Articles by date
24 July 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin is clamping down on Internet criticism with a new law requiring Internet companies to store Russian user information on data centers in Russia. Putin signed the law on Tuesday of this week, an action that could "could chill criticism on foreign social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter," according to Agence France-Presse.
For the first time, smartphone shipments have reached 1 billion. That probably means a lot of calling, texting, and app use. It also means a lot of phones being plugged into the grid and charging.
23 July 2014
Colbert Blasts Amazon, While Taking Amazon's Ad Dollars (Wall Street Journal)
Television satirist Stephen Colbert over the past few weeks has pointed the finger - sometimes literally - at Amazon.com, blaming the retailer for unfairly dragging Hachette authors into its e-book pricing spat with the publishing house by limiting pre-orders or delaying delivery on many titles.
European Union antitrust regulators are preparing to step up investigations of Google Inc's practices on several fronts and are likely to revise certain terms of a settlement involving its search engine that was proposed earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
A cyber-civil war is being waged alongside the armed conflict in Iraq, research by security firms suggests.
A police force has warned schoolchildren who share so-called "sexts" with friends over the internet that they could face prosecution in the criminal courts.
Google has been given 18 months by the Italian data regulator to change how it handles and stores user data.
22 July 2014
The Internet has sent several pretty clear messages to women in recent months about what place their bodies have online: none, whatsoever. Not nipples, not bellies, not even the names of body parts unseen -- it doesn't matter. Don't post it, because it's inappropriate.
Smartphones Surpass Computers for Internet Use in China (New York Times)
For the first time, more Chinese people are gaining access to the Internet with mobile phones than with personal computers.
The number of "active" .tk domains has passed the 25 million mark to cement its position as the largest ccTLD, and second largest TLD.
Scammers are using the MH17 disaster in east Ukraine to spread objectionable links, online security experts have warned.
21 July 2014
It's not just David Byrne and Radiohead: Spotify, Pandora and how streaming music kills jazz and classical (Salon)
After years in which tech-company hype has drowned out most other voices, the frustration of musicians with the digital music world has begun to get a hearing. We know now that many rockers don't like it. Less discussed so far is the trouble jazz and classical musicians -- and their fans -- have with music streaming, which is being hailed as the "savior" of the music business.
Shakira becomes most liked celebrity on Facebook (The Guardian)
Shakira has become the first person to attract more than 100 million fans on Facebook, becoming the most "liked" celebrity on the social network in the process.
Too many governments are "rubber-stamping" mass surveillance programmes, the UN human rights watchdog warns.
Parents are in a much more powerful position than they realize. A new study of over 1300 3rd to 5th graders found that parental monitoring of children's media has ripple effects that extend across several different areas of children's lives out into the future. For this study, my colleagues and I talked to children, their parents, their teachers, and even their school nurses, once at the beginning and once at the end of a school year. e asked parents whether they set limits on the amount of screen time their children were allowed to have each day, and also on the content of media their children were allowed access to. As one might expect, setting limits on the amount and content of children's media is generally effective at reducing time on TV and video games and at reducing violent media exposure.
Microsoft's Top Lawyer Is the Tech World's Envoy (New York Times)
Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, was in Berlin meeting with government officials this spring when a case kept popping up unexpectedly.
In a move that is likely to be welcomed by .nz registrants, New Zealand's Domain Name Commission has announced that as of 30 September 2014 second level registrations will become available, meaning domains such as name.nz can be registered.
20 July 2014
Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet by Glenn Greenwald (First Look)
The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, "amplif[y]" sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be "extremist." The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.
Iran's internet politics: Liberals and conservatives argue over restrictions on the internet (The Economist)
When Iran's authorities started to block websites such as YouTube and Wikipedia in 2006, only a tenth of the population used the internet. Eight years later that figure has quadrupled. But to the religious conservatives who dominate the country's courts the rise is nothing to celebrate -- or even tolerate. Already upset by the recent rejection of their plans to restrict access to WhatsApp and Instagram, hugely popular social-messaging and picture-sharing smartphone applications, Iran's legal establishment is stiffening its neck for a bigger confrontation, over curbing the giant filtering system that blocks access to thousands of websites. Once again, President Hassan Rohani's government is on the more liberal side of the argument.
19 July 2014
UK anti-piracy campaign set to begin (BBC News)
People in the UK who persistently pirate music and movies will soon start getting emails warning them that their actions are illegal.
The intelligence services are constructing "vast databases" out of accumulated interceptions of emails, a tribunal investigating mass surveillance of the internet has been told.
In the court of Internet advertising, sometimes it's hard to be the king.
Spain lifts blocks on file-sharing websites (BBC News)
A Spanish court has ordered blocks on six file-sharing sites to be lifted.
18 July 2014
There has been a dramatic rise in reports of child abuse images posted to commonly used parts of the internet, according to a US watchdog.
Pirate Bay Traffic Doubles Despite ISP Blockades (TorrentFreak)
In recent years the entertainment industries have pushed hard to get The Pirate Bay blocked in various countries. Despite these efforts the notorious torrent site has managed to double its visitors. The United States remains the most popular traffic source while roughly 9% of all users access the site through a proxy.