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Fri
31
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Dutch Court Makes Pirate Bay Walk the Plank

Illicit torrent site The Pirate Bay continues to face a wave of opposition in Europe. Yesterday it was revealed that a Dutch court had ordered the popular site out of the Netherlands, blocking traffic between it and anyone in the country. According ... to the Associated Press (AP), the Dutch court involved in the case told Pirate Bay founders that it must put in place measures to permanently block any traffic from Holland in the next ten days, or face hefty fines of 30,000 Euros each day. The court noted that Pirate Bay must "stop and keep stopped the infringements on copyright and related ... (view more)

Mon
20
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Privacy Flaws Dangerous, Says Report

After a thirteen month investigation, Canada's Privacy Commissioner has announced its finding that Facebook's policies and practices violate Canadian privacy laws. According to Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, there are "serious privacy gaps" in ... Facebook's operations. A complaint from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, or CIPPIC, instigated the investigation, which started in May of last year. The initial complaint was comprised of 24 allegations pertaining to 12 different subjects, including Facebook's default privacy settings, what the site does with member personal ... (view more)

Tue
30
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Controversial Torrent Sold For $7.7 Million

The owners of Pirate Bay, recently fined $3.62 million for copyright offences, have sold the site for $7.7 million. The site's new owners, Global Gaming Factory (GGF) have hinted that the site will go legit. That's got some users worried, despite ... reassurances by Pirate Bay staff that its services won't change. GGF is paying half the purchase price in cash and the rest in the form of three per cent of GGF's company stock. In a separate deal, GGF is buying out Peerialism, a Swedish tech company specializing in the logistics of peer-to-peer-file sharing. The price in that deal is $13 million, ... (view more)

Tue
09
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Twitter Wages War On Fake Celebs

Micro-blogging site Twitter is working on a scheme to verify that "celebrities" posting on the site are the real deal. But it says it will not be settling out of court in a legal action brought by St Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Starting ... this summer, the site will work on a beta (test) program to allow public figures to verify their identity. Once they have done so, their account will be labeled with a special logo to show it is indeed run by the claimed personality. Potential Charges for Account Verification At first the scheme will be open to celebrities, sporting stars, ... (view more)

Tue
26
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Circuit City Back (Online), but Buyer Beware

Circuit City has reopened as an online-only business under new management. However, it's brought in a tough, new returns policy which many consumers will consider a gamble. One of the first major victims of the economic downturn , Circuit City went ... into liquidation last November. Its woes were cause by a combination of poor sales and bad timing: the firm's struggling business prompted wary creditors to offer much less generous terms. This stretched its cash flow to the point where it could no longer operate. Circuit City had already received threats that if its stock price continued to hover ... (view more)

Mon
25
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Wolfram Alpha: Computational Knowledge Search Engine

There's been a mixed response to a new search tool aiming to answer questions rather than index the web. Wolfram Alpha has earned praise for its ability to solve specific problems, but it's become clear it's no replacement for the wider capabilities ... of Google and friends. The site, which has been in testing for a few weeks but is now fully operational, is the work of British physicist Stephen Wolfram. He's best known for developing the argument that the wider universe runs on logical rules, just like the language of computer programs. Solutions, Not Guidance The major difference with Wolfram ... (view more)

Mon
18
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Scribd Hosts Online Book Publishing, Rivals Amazon

A website designed for document sharing will soon allow authors to sell electronic copies of their books. The endeavor could mark a dramatic evolution in the publishing industry. Scribd.com will take advantage of its iPaper technology, designed to ... show any document format on any computer. The iPaper format works similarly to Adobe's PDF (portable document format), but is purpose-built for the web and does not require the user have any software installed. Readers can also download the entire file in its original format. At the moment, the site exists for a variety of purposes, such as allowing ... (view more)

Mon
11
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Erupts Controversy, Allows Holocaust Denial Groups

An American lawyer is demanding that Facebook executives explain why the site decided to allow users to set-up groups promoting the denial of the Holocaust. Brian Cuban wants CEO Mark Zuckerberg to detail his personal involvement in the decision. ... Cuban, whose brother Mark is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has previously complained that such groups violate national laws in countries which ban the act of denying the Holocaust, and are thus inherently against Facebook's terms and conditions. However, perhaps recognizing that this logic could be stretched too far (for example, ... (view more)

Fri
24
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Just 0.32% of Facebook Users Turn Out for TOS Vote

Facebook's Terms of Service vote wrapped up yesterday, and although participation fell far short of what the social networking company had hoped, by a vote of three-to-one users supported its new TOS. Earlier in the week, Facebook attempted to right ... earlier wrongs over its Terms of Service by throwing the issue open to a massive vote. Controversy erupted earlier this year when the site tried to introduce a new policy that could have left accounts in Facebook's possession, even if a user terminated his or her association with the database. Some even feared Facebook would take users' personal ... (view more)

Tue
21
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Twitter Survives Oprah Invasion

It's estimated that publicity on the Oprah Winfrey show may have brought more than a million new users to Twitter. The site's sometimes-shaky servers survived the invasion, though some feel its 'trendy' and 'cool' status took a hit from a show ... associated with middle-aged ladies. Winfrey joined the micro-blogging site last Friday and posted her first message (known as a tweet) during the show. It capped a week of celebrity-led publicity about the site as Ashton Kutcher beat CNN in the race to be the first users on Twitter with more than one million followers. There's no way of telling exactly ... (view more)

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