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Category Archives: Technology

AIM Finally Returns the Favor

AOL Instant Messenger finally made the change this July with a new beta for both Windows and Macs that began a move beyond simple IMs. Now, users can view their Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as AIM buddy updates and feeds from other services. The problem was always that the Facebook and Twitter feeds only travelled one way. Updates couldbe read, but they couldn’t be sent from AIM to other services. People with an AIM account can set their preferences to use AIM status as updates in Facebook and Twitter as well. There's also a fairly unpredictable feature that offers a way to comment or respond to friends' messages. This move has morphed AIM into a full-fledged Twitter/Facebook client. his is a big deal for AIM, as it can now be used as both a private and public IM client. TweetDeck, Seesmic and their fellows already have two-way messaging capabilities with Twitter and Facebook, while... --

Internet Security Turns the Tables

People have tried to hack their way into the computers of others since the introduction of the internet. But as hacking has grown from a way for geeks to impress each other, to a means for criminals to steal and blackmail, computer security strategies have remained largely the same: Companies and consumers erect the thickest firewalls imaginable around computers so that the bad guys can't get in. Luckily, security experts are realizing they're losing the battle. Their new approach involves a plan to recruit victims and other computer users to help them go on the offensive, finally hunting down the hackers. Symantec is one of several companies trying to turn the tables. Involving PC users has its risks, however. Hackers who come across novices may infiltrate their computers or steal their identities as punishment. But the idea is something new, a reversal from... --

YouTube Finally in the Black?

YouTube, the net’s original house of viral videos, is looking to go pro with new major studio films, according to The Wall Street Journal. Most of these videos will cost money, unlike all the other content on the site, and will only be available to rent. YouTube smartly avoided confirming everything in the news breaking article, instead hinting that it’s largely accurate. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Sony Corp., and Warner Bros. are all in talks with YouTube about offering premium movie rentals on a time-limited, streaming basis. The price of a new movie rental will likely be $4 in order to compete with Apple's prices, but in contrast, iTunes customers can download movies and watch them without a broadband connection. In addition to this plan, You Tube wnats to offer some movies for free viewing with ads. Considering all these planned changes and... --

‘Broadband’ May Mean Something Less

After the FCC sought comments by August 31 on how the agency should define broadband, some of the biggest U.S. Internet service providers urged regulators to adopt a conservative definition of "broadband," arguing for lowering minimum speeds. The Federal Communications Commision aims to submit a report to congress early next year on the issue of broadband infrastructure, as the Obama administration has been seeking ways to get unserved Americans connected to the internet.   Submissions from AT&T as well as Comcast argued for a definition that even undercut an international ranking of U.S. Internet speed. AT&T believes regulators need to remember that applications like voice over Internet protocol or streaming video, which require faster speeds, are necessarily needed by all unserved Americans.   In contrast, Verizon urged the FCC to maintain speeds of at least 0.768 mbps downstream and 0.200 mbps upstream, as those speeds... --

WPA Encryption Cracked in One Minute

In Japan, computer scientists say they have discovered a method of breaking the WPA encryption system used in wireless routers in around a minute. The method gives hackers a way to view encrypted traffic sent between certain types of routers that use the WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption system. The attack was developed by Masakatu Morii of Kobe University Toshihiro Ohigashi of Hiroshima University. Security researchers first showed how WPA could be broken last November, but the Japanese researchers have taken this attack to a new level. They discussed their attack in a paper presented at the Joint Workshop on Information Security held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan earlier this month. Courtesy of networkworld.com ... --

Will XP Users Finally Switch?

Twitter, the microblogging program craze, has prompted two researchers to use it as a hedonimeter, or a device that measures happiness. Christopher M. Danforth and Peter Sheridan Dodds, both statisticians at the University of Vermont, are hoping to utilize the stream of messages flowing through the platform in order to interpret public opinion and sentiment in real time. The ultimate goal is to establish an index, something like the Dow Jones industrial average, that is able to provide an overall idea of how a collective body of people are feeling at a given point in time. The theory is that tracking and analyzing public Web opinions could yield more accurate results than other surveys because the responses are unfiltered and therefore more genuine. In additionto their main study, the researchers hope to observe how one user’s mood... --

U.S. Government Fights Foreign Censorship

The U.S. government has been covertly testing technology in both China and Iran which lets residents break through firewalls set up by their governments to limit access to news on the Internet. Ken Berman, head of IT at the U.s. government's Broadcasting Board of Governors, said that the "feed over email" (FOE) system delivers news, podcasts and data via technology that smoothly evades web-screening protocols of restrictive regimes.   The news feeds are sent through email accounts including those operated by Google Inc, Microsoft Corp's Hotmail and Yahoo Inc. The Internet has recently become a very powerful tool for citizens in countries whose governments regularly censor news media, enabling them to learn about and predictably, react to major social and political events. In addition to China and Iran, targets for the FOE technology include Myanmar, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan... --

Knol Falls Another Notch

Google’s Knol has never posed any real threat to Wikipedia, but now the knowledge-sharing site is slowly embarassing itself before Craigslist. The original idea behind Knol was people collaboratively writing definitive articles about any topic they like and getting rewarded by earning a share of the AdSense revenues from each page they author. But that model doesn’t work if no one actually reads the articles on Knol. Only 174,000 people visited the site in the past month. And if your Knol page isn’t throwing up enough AdSense pennies to make it worth your while, the next step seems to be selling a pair of stereo speakers directly to the few surfers who somehow ended up at Knol.

Unfortunately, selling your junk on Knol is not necessarily prohibited by... --


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