MONEY The Economy

Internet Subsidy Means More Jobs for Poorer Americans, Says FCC

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants broadband Internet for low-income families.

TIME Internet

Here Are the Funniest Error Pages on the Web

From 2016 presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to social networks like Reddit and Google, here are some of most creative 404 sites

MONEY Internet

Here’s How Many Internet Users There Are

Mobile is fueling global connectivity

More than 3 billion people are now using the Internet, according to the United Nations agency that oversees international communications.

The number of Internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015, according to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union. That’s a seven-fold increase that brought Internet penetration up from 7% to 43% of the global population. Of all connected individuals, the ITU says most of them — some 2 billion — live in developing countries:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.03.25 AM

Much of the growth in web connectivity has come from mobile. Mobile broadband penetration has gone up 12-fold since 2007, and this year 69% of people on earth will be covered by 3G broadband. Meanwhile, growth in fixed-broadband connectivity has slowed, with just 7% annual growth over the last three years. That’s likely because access to it is 1.7 times more expensive than the average comparable mobile broadband plan:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.59.51 AM

One reason Internet access has taken off over the past 15 years is rising affordability. The ITU reports broadband is currently affordable in 111 countries, with a basic fixed or mobile plan costing less than 5% of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

 

TIME Internet

Emilio Estevez Live-Tweeted the Ducks Win Like Gordon Bombay

Mighty Ducks actor cheers (and quacks) for his old team

Actor Emilio Estevez seems to love the Ducks as much as ever, judging by his latest flurry of tweets during Game 5 between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Estevez, who played the youth hockey coach Gordon Bombay in the The Mighty Ducks, let loose a few cheers and quacks as the game progressed Monday evening.

TIME Internet

New Google Doodle Honors First American Woman in Space, Sally Ride

Google

The astronaut and physicist worked to motivate young people, especially girls, to become interested in science and math

On June 18, 1983, Sally Ride made history when she became the first American woman in space. On Tuesday, Google honored what would have been her 64th birthday with an animated Google Doodle.

Ride was born in Los Angeles on May 26, 1951. While finishing her Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1977, she applied to join NASA and was among one of six women selected to be astronaut candidates.

At the age of 32, Ride became the first American woman in space while on board the Challenger space shuttle. She made another mission into orbit the following year, also on board Challenger.

Ride’s partner Tam O’Shaughnessy wrote in a blog post that while in space Ride “realized how important it is for all of us to take care of our fragile home in space, and became an environmentalist.”

After leaving NASA, Ride became the director of the California Space Institute and professor of physics at the University of California at San Diego. She saw how girls were being put off from pursuing careers in science and math and worked to inspire young people, especially girls and minority students, to keep up their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

According to O’Shaughnessy Ride said, “Everywhere I go I meet girls and boys who want to be astronauts and explore space, or they love the ocean and want to be oceanographers, or they love animals and want to be zoologists, or they love designing things and want to be engineers. I want to see those same stars in their eyes in 10 years and know they are on their way!”

In 2001, Ride along with O’Shaughnessy founded Sally Ride Science, a company that created programs and study guides to help make science interesting and fun for young people.

Ride continued her work with NASA by leading public-outreach programs for the agency’s GRAIL mission, which sent satellites to map the moon’s gravity.

She also served on the two investigations into the Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Columbia disaster in 2003.

Throughout her life, Ride won many awards including the NASA Space Flight Medal, the NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. “As the first American woman in space, Sally did not just break the stratospheric glass ceiling, she blasted through it,” said President Obama.

On July 23, 2012, Ride died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 61.

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Internet

The Fat-Shamed ‘Dancing Man’ Who Became an Internet Sensation Attends a Party in His Honor in L.A.

He even appeared on The Today show in New York City

A man who was body-shamed online after an image of him dancing went viral attended a huge dance party in his honor in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Sean O’ Brien from Liverpool traveled to Hollywood for the event, which was organized by two women who had launched an online campaign to find him, reports News.com.au.

More than 1,000 people also attended the party including DJ Moby on the decks and Monica Lewinsky, who has spoken out about her experiences of cyberbullying.

The 46-year-old financier became an Internet sensation after a photo of him dancing was posted online under the caption, “Spotted this specimen trying to dance the other week. He stopped when he saw us laughing.”

The post garnered thousands of responses from people condemning the Internet trolls who had fat-shamed him. The furor inspired writer Cassandra Fairbanks to launch a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #FindDancingMan to locate O’Brien.

According to KCAL 9, the party raised $70,000 for antibullying charities and positive-body-image programs in the U.S. and U.K.

O’ Brien even appeared on The Today show in New City York and threw the first pitch at an L.A. Dodgers game the following day.

[News.com.au]

TIME technology

A Brief Guide to the Tumultuous 30-Year History of AOL

Time Warner To End Deal With AOL, Spinning It Off Into Separate Company
Mario Tama—Getty Images AOL corporate headquarters on Broadway May 28, 2009 in New York City

The dial-up Internet pioneer was founded on May 24, 1985

It was May 24, 1985 — 30 years ago this weekend — that the company now called AOL first came into existence. In honor of that anniversary, which comes just after the oft-derided company returned to headlines, here’s a quick look back at its turbulent history:

In 1983, Steve Case was a recent college grad with a home computer and modem who got a job at a company called Control Video, which sold Atari games. It collapsed shortly after he arrived. “Out of the ashes, Case crafted Quantum Computer Services,” TIME later reported. “His idea was to create an online bulletin board for owners of Commodore 64 computers. It wasn’t a sexy niche, but he thought it might have potential. From 1985 onward, Case nurtured Quantum from a few thousand members to more than 100,000.”

In 1991, Quantum was renamed America Online. By 1993, AOL introduced its own email addresses, a Windows version and access to the rest of the Internet for its users. Those moves led to some backlash—which soon became a recurring theme for the company.

At that time, one of the biggest sources of tension was that the Internet had previously been available mostly for people affiliated with colleges and universities. Users were used to dealing with “newbies” in the fall, as freshman acclimated to protocol, but now there were new users flooding in every day. “But the annual hazing given clueless freshmen pales beside the welcome America Online users received last March, when the Vienna, Virginia-based company opened the doors of the Internet to nearly 1 million customers,” TIME reported.

By the time AOL went public, the service had fewer than 200,000 subscribers, but TIME later reported that number soon climbed. In 1997, AOL announced they’d acquired CompuServe, riling many loyal CompuServe users. The backlash was echoed the following year when AOL picked up Netscape. The company faced more pushback from users when they switched from an hourly to a monthly pricing plan and launched a major membership drive that led to a traffic surge that couldn’t be handled by AOL’s existing modems. Still, it was, TIME noted, “a novel problem—too many customers,” and the company continued to grow.

By 2000, AOL was the nation’s biggest Internet provider and worth $125 billion. The company merged with Time Warner (then the parent company of TIME), and executives of the combined firm announced that they expected AOL Time Warner to grow 33% in the next year.

By 2002, it was clear such grand predictions were unrealistic. “Despite its powerful brand and unrivaled global member base of 34 million, the AOL division has seen its once stratospheric subscriber growth slow, its ad revenue fall and its international operations bleed money,” TIME reported. “The much ballyhooed broadband move–in which networked homes will enjoy high-speed connections to movies and music whenever they want–is off to a rocky start.”

The following year, Case—who had already taken a diminished role in order to spend time with an ill family member—resigned. “As the Internet bubble burst and advertising slid into recession, the company’s executives were slow to adjust their lavish profit-growth promises to Wall Street, which struck back hard,” TIME reported. “Having tumbled from a high of $56.60, the price of AOL Time Warner’s widely held stock stood at $14.81 at the end of last week, representing an almost $200 billion collapse of shareholder wealth. Levin was forced out. So was chief operating officer Bob Pittman, who had come from AOL. And now goes Case himself.”

AOL was down, but not out. The company split with Time Warner in 2009 and continued to chug along, making money off of its dial-up business and acquiring media properties like the Huffington Post in 2011. Now, AOL is the one being acquired.

Read more about how AOL is coming “back from the dead” here

Read a profile of AOL from 1997, here in the TIME Vault: How AOL Lost the Battles but Won the War

TIME Internet

These TV Shows and Movies Are Coming to Netflix in June

beyond-the-lights-still
Undisputed Cinema Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Noni Jean in "Beyond the Lights."

From Beyond the Lights to Scandal to Orange Is the New Black

Summer: the season of going outdoors, enjoying the sunshine… and sitting inside catching up on TV and movies.

Netflix’s new June offerings include critically talked-about movies like Beyond the Lights, Nightcrawler, and Cake, along with new seasons of TV shows like Scandal, Pretty Little Liars, and Orange is the New Black. See what else Netflix is adding—and taking away—in June below.

Available June 1
The Aviator
La Dictadura Perfecta

Available June 3
The Best of Me
Hector and the Search for Happiness

Available June 5
Sense8

Available June 8
Grace of Monaco

Available June 9
It’s Tough Being Loved by Jerks

Available June 10
Pretty Little Liars, season 5
Nightcrawler
Rose Water

Available June 11
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 2

Available June 12
Orange is the New Black, season 3
Champs
The Cobbler

Available June 13
Scandal, season 4

Available June 15
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Rodney Carrington: Laughter’s Good
Danger Mouse,
seasons 1-10
Bindi’s Bootcamp, season 1

Available June 16
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Available June 17
Point and Shoot

Available June 19
Some Assembly Required

Available June 20
Cake

Available June 23
Advantageous

Available June 24
Beyond the Lights

Available June 26
Dreamworks Dragons: Race to the Edge
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Expiring June 1
Drugs, Inc.
Ever After
G.I. Jane
Ink Master
Rain Man
Silence of the Lambs

Expiring June 20
Collateral Damage
Practical Magic
Texas Chainsaw

Expiring June 30
Jack Reacher
Steel Magnolias
Taxi Driver

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

MONEY Internet

Why Companies Think .sucks Web Addresses Suck

Trademark holders have until the end of May before someone else has the right to buy their .sucks domains and make them live.

TIME Internet

This Website Name Is Causing a Major Controversy

And, no, it's not pornography related

Does the domain ‘dot sucks’ belong on the internet?

That’s the question that members of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and even of the organization that approved it in February—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann)—are now asking.

Some call the domain extortionary as it’s forcing businesses and others to pay a premium for “[name].sucks” website addresses—for fear that another malcontent will come along, snap up the name, and employ the site as a digital pillory for that brand, person, or firm. Whereas a typical new domain might cost less than $100, Vox Populi, the company that owns the rights to sell “dot sucks” domains, suggests $2,499, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Icann says it approved the .sucks domain because no one objected,” the Journal reports. “Now, it says doesn’t have authority to block the domains or control the pricing.”

Those limitations led Icann last month to ask governmental authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Consumer Affairs in Canada to investigate Vox Populi’s practices. In fact, the controversy has flared just months before a proposal by the Obama administration would pass Icann’s regulatory responsibilities to “an undefined, international, ‘multi-stakeholder’ body,” the Journal reports.

Not only does the future of “dot sucks” hang in the balance, so does the power of the non-profit partnership that has managed web domains for nearly two decades. Already, buyers have claimed such websites as “starbucks.sucks,” “jpm.sucks,” and “reeses.sucks,” according to the Vox Populi website, and top searches include: “TaylorSwiftsCat,” “YourMomma,” “Racism,” and “This.”

Here are the companies most sought after for a “dot sucks” address, according to Vox Populi:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. Facebook
  5. Comcast
  6. Walmast
  7. CocaCola
  8. McDonald’s
  9. Sony
  10. Amazon

A full list of available web domains approved by Icann can be found here. A quick skim through the catalog reassures one that “dot sucks” is likely the most controversial—certainly more so than “dot boats,” “dot cricket,” “dot ninja,” or “dot guitars.”

Second-most? Probably “dot exposed.”

The Vox Populi website—www.nic.sucks—advertises its intention to “foster debate and share opinions.” That seems to be working.

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