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Mon
08
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Identity Theft Worm Hits Facebook

How appropriate. Koobface, a sinister virus that attacks users with spyware and searches their system for sensitive passwords and credit card numbers, has now been found on Facebook, the super-popular social networking site. Given that most readers ... of this column will either use Facebook today or know someone else who may, Koobface poses a daunting threat to the online community. How does Koobface work? According to reports, the virus spreads via messages sent between friends on the site. When one user is infected, his or her account will send messages to friends like, "you just look awesome ... (view more)

Mon
08
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Adds Search Commenting

Google has unveiled technology that allows search users to customize their results and even post comments about particular sites for other users to read. However, the firm has dropped a separate unbranded search engine which it had been using to ... test out new features. The main feature of the new SearchWiki tool is a series of buttons which appears next to each result whenever you search while signed into a Google account (such as Gmail). The first, an arrow pointing upwards, allows you to move a site up the list of the results. (After doing so, you also then get the option to move it down ... (view more)

Thu
13
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Craigslist Hookers Need Credit Card And Phone

The classifieds site Craigslist is changing its rules on advertisements by skin-trade workers following pressure from state governments. Escorts will still be able to advertise, but must provide details which could make prosecution easier where they ... break local laws in doing so. The crackdown follows complaints by Connecticut's attorney general Richard Blumenthal who contacted the site in March 2008, highlighting advertisements which gave specific details about certain services for offer and the rates the prostitutes charged. This was deemed illegal under the state's law and one woman was ... (view more)

Mon
27
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Twitter Targeted by Military as Terrorist Threat

Think a blog site could compromise national security? Well, the military feels that it's certainly a possibility. A recent report on the American Scientists web site by the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion believes Twitter has become a tool for ... a number of threatening groups. The American intelligence community clearly isn't tickled with Twitter. The 304th warn that the web site's combination of GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies, digital maps, and other mobile tools could help terrorists plan and execute attacks on U.S. targets. The military isn't just worried about terrorists ... (view more)

Wed
27
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Pro-Tibet Album Blamed For Chinese iTunes Blocking

Chinese iTunes users are reporting problems with the site, prompting speculation the government may have blocked the service in response to a popular pro-Tibet campaign album. There's no official confirmation that this is the reason -- or indeed ... that the site is being blocked -- but it certainly is likely, given that the problems began on Monday, one day after the Art of Peace Foundation began promoting its release, "Songs of Tibet". The album contains music from the likes of Sting and Alanis Morrisette, plus a 15 minute speech by the Dalai Lama. The publicity drive included the announcement ... (view more)

Tue
26
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Closing Pandora's Box Could Hurt Music Industry

Innovative online music site Pandora appears to be on the brink of shutting its doors after failing to find a solution to increased royalty costs. The site's appeal, a 'personalised radio station' service by which users could list some of their ... favourite songs and performers, may no longer be marketable after recent demands the site pay more cash for the music it uses. How does Pandora work? Users rate songs and the Pandora system (looking at more than 400 attributes including tone, pitch, style, speed, instruments used and so on) would then play similar styles of music. The technology was ... (view more)

Fri
25
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Taking a Closer Look at Facebook's New Design

Any Facebook user can tell you that within the past year the social networking site has become extremely cluttered. From ads to icons to applications, users' profile pages have become confusing eyesores for both the owner and visitors. In an effort ... to clean up the site, Facebook has reorganized and altered the design of the sites main pages. The new changes do offer some clear advantages, including offering personal information on a separate tab than the wall application, which lets friends post comments or notes on a user's profile. The clear advantage is a more attractive layout, and less ... (view more)

Thu
24
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Unveils New Face, Sues Imitator for Copying Old Features

Facebook has initiated legal action against a German website for allegedly copying its site layout. It's ironic timing as Facebook revamps its own look, with some critics saying it may have itself imitated another website. The court case involves ... StudiVZ, billed as the most successful social networking site in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The name is an abbreviation of the German word for 'student directory'. The two sites do have a history together: at one stage the companies were in takeover talks and early versions of StudiVZ even included a CSS file named 'fbook'. That's pretty ... (view more)

Fri
18
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

QuebecTorrent Shut Down by Courts

Authorities in Canada have done what once seemed the inevitable: they've shut down a Torrent site. According to reports, Quebec Superior Court has ordered web site QuebecTorrent to permanently shut down its operations, which to date included a forum ... for the exchange of TV episodes, music, and movies. The decision came down last Wednesday, and represents a permanent injunction against QuebecTorrent and its administrators. Media is buzzing over the move, given that it's the first of the kind in the province and represents a new stage in the copyright battle between representatives of the music/ ... (view more)

Thu
10
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Judges Watching You Watching YouTube

The 'Security vs Privacy' debate is raging again after a court recently ordered Google to hand its entire YouTube records over to Viacom. The order, from the US District Court in Southern New York, comes as part of an ongoing billion dollar lawsuit ... that the media giant (which owns MTV and Nickelodeon among others) filed over copyrighted material on the video site. The suit claims that Viacom has lost revenue thanks to the infringement, while Google has boosted its advertising take. The heart of the case is Google's position that it doesn't -- and practically couldn't -- vet clips that users ... (view more)

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