This week in Internet controversy
It's nearly impossible for a single person to keep up with the constant twists and turns in news concerning the World Wide Web. Although it's been in the public domain for well over 25 years, there are still many corners of the Internet that remain ambiguous in terms of regulation, freedom of speech and, quite simply, who's in charge of it. To keep up on the latest of what's plaguing and entertaining the billions of Web users across the globe, here are the most recent issues continuing to affect the information highway.
The Internet and losing a big star
Following the tragic passing of Robin Williams this month, the Internet was set aflame with various remembrances of the famous actor and comedian, from celebrity tweets memorializing their friend to a major boost in sales of his more famous films. Since Vincent Van Gogh, it's been common knowledge that the sales of any artist's work tends to go up in the days following their passing, but the reaction to Williams' death was an interesting one that brought about an interesting conversation about freedom of speech and how to address the loss of a great. Yahoo columnist Rob Walker mused on the often bizarre nature of feeling obliged to respond to a death to be one of the crowd in a recent column.
"I'm sure such social media communiqués may be sincere, and can arguably humanize both subject and communicator – but they often feel obligatory, perfunctory," he explained in the piece. "As if the expectation now is that it's more important to get one's grief on the record ASAP than to step back and reflect, even for an hour or two, before offering considered thoughts."
Mourning on the Internet has been the subject of a number of studies, and with every passing seems to bring up a new facet of the culture to address.
Netflix continues to pay up
Unsurprisingly, quite a bit of Internet bandwidth used today is consumed by video streaming on some of the most prominent websites in the world. Netflix, the streaming subscription service has forged a deal with Time Warner Cable before net neutrality ruling has even passed regarding their connection speed. The company released a press statement this week regarding the development in the relationship with the major Internet Service Provider.
"Here is our statement on the interconnection agreement: We reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable in June and began the interconnection between our networks this month," the release read, short and sweet.
Tech blog Tom's Hardware contributor Niels Broekhuijsen speculated in a column that considering Netflix's attitude toward other ISPs in recent months, this was likely not a welcome decision, but a necessary one in order to keep up with customer demands. The streaming company has had several run-ins with Verizon in the past number of months, often resorting to passive aggressive messaging when video was slow to load – "The Verizon network is crowded right now," it explained to viewers in June, according to Business Insider. Verizon issued a cease and desist to the company, which they ultimately complied with after some stalling.
Combat like this is likely to continue before the issue of net neutrality is raised at a federal level this fall in an effort to keep the average person aware of the struggles between major sites and ISPs, encouraging them to leave messages with the FCC regarding the changing policy.
As the Internet of Things continues its slow encroach onto society, keeping up on news about the Internet can be just as important as the ways we use the tool to learn about everything else in the world.