Articles by date

30 August 2019

The insidious rise of deepfake porn videos - and one woman who won't be silenced (ABC News)

If you've ever seen a deepfake video, you'll know they can be unsettling. Whether it's AI-altered Mark Zuckerberg warning of the dangers of Facebook, Barack Obama calling Donald Trump a "dipshit", or a seemingly innocuous one of Bill Hader morphing into Tom Cruise — we can no longer trust what we see.

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29 August 2019

Donuts Reducing Prices For 1.1M Unsold Premium Domain Names

Donuts is to reduce the price for approximately 250,000 of their premium domains and more than 850,000 premium domains will move to standard pricing on 5 November across their portfolio of new gTLDs.

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28 August 2019

.PL Registrations Down, Renewals Up, in Second Quarter

Renewal rates are going up, but total registration numbers are down for Poland’s ccTLD .pl, according to their latest Domain Name Market quarterly report for the second quarter of 2019.

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26 August 2019

YouTube Disables 210 Channels That Spread Disinformation About Hong Kong Protests (New York Times)

YouTube said on Thursday that its site was used to spread disinformation about the mass protests in Hong Kong, days after Twitter and Facebook cracked down on thousands of China-backed accounts that compared the demonstrators to terrorists and accused them of being at the whim of foreign interests.

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Australia to Block Websites Hosting Live-Streamed Terror Attacks (Bloomberg)

Australia will establish a mechanism for internet providers to quickly and effectively block websites hosting terror attacks in the wake of the Christchurch shooting, according to an emailed statement.

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25 August 2019

Most U.S. teens who use cellphones do it to pass time, connect with others, learn new things (Pew Research Center)

Nearly all U.S. teens (95%) say they have access to a smartphone – and 45% say they are “almost constantly” on the internet. That amount of screen time has raised concerns from parents, educators and policymakers across the country, and even many teens worry they use their phone too much.

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23 August 2019

Streaming Video Will Soon Look Like the Bad Old Days of TV (New York Times)

As media monoliths bundle their offerings, consumers will once again have to pay for a bunch of shows they don’t want.

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22 August 2019

Independent Review Finds NZ’s Domain Name Commission "A Sound And Competent Regulator"

An independent review into the body responsible for regulating New Zealand’s ccTLD, the Domain Name Commission, has found “there is much for current and past DNCL staff to be proud of” and that it “is a sound and competent regulator of the .nz space.”

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In 3 Weeks auDA Goes From Boasting of 2LDs Readiness To Not Ready. What Gives?

It was only 3 weeks ago that auDA’s CEO Cameron Boardman “resigned” and in a glowing announcement on his ‘achieving many goals’, the Board crowed that one of these was “the development and implementation of new Licensing Rules for .au second-level domain names, and the introduction of direct registration of .au”. Now the Board has given an update on second level registrations saying they aren’t ready for deployment. So what’s changed in 3 weeks?

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Ransomware Attacks Are Testing Resolve of Cities Across America (New York Times)

At the public library in Wilmer, Tex., books were checked out not with the beeps of bar code readers but with the scratches of pen on notebook paper. Out on the street, police officers were literally writing tickets — by hand. When the entire computer network that keeps the small town’s bureaucracy afloat was recently hacked, Wilmer was thrown into the digital Dark Ages.

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Big Tech, a Conservative Provocateur and the Fight Over Disinformation (New York Times)

A veteran political operative built a potent online disinformation mill with his son. When Silicon Valley changed the rules, they tried to go straight. Or did they?

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Is Spam Trying to Tell Us Something? (New York Times)

The oracles are screaming. They wave around their yield curves and their poll results and their images of ice and fire. Every headline is a forecast. Every stray observation supports a theory. Something is about to happen. (But when?) Many things are about to happen. (And here’s why!) Nobody is sure they know anything, but everyone is worried that someone knows something. Summer will soon be over, but prediction season has just begun.

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21 August 2019

Why Are There So Many Weird Tech Patents? (Slate)

Companies are constantly patenting strange things they have no intention of developing. Here’s why.

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How Should Big Tech Be Reined In? Here Are 4 Prominent Ideas (New York Times)

The Justice Department is investigating them, as is the Federal Trade Commission. Congress and state attorneys general have their sights on the companies, too.

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U.S. Justice Department teams up with states on probe of Big Tech firms (Reuters)

The U.S. Justice Department is working with a group of more than a dozen state attorneys general as it moves forward with a broad investigation into major technology companies, the department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said on Tuesday.

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20 August 2019

One In 5 .NZ Domains Now Registered At The Second Level

Down in the Antipodes, InternetNZ has begun to release a quarterly report of life in .nz in a new easy-to-read format, and the first of these reports for the period April to June 2019 shows that almost one in 5 .nz domain names are now registered at the second level.

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Twitter and Facebook take first actions against China for using fake accounts to sow discord in Hong Kong (Washington Post)

Twitter and Facebook said Monday they had taken action against China for using hundreds of fake accounts to sow political discord during the Hong Kong protests, marking the first time the social media giants had identified Beijing directly for spearheading such an operation.

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18 August 2019

Shoshana Zuboff on the Undetectable, Indecipherable World of Surveillance Capitalism (Centre for International Governance Innovation)

With her impressive seminal work, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, published earlier this year, Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff is asking for nothing less than a “rebirth of astonishment and outrage” to reestablish our bearings in the digital age.

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16 August 2019

.IE Grows 40% In 5 Years, With Recent Brexit-Fuelled Surge: IEDR

Ireland’s ccTLD .ie has grown 40% in 5 years the latest .IE Domain Profile Report published this week by IE Domain Registry shows, fuelled by a registration rule change, a buoyant economy, Brexit and social network limitations.

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15 August 2019

.EU Registrations Boom In Ireland As UK Collapse Continues On Brexit Fears

Registrations of .eu domain names in the United Kingdom have almost halved, declining 46.7% to 162,287 in the year to the end of June and 13.9% for the quarter as fears British registrants will be ineligible to hold their domains if Britain leaving the European Union comes to be.

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Facebook's crackdown on dangerous content in groups could backfire, experts say (The Guardian)

Facebook is changing its rules on private groups amid growing criticism that some closed communities on the platform are uniting extremists and spreading fake news.

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Tumblr once sold for $1.1 billion. The owner of WordPress just bought the site for a fraction of that. (Washington Post)

Tumblr, the onetime darling of social media, sold for a whopping $1.1 billion in 2013. On Monday, in perhaps the latest mark of its decline, the site was reportedly bought for just $3 million.

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India Shut Down Kashmir's Internet Access. Now, 'We Cannot Do Anything.' (New York Times)

Pharmacists can’t restock medicines; workers aren’t being paid. But the government still loves to block the internet for “peace and tranquillity.”

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14 August 2019

ICANN Wants Your Help To Get To SXSW

No, ICANN isn’t impoverished. They don’t need financial help! But they want your voting support to get their proposed panel discussion voted to be discussed at SXSW’s 2020 event.

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13 August 2019

Australian competition regulator ACCC set to launch landmark Facebook, Google cases (Australian Financial Review)

The competition watchdog is close to launching five landmark cases against Facebook and Google over breaches of privacy, competition and consumer laws following its landmark inquiry into the tech giants.

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