Articles by date

26 January 2015

Spyware and smartphones: how abusive men track their partners (The Guardian)

Apps offer abusers a terrifying new toolbox to control their partners and exes. Phone software allows them to follow people's movements, monitor their calls, texts and emails - and even watch them

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WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government (The Guardian)

Google took almost three years to disclose to the open information group WikiLeaks that it had handed over emails and other digital data belonging to three of its staffers to the US government, under a secret search warrant issued by a federal judge.

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25 January 2015

What can we learn from Facebook's annual Bullshit Report? (The Observer)

Last week was Davos week, the time of year when 2,900 movers and shakers (only 17% of whom are women, incidentally) congregate in a small town in Switzerland to talk the talk. It also means that it's the week in which Facebook issues its annual Bullshit Report, claiming that it is not only a Force for Good but also one of the world's economic powerhouses. In 2012 the report claimed that Facebook - an outfit which then had a global workforce of about 3,000 - had indirectly helped create 232,000 jobs in Europe in 2011 and "enabled" more than $32bn in revenues.

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Facebook Touts Its 'Economic Impact' but Economists Question Numbers (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook has more than a billion users and generated an estimated $12 billion in revenue last year. But the company says its economic impact is far greater.

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What Eric Schmidt meant when he said 'the Internet will disappear' (Washington Post)

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is making a lot of headlines Friday over a comment he made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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24 January 2015

Davos bosses fret over threats to Internet free trade (Reuters)

Business leaders pushing for frictionless free trade have something new to worry about: the potential break-up of the Internet, which today forms the backbone of the global economy.

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In China, VPN internet access tools suffer further disruptions (Reuters)

Internet services that allow people to freely access blocked websites and apps from within China have seen more severe disruptions this week, said three providers, moves that Chinese state media said were justified.

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23 January 2015

Global Domain Registration Growth Slows With .NET In Decline: Verisign DNIB

The number of domain names under management around the world is creeping closer towards the 300 million mark, with four million added, an increase of 1.6 percent, across all top level domains in the third quarter of 2014 taking the total to 284 million according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign.

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Internet not yet killing free-to-air television, Deloitte says (ABC News)

Video might have killed the radio star according to the pop hit from the 1980s, but is the internet killing traditional free to air television?

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Turkey proposes tighter internet law, pursues Twitter critic (Reuters)

Turkey is pressing new legislation allowing ministers to temporarily ban websites and forcing Twitter to block an anonymous whistleblower as part of President Tayyip Erdogan's campaign to bring the internet to heel.

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22 January 2015

Facebook Dominates Social Sharing While Twitter Sees a Decline (ClickZ)

ShareThis's new report shows that Facebook overtook Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit in terms of sharing activity during the fourth quarter of last year, garnering a whopping 81 percent of shares.

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Microsoft complied with Charlie Hebdo probe, turning over data in 45 minutes (Ars Technica)

In a speech given in Brussels on Tuesday, Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith said that in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in France, the company turned over data requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on behalf of the French government in 45 minutes.

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Republicans Push Plan in US Net Neutrality Debate (New York Times)

The debate on Capitol Hill over the future of the Internet spilled into public view on Wednesday, as a pair of hearings took up a Republican proposal to put the issue in lawmakers' hands.

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Sacrificing culture for cheap downloads (The Conversation)

Australian creators have been severely affected both financially and creatively by the widespread use of digital distribution models. For my research, I conducted interviews with a variety of creators in late 2014 about their attitudes to copyright and digital distribution.

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Smartphones Don't Make Us Dumb (New York Times)

As much as we love our digital devices, many of us have an uneasy sense that they are destroying our attention spans. We skitter from app to app, seldom alighting for long. Our ability to concentrate is shot, right?

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Google Hopes to Take the Web Directly to Billions Lacking Access (New York Times)

Google has never shied from novelty or spending big to find ways to connect more people to the Internet. Over the last two years, its ideas have included fleets of little satellites, solar-powered drones that would fly around the world and balloons that float high into the stratosphere, beaming the Internet to those below.

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21 January 2015

Domain Pulse Conference Heads To Berlin in February

It's January and that means many things. But for the German-speaking domain name community, it's not just peak skiing season, it means that the annual Domain Pulse conference, the largest annual domain name conference in Europe, is just around the corner!

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France, Germany Seek Help From Tech Firms in Policing Terrorism Online (Wall Street Journal)

France and Germany demanded that U.S. tech companies help them police terrorism on the Internet, escalating European efforts to wrangle more law-enforcement help from Silicon Valley.

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Facebook clamps down on fake news stories (Reuters)

Facebook Inc said on Tuesday it has taken steps to clamp down on "hoaxes" and fake news stories that can spread like wildfire on its 1.35-billion member online social network.

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Facebook hiring spree hints at ambitions in virtual reality and beyond (Reuters)

Virtual reality goggles, drones and data centers are all driving a hiring spree at Facebook Inc that is set to swell its ranks as much as 14 percent in the near term, according to a review of job listings on the company's website.

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Facebook report says it adds more than $200 billion to global economy (Reuters)

With 1.35 billion users of its Internet social network, Facebook Inc would rank as the world's second-most populous nation if it were a country.

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20 January 2015

GCHQ captured emails of journalists from top international media (The Guardian)

GCHQ's bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK's largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

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Sexting laws unclear to teenagers as courts see increase in underage sex cases: Australian legal community (ABC News)

The law in Australia is struggling to keep up with teenagers having underage sex and using mobiles to send explicit photos to each other.

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Dating apps found 'leaking' location data (BBC News)

Many mobile dating apps can be hacked to expose the exact location of users, warn security experts.

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Without Drugs, What's the Point of Bitcoin? The trial of the Silk Road founder reveals enormous flaws in the decentralised currency. (The Atlantic)

The trial of Ross Ulbricht, which began last week in Manhattan, doesn't lack for entertainment value. The 30-year-old is accused of founding and administering Silk Road, an online market that allowed users to buy and sell illegal drugs using bitcoin as currency. Founded in 2011, prosecutors allege that Silk Road generated $1.2 billion in revenue -- including an estimated $80 million paid in commissions -- until the FBI shut it down in 2013. Ulbricht has pled not guilty. But whatever the verdict, the legacy of Ulbricht's high-profile case may strike a blow against Bitcoin's future viability.

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