Articles by date

25 May 2009

Walking the Cyberbeat: To make Facebook advertiser-friendly, its 'porn cops' delete risqué content and enforce decorum (Newsweek)

It's just before lunchtime in the sunny, high-tech headquarters of Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif., and Simon Axten is cuing up some porn. A photo of a young couple sloppily making out pops onscreen. It's gross, but not against the rules, so Axten punches a key to judge the image appropriate. Next up: a young woman in panties only, covering her breasts with her hands. "That's pretty close," Axten says, pondering the image. There's nothing arbitrary about his judgments: at Facebook, they have developed semiformal policies like the Fully Exposed Butt Rule, the Crack Rule and the Nipple Rule. In this photo there's no visible areola, he decides, so it stays. The next photo is a male clad only in a black thong and angel wings. Utterly nonplussed, Axten OKs the picture.

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Iran 'blocks access to Facebook' (BBC News)

Iran's government has blocked access to social networking site Facebook ahead of June's presidential elections, according to Iran's ILNA news agency.

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24 May 2009

In Germany, widespread spying is back, this time electronically by corporations (Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds of thousands of employees have had their mobile phone, e-mail and computer records secretly searched. Companies say they did it to expose misconduct.

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UK Telegraph lawyers shut down Tory MP's blog (The Guardian)

Nadine Dorries, the Conservative frontbencher who claimed the Daily Telegraph's revelations on expenses could drive MPs to suicide, has had her blog shut down by lawyers acting for the newspaper.

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23 May 2009

Web Classified Ads Double in Use Over Last Four Years (Wall Street Journal)

Almost half of Internet users have used online classified ads, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

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Online Classifieds Use Doubles in Past Four Years: Pew survey (Pew Internet & American Life Project)

Overview: The number of online adults who have used online classified ads has more than doubled in the past four years. Almost half (49%) of internet users say they have ever used online classified sites, compared with 22% of online adults who had done so in 2005. On any given day about a tenth of internet users (9%) visit online classified sites, up from 4% in 2005.

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EU consults on state aid rules for high-speed Internet (EurActiv)

The European Commission yesterday (19 May) launched a public consultation on draft guidelines that will determine when governments can grant public funds for rolling out high-speed broadband networks.

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Cybersecurity Groups Launch "Chain of Trust" Initiative to Combat Malware (Center for Democracy and Technology)

[news release] Three of the world's leading cybersecurity groups today launched a new initiative to combat malicious software (malware) by establishing a "Chain of Trust" among all organizations and individuals that play a role in securing the Internet.

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Indonesian Muslim clerics frown at Facebook (Sydney Morning Herald)

Indonesian Islamic clerics warned Muslims on Friday not to use popular Internet networking sites like Facebook for flirting or gossiping.

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Step forward on Australia's e-waste law; UK 'worst electrical recycler' in Europe (Australian IT)

Mandatory recycling of old electronic equipment is a step closer, with the nation's environment ministers agreeing to consider new laws aimed at keeping dangerous and bulky e-waste out of landfill.

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EBay win against L'Oreal in UK High Court (Computerworld)

EBay Inc. cannot be held legally accountable for the sale of fake L'Oreal goods, including perfumes and face creams, on its Web site, according to a decision in the U.K. High Court.

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'Gumblar' PC virus targets Google users, warn experts (The Guardian)

A computer virus that targets Google users is mutating rapidly, turning it into what some are calling the biggest threat to online security today.

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Cuba's cyberwar intensifies [AFP] (The Age)

Cuban bloggers are fighting a cyberwar with the government to give their own version of reality on the communist island, from hotels and using memory sticks and laptops obtained from abroad.

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Pro-internet piracy party on course for EU seats (The Times)

The Pirate Party, a single-issue Swedish group that campaigns to encourage internet copyright infringement, is on course to win several seats in the European parliament.

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Mystery over Australia's Google's missing millions (Sydney Morning Herald)

Google is refusing to explain the gulf between the revenues filed in its latest accounts and the almost $1 billion paid by Australian companies to the technology giant to buy up search terms on the internet.

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22 May 2009

DNS attack temporarily cripples internet in parts of China

An organised attack on the servers of a domain registrar in China earlier this week caused an online video application to cripple internet access in parts of the country the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

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US Senators push to monitor ICANN-government relationship (NextGov)

Senators are pressing Commerce Secretary Locke and Assistant Secretary-Designate Larry Strickling to pay close attention to the relationship between the U.S. government and ICANN, reports Nextgov.

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Google Earth maps out discrimination against burakumin caste in Japan (The Times)

A handful of innocent-looking antique maps, one offensive word and tens of thousands of offended "untouchables" have plunged Google into an unspoken class war that has raged in Japan for centuries.

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English cricket calls for tough new laws on ticket touts (The Guardian)

The England and Wales Cricket Board has called for tough new laws against ticket touts, after private investigators employed by the board tracked down more than 1,900 "black market" tickets for the ICC World Twenty20 made available through internet sites such as eBay.

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Pornographic videos flood YouTube (BBC News)

Video-sharing website YouTube has removed hundreds of pornographic videos which were uploaded in what is believed to be a planned attack.

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Twitter passes Bebo and Linkedin while MySpace heads earthwards in the UK (The Guardian)

Though you may think that Twitter gets, oh, far too much attention, the reality is that this is something that is growing fast. Damn fast. So fast that it has recently left not only the New York Times but also Digg - remember Digg? - and social networks Bebo and LinkedIn in its rear-view mirror.

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The High Cost of Selling Cheap Music Services (New York Times)

After writing about how Napster renegotiated its deals with record labels to offer its music subscription service at a lower price, I called RealNetworks, which offers the Rhapsody service, to see if its executives were excited about cutting similar deals that would allow it to offer its own $5-a-month music service. For years, after all, people trying to popularize music subscriptions -- which allow you to listen to anything you want for a monthly fee -- have been telling me the concept is great but the price the record labels want is too high.

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YouTube strikes deal with UK broadcasters to test pre-roll ads (The Guardian)

Channel 4 is one of several UK broadcasters that have struck a deal with the video-sharing site YouTube to split advertising revenue in a trial that will see pre-roll advertising run around TV shows and clips on the site.

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Apple bans iPhone program over sex claims (The Guardian)

A British-made iPhone program has been banned by Apple - because it could allow people to read the Kama Sutra.

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1000 web users a day face disconnection under French law (New Zealand Herald)

A thousand French internet users a day could be taken off-line following approval of President Nicolas Sarkozy's pet project - an unprecedented law to cut the internet connections of people who repeatedly pirate music and movies.

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