News organizations are struggling to make their online products safe from the world’s prying eyes.
Luwwa Matha's insight:
The old-fashioned newspaper, long maligned for its stodginess and sagging profits, has one advantage over high-tech alternatives: You read it. It never reads you.
The digital sources that increasingly dominate our news consumption, by contrast, transmit information across the fundamentally public sphere of the Internet, leaving trails visible to anyone with the right monitoring tools — be it your employer, your Internet provider, your government or even the scruffy hacker sitting next to you at the coffee shop, sharing the WiFi signal.
This is why privacy advocates have begun pushing news organizations, including The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Guardian, to encrypt their Web sites, as many technology companies increasingly do for e-mails, video chats and search queries.
The growing use of encryption — signaled by the little lock icon in your browser’s address box — has emerged as perhaps the most concrete response to Edward Snowden’s revelations about the ability of the National Security Agency to collect almost anything that exists in digital form, including the locations, communications and online activities of people worldwide.
Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to steal other people's work. There's also a high risk you'll be found out. So why do it? Rhodri Marsden goes in search of a little originality
Luwwa Matha's insight:
Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to steal other peoples work. There’s also a high risk you’ll be found out. So why do it? Rhodri Marsden goes in search of a little originality.
It's not that hard to think of something totally original. If you don't worry about it being any good, it's easy. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," was Noam Chomsky's spirited attempt in his ground-breaking 1957 book on linguistics, Syntactic Structures. "Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers," was Stephen Fry's during an episode of A Bit Of Fry And Laurie. But when novelist John Gardner used the phrase "opening the throttle at the last moment" in his 1983 book Icebreaker, it's unlikely that he sat back and congratulated himself on being the first to have written it. Innovation wasn't what he was aiming for, after all; he was just trying to describe someone driving a scooter. But Google Books, that vast indexing project, informs us that Gardner's was the only book to contain this phrase until another, Vestige Of Evil by Len Vorster, appeared on Amazon in 2011. A section of the novel, one of two books self-published online under that name, featured other phrases that were no longer unique to Icebreaker, such as "the ice and snow were not as raw and killing as this" and "the slope angling gently downwards to flatten". The many coincidences were startling, though if it wasn't for the internet, nobody need ever have known.
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