LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Category Archives: The Internet

It’s time to fix things – a review of “Move Fast and Break Things”

When the topic of monopoly is raised the first person that many people will think of is Rich Uncle Pennybags – that icon of monopolistic wealth accumulation – with his … Continue reading

June 29, 2017 · 2 Comments

Amazon is hungry for more

Here is a joke: Question – Why did the online retailer renowned for its super cheap prices buy a brick and mortar grocery chain known for its ridiculously high prices? … Continue reading

June 21, 2017 · 2 Comments

The users and the used

Woe be unto the tech company or platform that rolls out a new product or update and claims that it is in response to its users’ demands. For such action … Continue reading

June 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Who moderates the moderators? On the Facebook Files

Speculative fiction is littered with fantastical tales warning of the dangers that arise when things get, to put it amusingly, too big. A researcher loses control of their experiment! A … Continue reading

May 23, 2017 · 4 Comments

It’s ok if you want to cry…

If a message were to suddenly appear on your computer screen informing you that all of your material had been encrypted and that you would have to pay a ransom … Continue reading

May 16, 2017 · 3 Comments

Is Internet access a choice?

Sometimes the most interesting questions about how technology impacts society are raised unintentionally. Case in point: on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) went on CNN to explain … Continue reading

March 9, 2017 · 2 Comments

The Internet of Things…that spy on you

There is a sequence in the horror film 28 Days Later in which the protagonists find that they have to drive through a dark tunnel. As the car idles outside … Continue reading

March 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

Here’s looking at you…

If at first an ill-advised piece of consumer technology doesn’t succeed in winning over a skeptical public, you can be certain that another tech company will be willing to try … Continue reading

February 24, 2017 · 2 Comments

The world according to Facebook

The majestic plural, the royal “we,” is deployed by individuals in high positions seeking to cast their own opinions as the views of a much larger group for whom they … Continue reading

February 17, 2017 · 10 Comments

Don’t like what you see? – A review of Season Three of Black Mirror

“The future is not a blank page; and neither is it an open book.” – Lewis Mumford 1. When the daily news takes on a particularly grim sheen it can … Continue reading

February 3, 2017 · 1 Comment

What could go wrong? Another question to ask of new technology

Those who spend a lot of time traveling by airplane steadily grow accustomed to the standard spiel issued by members of the TSA and airline personnel. Yet, recently, a new … Continue reading

October 20, 2016 · 4 Comments

An island of reason in the cyberstream – on the life and thought of Joseph Weizenbaum

The juxtaposition between the potential of technology and its actual manifestation can be rather jarring. Tools that promise to make tasks easier are used to automate people out of their … Continue reading

July 27, 2016 · 9 Comments

Rocks or ticker-tape? A review of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus by Douglas Rushkoff

Digital technologies are often touted for their transformative potential. The Internet has made a massive amount of information easily accessible to its users, social media provides new ways of connecting, … Continue reading

July 21, 2016 · 1 Comment

What Pokémon can you catch at a library?

Though you might not suspect it, libraries are an excellent place to catch Pokémon! Indeed, libraries are filled with many kinds of wondrous, rare Pokémon that can be found there … Continue reading

July 14, 2016 · 1 Comment

What Technology Do We Really Need? – A Critique of the 2016 Personal Democracy Forum

Technological optimism is a dish best served from a stage. Particularly if it’s a bright stage in front of a receptive and comfortably seated audience, especially if the person standing … Continue reading

June 16, 2016 · 13 Comments

You Can’t Spell “Trending Topics” Without Control

Attempting to understand trends can easily give one an unpleasant headache. From fashion to music and from food to news articles – the reasons why a particular thing is trendy … Continue reading

May 19, 2016 · 1 Comment

What to Do When the Internet Stops Working in Your Library

There may come a day when you find yourself happily sitting in a library only to have your pleasant feelings disrupted by the recognition that the Internet has stopped working. … Continue reading

March 17, 2016 · 3 Comments

Facebook Reactions Are No Laughing Matter

Prepare yourself for a not particularly shocking observation: when it comes to interpersonal communication, there are certain types of information that are not conveyed particularly well by information technology. Indeed, … Continue reading

February 25, 2016 · 9 Comments

When it Comes to Social Media – Is There No Alternative?

In the first weeks of a new year, many people look back on the previous year and dwell upon what they wish they had done differently. And thus inspired, they … Continue reading

January 7, 2016 · 6 Comments

A Charitable Definition of Charity

When the state of the world seems terrible, it becomes all too easy to pine for good news. And if one is to glance at the headlines in recent weeks … Continue reading

December 2, 2015 · 5 Comments

Friends Don’t Let Friends Join Peeple

Social media can leave a funny taste in your mouth. Legion are the companies declaring that their platform will help you reach full actualization whether this occurs through connecting with … Continue reading

October 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Social Construction of Acceleration – A review of Judy Wajcman’s book Pressed for Time

Patience seems anachronistic in an age of high speed downloads, same day deliveries, and on-demand assistants who can be summoned by tapping a button. Though some waiting may still occur … Continue reading

October 1, 2015 · 7 Comments

Google learns the Alphabet

“You still have to learn the ABC. The ABC says: They will get you down.” – Bertolt Brecht The way to spell “Google” has changed, and now the way to … Continue reading

August 13, 2015 · 2 Comments

What is the Problem to Which the Delivery Drone is the Solution?

Who amongst us has not gazed up at the sky and thought, “yes, those clouds and birds are a nice sight but what I really wish I was seeing is … Continue reading

July 30, 2015 · 8 Comments

Ashley Madison and the Internet’s “Original Accident”

The news that a website, retailer, or famous individual has been the victim of hackers has, at this point, become not particularly sensational. It’s the type of revelation that still … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Google Wants to Get Into Your Pants

This is not meant as an insult, really it isn’t (please do not be offended), but your pants are stupid. And your skirt, your jacket, your dress, your sweater, your … Continue reading

June 19, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Reality (g)Rift

Reality is a mess. To make this claim is to do little more than confirm the subtext of most newspaper headlines whether they speak of ongoing injustices, student debt, economic … Continue reading

June 12, 2015 · 3 Comments

To Do: Digital Rights in Libraries

[Hi, pirates. The following is a press release from our dear comrade Alison Macrina of the Library Freedom Project. If you are going to ALA, or live near the Bay … Continue reading

June 4, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Illusion of “There’s an App for that”

With some quick movements, a little panache, and perhaps a few silly words a skilled illusionist can make a person appear out of nowhere and disappear again just as quickly. … Continue reading

May 28, 2015 · 4 Comments

Laws Expire, Surveillance Remains

The technological landscape of today is quite a bit different from what it was in the fall of 2001. This point is so obvious as to be banal, but to … Continue reading

May 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

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