Internet Use/New Technologies

25 August 2013

Banish the trolls but web debate needs anonymity The Observer

So the proprietor of the Huffington Post has decided to ban anonymous commenting from the site, starting in mid-September. Speaking to reporters after a conference in Boston, Arianna Huffington said: "Trolls are just getting more and more aggressive and uglier and I just came from London where there are rape and death threats. I feel that freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they say and [are] not hiding behind anonymity. We need to evolve a platform to meet the needs of the grown-up internet."

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22 August 2013

Controversial digital ad placement leaves tech companies scrambling Washington Post

Advertisers are increasingly sinking tons of money into figuring out how to reach plugged-in shoppers through computers, tablets and smartphones.

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21 August 2013

Birthday Greetings, Now Sent by Text and Twitter New York Times

On my birthday, I received a slew of lovely birthday greetings. By early morning I had stacked up 93 birthday wishes on Facebook -- one even included a $5 Starbucks gift card! About 20 strangers digitally congratulated me on Google Plus. A dozen people chirped "happy birthday" to me on Twitter. Fifteen friends and family members sent me emoji-filled birthday wishes over text message. Eight over e-mail. Two voicemails. And one person yelled Happy Birthday on SnapChat.

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20 August 2013

Are the NSA Revelations Changing How We Use the Internet? A survey finds substantial shifts in user behavior and attitudes in recent weeks. The Atlantic

We are now in, roughly, week 11 of what has become a more or less steady stream of revelations about the NSA's efforts to collect and analyze huge amounts of the data people create every day online.

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19 August 2013

Most of U.S. Is Wired, but Millions Aren't Plugged In New York Times

The Obama administration has poured billions of dollars into expanding the reach of the Internet, and nearly 98 percent of American homes now have access to some form of high-speed broadband. But tens of millions of people are still on the sidelines of the digital revolution.

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18 August 2013

Media companies took a battering from the internet. Cash from digital sources is at last repairing some of the damage The Economist

This summer a made-for-TV movie about a tornado carrying man-eating sharks was a surprise hit in America. The preposterous plot of "Sharknado" may strike a chord with media bosses who have watched the internet ravage their business over the past decade. Newspapers have lost readers and advertising to the internet. Book and music shops have closed for good. Sales of DVDs and CDs have plummeted. The television industry has so far resisted big disruption but that has not stopped doomsayers predicting a flight of advertising and viewers.

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17 August 2013

With Gmail Overhaul, Not All Mail Is Equal Wall Street Journal

For some retailers that rely on emailed promotions, Google Inc. is adding insult to injury.

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15 August 2013

More Facebook equals less happiness according to study of young people The Australian

People who use Facebook may feel more connected, but less happy.

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14 August 2013

Newspaper Crisis Hits Germany Der Spiegel

It came to Germany almost a decade later than America, but the newspaper crisis is sweeping the country, with plummeting circulations and revenues. The German news media must reinvent itself in order to retain readers.

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Facebook reveals daily users for U.S. and UK, data aimed at advertisers Reuters

One out of three people in the United States - more than 128 million - visit Facebook every day, and about 24 million in the United Kingdom do the same, the company said on Tuesday, releasing regional data for the first time as a way of helping advertisers understand how people use the social network.

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A New Study Says Twitter Can Predict US Elections The Atlantic

Political consultants, university sociologists, and amateur statisticians are now one step closer to using data from Twitter like they use polling data.

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09 August 2013

More than half of Britons access news online The Guardian

More than half of UK adults are accessing news content online, another milestone in the switch from reading newspapers and magazines to picking up tablets and smartphones.

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'Herd effect' skews online rating systems, study finds The Guardian

How much do you trust the online ratings of articles and posts on websites? New research suggests high positive ratings may not be a true reflection of an item's value or quality, but are partly due to "herd" effects, where people end up liking something that is already well liked by others.

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08 August 2013

Study Reveals Significant Adoption of YouTube by Global Brands ClickZ

Pixability has just released a comprehensive industry study, The Top 100 Global Brands: Key Lessons for Success on YouTube, which details how global brands are successfully driving video and digital marketing success.

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Future tablet market will outstrip PCs - and reach 900m people, Forrester says The Guardian

When unveiling the first iPad in January 2010, Steve Jobs suggested that it would fill a gap between the smartphone and the PC - one that at the time was being taken on by netbooks. "The problem is netbooks aren't better at anything," Jobs said at the time. "They're just cheap laptops. And we don't think they're a third category of device."

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07 August 2013

Twitter promises new security feature is better, easier to use Washington Post

Twitter announced Tuesday that it is updating the way it handles security for its social network, introducing a new security option that it promises is both more secure and easier-to-use than its current two-factor authentication system.

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06 August 2013

British MP receives Twitter photo of masked, knife-wielding man The Guardian

The British MP Stella Creasy, who has spoken out about the death and rape threats she has received on Twitter, has been tweeted a photograph of a masked man brandishing a knife, as the campaign of attacks on women who highlight online abuse continues.

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Study Links TV Viewership and Twitter Conversations New York Times

A first-of-its-kind study by Nielsen has affirmed what nearly everyone in the television industry already suspected: Twitter conversations sometimes do cause people to turn on the TV.

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Older US adults warm up to social networking TechHive

A rising percentage of older adults are using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google too, according to a Pew study.

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05 August 2013

Internet killed the dieting star: Why Weight Watchers is floundering Wall Street Journal

Weight Watchers, the world's oldest and most recognized diet program, has had a bad run lately. After rebounding from the recession, its stock and earnings have been declining since 2011. This past week, it announced particularly bad results, and its CEO of four years departed to "pursue other opportunities."

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For Twitter, Free Speech Is a High-Wire Act: As Micro-Blogging Site Expands Globally, It Gets Flak From Many Sides Wall Street Journal

Twitter Inc.'s growing ambitions are making it harder to carry the Internet's free-speech banner.

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04 August 2013

Twitter boss says sorry to targets of troll abuse The Observer

Twitter has issued new rules to help it clamp down on abusive behaviour, while its British chief apologised to women targeted for online attacks, as it battled to deflect widespread criticism that it was not doing enough to target trolls.

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03 August 2013

How low-paid workers at 'click farms' create appearance of online popularity The Guardian

How much do you like courgettes? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the "like" button - even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from.

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Twitter manager apologises to women as police investigate eight allegations of abuse The Independent

A Twitter boss has personally apologised to women who have experienced abuse on the social networking site, following rape and bomb threats in the past week, including those against Independent columnist Grace Dent and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.

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01 August 2013

How did Estonia become a leader in technology? The Economist

When Estonia regained its independence in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, less than half its population had a telephone line and its only independent link to the outside world was a Finnish mobile phone concealed in the foreign minister's garden. Two decades later, it is a world leader in technology. Estonian geeks developed the code behind Skype, Hotmail and Kazaa (an early file-sharing network). In 2007 it became the first country to allow online voting in a general election. It has among the world's zippiest broadband speeds and holds the record for start-ups per person. Its 1.3m citizens pay for parking spaces with their mobile phones and have their health records stored in the digital cloud. Filing an annual tax return online, as 95% of Estonians do, takes about five minutes. How did the smallest Baltic state develop such a strong tech culture?

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