Internet

Meryl Streep meme is helping the internet gleefully shout things

Cherished actress, political activist, wonderful eye-roller: Meryl Streep is a woman of many cultural roles. Now, she joins the ranks of other greats as a big, bright, beautiful meme.

An old picture from the 2015 SAG awards shows the inimitable actor shouting through closed hands. The internet wisely chose to use this pic as a way to shout out the things they most want to shout.

Fave songs everywhere are getting a Meryl accompaniment.

The Killers: It started…

The internet finds a brilliant way to troll Sean Spicer and his green tie

Poor Sean Spicer just cannot catch a break with his fashion choices these days.

First, it was his upside-down House of Cards flag pin, then it was his foot brace with a funky striped sock and now he’s at it again with this stained green tie in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

The fact that Sean Spicer gave a press briefing with a stain on his tie fits with literally everything I know about him. pic.twitter.com/Jsl1zrBY0Y

— Samantha Weiner (@SamanthaWeiner1) March 17,…

Will Using a Network Switch Slow My Internet Down?

You pay good money for your speedy broadband connection, and it would be a shame if a poor hardware choice was hampering your network. Are network switches to blame for your slow connection?

We get a not-insignificant number of reader inquiries about network hardware, especially concerns over whether or not a network switch is to blame for home network problems—primarily issues with connection speed and stability. Despite the suspicion that so many people seem intent on casting towards the poor network switch, it’s very rarely the source of network problems.

Like all statements regarding technology, however, there’s always and exception or two. Let’s take a moment to rule out any of the problems you might have with a network switch that could actually impact your network speed.

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Your Switch Is Actually a Hub

Hands down, with very few exceptions, when we’re helping someone troubleshoot performance performance problems after installing a switch, the switch is….well, not a switch at all.

You can read more about the difference between switches and hubs here, but here’s the gist. A hub and a switch look physically similar: they have X number of ports (typically in multiples of 4 like 4, 8, 16, 24, and so on) with one reserved for use as an input or a totally separate port labeled “uplink”. Despite their nearly identical appearance, however, the guts of the two pieces of network hardware are quite different.

The old and ubiquitous Netgear EN104TP Hub is the bane of network administrators everywhere.

A hub is a “dumb” device in that it broadcasts whatever it hears on the input port to all the output ports. This leads to collisions between data packets and a general degrading of network quality. If you have a hub set up between your router and the rest of your network, you’re setting yourself up for a huge headache.

A switch, on the other hand, is much smarter. It actively manages the connections between the input port and the output ports, so you won’t run into the collision problem or any of the other issues that plague hubs.

If you purchased the device in question within the last few years, the chance is…

Why the Printing Press and the Telegraph Were as Impactful as the Internet

What makes a communications technology revolutionary? One answer to this is to ask whether it fundamentally changes the way society is organized. This can be a very hard question to answer, because true fundamental changes alter society in such a way that it becomes difficult to speak of past society without imposing our present understanding.

In her seminal work, The Printing Press as An Agent of Change, Elizabeth Eisenstein argues just that:

When ideas are detached from the media used to transmit them, they are also cut off from the historical circumstances that shape them, and it becomes difficult to perceive the changing context within which they must be viewed.

Today we rightly think of the internet and the mobile phone, but long ago, the printing press and the telegraph both had just as heavy an impact on the development of society.

Printing Press

Thinking of the time before the telegraph, when communications had to be hand delivered, is quaint. Trying to conceive the world before the uniformity of communication brought about by the printing press is almost unimaginable.

Eisenstein argues that the printing press “is of special historical significance because it produced fundamental alterations in prevailing patterns of continuity and change.”

Before the printing press there were no books, not in the sense that we understand them. There were manuscripts that were copied by scribes, which contained inconsistencies and embellishments, and modifications that suited who the scribe was working for. The printing press halted the evolution of symbols: For the first time maps and numbers were fixed.

Furthermore, because pre-press scholars had to go to manuscripts, Eisenstein says we should “recognize the novelty of being able to assemble diverse records and reference guides, and of being able to study them without having to transcribe them at the same time” that was afforded by the printing press.

This led to new ways of being able to compare and thus develop knowledge, by reducing the friction of getting to the old knowledge:

More abundantly stocked bookshelves obviously increased opportunities to consult and compare different texts. Merely by making more scrambled data available, by increasing the output of Aristotelian, Alexandrian and Arabic texts, printers encouraged efforts to unscramble these data.

Eisenstein argues that many of the great thinkers of the 16th century, such as Descartes and Montaigne, would have been unlikely to have produced what they did without the changes wrought by the printing press. She says of Montaigne, “that he could see more books by spending a few months in his Bordeaux tower-study than earlier scholars had seen after a lifetime of travel.”

The printing press increased the speed of communication and the spread of knowledge: Far less man hours were needed to turn out 50 printed books than 50 scribed manuscripts.

Telegraph

Henry Ford famously said of life before the car…