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 Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Anonymous hackers have attacked a Taiwan film festival over plans to screen a documentary on the US-based leader of China's predominantly Muslim Uighur minority, festival organisers said Tuesday. A message, posted on a blog run by one of the organisers of the Kaohsiung Film Festival, blamed Rebiya Kadeer for recent bloody unrest in northwest China's Xinjiang region, which is home to the Turkic-speaking Uighurs.

The film festival, which takes place in Taiwan's second largest city Kaohsiung, is scheduled to show "Ten Conditions of Love" on World Uighur Congress leader Kadeer in October.

 

(Source: INQUIRER)

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INQUIRER

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 10:43:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

President Barack Obama warned American teenagers on Tuesday of the dangers of putting too much personal information on Internet social networking sites, saying it could come back to haunt them in later life. "Well, let me give you some very practical tips. First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life," Obama said.

The presidential words of advice follow recent studies that suggest U.S. employers are increasingly turning to sites such as Facebook and News Corp's MySpace to conduct background checks on job applicants.

 

(Source: Reuter)

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Reuter

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 9:16:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Web sites that collect information about visitors in order to target advertising on their own pages would be required to prominently disclose what information they gather. Web sites that share user information with outside advertising networks, which place ads on sites all over the Internet, would be required to obtain user approval before collecting data. Web sites that deal with sensitive personal information, such as medical and financial data, sexual orientation, Social Security numbers and other ID numbers, would be subject to the opt-in rule.

Rep. Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, hopes to put in a bill governing Internet advertising.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:17:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Parents who install a leading brand of software to monitor their kids' online activities may be unwittingly allowing the company to read their children's chat messages - and sell the marketing data gathered.

Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 9:53:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 07, 2009

China approved of Google's efforts to filter porn from search results on its China portal following state-led criticism of the links, the former head of Google China said Sunday.

Google.cn has long filtered out some results for sensitive searches. The search engine displays a notice that some results have been filtered for search terms such as "Tiananmen," the square in Beijing around which soldiers killed hundreds to disperse a student democracy protest in 1989, or for the names of major political leaders. The search engine currently displays no search results at all for "Xu Zhiyong," the name of a human rights lawyer recently detained for about one month. The results screen says the search "may touch on content that does not conform with the related laws, regulations and policies"

 

(Source: PCWorld)

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PCWorld

Monday, September 07, 2009 9:18:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In an age in which instant news and constant life streams from Facebook and Twitter change the way we communicate, the rules of etiquette surrounding these interactions are still evolving. What happens when I expected a phone call about something and read about it in a status update instead? What's the polite response to a distant friend posting bad news on Facebook? What to do with sensitive information?

Good etiquette on Facebook might not apply on Twitter or in an e-mail. These days, milestones like marriage, pregnancy, breakups and divorce are being described over more forms of communications than ever. Because it's so new, there is sort of a gray area of what the manners are,"

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, September 07, 2009 8:47:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 04, 2009

Facebook warned Thursday that members who buy "friends" from an Australian online marketing company could face banishment from the social network. The Brisbane-based firm, uSocial.net, offered this week to sell a Facebook user 1,000 friends for 177 dollars and 5,000 friends -- on a standard profile account -- for 654 dollars. USocial caused a stir earlier this year with a similar offer to users of popular micro-blogging service Twitter seeking to increase their number of followers.

Facebook fired back against uSocial on Thursday and issued a reminder that it was against its terms of service for a user to access an account belonging to someone else or to share a password.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, September 04, 2009 10:34:34 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game "World of Warcraft." As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa. He needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol or drugs.

Internet addiction is not recognized as a separate disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, and treatment is not generally covered by insurance. But there are many such treatment centers in China, South Korea and Taiwan - where Internet addiction is taken very seriously - and many psychiatric experts say it is clear that Internet addiction is real and harmful.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Friday, September 04, 2009 8:42:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 03, 2009

A coalition of 10 U.S. privacy and consumer groups has called for new federal privacy protections for Web users, including a requirement that Web sites and advertising networks get opt-in permission from individuals within 24 hours of collecting personal data and tracking online habits.

In a broad set of new recommendations for privacy regulations released Tuesday, the groups also called on the U.S. Congress to prohibit Web sites and ad networks from collecting behavioral information about children under age 18, whenever it's possible to distinguish the age of the Web user, and to require that online businesses inform consumers about the purpose of the information collection.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Thursday, September 03, 2009 9:24:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Google said Tuesday's widespread Gmail outage occurred when the company took some servers offline to perform routine maintenance, causing its remaining routers to become overloaded with traffic. "We know how many people rely on Gmail for personal and professional communications, and we take it very seriously when there's a problem with the service." wrote Ben Treynor, a Google vice president of engineering.

Gmail's problems were a top trending topic on Twitter, with users trading updates and posting links to blogs such as Mashable, which published a post called, "5 Things to Do While Gmail is Down." (No. 1: "Immediately flood Twitter with tweets alternately proclaiming 'Gmail is down!' and inquiring 'Is Gmail down?' ")

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Thursday, September 03, 2009 8:27:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Federal judge George Wu officially overturned the conviction of Lori Drew, who was convicted of cyberbullying 13-year-old Megan Meier to suicide. That conviction was based on the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which makes it a crime to intentionally accessing a computer system with intent to commit a crime or tort.

At trial, the jury found Drew guilty of misdemeanor violations of CFAA based on the theory that accessing MySpace with intent to harrass Meier was an unauthorized access of an interstate computer.

 

(Source: ZDNet)

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ZDNet

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 10:38:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Unlike some people have hoped, the Internet hasn't led to big changes in the socio-economic makeup of Americans engaged in civic activities, a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds. As in offline politics, people who participate in online civic life by contacting government officials, making political or charitable donations or signing petitions, for example tend to be richer and better educated.

There are signs that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are driving civic engagement among younger people. On social networks, income and education levels seem to be less correlated with whether someone engages in civic activism.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 8:35:22 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is a story about love and Twitter, hope and the relative safety of a Walmart parking lot. Six months ago, Brianna Karp found herself living in an old truck and camper she inherited after the suicide of a father she barely knew.

She wrote as a way to stay in touch with the world. Soon, other homeless people were leaving comments on her blog, telling their stories and cheering her on. "I was definitely surprised just how many homeless and former homeless people are online and using social media to seek opportunities," Karp said. She blogged from Starbucks while she continued to search for work, buying $5 cards each month that entitled her to sip coffee and soak up unlimited Wi-Fi.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:47:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

If Google Inc. digitizes the world's books, how will it keep track of what you read? That's one of the unanswered questions that librarians and privacy experts are grappling with as Google attempts to settle a long-running lawsuit by publishers and copyright holders and move ahead with its effort to digitize millions of books, known as the Google Books Library Project.

Librarians and the online world have different standards for dealing with user information. Many libraries routinely delete borrower information, and organizations such as the American Library Association have fought hard to preserve the privacy of their patrons.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:07:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 31, 2009

Facebook has agreed to make worldwide changes to its privacy policy as a result of negotiations with Canada's privacy commissioner. Last month the social network was found to breach Canadian law by holding on to users' personal data indefinitely.

It will also make it clear that users can deactivate or delete their account. "These changes mean that the privacy of 200 million Facebook users in Canada and around the world will be far better protected," said Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:43:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

There's still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth. Call it a mid-life crisis. A variety of factors are to blame. Spam and hacking attacks force network operators to erect security firewalls.

"There is more freedom for the typical Internet user to play, to communicate, to shop more opportunities than ever before," said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor and co-founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "On the worrisome side, there are some longer-term trends that are making it much more possible (for information) to be controlled."

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Monday, August 31, 2009 9:10:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 28, 2009

Users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter could face higher insurance premiums because burglars may be using them to find out their personal details. The Digital Criminal report, which polled 2,000 social network users, found nearly two fifths had posted details of their holiday plans, with nearly two thirds of 16-24 year-olds doing so.

"I call it 'internet shopping for burglars'. It is incredibly easy to use social neyworking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home using other internet sites like Google Street View, all from the comfort of the sofa."

 

(Source: Telegraph)

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Telegraph

Friday, August 28, 2009 10:34:28 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A vulnerability in Twitter Inc.'s popular microblogging service remains unfixed and can be used by criminals to hijack accounts or redirect users to malicious Web sites, a developer claimed today. The cross-site scripting bug in Twitter allows hackers to insert malicious JavaScript into tweets simply by adding code to a field of an API used by third-party Twitter application developers.

A software developer, a U.K.-based search optimization specialist, Slater recommended that, until Twitter patches the vulnerability, users should stop following any Twitterers they don't personally know or trust. "Who's to say they're not already stealing your details? If you don't see their tweets, they can't harm you,"

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Friday, August 28, 2009 10:03:53 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 27, 2009

Internet service providers (ISPs) have reacted with anger to new proposals on how to tackle internet piracy. The government is proposing a tougher stance which would include cutting off repeat offenders from the net.

TalkTalk's director of regulation Andrew Heaney told that the ISP was as keen as anyone to clamp down on illegal file-sharers. "This is best done by making sure there are legal alternatives and educating people, writing letters to alleged file-sharers and, if necessary, taking them to court. But disconnecting alleged offenders will be futile given that it is relatively easy for determined file-sharers to mask their identity or their activity to avoid detection," he added.

 

(Source: BBC)

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BBC

Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:33:51 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Users of social networks are concerned about security but few are taking the steps necessary to protect themselves against online crime, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed said they have experienced identity theft, 47 percent have been victims of malware infections and 55 percent have seen "phishing" attacks, in which hackers seek to capture password information. They also suggested that passwords be changed at least once a month and that friends or coworkers not be allowed to access one's personal computer.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:54:09 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fans searching for "Jessica Biel" or "Jessica Biel downloads," "Jessica Biel wallpaper," "Jessica Biel screen savers," "Jessica Biel photos," and "Jessica Biel videos" have a one in five chance of landing at a Web site that has tested positive for online threats such as spyware, adware, spam, phishing, viruses and other malware. McAfee's conclusion: Searching for the latest celebrity news and downloads can cause serious damage to personal computers.

"Consumers' obsession with celebrity news and culture is harmless in theory, but one bad download can cause a lot of damage to a computer."

 

(Source: NewsFactor)

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NewsFactor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 11:13:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Internet criminals might be rethinking a favorite scam for stealing people's personal information. A report being released Wednesday by IBM Corp. shows a big drop in the volume of "phishing" e-mails, in which fraud artists send what looks like a legitimate message from a bank or some other company. If the recipients click on a link in a phishing e-mail, they land on a rogue Web site that captures their passwords, account numbers or any other information they might enter.

To protect yourself against phishing, access sensitive sites on your own, rather than by following links in e-mails, which might lead to phishing sites.

 

(Source: AP)

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AP

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 10:06:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The average gamer, far from being a teen, is actually a 35-year-old man who is overweight, aggressive, introverted and often depressed, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study also shows that when children and teenagers become game players, a trend toward physical inactivity and corresponding health problems extends -- and is exacerbated -- into adulthood.

"Among researchers, there is growing concern and uncertainty about the health consequences of video game playing," the CDC reported.

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:52:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The German government warned job-seekers Friday to avoid posting potentially compromising pictures or remarks on social networking sites such as Facebook, citing a study about their use by employers. Consumer affairs minister Ilse Aigner "calls on citizens who use the Internet often to think about what they put online," a spokeswoman for her ministry told a regular government news conference.

28 percent of the around 500 German companies polled searched for information about their would-be employees' hobbies, political opinions and personal lives.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:40:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 24, 2009

Albert Gonzalez, the man described by federal authorities as the kingpin of a gang responsible for stealing more than 130 million payment cards, is a computer addict constantly looking for ways to challenge his abilities, according to his lawyer. He has had an unhealthy obsession with computers since the age of 8. "He was self-taught, He didn't go out in the sandbox or play baseball. The computer was his best friend."

"It wasn't healthy. It's a sickness. It's a problem that has not been addressed in our society."

 

(Source: ComputerWorld)

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ComputerWorld

Monday, August 24, 2009 3:23:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Switzerland's data protection watchdog on Friday demanded that Google immediately withdraw the "Street View" facility it has started offering on its map of Switzerland. Federal data protection and transparency officer Hanspeter Thuer released a statement warning that the US-based Internet giant was not respecting conditions he set to respect personal privacy in Switzerland.

The online service, which began in the United States, has sparked controversy because the snapshots also inadvertently capture passers-by on camera, sometimes in embarrassing or private moments.

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Monday, August 24, 2009 1:18:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 21, 2009

The first US retreat for Internet addicts has opened its doors, welcoming a teenager that was captive to World of Warcraft online role-playing videogame. The 19-year-old boy went from pursuing quests in Azeroth to bottle-feeding baby goats and building a chicken coop as part of a reStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program at a rural five acre spread in the state of Washington.

"It is about helping people addicted to technology get through the withdrawal and help their brains get wired back to normal and connected to the world in a positive way. Games are really designed to keep people hooked. Those that stay hooked are people really vulnerable for whom the world is painful or scary."

 

(Source: AFP)

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AFP

Friday, August 21, 2009 10:02:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Facebook, for better or worse, is like being at a big party with all your friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers. There are lots of fun, interesting people you're happy to talk to when they stroll up.

Sure, Facebook can be a great tool for keeping up with folks who are important to you. But far more posts read like navel-gazing diary entries, or worse, spam. A recent study categorized 40 percent of Twitter tweets as "pointless babble," and it wouldn't be surprising if updates on Facebook, still a fast-growing social network, break down in a similar way. Here are 12 of the most annoying types of Facebook users:

 

(Source: CNN)

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CNN

Friday, August 21, 2009 9:15:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |