I went to Speakers’ Corner in London, the spiritual home of Reddit

Contrary to Ohanian’s description, though, people at Speakers’ Corner can’t talk about absolutely anything they like. There are no special laws that apply to the area, and, as in the rest of the UK, inciting violence and any sort of hate speech is illegal. During my half-day there I see plenty of inflammatory arguments — […]

Right to be forgotten: Swiss cheese internet, or database of ruin?

Imagine, 25 years ago, someone telling you: we really need to redress this massive social ignorance that, when you meet someone for the first time, you don’t know everything about them. What we ought to do is assemble a giant database. On everyone. Brilliant idea. But there are a couple of provisos, they add. This […]

Why the internet of things favours dominance

The grand vision of the internet of things is currently an exercise in imagination. It is about what happens when more and more of the real, physical world comes online, as devices and sensors proliferate, connecting everything. The promise is that the internet of things won’t just connect our homes, hospitals, schools and streets – […]

World wide web? Map resizes countries by number of internet users

Each hexagon represents 470,000 internet users and the countries are shaded by the proportion of their respective populations that are online. The little white dot you can see at the top of China, for example, is Mongolia. The map partially reflects population density but it also flags up countries such as India, which is home […]

How the internet still fails disabled people

According to the Office for National Statistics, in May 2015, 27% of disabled adults had never used the internet, compared to 11% of non-disabled adults. In 2013, Ofcom said that factors beyond age and income, possibly related to the individual’s disability, contribute to limited internet access. Read the full story here

Can the internet of things save us from traffic jams?

Once computers are in full control of our cars, do we even need traffic lights at intersections? That’s the idea behind AIM – autonomous intersection management – at the artificial intelligence laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. Rather than stop at red lights, self-driving cars would schedule a slot through an intersection in […]

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed review – Jon Ronson on rants and tweets

Near the end of last year, the Labour MP Emily Thornberry was sacked from the shadow cabinet after tweeting a picture of a house draped in English flags with the words “Image from #Rochester”. Not long afterwards, the Twitter account of Ukip’s South Thanet branch berated the BBC for filming a vox pop in front […]