The recent rise of all-encompassing internet platforms promised something unprecedented and invigorating: venues that unite all manner of actors — politicians, media, lobbyists, citizens, experts, corporations — under one roof. These companies promised...real, billion-strong mass participation; a means for affinity groups to find one another and mobilize, gain visibility and influence. This felt and functioned like freedom, but it was always a commercial simulation.

Consumers and regulators also have a role to play in determining how voice computing develops. Even in its current, relatively primitive form, the technology poses a dilemma: voice-driven systems are most useful when they are personalised, and are granted wide access to sources of data such as calendars, e-mails and other sensitive information. That raises privacy and security concerns.To further complicate matters, many voice-driven devices are always listening, waiting to be activated.

There is a certain symmetry to Dollar Shave Club and Donald Trump: both began by targeting niches and leveraging social media, but more importantly, the companies and institutions most invested in stopping them found themselves powerless to do so because their point of leverage had been circumvented by the Internet. That certainly ought to strike fear into the heart of any executive or politician whose institution is predicated on the old world order

It simply is no longer necessary to have a great number of workers making things or performing services to generate billions of dollars in value... Alphabet Inc., owner of Google and the most valuable corporation in the United States today, employs 61,000 workers in the United States; the next most valuable company, Apple, employs 76,000 in country. By contrast, at its peak, General Motors had 618,365 U.S. workers ... Airbnb with a total of 1,600 employees has a market value of over $25 billion.

Twenty years on, DDoS attacks have increased exponentially in size, and vast swathes of the internet remain vulnerable. Experts say the proliferation of new but vulnerable connected devices, such as thermostats and security cameras, as well as the architecture of the internet itself, mean DDoS attacks will be with us for the foreseeable future. And rather than a mere annoyance that takes your favorite websites offline, they are starting to become a serious threat.

While there’s nothing particularly novel about Mirai’s software, it has proven itself to be remarkably flexible and adaptable ... Mirai is a type of malware that automatically finds Internet of Things devices to infect and conscripts them into a botnet—a group of computing devices that can be centrally controlled. From there this IoT army can be used to mount distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in which a firehose of junk traffic floods a target’s servers with malicious traffic.

Digital technology has blessed us with better ways to capture and disseminate news. There are cameras and audio recorders everywhere, and as soon as something happens, you can find primary proof of it online. You would think that greater primary documentation would lead to a better cultural agreement about the “truth.” In fact, the opposite has happened ... Today dozens of news outlets routinely fact-check...but the endeavor has proved largely ineffective against a tide of fakery.

Summit Basecamp, built with the help of Facebook engineers, was billed as a powerful tool that could reshape how students learn. Dozens of schools nationwide have signed up to use the program, which tailors lessons to individual students using software that tracks their progress. But it also captures a stream of data ... personal data to be shared with companies such as Facebook and Google. That data, the form said, could include names, email addresses, schoolwork, grades and Internet activity.

Internet trolls...either don’t have beliefs or goals in the traditional sense, or aren’t constrained by any of the incentives that guide most of the rest of humanity’s behavior. Their main goal is just to elicit as much outrage and draw as much attention as possible. And that’s exactly what they’ve been able to do, to great effect

Data plans are so expensive that refugees spend about a third of their incomes to get online... In Tanzania, some refugees are willing to sell up to 10 days worth of food rations to buy a month of data for their phones, the study found ... The UN report said a lack of internet access threatens to cut off refugees from valuable resources that supersedes health care, education and clothing in importance for many.