Google co-founder slams enemies of Internet freedom

Is Internet freedom nearing extinction? The openness and accessibility of the Internet is under serious threat, taking a battering from the combined forces of Hollywood, Facebook, Apple and countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, says Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Brin, who pushed for Google to stand up to China during a  censorship fracas two years ago, admitted he had wrongly assumed that the freedom of the Web could not be stifled by an authoritarian government for so long. However, other countries have since followed China’s path to Web censorship. “I thought there was no way to put the genie

Read More »

Anti-porn bill thinks you’re guilty until proven innocent

Analysts and advocacy groups are up in arms against the anti-porn bill, slamming it as a serious threat to the privacy and security of Internet users in the U.S. H.R. 1981, otherwise known as the Protecting Children From Internet Pornography Act, requires Internet providers to collect and retain the IP logs of all their customers for a year. Its proponents are confident that the anti-porn bill will help investigators zero in on pedophiles that prowl the Internet. Critics, however, expressed fears that the anti-porn bill can be exploited to spy on the online habits of just about everyone. Introduced by

Read More »

Google Chrome 17 touts max speed and security

Google Chrome’s new version will include a new malware filtering tool to help users protect themselves from malicious downloads. Chrome version 17 hit beta channel last week, promising much improved speed and security. The Safe Browsing API currently serves as the backbone of Google Chrome’s malware protection. Chrome sniffs malware-laden websites using the Safe Browsing API. The problem with the Safe Browsing API, however, is that it still allows users access to the websites; hence, it doesn’t give Google Chrome enough protection against the ever increasing  harmful content on the Internet. Google Chrome’s new malware detection tool will be incorporated

Read More »

Flood of New Year tweets crash Twitter

Twitter was hit by a series of outages on December 31 after users flooded the microblogging service with New Year’s tweets. The incident happened around midnight in Japan where users were reportedly posting 16,197 tweets per second. Users were greeted with “Twitter is over capacity” message when they tried to read or post on the microblogging site. Instead of the dreaded Fail whale image which appeared whenever Twitter was down, frustrated users instead saw an image of an ice cream cone telling a caterpillar: “It’s cool. I can chill.” Mashable.com estimates that Twitter first experienced technical issues around 10 a.m.

Read More »

Facebook to show ‘Sponsored Story” ads in news feed this month

Beginning this month, “Sponsored Story” ads will start competing for space with friends’ posts in your Facebook news feed. Sponsored Stories are ads that appear on the right-hand column of your Facebook page because one or several of your friends have “liked” the product, company or service (e.g. “John Doe likes Starbucks.”  Aside from  you friends’ page likes, Sponsored Stories also include page posts, check-ins, domain stories, apps used, app shares and games played. Apparently, Facebook thinks confining Sponsored Stories to the sidebar is doing its potential for a new revenue source a huge disservice, so these ads will now

Read More »

New book shares tips on how to safeguard your reputation online

The anonymity of the web coupled with the popularity of  social networking sites  where virtually anyone who knows how to read and write can create an account makes it easy for people to say what they wouldn’t to your face. That means anybody with access to the Internet can make accusations against you. Users who have been the subject of damning information published online just found an ally in the book Violated Online: How Online Slander Can Destroy Your Life and What You Must Do To Protect Yourself. Written by damage control specialist Steven Wyer, Violated Online illustrates the many

Read More »

Toronto mayor unfazed by hackers’ ultimatum

Who’s afraid of Anonymous? Not Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The defiant mayor is bent on keeping  protesters out of St. James Park despite an early threat issued by hacker-activist group, Anonymous. Anonymous had threatened to launch a massive cyber attack against the city if the government interfered with the Occupy Toronto protests.  The hacktivist group warned that Toronto will be “removed from the Internet.” “The brave citizens of Toronto are peaceful and well-mannered Occupiers, and we will not let the City, or the mayor that uses vulgar language in public, get involved. You have said that by next week the

Read More »

Facebook takes down pro-rape pages

Facebook has finally bowed down to pressure and removed its pro-rape pages. It took 186,000 signatures on a petition and a massive Twitter campaign by Change.org to get Mark Zuckerberg to cave in. Facebook earlier defended the existence of pages featuring jokes and explicit language about sexual violence as freedom of speech. The company had said that rape jokes did not violate their policies. The social networking giant even likened these pages to harmless pub jokes. Critics, however, were quick to point out that Facebook’s main reason for tolerating the existence of the popular rape pages was the ad money

Read More »

Study says Google makes users efficient, not dumb

The instant gratification offered by Google and its Internet search cohorts is making people lazy but not necessarily dumb, researchers at Columbia University say. The researchers, however, say it’s a good kind of laziness; in fact, they call it efficiency. After all, who cares about memorizing all the important dates and events in history, or the capitals of various countries when you know a few clicks of your mouse to get these information require less energy? The study, titled “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips” claims that when we know we can use the

Read More »

Facebook games: relaxing but too much can be bad for you

We modern workers are no strangers to workplace stress. After a draining eight hours at the office, we usually rush back to our homes, thinking that we can finally get respite from over-demanding bosses and nosy colleagues. Years ago, our first impulse once we get home is to plunge into our comfy couches and tune in to our favorite TV shows.  These days, though, there is a mysterious force that can make many of us immune to the charms of  the boob tube — Facebook games.  Even if most of us are so beat up after a stressful day at

Read More »
Archives