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50 Years After Internet Conception, Dark Side Stirs Fear



On October 29, 1969, professor Leonard Kleinrock and a team at the University of California at Los Angeles got a computer to “talk” to a machine in what is now known as Silicon Valley.

The event gave birth to a network that later became known as the internet — hailed at first as a boon to equality and enlightenment, but with a dark side that has emerged as well.

As UCLA marks the anniversary, Kleinrock is opening a new lab devoted to all things related to the internet — particularly mitigating some of its unintended consequences on the internet which is now used by some four billion people worldwide.

“To some point it democratizes everyone,” Kleinrock told AFP.

“But it is also a perfect formula for the dark side, as we have learned.”

So much is shouted online that moderate voices are drowned out and extreme viewpoints are amplified, spewing hate, misinformation and abuse, he contended.

“As engineers, we were not thinking in terms of nasty behavior,” said Kleinrock, 85.

“I totally missed the social networking side. I was thinking about people talking to computers or computers talking to computers, not people talking to people.”

The new Connection Lab will welcome research on topics including machine learning, social networking, blockchain and the internet of things, with an eye toward thwarting online evils.

Kleinrock expressed particular interest in using blockchain technology to attach reputations to people or things online to provide a gauge of who or what to trust.

For example, someone reading an online restaurant review would be able to see how reliable that author’s posts have been.

“It is a network of reputation that is constantly up to date,” Kleinrock said.

“The challenge is how to do that in an ethical and responsible fashion; anonymity is a two-edged sword, of course.”

Businesses Being Bad

He blamed many of the internet’s ills on businesses hawking things that are outdated or unneeded, violating privacy to increase profit.

Instead of clever lone hackers that vexed the internet in its early days, bad actors now include nation states, organized crime and powerful corporations “doing big, bad things,” Kleinrock lamented.

“We were not the social scientists that we should have been,” Kleinrock said of the internet’s early days.

He regretted a lack of foresight to build into the very foundation of the internet tools for better authenticating users and data files.

“It wouldn’t have avoided the dark side, but it would have ameliorated it,” he said.

He remained optimistic about the internet’s woes being solved with encryption, blockchain or other innovations.

“I do still worry. I think everyone is feeling the impact of this very dark side of the internet that has bubbled up,” Kleinrock said.

“I still feel that the benefits are far more significant; I wouldn’t turn off the internet if I could.”

What Kind of Beast?

In the early days, US telecom colossus AT&T ran the lines connecting the computers for ARPANET, a project backed with money from a research arm of the US military.

A key to getting computers to exchange data was breaking digitized information into packets fired between machines with no wasting of time, according to Kleinrock.

A grad student began typing “LOG” to log into the distant computer, which crashed after getting the “O.”

“So, the first message was ‘Lo’ as in ‘Lo and behold,’” Kleinrock recounted. “We couldn’t have a better, more succinct first message.”

Kleinrock’s team logged in on the second try, sending digital data packets between computers on the ARPANET, so named because funding came from the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) established in 1958.

Credit for creating the internet is a topic of debate, since there are a series of key moments in its evolution including arrival of protocols for how data is routed, and creation of the World Wide Web system of online pages.

The name “internet” is a shortening of the “internetworking” allowed when one computer network could collaborate with another, according to Marc Weber, curatorial director at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley.

“The billion dollar question is, what kind of beast has the internet become?” Weber asked.

“It has become the default main way for humans to communicate, and that is not small.”

While marking its 50th anniversary, the internet as we know it is a “rowdy teenager” in the eyes of Internet Society chief technology officer Olaf Kolkman.

“The internet has done more good than harm,” Kolkman said.

“The biggest challenge we have in front of us is that while we cope with big problems enabled by global connectivity that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”


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Google Chrome prepares new tab groups feature that creates groups automatically




Months after announcing it, Google finally rolled out tab groups widely in the past couple of weeks. Now, an improvement could be coming to Chrome’s tab group feature — the ability to recreate them automatically.

In the latest Chrome Canary release, a new flag is present that describes a feature Google is working on. That flag, titled “tab groups auto create,” is one that has had us scratching our heads since it popped onto our radar earlier this week.

Google’s description, too, unfortunately doesn’t help matters. the company simply explains that the feature “automatically creates groups for users, if tab groups are enabled” in Chrome. What does that mean? We’re not entirely sure, but there are a few possibilities!

For one, Google might be able to remember tab groups from a previous session and drop them into a group when opened. Alternatively, Google could intelligently create groups based on similar types of tabs. At this point, it’s all up in the air. We can say pretty confidently, however, that this feature is not live in the latest Canary release.


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Facebook Is Apparently Adding Instagram Stories to Its Key Application




Facebook has built it no key that it would like to entwine Instagram into its principal blue app as a great deal as possible (to some Instagram users’ chagrin.) Its most recent experiment evidently requires placing Instagram stories right on Facebook.

In accordance to a report in the Verge, some Facebook customers have lately started looking at Instagram stories in their Fb story feeds. A Fb representative apparently verified the news to Matt Navarra, a social media marketplace commentator and advisor, and stated that it was a restricted examination. The representative added that Facebook would be listening to feedback from its group on the prospective new characteristic.

In a screenshot posted by a Twitter consumer and Navarra on Friday, Fb seemingly points out that not just anyone can view an Instagram story on Facebook. In get to do so, consumers have to website link their Instagram accounts to Facebook and have this viewing placing turned on. Fb states that men and women who don’t abide by a user on Instagram will not be ready to see that user’s tales.

Fb also purportedly pressured that even however tales will be in two sites, users’ overall practical experience would not improve. That is mainly because people will nevertheless essentially be sharing their tales with the similar persons on Facebook and Instagram. In addition, Instagram stories on Facebook (which will have a pink and orange circle) will surface with a user’s Instagram take care of. And even though the tales will be seen on Fb, end users will see all tale sights and replies on Instagram.

In new many years, Facebook has labored to convey all of its popular apps, which involve WhatsApp and Instagram, nearer with each other. Very last thirty day period, Facebook released a new exam working experience on Instagram messaging for some users. The new experience up-to-date the look of Instagram immediate messages and promoted the likelihood of chatting with individuals who use Fb.

Who knows, possibly in the foreseeable future we won’t have an application named Instagram or Fb. We’ll just have a person giant purple and blue app, owned by Facebook, that does almost everything.


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Cloudflare goes down; crypto websites hit




Cloudlfare, an internet service provider responsible for various functions, went down Sunday morning, taking down many websites, including some crypto sites.

The company confirmed in a tweet it experienced issues around 9:24 am Eastern time caused by a third-party transit provider. Network stability returned around 11 am though Cloudflare said it is still monitoring for other potential problems. In a statement emailed to Cointelegraph, Cloudflare chief technology officer John Graham-Cumming said:

“Today we saw a widespread Internet outage online that impacted many multiple providers. This was not a Cloudflare-specific outage. Level 3/CenturyLink was responsible for an outage that affected many Internet services, including Cloudflare. Cloudflare’s automated systems detected the problem and routed around them, but the extent of the problem required manual intervention as well.”

A large majority of the internet uses Cloudflare. News reports noted several popular websites went down following Cloudflare’s network issues, including streaming site Hulu and cooperative gaming services PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

Crypto websites were not immune. Bitfinex Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino tweeted that the Cloudflare outage caused any connection issues to Bitfinex Sunday morning.


Cloudflare’s last outage made people question if crypto holders are truly decentralized. That outage reportedly affected Bitcoin transactions.


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