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Twitter denies blocking accounts disliked by the Russian government

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 9:23 pm

Popular social networking site Twitter isn't actively blocking extremist accounts located in Russia, with reports saying that accounts are being blocked. However, Russian officials are receiving guidance on reporting illegal content so it can be blocked, but Twitter isn't removing accounts.


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Russia wants to block access to Ukrainian national groups and insurgency groups that communicate and share information via Twitter. The Iraqi government has blocked Twitter and other social media accounts, but the effort has been rather unsuccessful - which is why the Russian government hopes to work directly with Twitter.


"That claim is inaccurate, as we did not agree to remove the accounts," said Nu Wexler, Twitter spokesman said in a statement.

Continue reading 'Twitter denies blocking accounts disliked by the Russian government' (full post)

Production of bigger Apple iPhone set to begin soon, with fall launch

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 8:34 pm

A new report says Chinese manufacturers have received orders from Apple to begin preparing new iPhones, with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, with production set to begin in July. The devices are rumored to be released in the United States in September.


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Foxconn is reportedly prepared to hire an additional 100,000 workers to meet global demand for the iPhone, according to the Bloomberg report.


In addition to bigger screens, the new iPhone will be thinner - indicating the company is following the changing needs for smartphone owners.


The surge in popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S line of smartphones, and the Google Android operating system, has forced Apple to innovate once again. Analysts and investors hoped to see Apple release cheaper devices and increase screen size; Apple's iPhone 5c is more affordable, and the increased screen size will meet the second demand.

Cyberattacks demanding ransom in exchange for files growing

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 7:18 pm

Police departments in the United States are being targeted by cyberattacks compromising users and demanding ransom in exchange for control of PCs and files. It's a significant problem when emergency responders are unable to access databases and records due to someone carelessly clicking something in their email.


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Recently, the Collinsville Police Department in Alabama was hit, triggered by someone in the police department opening a suspicious email attachment, that immediately hurt police activities. They were unable to access mug shot files, time sheets, and vehicle maintenance records - and the department's computer backups failed, and they might have to start over from scratch.


A police department in Massachusetts was compromised and chose to pay the $750 ransom, which is something federal investigators don't encourage. The files might be decrypted and returned, but likely don't end up returning the same way they were before being compromised.

Continue reading 'Cyberattacks demanding ransom in exchange for files growing' (full post)

Almost half of UK cop calls involve social media complaints

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 6:28 pm

British police are having to spend more and more time investigating abuse online, a chief constable has claimed.


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Speaking with the BBC, the College of Policing's Alex Marshall said that as people have moved their shopping and communications online, so too have threats, insults and abuse. "I see that it won't be long before pretty much investigation that the police conduct will have an online element to it," Marshall said. He added that a typical day will see a dozen inbound phone calls, and at least half of them will involve "antisocial behavior or abuse or threats of assault" that "may well relate to social media,Facebook, Twitter or other forms."


Another officer, Det Con Roger Pegram of the Greater Manchester Police, said that it's not so much the nature of the offences that are changing - just the medium of deliver. "You don't need to actually front someone up face-to-face to threaten them," Pegram said. "This can all be done from the comfort of your own home, a coffee shop with wi-fi, and these people can commit crime anywhere to anybody."

Tiny island of Jersey hopes to become world Bitcoin leader

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 6:02 pm

A campaign group is seeking to turn the island of Jersey, just off the coast of Normandy, into the most welcoming location for Bitcoin in the world.


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Although it's already possible to use the cryptocurrency in a smattering of places around the web and in the physical realm, it's not quite widespread yet. Now, a new industry body, is hoping to turn Jersey into a "Bitcoin Isle". Jersey is famous as a hotspot for offshore banking, and in a blog post, the group said it is now working with the Channel Islands Information Security Forum to explore how the cryptocurrency can augment this.


In a statement, the CIISF's chairman Matt Palmer said: "Cryptocurrencies are much misunderstood but have the potential to revolutionize the financial system," before adding that currencies such as Bitcoin "could well underpin the future of offshore finance centers."

Continue reading 'Tiny island of Jersey hopes to become world Bitcoin leader' (full post)

Google Domains registration service is in testing now

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 6:01 pm

Google is currently testing a new domain registration service called Google Domains. Google is very early in the testing process for the new service and Google Domains is reportedly an invite only beta service for now. People familiar with the product say that Google has no plans to provide web hosting.


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Once Google Domains launches to all users it will support the buying and selling of domain names. Each domain sold by Google will support up to 100 email addresses and up to 100 customized sub-domains.

Continue reading 'Google Domains registration service is in testing now' (full post)

France furious at new Icann .vin, .wine domains

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 5:23 pm

France is furious that Icann, which governs top level domains, plans to launch the .wine and .vin addresses.


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In an official letter of complaint, French minister Axelle Lemaire expressed concerns that a lack of accountability in ICANN. The country fears that in launching these addresses, the identities of region-specific drinks such as champagne, which must be produced in its titular region, could be watered down.


Icann's president Fadi Chehade acknowledged the concerns. "Wine is serious," Chehade said. "We all like wine. There's no issue with the fact that wine is a serious matter, it's also a major industry for France and other parts of the world. I think that their concern about this gTLD is warranted."

Continue reading 'France furious at new Icann .vin, .wine domains' (full post)

In-app purchases take lion's share of Google Play revenue

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Apps | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 5:02 pm

An enormous 98 percent of revenues in Google's Play store now come from freemium apps - those that are free to download but require in app purchases to generate revenue.


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According to a report from App Annie, general app downloads have grown a pretty formidable 50 percent from 2013 going into 2014, and income is doubled from last year's figures. Worldwide downloads and revenues are increasing by the quarter on Google Play, and the analyst company says this represents a "massive" opportunity for publishers.


The top buying market for in-app content is Japan, thanks mostly to mobile gaming. The US and South Korea come in second and third respectively. According to the report, Asian markets are the biggest spenders for in-app purchases but it looks as if the rest of the world will catch up. Games revenue climbed ten percent year on year between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014, reaching 90 percent.

White dwarf star may be the coldest and dimmest ever discovered

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 5:00 pm

Astronomers have discovered what might be the coolest and dimmest white dwarf star ever discovered. The faint star is believed to be so cool that its carbon has crystallized making it into something akin to a diamond the size of the Earth.


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The star was discovered by David Kaplan and colleagues using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Green Bank Telescope and Very Long Baseline Array. Other observatories were also used to make the discovery.

Continue reading 'White dwarf star may be the coldest and dimmest ever discovered' (full post)

University library to open drone rental scheme

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jun 24, 2014 4:29 pm

The University of South Florida is setting up a drone rental scheme that will allow students to borrow a UAV from their college.


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Two DJI Phantom 2 Vision drones will be available for students to borrow, and the University expects they will be popular for a variety of reasons. For example, those studying architecture will be able to aerially check out buildings instead of having to use more traditional methods. "I see us working with all kinds of departments," director of academic services, Nancy Cunningham, said.


Any prospective pilots will have to take a course in safely operating the drones, and each time they are used staff will be on hand to make sure things go smoothly. The scheme will run from Fall 2014 at the Tampa campus library. It's the latest technological upgrade to the university, which installed a smart lab at the library in 2013.

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