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BT told to share poles for ultrafast fibre internet

BT must make it easier for rival internet providers to use its telegraph poles, telecoms regulator Ofcom says. Ofcom has published a list of new measures to make it cheaper for companies to install ultrafast full fibre broadband infrastructure. Connecting homes directly to the fibre network delivers much faster internet speeds than copper cables. Rivals Talk Talk and Hyperoptic welcomed the announcement. BT said it was “considering the implications”. What are the new measures? Ofcom says full fibre internet is currently available to 3% of UK homes and offices. It…

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Internet pioneer John Perry Barlow dies, aged 70

Influential internet rights pioneer John Perry Barlow has died, aged 70. Mr Barlow was a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that campaigns on digital rights issues and was a director of the organisation for many years. He was an advocate of free speech and wrote about the net’s potential for making society more representative. Mr Barlow also spent years writing lyrics for the Grateful Dead rock group and also ran a cattle ranch. Bob Weir, one of the band’s founding members, tweeted that Mr Barlow would “live on…

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Technology 

Deepfake porn videos deleted from internet by Gfycat

Pornographic videos that used new software to replace the original face of an actress with that of a celebrity are being deleted by a service that hosted much of the content. San Francisco-based Gfycat has said it thinks the clips are “objectionable”. The creation of such videos has become more common after the release of a free tool earlier this month that made the process relatively simple. The developer says FakeApp has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. It works by using a machine-learning algorithm to create a computer-generated version…

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The End of the Awl and the Vanishing of Freedom and Fun from the Internet

Blogging, that much-maligned pastime, is gradually but surely disappearing from the Internet, and so, consequently, is a lot of online freedom and fun. Before I came to The New Yorker, my only professional writing experience was at blogs, places where a piece like this one, about disappearing blogs, would’ve been either eighty-five words or three thousand, and the lede would have been abrupt and vividly unprofessional, like a friend grabbing you by the collar at a bar. The image above the text would be some low-cost visual joke—a screenshot, or…

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Tax internet firms over extremist content, says Ben Wallace

Internet companies should face a tax punishment for failing to deal with the threat of terrorism in the UK, Security Minister Ben Wallace has said. Mr Wallace said firms such as Facebook, Google and YouTube were too slow to remove radical content online, forcing the government to act instead. While tech firms were “ruthless profiteers”, governments were spending millions policing the web, he added. Tech firms have called on governments to help them remove extremist content. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Wallace said tech giants were failing…

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The man who can't face the internet

Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be using facial recognition to let users know every time a photo of them had been uploaded to the site. Such a feature would be extremely useful to one man – public-relations professional Jonathan Hirshon, who has managed to stay anonymous on the social network for the past 20 years. He has more than 3,000 friends on Facebook and regularly updates his profile with personal information – where he is going on holiday, what he has cooked for dinner and the state of…

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Lifestyle 

Five Times the Internet Was Actually Fun in 2017

Advertisement It would be fair to argue that the internet was, for the most part, a rancid stew of awful in 2017. But it wasn’t all bad. Let’s not forget those flashes of light, the videos and memes that brought genuine joy into the world. There were moments of goodness and humanity, and they deserve to remembered. Robert E. Kelly, a political-science professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, was live on BBC in March offering analysis of an impeachment scandal, but his children just wanted to hang out…

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