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Showing posts from June, 2012
Google unveils prototype ‘smart’ glasses
Last updated: June 28, 2012 12:51 am
By Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters in San Francisco
Google sought to leapfrog rivals such as Apple and Microsoft as it unveiled a prototype of a pair of “smart” glasses designed to carry out many of the functions currently done on a smartphone, such as sharing pictures and accessing information.
The move came Wednesday as the search company also joined the hardware wars that are rocking the consumer technology industry, showing off the first tablet to carry its brand and a living room entertainment device designed and built by the internet company from the ground up.
Google said that an early version of its new glasses would be shipped to a limited number of software developers early next year, adding weight to the company’s attempts to reposition itself as an innovator at a time when its size and bureaucracy is under attack from smaller, more nimble companies including Facebook.
Sergey Brin, co-founder, said he h…
Twitter prepares curbs on hate speech

June 27, 2012 3:55 pm
By Tim Bradshaw in New York
Twitter is preparing to introduce new measures to reduce the visibility of “hate speech” or “trolling” on the site.
But management faces a struggle to balance some Twitter users’ desire for anonymity and free speech – such as contributed to the Arab Spring protests – with the wish of others to be protected against abuse.
Talking to the FT this week, Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, became visibly emotional as he described his frustration in tackling the problem of “horrifying” abuse while maintaining the company’s mantra that “tweets must flow”.
One technical approach Twitter is considering would hide from users’ page of replies any tweets directed at them by individuals who are not seen as “authoritative”, because they have no followers, no biographical information and no profile picture.
But the company’s management is also painfully aware that this could diminish open exchange on the site and u…
Google takes on rivals with new tablet
June 27, 2012 7:34 pm
By Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco
Google opened two new fronts in the computer hardware wars on Wednesday with the launch of a new 7-inch tablet and a living-room media device running its latest Android software that it hopes will challenge Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.
At its annual developer conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled the $199 Nexus 7 tablet, built in partnership with Asus, the Taiwanese developer, which runs its new Jelly Bean version of Android and undercuts the $399 price of Apple’s entry-level iPad. It also showed off a new media-streaming device, the Nexus Q.
The two devices illustrate how software and internet companies such as Google and Microsoft are shifting towards building their own desirable hardware that taps their users’ cloud-based media, apeing Apple’s longstanding approach of integrated technology and content.
Microsoft last week launched its Surface tablet, stressing the desirability of its magn…
EU court upholds Microsoft antitrust fine
June 27, 2012 12:05 pm
By Alex Barker in Brussels
Microsoft suffered another defeat at the hands of the European Commission, after failing to overturn a hefty fine in a court battle that is likely to draw the curtain on an antitrust feud lasting more than a decade.
While the EU’s second-highest court on Wednesday shaved 4 per cent from Microsoft’s €899m fine to €860, it threw out the US technology group’s main arguments to annul the first Brussels penalty levied on a company for non-compliance.
The decision is an important victory for Europe’s highest competition authority and bolsters its powers to impose painful financial penalties on companies that refuse to implement its antitrust decisions.
One of the biggest ever EU fines was levied on Microsoft in 2008 after the software group failed to comply with a Brussels order to share data with rivals on reasonable terms. Microsoft offered the data but at a price the commission found excessive.
Joaquin A…
Orbitz Controversy: Tip Of Big Data Iceberg
Websites know which PC, phone, and browser you use. But ad networks and social sites today give marketers more information about you than ever before to better target advertising.
By Doug Henschen    InformationWeek June 26, 2012 03:08 PM
When The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Orbitz shows Mac users costlier travel options than those shown to Windows PC users, it caused a stir, spawning hundreds of follow-on stories, including a video segment on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Marketers usually claim that knowledge of the consumer helps them deliver more relevant and timely offers, but the disturbing factor in this case was that insight into Mac users--like the fact that their household incomes are $20,000 higher, on average, than those of Windows users--was used to steer them toward more expensive travel packages. Some would call that discrimination, but it hardly scratches the surface of the information that marketers…
Fraud Ring In Hacking Attack On 60 Banks - At Least $75 Million Stolen - could be as Much as $2.5 Billion
Fraud Ring In Hacking Attack On 60 Banks
Some 60m euro is stolen from bank accounts in a massive cyber raid, after fraudsters raid dozens of banks around the world.
7:16am UK, Wednesday 27 June 2012
By Pete Norman, Sky News Online
Sixty million euro has been stolen from bank accounts in a massive cyber bank raid after fraudsters raided dozens of financial institutions around the world.
According to a joint report by software security firm McAfee and Guardian Analytics, more than 60 firms have suffered from what it has called an "insider level of understanding".
"The fraudsters' objective in these attacks is to siphon large amounts from high balance accounts, hence the name chosen for this research - Operation High Roller," the report said.
"If all of the attempted fraud campaigns were as successful as the Netherlands example we describe in this report, the tot…
JUNE 24, 2012,11:00 AM Shields for Privacy in a Smartphone World



JUNE 24, 2012,11:00 AM



ByNICK BILTONListen very carefully to me: Don’t look up. You are being watched. That stranger, sitting across from you, although it looks like he is talking on his smartphone, is actually snapping pictures of you using a paparazzi-like app. That’s not all. At that breakfast meeting last week, when you made that snide joke about your boss, your co-worker’s smartphone, innocuously sitting on the table, was recording everything you said. Later that evening, at that restaurant, when you made an innocent, flirty joke to the server, someone recorded video of the entire interaction. There is nothing you can do to stop any of it. Hundreds of millions of active smartphones in the world mean hundreds of millions of recording devices ready to capture your every move or utterance. Then, it is just as easy to catapult these photos, recordings or videos onto the Internet for all to share. So how can it be stopped? Eith…
You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome
Justin Bolle for The New York Times By NATASHA SINGER Published: June 16, 2012
IT knows who you are. It knows where you live. It knows what you do.
It peers deeper into American life than the F.B.I. or the I.R.S., or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google. If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams — and on and on.
Right now in Conway, Ark., north of Little Rock, more than 23,000 computer servers are collecting, collating and analyzing consumer data for a company that, unlike Silicon Valley’s marquee names, rarely makes headlines. It’s called the Acxiom Corporation, and it’s the quiet giant of a multibillion-dollar industry known as database marketing.
Few consumers have ever heard of Acxiom. But analysts say it has amassed the world’s largest commercial database on…
Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments
Search engine company has said there has been a troubling increase in requests to remove political content from the internet
Dominic Rushe in New York The Guardian, Sunday 17 June 2012
There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.
Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.
It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.
Google was asked b…
Proposal To Require Direct Deposit For State Employee Paychecks Moves Forward
June 15, 2012
TRENTON – An Assembly committee released legislation that would save more than a half-million dollars per year by modernizing the state’s payroll system was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-720), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Matthew W. Milam, Connie Wagner and Annette Quijano, requires direct deposit for all state employee compensation on and after July 1, 2014, and allows counties to opt for mandatory direct deposit for all county employee compensation on or after July 1, 2014.
The bill eliminates administrative costs associated with mailing pay stubs to employees by requiring that all pay information now be available online via the employee’s assigned e-mail address.
“It’s the 21st century and it’s time the state of New Jersey began acting like it,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “There’s no excuse as to why the state insists on physically mailing pay stubs …
Ethiopia criminalises Skype
The Ethiopian government has clamped down on Internet-based voice-calling services, making their use a criminal offence. by Craig Wilson on 14 June 2012.
Ethiopia’s state-owned Internet service provider, the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (Ethio-Telcom), has begun performing deep-packet inspection of all Internet traffic in the country. The country’s government recently ushered in new legislation that criminalises the use of services such as Skype, Google Talk and other forms of Internet phone calling.
The new law, which came into effect on 24 May, makes use of Internet voice services punishable by hefty fines and up to 15 years in prison.
The official line from the government is that the move is intended to protect national security and protect the national, state-owned telecoms carrier from losing revenue to Skype and similar services; this, despite the fact that Ethiopia’s fixed-line penetration rate is the second worst in Africa (after Sierra Leone…
Google, Amazon lead rush for new Web domain suffixes in bids to ICANN
By Hayley Tsukayama and Peter Whoriskey, Published: June 13
Amazon and Google are staking claims to large swaths of the Internet under a new system for labeling Web domains, bolstering their ability to control traffic as the Web expands beyond the realms of “.com,” “.gov” and “.org.”
The bids by those companies to acquire new domain names such as “.book,” “.shop” and “.movie” renewed fears among competitors that a powerful few will dominate the Internet marketplace of the future.
A slate of roughly 2,000 new Web suffixes, including “.app” and “.sex,” was revealed Wednesday by the nonprofit organization tasked with regulating domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The group announced last year that it would take applications for new domain names to foster growth and competition online. The new domains are scheduled to go into effect next year.
“We’re standing at the cusp of a new era …