Articles by date

02 August 2009

Gary McKinnon: Pentagon hacker's worst nightmare comes true (The Guardian)

For the past seven years, in bedsits in Crouch End and Bounds Green, north London, the Pentagon hacker and UFO buff Gary McKinnon has - according to his family and friends - been suffering one long anxiety attack. He's prone to regular fits of fainting and thoughts of suicide. He's written that he can't look himself in his eyes when he's shaving in case the sight of himself sets the spiral off. He jumps out of his skin if someone touches him by surprise. I've met him sporadically during these years and can vouch that he's a chainsmoking, terrified shell.

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ICT industry poised to rebound, says new OECD report (OECD)

Is the ICT industry recovering? Global production and trade of information and communications technology goods turned up sharply in May and June - and ICTs may be among the first of crisis-stricken industries to start growing again, according to a new OECD report. After plunging 30-40% earlier this year, Asian production is now showing month-to-month improvement and China is up nearly 3% year-on-year.

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01 August 2009

South Africa Accounts for 60% of Africa's Domain Registrations

South Africa accounts for around 60 per cent of all domain name registrations on the African continent, while the remaining 50 or so countries account for the remaining 40 per cent, according to a Biz Community report.

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Firefox passes billion download milestone (BBC News)

The open-source browser Firefox passed its billionth download on Friday, ahead of the release of its fourth iteration.

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The Internet as Art: In the digital age, the medium is the new message (Wall Street Journal)

Next time an error message pops up on your computer screen or if your machine succumbs to a software virus, it may be more than just an annoying glitch. It may be a work of art.

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Judge: Tenenbaum guilty of copyright infringement (ars technica)

It's all over for Joel Tenenbaum -- except for the size of the check he'll be told to write the RIAA. In a reversal of her decision last night, Judge Nancy Gertner has granted the record labels' motion for a directed verdict on the issue of copyright infringement. Tenenbaum is now liable for infringing all 30 songs at issue in the case. All that will be left to the jury is to determine the size of the damage award and whether the infringement was willful.

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31 July 2009

EBay Building Software to Replace Skype Technology (Bloomberg)

EBay Inc. is building new software to run its Skype Internet-calling service, a bid to sidestep a licensing dispute with Skype's founders, who have threatened to take back the underlying technology.

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Hacker Gary McKinnon loses appeal against extradition to US (The Guardian)

The British computer hacker Gary McKinnon failed today in his last-ditch attempt to avoid extradition to the US where he could face a sentence of up to 60 years in a high-security prison.

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Advertisers welcome Yahoo and Microsoft deal (The Guardian)

Advertisers today offered a warm welcome to the planned merger of Yahoo and Microsoft's online search engines, designed to take on the increasing power wielded by Google.

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U.S. Airlines Follow Passengers Onto Social Media Sites (New York Times)

When United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago damaged Dave Carroll's $3,500 guitar last year, he tried to get his restitution from the airline the old-fashioned way. But after months and months of phone calls and faxes with various customer-service representatives, the airline refused to accept his claim. So Mr. Carroll, a professional country music singer from Canada, channeled his frustration into a song and a video, which he posted on YouTube.

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Report: eBay is building a Frankenskype (CNET)

eBay wants to spin off telephony service Skype into a separate publicly traded company, but something's standing in the way: Skype's founders are threatening to take back some of the technology in the midst of a licensing dispute.

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Dutch court tells Pirate Bay to quit country (CNET)

A Dutch court has ruled in favor of antipiracy foundation BREIN, giving three of The Pirate Bay's co-founders 10 days to block traffic to and from the Netherlands, effectively revoking access to its residents.

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Pirate Bay faces civil lawsuit in Sweden, exec departure (Out-Law News)

A group of major film studios has taken court action in Sweden to have The Pirate Bay shut down. The site's founders were found guilty on criminal charges of facilitating copyright infringement earlier this year but the site remains live.

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Joel Tenenbaum admits in U.S. court he shared music files (CNET)

There's no subterfuge with Joel Tenenbaum. The graduate student accused of copyright violations admitted in court on Thursday that he shared files and knew others were downloading the music he made available on Kazaa, according to a Twitter post from blogger Ben Sheffner.

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Behind Microsoft-Yahoo: The Online Economics of Scale (New York Times)

In their persuasion assault on Wednesday, Carol A. Bartz and Steven A. Ballmer repeatedly explained the Microsoft-Yahoo deal using a term from classical economics: "scale."

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SAT-3 cable fault cuts off West Africa (BBC News)

Large parts of West Africa are struggling to get back online following damage to an undersea cable.

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30 July 2009

OECD: Piracy of Digital Content (OECD)

A study of digital piracy - the infringement of copyrighted content such as music, films, software, broadcasts, books, etc. - where the end product does not involve the use of hard media such as CDs or DVDs.

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Local newspapers in peril: as local newspapers collapse, information is finding new ways to reach people. Not all are high-tech (The Economist)

What happens when a place loses its newspaper? Most of the 80 or so local papers that have closed in Britain since the beginning of last year were the second- or third-strongest publications in their markets. But the weekly Bedworth Echo, which published its last issue on July 10th, was the only paper dedicated to the town's news. A small former mining settlement in the Midlands, Bedworth also lacks a radio station. Although it will still be covered by newspapers focused on its bigger neighbours, it is now a town without news.

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Editorial: Google's Big Plan for Books (New York Times)

While the Internet has transformed much of the information world, books have been a laggard. Google may change that. It has already scanned millions of out-of-print books, and it has reached an agreement with writers and publishers -- which still requires judicial approval -- to make them widely available.

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Has Wikipedia Created a Rorschach Cheat Sheet? (New York Times)

There are tests that have right answers, which are returned with a number on top in a red circle, and there are tests with open-ended questions, which provide insight into the test taker's mind.

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U.S. lawmaker urges regulations for file-sharing (Reuters)

A senior U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday that it may be time for the government to regulate companies that provide online file-sharing services after a number of people managed to access FBI files, medical records and Social Security numbers.

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Even Google Is Blocked With Apps for iPhone (New York Times)

Google might power the world's most popular search engine, but its clout goes only so far. When it comes to getting one of its applications onto the iPhone, it seems Google has to wait in line for Apple's approval like everyone else -- and face the risk of rejection.

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Cyber-spies pose an ever-growing risk to Australia (Sydney Morning Herald)

The new head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, David Irvine, has identified cyber-espionage as a growing national security risk and warned that electronic state secrets are under constant threat of theft by foreign countries and non-state entities.

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Microsoft and Yahoo search alliance draws fire (Financial Times)

Yahoo ran into a fresh wave of doubts in the financial and technology worlds on Wednesday as it bowed out of the race to compete with Google.

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29 July 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Deal on Search Partnership (New York Times)

Microsoft and Yahoo announced a partnership in Internet search and advertising on Wednesday morning intended to create a stronger rival to the industry powerhouse Google.

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