John Lister

Fri
08
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Big Boys Back Open ID Scheme

A system to reduce the number of passwords web users need to remember just took a major step forward. You may remember a couple of weeks ago we told you about Yahoo joining the Open ID scheme, in which a user name and password for one site works ... automatically on all other member sites. We concluded: "The Yahoo involvement is an important step for the scheme, but without the likes of eBay, Google, Hotmail, and Amazon being involved, it's unlikely to have any real effect." Well, that might be about to change. Google, IBM and Microsoft have all joined the Open ID Foundation board, the ... (view more)

Fri
08
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Unveils Smarter Web Ads

Microsoft researchers are working on ways to make web advertising even smarter. They want to teach computers to do a more accurate job of targeting ads, by specifying which to put into video clips, and those for more specific users. They ... demonstrated the techniques at their headquarters this week. The timing may be an intentional effort to boost their bid for Yahoo which, if successful, would make Microsoft the second biggest Internet ad seller behind Google. (Source: informationweek.com ) The demonstration included a 'dashboard' which advertisers can use to predict how well particular ... (view more)

Thu
07
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Workers Deny Using Social Networking Sites At Work

More than 70% of British office workers claim they don't use social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace while at work. A survey showed that only 38% were not signed up to any such sites. However, 22% say they chose to only use the sites ... outside working hours, while a further 12% don't have the choice because their employers have blocked access. The employees ranked social networking sites, along with instant messaging, as a very minor distraction to their productivity -- far below more traditional distractions like pointless meetings and loud colleagues. The survey was a publicity ... (view more)

Wed
06
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Primal Urges Thrust Internet Into the Future

Internet users trying to satisfy their primal urges are helping drive technological advances, according to a British researcher. Dr. Trudy Barber of the University of Portsmouth is an expert on cyberspace and subcultures. She says today's unraveling ... underground revolution can be likened to the way explicit films made video recorders popular among consumers in the late 1970s. Barber gave some interesting examples of this current revolution, including phone hanky-panky and people who actually wire themselves up to their computer so that fellow Internet users can press a button to give them ... (view more)

Tue
05
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Swedish Prosecutors Aim To Sink Pirates

Swedish prosecutors have finally begun prosecuting the owners of the popular Pirate Bay website. The peer-to-peer page is one of the leading websites for users of the BitTorrent system of downloading ; in theory the system can carry any type of ... file, though it's most commonly used for copyrighted material such as videos, music and games. The key legal point with such file-sharing systems is that websites such as Pirate Bay don't actually host the files themselves. Instead, they merely provide computers with the information needed to get the files from other users. Four men have been charged ... (view more)

Tue
05
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Open Access Now Guaranteed For Wireless Airwaves

It's now guaranteed that a major part of America's wireless airwaves will be accessible to any device or computer program. That could mean more choice for cell phone owners who want to access the Internet on their phones. The guarantee comes because ... bidding on the relevant part of the airwaves (the C block of the 700 megahertz spectrum to be precise) has passed the $4.64 billion mark. The government has agreed to proposals, championed by Google, ruling that any bidder paying more than this amount would have to follow open-access rules. The airwaves are being freed up by television ... (view more)

Mon
04
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Broken Across Two Continents

Two broken undersea cables have wiped out Internet access for users across Northern Africa and South Asia. The cables, with the unassuming names SEA-ME-WE-4 and FLAG, appear to have broken off the northern coast of Egypt on Wednesday. It's thought ... the cables run between Egypt and Italy, and are part of a chain that carries most Internet traffic between Europe and the Middle East. 95% of Internet data sent across oceans is now carried by undersea cables. The effects have reached across the Arab Gulf states and into India. Egypt's telecommunication minister, speaking at a ceremony to announce a ... (view more)

Fri
01
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

eBay Fee 'Cuts' Questioned By Some

eBay has announced cuts to its listing fees, but other changes mean customers may pay more for selling their goods. The fee cuts will come into force in the United States on 20 February and are likely to be extended overseas later. The biggest cuts ... are for items with a starting price below $25, where the fees will now be halved. Most items above $25 will now cost 20% less to list. However, the company is increasing the proportion of the sale price taken if the item sells. For items up to $25, the fee goes up from 5.25% to 8.75%. For items costing more than $25, the seller now pays 3.5% on the ... (view more)

Tue
29
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

British Courts Still Targeting Manhunt Game

Rockstar Games have failed in yet another bid to get the controversial Manhunt 2 video game on British shelves. A High Court judge has ruled that the game must go back to an appeals committee for a fresh evaluation. The game was first banned in the ... United Kingdom last June when the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC), which gives movie-style age ratings to video games, refused to give it a rating. This meant it could not legally be sold, the first such ban in 10 years. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) At the time, the BBFC's director said the game's focus on violent killings was too strong. " ... (view more)

Fri
25
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

First Vista Update Already Imminent

Rumor has it the first service pack update for Windows Vista will be out on 15 February. A 'service pack' is a single download produced by Microsoft to fix many different problems and add general improvements to a version of its Windows operating ... system. Microsoft have so far only confirmed that the update will be out in the current quarter (by the end of March). It's thought Microsoft may be confident about releasing Service Pack 1 early because a test version, which users download at their discretion from the company website, has proven successful. The official service pack releases ... (view more)

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