, overly excited shareholder’s expectations that a great deal of money can be made off of all these friendships.  …  No, just kidding.  Facebook isn’t monetizing friendship, just your life.

Don’t forget to Like Ape Con Myth on Facebook!

[Maps via/by Ian Wojtowicz via The Atlantic; UnFacebook World Map poster]
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