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21 April 2014

New gTLD Registrations Soar Past Half Million As .GURU Passes 50,000

The total number of domain names registered across all new gTLDs roared past 500,000 on 15 April, jumping 46,349 registrations in one day according nTLDstats.com. The number of domains registered across all of the new gTLDs stood at 558,051 as of 21 April.

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U.S. Promotes Network to Foil Digital Spying (New York Times)

This Mediterranean fishing town, with its low, whitewashed buildings and sleepy port, is an unlikely spot for an experiment in rewiring the global Internet. But residents here have a surprising level of digital savvy and sharp memories of how the Internet can be misused.

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Friends, and Influence, for Sale Online (New York Times)

Whoever said, "Money can't buy you friends," clearly hasn't been on the Internet recently. This past week, I bought 4,000 new followers on Twitter for the price of a cup of coffee. I picked up 4,000 friends on Facebook for the same $5 and, for a few dollars more, had half of them like a photo I shared on the site.

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Google Asked to Censor Two Million Pirate Bay URLs (TorrentFreak)

The Pirate Bay reached a dubious milestone today, as copyright holders have now asked Google to remove two million of the site's URLs from its search results. According to Google this means that between one and five percent of all Pirate Bay links are no longer discoverable in its search engine.

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The Internet's destructive gender gap: Why the Web can't abandon its misogyny (Salon)

... Powerful and exceedingly familiar hierarchies have come to define the digital realm, whether you're considering its economics or the social world it reflects and represents. Not surprisingly, then, well-off white men are wildly overrepresented both in the tech industry and online.

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Your cellphone is killing you: What people don't want you to know about electromagnetic fields (Salon)

You may not realize it, but you are participating in an unauthorized experiment -- "the largest biological experiment ever," in the words of Swedish neuro-oncologist Leif Salford. For the first time, many of us are holding high-powered microwave transmitters -- in the form of cell phones -- directly against our heads on a daily basis.

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Is Apple trying to torpedo the market for affordable smartphones? (Salon)

In 2007, when Apple unveiled the iPhone, this recent college graduate was thrilled: The future had arrived and I was going to be a part of it. Unfortunately, once I saw the price, $702, the thrill of the future turned to the agony of my economic reality. While more affordable smartphones are available today, a costly new trial between Apple and Samsung may lead to an equally financially burdensome situation for many consumers stuck in the middle.

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Free trade on steroids: The threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership by US Democrats George Miller, Rosa DeLauro and Louise Slaughter (Los Angeles Times)

Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama's bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal -- in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids -- can at last be concluded.

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20 April 2014

Why Facebook and Google are buying into drones (The Observer)

Back in the bad old days of the cold war, one of the most revered branches of the inexact sciences was Kremlinology. In the west, newspapers, thinktanks and governments retained specialists whose job was to scrutinise every scrap of evidence, gossip and rumour emanating from Moscow in the hope that it would provide some inkling of what the Soviet leadership was up to. Until recently, this particular specialism had apparently gone into terminal decline, but events in Ukraine have led to its urgent reinstatement.

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19 April 2014

Nic.at Celebrates 10 Years of .AT IDNs

On 31 March, the Austrian registry, nic.at, celebrated ten years of .at internationalised domain names. In the 12 months since .at IDNs were introduced they total 2.4 percent, or 29,729, of the 1.23 million .at domains under management.

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Heartbleed Highlights a Contradiction in the Web (New York Times)

The Heartbleed bug that made news last week drew attention to one of the least understood elements of the Internet: Much of the invisible backbone of websites from Google to Amazon to the Federal Bureau of Investigation was built by volunteer programmers in what is known as the open-source community.

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It's simple: criminalize revenge porn, or let men punish women they don't like (The Guardian)

Parting from someone you love is never easy. It often means watching the affection and intimacy you once shared turn into bitterness and resentment. It often means sorting out who sees the children when, who lives where, and who gets what.

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Google under fire from European media tycoon (BBC News)

The boss of one of Europe's largest media companies has strongly criticised Google in an open letter printed in a German newspaper.

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18 April 2014

ICANN Begins Transition To New Website (ICANN)

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today (17 April) announced the beginning of a transition to a new ICANN.org website.

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Netherlands arrest in Amanda Todd webcam blackmail case (The Guardian)

An arrest has been made in the Netherlands in the case of the Canadian teenager Amanda Todd who was blackmailed to expose herself in front of a webcam, Canadian police confirmed on Thursday. The 15-year-old later committed suicide after detailing her harassment on a YouTube video watched by millions around the world.

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Brazil welcomes world wide web's wonks (Financial Times)

President Dilma Rousseff is not known for her fondness of foreign policy. But last year, the US gave her the inspiration she needed to embark on an international crusade when it was revealed that Washington was spying on her phone calls. Furious at this affront, the Brazilian leader called on the United Nations annual general assembly to push for better governance of the internet.

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The Apple Chronicles (New York Times)

So they're at it again, Apple and Samsung, fighting over patents in a courtroom in San Jose, Calif. They had a similar fight in 2012, in the same courtroom, which Apple won. Samsung has also won its share of these legal battles, including in Australia.

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Just how safe is the Internet of Things? (Business Spectator)

A disgruntled job applicant hacks into Maroochydore's sewerage system, releasing a lethal stink across the town. Political pranksters hack into a Sydney road traffic sign and tweak it to display a less than pleasant missive to the government.

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17 April 2014

NZ High Court: Kim Dotcom Can Have His Cars, Millions in Cash Returned (TorrentFreak)

The High Court in New Zealand today ruled that police may not keep possession of assets seized in a 2012 raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion. This means that a potential appeal aside, Dotcom may soon be reunited with millions of dollars in cash, his luxury car collection, artwork, and other assets seized by the authorities.

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Study Finds No Evidence of Heartbleed Attacks Before the Bug Was Exposed (New York Times)

Ever since the Heartbleed bug was exposed last week, the question everyone has been asking is: Did anyone exploit it before a Google researcher first discovered it?

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Google is building up a digital superstate, says German media boss (The Guardian)

The chief executive of Europe's largest newspaper publisher has accused Google of abusing a monopoly position in the digital economy to discriminate against competitors and build up a "superstate".

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16 April 2014

Social media used to recruit new wave of British jihadis in Syria (The Guardian)

In a basement beneath the Strand in London, just metres from the cafes of Somerset House, two academics sit hunched over their laptops.

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Heartbleed fallout may 'slow' browsing speeds (BBC News)

The struggle to fix problems caused by the Heartbleed bug may slow browsing speeds, warns analysis firm Netcraft.

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Heartbleed makes 50m Android phones vulnerable, data shows (The Guardian)

At least 4m Android smartphones in the US, and tens of millions worldwide, could be exploited by a version of the "Heartbleed" security flaw, data provided to the Guardian shows.

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Gmail does scan all emails, new Google terms clarify (The Guardian)

Google has clarified its email scanning practices in a terms of service update, informing users that incoming and outgoing emails are analysed by automated software.

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