Articles by date

08 October 2015

IS exploits Telegram mobile app to spread propaganda (BBC News)

So-called Islamic State group (IS) has shifted its propaganda distribution to the secure mobile messaging app Telegram from Twitter, where its accounts have been repeatedly shut down over the past year.

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Data Transfer Pact Between U.S. and Europe Is Ruled Invalid (New York Times)

Europe's highest court on Tuesday struck down an international agreement that allowed companies to move digital information like people's web search histories and social media updates between the European Union and the United States. The decision left the international operations of companies like Google and Facebook in a sort of legal limbo even as their services continued working as usual.

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RIAA and MPAA Report Notorious Piracy Sites to U.S. Government (TorrentFreak)

The RIAA and MPAA have submitted their lists of most "notorious" pirate sites to the U.S. Government. The groups target torrent sites including The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents, as well as various linking and streaming portals. Uncooperative domain registrars and other third-party service providers are called out as well.

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07 October 2015

What Was Involved In Making .AU More Secure With DNSSEC

The .au (Australian) ccTLD implemented DNNSEC at the end of 2014, joining the vast majority of TLDs, including all new gTLDs. Adam King, auDA's Chief Technology Officer, spoke at the Australian Internet Governance Forum in Melbourne, Wednesday, which is organised by the .au policy and regulatory body. Adam was on a panel speaking about DNSSEC and online security in Australia. I spoke to Adam on the sidelines of the auIGF after his presentation on auDA's experiences in implementing DNSSEC.

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06 October 2015

Edward Snowden interview: 'Smartphones can be taken over' (BBC News)

Smartphone users can do "very little" to stop security services getting "total control" over their devices, US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said.

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Facebook plans satellite 'in 2016' (BBC News)

Facebook is to launch a satellite that will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa, the social network's founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced.

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The future of the internet is flow by David Gelernter and Eric Freeman (Business Spectator)

People ask where the ewb is going; it's going nowhere. The web was a brilliant first shot at making the internet usable, but it backed the wrong horse. It chose space over time. The conventional website is "space-organised," like a patterned beach towel -- pineapples upper left, mermaids lower right. Instead it might have been "time-organised," like a parade -- first this band, three minutes later this float, 40 seconds later that band.

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How Race Influences Social-Media Sharing: Just about everyone is participating in online discussions. But a new poll shows that what people talk about can vary greatly. (The Atlantic)

When Stephanie Williams saw that Western High School in her town of Shively, Kentucky, was on lockdown after reports of an active shooter, she quickly shared the news on Facebook. Williams -- a 42-year-old registered nurse -- has several friends with children at the school and wanted to make sure they knew about the situation. Outside of emergencies, she posts weekly, typically about topics related to her community, or medical articles connected to her work. "If it's useful to me, it's definitely useful to someone else," she says.

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The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websites (New York Times)

Ad blockers, which Apple first allowed on the iPhone in September, promise to conserve data and make websites load faster. But how much of your mobile data comes from advertising?

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Individuals Increasingly Registering Domains In Bid To Control Personal Identity

Individual domain name registrants are increasingly registering domain names and then using these as a means to point to the various social media platforms they use such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Bitcoins are a waste of energy - literally (ABC News)

Vast amounts of electricity go into feeding the Bitcoin delusion. Fortunately, it's unlikely that the digital currency will survive long enough to generate the environmental disaster that would arise if it became a major part of the financial system, writes John Quiggin.

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05 October 2015

Man Temporarily Owns For One Minute

It seems an ex-Google employee noticed that was available to register last week, and managed to register and have control of it for a full one minute!

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The Tor Dark Net (Global Commission on Internet Governance)

The term "Dark Net" is loosely defined, but most frequently refers to an area of the Internet only accessible by using an encryption tool called The Onion Router (Tor). Tor is a tool aimed at those desiring privacy online, although it frequently attracts those with criminal intentions. An innovative feature of Tor is the ability to host websites anonymously and with a degree of impunity -- designed to be used by those in repressive regimes who wish to host whistle-blowing or political content.

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Texas judge throws out patent claims (BBC News)

A judge in East Texas has wiped out 168 patent cases relating to a single patent and filed by the same company.

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04 October 2015

Adblockers and Innovative Ad Companies are Working Together to Build a More Privacy-Friendly Web (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Apple's recently-announced support for adblockers on iOS 9 provoked dramatic debate between those who were celebrating the news, and those who were angry over what they see as the company undermining the primary business model for online publishing and journalism.

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The Dark Web Dilemma: Tor, Anonymity and Online Policing (Global Commission on Internet Governance)

Online anonymity-granting systems such as The Onion Router (Tor) network can be used for both good and ill. The Dark Web is possible only because of online anonymity. Illegal markets, trolls and online child abuse rings proliferate due to the technology of Tor and other similar systems. However, the anonymity provided by such systems gives cover for people in repressive regimes that need the protection of technology in order to surf the Web, access censored content and otherwise exercise their genuine right to free expression.

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Thousands of "Spies" Are Watching Trackerless Torrents (TorrentFreak)

BitTorrent is a very efficient way to share large files, but not a very private one. It's commonly known that anti-piracy outfits monitor users through public trackers. However, new research reveals that BitTorrent's DHT is also full of "spies" who actively harvest IP-addresses.

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Bitcoin flounders in Australia as regulatory worries bite (Reuters)

Australian businesses are turning their backs on bitcoin, as signs grow that the cryptocurrency's mainstream appeal is fading.

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02 October 2015

How our love affair with ad-blocking risks giving Internet providers even more power (Washington Post)

Apple recently began allowing customers to download and install ad-blocking apps on their iPhones, sparking a big debate about the future of the Internet and the ethics of blocking online advertisements. Although ads support everything from social networks to search engines and newspapers, they can also be annoying, intrusive and a drain on your device.

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01 October 2015

No, Facebook isn't going to charge to keep people's posts private (The Guardian)

Facebook is not planning to make its users pay £5.99 [or $5.99 for US users] to keep their status updates private. Is this news? It may be to the people who've been sharing a hoax claiming the opposite.

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Google and Microsoft agree to lawsuit truce (BBC News)

Eighteen lawsuits had been active between the companies, relating to uses of technologies in mobile phones, wifi and other areas.

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How Many Websites Are There? (The Atlantic)

Most webpages die after a couple of months. The average lifespan is something like 100 days. That's longer than it used to be. In the late 1990s, the typical webpage lasted for around 44 days.

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30 September 2015

How ad-blocking software could revolutionise disabled people's lives (The Guardian)

We've all been there: we want to shop online, find a new recipe for supper, catch up on the latest news or watch a video - only to be dazzled by a moving, blinking or flashing advert. These "autoplaying" ads are annoying for most internet users, but for those with disabilities or long-term conditions, they make those websites largely inaccessible.

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Why it's so hard to kill Facebook privacy hoaxes (The Guardian)

Facebook privacy hoaxes just won't die. It seems like every few months, some extended family member or high school "friend" will post a big block of legalese-style text, urging others to share it in their own feeds with a promise that it will somehow protect their privacy.

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29 September 2015

India's mobile phone dreams become nightmare of dropped calls (Washington Post)

In the past decade, nearly 1 billion people have been connected to wireless phone service as part of India's mobile communications revolution , making it the second-largest mobile phone market in the world. But a recent combination of rapidly rising growth and bad infrastructure has turned India's dreams of wireless phone expansion into something of a nightmare.

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