Internet

Word of Mouth
1:06 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

4.3.14: Boston Murder Connected To The Marathon Bombings, The Price of Privacy, And Hot Dog Emojis

Credit Boston Magazine, Times Books, Hot Dog Emoji Coalition

Today on Word of Mouth, the Boston Marathon bombings happened a year ago this month, but questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible involvement in a triple homicide remain. Investigative reporter Susan Zalkind discusses the complicated case, and whether police missed their chance to apprehend Tsarnaev long before the marathon bombs. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware,protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? We'll ask  And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.


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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Internet Access & Net Neutrality, Explained

Credit scrawford.net

Taking on the Telecom industry with “net neutrality,” the concept that all websites are treated equally in terms of cost and access.  There’s a rising concern that internet companies are gaining too much control over online content, and a court recently ruled in favor of the industry. We’re talking with the author of a new book called “Captive Audience” and see what may happen next. 

GUESTS:

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Word of Mouth
2:09 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Your Essential ICANN Primer

Credit Taylor Quimby

You may have heard news this week that the U.S. is “relinquishing control” over the internet – more specifically, that the Obama administration has decided not to renew its contract overseeing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.  The decision has sparked a vocal backlash from conservatives.  Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted “Every American should worry about Obama giving up control of the internet to an undefined group.  This is very, very, dangerous”.  But let’s face it – most of us have no idea what ICANN does, or how this decision will or will not change the way the internet functions.

Rob Fleischman joined us to explain all things ICANN. He is chief technology officer at Xerocole, and our explainer of all things wired.


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Word of Mouth
1:50 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

3.19.14: Big Data, ICANN & Body Farm

Credit via amazon.com

Today on Word of Mouth, we're unpacking big data. Should we fear or embrace it? Then we get a lesson on ICANN - what it is and how the decision made by the Obama administration not to renew its contract to oversee see it actually affects the way the internet functions. Finally, bodies! How do you study the effects of certain conditions on human remains? With a body farm, of course.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:41 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Viral Images: Duping The Internet Masses

Credit urbanlegends.about.com

Niagara Falls, 1911. Completely frozen over with a group of people standing where they would otherwise be sucked into the rushing waterfall. Incredible? Absolutely! Totally truthful? Not exactly.

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Word of Mouth
11:56 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Behind The Scenes Of A Viral Video

Credit Alexander Ward / PRX

If you search for marriage proposal on YouTube, you’ll get hundreds of over-the-top versions of popping the question, complete with song, dance, choreography, and lots of tears. Among the most popular is “Isaac’s Live Lip-Sync Proposal”—which has nearly 25-million views. What goes into making a viral proposal video? Turns out, a lot. Alexander Ward brings us this story.

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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Rethink 2014: Paying For Creative Content

Credit Sara Plourde

This is “Rethink 2014”, presenting ways of challenging our habits and assumptions and the status quo. Today: paying for creative content. It’s the axiom of the era: you can find anything on the internet--for free!  The challenge has been figuring out how artists, writers, musicians and content makers get paid for their work. Take the music streaming service Spotify. Sure, users can discover new artists and find a lot of great music, but Spotify is under fire for failing to compensate the artists who make that music. In an opinion piece for the The Guardian last October, David Byrne wrote, “If artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they'll be out of work within a year.” Maybe the big-name musicians have it wrong. We bring you the story of an unknown songwriter who is raking in the Spotify royalty checks, one song at a time. PJ Vogt of On The Media’s new TLDR podcast and blog, has the story.

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All Things Considered
5:48 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Network Project Brings Broadband To Towns Where Dial-Up Has Ruled

While many of us streamed movies on Netflix on broadband connections, some Granite Staters had to endure the painful buzzing of the dialup modem. A new network project aims to change that.
Credit Kevin H via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/sOuVt

For years people in New Hampshire have gone without broadband internet access - and now, some of them have it, through a project called Network NH Now.

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Word of Mouth
12:52 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Micro-Tasking: The New Digital Sweatshop?

The original mechanical Turk
Credit mandiberg via flickr Creative Commons

Every day, the internet is inundated with more information, and more data to be to be categorized, organized, scrubbed, and filed away in a timely manner. Millions of miniscule tasks need to be performed each day to keep things running smoothly. Computers can do some of this mind-numbing work; other tasks are done piecemeal by hundreds of thousands of people for almost no money; Amazon Mechanical Turk is a marketplace for this kind of work. Ellen Cushing is staff writer for The East Bay Express, she wrote about the work called “micro-tasking,” which pays a pittance, drawing comparisons to working in a sweatshop.

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Brady's Top 10 Web Trends Of 2013

Credit bhautik joshi via Flickr Creative Commons

New Year’s Eve is a day of reflection and celebration and each December we mark the passage of time by inviting NHPR’s own Brady Carlson on the show to share his list of the year’s biggest web trends. Last year his list included: Kony 2012, Kickstarter, and Gangnam Style. Seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Brady joins us again to reflect on the web trends and memes of 2013, and what they reveal about our collective state this year.

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Word of Mouth
9:51 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Why Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Failed

Credit Corie Howell via Flickr Creative Commons

Sebastian Thrun, the man behind perhaps the most disruptive idea to hit higher education -- massive open online courses or more commonly... MOOCs -- has decided to pack it in. While some traditional educators might be saying “I told you so”, proponents of online education are worried about what this shift means for its future. Rebecca Schuman is education columnist for Slate and adjunct professor at the University of Missouri. She wrote about Sebastian Thrun -- the acknowledged godfather of MOOC’s -- and his pivot away from them.

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Word of Mouth
1:31 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The Shutdown Is Over, But The Memes Live On

Credit via weknowmemes.com

Well, the United States has survived another fiscal standoff--for now. Just a few hours before midnight, Republican Legislatures conceded and agreed on a deal to fund government operations until January 15, 2014. The deal ended 16 days of a partial federal shutdown, and today the gears of government sputtered back to life. The crisis was no laughing matter for furloughed workers and worried economists – but, provided plenty of grist for online memes and jokesters. With the fiasco behind us – for now – we’re looking at how the government showdown played out online. Brady Carlson is with us, NHPR’s host of All Things Considered and our regular web culture analyst.

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Word of Mouth
1:33 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

'Silk Road' May Be Shut Down, But Illegal Drug Mecca 'Topix' Lives On

Credit kristagonzales67 via Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this month, the F.B.I.. shut down Silk Road, a black market website that the bureau described as “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the internet today.” Buried in the “dark web,” Silk Road allowed its users to anonymously trade virtually every drug imaginable in addition to other illegal goods and services that included counterfeit and murder. 

Though the site has been stopped in its tracks, similar online websites remain in business. Topix.com has provided an open forum for black market trading for many years and is still going strong. Matt Stroud is a Verge contributing writer covering law, business and scams.

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Word of Mouth
9:45 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Writer Takes Typewriter To Park And Incites An Internet Riot

"The Roving Typist" in his natural habitat.
Credit Christopher Hermelin via The Awl

When Christopher Hermelin moved to New York, he lived like countless other jobless 20-somethings: no prospects, no money, and rent due at the first of the month. But instead of kicking around in a café, he hit the streets with a ten dollar typewriter and a sign printed: “Stories while you wait. Sliding scale, donate what you can.” And…it worked! Passersby paid him to write one-of-a-kind stories on the spot. While he isn’t the only person to make a living like this, on the streets of New York, he might be the one person whose photograph showed up on the internet. We’ll let him pick up the story from there. Christopher Hermelin is “The Roving Typist.”

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Word of Mouth
2:57 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Why Popular Science Put The Kibosh On Online Comments

Credit via sciblogs

The internet provides a forum for public conversation, debate and interaction. At times, it may seem more less public square and more like the Roman forum…where sniping, shaming and mean-spirited insults can devour conversations and proclaim judgments by like an unruly mob.

Media outlets have long-debated how best to moderate online comments, where some of the worst internet trolling takes place…last month, Popular Science shut down comments on its website, citing, in part, a study from the University of Wisconsin measuring the influence negative comments have on other readers. (We spoke with study co-author Dietram Scheufele back in March about the phenomenon he calls “the Nasty Effect.")

Jake Ward is Editor-in-Chief of Popular Science, he’s with us to talk more about the decision and response so far. 

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