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Showing posts from September, 2013

China threatens closure of mobile news apps amid Internet crackdown

China threatens closure of mobile news apps amid Internet crackdown Reuters – 6 hours ago
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Monday launched a crackdown on several mobile news applications that provide news information services without approval from government regulators, threatening to shut down those who refuse to "rectify".
The ruling follows a government campaign to curb "online rumours", as the government tries to rein in social media.
The State Internet Information Office said that some of the news applications carried "pornography and obscene information and harm the physical and mental health of youngsters", and others published false information.
Some mobile news applications also provide a channel for subscribers in China to read articles published by foreign media outlets whose articles have been blocked in China, such as the New York Times.
Mobile news applications identified include Zaker, which said it had more than 17.5 million users at the end …

Image-insertion bug locks people out of Gmail when using Firefox

Image-insertion bug locks people out of Gmail A solution to the problem has eluded Google for months
By Juan Carlos Perez  September 26, 2013 09:13 AM ET
IDG News Service - Beware Gmail users: Inserting images into the body of an email message can get you temporarily banned from your account.
The disconcerting bug has been affecting unsuspecting Gmail users for months, and it's apparently tied to the use of Gmail's spanking-new message-compose interface. Google introduced that interface late last year and made it the default for everybody this year, saying it's faster, simpler and altogether better than the old basic HTML interface.
Google has acknowledged the problem but hasn't been able to stamp it out.
The bug is listed in the Gmail Known Issues page and is the focus of several discussion forum threads in Google Groups, including this long one with more than 250 posts.
"I'm scared to continue to rely on Gmail now. I use it for a lot of time-sensitive messa…

NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race to Create Offshore Havens for Data Privacy

TECHNOLOGY  September 27, 2013, 12:15 p.m. ET
NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race to Create Offshore Havens for Data Privacy Firms Tout 'Email Made in Germany' as More Secure; Brazil Wants Its Own Servers
By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN And FRANCES ROBINSON
On the heels of allegations about U.S. government surveillance of Internet traffic, some foreign companies and politicians are seeing an opportunity. WSJ reporter Elizabeth Dwoskin explains.
Google Inc., GOOG Facebook Inc. FB and other American technology companies were put on the defensive when Edward Snowden's allegations about U.S.-government surveillance of Internet traffic emerged this spring.
Outside the U.S., some companies and politicians saw an opportunity.
Three of Germany's largest email providers, including partly state-owned Deutsche Telekom AG, DTE.XE teamed up to offer a new service, Email Made in Germany. The companies promise that by encrypting email through German servers and hewing to the country's strict p…

The rise of digital motion sickness

The rise of digital motion sickness: Video games, 3D films and iOS7 set to make condition the 21st century's biggest occupational disease
Illness is a variation on motion sickness which is caused by gadgets Displays are now so good at mimicking reality they disorientate the brain Problem will only get worse as tech gets better, experts say
By AARON SHARP PUBLISHED: 12:16 EST, 28 September 2013 | UPDATED: 21:38 EST, 29 September 2013
Digitally induced motion sickness caused by iPhones, 3D films and computer games will become the biggest occupational illness of the 21st century, it has been claimed.
Tech experts have identified a variation on the traditional disorientating ailment, called 'simulation sickness' which is caused by looking at a screen rather than travelling in a boat, car or plane.
And they say the problem will only get worse, as gadgets become better at mimicking the real world around us.
Normal motion sickness is triggered when our inner ear senses movement …

What if Verizon succeeds in killing the Internet?

What if Verizon succeeds in killing the Internet?
By Paul Venezia Created 2013-09-23 03:00AM I've posted countless essays over the years on the importance of Net neutrality [1] and how big ISPs are trying to turn the Internet into a pay-per-view system [2], rather than the open-access system it was always intended to be. I've written open letters to federal legislators [3]; remarked on the various games being played by AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and the like; and cheered Google Fiber [4] for demonstrating that the big ISPs are full of nonsense [5] when they claim their backs are against the wall in terms of broadband speeds and reach.
And now, Verizon is claiming it has free speech rights to limit and block content flowing from the Internet to its customers [6]. That stance is so ridiculous that the lawyers responsible for cooking up that one should either be canonized or jettisoned into space. I'm not sure which.
[Also on InfoWorld: Verizon's diabolical plan to turn…

Google's dilemma: A faster but fragmented Web?

Google's dilemma: A faster but fragmented Web?
A powerful new Google+ photo app embodies a sticky situation facing Web developers: embrace the Native Client tech for high-performance Web apps and risk sites that only work for Chrome users.
Stephen Shankland by Stephen Shankland  September 24, 2013 4:00 AM PDT
Google wants a Web that looks very different from today's. Instead of more or less static sites, perhaps spiced up with a new comment popping up on your Facebook page, Google wants Web apps that are indistinguishable in performance and sophistication from native programs like high-end games or Photoshop.
But Google faces a tough choice: What's the best way to get to that future?
The promise of the route it's trying to take, a technology called Native Client, shines in the sophisticated online photo-editing tools for Google+ that launched this month. The problem is that Native Client isn't sitting well with other browser makers, at least one of which prefers …

The dawn of the 'start-up douchebag': San Francisco locals disturbed as Google, Facebook, Apple and eBay professionals move in

Saturday 28 September 2013
The dawn of the 'start-up douchebag': San Francisco locals disturbed as Google, Facebook, Apple and eBay professionals move in
As Google staff flock to the city, a battle is raging at the heart of San Francisco’s middle class
By TIM WALKER  FRIDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2013 Pointless workplace perks? No, this is 'serendipitous interaction'
Vance Maverick points down at the pavement with a chuckle. There on the concrete, close to the spot in San Francisco’s Mission District where the 42-year-old Google engineer catches a private commuter bus to Silicon Valley, is some faint political graffiti. It’s still possible to make out a crudely painted Google search box; before it faded, Maverick explains, the search terms read: “Trendy Google professionals help raise housing costs.”
It’s safe to say that sentiment still holds. In the Mission and across San Francisco, long-time locals are disturbed by the profusion of young, rich tech professionals moving into …

STUDY: 47% of jobs at risk of being automated in next 20 years...

What Undercover Boss and The Jetsons Tell Us About the Future of Jobs
SEPT. 27 2013 1:02 PM By Miles Brundage
In the early days of artificial intelligence research, it was commonplace for the well-educated academics in the field to (mistakenly) think that being “intelligent” meant being good at things that other well-educated academic researchers struggled at, like playing chess. We now know, however, that it's far harder to get robots to do things that come naturally to us (like identify objects and pick them up) than it is to get them to prove logical theorems or find patterns in huge volumes of data—things we humans struggle at. This and other counter-intuitive trends in AI and research on the nature of human intelligence have discouraged researchers from trying to predict which jobs will be automated, but a provocative new study by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne at Oxford University tries to do just that, and their findings are alarming.
In “The Future of Employment: How Susce…

France threatens Google over data protection breaches

27 SEPTEMBER 2013
France threatens Google over data protection breaches
AFP - France's data protection watchdog said Friday it would take action against US giant Google for failing to comply with national privacy guidelines.
The CNIL said Google had failed to comply with data protection guidelines within a three-month deadline and said it would begin a formal sanction procedure, under which the US company could be fined up to 150,000 euros ($205,000).
CNIL had asked Google to inform users in France on how it processes their personal data and to define how long they can keep the information.
It had also requested the US giant obtain users' permission before storing cookies in their terminal, referring to files that track netizens and allow companies to target them with commercials.

http://www.france24.com/en/20130927-france-threatens-google-over-data-protection-breaches

Arrest made in Miss Teen USA ‘Sextortion photos’ case

Arrest made in Miss Teen USA ‘Sextortion photos’ case
Posted on: 6:37 am, September 27, 2013, by CNN Wire, updated on: 09:16am, September 27, 2013
TEMECULA, Calif. — A college student was arrested Thursday for allegedly hijacking the webcams of young women — among them reigning Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf — taking nude images, then blackmailing his victims to send him more explicit material or else be exposed.
Jared James Abrahams, a 19-year-old computer science student from Temecula, California, surrendered on Thursday to the FBI on federal extortion charges, the agency announced.
Authorities say he victimized young women surreptitiously, by taking control of their computers then photographing them as they changed out of their clothes.
When he admitted what he’d done in June, Abrahams said he had 30 to 40 “slave computers” — or other people’s electronic devices he controlled — and has had as many as 150 total, according to a criminal complaint.
His arrest came six months after a tee…
Google Must Face Most Claims in Gmail Wiretap Lawsuit By Joel Rosenblatt & Karen Gullo - Sep 26, 2013 11:50 AM PT
Google Inc. must face most claims in a lawsuit alleging it illegally reads and mines the content of private messages sent through its Gmail e-mail service in violation of federal wiretap laws.
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, today granted Google’s request to throw out state claims, while allowing the plaintiffs to refile. She refused to dismiss federal claims, rejecting the company’s argument that the plaintiffs agreed to let Google intercept and read their e-mails by accepting its service terms and privacy policies.
“The court finds that it cannot conclude that any party -- Gmail users or non-Gmail users -- has consented to Google’s reading of e-mail for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising,” Koh said in the ruling.
Users of Gmail and other e-mail services from states including Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland…
Public Launch Of Google Shopping Express A Challenge To Amazon, EBay
Taking a detour from search and software, Google today publicly launched a service that delivers within hours online purchases from local retailers to Bay Area residents.
The public debut of Google Shopping Express – one of the largest same-day delivery services available, rivaled perhaps only by eBay – underscores the growing importance of the local commerce market, and the potential for advertising revenue and to collect even more data on consumers by being the link that connects retailers to customers.
Shopping Express started last year as an experiment on Google’s Mountain View campus, and little by little, over the last six months, the company added members of the public to test the service. Consumers had to apply and some waited weeks for approval. (Google wouldn’t say how many people it let use the service during testing, but likely there were several thousand.)
Now, anyone living and working in San Francisco…
German group claims to have hacked Apple iPhone fingerprint scanner Reuters – 12 hours ago
By Jim Finkle
BOSTON (Reuters) - A group of German hackers claimed to have cracked the iPhone fingerprint scanner on Sunday, just two days after Apple Inc launched the technology that it promises will better protect devices from criminals and snoopers seeking access.
If the claim is verified, it will be embarrassing for Apple which is betting on the scanner to set its smartphone apart from new models of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and others running the Android operating system of Google Inc.
Two prominent iPhone security experts told Reuters that they believed the German group, known as the Chaos Computing Club, or CCC, had succeeded in defeating Apple's Touch ID, though they had not personally replicated the work.
One of them, Charlie Miller, co-author of the iOS Hacker's Handbook, described the work as "a complete break" of Touch ID security. "It certainly opens up a ne…

China intensifies internet crackdown

September 16, 2013 12:07 pm
China intensifies internet crackdown
By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing
The Chinese government has intensified its crackdown on the internet, describing online criticism of the ruling Communist party as illegal and airing a televised confession from one of the country’s most popular online commentators.
An article in Monday’s edition of the influential party journal “Seeking Truth” described online criticism of the party and government as “defamation”, while Chinese-American investor and internet personality Charles Xue appeared on state television in handcuffs on Sunday to praise new legislation that in effect criminalises online dissent.
The moves are part of a wider campaign launched in recent weeks by newly installed President Xi Jinping to stifle calls for political reform in China and assert control over the country’s unruly internet.
Mr Xue, who boasts 12m followers on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, was arrested in August for allegedly hiring prostitutes f…