Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Can Healthy Web Site Traffic Save Newspapers?
Raw numbers don't really tell whether newspapers are profiting from the uptick in visits to their sites, said Mike McGuire, vice president of research for the media industry at Gartner. 'The challenge is how papers can effectively monetize that. There is a concern that a lot of people expect ad-supported content to be free.'
Communication Systems: Using E-Mail as Storage: A Cautionary Tale
For some people, losing an e-mail account is akin to losing family photographs in a flood or fire. Even if the service is free, the offending company had better be prepared to apologize gracefully and profusely, said Ben Chestnut, cofounder and partner of MailChimp.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
The Beginning of the End of Anonymity on the Internet?
How do you know the cutie you met online isn't a serial killer? And how do you know your kid's new online pal is really another kid -- and not a 40-year old pervert (or a twisted neighbor). The fact is, you don't. But as social networking and dating sites have boomed in popularity, so has concern about the ability of predators to hide behind Internet pseudonyms. Two events so far this month could mark the beginning of serious government efforts to start limiting users' ability to stay anonymous on the Internet. First, MySpace and attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia agreed on a set of principles that social networking sites should follow to help protect minors from "exposure to inappropriate content and unwanted contact by adults," along with a list of steps that MySpace is taking to comply with these principles. Among other things, MySpace agreed to organize an industry-wide Internet Safety Technical Task Force that will "explore and develop age and identity verification tools for social networking web sites." Second, New Jersey's new Internet Dating Safety Act, requires any Internet dating service offering its services in the Garden State to inform New Jersey users whether it performs criminal background screenings and to educate them about the dangers of Internet dating. (These actions follow a settlement between Facebook and New York's attorney general last October, in which Facebook agreed to appoint an Independent Safety and Security Examiner, respond to complaints about inappropriate material within 24 hours, and revise its representations regarding user safety.) While these are modest steps, one day we may look back on 2008 as the beginning of the end of the Internet's Wild West phase, when anonymous communication and unfiltered content were done in by posses of angry parents and state lawmen (and women). The hoary days (2000) when the U.S. Attorney General got slammed by civil libertarians simply for stating that Internet anonymity is a "thorny issue" are long past.
MP calls for law to force online shops to verify age
A bill has been introduced in Parliament which would force online retailers to check customers' ages before selling goods that cannot be sold to children.
Displaying a chair does not infringe its copyright, says Advocate General
A clothes shop that used designer armchairs and sofas in a window display and in a rest area for customers did not infringe copyright in the furniture, according to an Advocate General who gave her opinion to the European Court of Justice last week.
Industry to take on Eskom
The ICT industry is preparing to take on Eskom to address the rolling power-cuts it says are causing havoc.
Apple movies get SA excited
Apple's decision, announced at this year's Macworld Expo, to step-up its online movie effort has South African entertainment providers excited.
Careful what you say on Facebook
Beirut - Four Lebanese university students have been jailed for a week for making crude remarks on the Facebook social networking site about the singing talents of a woman they met at a party, media reports said on Thursday.
MoD loses data of 600,000 would-be recruits
The personal details of 600,000 people interested in joining the Armed Forces have been lost after a laptop belonging to a Royal Navy officer was stolen, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Internet awash with child porn, SA study finds
A new study — the first of its kind into child pornography in SA — has found that there are more than a million obscene images of children available at the click of a mouse.
Chinese Police Shut Down Real-Time Porn Site
Chinese police have shut down a Web site selling real-time porn and arrested 33 people, state media said, part of a campaign which led to the shut-down of 44,000 Web sites and arrest of 868 people last year. China launched a crackdown on online pornography and 'unhealthy' Web content after Chinese President Hu Jintao said the country's sprawling Internet posed a threat to social stability.
Websites Glorify Suicide, British Lawmaker Says
Social networking websites could be 'romanticising' suicide, British lawmaker claims after the deaths of seven young people from her area in the past year.
Va. Lawmakers Want Funding to Fight Child Predators
Virginia Dels. Brian J. Moran (D-Alexandria) and Beverly J. Sherwood (R-Frederick) planned to announce a proposal setting aside $18 million in the next two-year budget to combat online crimes against children. Some House Republican leaders have expressed skepticism about funding any new programs, but this proposal has the backing of Sherwood, who heads the subcommittee on public safety appropriations.
Scientology's Efforts to Block Cruise Video Backfire
Efforts by the Church of Scientology to stop people seeing a video of Hollywood star Tom Cruise talking enthusiastically about his faith seem to have backfired spectacularly. Scientologists tried to use copyright law to force video-sharing site YouTube to remove the material.
China to Issue Rules on "Undesirable" Games Online
China said it would issue new rules cracking down on 'undesirable' elements of online games amid fears of growing Internet addiction as the number of players soars, state media reported. The number of online game players in China rose 23 percent to 40.17 million last year, Xinhua news agency said this week, citing an industry survey.
White House Admits Deleting E-mail from Tapes
The White House acknowledges recycling backup computer tapes of e-mail, a practice that may have wiped out many electronic messages from the early years of the Bush administration, including some pertaining to the CIA leak case. The disclosure about recycled backup tapes came minutes before a court-ordered deadline that forced the White House to reveal information it previously had refused to provide.
Thousands of Websites Poisoned by Malicious Code
Thousands of small web shops have been unwittingly poisoned with malicious code that infects PC users who visit. Security experts said the sophisticated attack had succeeded on a larger scale than many other similar attacks.
AT&T may filter illegal file-sharing
One of the largest telecoms firms in the US is contemplating the introduction of a filter to block copyright-infringing traffic in its internet service. The company said that network-level filtering was the 'optimal' way to deal with piracy.
Firm bills council over high website traffic
A software firm has unsuccessfully billed a local authority £10,000 after its website received lots of traffic from the council. The bill was based on a claim that Derby Council staff were using a free web tool for work purposes.
Gov't Asks Court to Order Man to Unlock PC Files
The federal government is asking a U.S. District Court in Vermont to order a man to type a password that would unlock files on his computer, despite his claim that doing so would constitute self-incrimination. The case, believed to be the first of its kind to reach this level, raises a uniquely digital-age question about how to balance privacy and civil liberties against the government's responsibility to protect the public.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Eskom class action not viable – lawyer
Although businesses hard hit by SA’s energy crisis have started to look to the law to provide solutions – including considering the class action route against Eskom and City Power – these ideas may not be viable, according a legal expert.
Estonian Court Fines Man Linked to Cyber Attacks
An Estonian court has fined a man in the only conviction linked to cyber attacks on official Web sites during last year's riots over the relocation of a Soviet-era war memorial, it said. The court of Harju district, which serves the area including the capital Tallinn, said it had fined the 20-year-old 17,500 kroons ($1,635) for organizing the disruption of the server for the website of the ruling-coalition-leading Reform Party.
Terrorists Taking Advantage of Online Networking
For a terrorist organization, 'it doesn't matter anymore where your location is, and how many visa requirements' a country has, said Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which researches Muslim extremists and their online activity. 'Being on the virtual network, [terrorists] have people virtually all over the world.'
14,000 Charter Customers Lose E-mail Content
Charter Communications officials believe a software error during routine maintenance caused the company to delete the contents of 14,000 customer e-mail accounts. There is no way to retrieve the messages, photos and other attachments that were erased from inboxes and archive folders across the country, said Anita Lamont, a spokeswoman for the suburban St. Louis-based company.
Digital Music Sales Up as ISPs Help Clamp Down
Record companies' revenue from digital music sales rose 40% to $2.9 billion over the past year, but the growth is still failing to cover losses from collapse of international CD sales, the music industry's global trade body said. However, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, or IFPI, said its long-standing campaign to push Internet service providers, or ISPs, to clamp down on subscribers who trade copyrighted files was finally bearing fruit.
Laptops containing protected data banned from leaving public sector offices
Laptops containing sensitive information may no longer be reomoved from any public sector offices.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Facebook Warns Gawker Founder for Using Screenshots
Facebook isn't too happy with Gawker Media founder Nick Denton over some screenshots of a member's profile that he posted on Gawker.com, Portfolio.com reports. The social-networking site reportedly plans to send a warning letter to the New York-based digital-media entrepreneur citing several terms-of-service violations -- one more, and he's out.
Hasbro, Mattel Want Facebook to Stop "Scrabulous"
The companies that make Scrabble are trying to shut down Scrabulous, an online version of the game that is one of the most popular applications on the social networking site Facebook. Hasbro, which owns the rights to the crossword game in the U.S. and Canada, and El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel, which owns the rights elsewhere, believe the Facebook game infringes their copyrights and trademarks.
Online Shoppers Worrying More About Privacy
Privacy concerns stemming from online shopping rose in 2007, a new study finds, as the loss or theft of credit card information and other personal data soared to unprecedented levels. Sixty-one percent of adult Americans said they were very or extremely concerned about the privacy of personal information when buying online, an increase from 47 percent in 2006.
Friday, January 11, 2008
The weird and wonderful - viruses from 2007
PandaLabs has drawn up this review of some of the more curious examples of malware that appeared in the second half of 2007.
Tech firms mapping the world
Two firms are racing to map the world as the Internet goes increasingly mobile with ever more sophisticated gadgets for people on the move.
Porn Industry Being Hurt by Piracy on Internet
After years of booming sales supported by videotapes, DVDs and the Internet, the adult film industry is being challenged by easy video-sharing Web sites offering explicit content for free. 'We're dealing with rampant piracy, tons of free content,' said Steven Hirsch, co-founder of privately held Vivid, the best-known studio making sex films.
Windows Virus Steals Login Data for Bank Accounts
Security experts are warning about a stealthy Windows virus that steals login details for online bank accounts. In the last month, the malicious program has racked up about 5,000 victims - most of whom are in Europe.
Domain Dispute Filings Hit Record Level at WIPO
The number of complaints filed by trademark owners against cybersquatters under the 'Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy' (UDRP) hit an all-time high in 2007, according to this data from the World Intellectual Property Organization. Doug Isenberg, a lawyer in Atlanta who runs The GigaLaw Firm, a solo practice specializing in representing companies in domain-name disputes and other areas of Internet law, attributes the ever-increasing number of disputes to the continued growth of companies doing business on the Web and the growing number of cyberscams.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Court Orders Husband to Stop Blogging About Wife
A court has ordered a husband to stop posting blog items about his wife and their crumbled marriage, possibly turning an ordinary divorce into a much broader battle over free speech on the Internet. The husband, William Krasnansky, posted what he calls a fictionalized account of the marriage on his blog late last year.
Man gets record sentence for computer sabotage | CNET News.com
A computer systems administrator was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Tuesday for trying to sabotage his company's servers out of fear he was about to lose his job, prosecutors said.
Local Internet entrepreneur takes on Google
Local Internet entrepreneur Vinny Lingham is taking on Google’s Page Creator with his new venture Synthasite.
Prank message on website an 'oversight'
The prank error message that recently appeared on the Eastern Cape Department of Health website was in fact a test page created by the website developer, which hadn't been deleted.
Why Telkom is our 2008 hot stock pick
At current levels, Telkom, which is down nearly 40% since its peak on September 3, looks like a real steal.
ITWeb :New laws to affect ICT industry
Parliament will consider a raft of new laws this year that will affect the way ICT companies do business, according to its 2008 Legislative Programme. Several of the legal changes are already before the legislature and will likely come into effect during the year.
ITWeb :MySpace draws subpoena
A federal grand jury issued subpoenas to MySpace and others last week in connection with the suicide of a 13-year-old Missouri girl, after she received cruel messages from people posing as a teenage boy on the site, reports New York Times.
Business IT defences at risk - 10 Jan 2008 - Computing
UK businesses’ ability to protect themselves against cyber attacks is under threat from legal changes criminalising key aspects of legitimate security research.
The technology year ahead - 10 Jan 2008 - Computing
Last year ended with technology in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, thanks to a string of “lost” data scandals. As if IT leaders were not already under enough pressure, all things information-related will be high on every chief executive’s agenda in 2008.
Online Video Sharing Skyrocketing
'The audience is going mainstream and getting bigger,' Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, told TechNewsWorld. 'The depth and breadth of the content on these sites is obviously attracting a wide following.' Growth in broadband adoption is another clear factor increasing the usage of video sites, Rainie added.
How next billion will shape net
Internet law professor Michael Geist looks at what doubling the number of users will mean to the net. Internet law professor Michael Geist looks at what doubling the number of users will mean to the net.
The writing is on the wall for ads
Like it or loathe it, adverts are going to be helping to support the online world for a long time to come, says Bill Thompson. Like it or loathe it, adverts are going to be helping to support the online world for a long time to come, says Bill Thompson.
Gamer jargon becomes word of the year
A word widely used among online gamers has topped an online poll for Word of the Year run by US publishing group Merriam Webster. A word widely used among online gamers has topped an online poll for Word of the Year run by US publishing group Merriam Webster.
Open source search effort starts
For many Google has solved the problem of searching the web. But not everyone is happy with the way it works and the results it gives. Here Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikipedia encylopedia, talks to the BBC about his new venture - Wikia Search. For many Google has solved the problem of searching the web. But not everyone is happy with the way it works and the results it gives. Here Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikipedia encylopedia, talks to the BBC about his new venture - Wikia Search.
Copying CDs could be made legal
Copying music from a CD to a home computer could be made legal under new proposals from the UK government. Copying music from a CD to a home computer could be made legal under new proposals from the UK government.
Gates hails age of digital senses
The way people interact with computers is going to dramatically change in the next five years, Microsoft chief Bill Gates has told BBC News. The way people interact with computers is going to dramatically change in the next five years, Microsoft chief Bill Gates has told BBC News.
Zoo admits to auctioning tiger bodies
The Hanoi Zoo admitted selling dead tigers at auctions to Vietnamese animal traffickers, the latest in a spate of violations of international conservation laws meant to protect endangered Indochina tigers, newspapers reported.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Mobile messages to surpass two trillion in 2008
As the popularity of mobile messaging services continue to grow, Gartner forecasts that 2,3 trillion messages will be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008.
Racist SMS lands boss in hot water
A Durban domestic worker who claims that her employer mistakenly sent her an SMS in which he referred to her as a “kaffir bitch”, is taking the matter to Court.
Ten predictions for 2008: you will be paying less for telecoms
South Africans will be paying less for telecoms in 2008, it's that simple. This forecast has been echoed by many journalists and analysts over the past few months, and is not a particularly difficult call to make. Considering the downward trend in both global and local telecoms prices over the past few years together with more competition, consumers and corporates will see prices coming down.
GigaLaw.com Daily News: Hacker Accesses Data at University of Georgia
University of Georgia officials are trying to contact more than 4,000 current, former and perspective residents of a university housing complex after a hacker was able to access a server containing personal information, including Social Security numbers. During that time, a computer with an overseas IP address was able to access the personal information -- including Social Security numbers, names and addresses -- of 540 current graduate students living in graduate family housing and 3,710 former students and applicants.
China Shuts Down 200 Websites Advertising Sex Drugs
China is shutting down about 200 Web sites for carrying illegal sex-drug advertisements, state media said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of measures to clean up the Internet. About 6,000 Web sites have been found carrying illegal, sexually suggestive adverts involving sex-related drugs or health supplements, said the People's Daily, the Communist Party's newspaper.
Worker Gets 30 Months for Trying to Sabotage Servers
A computer systems administrator was sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to sabotage his company's servers out of fear he was about to lose his job, prosecutors said. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, New Jersey, said Yung-Hsun Lin received the longest ever federal prison term for a criminal attempt to damage a computer system.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
China Restricts Posting of Videos Online
China has moved to restrict videos online, allowing only state-controlled sites to post any -- including ones shared by users -- and requiring Internet providers to delete and report certain content. It wasn't immediately clear how the new rules would affect YouTube and other providers that host websites based in other countries that are accessible from China.
Court Upholds Piracy Ruling Against Yahoo in China
An industry group says it has won a new round in a court battle with Yahoo's China arm, which is accused of helping online music pirates. A Beijing appeals court upheld a ruling against Yahoo China over its search engine's links to outside websites that carried illegally copied music, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries said.
Visitors to Porn Sites Face Potential Security Breach
Consumers of Internet pornography who secretly signed up for memberships on adult-oriented Web sites in the past few months may be in for a shock -- some of their personal information, including e-mail addresses, may have been compromised by a security breach. Though the breach, which potentially could affect tens of thousands of customers, reportedly did not involve the theft of credit card information, it could nonetheless have a significant impact on the lucrative Internet pornography industry, according to those who monitor the market.
Typical Responses to Identity Theft Faulted
Companies, government agencies, schools and other institutions are spending more to protect ever-increasing volumes of personal data such as credit card and Social Security numbers with more sophisticated firewalls and encryption, but the investment often is too little, too late. 'More of them are experiencing data breaches, and they're responding to them in a reactive way, rather than proactively looking at the company's security and seeing where the holes might be,' said Linda Foley, an identity theft victim who founded the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Court Overturns Ruling for Google's Browser Toolbar
Google's browser toolbar is back in court on patent infringement charges, after a U.S. court of appeals overturned part of a lower court decision. Google's AdSense contextual advertising service, though, is in the clear.
RIAA Official, Columnist Spar Over CD Copying
An executive with the music industry's lobbying group engaged in a verbal sparring match with the Washington Post columnist who alleges that the organization is trying to outlaw the practice of copying CDs to a computer. National Public Radio hosted in on-air debate between Marc Fisher, the Post columnist, and Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Woman Who Lost File-Sharing Suit Can't Afford Appeal
Jammie Thomas, the woman ordered by a federal court in October to pay the recording industry $222,000 for pirating music, doesn't have enough money to fund an upcoming appeal and has been forced to look for a new lawyer, according to her current attorney, Brian Toder.Thomas was the first person sued by the recording industry for copyright violations to argue a case before a jury and was found to have illegally shared 24 digital-music files.
Saudi Blogger Arrested, Allegedly for Political Posts
A Saudi blogger arrested in December could be freed soon, a spokesman for the kingdom's Interior Ministry said. A friend and fellow Saudi blogger told CNN that Fouad al-Farhan was arrested because he wrote about political issues.
Chinese Court Dismisses Trademark Suit Against Google
A court in China has dismissed a trademark lawsuit filed against Google, according to a report on ChinaCourt.org that was translated into English and posted on Pacific Epoch. A Beijing company called Gu Ge Technology sued Google China earlier this year, claiming that its Chinese name, 'Gu Ge' was confusingly similar to its own name.
Targeted Advertising Online Faces Privacy Concerns
Pitfalls await tech giants as they attempt to engineer the great leap forward into 'targeted advertising' — marketing pitches that key off what individuals say and do online. Advertisers are hungry to reach consumers congregating at sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube to socialize and access free content. Microsoft, Google and Yahoo all want to help advertisers track consumer behavior, then distribute product pitches dovetailing with an individual's interests.
Ten digital marketing trends to watch in 2008
The start of a new year always suggests boundless possibilities and a wealth of opportunities. Here are ten things worth taking into consideration as you plan your digital marketing for the calendar year ahead – some are trends, some are observations, some have predictions attached to them and, yes, some are things we think are important and would dearly love to see in our ever-evolving industry.
Five Tech Trends to Watch in 2008
As 2008 approaches, WiMax is at a crossroads. Will it become the most popular next-generation wireless WAN transport that supporters envisioned, or will it wither on the vine? 'WiMax will gain a great deal of acceptance in underserved countries, but will not be as popular in industrialized nations like the U.S. and Europe,' analyst Craig Mathias told TechNewsWorld.
Lessons From 2007 E-Commerce Debacles
E-commerce vendors have spent a lot of money recently advertising on social networking sites, but these investments did not generate much of a return. 'It does not make a lot of sense to promote your products to a MyFace Web site focused on a person's dog. After all, the dog is not going to buy any products,' said Gene Alvarez, research vice president at Gartner.
Is 2008 the Year of the Chief Outsourcing Officer?
Outsourcing service providers have become significant employers in their own right and this trend will accelerate as these firms compete more fiercely for talent. It is another reason why outsourcing is not as much of a cost-cutting measure as it has been in the past. Even in emerging economies, the cost of management is rising.
Tech Sector Outlook 2008, Part 1
We have a positive fundamental outlook on the systems software sector as we enter 2008. Our positive outlook reflects our view of continued robust PC sales, driven by stronger expected growth in laptop, consumer and international markets. Although enterprise adoption of Vista has been slow, we expect the adoption rate to accelerate after Microsoft releases Service Pack 1, which we think will occur in the first half of 2008.
Highs and Lows for Geeks in 2007
The success of the Nintendo Wii proved that gamers are more interested in fun than they are in snazzy graphics. Sure, the fact that the game system cost half that of the Sony PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360 didn't hurt, but the real coup was how enjoyable the games are to play.
Tonawanda man faces prison time, fine for hacking - NewsFlash - SiLive.com
A Tonawanda man is facing prison time after pleading guilty Thursday to a felony charge of computer hacking, federal officials said.
BitTorrent search site loses case
A website which facilitated the online exchange of films, music and TV programmes without permission has lost a US copyright case.
Axed-sub-editor says he has a 'strong case' : Mail & Guardian Online
Axed Sowetan sub-editor Llewellyn Kriel, who was fired by the Sowetan newspaper after blogging about his employer on the Mail & Guardian Online's Thought Leader on November 13, said on Friday he confindent of a 'positive outcome' at his appeal hearing.
Deloitte partner, principal confidential information on stolen laptop - SC Magazine US
A laptop containing the personal information of an undisclosed number of Deloitte & Touche partners, principals and other employees was stolen while in possession of a contractor responsible for scanning the accounting firm's pension fund documents, SCMagazineUS.com learned today.
Cellular privacy concerns
Your cell phone is a potential gold mine for marketers: It can reveal where you are, whom you call and even what music you like.
Beware of the Blog
A subeditor at media giant Avusa's Sowetan newspaper became the first South African to be fired for blogging.
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