internet

Is 'Internet Addiction' Real?

May 18, 2017

When her youngest daughter, Naomi, was in middle school, Ellen watched the teen disappear behind a screen. Her once bubbly daughter went from hanging out with a few close friends after school to isolating herself in her room for hours at a time. (NPR has agreed to use only the pair's middle names, to protect the teen's medical privacy.)

"She started just lying there, not moving and just being on the phone," says Ellen. "I was at a loss about what to do."

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to formally begin the process of loosening regulations that enforce the so-called net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

Ajit Pai, who became chairman of the commission in January, says he supports a free and open Internet, which rests on a basic principle of "net neutrality."

These days the Web can seem like a dark place, filled with internet trolls and divisive discourse. But the man who invented the World Wide Web 28 years ago is still optimistic (sort of).

That man is Tim Berners-Lee, and on Tuesday he was awarded the prestigious Turing Award for his invention. It's an honor thought of as a Nobel Prize for computer science that comes with a $1 million award from Google.

The House of Representatives has gone along with the Senate and voted 215-205 to overturn a yet-to-take-effect regulation that would have required Internet service providers — like Comcast, Verizon and Charter — to get consumers' permission before selling their data.

President Trump is expected to sign the rollback, according to a White House statement.

It's still unclear whether Verizon will follow through on a $4.8 billion deal to buy Yahoo's core internet business, but if the sale is finalized, there's a name for what will be left behind.

Brittany Peterson / McClatchy via Miami Herald

Only 5 percent of Cuba’s population has home Internet access. It’s one of the world’s lowest connectivity rates – but the island’s communist government may finally be moving this week to rectify that.

Oh, 2016.

The year it all went to hell. The year nothing made sense. The year we lost track of reality. The year Merriam-Webster made "surreal" its word of the year.

For many, 2016 hasn't just been awful and strange; it's become its own Debbie-Downer catchphrase. 2016 itself has become its own meme.

More and more of the things we use every day are being connected to the Internet.

The term for these Internet-enabled devices — like connected cars and home appliances — is the Internet of things. They promise to make life more convenient, but these devices are also vulnerable to hacking.

Security technologist Bruce Schneier told NPR's Audie Cornish that while hacking someone's emails or banking information can be embarrassing or costly, hacking the Internet of things could be dangerous.

Internet sensations are fleeting, to say the least.

With each one, though, its virality is undeniable. And right now, the tweetable, must-watch video trend is the Mannequin Challenge.

Not sure what exactly that entails? Fear not, here's a rundown.

Scam letters in Nigeria are nothing new.

They’re commonly known as the 419, says Sam Olukoya, a journalist based in Lagos.

Part of the reason why the malware-hacked emails are so popular in Nigeria is because they’re inexpensive to construct. With almost 61 percent of the Nigerian population in poverty, it also makes for easy money.

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion, acquiring its "core Internet assets" — search, email, finance, news, sports, Tumblr, Flickr — in essence writing the final chapter of one of the longest-running Internet companies.

Tom Hudson / WLRN.org

HAVANA - In his historic speech from Havana last week, President Obama called for a number of changes in Cuba. More human rights. More economic reform.

But the one that seemed to elicit the most applause from Cubans was his call for more Internet – which Obama said “should be available across the island so that Cubans can connect to the wider world – and to one of the greatest engines of growth in human history.”

Courtesy Peter Zimble

Part 2 of Cuba Online

Some people visit Cuba to drink up rum mojitos. Peter Zimble goes there to dream up web services.

“The woman who runs the apartment where I’m staying was lamenting that she had to walk my visa to a government office to register me as a guest,” Zimble told me by phone from Havana’s seaside Malecón. “It would be so much easier if there were an app for that.”

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Ashley Jean is graduating from Miami’s iPrep Academy this week. And then she’s planning to travel the world.

Jean will start a global studies program through Long Island University that will eventually take her to places like Costa Rica, Australia, Bali and Spain.

That’s a lot of plane tickets.

“I don’t want money to be a reason why I can’t change my life,” Jean says, “so I have to work hard to do what I can to get this program.”

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Part 1 of Cuba Online

When Cuban bikini maker Victor Rodríguez visited Miami this month, he was on a pilgrimage – not just for bathing suits but for bandwidth.

The most important stop on Rodríguez’s schedule was lunch in Wynwood, Miami’s high-tech district, with Mel Valenzuela, who owns the online swimwear store Pretty Beachy.

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